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Old 08-27-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Driving with fresh water tank full - is it OK?

Have 20 ft FC 2010 and I wonder if somebody could comment on this topic. I would be interested on an opinion on sturdiness of the tank itself, it's support, can it crack or break from the frame? In my case, when towing, the other tanks are practically empty.
Also, is it better to tow with full tank or with less, let's say half?
Thanks for comments!
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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I normally don't tow with the water tank full, maybe with 5 gal or so, just in case I need some water in route. However yesterday I filled mine in anticipation of the storm coming and all of a sudden had three little pin hole leaks in the side/top of the tank. In 8 months this is the first time I have actually filled the tank to the top. There is probably a lesson there for myself and others.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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Have 20 ft FC 2010 and I wonder if somebody could comment on this topic. I would be interested on an opinion on sturdiness of the tank itself, it's support, can it crack or break from the frame? In my case, when towing, the other tanks are practically empty.
Also, is it better to tow with full tank or with less, let's say half?
Thanks for comments!
I am on my 3rd travel trailer after two truck campers. I have always started out trips with the fresh water tank full. It has never caused a problem. I usually come home with it partially full. No problem there either. I know there are others who do it differently. You will find many opinions and methods, so sort through them all and choose what suits you. Trailer design and construction limits should not be a factor.

Ken
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:23 PM   #4
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Much depends on your destination. If you are heading to dry camp and do not have access to a water supply or would feel more comfortable with a supply of water from your home, you can travel full. Your rig can handle it.

If you are going somewhere with water hookups you can travel empty if you wish and reduce the weight ... but would suggest having at least some water on board in case you need to stop unexpectedly. Then when you arrive at your destination if you have city water you can hook up...

If you do not have a water hookup but water is available you can schlep water and fill the tank. In this scenario we prefer to travel full rather than schlep.

If we are not sure where we are going to land on a given day, we travel with a full fresh water tank.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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Have 20 ft FC 2010 and I wonder if somebody could comment on this topic. I would be interested on an opinion on sturdiness of the tank itself, it's support, can it crack or break from the frame? In my case, when towing, the other tanks are practically empty.
Also, is it better to tow with full tank or with less, let's say half?
Thanks for comments!
Your Airstream is designed to tow with full water.

The biggest reason is that it lowers the center of gravity, making the trailer more stable on curves.

Next reason, and perhaps the best reaso, is what would you do, if your tow vehicle blew a water hose??

Easy answer, the trailer has the water ready for use.

Tape up the broken hose with duct tape, refill the radiator, put the cap back onBUT, do not tighten the cap. You may have to stop every few miles to continue, until you can get the break repaired, but guess where you can get all that water, without any outside assistance.

Safe traveling towing a trailer, has many little kind of things that most people never think of.

But, one big one is, ALWAYS FULL OF WATER.

The loss in fuel economy is so small that it's difficult to even measure.

Andy
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:36 PM   #6
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My trailer tows smoother with a full tank.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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Forgot to mention earlier that there can be a disadvantage to a partially filled fresh water tank...sloshing...throwing weight of the water back and forth as you tow...probably not a huge factor, depending on the size of your tank, but still something to consider...
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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We always tow with a full tank of water, because a great boondocking site may just be around the next bend in road...
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:59 PM   #9
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For the past 34 years and probably 150,000 to 200,000 miles of towing I have always towed with a full water tank if leaving a place where water was available. You never know when a great boondocking spot may show up and I like water. I have never had one single problem with doing it that way, and have had somewhere around 15 AS products over that time period.

Oh, I also try to start with empty holding tanks, so there is a place to put the water...grin. And at least one full propane tank...to automatically use when the one in service runs out.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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The worst thing to be out of on the road is water. The full tank, 39 gallons in our case, isn't any heavier than a fat mother in law. When faced with the choice, throw her out and keep the water.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:13 PM   #11
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We always tow with a full tank of water, because a great boondocking site may just be around the next bend in road...
A PO doubled our water tank capacity. He pulled the original (I believe 17 gal) and installed twin 18 - 20 gal tanks under the dinnete seats. That plus two large full propane tanks on the tongue places a lot of weight on my hitch. If we are going dry camping which means an abundance of supplies I load the trailer heavy over and behind the tandem axles. If the journey will include stays at sites with hookups the load will be lighter plus with less water.

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Old 08-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #12
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The worst thing to be out of on the road is water. The full tank, 39 gallons in our case, isn't any heavier than a fat mother in law. When faced with the choice, throw her out and keep the water.
.......and perhaps even more weight will leave.....your wife......


nEil
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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We also have a 20ft and I think the water tank is in the back, right? I thought that maybe this will unload the tongue weight somewhat.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
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I usually travel with a light fresh water tank - a full tank weighs more than 300#! You will learn how to find the threaded faucets at gas stations and campgrounds at your destination, or to use one of these:
Water Thief - Stanley/oliver Products 0176 - Faucets & Inlets - Camping World

I always fill the tank when arriving home. Silvia is our "disaster pod."
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