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Filling fresh tank at an angle?


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We just got back from our first dry camping trip, which was was awesome except for our fresh water situation: when we arrived and set up camp our fresh water tank meter read only 65%.

 

Before we left I filled the tank with the Ollie parked on the street in front of our house until water came out the overflow vent. I thought that was good but apparently it wasn't. Now the street in front of my house is at a decent angle, maybe 5-7% grade.* I had the Ollie parked with the nose pointing uphill, attached to my tow vehicle. My driveway is even steeper than the street is.

 

So my question for the forum is, do you have to fill the tank with the trailer level? And if so, what is to stop water from just coming out again when you drive up a hill?

 

* I haven't measured the angle of the street, but when we first brought the trailer home from Hohenwald and parked it on the street for a few days, I had to lower the hitch to just a couple of inches off the ground in order for the trailer to be level. Obviously the trailer was unhitched at that point.

 

I found a thread from last year about losing water out of the vent: http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/losing-precious-fresh-water-out-the-vent-on-rough-roads/ In it, Overland shared the following picture that shows the vent hose:

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Given that the vent is in the middle, I could see how in my situation water could be flowing out of the vent hose before the tank was all the way full. On the other hand, maybe I lost water due to bouncing up the gravel forest road to get to the campground.

 

Thoughts?

2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition

 

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I think water splashing out isn’t as much of an issue as making sure that you’re level when you fill the tank. When you fill angled towards the curb, air gets trapped in the tank since the overflow is on the curb side and there’s no where else for air to escape. So the water starts to overflow once that bubble gets sealed off. As shallow as our tanks are, the volume lost can be substantial, as you found out. When possible, I tilt the trailer a bit to the street side when filling just to make sure.

 

When traveling, you’d have to be at an angle that allows water to flow over the top of the drain line before it comes out, which would be pretty steep. Going up or down steeper inclines would be more of an issue than side to side because of the shape of the tank.

 

What I don’t know is how much can come out when making left hand turns and all the water sloshes to the right side. It seems to me that the volume of water in a full tank could push a good bit out of the overflow. On the other hand, air would have to come in at the same time so it would be like trying to pour fuel from one of those new EPA fuel cans.

 

I’ve thought about getting some sort of stopper for the opening but it probably isn’t necessary and I think a good point was made in the other thread about needing to keep the vent open for pressure changes. I still think a screen might be a good addition but that hasn’t made it on my to do list yet.

 

For what it’s worth, I’ve never noticed that we’ve lost water while traveling, but then I’ve never made it a point to check. Plus I’d have to lose 2-3 gallons before our gauge read anything other than 100%. Maybe I should start paying more attention.

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I have the exact same problem Rumline describes. I get the trailer out of storage, park it in front of our house, and fill the tank. Our street has a very steep slope to the curb. When we get to our destination and level the trailer we have 60-65% full tank.

 

My solution is based on a post I saw several years ago (See Tip number 4), of using boards for leveling. I cut angles on 2 x 8 boards and put drive the trailer up on them. The only photo I have is of two boards under the curbside wheels.

 

IMG_1861.thumb.jpg.a390d7a59d85fe12935ae1441c18c9cd.jpg

Two boards was not enough, so I tried three boards, and I am now using four boards which seems to level the trailer. That should be about six inches. Like I said, my street has a steep slope.

 

I used long wood screws to attach the boards together. Although the original post suggested carrying these boards for leveling at campsites, I do not. The boards stay at home.

 

 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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As others have stated you need to have the Oliver level for two reasons. If not level the indicator will provide you with a false reading on just how much water is in the tank, but also an out of level water tank will not allow for proper filling. You should have this luxury at home, but at other places where you are filling the fresh water tank its a bit of a crap shoot to have a level trailer while filling the tank.

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Legacy Elite II #70

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Thanks for the replies. I hadn't considered the importance of being level laterally, or even slightly higher on the curb side. And David thank you for reminding me of the board leveling method. I'd ruled out such a solution for traveling but just keeping them in the garage at home wouldn't be much of a burden.

 

Un-hitching, leveling, and then re-hitching is a hassle I'd prefer to avoid, but for boondocking having a full water tank is more important.

2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition

 

AZCACOGAKSMONMTNWYsm.jpg

 

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Un-hitching, leveling, and then re-hitching is a hassle I’d prefer to avoid, but for boondocking having a full water tank is more important.

 

I don't unhitch when parked in front of my house. I pull the trailer on the boards, and leave the car hitched.

 

I agree, a full tank is important when boondocking!

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Where exactly on the fresh water tank is the See Level II sender located? (As in front, middle, side, rear.) That info would be very helpful when filling before venturing out where there is no water.

Ruth

Dave and Ruth


Hull 316


2018 LE2

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Where exactly on the fresh water tank is the See Level II sender located? (As in front, middle, side, rear.) That info would be very helpful when filling before venturing out where there is no water.

Ruth

 

The sending unit is stuck to the outside of the tank at the rear.  It should be visible through the street side forward hatch under the bed.  It will look like a green circuit board glued to the side of the tank with a couple of wires coming off the bottom.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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I wouldn't trust the sensor though, since it will read 100% before you're full. Mine will say 100% with ~28 gallons in the tank, and says zero when I still have ~2 gallons left - probably because the sensor is slightly smaller than the tank so it doesn't register the amount above or below it's sensors.

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