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Old 12-04-2019, 08:07 AM   #1
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Fresh Water Tank Expanding

Has anyone heard or had this issue. I have a 2018 Cedar Creek 5th wheel, Hathaway, 36ck2

Filled up fresh water tank two days ago. Standing outside waiting for the water to start coming out the overflow pipe to know it's full, I hear this large bang coming from the trailer. Look underneath, still no water out of the overflow, go into the trailer, nothing, figure the noise must have been from a neighbour, go back outside, wait another half minute or so, then the water starts coming out the overflow.

Shut the water off, begin my sanitizing process and my wife shouts from inside the trailer. The water tank expanded so much, it literally lifted the plywood off the frame. I had a mound, or rounded lump over the fresh water tank. The noise, I'm assuming, was the screws holding the floor to the frame popping out.

After releasing the water, the floor went back down to normal, no water leaks that I see as of yet. Until someone comes out to look at it, I'm not sure the damage. I have the insurance coming to assess the damage and begin the process of having it repaired, either under warranty or Insurace.

Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of such a thing. I haven't.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roddiemacdonald View Post
Has anyone heard or had this issue. I have a 2018 Cedar Creek 5th wheel, Hathaway, 36ck2

Filled up fresh water tank two days ago. Standing outside waiting for the water to start coming out the overflow pipe to know it's full, I hear this large bang coming from the trailer. Look underneath, still no water out of the overflow, go into the trailer, nothing, figure the noise must have been from a neighbour, go back outside, wait another half minute or so, then the water starts coming out the overflow.

Shut the water off, begin my sanitizing process and my wife shouts from inside the trailer. The water tank expanded so much, it literally lifted the plywood off the frame. I had a mound, or rounded lump over the fresh water tank. The noise, I'm assuming, was the screws holding the floor to the frame popping out.

After releasing the water, the floor went back down to normal, no water leaks that I see as of yet. Until someone comes out to look at it, I'm not sure the damage. I have the insurance coming to assess the damage and begin the process of having it repaired, either under warranty or Insurace.

Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of such a thing. I haven't.

Oh yeah. Mine did that. I have pictures somewhere of the tank where dealer had to remove it. It blew up till it bent the metal support brackets.


Talked at that time to CC Warranty Manager, who told me that the flimsy straps under the tank are flimsy, to prevent the very thing you are describing, damage to the floor.


He said there is no way that the overflow tube (just a piece of garden hose type thing) can keep up releasing excess water if the intake is being filled at even moderate pressure. He said that's how it's made because even though that's a User Error, it's better to compromise the tank than ruin the floor.

I know of a few folks who did what you did and the floor didn't simply raise up a bit.........their floor was practically destroyed.


Using flush hose on black tank, and filling up fresh water tank, are two things that I learned to NEVER attempt without constant monitoring till done.


Here's pics of my tank when mine expanded (dealer fault, long story), and what the straps and supports looked like when it failed.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:53 AM   #3
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There have been other reports too just like BandJ's.

Unfortunately, many times these tanks rely on vent and overflow tubes that sometimes don't have a large enough capacity to expel the air (and then water when full) to keep the vessel from expanding. It often bends the brackets or pushes up the floor.

Sometimes the vent/overflow hoses are kinked or blocked somehow. Be sure to have them looked at when fixing the issue.

We see this more on fresh tanks that are filled via a pressurized fill port rather than those with gravity fill ports unless someone jams the fill hose in the gravity port and blasts water in.

Over the years, I've learned to fill the fresh tank S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Hopefully you don't have severe damage and it can be repaired easily.

You mentioned it is a 2018.
Is this R/V new to you?
Had you ever filled the tank before?

Best of luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:28 AM   #4
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Over the years, I've learned to fill the fresh tank S-L-O-W-L-Y.
Hopefully it did't take you years to learn that


For those who have gravity fill tanks using a short piece of smaller diameter hose on the end of the regular hose helps a lot. The smaller hose will allow more air to escape from the fill tube as well as the vent and water will overflow before tank starts to expand drastically.

