22 Water Saving Tips for Caravan and camping

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We came up with these Water Saving Tips and trick as we often free camp and park off grid. With that in mind we have to consider saving water. 

Our Fresh Water Set Up

We had an extra 80 litre water-tank fitted when we bought our van. Consequently we have a total of 160 litres when full. This can, if we are frugal, last us 2 weeks.

As I normally say, this is not for everyone, everyone is different!

Some tips might be good for the hard core water savers amongst us.

Washing up:

Depending on what pans and plates are used you can save heaps of water. Consider some of these ideas.

1. Cook one pot meals to cut down on pans.

2. Cook on a Camp Fire or BBQ.

Tent World
BBQ by caravan at sunset water saving Tips 15 lessons learned full time caravanning
Photo: BBQ To Save Washing Pans

3. Use paper plates and bowls for some meals. If they are sitll usable kids can draw or make things from them. You can also put them in to the fire at night or bag them up and take them with you.

4. Wipe plates down with a damp paper towel after eating. Get rid of the bulk food. That way it’s easier to wash when you do wash-up. This also stops food bits going down the drain and smelling.

5. If possible, do just one wash at night or in the morning. One wash will save more water then lots of washes.

6. If you have cooked in a pan or used a large bowl, use this as your sink. Uses less water then your sink and cleans the pan at same time.


One of the biggest water consumers is the shower.

7. When you need a shower wet yourself down then turn off the water. Soap up and apply shampoo. Once your all soaped up, wash off.

8. Use an all in one shampoo and conditioner, saves rinsing twice.

9. Have a good wash in the sink instead. The old flannel comes in very handy. Taking care of your face, your pits and your important bits.

washcloth and nail brush in bowl
Wash Face, Pits & Important Bits


10. Don’t have water on full if you don’t need to or buy a water saving shower head.

11. Save the cold water that first comes out of the shower in a jug/container. Use this for cooking or put it back in your tank. You could also use it for your toilet or spray bottle (see toilet tips below)

12. Dry Shampoo is great! It works on my light hair very well. Only a little spray on the roots of greasy hair. You’re then set for a few more days.

Dry shampoo for camping and water saving
Photo: Dry Shampoo Saves Heaps Of Water

Toilet – Water Saving Tips

13. Don’t flush if you’re only having a pee. Use a spray bottle with water and Thetford Aqua Rinse. Just spray and walk away.

14. Cleaning the inside of your toilet. Water saving here can be achieved with baby wipes. Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil or other antibacterial oil. Always dispose of in the bin not the toilet.

Please see our “10 toilet tips and tricks” here.

Washing Hands:

However much water saving you want to achieve, you still have to clean your hands!

15. Get a pump soap dispenser not a bar of soap. Soap up and scrub away. Turn the tap on very low and rinse off.

beautiful fresh flower arrangement in the sink at Tropicana Caravan Park Sarina Qld
Photo: Tropicana Caravan Park Sarina – Qld

16. Wipe hands with wet wipes. Put some tea tree oil or similar antibacterial oil on them. We also carry some in the car for when we empty the cassette toilet.

17. Hand sanitiser is also an option in some circumstances.

Laundry – Water Saving Tips

18. Wash in the sink or in a bucket outside with a plunger.

DIY washing machine
Photo: DIY Washing Machine
manual washing machine water saving tips
Photo: manual washing machine

20. You can also buy a manual washing machine, as above.

21. Use wool wash laundry liquid to wash your clothes. You do not need to rinse your clothes as you do with normal liquids or powder.

This is something I didn’t think would work, but it does πŸ˜€

wool wash water saving tips
Photo: Wool Wash
Bargain Avenue


22. Wet wipes are great for wiping down everything from surfaces, bathrooms to faces. Keep them in a plastic container to keep them fresh.

Bonus tip: Drink beer not water πŸ˜‰

save water by drinking beer bottles at sunset
Photo: Cheers To Water Saving

Do you have any more water saving tips? share them in the comments below.

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36 thoughts on “22 Water Saving Tips for Caravan and camping

  1. When free camping we have a 12v camping shower set up in the shower cubicle of the van and a 10 litre water container.
    I find we use a much less water this way and know exactly how much water we are using, also no cold water loss waiting for the hot stuff to arrive.
    When requiring hot water we just fill the kettle out of the container, heat it and return to the container. I find 2l of very hot water blended with 8l of cold is sufficient.
    There are 2 of us and can both have a reasonable shower out of 8 to 10 litres.


    1. Thanks for sharing Blue πŸ™‚

  2. My favourite water saving tip is. 2/3 white vinegar and 1/3 dish liquid in a spray bottle, just a small squirt on dishes, pots etc and a light water rinse or if water is very tight, wipe off with a paper towel.

    1. HI Ulle
      I do love cleaning with white vinegar and baking soda. This is a new one for me though. I will have to give it a go.
      Thanks for your tip πŸ˜€

  3. We have a lot of our meals pre-prepared and then cryovac them. Things like casseroles, curries etc. They are in the freezer unitl we need them.
    When we go to have one for dinner, we boil the water and put the cryovac meal into the pot and let it warm up for us to eat.
    The water that we used to warm the meal is then used for tea or coffee or for washing up. That way we can get 3 uses out of the same amount of water.

    1. Good tip, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  4. Hi David,
    Firstly sorry your message didn’t show up strait away. It can take longer in some cases.
    Thanks for your tips they are great. I love your idea of using the heat from the turned of gas for warming water.
    Happy travels

    1. No worries Sue, glad you liked the suggestion.

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