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Old 04-12-2012, 06:31 AM   #29
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MH's have bigger water tanks than medium sized and small trailers. Sometimes that seems like a good idea.

Gene
They do, but you pay dearly in fuel for all that extra.

We carry 30 gallons fresh water. The biggest issue is showers, which we solve by using the campground showers. Just doesn't bother us, as hot water is hot water.


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Old 04-12-2012, 07:14 AM   #30
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Well I asked this question because I was truely curious...I made up my mind long ago that when I got an RV it was going to be an Airstream and AS made trailers! Period. Then my cousin and her husband loaned me their SOB motorhome, towing a toad, (a toyota) and I spent a week in the NC mountains though the only RV driving I did was up to the campground and back..my trips into the park to annoy the trout was all via the toy and I started wondering about the conveience of the motor home...Then i got a copy of Jennifer Flower's book "How NOT to RV" and found out that AS though now trailers at one time made class A MH's too.

My dream up to then was 25 foot (or so) trailer...towing it to various campgrounds to use as a base camp for fishing and also now and then, trotting around to various historical sites...so the RV, be it MH or trailer would be more of a 'base of operations' with perhaps some very limited boondocking done now and then.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:07 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
They do, but you pay dearly in fuel for all that extra.

We carry 30 gallons fresh water. The biggest issue is showers, which we solve by using the campground showers. Just doesn't bother us, as hot water is hot water.


Maggie
It actually doesn't affect my mileage much, only about 1 mile per gallon less carrying full tanks vs. empty tanks. Since I live along the Gulf Coast, and may have to bug out for a hurricane anytime between June and November, I plan to keep a full freshwater tank throughout hurricane season. Each trip I make, I make sure to drain and refill the freshwater tank (more about that below), and filter the water before it goes into the tank, to minimize the possibility of nasty stuff growing in the tank.

After long experience doing sponge baths after foot surgery gone infected (on crutches for 14 weeks after being bedridden for two weeks, ouch!), I can bathe with just one gallon of hot water, if I really need to, and can stretch my tank capacity accordingly. Being bald helps, since it takes less water to wash a scalp than to wash hair. However, I still prefer a proper shower so I seldom go to that extreme with the water conservation.

One modification I haven't done yet, but plan to, is to modify the extenal shower. I never use it as a shower, but it's conveniently close to the black tank rinse fitting. Modifying the external shower to replace the shower head with a hose fitting, so that I can use it to rinse the black tank, seems worthwhile. It will allow me to use "stale" fresh water that I would drain out anyway (as noted above) to clean my black-water tank. I could still use it as a shower if need be simply by adding a screw-on spray nozzle at the hose fitting. I suppose that would count as a "dual-purpose" modification.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:30 AM   #32
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We don't notice a real difference traveling with full fresh water tank or empty, either.

My point was that, with the big rigs, their larger capacity for everything makes a difference in mileage. We talk to folks who get 7-8 mpg, which is crazy-bad.

We have done shampoos outside with that little shower, saving the small grey tank space. Talked with some folks a couple of years ago who showered outside when they were in the national parks.

Ummm, not for us.


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Old 04-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #33
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I would not do that as you risk contamination of your fresh water tank. Never, never use the same fresh water hose for filling fresh water that you use to flush the black tank. Lots of weird bodies live in that tank and line just waiting to see the light of day.
Your next problem may be more than a sore foot.

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One modification I haven't done yet, but plan to, is to modify the extenal shower. I never use it as a shower, but it's conveniently close to the black tank rinse fitting. Modifying the external shower to replace the shower head with a hose fitting, so that I can use it to rinse the black tank, seems worthwhile. It will allow me to use "stale" fresh water that I would drain out anyway (as noted above) to clean my black-water tank. I could still use it as a shower if need be simply by adding a screw-on spray nozzle at the hose fitting. I suppose that would count as a "dual-purpose" modification.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:03 PM   #34
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There are 2 issues with full fresh water tanks. One is lowering gas mileage. A full 39 gal. tank weighs 324 lbs, or 4.4% of a fully loaded 25' FB, not a tremendous difference in weight. Of course, the numbers are different for different RV's. Still, it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference.

The second one is center of gravity. More weight at the bottom of the vehicle lowers the center of gravity and may make for a more stable vehicle. But the difference is also not that much, but every bit helps when you're on two wheels swerving to avoid a disaster.

Often we run with a full tank or close to it, but not always. We are sometimes not sure where we are going and whether we will have water. It is good to have some water for the toilet, washing hands and such during the day. When boondocking it would be nice to have twice the water capacity for showers instead of sponge baths, but we can survive.

