One day I needed to use water from my sink, but my water tank was empty.
I happened to be in my hometown in Florida at the time and the skies that week had been putting on a spectacular display of thunder, lightning, and monsoon rains.
I came to the thought, "Could I add a rainwater collection system to my van to get some of this free water from the sky into my tank?"
I checked YouTube to see if a VanLife rainwater collection system had been done before (of course it had). The first video that showed up was from a friend, Justin, whom I had randomly met at a gas station in Vancouver, B.C., Canada a few weeks prior.
Inspired, knowing now that rainwater collection was entirely possible, over the next week or so, I browsed on Amazon for many hours to find just the right parts but didn't have any luck really.
So I went to a few hardware stores and to an RV store called Hilltop RV in Ishpeming, Michigan. MAN! What was I thinking! I should have gone to an RV store SOOOO long ago.
The guy there was so knowledgeable about EVERYTHING I had been struggling with since I bought this Class B SportsMobile converted van. Electrical, plumbing, water leaks, solar, refrigeration, mechanical, the works....he knew it and had suggestions for me about everything.
Pro Tip: I highly recommend visiting an RV store if you're a member of the vehicle dwelling community.
Anyway, he sold me a RV rain gutter that he thought would work better than the 8-foot aluminum angle bracket I had purchased. I then needed my RV water spout inlet, the vinyl hoses, adapters and elbow with shutoff valve. After a ton of searching, I found everything I needed to make this happen.
You can see exactly how my rainwater collection was accomplished in this video: