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Old 08-11-2015, 11:32 AM   #15
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Sedona , Arizona
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I always carry a full tank of fresh water; two chief reasons:
1) I live in the hot southwest where water is at a premium.
2) Our water at home is softened and I know it to be of good quality.

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Old 08-11-2015, 11:44 AM   #16
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And don't forget that your better half sometimes need to use the head on the road, so we always at least 10 gallon or so.

During a recent trip in Montana they had very high winds and Tractor Trailer were being turn over. We would like to Waite before taking off, but it was for the week.
So, fill up with water to help with weight with high winds, and it help a lot.

David & Nancy Ames
WBCCI # 9403 -- AIR # 95597
2015 FC 25' RB
2013 Chevy Tahoe LTZ
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:58 AM   #17
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...What if you get to a dry camp and your pump doesn't work until you repair or replace it?...

My water tank has a gravity outlet for draining the tank which is where I would get my water if the pump failed while boondocking.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:13 PM   #18
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1965 22' Safari
Amelia Ct Hse , Virginia
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Always fill tanks from home. Got some bad water once at a campground and spent two days in pain. If I need it on the road I stop at gas stations and they always let me fill with city water.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:18 PM   #19
Kim & Roger
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Dry Camping - Full fresh water tank from last full hook up RV campground or home. We also have a 45 gallon fresh water bladder in bed of TV with 12v water transfer pump when fresh water tank gets low. We carry a portable 35 gallon grey water waste tank to accommodate the excess grey water.

RV Campgrounds - Travel with 1/4 - 1/3 tank of fresh for those pit stops along the way. I'd rather not pull the additional weight if I don't have to.
Kim & Roger w/Bodie, Pepper & Wyatt
2013 25' FB Flying Cloud (Bebe) / 2002 Ford F350 7.3 Diesel / Air # 81166

“But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before.” - Mark Twain
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:25 PM   #20
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My Airstream is my escape pod in case of storm, revolt of the masses or invasion of zombies. It stays pretty well stocked and ready to hit the road. That includes a mostly full rank of water. I have very good water at home. I filter it going into the tank and have a filter on the main sink faucet. If not used I drain and replace once a month. As far as I am concerned the trailer is designed to travel with a full tank of water, so no quilt in doing so.
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Formerly 1964 Bambi II

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Old 08-11-2015, 03:37 PM   #21
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Green water

My take on it. Be careful just loading on water at any old campground. I always prefer city water treated with chlorine over well water... but when I'm in a hurry running late I've been known to use camp water so...
I think I cursed myself. I had a neighbor in my regular campground who had an algae farm growing in her fresh tank. (In coastal Virginia green scum will form on a kiddie pool if you leave it outside for 2 days.)

So after helping her drain her sludge (couldn't call it water any more), shock her tank, agitate her tank, drain it again, figure out why her water pump died (filter full of green goo), etc., we finally got clear water running from the fresh tank. Of course, the chlorine smell took a week to clear up, but I encouraged her to leave the stuff in her tank and lines for 24 hours...

So with a sense of being a good friend I went off boondocking after filling my tank at the camp, and on my last day decided I had plenty of water to shower with... and the pump started making horrible banging noises while I was fully soapy. Had to run it long enough to get rinsed. Quickly turned it off, and it wouldn't pump water though it sounded like it was trying.

Got my fanny down on the floor into the tiny closet and found - GREEN SLIME in the water filter. Somehow I'd gotten algae into my hose and some of it almost certainly got through the filter and into the tank.

The only good part is that the tank hadn't sat for months or years growing crud, so shocking it and replacing the hose and in-line filter did the trick. Oh, and the really good news... the pump didn't burn up even though little if any water was entering it. It seems to be fine for now, but I did buy a replacement just in case.

My resolve is that from now on, I won't use well water. In a worst case scenario, I can buy six gallon containers of water at Wal-mart and funnel them into the tank. You can refill the jugs right there. Also the Jerry Cans are a great idea, especially the ones that squish down.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:12 PM   #22
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2004 30' Classic
Hillsborough , New Jersey
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filling water tank

We have good well water, so we fill the trailer tank and several jugs of water.

