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Old 05-27-2018, 05:42 PM   #1
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2018 Cardinal 383BH Plumbing Questions

Hey Folks!

I just recently swapped my old Keystone single bath fifth wheel for a 2018 FR Cardinal 383BH with two full baths. I got this nice letter from FR welcoming us to the family, and inviting us to contact them with any issues. Unfortunately, despite spending good money on this rig, we've yet to hear back from any of the three different Cardinal guys that I've contacted by phone and email over the last couple of weeks. I'm hoping someone on the forum can help!

The Questions:
  1. Is there any place to locate diagrams of the plumbing, which also show which drains go to which tank? (You'd assume there was an owners manual with this info)
  2. I need to confirm that there are two black tanks and two gray tanks. My understanding, based on what I was told when I picked it up, is that the rear sink and toilet go to one black tank, the rear shower goes to a second gray tank.

The Problems:
  • Rear shower stopped draining after a couple of showers, despite having both gray handles in the open position. When pulling the rear black handle, it seems to alleviate the issue. However, I was by the salesman assured the shower did not drain into the black tank.
  • Galley led's do not show tank as full (Honestly, I don't know if galley is the rear black or gray tank, assuming it's the rear black)
  • Occasional Sewage smell - I'm going to wait on this one because it may be tied to our lack of use of the rear bathroom (we haven't used the toilet at all since purchased new) However, we smell it more strongly in the main bathroom.

Technicals:
  • Front storage water connection area has Gray/Black/Gray handles. Second black handle in rear of RV under rear toilet. Gray handles stay open, both black closed. Only open front black when black tank fills for main bathroom.

Observations/Notes:
  • When I opened the rear black handle, it allowed the shower water in the rear to drain. Which makes no sense if that is the same handle for a rear black tank. Therefore I keep it closed until I get confirmation.
  • Galley shows about 1/4 full.
  • Rear toilet does not bubble when water is flushed (somewhat validating there is a rear black tank, and it's not full since, I tried it when the front black tank was full and causing the main toilet to do the "almost full bubble").
  • Rear handwash sink appears to drain slowly.
  • Rear bathroom has been abandonded for most part of the two months we've had the 5th wheel. Occasionally I go in and try to mess with things to see what the water does.

I think, if I could verify what that rear handle operates, and water source goes to what tank in the rear, I would be fine. There aren't many with fifth wheels with two full baths on the market, and I feel the sales person may not have been 100% knowledgeable about how it operates. Hopefully your thoughts can help guide me to the solution! Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:50 PM   #2
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i'll possibly make even a bit more complicated. do you also have the washer / dryer prep. one ours the washer dryer prep used an entire dedicated grey tank.

here's what i did. it took a few hours but i learned a bit. first how many dump handles to you have. the black tanks normally use a 3" valve and the grey a 2" valve but i won't swear to that. close all the dump valves. now go to a single drain and let some water flow down that drain. when you get enough down the drain, go pull the dump valves one at a time until you find the one that now has the water in it. let the tank drain and close the dump valve. then go to the next drain and repeat the entire process until you know which tank each drain actually drains into. in our case the specs said 8o gallons of grey tank capacity. were we ever surprised to find out that 80 gallons is actually two 40 gallon tanks and of them one is dedicated to the washer / dryer prep. so that leaves us one 40 gallon grey tank for kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower. by the time you figure this all out the salesperson in long gone.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:08 PM   #3
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Follow up

CHICKDOE, thanks for responding, you make a great additional points I hadn't considered, and its has helped me by providing a new perspective. We do have the setup for washer/dryer, we just haven't used it. Hopefully it's not eating into my tank capacity.

I spoke with a service department today, and they said there should be four tanks.

According to them, the whole rear bath is operated by the rear black handle. Seems like the shower and rear toilet are tied together. Another unfortunate thing I found out, is that there isn't an black tank flush hose inlet for the rear bath. I'm still going to try to confirm it with Forest River though, because there's a secondary black hose inlet in the main area that isn't labeled. I seriously don't comprehend how there isn't a manual on the travel trailer itself to verify this.

The galley meter as it turns out, may be the kitchen gray tank. The gray tank it seems is the main bathroom shower and sink.

I did notice the separate meter for the rear tank finally, so I think this is all coming together. This was the first time since I brought the trailer out, that I had enough time off work to explore beyond the features I'm already familiar with, so at least some progress was made.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:44 PM   #4
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the label 'galley' on our tank monitoring panel drove me insane. i assumed it was for the kitchen grey tank. i was wrong. the kitchen and bathroom drain into the 'grey' tank. the 'galley' tank is the one dedicated to the washer dryer prep that nothing else uses. as i said. it took a few hours to pour water down each drain to find out where it would go. of course, we do have a different floor plan so don't draw any conclusions. we are lucky in that all the tank drain pipes go to a common sewer outlet. so if you close the black valve, put a valterra twist on valve on the sewer outlet and close it, yo u can then open both of the grey tanks and the liquid will flow between them to increase the grey tank capacity. otherwise we really like our small apartment on wheels.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:29 PM   #5
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While Chickdoe reports his second gray tank is only plumbed for the washer, I dont believe that to be normal. My 3850Rl has washer/dryer, and it does drain to the bathroom gray and is shared with washer and the bathroom. So, I believe chickdoe, but I think that was an anomoly from the factory. My tank drains are labeled gray/black/gray, none of of them labelled for galley or whatever. I know for fact that my bathroom drains into a separate tank than the kitchen does.

Not really helping your question, but I tend to believe that the extra bathroom all drains to the black. I'd find it hard to belive that there would be 3 gray, and 2 black.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:45 PM   #6
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you'd have to look at our floor plan - 3825fl. it has the living room in front, the kitchen and bathroom in the middle, and the bedroom in back. the washer dryer cabinet is all the way in the back against the rear wall quite a ways from the kitchen and bathroom drains. trust me, i spent hours pouring water down the various drains. there is a grey water tank in the back that only takes water from the washer drain.

as mentioned, i can install a valterra twist-on valve on the common sewer outlet and open both grey tanks drains to connect that rear grey tank to the kitchen /bathroom grey tank.
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICKDOE View Post
you'd have to look at our floor plan - 3825fl. it has the living room in front, the kitchen and bathroom in the middle, and the bedroom in back. the washer dryer cabinet is all the way in the back against the rear wall quite a ways from the kitchen and bathroom drains. trust me, i spent hours pouring water down the various drains. there is a grey water tank in the back that only takes water from the washer drain.

as mentioned, i can install a valterra twist-on valve on the common sewer outlet and open both grey tanks drains to connect that rear grey tank to the kitchen /bathroom grey tank.
I wish that were true on my 5er. The washer drains into the bathroom tank of only 40 gallons. 4 washes and it is nearly full.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:13 PM   #8
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We also have the 3825fl and I can confirm the washer drains into its own gray tank.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:51 PM   #9
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Wow, thats actually unbelieveable..... and such a waste of tank capacity. I personally wouldnt be using the washer when NOT on full hookups anyway.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:00 PM   #10
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it's even more of a waste if, like us, you don't have a washer.
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