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Old 07-14-2017, 03:33 PM   #1
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The Mystery of the non-draining shower (Cardinal 3800FL)

Hello everyone,

We have recently purchased a used 2014 Cardinal 3800FL. During our first trip, the shower wouldnt drain unless we plunged it (grey tanks were empty). We had the dealer take a look to see if it was clogged, but they stated all of the drains were clear including the air vent. They stated we probably did not level the 5th wheel properly. During our second trip, the shower seemed to be working just fine. The grey tanks were full and I went to dump them... To my surprise, the dealership had left both grey tank valves open, so when I unscrewed the dump fitting, grey water came pouring out (thanks camping world!!!!). I got that all sorted out, and emptied the tanks and shut the grey tank valves. I took a shower after that, and low and behold, the shower wouldnt drain again.

Does they galley tank have to be open in order for the shower to drain? What am I missing here. Why would the shower drain when the grey tank valves were open (but not hooked to sewer and not draining), and not drain when the valves were closed. Is this a common issue with these models? There is no drainage issues when the valves are open, so I wouldnt think there would be a clog... seems like the vent is the issue? Any insight would be swell.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #2
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I agree on a vent issue. Assuming the grey tanks share the same sewer connection, when the valves were open, the working vent in the non shower tank would allow the water to drain as the tanks were essentially one tank. When the valves are closed, there are two separate tanks with two separate vents. Not sure if you have a roof vent or the one under the bathroom sink, but I would suspect vent issue. Has it ever worked correctly? If so it could be as simple as a clogged vent. If not it is possible the vent was never connected to the tank.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:33 PM   #3
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thank you for the reply!!!

It does have a vent under the kitchen sink and also a vent in the bathroom sink that appears to go to the roof... I am not sure if the vent that goes to the roof is attached to the tank or not though. there are seperate valves for the galley grey tank and the grey tank, but they both exit in the same location.

It has never worked for me, but this is only the second time we are using the 5er, so that isnt saying much. I tried putting a metal line (used to snake wires) down the vent tube on the roof... I got about 2-3 feet down and hit something solid, which I assume is a bend in the pipe (the wire I used isnt very flexible). I tried going directly into the vent from under the bathroom sink as well, but couldnt get the wire to bend around the corner.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:51 PM   #4
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Yes separate valves; both closed means two totally separate tanks with separate vents. Two valves open with sewer drain cap on means you essentially have one tank so a working vent in either would function for both. If you want to play. Use the blower side of a shop vac and blow air down the bathroom drain. Have someone check the roof vent to determine if they can feel/smell air exiting. Then try same thing with the shower drain. Be careful not to add too much pressure to the waste system lines. Do you know which grey bathroom sink uses?
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:05 PM   #5
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I am not 100% certain which tank the bathroom sink drains into, but I am thinking it drains into the galley tank (drain runs real close to the shower drain line but I can't see far enough back to see if they merge)... and the kitchen sink drains into the grey tank... I will have to pull the under body panel off to be certain.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:47 PM   #6
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Our last camper- a Winnebago Class C had to be very level for the shower to drain. The shower was in the very back corner of the 31 footer.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:10 PM   #7
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Bath sink and shower should share the same tank . Galley should be for kitchen sink.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:34 PM   #8
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I have a 2015 3800 FL Cardinal. The bath and shower are 1 tank and the galley is the other for the greys. I have not had any issues as you are describing. Please let us know what you find.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:20 PM   #9
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROber10357 View Post
Hello everyone,

We have recently purchased a used 2014 Cardinal 3800FL. During our first trip, the shower wouldnt drain unless we plunged it (grey tanks were empty). We had the dealer take a look to see if it was clogged, but they stated all of the drains were clear including the air vent. They stated we probably did not level the 5th wheel properly. During our second trip, the shower seemed to be working just fine. The grey tanks were full and I went to dump them... To my surprise, the dealership had left both grey tank valves open, so when I unscrewed the dump fitting, grey water came pouring out (thanks camping world!!!!). I got that all sorted out, and emptied the tanks and shut the grey tank valves. I took a shower after that, and low and behold, the shower wouldnt drain again.

Does they galley tank have to be open in order for the shower to drain? What am I missing here. Why would the shower drain when the grey tank valves were open (but not hooked to sewer and not draining), and not drain when the valves were closed. Is this a common issue with these models? There is no drainage issues when the valves are open, so I wouldnt think there would be a clog... seems like the vent is the issue? Any insight would be swell.
Have you found the problem? We are curious to know if it is the vent.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROber10357 View Post
thank you for the reply!!!

It does have a vent under the kitchen sink and also a vent in the bathroom sink that appears to go to the roof... I am not sure if the vent that goes to the roof is attached to the tank or not though. there are seperate valves for the galley grey tank and the grey tank, but they both exit in the same location.

It has never worked for me, but this is only the second time we are using the 5er, so that isnt saying much. I tried putting a metal line (used to snake wires) down the vent tube on the roof... I got about 2-3 feet down and hit something solid, which I assume is a bend in the pipe (the wire I used isnt very flexible). I tried going directly into the vent from under the bathroom sink as well, but couldnt get the wire to bend around the corner.
Pour water down the vents you should not be able to fill it up but if it does you have a clogged vent plus the water make clear the clog
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