The WaterPORT Weekender: Portable Water System Mounted on 5th Gen 4Runner Complete Overview & Review
Whether you’re an overlander, a primitive camper, or you hit the sauce too hard at camp and nursing a hangover, you know how vital it is to have a clean and ample supply of water. Water is something I stress over when planning an excursion. To me, a successful trip is when I come home with extra. Better to be overprepared than under! While the 5th Gen 4Runner offers a hefty cargo storage area, I don’t enjoy when cases of water consume 60% of that space. On top of that, empty water bottles take up space in the Trasharoo and let’s be honest, any extra trash at camp creates the potential for litter.
So first and foremost, water bottles are bad all around. But, how do you clean dishes, scrub down some dirty gear or take the occasional forest shower? Even if you loaded up the truck with tons of water, you’re going to want it pressurized to help with your cleanup. So again, bottled water will only get you so far.
WaterPORT Weekender Overview
If you’ve longed for a portable pressurized water solution, you may have been lured into Instagram marketing from companies like RinseKit. While I never wrote a review on my 2.0 gallon RinseKit PLUS, I’ll tell you that my first one wouldn’t hold pressure, the warranty replacement they sent also didn’t hold water pressure, and the third one they sent had a crack in the tank. While I admire the spirit of the product, my review would not have been all that insightful… because I couldn’t get one to function properly!
So, I shifted my focus to something that was mountable, offered a larger tank size, and would be more reliable on the trails. What better place to look for guidance than Trail4Runner.com? We’ve covered WaterPORT’s Day Tank on both Trail4Runner and TrailTacoma and I was encouraged by what Derek and Vernon had to say:
WaterPORT has been around for a few years now and they specialize in pressurized water solutions for your camping, surfing, overlanding, hunting, off-roading, diaper changing/baby butt spraying activities. So when it came time to upgrade my pressurized water needs, they coincidentally dropped the largest tank yet: the Weekender.
Weekender 8-Gallon Water Tank
I mean… just look at it! The Weekender offers 8.0 gallons of water storage and comes with a handful of features making it the perfect weekend camp accessory. Out of the box, you’ll receive:
- 8.0 gallon WaterPORT tank
- 16′ coiled hose (double the length of the hose included with the Day Tank and GoSpout)
- All the necessary hardware to mount the tank
- Brass regulator attachment that connects the tank to a garden hose
- Brass on/off valve
- High-pressure nozzle
- Two black powder-coated mounting brackets with slotted holes that can be used vertically or horizontally depending on your mounting location, rack, etc.
- Detailed use and installation instructions
Find it online:
Pressurized Water Tank Features
As I mentioned before, the tank itself comes with some nice features making your fill-up and usage pretty simple.
These features include:
- The standard fill cap allows you to connect the regulator attachment and the on/off valve.
- Each Weekender comes with a Schrader-valve. You’re bound to lose pressure over time so if you have an on-board air compressor, a portable air compressor, or a small bike pump, this connection will help get the tank back to 40 PSI (the recommended maximum). More about this process in a bit…
- If you’ve over-pressurized your Weekender, to the right of the Schrader-valve sits a small relief valve. A simple pull on the end relieves pressure from the tank.
- The hose and fill attachments come with easy-to-use “click-in” ends and each fill attachment sports half-turn shut-off valves.
Easy Pressure Relief Process
The relief valve has a tiny drilled hole at the tip of the fitting. Looping a small key ring through that hole makes the pressure relief process a bit easier. However, WaterPORT let us know that the relief valve is actually meant to be triggered automatically if the pressure is too high. So, you shouldn’t ever have to pull on it but if you do, a small key ring makes pulling it easier!
While the Day Tank and GoSpouts are small enough to fit inside your vehicle, WaterPORT’s are known for offering a variety of mounting solutions. With an 8.0 gallon tank, you could fit it inside the cargo area of the 5th gen 4Runner. If you have a roof rack, mounting it topside is going to be your best option.
The Weekender comes with two mounting brackets and all the necessary hardware to get the tank mounted. While the design is geared a bit more towards T-slotted rails on rooftop racks like ones from Prinsu, Front Runner, Victory 4×4 and Wescott Designs, I was obviously able to install mine on a Gobi Stealth rack.
