donít tow with partial tank fresh water? / sloshing - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-29-2017, 12:05 PM   #1
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Question donít tow with partial tank fresh water? / sloshing

Hi all

if I recall correctly the Escape 2017 21’ manual suggests that it is best to NOT tow with a partially full fresh water tank. Tow with it either full, or empty, with the reason being that a partially full fresh water tank can lead to sloshing around, and some weight instability. (I’m paraphrasing)

The issue is that we generally tow with a little water in the fresh tank (maybe a 1/4 tank) to make toilet flushing and hand washing on the road possible.

Are folks here concerned with fresh water sloshing around?

FWIIW i dont tow with anything other than a little in the black and grey tanks…. generally.

The related issue is that when we are driving afternoon and evening on a Friday night from home to a remote boon docking site for the weekend, (or a long weekend) our options then become tow with fresh tank full, so hauling about 240 lbs of water (28 gallons with the tank full) to our weekend boon docking destination, or…. try to find fresh water somewhere along the way, hope it works, hope it didn’t close at 5 pm, or whatever…..

We travel light and pack carefully, so i’m not concerned about being over weight, overall, in any way…..

Just curious to know what people think about towing with 1/4 or 1/2 full fresh water tank, and the sloshing / weight issue.

vs hauling 240 lbs of water (a full fresh tank) for 2-5 hours of driving.

thanks.

John
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:12 PM   #2
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John, I have only my own experience, but with our 17B we almost always traveled with 1/3 to 1/2 full fresh tanks and experienced nary a hint of sway in many thousands of miles. Usually we would also have both of our 5 gallon Reliant water totes full in the back of the tow. In your situation going somewhere where I knew there would be no water, I'd travel with the fresh tank full and both 5 gallon totes full. Again, only my experiences and opinions - and you know what opinions are worth!
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:21 PM   #3
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Never been an issue here and have partial tank most of the time. Not sure if it would be any different on a 19
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:33 PM   #4
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Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
John, I have only my own experience, but with our 17B we almost always traveled with 1/3 to 1/2 full fresh tanks and experienced nary a hint of sway in many thousands of miles. Usually we would also have both of our 5 gallon Reliant water totes full in the back of the tow. In your situation going somewhere where I knew there would be no water, I'd travel with the fresh tank full and both 5 gallon totes full. Again, only my experiences and opinions - and you know what opinions are worth!
Hi Eric:
That's exactly how I operate too except I have three 5 gallon jugs and decant with a zodi pump powered by my battery pack. Rita carries two and I carry one and a 12 oz bottle. ( For Priming).
Dave
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:40 PM   #5
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...12 oz bottle. ( For Priming).
Dave
Yah I know what that 12 oz bottle is priming!
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:04 PM   #6
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I can't imagine that with two axles and four tires sloshing around water in either tank would cause any trailer instability.
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:09 PM   #7
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I have towed 3 Escapes with partially filled fresh tanks over 20,000 miles without incident. I always have 1/3-2/3 tank when traveling. Not sure what the manual was referring to.
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Hi all



...Just curious to know what people think about towing with 1/4 or 1/2 full fresh water tank, and the sloshing / weight issue...


John
I've towed my 17B with 1/3 a tank of fresh water on every trip with no problems, and most of that was towing with a little RAV4.
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:31 PM   #9
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When I picked up Ten Forward at Sumas, the freshwater tank was about 1/3 full. If the "rules" are to tow empty or completely full, you'd think it would have been one or the other.
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
I can't imagine that with two axles and four tires sloshing around water in either tank would cause any trailer instability.
I have done it hundreds of times with no ill effect. I often travel with a bit in reserve to handle water usage along the way, expecting to have water at the final destination.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:07 PM   #11
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I have always been impressed by how well my Escape 21 tows; it is almost always rock-stable. However, the only exceptions have been this situation, when I have had the fresh water tank partially full. Apparently a truck passing the trailer on a highway can set up a resonance that makes the water slosh sideways and not stop. The effect is quite unnerving-- the first time it happened to me I thought I had a flat tire and pulled over to see. So I think Escape's instructions on this matter are precisely correct: either have the tank completely full or empty when possible. If that's not practical, then having a few gallons of fresh water shouldn't provide enough mass to create the instability.

This instability has happened to me only a few times; conditions have to be just right for the sloshing resonance to occur. For instance, I returned from Jackson, Mississippi to my house yesterday with a mostly but not quite full fresh water tank and had no problems.

