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Old 07-03-2014, 07:53 AM   #1
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Leaving water tank full or empty

We are not retired yet and leave our 5er in storage for months. My trailer place says to drain the water tank and got water heater if I leave it for over 30 days. We least full last winter and the water smell really really bad.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:26 AM   #2
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This is from my owner manual for sanitizing

Sanitize the fresh water tank and piping approximately every
three months, and whenever the motor home sits for a prolonged
period. This will discourage the growth of bacteria and
other organisms that can contaminate the water supply. Use a
chlorine/fresh water rinse as follows:
1. Prepare a solution of 1/4-cup household liquid chlorine bleach
(5% sodium hypochlorite) to one gallon of water for each 15
gallons of tank capacity.
2. Close drain valves and faucets, pour the chlorine solution into
the exterior fresh water tank filler spout, and complete filling
with fresh water.
3. Turn water pump switch ON. (Be sure you have 12-volt DC
power.) Open all faucets individually until water flows steadily,
then turn them off. This will purge any air from the lines.
4. Top off water tank with fresh water and wait three hours.
5. Drain the entire system by opening all fresh water tank
valves, faucets, and plumbing line drain valves.
6. Flush the system with drinking quality water. Let the fresh
water flow through the system for several minutes to flush out
the chlorine solution.
7. After you stop the flushing, close the tank valve, faucets, and
drain valves. You can now fill the tank with fresh water, and
the system is ready to use.

We don't have a freeze problem in our area so I normally leave water in the tank, about 1/2 full with a cup of bleach. I drive it about every 6 weeks and the water sloshes around with the motion. That is probably not a easy method with a 5'r.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:43 AM   #3
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I have a 5er and I never have water in my holding tank when in storage. Water will go bad if it is left to sit exposed in the atmosphere after a while. Then it is harder to clean the water tank after algae and bacteria build up in this tank also. In fact my holding tanks are usually empty too; almost complete empty when we travel. I do not like towing additional weight that is unnecessary to carry. Consider that water weights over 8 LBS/gallon and you could have between 900 and 1000 LBS of weight with all of the holding tanks; if they are full on a trailer. The water tank alone will contribute at least 320 LBS of weight to this figure.

Just my $0.02.

Jim W.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
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I'm with Jim W, I tow virtually empty dumping waste tanks before travel and rolling with just a few gallons of water for on the road use. It's not just all that added weight, that liquid is moving so you've got hundreds of pounds of shifting weight. Between November and our February departure for Fla the tanks are drained, the water heater (drained with anode removed) is on bypass and all lines filled with antifreeze. Then I flush them out and sanitize for the season. Just skip the winterizing in the warm climates but drain the system and tanks.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
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We, on the other hand always travel with at least 3/4 of a tank of fresh water. And we use it frequently. You just need to sanitize your fresh water tank and all will be well. We are full timers so our water supply cycles frequently. If we only used our RV occasionally, we would drain the fresh water tank.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:16 PM   #6
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I chlorinate a little and leave my tank full (100ga) for earthquake emergency supply. Change it every 90 days. I travel with 75 gallons. I know my water is good. Never know about the water at your next stop.
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