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Old 04-20-2011, 10:23 AM   #1
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fresh water tank-drain or not?

What are the prevailing thoughts on draining your fresh water tank between trips or leaving full then flushing before the next trip? If you leave it full, do you treat the standing water? I can see advantages and disadvantages in both. I didn't see it addressed either way in the owners manual unless I just overlooked it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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What time frame are you talking about between trips?
Once my system on the Clipper is sanitized in the spring, or on first use after winter antifreeze, I just keep filling it till the end of the season.
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What are the prevailing thoughts on draining your fresh water tank between trips or leaving full then flushing before the next trip? If you leave it full, do you treat the standing water? I can see advantages and disadvantages in both. I didn't see it addressed either way in the owners manual unless I just overlooked it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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We just fill it, use it, refill it. As Lucy is used year round, we have never drained her fresh water tank in five years of use.

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Old 04-20-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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We just leave ours at whatever level it may be - and don't put any special treatment in.

But then again, we virtually never use it for drinking. Even when we are hooked up to city water, my Mrs prefers to use other water for drinking, coffee, cooking etc.

Last place we stayed this winter we were able to fill a 5 gallon container with reverse osmosis filtered water for $1 from a machine at the RV park.

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Old 04-20-2011, 11:18 AM   #5
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We plan to use at least once a month and weekly in the Fall (football season).
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:26 AM   #6
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I usually drain it between trips. Keeps the weight down and allows me to flush and fill each time with fresh water. We DO drink ours and it is nice to have cool fresh water, at least for the first day out.

I used to open the drain on the way out of camp but was told that I could be ticketed for doing so. I also like to have some water in the tank during trips for stops and such.

So, clean and disinfect tank each spring, fill and use, drain and flush each time we go out.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
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I also drain between trips if the trailer will be sitting for more than a few weeks. Then sanitize before filling when getting ready for the next trip.
In using the little pit cock drain often, I believe it will keep it operational and easier to use when needed. It seems to me that once the plastic valve dries out and seizes there is little to do except to replace it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:46 PM   #8
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I usually refill the freshwater tank after each trip. Since I have my own well, my water isn't chlorinated coming from the faucet, so I add about 1/4 cup of household bleach to the holding tank using a large syringe before filling. That will provide around 5-10 ppm of chlorine which is enough to prevent any bacterial growth yet not so strong as to overwhelm the activated charcoal portion of the drinking water filter.

It is rare that I camp in a location with city water so I do use the freshwater tank, and use it for drinking water as well, albeit using the Moen filtration system that was a factory item for my trailer.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
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The only time I have drained is for tank removal for axle alignment. Inspection showed it to be clean.

Being that it is in the dark, and filled with city water, I leave water in it. Nice to have some water when in storage for whatever use.

If I am pulling over mountains with steep climbs, I will let it go way down to save some weight as long as there is water available at my destination.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:52 PM   #10
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We never drain our fresh water tank. But then we go frequently... If we are home for more than a couple of weeks, I will periodically taste the water to make sure it's not getting funky, It never has. I feel like it's better to have at least some water in the tank and lines so that nothing dries out, especially in our climate... When we fill from our home supply we don't add anything since it's city water and chlorinated, but when we fill from a non-known source, I do add a weak bleach solution, just in case...we do use our for drinking and cooking, and we have never had a problem while using this routine... The only time we take additional water in water jugs is when we know we won't have a water source where we're camping ... or when we go to Mexico (and even there I doubt there would be a problem where we're staying).
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #11
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We plan to use at least once a month and weekly in the Fall (football season).
We use ours less than you plan to. We drain the fresh tank and hot water heater (then bypass it) when we winterize the system and then fill the lines with pink antifreeze. In the spring we sanitize the fresh water tank and the lines then refill the tank 2 times, leaving the drain open, to rinse the sanitizer out of the system. In between spring/summer opening and winterization, we just use it.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:20 PM   #12
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Since water weighs quite a bit we typically drain down to a few gallons before heading home. That way if we need to wash our hands or whatever then we have what we need.

Each time we add water we also add chlorine to prevent bacterial growth while parked or travelling. Since we do put chlorine bleach into the system, we feel safe letting it sit between outings.

We do drink and use the tank water for cooking, etc., but only after it goes through a 2 stage Doulton ( www.doulton.ca/rv ) water purification system that I installed in the counter top and has its own tap.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:21 PM   #13
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I don't like traveling with a half tank of fresh water because my fresh
water tank is mounted widthwise. I can feel the weight sloshing around while driving. I guess a smaller amount of water might be useful for long road trips.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #14
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We only go on one event a year where we carry a full tank of water. I always sanitize prior to that trip. We do carry a small amount as we travel, probably not more than 3 gallons or so. That allows us to use the toilet as we travel between campgrounds. Any water left in the tank is drained prior to the last leg of our trip home. At that point we refrain from using the toilet since I have no good disposal facility at home.

Other than that one annual event, everyplace we stay has a minimum hookup of water and electric.

Jack
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