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Old 03-29-2007, 09:14 AM   #1
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The Rime of the Ancient Airstreamer...

"Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink..." Why, yes I was an English teacher. How did you know???

So here is my question (and probably a not-too-brilliant one at that):

When travelling in the moho, we don't want to waste fuel hauling a full tank of water. Many of the places we may stay (federal and state parks) will have elec, but not water at the site. Is there usually a common hydrant for filling up when you arrive? If not, where do you get water for the stay?

This applies even more to boondocking. Do the "big box" gas stations like Flying J have potable water to tank up on when near your destination?
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:20 AM   #2
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We make it a point to travel with a few gallons of water in the tank - not full, but enough for a few flushes and pot of coffee. More than once we have pulled into a site late at night and either not had water at the site, or found that the faucet was broken.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:35 AM   #3
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Carry SOME!

10 gallons - 80 lbs. I don't know how big your moho is, but compared to a toad's weight, or almost anything else you carry, some water won't be that big of a mileage factor. I imagine on the big mohos you'd not notice a difference at all. I'd do a controlled distance run with a full vs nearly empty water tank and check the MPG before assuming that it WILL hurt.

I generally don't spend more than 3 days boondocking, so it's never been a big issue for me, but when you make reservations you could ask if there is a place where you can get potable water. If there are shower facilities, you could always fill your tank from a gerry can. I've seen them in Wal-mart. They are five gallon blue plastic. There was a post a while back where a member actually had one on a fold down stand with a hose that fed right into his potable tank.

I've actually TWICE failed to fill my potable tank... thinking it was a one day run to a full hookup, first time I had a bad reaction to too rich food after last year's Cherry Blossom Festival, second time, I had a blowout on my tow vehicle's rear roadside tire (on Sunday) necessitating an overnight stay waiting for a tire store to open so I could get a spare.

Used a box of wine to flush the toilet for the first one... had to spit bathe with a two small bottles of water on the second. Do you know how dirty you get changing a big truck tire?

After that - no matter what, when I'm traveling there are at least 10 gallons in the tank!!!

Paula Ford
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:02 AM   #4
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Carry a bit - you never know where you'll have to go to reach the faucet. Last summer, we had plans to boondock in an outer area of an established campground. The outer area had no water, but we were assurred that the main camping loop had water for fill-ups. What we didn't know was, in order to reach the tap, we had to pull the Airstream through a loop that really was only meant for tent campers, and the trees on either side of the road allowed only a couple inches of clearance on each side. Not only that, we missed the tap the first trip through the loop, and had to do it again! What I would have given to have a full freshwater tank upon arrival, despite the potential for added gas $$!
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:10 AM   #5
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The reduced fuel mileage is minimal, added to the chance of picking up foreign bugs in the local water if you drink it. Also, the trailer will tow better with a full tank of water, the partly full tank will slosh around and contribute to sway.
MT tank will not slosh either, but the couple hundred pounds extra at or below floor level will also help lower the center of gravity.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:44 PM   #6
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When I dry camp in NFS campgrounds, there are usually a few spigots here and there among the campsites, fed by local springs. The NFS tests the water every couple of months, so technically it is OK to drink.

After having an encounter with Giardia, I now carry from home the water for drinking and cooking in the truck - it is not that many gallons. I use the trailer fresh water tank for showers, etc, and take a couple of hoses so I can refill the tank as needed.

After one episode with contaminated water, the impact on gas mileage to take 'good' water along is not a factor!
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:02 PM   #7
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Depending on where I'm going, I carry anywhere from just a few gallons for emergencies, to a 50 gallon water drum along with a full trailer tank. The water gets transferred from the barrel with a 12 volt transfer pump.

Many campgrounds have water spigots scattered around the CG, but no threads to hook up a hose. You would need a gerry can as mentioned earlier. Even then, some of those CGs don't want you filling your tank. The water is for incidental use such as filling a dishpan.

I would concur, carry water, especially in a MoHo.

Dave
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Depending on where I'm going, I carry anywhere from just a few gallons for emergencies, to a 50 gallon water drum along with a full trailer tank. The water gets transferred from the barrel with a 12 volt transfer pump.

Many campgrounds have water spigots scattered around the CG, but no threads to hook up a hose. You would need a gerry can as mentioned earlier. Even then, some of those CGs don't want you filling your tank. The water is for incidental use such as filling a dishpan.

I would concur, carry water, especially in a MoHo.

Dave
Dave,
In that case you need a water thief
I have yet to hit a spigot that I couldn't fill my tanks from. I also carry a 4 way water key...

Aaron
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
Dave,
In that case you need a water thief
I have yet to hit a spigot that I couldn't fill my tanks from. I also carry a 4 way water key...

Aaron
It's certainly cheap enough, even if you never use it.
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:32 PM   #10
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Dave,
In that case you need a water thief
I have yet to hit a spigot that I couldn't fill my tanks from. I also carry a 4 way water key...

Aaron
I like it. Does it stay on by itself or do you have to hold it on the faucet?
That still won't solve the CG that won't let you fill the tank, though they seem to be few.
Dave
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I like it. Does it stay on by itself or do you have to hold it on the faucet?
That still won't solve the CG that won't let you fill the tank, though they seem to be few.
Dave
They usually stay on by themselves under reasonable pressure, in an extreme case it wouldn't hurt to have a hose clamp and screwdriver handy... In 20 years I can only recall maybe 3 times when I needed the hose clamp, mainly due to an odd shaped spigot. As far as campgrounds that won't let me fill a tank I will find somewhere else to stay! Unless there is a justifiable reason like low water supplies due to drought.

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Old 03-29-2007, 11:18 PM   #12
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We always keep about a quarter of a tank of fresh water in the tank of the moho. For drinking and cooking we have a 5-gallon Sparklett's bottle with a battery driven pump and spigot. We also have a couple of hoses in case it is a tight squeeze to a spigot at the campground.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:00 PM   #13
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Water Load

This applies more to trailers than motorhomes. I was talking with Andy the other day and he mentioned that carrying a full water tank lowers the center of gravity. That makes a lot of sense to me. When you are carrying 40 gallons of water at 333.6 Lb. that is only a shade over 5% of the trailer weight (6000 Lb.). The position of the tank would certainly make the most use of the weight and the fuel difference should be negligible. I like the lower center of gravity, that can help keep the shinny side up and reduce the shakes from passing trucks.

In my own case it makes even more sense since I ordered new axles and went up a bit in load capacity. A lot of our fuel use is due to wind drag, not to minimize the weight factor but it does not seem that the odd 350 Lbs makes that much difference in fuel.

After I get the new axels on, I am gong to start carrying a full load of water in the camel. If my fuel use goes up significantly I will mention it.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:06 PM   #14
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My first outing following the purchase of our Airstream, I elected not to fill the water tank before we left the house knowing I would have a water hook up at the camp site. That worked fine until the outside temp dropped a bit below freezing the first night causing the water hose to freeze. The hose thawed just after lunch time allowing water service to resume. Now I always have the water and propane topped off and the waste water empty before leaving the house.

At least take a little water with you.
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