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Hi all,

This may seem a silly question but I haven't seen it asked yet so here it is...

How long can water sit in the fresh water tank before it needs draining? My dealer filled up our tank to test systems for the walk through and now it just sits in there. It will have been sitting about 3 weeks before we can take out our trailer. Do I need to drain it so it doesn't become stagnant??

Thanks

Bob
 

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Bob,

There is a article I read a few years ago about how long chlorine remains effective in water. I am trying hard to locate it again. I believe that after a few days the effectiveness of chlorines ability to provide disinfectant capabilties is greatly diminished. I know that UV light rapidly degrades the concentration on chlorine.

Until I can find the facts, this is what I personally would do. I would not be using water if it has been sitting for three weeks. If I am not planning on using the water for just a few days, I drain the tank. If you have been adding water tank chemicals during that time to keep the disinfectant values up, then it may be fine. Put it this way, if you left a glass of water on the counter for three weeks, would you drink it? It is relatively easy to drain the tank and superchlorinate it every now and then to kill any residual bacteria.
If you want to take the chance of old water, you might want to stock up on some toilet paper.
It is better to be safe in my opinion.

If I can find the article soon, I will post it for you.

I am sure someone out there may have a connection that is a water expert.

Happy camping,

Kevin
 

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I'd probably drain it. Could be just fine, but warm water can get nasty too. I empty my fresh water and hot water after trips most of the time, and always if the water didn't come off a city system.
 

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I too left mine in there out of ignorance when I first got the unit. I actually let it sit in there for about 6 weeks. Needless to say the water tasted funny and was soon dumped.

I immediately did the super-chlorination of the tank, flush, flush, followed by dumping 1 whole box of baking soda into the tank and let it sit 24 hours. Then flushed again. It's good now and I won't make this mistake again. I dump as soon as I get home and store with it empty.

Think of this. What conditions does bacteria LOVE in order to thrive. Damp, dark, hot places. In the hot summer your tank could be a bacteria factory.
 
G

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All good advice. Just think of your fresh water tank as a big canteen. How long would you leave water in there? There are a lot of factors( is the water clorinated, what is the ambient temperature, how long has it been since your tank was super-chlorinated), but it's not woth taking any chances IMHO.

Happy camping,

Gary
 

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Sensai said:
how long has it been since your tank was super-chlorinated),
I'm lost in confusion! Are you supposed to chlorinate your water in your tank?
We're still new at this too.
 

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GM,

I always put some water chemicals in, this keeps the water fresh and has a residual amount of chlorination to help keep things safe. If you fill up with treated water from a municipal water sytem, it should have about 0.6 ppm of chlorine in it. This is a good thing and should be fine for a few days. Filling from a well system that has no treatment is different, a well system can contain some unwanted critters, usually not a problem if it is used quickly and not left to long. If I was using well water I would definately be adding treatment.
I buy some stuff from Wal-Mart called drinking water refresher, I believe it has sodium hyprochlorite in it (chlorine product). I believe it is 1 capful for every 20 gallons. When I clean my fresh tank (superchlorinate) I use some pool shock from my pool, I buy what is called vinyl pool shock and dissolve about 1 tablespoon and dump it in while filling and let the tank sit full overnight, then drain and flush.

Theoretically you probably can not do anything and be fine. To me it is easy to do and makes me feel better when I run the water and can very faintly smell the chlorine, maybe it is overkill, maybe not. That is just what I do. In today's world everyone wants a sanitary environment. When I was a kid I would drink from the creek that ran through a cow pasture, you wouldn't see me doing that today. We have much more knowledge today than a few years ago, whether it is for the good or not I don't know.

Hope his helps a little.

Kevin
 

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No need to add chlorine to your holding tank, it's already in the city water. However the chlorine will lose it's antiseptic effects in a fairly short period of time. This is why you should dump your fresh water when you get home and keep the tank empty when not in use.

The super-chlorination is a process used when you feel the tank needs to be cleaned. I add about 1 cup of chlorine bleach (clorox) into the empty holding tank then fill with water. When the tank is full turn on each of your faucets until you smell the chlorine then let it sit for at least 5 hours.

