Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-23-2018, 04:38 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: 8000' in CO
Posts: 346
Isata 5 35DB Black Tank Vent Not connected! 3" of Missing Pipe Makes a Mess!!!

Trying to be a little comical and keep a smile on my face, so bear with me on this one…

We picked up our Isata 5 35DB in Texas on July 5th and drove it the 925 miles home back to Colorado. There were 5 of us total (2 adults and 3 kids) and at no point in time did we have full hook-ups. At the time of delivery, the water tank was 1/3 full and the grey and black tanks were both empty (according to the gauges).

Spent the first night at the dealership’s private campground to test it out and have them address any questions/concerns the next day. All seemed well and we hit the road the next day. Spent the next night at a truck stop in the pan handle of Texas. All still is going well. Next day we hit the road for our last leg into New Mexico and then the home stretch into Colorado. About half way into this last day the bathroom REALLY starts smelling like a septic tank……or in the RV world, of course, the black tank……simple version, the human waste smell was bad. Black Tank gauge is only showing 1/3 full though. Again, first time RV’ers here, so we are really not sure what to think. This can’t be “normal” but we are fairly ignorant.

Finally get home later that day, park it at the house, unload the minimal stuff we had and head into the house for dinner, clean up and bedtime. Next day I get up bright and early and head out to the driveway to admire the new purchase and REALLY start to inspect it and dig a little deeper into how things work now that we have spent 3 days in it…..of course, the smell of human waste is waking me up MUCH faster than the cup of coffee I am holding. My brain says there is NO WAY this is normal. Open the wet bay door and there is human waste and bits of toilet paper EVERYWHERE in the wet bay…….literally, everywhere. I have no idea where it’s coming. I would EXPECT it to me coming from the sewer cap, but there is no sign of that leaking. It’s almost like it rained down from above, but again, it’s EVERYWHERE, so it’s hard to tell.

Out comes the hose and a spray bottle with bleach water, scrub brushes, old toothbrushes, rags and I go to town. I feel I got it pretty clean and start to ponder just what the heck happen here. I walk around the coach to go inside and the smell got WORSE as I walked around it. I opened the lower compartment door that is opposite to the wet bay and Merry Christmas to me, it is ALSO full of human waste and little bits of toilet paper…….EVERYWHERE. This time I KNOW it’s raining down from above because I can see little bits of toilet paper trapped between the black tank and the underside of the floor. Clearly I have a (huge) leak somewhere ON TOP of the black tank.

Brian is kind enough to send me the Isata 5 plumbing schematics and there are only two places that is can be coming from according to the drawing; 1) The inlet for the toilet or 2) the inlet from the bathroom sink which also serves as the vent stack. There is an option 3, the tank is cracked somewhere. Thankfully, the Dynamax schematics points out pretty clearly where to look for those tank connections. Pulling the toilet is the easiest (at least in my mind) and I start there. Visual inspection with the toilet out of the way suggests that all is well there.

The easiest way to inspect the sink/vent connection is to pull the panel in the bedroom that has the light switches and thermostat attached to it. With that panel out of the way, the waste pipes are easy to access and inspect……and what do my wondering eyes see? This waste pipe running down through the floor is so short that it is not engaging the tank grommet at all. Literally, I can swing the pipe back and forth as far as the hole in the floor will allow me.

Short version: there was a 1.5” hole in the top of our black tank that was allowing the contents of the black tank to slosh out as we drove down the road!

The new path for me is to get this as clean as possible. I know that I now HAVE TO get the black tank dropped down so I can clean, clean , CLEAN. I’ll spare you all the details, but after some minor struggling, I lower the tank and hosed everything down. Scrubbed the top of the tank and the underside of the floor with some diluted bleach water. Hosed everything back out again. I then left a box fan running in the storage bay, blowing across to the wet bay, overnight.

The final fix; I cut off the bottom 15” of the pipe that goes through the floor and into the tank. Bolted the tank back into position and then measured the distance from the bottom of the tank grommet to my fresh cut in the existing pipe. Subtracted about ¼” to compensate for the pipe coupler I was going to need to install. Then cut a new section of pipe to match this measurement. Lower the tank again so I have room to install my new section of pipe plus the pipe coupler. Install new pipe and bolt tank back into place. Viola’, the pipe is completely unable to move and it’s fully engaged in the tank grommet.

The strange thing about all of this? I was happy…..happy that the tank was fine. I was really, REALLY worried that the tank was going to need to be replaced and the thought of doing that or having the dealer do that was not taking me to my “happy place”.

