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Old 11-29-2020, 04:58 PM   #1
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Partially Fill Fresh Water

Iím a new travel trailer owner so have many basic questions. Because of tongue weight considerations there will be situations where I need to only partially fill the fresh water tank. Is there an easy way to somehow measure the amount of water being added? (Other than just referencing the tank level sensors..)
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:25 PM   #2
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Any one of these once you get calibrated vs your tsnk gauge.
https://www.amazon.com/Orbit-56854-H...49413728&psc=1
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Old 11-29-2020, 06:18 PM   #3
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Find your fresh water tank capacity in your owners manual, then measure height of your tank in inches. Divide capacity by that number of inches then mark your tank in one inch marks. Then you know how many gallons are in tank by observing those marks on your tank. (print gallons beside the inch mark)

I assume your fresh water tank is under the bed in the front of the trailer. That is a consideration if your fully-loaded trailer weighs to much for the tow vehicle. Sadly RV sales people do not know/or care the empty trailer weight is useless when deciding what the tow vehicle can safely handle.
I have a cousin who had to trade up to a 3/4T pickup for this reason.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:27 PM   #4
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As winemaker suggests, get a counter. Fill tank, now you know how many gallons it takes, fill accordingly. 8.34 lbs per gallon.
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:30 PM   #5
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Would filling fresh water tank put you overweight?
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:27 PM   #6
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Figure out how much your truck can handle and how long the hose needs to fill a 5gal bucket. Do some math and fill it up, partially.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:49 PM   #7
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Any one of these once you get calibrated vs your tsnk gauge.
https://www.amazon.com/Orbit-56854-H...49413728&psc=1
That is such a good idea that I just ordered one.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:58 PM   #8
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As a rule I always try to carry at least 1/2 tank full of water incase we have to spend an unexpected night in a dry camp somewhere or a breakdown, etc.

I will sometimes use the same water meter to get to a certain fill point. But in reality I don't really notice any difference in milage with 1/2 vs full water tank. I'd be concerned if a full water tank put me over weight.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:03 PM   #9
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Use a water meter. I had the same concern with my 80 gallon tank when headed out into the mountains, but knew I would have water source. I started draining the tank when appropriate then refill with 20 gallons.

I got my water meter from amazon. "P3 P0550 Water Meter"
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:24 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the input! Winemaker2 - Good idea!
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:25 PM   #11
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As a rule I always try to carry at least 1/2 tank full of water incase we have to spend an unexpected night in a dry camp somewhere or a breakdown, etc.

I will sometimes use the same water meter to get to a certain fill point. But in reality I don't really notice any difference in milage with 1/2 vs full water tank. I'd be concerned if a full water tank put me over weight.
Going out on desert trips I'll carry full tanks (2@50). We offer outside showers to friends and their kids who tent camp or don't have extra water and even doing so end up having at least 20 gallons extra or so on the return trip.

Cross country trips I try and keep it around half full but to be honest you can't feel the weight while towing either way. In the grand scheme of having a 7,500lbs trailer or so a few hundred pounds isn't going to make it faster or slower, more or less efficient.
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:17 AM   #12
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Figure out how much your truck can handle and how long the hose needs to fill a 5gal bucket. Do some math and fill it up, partially.
Many RVs have a tank-fill position on the water inlet and the rate the tank fils is much slower than what the hose is capable of supplying. The above method will work if you have a direct fill port but usually the rate the direct fill port takes is less than full hose flow capability. I don't have one yet, but plan to get one, but if uncertain of the flow meters suggested above is in question, test it with the 5 gallon bucket.

With my previous truck, Ram 3500 SRW diesel, weight was an issue and with other loading I wanted to do, fuel etc., I needed to reduce fresh water loading. With the DRW that shouldn't be an issue but for my information, some trips to the scales are on tap. Actually knowing what you weigh in various configurations is much better than guessing or relying on what someone else tells you they think it will be.
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Winemaker2 View Post
Any one of these once you get calibrated vs your tsnk gauge.
https://www.amazon.com/Orbit-56854-H...49413728&psc=1
Thanks for posting that! I didn't even know those existed. I just ordered one. I've been lifting up to bed to look at the tank as I partially fill it, this will be much easier.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:16 AM   #14
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I travel with about 1/3rd tank of water. We boondock on our way to destinations and that's more water than I ever use.
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