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Old 10-14-2018, 02:15 PM   #1
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Fresh water tank on travel trailer leaking and may have fallen from holding bracket

I have a 2015 Coachman Freedom express 29se. While filling the fresh water tank after draining winterizing fluid, I noticed there was water dripping out from around the drain. I also noticed that the two u-channel bars that stretch from side to side under where the fresh water tank sits were swayed quite a bit towards the ground. We bought this used and have never used the fresh water tank, and until I called Coachman, I never knew that those bars were supposed to be straight across.
I was going to remove the u-channel bars, but before i did, because the flooring above them was sagging so badly and resting tight on the bars, I jacked them up (the u-channels). The drain had been open for days now, hoping all the water was out of the tank, but when I jacked the u-channel up, water has been steadily draining now for over an hour! I am thinking that the water tank has fallen and is laying right on the floor (the one under the trailer). The coachman person I spoke to told me to cut into the flooring and towards the drain and pull the flooring back to see if the tank has fallen and if there is a place where i can see that it is leaking. When I jacked the floor up under the trailer, as the water began to drain, i could almost hear a sucking or vacuum sound coming from in side the floor.
When we bought it, it was a bit over a year and a half old, and we never did try the fresh water tank. We stuck it in storage that winter and last year traveled extensively (a 49 day trip cross country) but always used the city water hookup. Being underneath it often, the bars were always bent/swayed toward the ground, and never having an RV before, I just considered this normal. I guess it is not. I wonder how I would straighten the two u-channel bars out again to take the sway out of them? Any ideas or thoughts would be helpful.
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:04 PM   #2
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Not sure how this will play out on your Coachman, photos may be helpful and perhaps someone with a similar TT can comment.... But there have been plenty of threads regarding fresh water tank supports failing. If you use the search window above check for Fresh Water Tank Supports you'll find more reading material than you care to read.

Again, some photos would be helpful. Hope you get it resolved.

Another bent fresh water tank support
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:27 PM   #3
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On my Coachmen 233RBS, I replaced those wimpy C channels with heavy 1.5" x 3" C channels. Added around 80# but we'll worth it. My tank was also leaking water. I added a second clamp to the water fill inlet.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:56 PM   #4
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One of the first things I do now when I purchase an RV is to reinforce ALL of the tanks so this doesn't happen. I learned my lesson years ago when I lost a fresh water tank on a trip back home and saw how the mounts and welded brackets were flimsy and insufficient to do the job.

Good luck. It is a DIY job unless tank is damaged and requires plastic welding.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:11 AM   #5
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Did you have to remove the bottom floor to get to the tank? I dropped the floor behind the back leveler jacks and can see the back bracket holding the tank. I also pried the floor from the frame adjacent to the fresh water tank drain tube. It looks like the tank is still sitting in the brackets inside. However, when I dropped the floor behind the jacks, I can see the back bracket holding the tank, but it looks like the tank between the front and back brackets is sitting on that bottom floor... is that normal? We bought this used two years ago and the brackets under these floor, the u channel, has always been sagging quite a bit. The guy at coachman, Steve, said they should be flat across the bottom. I'm going to the metal shop tomorrow to replace them. Is the middle of the tank supposed to sit on the floor? Also, if I have to cut that bottom flooring, to get at the leak, how do I repair that? When I took it out of storage to dewinterize it, and was filling the fresh water tank to sanitize it, that is when I saw water running out around the spray foam that holds the drain tube in place......! One last nice surprise was when I took the screws out of the back of the bottom floor, I found an old huge mice nest made from dcon and the foam from around the edges that the prior owner forgotto mention....
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:09 AM   #6
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You should post pictures.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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By the by...the floor is above the tanks...what you stand on when inside the trailer.

That black stuff on the bottom of the trailer is called coroplast...kinda like foam core or a plastic cardboard.

And, be careful drilling, cutting holes or jacking up that coroplast as it is very easy to puncture any tanks or cut plumbing and wires.

Which will make your problems a lot worse than they are now!
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:07 PM   #8
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I'll do that soon.... it is nasty out right now, so I'll have to wait to pull the floor down and then get some pictures. By the way, just came back from the metal shop with two 3 and a half by 1 and 3/8" u channel's to replace the bent ones. Since they are about 4 times heavier, and the old ones mounted into the frame on both sides with self tapping metal screws, should also get bigger metal screws for the new u channel?
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:28 PM   #9
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Thanks John. I only jacked the bent braces up to level, which caused a lot of water to drain from what I thought was an empty tank. And thanks for clarifying what the difference is between the floor and chloroplast. You must have some experience here I assume. Steve is the person that runs the maintenance portion of where they build the coachman which I thinkis now forest river as well. We visited the last September 2017 on our way back from Washington with our RV and had a coachman salesperson help us with some issues since we bought this used. We had never tried the heater since it was hot asked summer when we bought it in fall 2016. Then, we took this 8,000 mile trip to see family in Washington and on the way back, had several nights we needed the heater. When we turned it on, a bunch of paper towel came shooting out of the heating vents, and we had never had paper towel in the camper before. Along with the paper towel came a stench that made us gag. Next stop was Walmart 6 hours away for an electric heater for the rest of the trip. The stop at coachman on the way back was partially to get help with that issue. The guy selling it never said anything about the mice issue, but I ended up dropping the chloroplast to replace all the heating ducts in the camper.... two were really full of mouse crap and one, under the refrigerator, was eaten through completely.
When I did drop the back of the chloroplast yesterday, at the back of the RV to look at the back of the tank, other than the huge pile of old mouse droppings and Dcon which we had never used, there was mixed in a lot of the spray foam that they use to seal that bottom to the I beam frame. I did see all the wires you mentioned laying right on top of that chloroplast so I'll have to be very careful.
Steve from coachman told me to cut back that chloroplast to the drain and bend it back to try and see where the water is leaking from. I was just curious as to how to repair the cut in the chloroplast once I have done that? Thanks again! I guess I am learning the hard way buying an used RV
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