The Picture story:

These are some of the electrical connectors that are in the wet bay. You can see little bits of macerated toilet paper _INSIDE_ the connectors. Did I mention that…..it……was…..EVERYWHERE?






It was really hard to photograph from above, but here you can sort of see the tank grommet below that is completely NOT lined up with the pipe coming down through the floor:





This is that same point of connection from below. It’s exaggerated in this picture because I have the tank lowered, but you get the idea.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1.jpg
Views:	992
Size:	159.4 KB
ID:	180887   Click image for larger version

Name:	2.jpg
Views:	984
Size:	172.9 KB
ID:	180888   Click image for larger version

Name:	3.jpg
Views:	984
Size:	210.4 KB
ID:	180889   Click image for larger version

Name:	4.jpg
Views:	963
Size:	260.7 KB
ID:	180890  
__________________

__________________
2019 Dynamax Isata 5 35DB
Audi "Nardo Grey"
BLT4SPD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 05:56 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 384
Not sure if I’m more speechless because of what happened or by the way you handled it.

Good on ya...happy you were able to fix it yourself!
__________________

__________________
2018 DX3 37BH
mookieblaylock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 06:21 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 17
Wow. So sorry this happened to you and your family. Absolutely admire your ability to get in there and fix the problem despite the mess that we all can imagine you encountered.

I am not yet an RVer but am looking seriously at Dynamax and have been reading this forum almost daily for the past 4 months and have been very impressed with forum contributors and Brian's commitment to spread knowledge and help you all deal with various RV issues. I'm sure some of these issues are user issues and some are production issues and/or dealer issues.

From a distance, it would appear the Dynamax may be suffering from demand/capacity mismatch. That is, while its popularity is increasing, Dynamax's production capabilities may be being stretched such that quality may be increasingly at risk.

Brian, as an individual who spent most of my career managing a large enterprise and implementing quality systems, I hope your management's focus will be first to your production systems and not first to blame your people. Human beings will always make mistakes. We all do because we are all fallible. The trick is to focus on production systems and make them human fault tolerant. I'm sure you all know this but for those of us who will tour your factory it would be nice to see how you structure your production processes to make it difficult for your employees to make the kind of apparent mistake we read about here. Given what I think I know about Dynamax, I'm sure you will. JC
JC70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 07:47 AM   #4
GM
 
bclemens's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elkhart, IN
Posts: 9,698
My apologies you had to address this. As for JC70, if you read any of my other posts you'll know I always look at the process first. I have guys all the time say "I'm sorry, I'll do better next time" and I never think that is the answer. I took a company through ISO 9001 certification and if you are relying on human knowledge, it will happen again.

Now, having said that, I don't think the pipe was 3" short. We flood test all of this systems. So it is more about, how did the tank drop? or did the pipe get raised and take the tank with it, until it received even the smallest mount of weight.

BLT4SPD...can you shoot a picture of the ends of the tank, where they are fastened to the underside of the floor? Or did you drop the tank to get that picture?
__________________
Please READ the entire thread before posting to keep comments relevant.
Also, please post questions as a "New Thread" (not private message) so that others can benefit from the answers. Use Private Messages for sensitive information only. Owners manuals are available online and via iPhone/Android Apps.https://www.dynamaxcorp.com/OnlineManual.aspx
bclemens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 07:50 AM   #5
GM
 
bclemens's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elkhart, IN
Posts: 9,698
In that picture where the tank is lowered...the bottom grommet is 1" off the top of the tank. That grommet should go up into that hole (about 1") and the upper pipe sticks down about 1/4". Can you post the last 8 of your VIN? I would like to do a little digging.
__________________
Please READ the entire thread before posting to keep comments relevant.
Also, please post questions as a "New Thread" (not private message) so that others can benefit from the answers. Use Private Messages for sensitive information only. Owners manuals are available online and via iPhone/Android Apps.https://www.dynamaxcorp.com/OnlineManual.aspx
bclemens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 08:56 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 17
Hey, Brian, thanks for your clarification on your ISO 9001 commitment. That says a lot about your organization. We did the same. ISO attainment is not for the faint hearted. This says to me that we are on the right track believing that Dynamax will be our manufacturer of choice. Looking forward to seeing some models at the Hershey show in September. Tally ho. JC
JC70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 09:53 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 795
BLT4SPD, you're a good man Charlie Brown, for the way you handled this! Good job, great fix and thanks for all the documentation. This is what I love about this forum, folks helping folks. Good work!
__________________
Old Navy Chief
2019 Isata 5 DS 4x4
2015 Jeep Rubicon Toad
caseymyers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 10:24 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: 8000' in CO
Posts: 346
Ugh, sooooo many typos!

