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Old 06-06-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
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Another dumb newbie question about camping

When you go camping, do you fill up your water tanks before leaving your house, or do you wait until you get somewhere (the campground?) to fill them?

Water is heavy and we wondered if it was better to tow without the water?

Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Depends!!! On curcumstances not undergarments

We have often travelled empty to squeeze a few more MPG out of the tow vehicle. We were then at the mercy of the campground/local water supply for drinkable water. Some water is good - some not so good.

Most of our camping now is either wilderness boondocking (dry camping) or urban stealth camping (Walmart/costco parking lots). We travel with full tanks for convenience.

Our 17b entered production last week - so our days of stick-builts and slide-in truck campers is over.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

If you know that the campsite that you're going to has water, then we usually just carry enough water if someone needs to use the 'facilities'..

We also carry a collapsible water jug, just in case we need to fill it up from somewhere else on the road..

A lot of parks don't have traditional 'threaded' faucets, so we purchased something called a 'water thief'. It's a tapered rubber adapter that's threaded on one side for a hose. The tapered side fits over the non-threaded (usually tapered) faucet, that way you can use your water hose to fill up you tank..

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:26 PM   #4
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

We carry a 6G water jug with pour hose to top-up the fresh tank if we run low, because often we camp where the water source is too far from the trailer to use a hose. It's a pain lugging and pouring 6G of water, but beats moving the trailer.

For convenience, I put about 8G of water in the fresh tank before we go, to fill the hot water tank and pressurize the lines. Like Jeff said -- if needed, you can pull over and create your own "rest stop". And no, air-bleeding the water lines when we get to camp.

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Old 06-06-2011, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

All the above are good answers, here is a twist. I like good water, especially in my coffee. I do not trust campground water, not because of safety but for quality. Therefore, I carry a minimal amount of water in my tanks and fill up at the campground. But I really do not save because I also carry a five gallon water bottle, the type seen at your office cooler.

To make things easier I have added an easy to use pump.

The water bottle can be filled at many super markets. especially in those areas that have less than stellar water supplies.

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File Type: jpg water pump.jpg (17.9 KB, 39 views)
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #6
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Braun
I also carry a five gallon water bottle, the type seen at your office cooler.

To make things easier I have added an easy to use pump.

The water bottle can be filled at many super markets. especially in those areas that have less than stellar water supplies.

Very cool..

We also use a small PUR filter that we attached to the kitchen faucet and an inline filter on the water hose.

But you're suggestion is great as my other half used bottled water all the time, even though we have these filters.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Hi: All...Hauling water is also rolling weight. Once you get it going the diff. is negligeable. We have the best well water, softened by "The Culligan Man" and it makes the best darn coffee to boot. I won't leave home without it... full tank+ a 2 gal. bottle with a pour spout in the trailer. My water, my hose, my choice!!! Alf
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

I dump and clean our fresh water tank regularly (little clorox through the lines) so my tank doesn't have any mystery agents. Before each trip I fill her up with fresh water from our lawn hose (that I have run for a few minutes to make sure there are no critters in there). Now obviously, this is not what I would call "potable" water, so we only use it for showering, hand washing and the toilet (especially "in route" emergency potty stops). We take a 2 1/2 gallon (from the store) drinking water container, and lots of bottled water (I stock up when Kroger has a special)...the first for coffee and the other for drinking. Unless I had just sterilized my fresh water system, and used "clean" hoses to get my water from the house, I'm not sure I would actually drink it...just me.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

We travel with full a tank for convenience.
Plus 4, 5 gallon water jugs for our usually two week boondock camp spot.
Our Tug has a 5.4L engine.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Clorox to clean the tank. Fill up with filtered water from the faucet through the same hose I use at campgrounds. Filtered again at the sink. Start the trip with a full tank (for travel) and don't fill it again as long as we stay at campgrounds with water. WalMart showers use it up in two or three nights.

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Old 06-07-2011, 01:14 AM   #11
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

All very clever ideas! I am going to find a water thief and check out the water bottles with pump attachment, too.

Clorox in the tank... I would not have thought of that, either. I did not realize it needed sterilizing since only fresh water went into it.