I've watched some owners fill tanks with the regular hose fitting blocking the fill tube. Water will start to spray out and when the hose is removed a huge stream of water belches out the fill for quite some time as the tank goes back into it's normal shape.


It's only logical. Hoses are usually 1/2", 5/8", or even 3/4" sized and the vent hole in the fill port is more like 1/4".
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:58 AM   #5
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I'm guessing you have the hose jammed tight to the gravity fill opening and not letting the water fall in from 3-4 inches away?
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:06 PM   #6
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...Hopefully it did't take you years to learn that...
No... I should have clarified... with each different unit I've owned over the years.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:42 PM   #7
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Yes it's new to me in 2018, but have never filled the tank completely before. I've only ever put 1/2 tank max to travel with. It's not the gravity fill type, it is the pressurized type where you turn the knob from city water to rv tank.

I just have never heard of this before. As weird as it sounds, it's a relief to know I'm not the only one it's happened to. I still can't belief the park's water pressure (with a pressure reducer) can apply that much lbs/sq. inch to push up the floor.

Speaking to the service manager where we bought it, it's probably fixable. So, hurry up and wait for the insurance and/or warranty process to take it's time.

Thanks all,
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roddiemacdonald View Post
Has anyone heard or had this issue. I have a 2018 Cedar Creek 5th wheel, Hathaway, 36ck2

Filled up fresh water tank two days ago. Standing outside waiting for the water to start coming out the overflow pipe to know it's full, I hear this large bang coming from the trailer. Look underneath, still no water out of the overflow, go into the trailer, nothing, figure the noise must have been from a neighbour, go back outside, wait another half minute or so, then the water starts coming out the overflow.

Shut the water off, begin my sanitizing process and my wife shouts from inside the trailer. The water tank expanded so much, it literally lifted the plywood off the frame. I had a mound, or rounded lump over the fresh water tank. The noise, I'm assuming, was the screws holding the floor to the frame popping out.


After releasing the water, the floor went back down to normal, no water leaks that I see as of yet. Until someone comes out to look at it, I'm not sure the damage. I have the insurance coming to assess the damage and begin the process of having it repaired, either under warranty or Insurace.

Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of such a thing. I haven't.
Although mine was not as severe I have overfilled the tank. I think I am going to add a gravity fill on the back of the trailer this summer. I not only overfilled it once but also got stuck dry camping one time with no way to get water in. I finally used the winterizing hose and stuck it in a 5 gallon jug.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by roddiemacdonald View Post
Yes it's new to me in 2018, but have never filled the tank completely before. I've only ever put 1/2 tank max to travel with. It's not the gravity fill type, it is the pressurized type where you turn the knob from city water to rv tank.

I just have never heard of this before. As weird as it sounds, it's a relief to know I'm not the only one it's happened to. I still can't belief the park's water pressure (with a pressure reducer) can apply that much lbs/sq. inch to push up the floor.

Speaking to the service manager where we bought it, it's probably fixable. So, hurry up and wait for the insurance and/or warranty process to take it's time.

Thanks all,
Hydraulics (which is the force that was applied by the water in the tank) can be VERY powerful. 50 PSI of pressure over a large surface (top of the tank) can lift HUGE amounts of weight.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:23 PM   #10
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I'm going to lay my money on you have a kinked or partially plugged overflow tube. If water wasn't coming out the overflow until the tank had already expanded....then the overflow tube was not venting properly due to a kink or plug and it took an extreme amount of force for the water to finally push it's way out of the tank.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:19 PM   #11
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Numbers

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Hydraulics (which is the force that was applied by the water in the tank) can be VERY powerful. 50 PSI of pressure over a large surface (top of the tank) can lift HUGE amounts of weight.
Just to throw some numbers at it:
Assume tank is 6 feet by 3 feet or 18 square feet.
18 square feet is 2592 square inches.
50 pounds per square inch times 2592 square inches is 129,600 pounds ! !
That's 65 tons!!
It would probably lift a trailer from the frame.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:23 PM   #12
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Just to throw some numbers at it:
Assume tank is 6 feet by 3 feet or 18 square feet.
18 square feet is 2592 square inches.
50 pounds per square inch times 2592 square inches is 129,600 pounds ! !
That's 65 tons!!
It would probably lift a trailer from the frame.
And there have been reports here that has actually happened.

