Hey there, I haven’t found anyone using soft water bladders for their builds. Seems like they would be easier to manipulate and find clever areas to store and secure them. The marine industry has been using them for years. Thanks!
We choose to use multiple smaller containers over a single large one. Currently we use two seven gallon containers but are going to add a third. Our reasoning for this is it’s just simply easier to fill them up. We don’t need a hose and if one is empty we can just fill it when we get groceries. The road is definitely going to vibrate a bladder more than the water. I don’t know if that would make a difference or not, but it seems like it would.
I honestly think it might be cheaper too. The 7 gallon tanks are ~$13 each at walmart. I haven’t looked in a while but, I thought holding tanks / bladders were more expensive.
I also carry 2x 7 gallon BPA free jerry can style water jugs. That gives me 2 weeks worth of water, even showering every day. I transport them to and from filling on a luggage dolly, which is very handy for me. I painted one black so I can place it in the sun for free and easy hot water.
I use a 0.5 gallon per minute kitchen faucet sprayer attached to a manual pump weed sprayer for showers, and a combination of 3 dollar store trigger spray bottle for all of my other water needs rather than running water. One is painted black for hot water, and then one for cold water, and a third with a few drops of dish soap in it for soapy water. I use 1-2x dollar store rectangular dish pans for sinks. With this super convenient setup, everything can be used either inside or outside without duplication. The dish pans stack, and I store those spray bottles in them along with my cooking & eating stuff plus a spray bottle of vinegar, one of hydrogen peroxide, and another of rubbing alcohol, then it slides neatly under my bed when not in use. This way all my cooking, eating, and cleaning supplies are right there and are both handy & portable.
All that being said, I am not against water bladders. They can bring some unique non powered options to the table, and I do like power free solutions. A simple weight applied on top can add pressurized water without the need of a powered pump for example. A simple, easy, and effective solution. At dockside there is fresh, sanitary, potable water available. In van life, such a water source isn’t as handy, and I don’t like trusting someone else’s hoses to be sanitary, so I would still need to transport water from the source to my van, so taking my containers to the source is the easiest solution for me.
I guess if you stayed at campgrounds, or had a normal house or apartment, one of those white RV water hoses would be handy, but I usually get my water from the spigots on the bottom of water fountains at city parks which can be a ways away from where I’m parked. It’s all kind of like a jigsaw puzzle to figure out what works the best for you.