Note to self.....no more late night posts.....proof read your work.
__________________
2019 Dynamax Isata 5 35DB
Audi "Nardo Grey"
BLT4SPD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 10:25 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: 8000' in CO
Posts: 346
Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
My apologies you had to address this.
***** happens.....oh wait, that's pretty literal.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Now, having said that, I don't think the pipe was 3" short....<quote snipped and pasted below>......So it is more about, how did the tank drop?
Funny you should suggest that because both my wife and I thought the same thing when we saw the top of the black tank. It has a huge sag in it over, essentially, the entire surface of the top of it. My wife immediately jumped to “must be the elevation change” because when you live at 8,000’ above sea level, you content with containers that puff up or collapse when you return home from a trip somewhere all the time! However, as we all know, the black tank is vented to atmosphere, so that can’t be the case. However, we are new to this and the only way for us to check if something was wrong was to look at the grey tank. We pulled the clamps off the skinny end of the grey tank and lowered it. Sure enough, there was a significant depression in the top of that one as well. So, we wrote it off to “that’s how those tank are” and buttoned it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
.....We flood test all of this systems.....

I’m not sure what your flood test consists of in the context of the waste water drainage, but having lived through it and knowing what I know now, I think it would be pretty darn easy to miss this one. Since this pipe only drains the bathroom sink, there isn’t a ton of flow through it. If the coach is not in motion and you were just using the sink for your day to day living, it’s entirely possible that the pipe, even loose like it was, would be lined up well enough to drain right into the black tank without any spillage. On top of that, we really didn’t notice anything until the tank had more and more volume inside of it. So, I am speculating that with only a day or two worth of waste inside of it, even in motion, there just wasn’t enough inside the tank to slosh all the way back to the middle of the tank and then up and out that hole. However, get to day 3 (or beyond) and all the sudden there is enough inside the tank……but the coach would HAVE to be in motion to recreate what happened. Devoid of movement, this problem could have easily gone unnoticed indefinitely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
or did the pipe get raised and take the tank with it, until it received even the smallest mount of weight.
Having just been in there this past weekend, I am not sure I can think of a way that the pipe would get raised. It's pretty "trapped" by A) the sink drain and B) the roof because its a continuous stack all the way to the roof vent. Personally, I couldn't move the stack in an upwardly direction, so I am not sure how the manufacturing process or the movement of the coach could either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
BLT4SPD...can you shoot a picture of the ends of the tank, where they are fastened to the underside of the floor? Or did you drop the tank to get that picture?
Dropped the tank for the picture. With the tank mounted there would be no way to photograph that tank connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
In that picture where the tank is lowered...the bottom grommet is 1" off the top of the tank. That grommet should go up into that hole (about 1") and the upper pipe sticks down about 1/4".

I positively guarantee you that the tank grommet was _not_ up and inside that hole in the floor. That's not a guess, that's a fact. I confirmed that once I had cut a section of pipe out and could actually see down the hole in the floor from inside the coach.

The facts of the pipe itself are this: The piece that I removed was approx.. 15” long (I know that is a meaningless number because you have no clue where I cut it off inside the wall) and when I bolted the tank back in place and measure from the bottom of the tank grommet (tape measured hooked inside the tank grommet) to my fresh pipe cut inside the coach, I came up with almost exactly 18”. I subtracted out 1/4" for the lip inside the PVC pipe connector I was going to install and then another 1/4" because it appear that the tank grommet has a “stop lip” that the pipe is supposed to bottom out against. That means I cut my new section of PVC pipe at 17.5” and glued it all together.

Side Note: It appears that Dynamax chamfered the end of the pipe that engages the tank grommet. I assume that is an effort to ensure the pipe doesn’t tear up the grommet during assembly. I mimiced that chamfer on my new section of pipe. It also APPEARS that Dynamax greases that chamfered edge of the pipe. It’s hard to tell because of all the other “stuff” that was on/around that pipe, but what I found most certainly appeared to be grease. I also greased my pipe with silicone paste in an effort to mimic what Dyanmax had done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Can you post the last 8 of your VIN? I would like to do a little digging.
Last 8 of our VIN: JG183167
__________________
2019 Dynamax Isata 5 35DB
Audi "Nardo Grey"
BLT4SPD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 11:30 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: 8000' in CO
Posts: 346
Quote:
Originally Posted by JC70 View Post
Wow. So sorry this happened to you and your family. Absolutely admire your ability to get in there and fix the problem despite the mess that we all can imagine you encountered.

