Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Reno

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Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Reno

Post by BrotherNomad » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:43 am

Was it 30 cents a gallon I saw filtered tap water go for at Save Mart on Keystone Blvd. this year? For my first burn, I filled the water containers at home before I left in San Jose, CA; planning to buy for water on the way in Reno.

I asked the question. Wouldn't it be cheaper (assuming you were filling water containers for free or nearly free with tap water) to fill those 55 gallon drums at home vs for 30 cents a gallon or more in Reno?

Clearly, the answer depends on variables:
-How many road miles will the full containers travel, how much water weight?
-How much does the car/truck/trailer weigh, how much fuel does it consume loaded down (as most burners travel)?
-How much per water gallon to fill containers at point-of-origin?
-Cost of fuel, price per gallon?
-Any other variables I am forgetting?

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Ratty » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:11 am

With me it's not so much about the cost. Water isn't a MAJOR expense in the total price. It's about wear and tear on my vehicle. I'm also coming from the Bay Area. It's not much of a hill but it is a hill. I try to reduce the strain on my engine and transmission if possible. The car is already loaded down with 100s of extra pounds.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by ranger magnum » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:31 am

Depdnds on the vehicle. A diesel 3500 truck? Won't make too big a difference. A rental car, anan older car, a smaller car? It will make a big difference.

Water is 8 pounds per gallon. If you live in Reno, then fill up at home. From anywhere else, it doesn't make sense. Plus there is a safety issue. Donner grade is pretty serious. Your brakes can and will get hot. Hauling heavy loads in the desert heat puts an added strain on your car. Fill up in Gerlach and be done with it.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by GreyCoyote » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:48 pm

The other cool thing about filling up in Gerlach is it funds the various local causes. Its part of the reason the locals tolerate our yearly invasion. :mrgreen:

There was also a place just outside of Wadsworth on the reservation that offered water, and those folks have always been a wonderful bunch with a great attitude. Fry bread and water. Thats a winner right there IMHO... :mrgreen:
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Sunbeam56 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:17 am

I made arrangements to have water delivered from Reno.
I was not going to haul the extra weight over the continental divide!
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by ygmir » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:20 am

I bring up to 600 gallons between firetruck tank and camper. of course, it's 200 miles, so not so bad. Once I'm on the road,I don't like to stop any more than necessary, so.........
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:29 pm

GreyCoyote wrote:The other cool thing about filling up in Gerlach is it funds the various local causes. Its part of the reason the locals tolerate our yearly invasion. :mrgreen:

There was also a place just outside of Wadsworth on the reservation that offered water, and those folks have always been a wonderful bunch with a great attitude. Fry bread and water. Thats a winner right there IMHO... :mrgreen:
I have never felt good about getting critical supplies in Gerlach. Not only because of congestion, but that's your very last option. If for some reason things don't pan out, you're screwed. You have to turn around and go back. Reno from the south or Cedarville if coming from the north are much safer options.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:39 pm

Went through Cedarville last year and the big new shiny gas station they built was giving potable h2o away. FREE!

And they had fry bread.

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by GreyCoyote » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:36 pm

ARLF: Pictures or it never happened. :mrgreen:
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by BrotherNomad » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:25 pm

I came with a bubble top extended van, weighing in at about 7000 pounds according to the empty GVW sticker. I climed the steepest grades of Donner Pass at 25 mph with the pedal to the floor. I took about 32 gallons of water from Default home of San Jose, CA. 8 pounds a gallon as one replier said, that would equal 256 pounds just water weight. I could feel on the way the van was loaded on the way through handeling, accelation and braking. With other gear and supplies loaded the van down, I saw the cost to haul less than water vendor price-per-gallon cost. Ten of the 32 gallons was drinking water, which I filled using the home water filter for next-to-free. The rest was municipal tap water which to fill at home is practically free.

For my second burn in 2015, I would prefer to fill the general use tap water (everything else than drinking) in Fernley if price-per-gallon is $0.00. I plan to still haul the filtered drinking water from San Jose, CA because I hate paying for water.

I thrived for the most part my first year in BRC, sleeping on a real mattress in the van reasonably sheltered from the dust storms and dry from the thunderstorm that happened on Monday.

