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Old 05-26-2022, 07:51 PM   #1
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Towing with freshwater tank full

I was wondering with anybody owning a 35 foot to 40 foot fifth wheel has ever towed there fifth wheel with the freshwater tank full. I know my rv and truck can handle the weight of the water. My concern is the fact that the tank itself and how it’s supported. I’m wanting to see if anybody has any real life experience with this and their tank did not fail when they hit big bumps. Please anybody who had an incident with one please let me know.
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Old 05-26-2022, 07:58 PM   #2
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What make and model? We have 34' (hitch to bumper) bumper pull and we regularly tow it with the fresh tank full.
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Old 05-26-2022, 08:05 PM   #3
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My freshwater tank is always 100% full when i’m on the road. For 20+ years.
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Old 05-26-2022, 08:05 PM   #4
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If you are worried about your tank supports, take off the coroplast bottom covering and inspect things. I know I did. Mine was fine.
At about 8 years old, the tank started sagging more than I liked so I used unistruts to support it.
We always travel with some water in the tank, usually half to full.
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Old 05-26-2022, 10:28 PM   #5
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I have a 37' 5th wheel toy hauler. I have towed often over the years with 105 gallons in the fresh tank and a 1000 lb Harley in the back without any issues.
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Old 05-27-2022, 05:59 AM   #6
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I'm hauling a full load of water this weekend just like every other trip we take.
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Old 05-27-2022, 06:35 AM   #7
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Hauling water around... Hmmm. If I'm going out where I don't have it, I will find the closest place where I can get it to the place I'm camping. Let's see, 6 lbs per gallon, mpg's? (In a five dollar per gallon world?), driving characteristics...

I also have two of those 6 gallon Walmart (NO BHP) plastic jerry cans. And have used them at Nat Forest sites after running out of fresh water because I miscalculated what I thought I would need. Thank goodness someone finally realized that a bigger gray tank is a good idea.

Now, I have done it but only if I have to. It drives different and not in a good way. Here are some good ideas https://weretherussos.com/rv-fill-st...r-fresh-water/

But, if it works for you and you've been doing it for years, I will admit, it is very nice to just drive to your campsite and not have to deal with it, very nice.
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Old 05-27-2022, 06:51 AM   #8
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We have hauled 100 gallons of water many times with out any issues. But Most of the time we carry 5-10 gallons until we fill up at the campground area.
Only need enough water on the road to flush toilets and wash up.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
If you are worried about your tank supports, take off the coroplast bottom covering and inspect things. I know I did. Mine was fine.
At about 8 years old, the tank started sagging more than I liked so I used unistruts to support it.
We always travel with some water in the tank, usually half to full.

On ours the rear stabilizers and their very strong support bar are directly below the FW tank. We usually tow 1/2 to full as well.


I had to put a 1/4 turn valve on the overflow tube though. If not it seems to siphon water out while we are traveling. I can leave with full tanks and upon arrival it is down to 2/3. The valve solves that problem. Just to be VERY sure to open the valve if you are going to use that water so the pump does not collapse the tank.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:15 AM   #10
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We would never own a R/V that we couldn't tow with the tanks full.
Our fresh tank is full any time we go more than an hour away.
Never a difference in towing.
If filling the fresh tank makes you squeamish about towing your rig, you've got the wrong setup.

As Scott said, if you are worried about tank support, you need to see how YOURS is braced. Not all R/Vs are the same.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:30 AM   #11
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Water is cargo and needs to be calculated as such.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Redfour5 View Post
Hauling water around... Hmmm. If I'm going out where I don't have it, I will find the closest place where I can get it to the place I'm camping. Let's see, 6 lbs per gallon, mpg's? (In a five dollar per gallon world?), driving characteristics...
I love the MPG argument.

For me im already towing 11.5k pounds of trailer that sticks up 13ft in the air. The wind resistance is so great that loaded full of water or empty has literally zero affect on my MPG at 60mph.
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Old 05-27-2022, 08:29 AM   #13
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We have a 2014 31' Forest River Wildcat XL Fifth Wheel, and the water tank is all the way in the back. I checked the support for the tank and did not think it was adequate, so beefed it up a bit.

Normally, we only travel with enough to be able to flush, etc. while in route, but if we are headed somewhere without hookups, we top it off.

We do seem to lose about a half a mile per gallon mileage when it is full.
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Old 05-27-2022, 10:04 AM   #14
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The potable water tank in my Wildcat started leaking 3 years ago. There was only a 1-1/2 inch angle iron running along the front and back sides of the tank to support it. Most of the tank simply sagged past the 1-1/2 inch angle iron, which left the rigid corners, that wouldn't deform as much, to carry the weight. Both the front and rear corners on one side of the tank wore through. Since then, I've repaired the leaks and traveled with only 5-10 gallons in the tank until I reach my last chance for water.

The gray and black water tanks are made from a different material and the angle iron supports work just fine on them. This spring, I've added a tank support made from unistrut, as mentioned by NMWildcat. Search the Forest River Forums for unistrut and you'll see how others have supported their tanks.
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Old 05-27-2022, 10:28 AM   #15
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I plan on hauling a full tank in my 30' 5th wheel. I did install a uni-strut across the middle of the tank to eliminate the sag that would otherwise develop. This should keep the tank in its original shape and thus, supported properly. I scaled the unit with water in the tank, so I know I am good on weight and weight distribution.
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redfour5 View Post
Hauling water around... Hmmm. If I'm going out where I don't have it, I will find the closest place where I can get it to the place I'm camping. Let's see, 6 lbs per gallon, mpg's? (In a five dollar per gallon world?), driving characteristics...

I also have two of those 6 gallon Walmart (NO BHP) plastic jerry cans. And have used them at Nat Forest sites after running out of fresh water because I miscalculated what I thought I would need. Thank goodness someone finally realized that a bigger gray tank is a good idea.

Now, I have done it but only if I have to. It drives different and not in a good way. Here are some good ideas https://weretherussos.com/rv-fill-st...r-fresh-water/

But, if it works for you and you've been doing it for years, I will admit, it is very nice to just drive to your campsite and not have to deal with it, very nice.
Fresh water is 8.33 ppg (pounds/gallon). So, if you have a 30-gallon FW tank, that's 249.9 lbs (250 lbs nominal).
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by elchilero53 View Post
Fresh water is 8.33 ppg (pounds/gallon). So, if you have a 30-gallon FW tank, that's 249.9 lbs (250 lbs nominal).
Which is about the weight of 1.5 humans (maybe). Not much in the scheme of things
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Old 05-27-2022, 03:51 PM   #18
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I've lifted our 5er for bed rail clearance. I always tow with a full tank of water to help keep the center of gravity lower...


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Old 05-27-2022, 06:08 PM   #19
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Yes I tow with full tank, our water is ok drinking water. Not every place we stay has pleasant drinking water. Plus we can flush and wash hands after, or for the very rare times we stop to eat in trailer we have what water if we needed.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:39 PM   #20
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I love the MPG argument.



For me im already towing 11.5k pounds of trailer that sticks up 13ft in the air. The wind resistance is so great that loaded full of water or empty has literally zero affect on my MPG at 60mph.
You do realize that offering logic in a debate won't cause one's position to change when their mind is made up.
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