I am not yet an RVer but am looking seriously at Dynamax and have been reading this forum almost daily for the past 4 months and have been very impressed with forum contributors and Brian's commitment to spread knowledge and help you all deal with various RV issues. I'm sure some of these issues are user issues and some are production issues and/or dealer issues.

From a distance, it would appear the Dynamax may be suffering from demand/capacity mismatch. That is, while its popularity is increasing, Dynamax's production capabilities may be being stretched such that quality may be increasingly at risk.

Brian, as an individual who spent most of my career managing a large enterprise and implementing quality systems, I hope your management's focus will be first to your production systems and not first to blame your people. Human beings will always make mistakes. We all do because we are all fallible. The trick is to focus on production systems and make them human fault tolerant. I'm sure you all know this but for those of us who will tour your factory it would be nice to see how you structure your production processes to make it difficult for your employees to make the kind of apparent mistake we read about here. Given what I think I know about Dynamax, I'm sure you will. JC

I agree with you 100%. I followed this forum (and the Facebook one) for quite a while before we bought anything. It was really the support community here and Brian’s commitment to supporting the owners that “sold” me on the product……well, there is that little aspect of it simply being a nice product.

It’s issues like the one I am experiencing with the black tank and the fuel filler (see Casey’s other thread) that COULD make me throw up my hands and get irate. Truth be told, I’d probably get a bunch of sympathy from any on-looker as well. It would be VERY easy to say “I bought a coach that has a $180k MSRP, this kind of stuff better be 100% perfect when I take delivery”. I knew going in that there would be issues. As far as I can tell if you buy ANY RV, new or used, and expect it to be 100% the day you pick it up, you are fooling yourself in a big way. The only thing you can and should hope for is minimizing those issues and then getting support for those issues. _THAT_ should be the hop for buying a higher end product (like Dynamax). I am EXTREMELY disappointed that I have having issues like this. I would expect issues like trim not fitting perfectly and maybe a small leak or two here and there. However, to have a black tank that isn’t connected to the plumbing and a fuel filler neck that won’t accept fuel at anything faster that the slowest possible setting at a fuel station is pretty alarming.

If I look at this black tank issue, I have a very “double edge sword” mentality about it; On one side, this simply should not have happened. I should not have had to clear human waste out of the storage bay and electrical connectors of my BRAND NEW motorhome that has a $180k+ MSRP. That’s simply not right in my opinion. The OTHER side of that is, what manufacturer would provide me with the plumbing schematics to the coach within hours of me asking for it and without questioning it? It would be VERY easy for Dynamax to say something like “Those are proprietary and not for public distribution” or “take it to your local dealer and they’ll be glad to address any issue you are having”. To a hands-on owner like me, that would be more frustrating that the actual issues themselves (I think). My biggest hope and what made me eventually write the check for a Dynamax product is that once the issues are resolved, we will have rock-solid coach that we can count on for years to come.

Inside my head, balancing those two very sharp edges of the blade is VERY difficult. My closest dealer is a Lazy Days, which is 90 miles away from my house. That’s 180 miles round trip, which equates to roughly 4 hours of drive time (assuming no traffic at all) and roughly 18 gallons of diesel. If diesel is $3.50/gallon, that’s $63.00 for the trip. Add to that, my wife is going to have to follow me so I can get back home after dropping the RV off. That means that she’s got to drive 4 hours round trip too. On top of that, the motorhome is the only part of the equation is that is making the trip there and back. The “chase vehicle” has to do it twice; there/back for drop off and there/back for pick up. In a “man hours” sense that means that it will take _16 hours_ JUST to drop off the coach and pick it back up. Add in the time I would have to spend explaining to the dealer what the problem is, filling out paperwork, making calls, taking calls, etc etc….I could EASILY get to 20 man hours without me picking up single tool. I have to factor that into ANY internal conversation I have with myself or any conversation I have with my wife about having warranty work done. And all that ASSUMES that I trust Lazy Days to work on my brand new RV…..which I do NOT!!!!
__________________

__________________
2019 Dynamax Isata 5 35DB
Audi "Nardo Grey"
BLT4SPD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
black, black tank, tank, vent

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:52 PM.