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Old 06-07-2014, 07:43 AM   #1
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Towing with full water tank: yes/no?

Can somebody set me straight on this? I have heard some people on this forum say that you should not tow with full tanks. I don't get it. One of the greatest appeals of owning a trailer for me would be the ability to slip away to a remote campsite in the middle of nowhere. If I cant take a tank of water along to give me indoor plumbing, I might as well continue to tent camp! So, if your tow vehicle can handle the extra weight, why would I not want to take water with me?
And, on a side note, I would think water sloshing around in the black tank would be beneficial for breaking up solids. Am I wrong?

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:52 AM   #2
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You are correct on both counts.
Many do not need a full tank of fresh water but the rig is supposed to be built to haul it.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:19 AM   #3
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I don't think anyone on this forum ever said you "should not" tow with full tanks. There have been many discussions where people on both sides have aired their convictions. You can do whatever you want. If you have inspected the tank supports and deemed them worthy of bearing 8.33 lbs. per gallon then there is no logical reason why you can't travel with them chock full.

Here's where I'm going to tell you what I do and don't do. I don't boondock camp. I camp at state parks. I don't haul stuff that I can obtain either for free or low cost when I arrive at my destination. In 3 years of owning my TT I think I may have used the restroom one time while in transit...otherwise it's at Mickey D's or interstate rest areas. My tanks do not appear to be secured in such a manner as to withstand the shock load of several hundred pounds while bouncing down Michigans fine roadways. So in light of this mini rant, I travel with a full water heater (6 gallons), enough water in my fresh tank to prime the pump and flush the toilet (5-10 gallons) gray water tank empty and 5 gallons in my black water tank plus 2 fluid ounces of holding tank chemical.

Having water sloshing around in your gray and black tanks is beneficial but can cause issues if you have nowhere to dump them when you get home. I travel home from the campground with 5 gallons of clean water in both the gray and black tanks. When I get home they nourish a green spot in my yard. Not even a speck of TP is intact.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:25 AM   #4
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We usually only tow with what we need for the trip, ie bathroom breaks. But if we are going to some parks that may not have full hook-ups we fill her up!!
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. Maybe I misunderstood some things that I read previously. I completely agree that there's no reason to carry a full tank if its available when you get to your destination. Most of the trailers I'm looking at have enclosed underbellies so inspecting the tank brackets may not be an option. I guess I would have to hope for the best. But, shame on the manufacturer if its built that poorly.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:52 AM   #6
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I towed with a full tank (80 gallons) of water yesterday.

If the place I am going doesn't have a water connection, then I always fill up in my driveway before I leave.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12VOLTMAN View Post
But, shame on the manufacturer if its built that poorly.
That may be true, however if the tank were to break loose and someone following your rig hit it and killed themselves or others, guess who'd be named in the lawsuit? Sadly that's the world we live in. It would probably fall under the 'unsecured cargo' clause of the law. (no pun intended!)
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12VOLTMAN View Post
Thanks guys. Maybe I misunderstood some things that I read previously. I completely agree that there's no reason to carry a full tank if its available when you get to your destination. Most of the trailers I'm looking at have enclosed underbellies so inspecting the tank brackets may not be an option. I guess I would have to hope for the best. But, shame on the manufacturer if its built that poorly.
Do not just "hope for the best." You can remove probably about 8 screws on one side of your underbelly cover and take a peek at those water tanks and how they are secured. I did this and found that the metal straps holding mine up were secured OK, but the water tanks were greatly sagging between the straps. There were three straps holding each of the two 6' x 2.5' x 8" FW tanks. I added two more straps to each tank (where the major sag was occurring). And now I have peace of mind and sometimes I do travel with full FW tanks (90 gallons total).

If you don't look and just hope for the best, you may find your water tank sliding down the highway someday. Others have reported this happening.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:43 AM   #9
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Wow, I had no idea this could be an issue. Whatever I end up with, I'll be checking it out!
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
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Hi
I will not fill the water tanks, before I leave as I have to many hills to climb.
99 percent of the time I dry camp. So before I get to the camp site I will fill the tank
Then when I leave I will dump the waste water and fresh water before I head back to the storage yard.
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