Help! I Need to Buy a New Caravan Water Tank!

You’ve found the perfect van to suit you and your family. However, have you checked that it has a water tank? And that the tank is in good condition if purchasing a second hand van? A water tank is essential for the operation of some hot water systems, but also for day to day essentials such as washing up, showering and flushing your toilet, especially if you plan on going to national parks and camping in free camps or heading off-road.

A caravan water tank may seem like a pretty basic accessory; however, it does house some pretty essential cargo which if you were left without you would find yourself in a bit of a pickle. There are a few things to consider when it comes to selecting a water tank.

What Size:

Although it may seem obvious that a larger water tank will hold more water, it can be easy to forget that the size of your tank will dictate your camping experience. It is also important to remember that the bigger your tank, the more weight you will be adding to your van as well. So to help determine the size water tank that will ensure you have a good camping experience you will need to consider the style of camping you are planning on undertaking including:

Short or long trips-

Do you plan on taking short trips or long trips? If you only plan on taking short trips, a smaller tank will be adequate and will leave you with a lighter weight leaving you more room for other essentials. If you are planning on taking longer trips, you will need to opt for a larger tank that will supply you for your planned duration. If you are planning on a combination of shorter and larger trips, there may need to be some compromises, but ultimately you would go as large as you can.

Off-Grid or Local?

Some people like to stick to caravan parks where the facilities are provided and offer convenience, including reliable access to mains water. If this sounds like your type of camping then you can opt for a smaller water tank  as you can easily  access and refill as you need to. If going off the beaten track, visiting national parks, and using free camps sounds more like your style and you have the setup for off-grid living, having a larger water tank is ideal. However, as mentioned previously this will affect your weight, but also your required surface area. As most water tanks are stored below your van, you will need to ensure you have adequate room available below, and if you plan on going off-road, ensure that where your water tanks are installed will not be easily impacted by sticks, rocks and other debris that can cause damage to your water tanks.

Number of People-

A couple of campers will require a lot less water than a family of 5. Children can also be a lot less careful when it comes to water usage, so if you are planning on taking the grand children away with you, definitely opt for larger tanks.

When trying to work out just how much water you may need per person per day, a few things to consider include that you will need( and this is an approximate guide only):

- 2-5 Litres of drinking water

- A shower can use up to 20L of water

- 5 Litres for washing up

- 2 litres for cooking

- 15-60 litres if you have a washing machine


You can add 1kg of weight for every litre of water. It is important that you consider the distribution of weight within your vehicle, especially if you are having multiple tanks fitted. This is to ensure that your van remains balanced.

What is the tank made from?

You will find that most caravan water tanks are made from plastic, that is a food grade polyethylene. The reason for this being that polyethylene tanks  are light, have a greater impact strength, are resistant to rust, corrosion and fuel additives compared to steel tanks.

Once you have decided on the size tank you require for your adventures, ensure that there is adequate space to install them, as well confirming that you will not be unbalancing your van or impeding on your weight limit.

View our range of water tanks and accessories. Our most common water tank accessories include the Stand at Ease water tank filler and water tank monitors which take out the guess work when it comes to knowing how much water is left in your tank.

DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

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