Once I mounted the two brackets long-ways onto the Weekender, I realized the rack mounting hardware that came with the tank wouldn’t work for my install approach.
Gobi Racks are known for their metal mesh bases and as of right now, none of them come with slotted rails. Knowing the included carriage bolts would have nothing to grab onto, I ran to the hardware store and picked up a handful of nylon lock nuts and bolts.
Admittedly, getting underneath the tank and between the rails of the Gobi to tighten everything down was a bit of a challenge. Now, I could have mounted the bracket legs perpendicular to the tank and could have had easier access to hold the top bolt down while tightening on the nylon nut. However, I wanted the Weekender to be as close to the side rail as possible; plus, mounting it parallel to the side rails vs. perpendicular is more aerodynamic and this warthog needs all the gas mileage it can get.
WaterPORT makes “bar mounts” for the Day Tank, but not for the Weekender. So for now, this is how I’ll have it mounted.
For those wondering if the tank fits perpendicular on a Gobi Rack (or any rack for that matter), it will. You may need to add some washers or longer bolts underneath to meet the height of the side rails, but it will work. Once warmer weather comes and I get back to camping again, I’ll need to make room on the rack for our rooftop tent. So, this may be the only option down the road.
WaterPORT put together a great video showing the unboxing, usage and most importantly, the installation of the Weekender on a Prinsu rack. Check it out below.
Use and Functionality
So, does it work? Is the Weekender worth all the hype? Do you need 8.0 gallons of water? Yes, yes, and maybe!
Filling the Tank
Filling the tank is a pretty simple process:
- Connect a garden hose to the regulator valve, ensuring the valve is in the shut-off position.
- Connect the regulator valve to the provided 16′ hose.
- Connect the 16′ hose to the on/off valve ensuring the valve is in the shut-off position.
- Turn the water supply on.
- Open the regulator valve.
- Open the on/off valve.
- With your hand on the 16′ coiled hose, you’ll feel water flow stop after 2-3 minutes.
- Shut off the water supply.
- Switch the regulator valve position to shut-off.
Once you’re ready to use the Weekender, connect the hose, select the desired nozzle and spray away.
Pressurizing the Tank
Over time, you’re bound to lose PSI in your Weekender or any water tank for that matter. If you have on-board air, portable air or a simple bike pump, pressurizing the tank is pretty simple.
Follow these steps:
- Remove the tip of the Schrader-valve.
- Connect your air supply to a pressure gauge.
- Connect the pressure gauge to the Schrader-valve.
- Let air flow until you reach 40 PSI.
If you’ve filled your Weekender above 40 PSI, don’t stress. Again, the relief valve is actually meant to be triggered automatically if the pressure is too high.
However, backing off some of the pressure by pulling on the pressure relief valve is as simple as it gets. If you’re worried you have too much pressure in the tank and decide to bring it back down a bit, I recommend using a pressure gauge on the Schrader-valve.
As mentioned before, WaterPORT includes a hose nozzle with your Weekender. The hose nozzle offers 5 settings and at 40 PSI with a full tank, WaterPORT claims the following:
- Jet Mode – Sprays up to 50′.
- Flat Mode – Helps conserve water but doesn’t give you as much shower.
- Center Mode – Another way to conserve water and can provide up to 15 showers using this setting.
- Mist Mode – Great way to cool off during warmer months and can run for about 1-hour.
- Shower Mode – Complete shower function offering “multiple showers”.
I’m sure by now you can see that I’m pretty hyped about the Weekender. In my eyes, you can never have enough water on the trails and 8.0 gallons is more than enough to shower outdoors, clean dishes at camp and clean our gear at the end of a trail run. For my personal excursions and adventures, I’d say those are the three main uses but clearly, pressurized water has endless applications.
Besides that, having a large water supply that can be pressurized (and re-pressurized) is huge. If you’re in the market for pressurized water and your adventures take you to some pretty remote and dry places, you may want to consider the Weekender. However, 8.0 gallons might be a bit excessive if you’re a day trip adventurer. If that’s the case, consider the Day Tank or the GoSpout. Actually, consider anything else instead of buying cases of water!