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Old 10-01-2014, 08:56 PM   #1
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Questions on fresh & waste tanks

Hello all, new owner of a 2008 Salem 26TBUD. Been around campers since 1986, and now with my own family over the last 10 years we've owned a popup, R-Pod TT and now the Salem. I run the R-Pod owner's forum so I'm used to explaining the details of the various systems.

However, there are 2 things that are new to me.

First, I've winter camped several times in my R-Pod, keeping it winterized. This Salem has an enclosed fresh water tank so its a start towards full-service winter camping. Except... the gray and black tanks aren't enclosed. So what is the point of the enclosed fresh tank?

Second, the fresh water tank itself has 2 mysteries. With all the campers I've ever dealt with before, you fill it until the water comes back out of the fill spout. This one appears to have an overfill hose underneath (next to the drain hose which has a valve), so when I came back after walking away water was gushing out of that hose. After shutting down the hose water continued to pour out of that hose for several minutes. I would guess half of the capacity ran back out. As a result, even though the water tank is the same size as my R-Pod's, we got half as many showers out of it. Why this hose, and why does it allow so much water to freely escape? Another mystery, I opened up the interior compartment where that fill spout is located and I see the usual spot where the air vent would be located, in the fill spout assembly. No vent was there and no sign there ever was. Ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:38 PM   #2
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Same issues with mine, I have filled the tank and arrived at a dry camping spot with half a tank. Water leaks out of that hose a long time after it is "full". I thought it was the drain hose that was open, but it was not. I have honestly thought about putting a valve on the vent hose also that I can shut off, but we seldom dry camp so it has not been a big issue. I think they enclosed the fresh to say it has a heated tank... I wonder the same thing and have thought about insulating the waste tanks but we are usually done camping around the first of November, so it has really never been a big issue with me.


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Old 10-02-2014, 10:12 AM   #3
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I've considered adding a valve to that line, too. There's no point to having a 35 gallon tank if 17 of that is going to end up back on the ground.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:38 AM   #4
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Since you can get to the fill line, can't you just add a vent there and a valve at the bottom end? Sounds like another poor design. Do you have 12V heating pads on the black and gray tanks and not on the fresh?
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:55 AM   #5
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I can get to the top half of the fill line, it is in the dead space underneath the fridge where the water pump is located. I would have to make a big hole in the floor next to the water pump to get down to the tank, and in that confined space it wouldn't be easy.

Your post got me thinking and maybe the right solution isn't a valve on that lower vent line. Instead I (and KDZ300) could add an extension to it so it can be routed up the outside of the tank enclosure until it touches the bottom of the floor, then routing it down again several inches. It would look like an upside-down J. This would still allow it to overflow, but retain the full volume of the tank, and prevent rain water from entering the tank via the vent.

No heating pads on the waste tanks. Adding them, and an enclosure, probably would be the only solution if I wanted to do full-service winter camping.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:03 PM   #6
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I put a 90 degree stopcock valve on my overflow tube. As soon as it starts coming out, I close the stopcock, and I'm GTG. Just remember to open it back up once you start using the water so air can get into the tank--otherwise, you'll collapse your tank.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:47 PM   #7
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That is a good idea, the extension up and over sounds like about a $10 solution at the depot.


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Old 10-02-2014, 07:49 PM   #8
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I have been thinking about a water heater blanket over the rear tanks to give them some heat retention, but have not done any winter camping to this point that made me nervous.


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Old 10-09-2014, 08:12 PM   #9
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I'm rethinking my decision. I took a good look at the vent hose the other day and noticed the inside of it is caked with road grime. If I stick an extension on it then water will sit in the line and eventually get sucked back in when the pump runs.

So, now I think I'm back to having to dig through the floor to the top of the tank, disconnect the current vent and install a proper vent line. Making sure I don't make a hole in the tank, fill hose, or cut any wiring. This will be fun.
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:24 AM   #10
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Can you flush it clean with water and a bleach mixture? then cut it where you can get to in the dead space or do you think that the whole line is contaminated? Did you read this post? is it the same problem as yours? (posted by Knight in things you did today) Got the framework for the fresh water tank out, got the tank fully drained finally, then the big hammers came out and I straightened the frame, pounded the creases out of the angle iron, fitted the new angle iron I'm going to weld in to reenforce it. I was going to redesign the frame, but after looking at the area I have a lot of room where I can put a larger tank in there, maybe 10-15 gallons bigger even, so I'm going to leave the design alone for now.

Also, I figured out why these things "Siphon" like they tend to do. First, the vent is in the side of the tank, not the top. So once you fill it up whatever water got in above the vent line is running back out. Second, and the real reason this happens, the top of the tank is actually concaved under it's own weight. You fill it up until water runs out of the vent, the top of the tank pushes up allowing water to fill that space, you remove the fill hose and the top of the tank will relax pushing out the water that lifted the top of the tank up. The tank is flimsy and moves at will so that happens easily.

By tomorrow afternoon I'll be filling the tank to see what happens, I might toss a thread up with what I do to it.
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