When finished drain the tank and refill / flush until you are satisfied it's OK. If you still have a problem with taste or odor you can add 1 whole box of baking soda to the tank then fill and run the faucets as above. Let this sit 24 hours, then drain and flush again. You will be fresh as a spring daisy
 

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I use the same process as Jim. This is only my first full summer and I plan to "sanitize" the fresh tank each spring when I am getting the TT ready for the season like I did this spring. I think the owners manual recommends once a year.

Of course I will sanitize more often if needed.
 

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We have made it a habit to keep the fresh water full in-between trips in case there is an emergency. We are in CA and are expecting an earthquake any day now and 40 gal of water could be a really good thing, but it sounds like we will need to be much more diligent with the fresh water sterilization. We have been draining just before any trips and refilling and so far we have been OK.
 

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I don't use any chemicals and I fill mine up at the beginning of summer and leave it full all summer. We've never drank from the sink so it's only used for washing hands etc, but we're almost always connected to the campground water. Now if I'm going on a trip, I'll drain, fill, flush, and refill to about 1/3 before we leave and that's how much I tow with. Been doing this for years with no problems. Just had the bottom off the camper and it looked clean as a whistle.
 

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Last thing I do before I leave a campground is do a walk-a-around on the Outback...check hitch...tires..etc. Then as I walk back to the truck I flip the valve under the Outback to drain the water tank. I never leave water in the tank while it is in storage.

We don't drink from the Outback tank, but I figure better safe than sorry. One "unit" of water is 748 gallons and costs $2.37 where I live. I can fill up the Outback all summer long for around $1.50.

Makes you think how overcharged you are for that bottled water eh?
 

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I too left mine in there out of ignorance when I first got the unit. I actually let it sit in there for about 6 weeks. Needless to say the water tasted funny and was soon dumped.

I immediately did the super-chlorination of the tank, flush, flush, followed by dumping 1 whole box of baking soda into the tank and let it sit 24 hours. Then flushed again. It's good now and I won't make this mistake again. I dump as soon as I get home and store with it empty.

Think of this. What conditions does bacteria LOVE in order to thrive. Damp, dark, hot places. In the hot summer your tank could be a bacteria factory.
I absolutely agree, 100%. I super-chlorinate the tank and water system every spring, after flushing the anti-freeze out of the lines. Once the lines are filled with the chlorinated water, I let it sit for a few hours (I bypass the HW heater and leave it open all winter, to prevent any funky stuff going on there, but fill it with the chlorinated water when sanitizing the system). I follow that up with the baking soda, then pump that through the system and let it sit a couple hours - then flush everything with clear water and drain the tank, the lines, and the HW heater, leaving the system open until we are ready to go camping. The baking soda absorbs the chlorine flavor and plastic taste from the water lines and the tank.

In addition, I drain the water tank, the lines, and the HW heater (and an under-sink water filter) after a camping trip, if I think it will not be used within 2 weeks. I just drain the HW heater, then remove the low point drain caps and open all faucets inside (and the outside sink). (I installed a brass drain valve with a wing-nut type of drain valve built into it, so I do not have to remove the drain plug any more - just unscrew the valve. Very handy!)

As someone else stated - better safe than sorry! (And there is no telling what might be in the water source from various campgrounds - or the water from your dealership. It surprises me that they didn't drain the tank before you took possession. Aside from the health concern, water is weight, which reduces your fuel economy.)

PS: I also carry a bottle of bleach in the Outback. If I fill my water tank at a state park or other campground where I do not know if the water source is treated, I add a few ounces of bleach - just to be safe. My under-sink water filter removes the chlorine taste and odor for coffee, tea, and cooking. (There is a reason why the state (Illinois) requires all campgrounds and other public water systems to be tested four times per year - water sources can become contaminated.)

Mike
 

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I don't drain our tank until we get back home. Having water with you during the drive home may come in handy. A flat tire can cause a mess on your hands. Having water in the camper enables you to clean up, then continue on. Truck over heats and you need water, you got it as long as you're carrying water in the camper. Lots of positives about carrying water with you at all times. Its easy to forget how important water is to everyday living, until you're without it.
 

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Thanks Jim !

Just been doing my thing: work, family, mucho kid stuff, etc... But most importantly...still Outbackin!

Just got back from Yosemite and we're heading for Yellowstone in the trusty 28BHS in August. That thing has survived the test of time and is doing well.

Congrats on keeping the high standards here at the site which seems to be doing well.

Keep on truckin'

Jim
 
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