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Old 12-29-2011, 11:25 AM   #1
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I'd love to solve this ongoing problem.

Ok after 5 years and 4 or 5 attempts to get my slide out pump to quit leaking I need to replace the pump.
Short version of the story. We are talking about the o-ring between the tank and the pump flange.
Bought this rig new in 05. Replaced the seal 3 times. Then replaced it with a new teenzy weenzy tiny bigger one that was touted as "The Fix" for this tank model's inherent problem. All have failed. Tried a gasket sealing adhesive one year. Worked for about 9 months. This last few months I watched the puddle appear once again under my 5th wheel. This time I removed the pump. Cleaned the pump flange, and the entire tank with carb cleaner and got all the contact points completely clean and dry. I then used Shoe-Goo Plumbing sealant that I frequently use for many projects. The stuff really is awesome. (claims to work on plastic and steal-aluminum etc). I coated the tank seating area as well as the pump flange area and got it all back together perfectly where just a smidge of sealant mooshed out evenly around the entire tank and pump junction. After letting it dry for 48 hours it still leaks. Just to get my family out on our first trip in nearly a year I bolted a Cookie sheet under the tank so as it leaks I can suck the fluid up from the cookie sheet and stick it into a container verses it running all down the trailer.
Yes, I have tried contacting Forest River and Lippert on this issue. I made three attempts. Just for the entertainment value here's my latest correspondence with FR.

My latest (3rd) attempt to solicite help from FR.
To: Diane K. Kritzman
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:33 PM
Subject: FW: SP37 You Hauler
I purchased this unit new. I paid $44,000 for it. I have had one continual problem since the first year. The hydrolic slide-out pump tank leaks every summer. It leaks between the tank flange and the pump housing. I have tried everything from new O-rings, gasget sealer, to silicone. It always leaks due to the improperly manufactured flange on the tank itself dissallowing a proper seal. It now does not hold any type of seal and has rendered the pump completely useless. After searching the net I see that this has been a problem for many. Can you please cntact me an let me know if there is any solution to this problem?
Thanks,
VIN Number:4x4fsen29xxxxxxxx
Brand:Sierra
Diane forwards this to this guy
From: Diane K. Kritzman
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:33 PM
To: Denise Spagnola; Jeffery Johnson
Subject: FW: SP37 You Hauler
This guy responds to Diane
From: Jeffery Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:35 PM
To: Diane K. Kritzman
Subject: RE: SP37 You Hauler
Diane,This is a California built unit and needs to be addressed by Jim Treadwell.
Jim contacts me.
I am sorry to hear of your problem on the hyd. pump. We have not had a problem with this in the past. The hyd. Fluid will expand in heat and cause the seal to fail if the tank is over filled. Only fill to the half way mark. We have not used this system for several years. I can suggest you contact Lippert company at 1-866-524-7821 and the person to talk to is Pam. Thanks jt
James Treadwell
Warranty/Parts/Service Manager
Plant 19 Rialto CA.Forest River Inc.Office:
909.873.3777Fax:
909.421.3442Email:
jtreadwell@forestriverinc.com
I return an email to Jim
JT,
Thanks for your email.

Just for your future information as a professional, over filling does not cause this problem. When the tank flange flexes in summer months (due to the improper seal design) it allows all of the fluid to leak until it is empty.

Also this is an ongoing problem with this tank design on all of these models in this year. A little searching on the net will provide a lot of information regarding the issue if you are inclined to educate yourself on the matter.

And yes, this design was only used on a few year models due to this very problem.

Thanks for the contact information. I will give Lippert another try. (3rd attempt in 3 years)
The bummer is that I am willing to assume responsability and pay something fair for a good working unit at this point since I have let it go for 6 years. But it's hard to swallow spending 40,000 cash for this rig and being denied any help with an obvious ongoing design problem.
Jim replies
Mr. Gino:
I am very sorry for the miss information! I’ve only been in this business for the last 27 years and its obvious you do not need my input! As the manufacture and the engineers of the product, they have no knowledge of this defect and no record of any issues. But it obvious to me, you are privileged to much more professional information then we are.
According to all knowledge of hyd. fluid, it will expand and contract with the increase and decrease of temperature’s. But it’s obvious you don’t need my help.
Again very sorry for the misinformation!
My reply and I haven't heard back.

JT,
My email was not meant to be interpreted as a personal attack on your person or question your knowledge. I was simply stating facts as I have come to understand them over the last few years of researching this issue and communicating with other owners of this model who claim to have had the same problem. Those same owners who have claimed to have contacted Forest River and Lippert only to be given the same answers I have been getting. Is your response really what you want on record?

I have been an avid RV'er since the mid nineties. I have owned several different RV's and toy hauler brands. I have also been in the automotive/customer service business since 1991. I have always defended Forest River products as my experience has been pretty good with the one exception regarding this tank issue. I certainly don't claim to have any knowledge that is not easily attainable to anyone with a computer and an internet connection.

I also believe that when someone is in the position to represent a large company such as Forest River they should give a customer the benefit of the doubt when it comes to questioning if an email response was meant to be malicious or not and try to take the high road in order to maintain a professional appearance.

I agree that hydraulic fluid will expand and contract with temperature fluctuations as you have stated. I don't believe this justifies the design flaw in the tank/pump flange. Shouldn't the engineers have taken this into consideration when designing the tank and pump?

