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Old 09-02-2020, 04:58 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by hobienick View Post
I keep hearing about the tank belly reducing the available water to the pump. I'm not do sure that is the case. If the pump pickup comes from the top of the tank and is a fixed length and the tank top does not move the available water does not change assuming you fill it all the way. The volume of your tank changes.

If you add a fixed amount then yes, when the tank bellies you will not be able to retrieve all of the water. If you fill until overflow and your tank bellies during the fill, you still have access to the same amount of water. Your pickup pipe/hose does not get shorter.
I don't think the volume of the tank changes much at all when it sags in the middle. Problem is, you can't get that water out that's in the sag if it still sags with it empty. The water pickup is not in the center of that bulge...it's usually along the edge along the bottom of the tank.

Of course, allowing this bulge to happen is just bad news for the tank in general so to do whatever you can to keep it from happening is just going to make your tank last longer.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:06 PM   #42
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I've wrenched on RV's on the side for several years. Whether it be a FR product, Keystone, Jayco, Grand Design, or just about any other TT or fiver ... the fresh water tanks are not supported very well for traveling with a full tank. The straps are very similar to plumbers tape. Some FWT have a step molded in them near the top that sits on a piece of angle iron cross-ways with the frames, but still have some fashion of a strap across the bottom. With a full tank of water, they all bow down some as the tanks are not that thick walled and usually only two straps hold the bottom of the tanks up in the frame. I'd add a strap or two or at least replace the thin straps with something wider and add some 1/8" rubber padding between the strap and tank itself. For those of you who regularly travel with full tanks, I don't deny your word, but I will point out you've been lucky. Perhaps being full leads to less slosh, but you still have the weight hanging on basically plumbers tape. I'll repeat that I've been under several different brands of RV's and none have very impressive FWT holding straps.
Just had to crawl under the TT to see how the tanks are mounted. The 26 gal FWT is resting on angle irons basically the whole width of the TT- no cross brace but looks pretty secure to me. The other two tanks are also mounted the same although shorter(23 gal).

I have not traveled with any of the tanks full although stupid sensors always says I'm not empty on either grey or black even after emptying at camp site or dump station, I will flush black tank next time and see what the sensor sees.

With my setup, I don't think I will be hesitant to carry a full FWT if destination is for sure has no water fill-up/source. Dry camping is coming up so the decision will be made to fill 40 miles away or at camp site fill station.
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:57 PM   #43
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Slightly off topic but our tank is inside under our bed but we are considering replacing it with one mounted underneath in a sturdy frame of my design. My question is though, currently our water pump is right at the level of the bottom of the tank. If we moved the tank under it would now be perhaps 8 to 10 inches above the tank pickup. With under-mounted tanks are there concerns about the pump losing prime, or needing to be primed initially? We’ve always had gravity on our side but this would change that.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:02 PM   #44
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Slightly off topic but our tank is inside under our bed but we are considering replacing it with one mounted underneath in a sturdy frame of my design. My question is though, currently our water pump is right at the level of the bottom of the tank. If we moved the tank under it would now be perhaps 8 to 10 inches above the tank pickup. With under-mounted tanks are there concerns about the pump losing prime, or needing to be primed initially? We’ve always had gravity on our side but this would change that.
My water pump is probably about 12" above and 23' from water tank.
You should be fine.
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:19 AM   #45
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I don't think the volume of the tank changes much at all when it sags in the middle. Problem is, you can't get that water out that's in the sag if it still sags with it empty. The water pickup is not in the center of that bulge...it's usually along the edge along the bottom of the tank.

Of course, allowing this bulge to happen is just bad news for the tank in general so to do whatever you can to keep it from happening is just going to make your tank last longer.
If the tank stays bulged when empty the tank volume has increased. The extra water in the bulge cannot be accessed, but the water that was accessible before the bulge is still accessible. You now have to carry more water to have access to the original amount.

As long as the tank will not put pressure on something it should not, will not slip off of its supports, or cause the supports to fail I'm not seeing the issue with a slight bulge. When the tank has the weight of water in it the tank will bow/bulge.

The plastic used will not hold its shape over a large flat area. It will however be very strong in tension. The only issue will be if the tank changes enough to come free of its supports.

If you don't like it, add supports. Otherwise, as long as the above listed issues are not happening you could spend that time camping.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:18 AM   #46
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If the tank stays bulged when empty the tank volume has increased. The extra water in the bulge cannot be accessed, but the water that was accessible before the bulge is still accessible. You now have to carry more water to have access to the original amount.

As long as the tank will not put pressure on something it should not, will not slip off of its supports, or cause the supports to fail I'm not seeing the issue with a slight bulge. When the tank has the weight of water in it the tank will bow/bulge.

The plastic used will not hold its shape over a large flat area. It will however be very strong in tension. The only issue will be if the tank changes enough to come free of its supports.

