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Old 04-02-2013, 12:25 PM   #1
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draining fresh water tank for travel???

Hi everyone

We have a 1979 31' Sovereign, and we have full hookups (the grey and black tanks are hooked up and open). We are getting ready to take off soon and we need to dump the fresh water tank, which according to the switchboard, its half full. Its located in the closet, but how do I dump it?? Thank you!!!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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We would just run it through your systems and empty it via the holding tanks in the usual way. I.e. run the faucets and shower, flush the toilet til the fresh water tank is basically empty.

There is a little thingy on our hot water heater (outside) that you flip to drain that.

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Old 04-02-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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I don't know where your drains are located, but as a general rule you shouldn't leave the black tank open when you have full hookups. That can allow the liquids to drain away quickly, leaving solids to dry and harden and building what I've seen referred to as a "poop pyramid" that requires some effort to eliminate.

It's best to leave the dump valve for the black tank closed and empty it periodically.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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Why, by the way, do you feel you need to dump the fresh tank? Has the water been in there forever and you just want to flush it? It can be useful to have some freshwater on board when traveling.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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Butttttt, since you asked. Between the axels on the curbside ( drivers side ) wayyyy down low you should see a white plastic valve with a handle. It's probably in closed position now so grab it and twist it to the open position. It may be hard to turn with your fingers and there's no room to get any tools down there but you gotta do it. It may be old and brittle and, yes, it might break off. Then you gotta replace it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
It may be hard to turn with your fingers and there's no room to get any tools down there but you gotta do it. It may be old and brittle and, yes, it might break off. Then you gotta replace it.
And replacing it is not fun nor easy
That's my task this week, to fix the leaking drain.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:20 PM   #7
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We usually drain fresh or add to if it is empty, like to travel with a 1/3 tank, would prefer less but command center show 1/3 as first led. Has been great, as enough water for flushing and if first stop happens to be a boondocking it makes it easy, until we get to a regular cg.

On reread your post, I would do as others have suggested, pump some into your black tank so that it will breakup the pyramid while you travel.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:56 PM   #8
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I don't travel with partially filled tanks. I usually run fully loaded fresh water, but if running home I'll drain the tank.

Partially filled tanks tend to increase sway, if the tank is athwartship; or pitch, if the tank is fore and aft. It's called free surface effect.

Less of a problem the closer the tank is to the axle.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #9
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My tank is between the axles. BW and GW right behind the axles. I have always traveled with 15 gallons or so in the FW tank and whatever (not full) in the other two. Have never experienced any kind of behavior of the trailer (sway) whether it's empty or 20 or 30 gallons between the three tanks.

I do understand the principle of the surface effect, but in the modern center(ish) tanks of the AS layouts, I don't think it is a significant issue when sane driving habits are in play.

Edit: Also most of today's tanks are at and below the centerline of the axle shafts.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:11 PM   #10
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Well, I'm happy to hear that. The tank in my trailer is located at the front behind the gaucho, so I notice its really squirrely if its half full.

I don't know where the tank is in a 1979 Sovereign, so I guess you're right.

If the tanks are close to the axle, it's less a problem.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:21 PM   #11
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I would think high is bad. High and rearward is worst. I was thinking of the older front/high tanks as I was typing my post above, but I THINK by '79 they were low and center....but not sure.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #12
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1979 31' Sovereign
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OK, the fresh water has been in there for about a month, and we have half a tank... if I need to keep water in there, I should probably drain it and add new before we leave huh? Thanks in advance about the black water tank being open, I did not realize that. I'm still new to this whole Airstream travel business!

Well this could turn out to be interesting...
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:15 PM   #13
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fresh water tank

A few drops of clorox in your FW tank will kill any bacteria that is growing there. We never drink the water coming from our FW tank, too much possibility of contamination from the tank, system, hoses, or the rv park water system.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #14
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Yes, our drinking / cooking water is "jugged" along ... FW tank is just for washing hands/body with soap and rinsing the head after use.
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