I do use water but anything will do from sand to pebbles, from dive weights to bricks. What is used is less important than that weight is used, imho. But each to their own. Some people never use tension during beaming, some do the jerk and wind method, etc. If you are happy with your results, nothing needs to be changed.
As mentioned, the loom comes apart easily. Take pics, especially of the brake assembly and use the diagrams from the Leclerc website. One of my students recently said she had taken apart a 27" Fanny and packed it into a golf bag for transport. :)