Cheap & Easy DIY Camper Van Plumbing System – Van Life

Our cheap and easy DIY campervan plumbing setup includes a bar sink, flexible phtalate-free pipes, a 5-gallon bucket with a sealed lid, 2 x Desert Patrol water jugs, a marine foot pump, a copper pipe faucet, a bulkhead fitting, hose bib, a garden hose, and quick release connections.

We planned this simple plumbing system for our van because we have zero plumbing skills, but we also wanted to make sure that we could pick up a replacement part at any hardware store. We didn’t want to spend the extra money to buy an RV specific water tank or anything like that because it would be harder to install and replace if ever there was a leak or other problem.

We kept our entire system inside the van because we plan to spend most of our time in the van in Canada, and we thought there would be less chance of our water freezing if it’s indoors.

Here are the links to the products we mentioned in the video. We hope you found this helpful!

Whale Marine Foot Pump (affiliate link):

Desert Patrol 6 Gallon Water Container (affiliate link):

NordVPN special offer (affiliate link):
or use this discount code ‘exploringalternatives’ to save 77%

A special thank you to Create Wondr for helping us find this foot pump! We love it! You can check out their epic van conversion here:

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle



Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog

Instagram: @exploringalternatives


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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives


Stu Minnis says:

I’m no expert, so maybe this is a naive question, but why have a drainout for the graywater at all? Couldn’t you just pull the bucket out an dump it by hand every few days?

Geoffrey Currie says:


Nicole Bureau says:

Wow, fantastique!!!!!!

Eric Nadeau says:

Super awesome! I love “low tech” solutions, they’re often better than more common ones. Thanks for sharing.

Passionate Paintress says:

Hey cool set up….cool very well spoken and highly explanatory vids….also awesome ideas and comments below. Thanks for sharing!

Karen Peterson says:

Good plan. But one big problem. The gray tank will not completely drain because of the spigot being on the side. In one week you will have horrible smell and gas. I know. That’s how I started. Now I use a small bucket I empty and clean daily. KISS

budschastliv says:

How you implement your ideas is inspiring!Thanks for sharing!

John Grytbakk says:

Very nice. Perfect.

Amanda Nicole says:

You guys married? But really cool video!

Tim M says:

I really like your design. It is really all you need.

TheMaltodexter says:

the non exotic parts design is actually quite clever. Easy to maintain such a system. I would go with 12v pump and actual faucet tho..

Manny S says:

I had to take a moment and say how much I enjoy and learn from your channel. You guys are terrific!

SJ R says:

Holy! 62. for a foot pump! I wish I could find the step by step, making the off the grid utility sink set up

Sgt. SLaughter says:

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing!

captain mysterious says:

excellent design ! thank you for posting….c

Exploring Alternatives says:

Thank you for watching! Here are the links we mentioned in the video:

Whale Marine Foot Pump (affiliate link):

Desert Patrol 6 Gallon Water Container (affiliate link):

NordVPN special offer (affiliate link):
or use this discount code ‘exploringalternatives’ to save 77%

The Professional Prepper (Prep Know Do) says:

Very well thought out, efficient, fail safe, and effective. Great content and well produced.

Ruth Yael Ben-Adir says:

Really good video. Clear concise and informative. I am getting closer to my van purchase stage. I will buy a white panel as opposed to a motorhome. I love the idea of designing it myself. Looking forward to watching more videos about the van build.

K Gifford says:

This was really really great to watch, simple enough for anyone to do ( can you explain and show more about how you cut a hole in the van floor and how you sealed it off so air and water doesn’t splash up into the van?) thanks 🙂

Charles Tersteeg says:

I’m wondering how the quick release will work in winter? The ones I’ve seen have a valve. Below freezing, the hose doesn’t drain and therefore freezes the water at the end. Else, it’ll have to be the old fashion way. The 5 gallon bucket weighs half as much when half full. This makes it easier to dump/drain.

Mobile Technologies says:

do you use sink cover? it’s nice to have sink that is covered with same material as countertop

Allen Hare says:

You did a great job designing and building this system.
I really like it.
Thanks for another great video!

J.G. Conumdrum says:

Lots of lead in the piping

Christine Taylor says:

I love it. I wish y’all could do MY van build. 🙂

Patricia D.L. says:

I love it!

Lissa Bell says:

Thanks for this video. Super helpful!

I’m a little confused about your VPN deal? When I go directly to the website, I get the 77% off for a 3-year plan without the Exploring Alternatives discount. So is your 77% off in addition? Thanks!

Mike Mead says:

You may have left enough lip on you under mounted sink to set the sink cutout back in place.

ghlyall says:

That video was made so beautifully. I love it. One query – does the faucet turn? It would be handy if it did, although I admit it might be more hassle.

Rick Jones says:

Pretty neat set up.

Cliff P. says:

I like it efficient, durable and inexpensive.

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