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Old 05-05-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
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Sanibel 3500 fresh water tank

Last week while preparing for our first "dry" camp experience with our 2012 Sanibel 5th wheel I filled the fresh water tank all the way full. Just before getting reading to leave I noted the foam insulation around the drain and the skirting under the tank hanging down 6-8 inches below the frame rails. Long story short, discovered that three of the four mounting points on the chris-crossed straps that hold the water tank in position were loose. The mounting screws had worn through the ends of the metal straps. The only thing holding the tank in position was the plumbing, skirt and the tank being slightly wedged between the frame rails when it dropped down. Needless to say this could have been a disaster if the full 500 gallon water tank had fallen out from under the trailer while at highway speeds. This was only our 3rd trip with the trailer since we purchased it (due to some major surgeries last year) and it has less than 300 miles on it. Seems like a design flaw to me. Anyway, letter and pics en-route to Prime Time. Just curious if I'm the only one to experience this?
Brad
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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Fortunately you don't have a 500 gallon tank. I haven't put any water in mine yet. It sounds like I should do that sooner rather than later.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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Barry, sorry about that. Meant to say 500 pounds. Anyway, yes, you might want to fill it and check it before any trips just in case.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:59 AM   #4
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I have not had this happen on my Prime Time, but my previous Coachmen TT (Catalina) something similar happened. I hit a bump on the highway and the straps came loose on the FW tank when it was about half full. It then proceeded to bounce on my axle and destroy it completely. It looked like a pretzel! The tech said there were only 2 straps on a 40G FW tank!!!!!

Needless to say we are gun shy about towing with much water in our FW now.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #5
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We have many miles on ours 6,000 plus. I tow it full of water when the campground does not have water. Yes we dry camp a lot. Not a problem with the water tank. Thanks for the heads up, I look at it when we go again.

Wayne and Donna
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:22 PM   #6
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Well it's been three weeks since I sent a letter, with pictures, to Jeff Ranks at PT advising them of the issue with my fresh water tank, improper installation and potential liability that this issue posses for their company. Have not heard one thing from them. Not a phone call, letter or post card. I guess my letter was filed in the round file under it's sold, it's not our problem any more. You would think that good business practice would be at least a courtesy call to say we received your letter, we're sorry about your problems, please take it to the dealer ASAP and we'll make sure the issue is resolved correctly, we'll get back to you as soon as we have checked the issue out. But nothing. Not even RV Guy has responded. So much for Customer Service at Prime Time. I guess my next letter will be to Peter Liegl at Forest River advising him of the their product liability and lack of concern by PT and Jeff Ranks. We'll see if he cares any more about product liability than Jeff Ranks does. In the meantime, I urge ALL owners of Sanibel's 5th wheels to have their dealer inspect the mounting straps for their fresh water tank to make sure they were properly installed so that their 500lb tank doesn't drop out of the bottom of their trailer when full.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:58 PM   #7
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Nonsense. You're just not going about this right. Take the RV to your dealer. That is the proper way to get the manufacturer involved. You don't saying whether you're still under warranty or not (but I see from another post you made that it IS still under warranty).

Did you send a non-threatening PM to RV Guy?

PrimeTime has been very responsive to the rest of us.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:59 AM   #8
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Barry,
Sorry to disagree, but customer service is not brain surgery. I shouldn't have to take it to the dealer to get PT involved. However, that will be my next move. When I write Jeff Ranks a non-threatening, and even somewhat humorous letter, detailing a design flaw with their installation method that could have HUGE liability issues for PT, I would expect a courtesy notification that he at least received my letter and pictures. What do I have to do to get his attention, yell, scream and threaten a lawsuit? None of which I did BTW. You just don't ignore somebody when they bring an issue to their attention. Proper customer service would be that as soon as Mr Rank received my letter he contact somebody from his Customer Service Depart, give them my letter and instruct them to either call me or at least send me a letter acknowledging receipt of my letter. Then they should encourage me to take my trailer to the dealer ASAP and have the water tank and it's braces inspected to make sure my repairs are adequate. Since I mentioned the fact that their original straps literally tore through on the ends, I would expect them to offer to replace the straps and the skirting that was torn when the water tank fell down through it. Next, I would tell customer service to do some research and see if they have had any similar complaints. Next I would instruct them to go to the assembly line, watch the installation of a water tank and determine if the current method is adequate and why my installation failed. I would have have them research which technician installed the tank on my trailer, show them the pictures I sent and provide them with remedial training on how to properly install the water tank straps. Lastly, I would instruct the CS person to get back to me with their findings as to whether my situation was an anomaly, and/or they have now developed a new and improved method of installing the water tank straps. As I said, CS is not brain surgery and to totally ignore a customer when they send you a non-threatening, informative letter is unacceptable.
Brad
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
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I just think that as soon as you start talking to them about liabilities your letter probably went straight to the legal department. I imagine they have a department of lawyers to tell them about liabilities. This is probably a lot like asking someone "when did you stop beating your spouse?"... there's just no good answer to a question that sounds like litigation may follow.

Did you get tracking information for your letter? Perhaps it was never received.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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Your first step in the warrentry process is your dealer.
They have direct communications with prime time. Let them look at it and insist that you are kept in the loop. JEFF has been very good to anyone with a problem with one of their units. Yours should not be any different. I know it is very frustrating after what you paid for ypur unit. People do make mistakes, lets not make another, if your dealer does not take care of you, send a pm to jeff. You WILL get a response

Wayne and Donna
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