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:28 am

The purpose of getting water later in the trip is less about cost and more about reducing strain on your heavily loaded vehicle on those uphill grades - thereby reducing the chance of a failure that stops you from getting there at all and ruining your BM trip.
I'm a general gearhead... I have built cars all my life and I work with trucks and machines; my been-there-done-that advice is to try your best NOT to floor it, especially with an automatic transmission, all the way up grades like Donner. If the transmission is going to overheat and fail, or the motor is gonna break, that's what will bring it on. Shift down to a lower gear, ease a little off the floor, go slow and piss everyone off behind you, and you'll greatly reduce your chances of a failure. That's how I drive mine on the way there, and if you put trans and oil temp gauges in, you'll do it too when you see what's going on!

Making it without breaking it is all about cooling. Your transmission's torque converter makes a lot of heat under a sustained hard load, and so does the motor. The transmission oil cooler is in the radiator, which is already getting heated by the motor... vicious cycle...
There are good spend-money things to do, like putting in a new, 4-core radiator (radiators can look fine and not leak, but as they age they get clogged tubes and don't cool as well as they used to - you can't tell by looking at them), a good strong electric fan (in addition to the original fan) and an auxiliarly trans cooler. After all the experience I've had with the BM trip, I absolutely won't hit the road without all three of those things - it's CHEAPER and better than breaking.

However, driving style has a huge impact, and that's FREE!!

I'm rambling on and on because over the last decade-and-a-half, I have been that guy broken down on the trip a few times. Even with NEW transmissions and radiators and other proper preparations. I'd rather see you make it and have a margarita with me on the playa.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by ygmir » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:38 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:The purpose of getting water later in the trip is less about cost and more about reducing strain on your heavily loaded vehicle on those uphill grades - thereby reducing the chance of a failure that stops you from getting there at all and ruining your BM trip.
I'm a general gearhead... I have built cars all my life and I work with trucks and machines; my been-there-done-that advice is to try your best NOT to floor it, especially with an automatic transmission, all the way up grades like Donner. If the transmission is going to overheat and fail, or the motor is gonna break, that's what will bring it on. Shift down to a lower gear, ease a little off the floor, go slow and piss everyone off behind you, and you'll greatly reduce your chances of a failure. That's how I drive mine on the way there, and if you put trans and oil temp gauges in, you'll do it too when you see what's going on!

Making it without breaking it is all about cooling. Your transmission's torque converter makes a lot of heat under a sustained hard load, and so does the motor. The transmission oil cooler is in the radiator, which is already getting heated by the motor... vicious cycle...
There are good spend-money things to do, like putting in a new, 4-core radiator (radiators can look fine and not leak, but as they age they get clogged tubes and don't cool as well as they used to - you can't tell by looking at them), a good strong electric fan (in addition to the original fan) and an auxiliarly trans cooler. After all the experience I've had with the BM trip, I absolutely won't hit the road without all three of those things - it's CHEAPER and better than breaking.

However, driving style has a huge impact, and that's FREE!!

I'm rambling on and on because over the last decade-and-a-half, I have been that guy broken down on the trip a few times. Even with NEW transmissions and radiators and other proper preparations. I'd rather see you make it and have a margarita with me on the playa.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by BrotherNomad » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:25 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:The purpose of getting water later in the trip is less about cost and more about reducing strain on your heavily loaded vehicle on those uphill grades - thereby reducing the chance of a failure that stops you from getting there at all and ruining your BM trip.
I'm a general gearhead... I have built cars all my life and I work with trucks and machines; my been-there-done-that advice is to try your best NOT to floor it, especially with an automatic transmission, all the way up grades like Donner. The van does have a 1st and 2nd gear mode, restricting the automatic transmission to the respective gear ratios. When climbing Donner I tested staying in 1st and 2nd gear and did notice a power increase. At one point in 1st or 2nd gear I got a top uphill speed of 30 MPH with the pedal to the floor. If the transmission is going to overheat and fail, or the motor is gonna break, that's what will bring it on. Burning Man 2014 was the true test for this van, and my First Road Trip with this van. If I was going to have a catastrophic breakdown, it would happen on the Burning Man trip. The only mechanical issue the van had on the entire Burning Man trip was a loose screw completing the starting circuit.

