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Old 09-04-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
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Driving with a full tank

So I haven't tried it yet but would it be safe to drive with a full tank of water? I'm headed out to an area with no water next weekend and it would be nice to fill up at home before I head out.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:20 AM   #2
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In general, yes.

There have been a few reports of the supports holding the tanks in place not being beefy enough to support the weight of the filled tank (remember, water is 8 pounds per gallon). But, they're far enough between that I'm comfortable doing it. (Though, I only ever fill to 1/2 - 2/3 of a tank because I have never dry camped in the camper.)
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:30 AM   #3
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That's what the tank is there for. Fill it and go! I do it all the time. As ependydad also mentions, the issues with broken mounts are too few and far between to worry about them IMHO.

A 30 Gal tank holds 250 lbs of water when full. Depending on where your tank is located, your tongue weight may change a bit, but as long as you've got a decent setup it shouldn't make too much of an impact.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:57 AM   #4
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do almost every time we go camping, for nearly 7 years now.
not sure why you'd think it's not safe? unless you have a marginal tow vehicle.

why would all RV manufacturers install large FW tanks if it wasn't safe to transport them full?
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:21 AM   #5
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Someone reported here that their tank was in the very back end. That's rare but it made the tongue end light with the tank was completely full. If your
tank is in the middle or front end you should be OK.
I also do it when necessary. Some dry camping CGs will have a spigot
somewhere and I fill up when I get there if I know that is available.
If in doubt I fill up at home too.

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Old 09-04-2013, 06:26 AM   #6
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We noticed the fiver behaved a lil' differently with 1/3-1/2 tank of water. It chucked more while driving. I figure it was the water sloshing around. You'll burn more fuel hauling more weight around. If it were me, I'd try and find fresh, potable water and fill up near my destination.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:37 AM   #7
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In my case if I need to bring water I try to get water closer.
As I have 42 gallon fw capacity plus 10 gallon water heater which adds 433 additional pounds!

Not yet have I not found water closer.
In almost every scenario the cg had fw upon entering.

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Old 09-04-2013, 06:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info, I thought maybe it would be extra hard on the tank straps and wear out faster.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:11 AM   #9
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If we are going boon-docking then our 60 gallon tank will be full to travel with. When traveling then we put in about a 1/3 of a tank for pit stops between campgrounds. When we had a toyhauler it was filled with 110 gallons of water. No problems......yet, while knocking on my head.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:14 AM   #10
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Something else to consider is if the tank is not completely full the water will be sloshing around. That means the weight of the water is jarring itself back and forth inside the tank. Doing this can cause damage to the tank, straps and sensors. Also if the water is sloshing it's weight back and forth as you slow and accelerate that will be a force that can work its way to the TV. Though in some scenarios this may not be severe, others it may. As for Epedydad's, knowing he pulls a BIG 5er with a dually the (guessing) 20-30 gallons of his half tank of water isn't going to play much into that as everything else around it is so large and heavy! Lighter rigs will notice this affect more so.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:29 AM   #11
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I was going to sort of ask something along this line myself. Not if it was safe, just if it was better to fill it right up or only half way (was thinking about the sloshing issue (as avolnek mentions). I'm going on an overnight dry run and it may just be myself, but I will need the shower for the next day, and the bathroom. So I was thinking fill it full, or only part way. The sloshing was what I was worried about.

From some of the answers to the OP question, I think full is fine.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:38 AM   #12
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In our TT we did almost all the time. Largely because of work schedules we would often arrive at the CG very late and I did not want to have to deal with filling the FW that night (where we camp there is no on site water). Our TT was stored in a storage yard. On the way out of any trip I'd always fill the tank, then it went back to the yard full and ready for the next trip.

On one of our trips traveling very late we hit an un-signed dip in the highway, and bounced REAL hard. The end result was the straps on the FW tank broke and since it was right on top of my rear axle it took out the axle as well. Bent it real good. Luckily my dealer and FR did stand up and repair all the damage, but initially FR did state that they would not cover the damage. When my dealer challenged them saying that NOWHERE in any documentation does it state that traveling with a full FW tank will void any warranty, they changed their tune.

With all that being said, in the 5'r now I don't run with a full tank; usually only 1/3. Partially because of the extra weight, partially because with a large FW tank I don't need it full and lastly because of the incident we had. I am sure the chances of something like that ever happening again are slim, but...
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:14 AM   #13
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Travel with a full tank and you have no sloshing problems. I have checked fuel consumption with a full tank and compared to travel with an empty tank. Made no difference in my rig.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:05 PM   #14
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Tank sensors are just screws in the sides of the tank.
There isn't a float or anything.
Sloshing won't harm the sensors IMO.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:59 PM   #15
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Because we have some of the best quality residential water in the country (always ranked in the top five), we almost always go out with our 60-gallon tank full. We've come across some really bad-tasting water on some trips.

We use city water at the CG for washing, etc., but always use the on-board supply for drinking. A bit of a nuisance going out and turning the city faucet off when we want the potable tank contents. I'm thinking of adding a solenoid valve to the water hose.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:25 PM   #16
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On our cross country Walmart overnights we carry a full tank so we can have a light shower every night. We can do about 3 overnights this way if we are careful, then stay at a campground for a day and dump out and replenish. We are going from Denver to Western Ontario with a stop in Elkhart this way, but probably only need two nights maybe. Other than this, I like to have a little fresh water (1/3) of a tank. Our little VCross only carries 44 gallons and has plenty of reserve weight capacity.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:41 PM   #17
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I run my fresh tank full any time we are planning a dry camp trip and have been trouble free. If your fresh tank is in front of you axel here is a Formula to calc tongue weight;
Distance from front axel to point of weight x weight /overall length (front axel to hitch ball, or pin)
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Because we have some of the best quality residential water in the country (always ranked in the top five), we almost always go out with our 60-gallon tank full. We've come across some really bad-tasting water on some trips.

We use city water at the CG for washing, etc., but always use the on-board supply for drinking. A bit of a nuisance going out and turning the city faucet off when we want the potable tank contents. I'm thinking of adding a solenoid valve to the water hose.
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If I am reading your post you have your water in the fresh water tank but you also run city water at the CG. My question is do you flush all the lines when you turn off the city water and run the pump for your home water? You will be wasting a lot of your home water to flush the lines of the CG water in order to get water to drink.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:59 AM   #19
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I asked the dealer and they said it is hard on your tank and tie downs to run with a full tank. They recommended running half full but As stated earlier running with a half tank sounds worse with sloshing and kick back when driving. I'll take the risk and run full when I need to, maybe if it's hard on the tanks they should make them better. They should expect people would like convenience in any given situation. Just my 2.0
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:21 AM   #20
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I was surprised to see this is even an issue for discussion. I'm new to owning my own trailer but camped with a truck box camper for years. We always dry camp and the people we camp with always run their trailers with full tanks. No one has ever mentioned having a problem. Some of the points do make sense though. I could see draining the remaining FW tank upon leaving the CG. A tank that is not full is gonna slosh around and why drag all that weight home just to drain it there?
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