Half-filled water tanks

Submitted: Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 10:38
ThreadID: 95332 Views:3200 Replies:13 FollowUps:8
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Our new van has a 92L water tank. To save on fuel costs, we don't always want to carry this much water. Will a half-filled tank sloshing about greatly affect how the van rides? Are these water tanks baffled in any way?
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 10:54

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 10:54
Peekay - In a nutshell, No & No.

Cheers - Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 11:53

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 11:53
Actually, the answer should be:

no & possibly - a lot of water tank have in built baffles
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 11:19

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 11:19
Is there any significant difference between travelling with a partly consumed tank or commencing your journey with a partly filled tank?

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 09:22

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 09:22
Are you pessimist or an optimist?? THAT is the question.

I think that one slipped by Allan
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Reply By: Racey - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 12:06

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 12:06
I doubt you would notice the difference in fuel when carrying an extra 46 KG. We always fill our tanks when possible, mainly because prefer to stay "off road"

Cheers
Racey
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Follow Up By: NTVRX - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 16:19

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 16:19
If you start your journey with the water tank half full then you are really starting a trip half empty!! Do you have 2 X 9KG Gas bottles fitted? You could take one of those off & there is 18KG saved if it's full of course.
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Reply By: Rod W - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 14:16

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 14:16
Talk about being tight!
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Reply By: GT Campers - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 14:37

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 14:37
Empty the ashtray, too...

Seriously, what you propose there Peekay will save you maybe 1L per 1000km. You would be much better looking at aero - you may find no roofracks on the towcar or A/C module on your van will save around 3 litre per 100km ...or around $12 per typical DAY
AnswerID: 484898

Reply By: Member - David Will (VIC) - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 16:14

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 16:14
I would carry the extra water as a back up, just in case you blow a hose or hole a radiator. Then you have lots of water for that purpose.

You never know!!

David
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

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Follow Up By: Member - Josh- Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 18:21

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 18:21
That's a good call David. We met a guy crossing the blue mountains. He was in an older nissan towing a large caravan (too big for his car IMHO). He had blown a radiator hose. There was steam going every where and it was whistling and crackling away. We pulled over to offer some help. He had blown the hose at the bottom of the hill and had topped it up with all the water he had in his thermos, which was about a cup full. I asked why he didn't use the water out of the van. He said it is to heavy for the car with water in the tanks, so they empty them before they head off. We topped him up and gave him some coolant. He didn't have anything to repair the hose with either so we fixed that.
We followed him into town and by the way the engine was whistling and making funny sounds I don't think he was going any further. All because he had no water in his van.
If it is that close them get a bigger car or smaller van.

Josh
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Reply By: PeterInSa - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 18:08

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 18:08
If you tour from caravan park to caravan park, carry less water, but if your a "see a great place to Free camp in your travels" to me you need to carry full tanks to take the opportunity to stay a day or 2 along the way.

Even when staying in CP's we use electic pump/water in our tanks rather than having a hose connected all the time( except in the past when we had an onboard washing machine.) Fill up the tanks prior to leaving the CP.

Peter
AnswerID: 484910

Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 18:24

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 18:24
Hi there PeeKay,
As already stated your fuel saving towing with an empty tank would probably be insignificant, but all unnecessary weight does add to fuel consumption.

When we had a van we travelled with both tanks empty when we planned to stay overnight in Caravan Parks. As to water sloshing around effecting the van ride I doubt it would have much of an impact. I reckon if the tanks were not baffled they would self destruct!! Maybe a check with your Van manufacturer as to whether or not the tank is baffled would answer your question. Cheers
AnswerID: 484911

Reply By: ed c1 - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 20:31

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 20:31
hi peekay,, the wife and i recently did the tow-ed course and were advised to travel with our tanks full (160 lt.) as it lowers the vans center of gravity making for safer travel..............travel safe ed c1
AnswerID: 484919

Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 21:14

Thursday, May 03, 2012 at 21:14
When you think about it – that makes a lot of sense.
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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 22:27

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 22:27
Another point on placement of water tanks, is that they can make for a more stable tow with them forward of the axle with the weight over the tow bar.

The one water tank listed by PeeKay won't keep two people in water for long, even just for drinking water. One week perhaps, even they didn't cook or shower with the water without topping up.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 06:11

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 06:11
If we are on a trip of 2 - 3 months we start out with a full tank 250lts, rain water only. By the time the trip is drawing to a end the tank is getting down and you can feel the diffenence on big hills.

We also have 2 x 20lt drums for showering which we top up on the way, and finally a barrel for clothes washing that only has enough water to do the job.

AnswerID: 484933

Reply By: olcoolone - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 08:39

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 08:39
If you have a 92 litre water tank and your only going to fill it half way to save fuel I think you need to forget about travelling...... 46 kilo's over a set up that may weigh 5500 kilo's all up isn't going to save you any fuel that's measurable..... I talking maybe 0.002 litres per hundred...... so on a 800 kilometre between fill fuel tank you might get an additional 1/2 a kilometre.

If your that concerned I would suggest you look at other ways of saving fuel like tyres, engine and gearbox oil... how your tow vehicle is set up and maybe the passengers body weight!

Adjusting your tyre pressure 1psi will give you better economy then saving 46 kilo's.





















AnswerID: 484943

Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Friday, May 04, 2012 at 09:26

Friday, May 04, 2012 at 09:26
We have a dual water/fuel long range tank behind the rear axle. If just going for a drive for a day or two into the high rocky areas we only put a few litres in the tank and remove all unwanted stuff from the car. Our car has a bad departure angle when fully loaded. So the less the better for the rocky areas.

But if it is a long trip the tank is filled up.
AnswerID: 484944

Reply By: PeeKay - Saturday, May 05, 2012 at 11:03

Saturday, May 05, 2012 at 11:03
Thanks everybody. We are new to this and had been told to conserve weight wherever possible - not just fuel. Both our van and tow vehicle are up to the task and I do realise that on any journey there will be times when a water tank is half-full (I'm an optimist!) Sorry if I sounded a little naive, but the main question was about the baffles. We were just curious about the physics of it.
AnswerID: 485035

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, May 05, 2012 at 11:31

Saturday, May 05, 2012 at 11:31
I think you will find good manufacturer's fit baffles to their tanks although they may not be obvious.

In the case of poly tanks the baffle is formed by a depression moulded in the top of the tank toward, but not touching the tank bottom. This baffle depression would not be visible on a tank installed below the van floor.

The depression baffle is visible in the picture below.

Image Could Not Be Found
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: PeeKay - Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 17:57

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 at 17:57
Many thanks Allan for this info. We'll check this out with the dealer.
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