Making it without breaking it is all about cooling. I had no air conditioning in the van, so it was not like the AC was blasting. The only time I was in an air conditioned space was inside the broadcast studio of BMIRYour transmission's torque converter makes a lot of heat under a sustained hard load, and so does the motor. The transmission oil cooler is in the radiator, which is already getting heated by the motor... vicious cycle... There is the trick of cranking up the heater when the engine temperature is high, removing heat from the radiator system
...

However, driving style has a huge impact, and that's FREE!!

I'm rambling on and on because over the last decade-and-a-half, I have been that guy broken down on the trip a few times. Even with NEW transmissions and radiators and other proper preparations. I'd rather see you make it and have a margarita with me on the playa.

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by trilobyte » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:09 am

Like the others said, it's not purely the cost of the water versus fuel costs. Vehicle capacity and wear and tear are major issues - especially when you consider that many vehicles headed to the playa are already at or near capacity to begin with, and once they've got the full water containers they go over. This is one aspect of the event where there's more than one effective solution. As long as you've got the water you need and you survive the journey, it doesn't matter where you filled up. :)

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:17 pm

When I said it's all about cooling, I didn't mean using your A/C.
I'm talking about keeping the motor and the transmission cool.
Heat is especially hard on automatics.

I'm not guessing about this stuff. You're beating your rig pretty hard. Go ahead and floor it all the way up the pass. Maybe it'll stay together.
Good luck.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by dragonpilot » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:58 pm

For those coming down from the north thru Cedarville, for the last 3 years I've been stopping for my water at a ranch (John=O Ranch) about 3.5 miles south of Cedarville on County Road #27. They are mentioned in Cedarville Resources at burningman.com (Search: John=O). The water is from an artesian well that supplies their drinking water. There has never been a waiting line. They have two self-serve hoses set up on either side of their long driveway about 1/3 of the way down off the county road. For RVs/trailers there's a turn-around at the ranch house after you've filled up. There's a guest logbook and a can for donations if you are so inclined. Recommended you call them ahead of time to verify that they're up and running. Nice folks.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by DoctorIknow » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:09 pm

[quote="Captain Goddammit"]
I have never felt good about getting critical supplies in Gerlach. Not only because of congestion, but that's your very last option. If for some reason things don't pan out, you're screwed. You have to turn around and go back. Reno from the south or Cedarville if coming from the north are much safer options.[/quote]

As much as I'd like to buy water in Gerlach, I would never PLAN to be there when they are selling water. For some reason I always "plan" to leave the homestead at a certain time, but have only done so once, and more often than not, I end up in Gerlach at 4am,,,which, incidentally, is my favorite time to be there :D

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by pink » Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:38 pm

I have an old van conversion too, and my first two years burning I made the mistake of hauling water from Sacramento. I'm cheap too, and the old van ran at a max of 35 on the worst of the grades and ran quite hot. Now I buy drinking water in Reno and fill the van's water tank in Gerlach and if no one is in the left lane, I can even pass slow trucks. The van drives much better lighter loaded. Since I like having a bit of creature comforts and don't want to blow the engine or transmission, I'm pleased as punch to take on the heaviest part of the load in Gerlach. Buying water is much cheaper than a tranny job or a new engine. Or replacement van.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Monkeystyle » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:20 pm

Last year I brought empty containers in the car, and since I'm driving in from Manitoba, filling them at hone would be a terrible idea. I planned on filling in Gerlach and was expecting a huge line, and to pay a small fortune. when we pulled up to the school there were three cars in front of us. we filled up, paid out $15 and were on our way to the playa in under 5 minutes. we ended up taking almost half of the water we bought back out with us anyways. Keep a few heavy duty, double seal ziplock bags in your cooler and every time you buy ice, empty the ice into the bags and not directly into your cooler. we never ran out of ice cold water all week. that being said this year I'm putting a basket on my bike.

