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Old 08-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
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Why DEF tank is so hard to getmto.

Just wondering why the folks at Forestriver put the DEF Tank on their coaches in such a hard to get to place. The guy who decided to do this obviously has not tried to put fluid in it!
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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I have my local repair guy trying to help me come up with a way to add fluid that does not take two people. It is even on the wrong side to use the DEF pumps at truck stops. This was obviously an after thought and a bad one.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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Some of the new Fords have them side-by-side and it is not uncommon to have an operator put DEF Fliud in a fuel tank and ruin an engine.
Why they make them so difficult to get into is an engineer's dream, which is an owner's nightmare.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
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What kind of Rigs do you guys have? The Solera has it's DEF tank right up front in the engine compartment very easy to get to and fill.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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I have a 2011 Berkshire 340rb and the tank is in the next to the last compartment on the passenger side. You have to open the compartment door and it opens upward blocking you access to the tank nozzle. I have had to rig a long hose and funnel so I can add fluid. Can,t even put in fluid at truck stops as it is on the wrong side.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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The Berkshire does not. It is in the back and to fill at the pump you must move the MH and enter the pump from the wrong end. Most truckers already think we are dumb ***** anyway now enter the pump from the wrong direction. To fill the tank from a 2.5 gal.container you must pour the DEF into a gallon milk container and then pour it into the tank. Thankfully not a task that needs doing often. It could have been thought out better swapping with the LP would be my choice.



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Old 08-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #7
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I feel for you guys, hope something comes up to help you out.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:29 PM   #8
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There is no way to fix it. It's not a major deal just should be thought out better. The DEF thing did not come up and blind side anyone. They new they would need to make this change for several years.
A gallon plastic jug works and will allow you to pour into the tank. I still spill a little. I hope that stuff isn't toxic.



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Old 08-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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On a recent trip to West Glacier, MT and back to South Carolina, I had to put DEF in a couple of times. I never let mine get below two green bars. My southern engineering isn't working so I will try your milk jug suggestion. My dad used to put oil in his push mower with a small Coke bottle and he never spilled a drop.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:56 PM   #10
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I took two of the spouts for the 2.5 gal jugs from wally world and taped them together and fill from my 2.5 gal jugs. I make sure to clean it after. it looks ugly but it works.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:00 PM   #11
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DEF is Urea mixed with water. Yes folks the same stuff as in urine. Ammonia from the urea mixes with the nitrogen oxide in the exhaust to form nitrogen and water.

The MSDS sheet from air blue fluids makes it sound all but harmless. The MSDS from ford sounds scarier! http://www.fcsdchemicalsandlubricant...us183606us.pdf
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:42 PM   #12
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If its that hard to get to and fill, how about rigging up a remote reservoir and a fuel pump that you can flick on and fill the factory tank? You can get a nice little electric fuel pump at Pep Boys for $30...
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #13
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DEF usage is 2%of fuel consumption. A gal jug or a funnel or what ever you come up with it's not that big a deal. I just think it makes the design engineer look like he put no thought into the MH like I forgot about the DEF just stick it there. I'm sure there is a reason they put it where they did. I have 2000 miles on mine and have added DEF twice. I just like to keep it full. Remember it does freeze and expands when it does. Don't fill it up before you store it if you live in the great frozen north.



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Old 08-16-2012, 10:31 PM   #14
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Just to correct the OP, in case no one else did. The DEF tanks are installed by Freightliner at the factory when they make the chassis, not by Forest River. I have found the cheapest and easiest way to fill them is at a bulk pump at a Pilot Station in the middle of the day when few truckers are there. I also use an orange road cone, put it behind the truck in the bay, without trucks behind him and when he leave, enter the bay from the exit side. Keeps trucks from lining up behind the truck in the bay an you having to wait until the entire lane is empty.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:39 PM   #15
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I too tried duct taping two nozzles from a large bottle ... although it worked, I felt like I should be part of teh Robin Williams RV movie or a new addition of National Lampoon Summer Vacation.

A slightly more elegant solution was to purchase a plastic funnel from a locat home improvement store. Romove the stock piiece of plasic hoze from the bottom of the funnel and replace it with a much longer piece.

My first attempt proved to be less than stellar ... fraught with constant vapour lock. Once I shortant the hose to about 5 ft. (just enough to get around the top of the bay door), the mixture flowed feely.

It would have been so much easier if Forest River had put in a small fuel door ... or even removed the gas shock and allowed the door to swing up past 90 degrees.

Another dumb @$$ design was discovered on my last holiday when I accidentally filled the water tank rather than hooking up to city water. I searched the couch for about 30 minuted before I dicovered the compartment housing the tank drain and the water pump. Why in the name of the Lord above did Forest River decide to disguise this compatment by putting on no latch and locking it from below with cotter pin ... the to add insult to injury ... No gas prop on the door. I can see now that this will give me something to swear about every fall as I attempt to winterize the unit (inject waterline antifreeze) while holding the door up with my head.

Installing a kitched cabinet too narrow to hold a standard plate was an other fine exemple of gold star engineering.

or the bedroon door glide screwed into 1/8th inch panelling with no backing material anywhere in site.

Who does these things?


That all being said ... we still love our 2012 390BH-60
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:50 PM   #16
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Craig you are correct that the DEF is a Freightliner issue and apologies to FR for that one. Good idea with the cone I'll have to try that.



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Old 08-17-2012, 09:01 AM   #17
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Sorry for this dumb question but how can you tell when you need to add DEF? I thought it only needed to be topped off at each oil change. Does a gauge indicate when it is needed?
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:04 AM   #18
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There are green bars in the fuel gage. I think 4 or 5. More bars fuller ,less bars emptier .



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Old 08-17-2012, 10:09 AM   #19
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I have a 2011 solera. My tank is also on the rightside of camper behind a door. Its not the easy thing to do, but can be done ok with the 2.5 gallon jug with hose. My problem is mine does not give you a level in cab, it only alarms when tank is low. then as you are trying to fill it no way of checking level without sticking something in to tank to check level. wish it had a sightglass or tube for you to see level.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:50 AM   #20
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Just a word of caution about the bar indicators for the DEF System. I was told at Freightliner Camp in SC, that once you get to the last green bar and it turns yellow, you have a couple of hundred miles before it turns red. If it turns red on you, do not shut off the engine, because it will not start again and you will need to get towed. I was told you can drive it if it is red, until you can get to a place with DEF. I would think you would need to add DEF before you can shut the engine off. My DEF tank full lasts about 3000 miles. I always fill it before it goes empty and when my DW gets nervous and point out that it is getting low (for her that is two green bars). Hope that helps someone.
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