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Old 06-15-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
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How much water do you travel with?

A simple question?

While I try my very best to have my grey and black tanks empty, I'm thinking that at least a 1/3 of a tank of water might not hurt if I'm unsure of availability at my destination.

What do you do?
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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Our tanks are never empty, except in winter storage. We always have a few gallons in the Black and Grey tanks with the appropriate chemicals and or RV Digest. The movement during travel helps to clean them out. As for portable water if we are unsure of the availability of water I keep about a 1/2 tank, but this is very limited to when we are stooping a midpoints in transit.

BTW, I actually will dump a bag of ice into the black tanks once or twice a year before hitting the road it seems to help keep the tank walls clean as well.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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Fresh water = NONE. it only adds weight and uses more fuel to tow.
We only keep enough water in the black and gray tank to keep the RV Digest-it chemicals working.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:36 AM   #4
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I fill the water tank (+/- 40 gallons) with soft water from our house. I will put 4 gallons in the black tank along with the chemicals.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:39 AM   #5
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Winter none. Summer few gallons in the grey and black tank w/ chemicals. Fresh tank none to full. I'll travel with full tank if going to a nearby camp without hookups. If it was a distance I'd probably ditch the fresh water. But in the scheme of things and my rig - 300#'s of water isn't a biggie.

My understanding is you shouldn't let your grey or black (especially) tank sit dry as any incidental remaining solids will get very solid. Leading to problems later...
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:02 AM   #6
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Winter - none - use compressed air to blow out all the lines very carefully (it gets minus 40 here)

From freezing temp on up we travel with the fresh water full. Our house water is good tasting and frankly many of the campgrounds have weird water. I also bring along two three gallon jugs of distilled water / drinking water.

Last weekend our Thus - Sun trip, we used up all the fresh water and that was with no showers. Dishes were responsible for most of it.

I needed to fill dishpans with campground water (which was orange) for pre-washing, washing, and just our water for rinising. We also had lots of mud - hands feet & faces.

I know that more weight equals poorer gas mileage, but I'm wondering if there is a formula rather than some trial and error? Has anyone done a comparison? How much worse is it?

We empty the grey and black tanks when we leave a campground, but they get used on the way home so they aren't empty. We don't use the nasty chemicals - instead I use the liquid Calgon and every so often rinse the tanks (empty, fill with water, empty). We have no problems with smell.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:29 AM   #7
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I boondock quite a bit in the spring and fall hunting, when I do I fill the water tank as well as carry additional water in coolers and have not seen any difference in the gas (diesel) mileage I get, in addition I carry another 150lbs or so in generators.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:36 AM   #8
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I find it funny people stress about MPG when hauling water... I'm only getting 8-10 mpg as it is, a change of .2 MPG isn't going to break me. Besides if I bring two buddies in the truck (300-400#), I wouldn't hit them up for extra gas money cause of the additional weight.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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I travel with 2 children and 2 dogs. One of the reasons we bought a camper was to use the bathroom while on the road. I have stopped at too many rest areas, gas stations, etc that I refused to use because they were filthy.

Long story short, forget the gas mileage and go with full water Then again, I am towing a microlite anyway
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brianb View Post
I find it funny people stress about MPG when hauling water... I'm only getting 8-10 mpg as it is, a change of .2 MPG isn't going to break me. Besides if I bring two buddies in the truck (300-400#), I wouldn't hit them up for extra gas money cause of the additional weight.
x2
I go to the campground with a full water tank and leave with about 5 gallons in it in case we need to use the toilet and my mileage stays the same
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:49 PM   #11
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Depends on my destination. State or National parks, I travel empty. National Forest Service, I go with a full fresh tank. The difference is obviously the availability of water and whether it is pressurized vs hand pump or none at all.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I find it funny people stress about MPG when hauling water... I'm only getting 8-10 mpg as it is, a change of .2 MPG isn't going to break me.
i agree. you see posts about all the extra weight of water, when overall, carrying a full tank does very little to the mpg.
it's the air resistance that is the bigger issue.
but some have marginal tow vehicles and have to check every ounce of weight. i'm glad i don't have to.

i carry at least 1/3 of a tank but mostly a full tank, since we dry camp almost all the time.
not that i'm afraid of CG water, i just know that my house water is great.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:33 PM   #13
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Only three trips in the TT so far and we have never taken fresh water with us. First two trips had full hookups and the last trip had electric only. It was to a state park and knew through the Missouri State Park website they had plenty of hydrants to get fresh water. As for black water, once we flush the system we run some water back in for the chemicals/deodorizers only. Gray tanks are empty.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:58 PM   #14
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There are pros and cons for either choice. I haven't travel yet with water in my fresh tank but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have some water in the tank in case of an emergency or just in case...
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:03 PM   #15
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I travel with 1/3 to 2/3 of fresh water. Primarily for using the bathroom when traveling. Also, having at least that much water ensures the pump will be able to pump from the tank. I have had instances where even though I read 1/3, the pump gets a lot of air. Most likely because 1/3 is more of an indication the tanks aren't empty vs. there actually being ~10 gal in the tank.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:42 PM   #16
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We usually travel with maybe 10 gallons of fresh water, so the kids can have potty breaks if needed before we reach our destination. We also keep 2 gallons in our black tank to slosh around and help clean things up.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:49 AM   #17
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I fill up the fresh water tank before leaving home, add to it when I need to, black & grey start out empty, but when traveling home I don't worry about dumping them if they are not too full. Our municipal dump station is only a mile from home, usually we go home first, unload the kids, fridge coolers, dirty laundry, then I go dump the sewage before I park and unhook the trailer.

I don't have to worry about 3-400 pounds either way.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:24 AM   #18
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i travel with abt half tank on fresh water. usually travel dry on gray and black.
normally i only stay in full hook up spots. once i stayed in a campground in Nebraska (city water tank had aliens painted on it) that had water when i arrived but an hour later didn't. they lost the well to part of the campground abt an hour after we set up. i was dry at the time. now i always put a few gallons in before i leave.
fuel economy? best seen in mathematical formulas. in actual practice, i haven't seen any difference.
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:44 AM   #19
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When we travel within our state we don’t carry any water in the fresh water tank. When we travel across the country we always carry 10 gallons in the tank for potty breaks or in case of a breakdown. The Black tank ALWAYS has two or three gallons in it, except when the trailer is winterized.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:12 AM   #20
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Dry in Fresh water and Gray.
(LONG trip 5 gallons for flushing and hand washing)

Three long flushes; 1 cup Calgon; 1 cup Laundry soap in black tank.
Our black tank never has odors unless full to the top and a power vent is open and running.
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