Thinking of building a water trailer

I’m thinking two 330 gallon IBC totes mounted on the smallest aluminum tandem trailer I can find/have built. Brakes are a must, obviously. Camlocks on my machine so I can disconnect from the regular buffer tank and pull straight from the totes.

I’ve run a couple wells dry so far this year. No major issues caused like burned up well pumps or overly upset customers; but it bums me out, and I’m nervous that it’s only a matter of time before I cause a serious complication. I’m in too rural an area to just turn down all jobs that are on a well, like some of y’all may suggest.

The goal of the the trailer would be to significantly supplement the customer’s water supply, but not be a complete substitute. It’d probably only get used a couple times per month when I get larger jobs on a well.

The Tacoma is rated to pull 6500 lbs. 660 gals + tanks and trailer weight should come a bit under that.


I’ve thought about it too but it’s pretty much impossible to know when it would be worth hauling. Some wells have extraordinary flow, and a lot don’t. When they aren’t good, I run through my injector the whole time, which is in the loop of my injector bypass. I don’t know the actual flow, but it’s definitely significantly less than full flow. You could also idle your machine some to cut flow, as you know.

I don’t know, it just has never been worth it for me to deal with having another piece of equipment to maintain, store, and pay for insurance/registration/inspection on. Maybe you’ll come up with a creative way to make it not a big pain in the rear…

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You may want to check on military surplus water buffalo or water wagons. They come up for sale often, basically it is a tank on wheels. If you aren’t getting your totes for free, you might want to entertain the idea of just getting one larger tanks for simplicity and less plumbing.

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If you go aluminum, Make sure it’s way over rated.

The welds on them usually crack over time… All the aluminum horse trailers ive had, usually need repair welds often

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Are you sure the Tacoma can pull that much considering the weight you have on there already. Figure the trailer going to weigh in close to 1000lbs at least with say 50lbs each tote, then water at 8.5 lbs/gal. But even if you could carry 500 gal it would help you.

But I know my 2500 which can tow like 14k lbs; with the 3k lbs on the truck, I can sure feel it when I’m pulling the trailer which weighs around 6500 lbs, especially when braking.


yeah check your GVWR on the truck to make sure you can haul all that legally. ITs something like truck weight plus payload plus trailer weight and trailer payload. Legally you can’t exceed it and If I remember correctly it is on the inside of your truck door jamb. In some states you can’t exceed certain weight capacities without a CDL, have no idea what your state is, or mine for that matter. I do have a CDL though.

Rent a water tender(swimming pool filler upper guy) or just don’t wash houses on a well

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So having been in the military, I had to look this one up.

A standard ‘water buffalo’ weighs between 2200 and 2900 empty. They have a capacity of 400 gallons.


On a side note, I have a 2006 4runner with the 4.0 six. I was pulling around a small camper, probably 3500# max. Frankly even with trailer brakes it struggled, I wouldn’t want to go much more than that.

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An Isuzu elf flat deck is calling out your name Alex.


I had a job yesterday afternoon (I got rained out Friday). It was on town water, but apparently the most restrictive plumbing setup in town. I idle back to ~2500-2800 rpm and use the size 40 nozzles from my old machine. It sucks, but at least it was a small house.

(Ironically, a water tank would not have been feasible for this location, since it was right on a main road with a tight, steep, short driveway. I could’ve parked on the sidewalk, I suppose; very narrow section of road.)

Idling back will be much more fuel efficient than just running through your injector the whole time. If you have a tach on your machine, check and see what the speed is with the injector in line, then just throttle back to that speed. (Mine bogs to around 3200 rpm with an undersized injector).

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I need to go down to the transfer station and get the truck weighed. I’m guessing that I’m a bit overweight with the tanks full. I would need to empty the buffer before pulling anything else.

500 gallons would probably be a safer limit for me. I know the Tacoma will struggle with that much, but this really would only be once or twice a month that I’d need it.

I’d love an Isuzu NPR/Elf, @MuscleMyHustle, but it’d be complete overkill for 95% of the work I do. When Truck Norris is paid off in another 3-4 years, I might start considering larger vehicle options. :man_shrugging:

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I don’t have one but that’s a great idea.

This is the one I’m using (great so far):

This is probably more my speed (granted, one tonne won’t get me much further in terms of water hauling capacity, but I’ve always wanted one of these):

A Toyota Dyna would probably make (slightly) more sense. Restricted to importing only 25+ year old vehicles here in the States, though.

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Doesn’t sound worth it for a couple jobs a month. Throw a small 4gpm on the truck for those jobs. Also I’ve bumped up my mix % when I’m short on water so I can clean faster


Yep, you’re probably right. I always end up with these harebrained ideas this time of year, when the business is flush with cash and I start getting bored with the daily grind.

I’m out in the country (NW Ohio) and I haul water to pretty much every job. I have a 300 gallon tank on my truck, and that is enough to get me through 2-3 house washes using my 8 gpm machine. (On a one story home, anyway. I can get 1-2 two story homes on one tank.)

IMHO, the best course of action would be to get a truck that can carry a 300 gallon leg tank. It doesn’t have to be newer unless you wanted it to be. My two early 90s ford trucks can carry 4000 and 7500 lbs each.

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If I rebadged it with Isuzu NPR emblems, think anyone would notice? … @MuscleMyHustle :laughing::laughing::laughing:

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Side tilt as well, I can’t say I’ve seen that before, pretty cool. I can’t get behind your rebadging of a Toyota Alex! It needs to be the other way around can’t mess with Toyota’s lol. Wife panicked and made me sell both of mine when Covid hit, I’m salty about it. She called it unnecessary transport, I call them Toyota’s.