I try to travel with the fresh water tank full and the other tanks empty, since I never know if I will have a good supply of water or a suitable dump station at my destination.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I have always been impressed by how well my Escape 21 tows; it is almost always rock-stable. However, the only exceptions have been this situation, when I have had the fresh water tank partially full. Apparently a truck passing the trailer on a highway can set up a resonance that makes the water slosh sideways and not stop. The effect is quite unnerving-- the first time it happened to me I thought I had a flat tire and pulled over to see. So I think Escape's instructions on this matter are precisely correct: either have the tank completely full or empty when possible. If that's not practical, then having a few gallons of fresh water shouldn't provide enough mass to create the instability.

This instability has happened to me only a few times; conditions have to be just right for the sloshing resonance to occur. For instance, I returned from Jackson, Mississippi to my house yesterday with a mostly but not quite full fresh water tank and had no problems.

I try to travel with the fresh water tank full and the other tanks empty, since I never know if I will have a good supply of water or a suitable dump station at my destination.
I wonder how much tow vehicle and hitch affect instability from water moving. With a full size Chevy P/U and Reese hitch with sway control I have never noticed anything like this. I can feel a semi passing but not much. We always tow with at least some (1/4 -1/3 fresh) when on the road. Often fill up on the way in if there are no hookups.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:09 PM   #13
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Like others, I just load up fresh water for expected needs plus margin, until I figure I can get to a source of water. Conversely, Lightning tows best imho, when she has 1/2 full waste tanks.


I have not had the resonance Mike speaks of, but I do cringe when meeting up with the long haul hay trucks on the flatlands.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I have always been impressed by how well my Escape 21 tows; it is almost always rock-stable. However, the only exceptions have been this situation, when I have had the fresh water tank partially full. Apparently a truck passing the trailer on a highway can set up a resonance that makes the water slosh sideways and not stop. The effect is quite unnerving-- the first time it happened to me I thought I had a flat tire and pulled over to see. So I think Escape's instructions on this matter are precisely correct: either have the tank completely full or empty when possible. If that's not practical, then having a few gallons of fresh water shouldn't provide enough mass to create the instability.

This instability has happened to me only a few times; conditions have to be just right for the sloshing resonance to occur. For instance, I returned from Jackson, Mississippi to my house yesterday with a mostly but not quite full fresh water tank and had no problems.

I try to travel with the fresh water tank full and the other tanks empty, since I never know if I will have a good supply of water or a suitable dump station at my destination.
I concur with the OP, this is what it says in my 21 manual also. Full or empty. I also think that this was something that the Lawyers put in there to absolve ETI of any responsibility in the case of just what Mike described above should happen. I could see where this would be a real problem, especially for some one that likes to tow at 75-80 mph and above like I have read on some forums (here to). For those of us who tow at more comfortable speeds, I don't think this would be a bother. I towed back from Chilliwack, most of the way with a 1/4 tank of FW.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:11 PM   #15
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I like to have a third of a tank of fresh water on board and I never have noticed a thing. The trailer tows like it's glued to you with or without the WD hitch. But the hitch does eliminate a little bounce. Loren
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:17 PM   #16
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Mike,
Are you towing with an Andersen or other w/d set up when this happens?
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I have always been impressed by how well my Escape 21 tows; it is almost always rock-stable. However, the only exceptions have been this situation, when I have had the fresh water tank partially full. Apparently a truck passing the trailer on a highway can set up a resonance that makes the water slosh sideways and not stop. The effect is quite unnerving-- the first time it happened to me I thought I had a flat tire and pulled over to see. So I think Escape's instructions on this matter are precisely correct: either have the tank completely full or empty when possible. If that's not practical, then having a few gallons of fresh water shouldn't provide enough mass to create the instability.

This instability has happened to me only a few times; conditions have to be just right for the sloshing resonance to occur. For instance, I returned from Jackson, Mississippi to my house yesterday with a mostly but not quite full fresh water tank and had no problems.

I try to travel with the fresh water tank full and the other tanks empty, since I never know if I will have a good supply of water or a suitable dump station at my destination.
I tow my 21 with all different amounts of fresh water in the tank and have never noticed any instability. But
My cousin drove a large milk truck that picked up the milk at the dairies. The tanks are not baffled so cleaning is possible. He tells me the horror stories when a partly filled tank gets a mind of Its own. It happens when he would brake too hard and milk would first slam into front then proceed to slosh back and forth in a motion that would keep going, not allow the truck to stop at the light/stop sigh and push him into the intersection with full braking.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:47 PM   #18
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One of the reasons those milk trucks flying around the corners of our country road scare the hell outta me when we are out bicycling.
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:10 PM   #19
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:23 PM   #20
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An Escape is not nearly a milk truck but I can believe that there could be a problem in some situations with the tank half full. We usually have some water but not a lot.
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