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Old 05-24-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
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pulling camper with full fresh water tank?

Hello I am new to the camping world I bought my 1st travel trailer and was just wondering if it is a good idea to fill the fresh water tank @ home then pulling the trailer to my camping destination.We will be camping for 1st time with it @ a campground 45 miles away.Thanks
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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There have been some mixed reviews from both sides. 1 being the added weight your towing around @ 8.3lb/gallon of water. 2 being some trailers have very wimpy straps that hold the fresh water tanks to the TT. Some people fill it and go. I've hauled with full fresh water tanks before but normally I use full hook ups and drink from bottled beverages mostly containing water and barley mixture of some sort.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by pchrcane65 View Post
Hello I am new to the camping world I bought my 1st travel trailer and was just wondering if it is a good idea to fill the fresh water tank @ home then pulling the trailer to my camping destination.We will be camping for 1st time with it @ a campground 45 miles away.Thanks

Welcome! That is fine to do although most campgrounds will have fresh water on site. If they dont have it on the actual site there will probably be a filling area by the park entrance.

Most sites will have the following:

1. Electric Only (you need 30amp im assuming)
2. Water & Electric (usually 30amp but can be 30 or 50amp, water)
3. Full Hookup (usually 30amp, 50amp, water and sewer)

What trailer do you have? And what is your tow vehicle? Water can add quite a bit of weight to your trailer. Thats why I usually fill up when I get there.

Good luck and have a great time!
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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There have been some mixed reviews from both sides. 1 being the added weight your towing around @ 8.3lb/gallon of water. 2 being some trailers have very wimpy straps that hold the fresh water tanks to the TT. Some people fill it and go. I've hauled with full fresh water tanks before but normally I use full hook ups and drink from bottled beverages mostly containing water and barley mixture of some sort.

Sooooo f'n funny! I second this!
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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If water hookups are available in the campground, I just travel with about 1/4 tank of water....enough to flush the toilet and wash my hands while on the road.

If I am heading to a campground that doesn't have on site hookups, I fill up before I leave home......even if the campground has a potable water hydrant somewhere. My water at home tastes good, and many campgrounds have "skunky" water. I am OK with hooking up to a city water connection and filling my lines, but they are easily flushed out. But I want good stuff in my fresh water tank.....that is not as easily flushed out.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:43 PM   #6
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Blake I have a forest river patriot edition 29bh and pull it with a 2008 chevy 1/2 ton crew cab has the tow package.And mtnguy yes the barley is recommended
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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I'm in the "no" column. The guy that did our PDI said the straps that hold the tanks on aren't really designed to hold this much weight. I'd rather err on the side of caution. Guess we're really spoiled in our area; we have great water wherever we've gone. Not afraid to drink it, brush our teeth with it, or cook with it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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I would say no as well. As stated earlier the CG should have some way of filling your tank if not available at your site. The wimpy straps the factory installed around our water tanks is only designed to hold water in a static state. If you only partially fill your tank the free surface effect (back and forth slouching of the water) will put added stress on the straps. I'm probably over cautious but better to not chance dropping my water tank on the highway.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:28 PM   #9
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No for me as my 100 gallons water tank = 834 pounds.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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When boondocking, I'll top off the fresh water tank...all 100 gals. of it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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I normally carry about 5 gallons of water in the tank. Enough for a few flushes and hand-washes, and enough to refill a radiator, if needed.

Since alcohol weighs only about 7.5 pounds per gallon, while water weighs 8.3. I find it much more economical to haul alcohol!!!
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:03 PM   #12
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we camp at race tracks alot, no source of water when we get there so I fill mine before we leave. We travelled 150 miles last weekend without issues. Last fall I went to Loudon New hampshire which is 500 miles one way and had the tank full on the way down, without issues.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:02 PM   #13
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If you are worried about it, put about 1/4 tank in at home and when you get to within a few miles of your destination, pull into a gas station and fill there. I would get permission from the attendant. If a gas station is not available a motel, etc. Heck, you could even stop at someone's house, I can't believe anyone would refuse someone water.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #14
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now you got me wondering. Going to the NASCAR race in NH in July. No water on site and generator power. Fill or not to fill that is the question. 9 hour drive = a lot of gas used.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:25 PM   #15
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When we travelled 10 hours last year we used a gas station water hydrant when we were nearly there. I called the DOT asking about water at rest stops and they acted like they'd heard this before and pointed me to the gas station. I don't like towing with water as it's all in the back and takes weight off the pin.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:45 PM   #16
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i ran dry on the fresh water for years. or just enough to flush the toilet and wash my hands while between campgrounds. abt 5 yrs ago, i stayed in a campground that had full hookups. we went to a local restaurant and when we returned, the campground had lost the well. now i travel with abt 1/4 to 1/2.
you will never see the extra weight when towing ie it doesn't degrade mileage or performance. percentage wise, it is an extremely small part of the total weight. at least in my case, i see no difference. (wind load has more effect on me).
as far as the supports, i will leave that up to those above that have first hand knowledge of how strong the tanks are and how well they are supported. that probably varies from trailer to trailer.

i don't see a problem with carrying water.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:56 PM   #17
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We travel with our fresh water tank filled most of the time heading off from home. Having it full or empty tows better than 1/2 full as it can slosh around. Maybe not a huge issue, but I know some that disslike the feeling.

We also sometimes wait between weekends to dump as the 2 of us don't fill the black or grey tanks after a couple nights.

With that said, I do know 1 person that had their fresh water tank brackets break after going over some serious bumps. The tank fell onto the trailer axle and bent it. The trailer was still towable, but they required a new trailer axle and new tank brackets. The incident which caused the damage was not typical and also caused damage to the rear frame skid plates (those metal triangle things), but I do not know what places you're taking your trailer. This was not a Forest River Product.

The water tank straps may be small, BUT, the idea that the straps are not designed to carry the load while towing is not true. Other than GVWR concerns of the trailer and ratings of the TV, There is nothing in the user manual that I am aware or warranty coverage that suggests that you can not carry water while towing - in the fresh water, grey water, or black water tanks.

YMMV but to me the whole idea and purpose of an RV, whether it's a trailer to a Class A is to get out there and camp. You're not forced to go to campgrounds with water and dump stations. You may need to take your water with you and bring your poo back. Just sayin'
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:11 PM   #18
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I agree with you SCOC, if the trailers and tanks were not designed to be used to their capacity, what good are they? It may increase the total load with all the tanks full, but I doubt if it affects mileage much over 1mpg. Do I do it? NO, but if I were going to a cg with no water available, I would fill it to the inlet and not worry about it. If the tank falls out, FR can fix it under warranty. If it is out of warranty, I'll fix it so it won't happen again and still enjoy camping. Life is too short to have to worry about putting an extra 100-400 pds in the trailer.

Bottom line, do what you feel comfortable with and enjoy your camper, that's why you bought it!
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #19
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As far as the slouching around when the tanks are half full if it was a big problem then you would think the maunf. would put baffled water tanks in.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:58 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by pchrcane65 View Post
Blake I have a forest river patriot edition 29bh and pull it with a 2008 chevy 1/2 ton crew cab has the tow package.And mtnguy yes the barley is recommended
You should be fine towing w/tanks full as long as your not overweight on the truck
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