Even though I clean the fresh water tank several times a year, we never drink the water directly from the tank for the reasons cited in previous posts.

Tank water is used for boiling to make tea, coffee and cooking purposes, flushing, showering. We drink only water from the jug.

I've noticed that after several days the water in the jug causes the inside of the jug to become "slippery". ( How fast that happens is a function of how hot the outside temperatures are). That tells me that something is "growing" in there. I clean them with some chlorine, rinse well, fill with fresh water and/or 5 pounds of ice so that we always have cold fresh water to drink.

Have been doing that for 40 plus years of trailering. Wolf146
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:55 PM   #23
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If I were boon-docking I would fill at home with water I trust. We typically run half a tank to cover the needs on the road and back up bad campsite water for potable needs. I never drink water or make coffee from our AS tank, despite having bleached the system. We do use hook-up water for cooking. We carry 3-5 gallons fresh water from home and refill where there is good water and use that for coffee and drinking. If we are going to a Rally where there is no water hook up I fill the tanks and carry the "Jerry Can" too
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:11 PM   #24
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Re Algae in tank water. No matter how disinfected water is from the tap, algae spores are everywhere and heat and light ...even the little that gets to the tank under the floor of the AS will permit algae spores to start growing, and some algae doesn't need light to get started. Regular treatment with Chlorine bleach will control it but once seriously contaminated you will need to thoroughly bleach the heck out of every part of your water system. For control sterilizing, as little as 1/2 ounce of Chlorine bleach will give 10 times the chlorine in city water, so it doesn't take much to keep a tank and lines sterile....bigger problem will be taste.

To sterilize our system, we add 2 ounces of bleach to a beer bottle and fill it with water. Dump that into the fill port and fill the tank with water. Let it sit for an hour and then pump it through the whole trailer water piping including the water heater. Drain the rest out of the tank and rinse it the tank and piping again. We will find some chlorine taste after that but we don't drink tank water so the excess chlorine keeps the system clean, and the Chlorine doesn't affect hand washing or dish water.

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Old 08-11-2015, 08:35 PM   #25
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2012 30' Classic
Homosassa , Florida
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We always fill up at home before we leave on a trip. We sanitize the tank at least annually and use the A/S for all potty breaks.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:23 PM   #26
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Seguin , Texas
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
All of the above, and I prefer to keep my fresh water pretty full.

It is easiest, and often free, to dump your tanks at a public campground, at which time you can fill up as well.

If no public facility is available, private campgrounds usually allow this for a small fee.

If you were to become stranded for some reason, or stuck on a highway for hours due to an accident, having plenty of fresh water keeps you fully functional.


Wondering do you put water in your black / gray tanks in your Interstate before you hit the road?

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Old 08-14-2015, 03:27 PM   #27
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1965 30' Sovereign
1969 23' Safari
Redgranite , Wisconsin
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Never know when and where you will stop. Better to have some water. Helps with tongue weight. Better you tow with the trailer the way you weighed it than different every time. Doesn't Airstream figure full LP and Fresh Water in the nose when they balance their trailers for towing anyway? I'd figure they expect minimal rear grey and black (due to dumping before hitting the road) and 1/2 to full front fresh water (if that's your layout). Can anyone chime in on that?
Lots to do. Getting there.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:44 PM   #28
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somewhere , on the road
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We do a lot of boondocking and got a leak in our freshwater tank as a result of driving down a lot of bumpy roads, see post: Fresh Water Leak – Aluminarium

I emailed Airstream about the issue and they responded:
When tanks are full of water during travel it is possible for the tank to have movement and put pressure on the fittings.
We still tow with a full fresh water tank, but I wouldn't be surprised if we had another $800 replacement in our future. (The first tank lasted just over 2 years, the leak developed right after warranty, second tank is about 2 years old now).

Our blog: Aluminarium

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