If you don't like it, add supports. Otherwise, as long as the above listed issues are not happening you could spend that time camping.
You would have to see the profile of the tank before and after. If the bottom bulges and it isn't stretching...then what is happening? More than likely the sides start to angle and the top also angles down. Assuming that is what happens, the volume before and after stays the same, the amount of water you can actually use goes down and the tank is getting stressed where it doesn't need to be.

There have been people that have posted where their tank has cracked. There are also people that have lost their tanks on the road because supports fail. That is a fact. Why take the chance of stressing a tank that is VERY difficult to replace in the first place and/or losing a tank on the highway?

Here is a guy on the RVnet forum who had this bulge. So you truly don't have a problem with this?



This was his correction. In addition to the supports he changed how the water was pumped out of the tank.


My trailer is the bigger sister of his trailer but on mine they put some very lightweight c channels on it as well. Even those light weight c channels didn't do much which is why I added much bigger supports.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:11 PM   #47
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On most trailers, the fresh is much larger than either the grey or the black and you tend to travel less miles with either of those completely full
I believe his black is 30 gal vs 37 gal fresh. Black waste water would be much heavier than fresh water with all the solids. It depends on where you boondock I suppose. I have to travel quite a distance to dump mine. I’ve never had an issue and I go 400 km to my spot (52 gal tank), knock on wood.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:20 PM   #48
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I believe his black is 30 gal vs 37 gal fresh. Black waste water would be much heavier than fresh water with all the solids.
Pretty negligible difference according to my Dr since poop is around 75% water and you use water when you flush.
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Old 09-04-2020, 07:58 AM   #49
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Here is a guy on the RVnet forum who had this bulge. So you truly don't have a problem with this?



This was his correction. In addition to the supports he changed how the water was pumped out of the tank.


My trailer is the bigger sister of his trailer but on mine they put some very lightweight c channels on it as well. Even those light weight c channels didn't do much which is why I added much bigger supports.
That is not a slight bulge. It is a significant bulge. I wonder how many people who are concerned about a slight bulge in their tank are treating it like this significant bulge.

If I had this significant bulge, I would add supports. However, as long as the tank is held in place, the supports are not failing, and the slight bulge is not causing any issues I would not bother with supports.

I will concede if the top and sides of the tank did flex inward causing a reduction in volume the same as the bottom panel flexes outward you would have a reduction in usable water due to the pickup not being able to access the lowest part of the tank. The sides typically do not flex anywhere near as much as the top or bottom since they are shorter and inherently stiffer. The top will not necessarily flex inward.

The point of my responses is to not to tell people to ignore situations like the image you posted. It is to point out that some bulging does not necessarily mean your water tank will fall out on the highway. How many trailers carry water with no issues that you never hear about? As we all know the internet has many posts about negative experiences but relatively few about positive experiences. It is not in our nature to be vocal about things not going wrong.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:04 PM   #50
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Hello,

We purchased a 2020 GeoPro 19RD. And when I asked the dealer about traveling with water he said he wasn't sure that the fresh water tank was braced properly and it may cause damage if its full while traveling. I know that it can reduce mileage because of the weight and sometimes affect the towing of the vehicle to a certain extent. We won't be going long distance with full water but when we get to the area we are going to want to fill up and drive the last 50 miles or so to our boondocking spot. Now with that in mind the last 50 is mountain overpasses and bumpy/hilly dirt roads in the national forest near Colorado Springs CO. Does anyone know if this model has specific bracing made for this? Or information in the handbook that says its okay? I just need a push in the right direction as to where I can locate this information. I figure it has the "off-road" package with additional clearance and better tires. It is also solar powered so its basically designed to be off road and boondocking... i can't believe that the tanks wouldn't be braced for this type of travel as well?
Best bet is call or email the manufacturer. Our last tt the dealer said we could and the manufacturer said tank not supported well enough to fill and drive.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:07 PM   #51
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On our previous trailer I did have to reinforce it as it was held up with too light of angle. On our new trailer which has 60 gallon fresh I just pulled it around 2000 miles with it full. My theory is this, if it is going to have problems I want it to be while it is still under warranty and they have to fix it right, we mostly boondock and need to take water over roads that are often rough.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:23 PM   #52
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Bracing for water tank

You need to check underneath your trailer to see if there is bracing below the water tank. If not you need to add it. The fresh tank on our forest river fifth wheel (2018) failed and required replacement ($500 tank alone). Had to have repair shop put metal bracing across.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:57 PM   #53
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Logic tells me if the the Trailer has a 30 gallon fresh water tank. That the engineer designed it to hold and carry 30 gallons of water safely and within the design envelope.



Logic and history also tells me that if there is a way to screw it up. The RV industry will screw it up a certain percentage of the time.


To quote Dirty Harry. " Do you feel lucky........?"


