Running Water For Vanlife

Running water has arrived!

We no longer need to keep spending money on bottles of drink whilst out in the van. We now have running water from fresh water tank to waste. Running water is one of the most common additions to a camper van and has its many uses. From drinking, to washing up we now have the ability to freely dispense at our will. This will now not only save us money, but mean we are more self sufficient having this on board.

The setup

The setup we have installed originally meant we had a 23 litre fresh water container underneath the sink. However, when we changed the sink to a larger one, we could not fit that in any more. We searched high and low for alternatives to keep a reasonable amount of water on board but to no avail. One option was to get a custom tank made, but this turned out as expected to be very costly. Instead we opted for two 10 litre containers of course giving us 20 litres fresh water alltogether.

The two fresh water tanks are situated beneath the sink and are secured with a strap to top them moving. They can easily be swapped when needed which is not too much trouble for us. The fresh water is dispensed through our tap via a water pump we connected to the power setup. This pump can be switched on and off meaning we only have have it powered when necessary. Any waste water is then emptied through the sink hole and into a grey water tank.


We wanted a tap that not only could be used as a normal, but something that could be used to rinse bikes down outside after a ride. There are a few options out there, but we opted for this “Titan Mono“. It looks like a normal kitchen tap when installed, but has a great feature meaning the head with its long pipe can come out of the van. An awesome addition giving you the ability to shower, or clean our bikes.

The fact it is a fully functioning kitchen tap means it comes pre-made with hot and cold water inlets. Living out of a van means there are always some compromises, and for us that meant we would not have any hot water…..yet. That being said, we had to find a way of capping this off. We found that whilst the cold water comes out on the cold setting, if the tap is swung to hot, it leaked through the inlet even though there was no hot water. This meant water would come flooding out of the hot water inlet if you are not careful. Not an ideal situation as this would go all over the wood, floor and even fridge should this be left. We found it difficult to find a cap or plug in B&Q or Wickes and toyed with the idea of using silicone to bung the hole. We wanted to leave it fully operational should we eventually install a hot water system. Then we got lucky…

A lucky find

One day at work I received a message from a friend saying he had been looking for something in his loft when he came across an old tap connector which exactly the connector we needed. This gave us a much better way of capping the hot water inlet. We cut the pipe down and put a copper cap on with solder. Screwed this in and after some slight adjustment was bone try with no drips. It served its one and only purpose while keeping the tap fit for the future…

As for the pump, this was very inexpensive and whilst not the quietest of devices, pumps the water without the need for a hand pump. It caused a few issues to begin with as there were a few leaks coming from where the pipes attach. We used jubilee clips to clamp the hose’s but later found that they were not enough on their own. We used some self amalgamating tape to add an extra seal and tightened the clamps as tight as they would go, just enough not the crack the pump inlet and outlets.  A few tanks of water were run through to check for leaks for which there were none. A great success!


A good amount of things in van live are possible by thinking up ideas and improvising. An example for us came when we needed to install a sink. We first thought of saving money and only wanted something small. Whilst out shopping for parts, we came across a small dish for serving up food in. Whilst this was roughly the right size, we found it was not deep enough. That joint with the fact it had handles on that really needed to be cut off, we took another look when we were out and about. We then came across a mixing bow which turned out to be perfect. All that was needed was to drill a hole in the bottom and use a jigsaw to cut a hole out big enough but small enough to fit a plug hole. The plug hole kit we used was from Wickes and only cos about £4.00. This meant we created and installed a sink for around £15.

Looks the part but most importantly works for what we need!

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