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by LowePro » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:07 am

We like to fill up water in Reno, or if we're arriving at an off-peak time, at Gerlach water district. It's a chance to take a break, get a snack, and meet with some locals. Without exception I have had very pleasant, fun interactions with the water vendors, they seem to appreciate the business and their rates are fair. IU've had good luck w/ the water vendors on Bmorg's survival guide. I like to tip them too, either cash or a gift of cold drinks or homemade cookies--it doesn't hurt to make friends with the people who live in our hosting communities. Bman would not thrive without them!

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Dr Helix » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:26 am

One tip that helps marginally when driving the sierras is turning your heater ON full blast. It can act as a little second radiator for the engine only. And leave the AC OFF. Big strain with the pump engaged. You may be steaming as you drive up the grade but that's what water sprayers and windows are for. I've lugged a lot of loads over the hill to the Burn and always am watching the gauges. It gets dicey on some of the long grades but slow and steady wins, just like the Captain says.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:36 pm

[quote="Dr Helix"]One tip that helps marginally when driving the sierras is turning your heater ON full blast. It can act as a little second radiator for the engine only. [/quote]

Tried and true. I've always try to leave so that my '91 Ford Econoline doesn't get exposed to temps in the 90's, or the worst combo, going up the Donner Pass grade in the heat of the day.

My gauge is constantly toying with touching the red, and can only be in it for a few minutes without overheating.

One year, I blew out my heater and fortunately had tools to disconnect it and plug the input water line.
It's still disconnected as fixing the heater would cost more than the van cost me.

I've contemplated putting an extension on one of those pump-up 3 gallon garden sprayers and mist the radiator when the red line approaches,,,,maybe this year.

On no,,,,I just remembered this year I have a smog check. Barely have passed for four inspections over eight years, this could be the year when the DMV offers to buy the van. Yeah, they do that if you can't pass.

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:15 pm

DoctorIknow wrote: On no,,,,I just remembered this year I have a smog check. Barely have passed for four inspections over eight years, this could be the year when the DMV offers to buy the van. Yeah, they do that if you can't pass.
Oh yeah, I knew there was at least ONE reason I'm glad I don't live in CA!

I'm glad you reminded me about the water mister on the radiator idea. That works. I meant to do it this year too. I figure on a windshield washer pump.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:41 pm

[quote="Captain Goddammit"]

I'm glad you reminded me about the water mister on the radiator idea. That works. I meant to do it this year too. I figure on a windshield washer pump.[/quote]

Great idea. Much better than pumping a sprayer tank with one hand and driving with the other...
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Ratty » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:39 pm

Capt. Can you enlighten me as to the canteen bag that my Father used to hang on the grill when we went on vacation? I don't remember drinking out of it. As an adult I tried to picture it as a cooling tool for the '!#*&__(%"*%@! Ford that always broke down on the way to Bishop.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:49 pm

Well that's not much to go on, but... my first assumption is it was a catch can for the radiator overflow hose.
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:05 pm

Ratty wrote:Capt. Can you enlighten me as to the canteen bag that my Father used to hang on the grill when we went on vacation? I don't remember drinking out of it. As an adult I tried to picture it as a cooling tool for the '!#*&__(%"*%@! Ford that always broke down on the way to Bishop.
There used to be canvas covers for aluminum canteens of various shapes, but looking around, they seem to be made of synthetic materials now.

As far a ideas for cooling water for drinking, the military had this figured out 150 years ago, and my kids summer camp had one holding about 30 gallons, with a spigot. The canvas is porous, gets soaked (surprisingly, no drips) and the water on the canvas evaporates, cooling the water inside very efficiently.



I can't seem to find anything other than army surplus for real canvas ones, all new ones some form of plastic.

Notice the spigots in the pic
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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:37 pm

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:50 pm

Maybe time for a KickStarter project...copy it exactly, stains too!

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Re: Hauling water from Default home to BRC vs Filling in Ren

Post by 2WheelGuy » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:59 pm

I wanted to share my approach to bringing in potable water...I did this in 2014 and will repeat again this year

I purchased (4) 60 gallon Aquabags, version II, and had custom covers fabricated to take the UV, rubbing and abuse...

I filled up at RV park in Reno...we used for drinking and camp showers with a grey waste evaporation system
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