Product Review: Aquatank2 30 Gallon Water Storage Bag
Disclosure: We purchased this item at retail and the opinions are our own.
The Aquatank2 30 gallon water storage bag was something we had been eyeing for awhile, but for $100 we kept putting it off until we really had a good reason for getting it. As soon as we realized that one of our main boondocking limiting factors was fresh water we got on Amazon and purchased the bag.
Our 40 gallon fresh water tank typically lasts us 10 days. But we have a total of 80 gallons of gray water capacity, which lasts us three weeks. It’s a pain to have to leave our boondocking site just to fill up fresh water. Before we got the water bag we were filling up our fresh water a quart at a time using our Nalgene water bottles or 2 gallons at a time using our MSR dromedary. This was just an attempt to stretch our stay for a day longer or so. While that works, it’s like trying to refill a pond with a garden hose. Now with our Aquatank2 water bag, we can stay in one boondocking site until our gray water tanks are full.
PROS OF THE WATER BAG
- It allows us to boondock in one spot for longer.
- We don’t have to worry about losing our boondocking spot when we go refill water.
- We can camp farther from amenities and not have to tow the trailer all the way back to town to refill – saving fuel and time.
- It folds up into a tiny size when empty.
- The water bag requires a lot of space when it’s full. It fits great in the back of our truck, but we have to empty the back half of the truck bed to fit it and we can’t put anything on top of the bag.
- It’s very difficult to move when it’s full. Actually, it basically can’t be moved because it’s floppy and heavy – 240 lbs heavy.
- The two white hose fittings are secured to the in/out tubes with zip-ties. The zip ties can work their way down the hose which makes the fittings loose. Ours never leaked, but we have pulled a fitting off accidentally before. This may be intentional by the manufacturer, to prevent the bag from bursting if over-filled (the fitting would pop off instead). But we replaced our zip-ties with hose clamps anyway (wrapped in tape so they don't cut the bag when folded up)
We’ve now been using this water bag for a few months and this is what it’s like to use it:
We keep the water bag folded in the truck behind the seat along with the garden hose. When we know we’re going into town for water, we’ll empty the back half of the truck bed so the water bag will fit when it’s full and won’t have anything poking it. To start filling the bag we unfold it flat in the truck bed; we like to connect our water meter so we know when it’s full. It’s easy to underfill the bag without the water meter, and it’ll spill water if it’s overfilled. Once the bag is full we disconnect the water hose. Water doesn’t leak out while we replace the cap because the connections are on top – as long as you haven’t overfilled it.
Update 6/11/16: The green water meter shown here wasn't available on Amazon.com anymore, so we linked instead to a similar, but different meter -- which we then purchased for ourselves because the green one broke shortly after this post went up. After a few uses we thought it seemed a bit off...and today we have measured and confirmed that it overestimates by about 11%. We're sorry to anyone who has gotten this meter and is disappointed with it's inaccuracy. We'd love to hear about it if you find an affordable-yet-accurate alternative!
Update to update - 9/22/16: Since June, we have determined that the accuracy of the water meter is linked to flow rate. A freely-flowing spigot seems to register correctly, but if you're at a slow spigot (or using a low-flow water pump like we do when transferring from the bag to the trailer), then accuracy suffers.
We didn’t have trouble figuring out how to fill the bag, but getting the water from the bag to the fresh water tank was harder than we expected. The truck bed is a little lower than our gravity fill port, but Jerud thought he could squeeze the water out of the bag and into the tank. Didn’t work.
Today we use a cheap water pump from Harbor Freight and two sections of garden hose to transfer the water into the fresh water tank. The pump runs off the truck’s battery. We initially just clamped it to the battery terminals until Jerud made an adapter that draws power from the trailer plug in the truck bed.
While the bag comes in bigger sizes, we chose the 30 gallon bag because it made the most sense for us (our fresh water tank is 40 gallons). The drawback to the larger size bags is that because they're square shaped, it’s harder to find places to fit them. Brandon and Kerensa of Drive Dive Devour place their water bag on the roof rack of their Jeep. The upside of doing that is they just use gravity to empty the water into their fresh water tank. Wherever you decide to place the bag when you’re filling it, remember that the 30 gallon bag will weigh 240 lbs. when full!
We really like this water bag. It’s made a positive difference in our boondocking experience and now we can’t imagine not having the bag. The cons aren’t an issue for us since we have the space in the back of the truck and we don’t ever need to move the bag once it’s full and heavy. Although we do wish that we didn’t need to rely on using a water pump to transfer water into the fresh tank. But it’s not the end of the world and it works out fine.
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