you'll get lots of home made methods for pulling the impeller on a v-drive. i just bit the bullet and bought the tool off skidim.com. makes it super easy and low stress.
as for running on the hose. the "fake a lake" plunger isn't too popular on this site. i fabricated a length of 1 1/4" tubing with a standard hose attachment on the end. originally, i intended to use the big hose attached directly to the garden hose and then plugged in to the lower port of my raw water pump. now i attach the 1 1/4" hose and put the other end in a bucket full of water. the bucket if fed by the garden hose. this method lets me know if i'm pulling more water than my garden hose can supply. i can start to empty the bucket even with the garden hose turned all the way up at about 1400rpm. if i left it there i could run the pump dry.
have fun with your v-drive. the DD guys definitely have the upper hand when it comes to maintenance.