On the Road, Off the Grid

Starting a life on the road; our adventures in becoming sustainable.

RV Rain Water Catchment System


It occurred to me as I put on my raincoat to go out in a downpour at 8 in the morning, pre-coffee, that I may have a problem.  An obsession with perfecting our rainwater system.  But, it’s pretty much done, so I thought I would share.

NOTE: This system is designed to be used with a gravity water filtration system for drinking purposes.  This does not filter the water to drinking grade on its own.

Here’s an overview of the system.  And this youtube video helped us quite a bit to figure out what would work best for us.


What the system looks like from the drivers side of our travel trailer.


Supplies needed, all found at the hardware store. I bought several hose-end repair kits because there was a lot of cutting hose involved and a lot of female hose end replacements. (teflon tape is in the red thing)


Because of the lack of space at the back of our camper, we had to mount the “90 degree drop ear valve” on the bottom of the back gutters. The front gutters just mounted off the end. Then we added copious amounts of caulking to ensure a leakproof seal.


Then we added teflon tape to our brass pipe-to-hose adapter and tightened on securely. We will leave this on as we travel, the rest of our set-up will be removed.


Then we add a 90 degree hose fitting (found these in the RV section of Walmart).


Then attach some hoses. This application was done to all 4 corners of the camper, and we waited to caulk the front set-up until things were fitted perfectly.


Hose from one side of the camper going across the back to a “Y” hose joint.


We used a utility broom clip (well actually only half of it) to help get the front hose at the correct angle. Because the front of our trailer is sloped at the top, the hose kept migrating up. This solved that.


Front “Y” joint.


Back “Y” joint.


Where the front and back hoses meet above our water fill opening.


What’s actually going on there: Adaptor to fit two female hose ends together, then a drip irrigation filter to keep particulates out of our water tank, then the hose into the water tank. The drip filter is easy to remove and cleanable, which is ideal especially after you have been on the road for a while.


Added a couple more broom clips to help support the longest flattest span of hose, approximately 12′.

And that’s it!  We use the rainwater for showering and dishes, and then filter our drinking water through a gravity filter system.  What was the most time consuming was getting the hoses to the exact lengths for optimal flow.  But now that it’s done, the thing works like a charm!  Ideally we will never need to use a filling station for water again.

Here’s a video of the system in action!

Author: katecarcio

We travel the country in our earth friendly, RV and waste veggie oil truck.

2 thoughts on “RV Rain Water Catchment System

  1. Very impressive!

  2. This is all very interesting… I am thinking of doing something similar. Thank you for blazing the trail. PS… I love your mom! All moms should be this supportive!

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