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Old 02-14-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
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Filling a Fresh Water Tank

Is there an accurate way to know how much water you're putting into your tank?

My trailer is a bit big for my truck. My last trip, I topped off the fresh water tank before leaving, only to end up dumping about half of it before the return trip home. I'm willing to bet, with a little trial and error, I can figure out how much water I actually need to bring with me, based on the number of days/nights I'm out and the number of people coming with me.

The sensors on the tank are very.... non linear.

The less weight the better, especially with Palomar Mountain between here and there.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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Fill it using a 6 gal water jug and fill it to whatever capacity you want That's what I use to fill the FW tank when I'm at a site without water hook-up. I carry 4 - 6 gal jugs.

Remember that your FW tank capacity is less then that stated in the camper's spec. as they include water heater capacity in the total.

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Old 02-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Fill it using a 6 gal water jug and fill it to whatever capacity you want That's what I use to fill the FW tank when I'm at a site without water hook-up. I carry 4 - 6 gal jugs.

Remember that your FW tank capacity is less then that stated in the camper's spec. as they include water heater capacity in the total.

Dave

.....And you can never actually get your tank completely full as there will always be an airspace at the top of your tank in which you could be out up to 5 gallons as per what the tank should hold..
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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I travel empty and fill up at camp grounds. I use a water filter when filling. What's left over at end of stay I run into my black and gray water tanks to flush tanks after dumping
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:11 PM   #5
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Remember that your FW tank capacity is less then that stated in the camper's spec. as they include water heater capacity in the total.
Dave, are you positive about this? Not trying to doubt you, but when we were shopping for trailers several different dealers told us to add 6 gallons to what it showed to include the heater capacity.

It doesn't matter much to me; we ended up buying a trailer with a pretty big tank. (50 gallons; as we were looking at smaller trailers some had as little as 10 gallons.) I'm just curious more than anything.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:21 PM   #6
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You should wait until you are at the camprounds to fill your water tank. most TT's have simple straps holding their FW tanks in place. the added stress of 300 plus pounds of water bouncing down the highway has caused failures of these straps in the past..
When you get to the CG fill your tanks full. then you will not have a worry about running out during your stay. when you are ready to leave just open the drain and let the extra water flow onto the ground.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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You should wait until you are at the camprounds to fill your water tank. most TT's have simple straps holding their FW tanks in place. the added stress of 300 plus pounds of water bouncing down the highway has caused failures of these straps in the past..
When you get to the CG fill your tanks full. then you will not have a worry about running out during your stay. when you are ready to leave just open the drain and let the extra water flow onto the ground.
I have to say that I have never heard this before. Why even have a FW tank. I boondock 95% of the time and always fill my tank to the top. Never had an issue. I have seen water meters that hook up to your hose that measure in gallons. Not sure how accurate they are but that may be an option. You could also fill a 5 gallon bucket with your water hose and time it. That would give you a good way to judge.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:55 AM   #8
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I have to say that I have never heard this before. Why even have a FW tank. I boondock 95% of the time and always fill my tank to the top. Never had an issue. I have seen water meters that hook up to your hose that measure in gallons. Not sure how accurate they are but that may be an option. You could also fill a 5 gallon bucket with your water hose and time it. That would give you a good way to judge.
here is one link showing what could happen
http://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f110/sv-302-water-tank-fell-out-15461.html
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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Dave, are you positive about this? Not trying to doubt you, but when we were shopping for trailers several different dealers told us to add 6 gallons to what it showed to include the heater capacity.

It doesn't matter much to me; we ended up buying a trailer with a pretty big tank. (50 gallons; as we were looking at smaller trailers some had as little as 10 gallons.) I'm just curious more than anything.
from what i've read on forums and heard from the factory, the FW amount spec always includes the 6 or 10 gallons for the water heater, not in addition to.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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I was told fw capacity included hw heater full !
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #11
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Thanks guys. What's this world coming to when I cannot trust a commission salesperson.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:59 PM   #12
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i always carry at least 1/4 tank. i use to run dry but got cured of that when i pulled into a campground in Nebraska that lost the well shortly after i got set up. i also use water to flush with when i am on the road.
i won't argue with the bouncing but if it is fuel economy, u may be able to calculate it but u will never see it.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:55 PM   #13
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i always carry at least 1/4 tank. i use to run dry but got cured of that when i pulled into a campground in Nebraska that lost the well shortly after i got set up. i also use water to flush with when i am on the road.
i won't argue with the bouncing but if it is fuel economy, u may be able to calculate it but u will never see it.
Main reason I run dry isn't because of fuel economy. It's to reduce tongue weight. I fell the sloshing of a 1/4 tank is worse than a full tank. Less weight movement
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:01 AM   #14
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good point. never noticed any problems with the 5th wheel.
i've pulled with full black and gray tanks a couple times...but that was because i didn't have a place to dump. i like to keep those dry.
for years i pulled dry but that one incident still sticks in the back of my mind.
what happened is we hooked up then went to eat. when we got back, they had burnt up the well pump. it was the first and only time i have ever camped with all the services except water. bathhouse didn't have water either.
when i saw the aliens on the water tank, i should have been suspicious.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:52 PM   #15
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i don't feel any difference towing with or without water.
but, then, i'm no where near my tow max.

i specifically made sure i had a tow vehicle that could easily tow my trailer's GVWR. an extra 250lbs. of water doesn't make any difference.
we don't have the luxury of water hookups, where we camp, so carrying water is very important.

i think those that have iffy towing numbers, will have issues carrying water.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:51 PM   #16
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Well, I guessed it and got lucky.

I bought the trailer specifically for boondocking. The first trip out I filled the tank until water spilled out of the tank vent. It was about about 100 gallons, about 800+lbs. Towing fully loaded with the 1/2 ton wasn't much fun. And, we ended up filling both grey and black tanks over a long weekend. I dumped what fresh water was left in the tank and headed home.

This time I filled the tank until the 2/3 light came on.

That trailer was so much easier to drag around. And, we didn't run out of water until doing the last of the dishes while breaking camp to head home. And I love my showers out in the desert.

Anyways, great weekend until we had a flat. Just about lost it at the bottom of a hill, on a steep corner.
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