If you are not %100 confident. Check it.


Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:08 PM   #54
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On our previous trailer I did have to reinforce it as it was held up with too light of angle. On our new trailer which has 60 gallon fresh I just pulled it around 2000 miles with it full. My theory is this, if it is going to have problems I want it to be while it is still under warranty and they have to fix it right, we mostly boondock and need to take water over roads that are often rough.

Good theory.

I think that many of the tank issues have been occurring on lighter trailers that by their nature use the lightest possible construction. The small trailers are often driven at higher speeds, not just on good highways but on rough forest service roads as well. Wouldn't be surprised if some of the "dropped tanks" were victims of this practice.

I regularly see people driving 35-40 mph on roads I find only barely suitable for 10 mph or less. Going down one of those roads tomorrow. Campground is 15 miles from main highway. First 10 miles is paved and not too bad. Last 5 miles always takes me exactly one hour due to the "moon craters" in the road.

(The campground is worth it though )
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:25 PM   #55
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Wow! We travel with the fresh water tank ˝ or more filled, if we know we will have city water at our destination. We also have one of the lightest weight fixed wall TT sold by Forest River. There is no documentation that I’ve read, limiting the amount of water in the FWT. We have over four years left on our warranty, so we’re going to fill the FWT to the tippy top for all future trips. If it’s not properly designed, I want the tank to fail sooner than later, so FR can eat the repair. The weight of the water is negligible and if your ‘sloshing’ creates a handling problem, then you must not be properly using an effective WDH. We have an Equalizer and as we leave home we torture the rig by swerving in the street. We’ve never experienced a handling problem. We also drive at a speed appropriate to the roadway and conditions, and we tend to drive surface roads and not freeways. We get good mileage and if we’re in that big a hurry, we’d stay in hotels or fly.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:29 PM   #56
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I have a ‘20 geopro FBS.
Before I bought it, I was satisfied with the bracing, though certainly not overkill as I did when adding bracing to my late rpod. It had no support and significant sag as in earlier post.
I have filled the tank to full each time I visit it - parked in my boondock spot.
I am happy with the support the tank has and will have no concerns travelling full.
Mine is located at front and does add significant tongue weight..
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:43 PM   #57
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You could always carry water in bed of truck if using a pickup. Tractor supply sells a 35 gallon plastic tank my brother and I have both been using for several years.
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:51 PM   #58
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Hello,

We purchased a 2020 GeoPro 19RD. And when I asked the dealer about traveling with water he said he wasn't sure that the fresh water tank was braced properly and it may cause damage if its full while traveling. I know that it can reduce mileage because of the weight and sometimes affect the towing of the vehicle to a certain extent. We won't be going long distance with full water but when we get to the area we are going to want to fill up and drive the last 50 miles or so to our boondocking spot. Now with that in mind the last 50 is mountain overpasses and bumpy/hilly dirt roads in the national forest near Colorado Springs CO. Does anyone know if this model has specific bracing made for this? Or information in the handbook that says its okay? I just need a push in the right direction as to where I can locate this information. I figure it has the "off-road" package with additional clearance and better tires. It is also solar powered so its basically designed to be off road and boondocking... i can't believe that the tanks wouldn't be braced for this type of travel as well?
The manual for my tt says do not travel with tanks full...so I definitely won't be traveling on rutted dirt roads with full tanks (I plan to boondock as well). I will always bring my drinking water in separate containers, so maybe I'll invest in a few 5 gallon water jugs AND brace my water tank! You can probably find your manual online - I go by what the manufacturer tells me unless I have made modifications. Advice is free, but the costs of taking the wrong advice is not.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:04 PM   #59
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Hello! Thank you for your reply. My trailer is max 3800 fully loaded and the TV i have is for 11800lbs + I have the WDH. Not worried about getting the trailer up/down stuff. I am more concerned if the tanks are properly braced to take the bumps and sloshing water up and down and over things.

Do you also have a GeoPro?
I have a WOLFPUP 16BHS and tow it with a 2018 4runner. Max weight is 3800 also and we probably tow it at about 3400 on avg. If we are going where there is no water we will fill up at the last gas station where we are going. No sense towing 300 miles with 400kbs of water. I can feel the water sloshing and does minimally push the trailer, meaning I can feel it but doesn’t create any hazard. I also use a 4pt anti-sway/WDH equalizer and have no problems.

I wouldn’t worry too much about it, just look underneath and you can see how they are braced. Basically a 3/8 tapping screw holding a piece of angle iron on the one side. I do think this is pretty weak and was thinking about welding the bar in.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:08 PM   #60
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Also you shouldn’t be driving fast on a dirt road to the point your trailer is bouncing where a full tank would have enough force to break the tank loose. I mean who drives their trainer to the point it’s bouncing up and down on a dirt road? If I did that the fridge and everything in the cupboards would be in the floor
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