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Old 07-15-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
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Empty or Full

I have been going out camping every 2 or 3 weeks, should i keep my fresh water tank empty or full between trips when my trailer is sitting idle? It has a poly tank.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:04 PM   #2
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We do not drain our fresh water tank between trips, as we go out frequently as well. I'm of the opinion that it's best to prevent the system from drying out, particularly in our dry, hot climate ... We do treat the fresh water with a very mild bleach solution to keep it sanitary...
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:43 PM   #3
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What i have been doing is coming back from camping with an empty tank and filling it from the house figuring the city water has some clorine in it. When i go camping again i just drain it and fill up with water at the campground. I would rather tow with an empty tank.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:32 AM   #4
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Clorox (sodium hypochlorite) is not effective for long—hours, my microbiologist wife says—as a disinfectant. The chlorine in city water may be different and last longer, especially if not exposed to light. We disinfect twice a season with a Clorox solution—use it fast after measuring out the right amount. Let it stand for a while (formula is in owner's manual), and then flush several times with water.

I don't like leaving water to stand in the tank for very long as any bacteria present may grow. Disinfecting is a pain, but so is getting ill.

So, to answer your question, I'd, at the least, flush the tank a few times before leaving on a trip. We also bring some gallons of drinking water with us. When I make tea, I have boiled the water and it has gone through 2 of our filters. Campground water should be suspected because we don't know where it comes from and do know people who got giardia from campground water. A 5 micron filter can eliminate giardia, but not every other nasty thing.

Maybe we are extra cautious, but I don't argue (much) with a microbiologist.

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Old 07-16-2010, 06:39 AM   #5
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My brother is a supervisor for cleaning crews at a meat packing plant and one time he told me when you use clorox in a bucket of water for disinfecting its only effective for about 15 min. They use a clorox that is twice as strong.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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What i have been doing is coming back from camping with an empty tank and filling it from the house figuring the city water has some clorine in it. When i go camping again i just drain it and fill up with water at the campground. I would rather tow with an empty tank.
If you don't want to travel with a full tank, you might think about having at least some water in your fresh water tank while traveling ... just in case something goes amiss during your drive and you have to stop along the way on the side of the road, or to use the facilities... It's happened to us before! Sure glad we had water!

Happy trails!
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:52 AM   #7
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If you don't want to travel with a full tank, you might think about having at least some water in your fresh water tank while traveling ... just in case something goes amiss during your drive and you have to stop along the way on the side of the road, or to use the facilities... It's happened to us before! Sure glad we had water!

Happy trails!
Yes you should travel with some water in the tank. I just dont feel good about traveling with a full tank because in my case 65 gal weighs #540. I suppose i should just treat the tank water while it sits idle. I originally was wondering if there would be less growing in the tank it it was full or empty with city tap water.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:53 PM   #8
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I and others haven't found that a full water tank makes any or much difference in gas mileage. This is not very scientific, more an impression. Some like to keep the potable water tank full because they say it improves trailer stability, probably by lowering the center of gravity.

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:13 AM   #9
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Water

Your fresh tank is normally the farthest forward - full it adds to your tongue weight - and stability of the trailer. I traveled with mine empty when I first started - a 22' which didn't make that much difference. With the 25' it's still tows well either way, but having enough tongue weight especially with a big tow vehicle seems to help handling.

Early on, after a rally with particularly rich and plentiful food I developed an urgent lower G.I. condition about 50 miles out on the road..... I had to use a "box-o-wine" to flush the toilet. Won't repeat THAT mistake. I've also gotten so tired I've had to stop and rest - never drive with the water heater on - and a short cold shower can work wonders.

Paula
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