Towing w/ Full Fresh Water Tank (14DBS)

Started by randmun5, May 30, 2019, 08:22:55 PM

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I love my Camp Lite 14DBS but have so far only filled up the fresh water tank upon arriving at the campground. The fresh water tank (?26 Gallons??) seems to be held in place by three aluminum 'straps' that go across bottom of the tank and are screwed into the frame. I was worried about the stress on those straps and screws at 65mph and the full weight (216 lbs) of the water.

What do other Camp Lite owners do? Do you tow your camper with full water tanks?


I try to travel with the water tanks 1/4 full or less and fill up at the campground. It probably can take the weight of a full tank, but.....



I know of two people that had strap failures so I wouldn't risk it.  I had my straps reinforced and only put about 5 to 8 gallons in for travel. Better safe then sorry.


Thank you Mitch and David for the responses. I'm going to follow your advice and go with 1/4 full [7 gallons yields 58lbs (8.3lbs/gallon)] so we have some water for washing or a bathroom emergency. Those straps do seem rather suspect for the stress of travel.


Are the 14's just straps?
My 16TBS has 3 roughly 1x2 aluminum rectangle tubes supporting the fresh water tank. 


My 2013 16 TBS has three 1/4" x 2" aluminum straps that support the weight of the water tank. They really just support at the outside bottom corners of the tank as that aluminum won't support any weight in its middle. But the tank looks strong enough itself to carry the load and if the straps themselves are attached securely at the frame, I think it will be ok full of water.

But towing with 1/4 full is safer.



Towing with no water is safer still ;)
BUT- we have been in several areas in the US west where you better have a full tank as many campgrounds have NO water.  Some have water at a hand pump not near the roads so that is tedious to refill a bucket and a decent walk back to where you could get a camper.   I remember one in particular that took a dozen long strokes on a 4ft handle to even start getting water, and if you quit pumping for 5 seconds you had to start all over- WHEW!

Curious does your tank have a flat bottom- the tank in my 16TBS is designed to be suspended by the perimeter lips and that is NOT how LL mounted it. 
The tank has a molded in trough on the bottom that they crushed by using under supports >:(

Gonna start a thread about that over on


The tank supports are a design weakness. especially if the supports were not welded or installed carefully.    On my 14DB, the supports are not bent and are attached firmly to the trailer frame with three screws on each side of the support.  However, I have seen pictures on forum posts where the welds are bad or the supports are not firmly attached.  On some of the platinum camplites with the enclosed bottom, they only attached the supports with two screws on each side.   Because my supports look solid, I regularly tow long distances on unpaved roads with a full tank of water and have not had any major issues. The large tank was one of the reasons I bought a camplite.     

Just to be safe,  I check the supports after each trip just to make sure they look good and drive gingerly over cattle guards, potholes, and curb cuts.  Once, I noticed a screw was a little loose, so I taped a new hole to add a stronger bolt and lock washer. 

Chuck Pgh

Upgrading my 2013 7x18 to stiffen the center fresh water support i removed.  Although the screws were tight for all 3 straps, the center support sagged in the middle more than 2 inches with just 1/4 tank.  So i removed it and installed a 36 inch long set of parallel support bars across tank width to support the entire tank bottom between the other 2 supports that didnt sag much being near the tank ends.  Also ordered a 2-5/8th inch dexter lift kit for both axles that ill put on next week to give me more offroad clearance since i boondock when atv riding.   I also built a 15 gal fresh water ABS pipe loop for the roofrack on my 4Runner for warm showers when i boondock.