With 27 years of experience in this industry I find it hard to believe that some of that experience and knowledge could not be used to help solve a faithful customers problem. Even after the customer offers to pay a fair share for a newer better designed pump?

Jim is there anyone else I could talk to who can help me? Possibly a regional superior or Nation rep? I really just want to get this problem solved.
Thanks, Gino

So I am now ready and motivated to replace this tank and pump myself. How would I know the proper type with the right specs to replace my current one? I am hoping someone on here works with Hydraulics and can edjucate me? Or send me in the right direction? Here's a pic of it. I can also list all the of the specs here if that helps.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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Can you get on Lippert Site and find any specs? Have you asked them what they replaced this unit with? Are there any other manufacturer markings you can find? I know, not much help, lot of questions. Since it is a slide, won't need a lot of pressure, or flow. The more the faster, but current draw will help a lot in determining size of motor. If no electrical plate, what size is the breaker feeding it? Once you find that, you can calculate horsepower, and maybe match it to a pump size.

One last thought, if you know of a place that converts 1 ton trucks to dump beds, they have electric pumps, with tanks, because that is how almost all 1 ton dump trucks work, electric over hydraulic, just like your slide. May have to fabricate some mounting brackets.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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Lippert shows a replacement for this model. It's about 1300 bucks delivered. I am just leary about them. They wouldn't warranty this one when it was still covered, they ignore all of my corrisponance other than telling me to buy the new one. If they will be fair with me I'd be willing to give thier new model a try.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:01 PM   #4
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Understand, that is why I am throwing stuff out there. Don't have a slide, and never will after being an RV tech for a while. Wish I could help more. You just need a pump that works both directions, and the switch will reverse the motor direction. Pretty simple, but can't help with pressures or flow volume. A power steering pump on a car can make 2000 psi. That should be plenty on a slide.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:18 PM   #5
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Seems to me that one of a couple of things is causing your problem. First thing that comes to mind, you are/have overtightened the screws and warped the flange. Or you are under tightening the screws and not getting a proper seal. Or there is a small crack or scratch in the seal area causing your problem. Personally if it were mine, I would take it completely out of the RV, disassemble everything and do a very careful inspection. Then, depending on what the inspection revealed I would decide on the correct fix. Maybe some JB weld, maybe the correct "O" ring for automatic transmission fluid. Maybe take it to a hydraulic shop and have them fix it. Certainally I would not spend $1300 dollars until I did some research for an alternative Heck, places like Graingers have replacement pump/motor assemblies for far less than that.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:52 PM   #6
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Not sure if you have been using proper o-ring as they are different composition for hydr fluid. I found transmission shop to be of great help when I needed one for an application in hydr fluid. Just hoping to help here as it could be a possibility.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for the brain storming thus far.

The reason the pump started leaking initially was that the seating area between the tank and the pump is about 1/8 of an inch thick. So directly center between the 4 bolts that hold the tank to the pump warps in the summer and pulls away from the pump ever so slightly allowing the fluid to leak. I realize that in most cases it's something simple like you guys are brainstorming. My brain is now 5 years into this and exhausted all of these possibilities. It really is a design flaw. I have come to learn that Lippert only made this pump for a few short seasons and got away from the design real quick. I have talked to many other rv'ers that have this model and have the same problem. Lippert and FR just ignore them and act like they've never heard of it.

I have taken it all apart several times. And have done a ton of investigating the last 5 years.

Looks like I am buying a new pump. Lippert Components RV Parts and Accessories|Hydraulic Slide and Leveling Components

Just wish Lippert or FR would help me out on it. Looks like I may have to start a new website www.boycottforestriver.com & www.boycottlippertcomponents.com and start hosting all of the other rv'ers complaints as well as mine.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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Have you thought about making a thicker flange? It would be pretty simple to do. A two piece flange would add strength to prevent warping.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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The flange on the pump is over 1 inch thick. The wall of the tank where it meets the flange is 1/8th inch thick. It's the tank wall at the meeting point that blows out under summer temps.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIREGUY1991 View Post
The flange on the pump is over 1 inch thick. The wall of the tank where it meets the flange is 1/8th inch thick. It's the tank wall at the meeting point that blows out under summer temps.
You said you replaced the 'O' ring...a few times.... Take your old o-ring to a hydraulic repair shop and tell them you need to replace it with a Quad-Ring. This is a four sided o-ring and really easy to mix up with a regular o-ring. I had this same problem on some mining equipment. The pump is mounted on the hydraulic tank and leaked from new at this point. In my case the original o-ring was wrong from the factory I took out an o-ring and I replaced an o-ring, when in fact, I needed a quad-ring. This is a mistake that took place outside the manufacturers area and unless you actually work in a hydraulic component shop would never imagine this to be the problem. Heck, if I take out a defective part and replace it with an identical new part, the problem should be fixed. Hope this is a new idea and that it works for you. Also, when replacing o-rings in a hydraulic system, never, ever, use any sort of gunk to seal the ring in place. This is not how an o-ring seals. It needs a totally clean environment to work in. Hydraulic pressure pushes against the ring, the ring MOVES in the direction of the oil flow, the ring tries to squeeze out the nice clean, square, flat area it is in and can't so it plugs the gaps by trying to flow where the oil is going.
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