This is good info -- thanks!
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:09 PM   #12
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

No need to overdo with the Clorox -- I've been told by several folks that 1/4~1/2 cup for 20 gallons will do the trick. Let sit for 12-24 hrs, do a thorough flush of system with clean water.

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Old 06-07-2011, 02:16 PM   #13
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

We sanitize the tanks once maybe twice per season.. probably not enough, but we're still alive!
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #14
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

We rarely travel with water in our tanks due to weight. We do take drinking water, though, in bottles that have no BPA. We don't drink much from the trailer tanks; I like getting water from those machines that so many grocery stores have these days (Paul Braun mentioned that also). We can refill our own bottles and don't have to keep buying more plastic. By the way, Kalyson, there are no dumb questions! It is great seeing all the different responses to a question like yours; there are so many good ideas and different ways of doing things! That's why this forum is so great; great contributors and lots to learn!

I think it is always important to think about weight distribution and sometimes partially filled water tanks, depending on where they are and how the rest of the trailer is loaded, can be dangerous. They can slosh around or the added weight in the wrong place can imbalance the load and can cause trailers to sway sometimes. I have heard a couple of horror stories about filled water tanks causing trailer sway. I think it is a matter of personal preference and observing how things work.

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Old 06-07-2011, 09:16 PM   #15
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Like others, we sometimes go with our tank full, sometimes not, but if you decide not to due to weight, REMEMBER to fill up before getting all unhitched and settled in, as many campgrounds do not have water at each site and you might have to haul water in a bucket and pour it in - as we have done due to forgetfulness! We carry a nice clean 3 gallon bucket for that and a "T" funnel I made.

Also like others, we do like our 'home water' which is well water, so we carry a few large water containers in the car, but the longer the trip the more 'relaxed' we get about drinking what is available, unless we know, taste or smell it isn't to our liking.

We have never used bleach in our tank and prefer not to. We do however use a Vodka/Water solution as our anti-freeze in the winter and I suspect not much grows in the tank while it is full of Vodka for several months!

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Old 06-07-2011, 09:45 PM   #16
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ
Like others, we sometimes go with our tank full, sometimes not, but if you decide not to due to weight, REMEMBER to fill up before getting all unhitched and settled in, as many campgrounds do not have water at each site and you might have to haul water in a bucket and pour it in - as we have done due to forgetfulness! We carry a nice clean 3 gallon bucket for that and a "T" funnel I made.

Also like others, we do like our 'home water' which is well water, so we carry a few large water containers in the car, but the longer the trip the more 'relaxed' we get about drinking what is available, unless we know, taste or smell it isn't to our liking.

We have never used bleach in our tank and prefer not to. We do however use a Vodka/Water solution as our anti-freeze in the winter and I suspect not much grows in the tank while it is full of Vodka for several months!

Penney
Bruce is right, it doesn't take much....1/4 cup is plenty in our tank. Now the vodka solution is interesting,,,keeps bacterial growth down in both the trailer and owner..while keeping both from freezing. Interesting!
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:07 AM   #17
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Hi: PJ...The only problem I can find with your water solution is I don't like that much water in my Vodka. Now extra spicey Clamato juice is another matter !!! Alf
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:26 PM   #18
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

One more question from a soon-to-be-newbie [we pick ours up in 18 days!]: do you rinse/flush the fresh water tank on first time use? Like with the bleach rinse?

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Old 06-08-2011, 02:29 PM   #19
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

I really notice the difference in towing the trailer with a full load of water. Acceleration goes away. I avoid hauling water when possible.

Our drinking water rides in several 1-gallon jugs that you buy drinking water in. We reuse them - filling them from dependable sources.

Not a remotely dumb question, by the way.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:15 PM   #20
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Re: Another dumb newbie question about camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by kksitte
One more question from a soon-to-be-newbie [we pick ours up in 18 days!]: do you rinse/flush the fresh water tank on first time use? Like with the bleach rinse?

K&KSitte
Unless Escape Industries does it for you (and I doubt that), your new fresh water tank has been through quite a construction process where cleanliness is less than sterility. If you plan on using your fresh water tank to carry drinking water, I would certainly run the bleach through 1st. Most as you can see from the responses, carry different water for drinking.
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