External Water Pump

I love it when I build something and it actually works.

Unlike apparently many A-frame trailer owners, we use the onboard water tank and sink in our trailer, which means we occasionally have to fill it up at campsites.  The first filling (if we remember to do it) can be at a campground water spigot as we drive in.

If we stay longer than a few days (which we often do), we have to fetch more water and tote it to the trailer.  To do that, we bring a blue, five-gallon jerry can.  Topping up the trailer required carrying the jug to the nearest spigot, filling it up and hand carrying all 40+ pounds of water back to the trailer.  I then had to hoist it up, and using the provided spout, pour the water into the trailer’s holding tank.

Using what I’ve learned from others, we’re now doing things smarter on our 102-day trans-Canada expedition (http://a-frametraveler.com/).

A few trips ago, we saw a couple of school-age children fetching water for the family camp, using a seven-gallon jug strapped to a small, folding dolly.  It’s a Magna-Cart, we learned, and I ordered one from Amazon as soon as we got home.  Now, instead of arm-carrying a heavy jerry can, I simply wheel it to the spigot, fill it up and wheel it back to the trailer.  It’s so easy, even my wife could do it.

Of course, that still left me with the weighty challenge of lifting and pouring 40+ pounds of water into the trailer tank.  Just before our trip, I followed what another A-frame owner did and bought a Shurflo water pump to pump water from the jerry can to the trailer.  He built his into the body of his Chalet, but I don’t have the wall or cabinet space to do that.  So, I mounted my pump to a plastic cutting board and installed a 12-volt outlet and a pair of command hooks on the outside of the trailer.  Now to transfer water, we simply hang the pump, plug it in and pump the liquid out.  Field tested it on the first night of our trans-Canada journey and, by golly, it worked so flawlessly that even my wife could do it.

Now if I could just convince her that fetching water isn’t man’s work.