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Old 04-06-2015, 07:18 PM   #15
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We always travel with at least a 1/3 tank of fresh water. We like having options.


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Old 04-06-2015, 07:39 PM   #16
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Stillwater , Minnesota
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The last time we pushed off with an empty fresh water tank we were headed from Phoenix to Wickenburg, AZ, intending to find a campground with water available. We ran smack into Gold Rush Days, no available camping, so ended up boon docking and needing water. Stopped at the Fire Station to inquire about availability (they deal in water after all, or so went my thinking). Was referred to a Stand Pipe near the airport. Guaranteed to have a hose bib. Nope! Not a chance.

But hey, that 2" hanging hose looked like it would fit nicely into a cut-off 500 ml water bottle, which it did, and that nice lever must release the water gently after inserting my dollar for the advertised 200 gallons of water. Nope!

Boom!! 200 gallons of water exploded out of that stand pipe, blowing my cute little 500 ml water bottle off the end and down the street. Drenched me completely in 2 seconds.

Wet as can be at that point, I reloaded another dollar, held my fill hose below the flood gate while my wife directed the flow into the fresh water fill. 39 gallons in the tank, 161 gallons on me.

Lesson Learned: traveling with a full fresh water tank is a good thing.
Didn't need a shower that night either.


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Old 04-06-2015, 07:57 PM   #17
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Just throwing in, I almost made a bad mistake, my Airstream would have been totaled. Short story is, the hose was wrongly hooked up to my black tank flush and left running with black tank valve closed, thinking it was city water inlet. Good news I caught mistake 2" from it overflowing into trailer. Lessoned learned, always do your own hookups even when someone offers to help.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:05 PM   #18
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Actually, my sister-in-law did the same thing. All it did was fill the blank tank and then fill up the vent stack and make a $70000 fountain!

Assuming the ball seal on your toilet is intact, there shouldn't be any interior flooding. Granted, I wouldn't try to replicate the experiment...

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Old 04-07-2015, 05:26 AM   #19
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We always travel with a full 40 gal of fresh water and two empty waste tanks. The extra water weight isn't a serious concern to me. I have landed in places with no water, untrustworthy water or a faucet too far from the trailer for the amount of hose I had. It's the Boy Scout "be prepared" mode of travel.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:12 AM   #20
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Water is so important. What if you are stranded on the interstate because of an accident. Happened to us once, we were able to use the bathroom and had all the water we needed to drink. Temp in the ninetys. AS are self contained survival systems, why not take advantage. Same thing if your TV breaks down in the middle of no where. It may take hours for help to arrive, you are going to be a lot better off than someone sitting there in a car with no water, tec. Peace,jim
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:50 AM   #21
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The fresh water tank is the lowest large mass in the trailer which helps stabilize it when in cross winds or being passed.

We start the trip with it full. I tend to make sure the level is down to around five to ten gallons when we finally park the trailer at the storage unit to help keep the tires from flat spotting.

Before the first trip, sanitize the fresh water tank per the instructions in the manual. Note that this may have to be done at least once or more often per season depending on where the trailer is used and the water sources.

Paraphrased from our Classic Owner's Manual.

Make sure city water is not connected while doing this exercise. The trailer water pump will be used to pull water from the fresh water storage tank and through all the plumbing.

1. Multiply the gallons of tank capacity by 0.13 to find out the number of ounces of bleach to sanitize the tank.

2.Pour the bleach into a container with water and then pour the solution into the fresh water tank.

3. Open all the valves (hot and cold) and run the water until the smell of bleach is coming out of each faucet and then close the valves. Let stand for at least four hours to disinfect completely.

3a. If you double the concentration of bleach you can let it stand for one hour.

After the proper elapsed time, drain the tank and refill as necessary to get the bleach out of the system.

The drain valve is often a white nylon looking valve between the wheels on a tandem trailer.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:51 AM   #22
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FYI , many older Airstreams had an autofill option, where at the flip of a switch, you can fill the fresh water tank, while you are connected to city water, very convenient! You need not get out the hose and stand at the fill door awaiting the spill over to let you know it's full!
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:17 AM   #23
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This may already be clear to the OP...but thought it may be helpful:

Your airstream has a water pump.

This pump is located somewhere in the trailer (depends on model as to where). The point of this water pump is to pressurize the water system when unhooked from "city water".

When unhooked from city water, your only source of water in that case is from your "fresh water tank". The input for the fresh water tank was shown before, it looks more like a spot you would add gasoline in a vehicle, but instead it leads to a fresh water tank that varies in size depending on your particular airstream. Mine is for example 54 gallons (water by the way is approximately 8 lbs per gallon).

So when unhooked, and you have water in that fresh water tank, you turn on the water pump with a switch inside the trailer, then you will likely hear the water pump kick on for a bit until the system is pressurized properly. The water pump draws water in this case (when unhooked from city water) from that fresh water tank...and draws in water until all is filled and pressurized, then it stops...or it should experience is, that often you need to go and let the water run a bit from various receptacles in the trailer to get any air out of the lines and the pump will then stop.

(Note, as a passing note, with water pump on, water in all lines without air trapped anywhere, once the pump stops, the system is pressurized, the system should remain pressurized for a while.....if you hear the pump kicking on (or "cycling") this could indicate a leak...the leak means loss of pressure, and the pump cycles).

When you are hooked to the "city water", that water pressure is supplied by water pumps centrally by "the city"....and so you are good to need not leave on the water pump in such a case (although if the water pressure is for some reason insufficient, the water pump will help improve water pressure, ive never had this happen).

We carry about 1/2 tank of fresh water usually to ensure we can use the bathroom, get a drink, etc when needed...both on the way and on return...then when we get home, we drain it when storing for longer periods.

Go purchase one of those fresh water fill clear hose adapters for your water hose to fill your fresh water tank...makes the job easier in my opinion.

I think I still have an issue with my FW tank venting properly as I fill keeps building pressure every 20 seconds as I fill it and regurgitating air back before allowing me to continue to fill...sorry, I digress.

Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:20 AM   #24
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:22 AM   #25
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Note that for us, we generally avoid using the toilet on the way home from a trip, because we have no sewer hookup at home where we store the airstream...which boy one day I want to have! Being able to stop off essentially anywhere quick to use the bathroom, prepare food, get a drink, etc is incredibly more leisurely...wish I had that luxury more freely on the way home.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
Actually, my sister-in-law did the same thing. All it did was fill the blank tank and then fill up the vent stack and make a $70000 fountain!

Gross. Can't stop laughing!
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:02 PM   #27
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2013 30' Flying Cloud
Cincinnati , Ohio
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We travel with the fresh water full. Sometimes I have full black, full grey, and full fresh. That's a bit heavy. But on those occasions we're probably trying to find a dump station to unload a little bit.

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