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:51 AM   #35
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I would not do that as you risk contamination of your fresh water tank. Never, never use the same fresh water hose for filling fresh water that you use to flush the black tank. Lots of weird bodies live in that tank and line just waiting to see the light of day.
Your next problem may be more than a sore foot.

Dave
Not using the same hose to fill the fresh tank as to flush the black tank. That would be stupidly idiotic. Or idiotically stupid. I may be an idiot, but I'm not stupid. No way in H--- that I would ever connect any hose to a freshwater inlet that has been in contact with blackwater. Still, appreciate the reminder.

In case you misunderstood what I'm planning to try, let me 'splain it to you…

The external shower is a completely separate hose, with a special fitting on the upstream end so it can't be connected anywhere else but the external shower outlet. It cannot connect to a freshwater inlet. Period. The shower hose is only about five feet long, and has a shower nozzle on the other end. I propose to remove the shower nozzle and replace it with a standard garden hose fitting. That means that the ONLY place this hose can be used is to connect a freshwater OUTLET to the black tank INLET.

The shower socket is located about two feet above the black tank flush fitting; any water leaks in the line cannot run back up to the fresh tank.

Any bacteria or other microbes that want to get from the black tank to the fresh tank through this hose would have to climb the hose against the pressure put out by the water pump, and fight gravity to climb up to the external shower socket. If they can do this in the five minutes or so it would take to transfer the water from the fresh tank to the black tank, they deserve to live, and may be too tough to kill anyway.

And I am well aware that microbes can grow on the hose in between uses; I plan to give the hose a bleach bath before storing it away in a separate compartment from where I store my freshwater hoses.

The only time I would use this setup is when I'm going to drain the fresh tank anyway; I just feel it's wasteful to drain off up to 32 gallons of fresh water that I'm removing from the fresh tank, only to put several gallons of additional water into the black tank to flush it. It just makes sense, if I can devise a sanitary way to do it, to reuse some of the water that I was going to discard anyway.

And, upon consideration, I decided to purchase a second external shower hose and modify it, rather than modifying the one I already have.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:33 AM   #36
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Protagonist deserves credit for thinking outside the box, if you ask me. We're talking about a modified, dedicated hose here...and, let's not forget that there's a check valve in the system, which prevents black water from siphoning up to the fitting.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:33 AM   #37
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Protagonist deserves credit for thinking outside the box, if you ask me. We're talking about a modified, dedicated hose here...and, let's not forget that there's a check valve in the system, which prevents black water from siphoning up to the fitting.
No question it is a novel idea. It is always good to make sure there is a one-way or check valve in the system. The same problem can occur with a Flush King or similar devices.

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:08 PM   #38
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Airstreams endure.

Motorhomes? Well......
Motorhome Demolition Derby OC Fair Awesome Footage - YouTube
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #39
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Good point, Fly at Night...all things being equal, long after most other RVs built today end up in junk yards and landfills, our Airstreams will still be operational; and in the meantime, we will have saved 50% or so just on insurance, compared to class-A's.

Wait...I forgot to consider what I'm spending on CorrosionX.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:34 AM   #40
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Good point? I think not. If you hooked up truck & tt & slammed into each other, it would also be a demolition derby. The OP wanted real life ideas.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:29 PM   #41
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whatev
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #42
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This same basic topic has been covered in one or two other threads. I think the consensus of opinion was that trailers are good for people that are going to go somewhere and stay there awhile and MHs are better for people that aren't going to stay in any one place more than a few days. I remember that someone came up with a statistic that said that most full-timers use a motorhome, not a trailer. I handled RV claims for various insurance companies for many years, and the three most common incidents involving motorhomes and trailers are: it burnt to the ground; the roof hit a low hanging object; and the tire blew up and destroyed the bathroom. Trailer or MH, any one of these incidents means that you're going to be living in a motel for awhile.

About 30 years ago my wife and I were shivering in a tent at a cold and damp Big Basin State Park in California, when a (then new) GMC motorhome pulled up next to us. As soon as it was parked the automatic hydraulic levelers went to work, the power TV antenna went up, the generator started and the heater went on. Several hours later someone opened the door, peeked outside briefly, decided it was too cold, and ducked back inside. I remember thinking "now THAT's the way to camp!"

Instead of bicycles, has anyone ever tried using motor scooters? I think the ideal thing would be a large motorhome towing a trailer with a Vespa and sidecar. I can see it now - my classic Airstream MH safely parked at Yosemite, while I zip around the park in my Vespa, wife in the sidecar.
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