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Old 08-14-2015, 11:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Western New York State
Posts: 902
Finally Repaired Hot Water Tank

As has been posted on the forum several times over the last few years, Georgetown's are known to have shoddy installations of hot water tanks resulting in bulging trim panel doors caused by the tanks trying to bust out of their compartments. Since last camping season I have been trying quick fixes re-attaching the two "L" mount brackets holding the trim panel which is the only support to hold back the heater tank that when full hits about 180 lbs. So the other day with the offer from my brother Bob to take a look at the problem, we set off on coming up with a plan to eliminate the slip-sliding hot water tank. While I was at work, Bob used old posts by GaeTim, cfsoistman and Sbryant to read up on what he was facing. He first removed the two "L" brackets under the trim panel. Next he used a multi-purpose rotary tool with a scraper blade to remove the caulking from the tank flange and the trim panel. Next came the four long tank mounting screws. We had a hard time seeing the four small mounting screws hidden behind the long screw mounting tabs, but eventually they were removed too. After freeing the trim panel from the tank flange it conveniently swung up on its hinged top and we secured out of the way with a rope from the awning. What a poor poor install of the tank by FR/GT! The whole tank was just sitting on a base made out of two 8" 2x4's with a particle board platform. There was zero form of any kind of securement of the water tank in the compartment! No wonder owners are finding the trim doors bulging out, only the two bottom "L" brackets screwed into thin aluminum was expected to hold the hot water tank in place. I feel like writing RVIA and asking for a refund of the money they charge to certify various RV's against fire and electrical shortcomings. Because of the cluster of wires, water lines and propane Bob didn't want to remove the tank. The floor of the compartment had bowed from the bouncing tank and the whole mount and tank dropped about 3/16" when we separated the tank from the trim door/panel. So we added a 1/4" piece of plywood under the two 2x4 feet of the tank platform. Bob then ran 3 2" screws up into the plywood and each 2x4 from underneath the compartment to tie everything together. Next he cut a 2x4 the length of the compartment to mount in front of the platform 2x4s. This board and position would act as a barrier to the tank coming forward but more so it would sit on the metal frame of the door opening. Bob drilled four holes again from underneath the opening through the added 2x4. We attached four 4"x1/4" stainless steel bolts to the 2x4 to secure it to the metal frame work. Then Bob re-attached the "L" brackets to the inside of the trim door with four 3/16" x 3/8" pop rivets. This really did a nice job securing the brackets to the trim door. We closed the door and re-positioned the water tank into the opening using the four long mounting screws to line everything up. Then we pushed the tank and trim door into position so the door was flush with the rest of the compartment door running along the curb side of the RV. Bob then attached the "L" brackets to the metal framing under the rig. Final attaching set was to drill four holes into the heater tank metal flange into the 2x4 bolted into the compartment. Bob then used four 1 3/4" galvanized deck screws to screw together the tank and attached 2x4. Put the burner tube and protective cover back on, add the access door and the job was done. Total time with stopping for pizza and wings for dinner ( my DW's threat!) 7 hours. Cost of repair, $8 for the stainless bolts and a magnum of Seagrams 7 and Tanqueray Gin for Bob's labors. Now I can motor down the highway not wondering if the next rough road will be the one that springs the hot water tank free! Click image for larger version

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2011 Georgetown 330TS
Kia Sportage on MasterTow Dolly
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:59 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ottawa, On
Posts: 56
Cool

I was just looking around when I came across your post and was wondering how the hot water tank upgrade is holding up?
My upgrade worked for a bit however when putting it away for winter I noticed it was happening again! It looks like when they built these units they installed the water heater then calked around the trim and painted the final colour over that so when the heater cover broke free the sealant and paint came with it...how pathetic! So here I am once again looking at how to fix it for good this time.
I had a look at the compartment the tank sits in and noticed it beginning to buckle and sag from the weight of the tank. I decided to take a look at how the fresh water tank is supported and am happy to see metal supports holding it in place as well as the propane and black & grey water tanks....so why not the hot water tank?
Anyway, I'm going to redesign the hot water tank supports next spring and will try to do another upgrade write-up on it as I go along, if not I will at least throw some pictures up to help others with this issue.
So anyway, I hope your fix works for a long time, have a good winter.
Tim
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:20 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Western New York State
Posts: 902
GaeTim, so far so good on my brother's repair job. I'm pretty confident the hot water tank isn't going anywhere after a trip to Wilderness State Park in Michigan this past summer. Some of the country roads you need to take to get there is like driving 5 miles of the worst speed bumps you'll find. The trim panel is totally flush with the rest of the outer panels and the riveted L-brackets are tight and haven't loosened at all.
Enjoy the off season dreaming of places to go and things to do next year!
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