I recall one going back to the factory for the roof and side walls to be removed because the floor lifted from overfilling the fresh tank and broke away from the frame and since the entire rest of the R/V sat on the floor deck, it all had to be removed to replace the floor!
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:28 PM   #13
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Freeze plugs

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And there have been reports here that has actually happened.

I recall one going back to the factory for the roof and side walls to be removed because the floor lifted from overfilling the fresh tank and broke away from the frame and since the entire rest of the R/V sat on the floor deck, it all had to be removed to replace the floor!
In the cast iron blocks of the vehicle engines of yesteryear (and still today) are openings in the water jacket for the purpose of casting the water passages. There are closed with pressed-in cups called freeze plugs. They get that misnomer because many times they have been popped out by freezing coolant, saving the engine block from cracking.

How much would it cost to put, say, a 5 or 10 psi pressure relief, or even a larger diameter overflow hose on the tfresh water ,ank.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:11 PM   #14
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I forgot to note that the overflow tube was installed between the tank and support......in other words "pinched shut, almost". That's what REALLY reduced the overflow.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:42 PM   #15
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I had the same experience. While filling the fresh water tank I thought it should be getting near full so I looked in and the tank was bulging to the point I thought it would blow. Then I noticed the overflow hose (1 inch dia) that came out of the top of the tank and formed a vertical loop before exiting out the bottom of bay, had a quantity of water in the loop, the loop was approximately a foot in diameter.

I drained the tank and started over and the same thing happened again, and then again. I wondered if maybe the pressure in the tank was not enough to push the water out that was in the loop therefore causing the tank to swell. I repositioned the drain hose so it did not have a vertical loop but was laying flat. the water in the loop of course drained out.

Filled tank again and when it got filled the overflow hosed worked, spewing water out and under the unit, did same again and same result. No more bulging tank. Tied up overflow hose with zip ties, no more problems.

Interesting to note I had filled the tank many times and never had a problem until that one time. Think maybe the hose was laying flat originally but got shifted to form a vertical loop.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:57 PM   #16
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Hydraulics (which is the force that was applied by the water in the tank) can be VERY powerful. 50 PSI of pressure over a large surface (top of the tank) can lift HUGE amounts of weight.
Air pressure in a tank can have a lot of force too. For example, those air bags that are used to upright trucks on their side only need 7 PSI to lift just short of 10 tons. That's on a bag 56" square.

Let's say a water tank is 48" X 24" and you have 10 psi built up in it. That's a 5.76 ton force on the floor above the tank, not to mention the support frame below.

I think perhaps a lot of the "Water Tank fell out" stories may well have involved some fast fills or plugged vents.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:06 PM   #17
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How much would it cost to put, say, a 5 or 10 psi pressure relief, or even a larger diameter overflow hose on the tfresh water ,ank.

I'd like to see a vent PIPE instead of hose and the vent pipe should be at least 1/2" in ID. On pressure fills, what happens whent the tank is full and the hose is pushing water in faster than the vent can get rid of excess water.

HARd PIPE (or PEX), not flex tubing that can kink or get crushed in a variety of ways.

Finish it off with a "Duckbill Valve" so water and air pass out but no road dirt or bugs can get back in.

That would be MY ideal vent.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:10 PM   #18
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Many water tanks will expand if filled beyond capacity. Measure the rate of flow of your hose and then keep track of long it is filling your tank so you do not overfill it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:19 PM   #19
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Many water tanks will expand if filled beyond capacity. Measure the rate of flow of your hose and then keep track of long it is filling your tank so you do not overfill it.
Do you always fill at home ? Do all the CG's have the same flow rate as home ? Not really that practical without attaching a flow meter to whatever hose you're using and measure exactly how much your tank holds. Or just make sure the overflow tube works and fill till you see water coming out. That's how I've been doing it since 1984.
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