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Old 08-11-2015, 11:01 PM   #1
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Replacing dump valve cables

I have a Solera that is not even two weeks old. The dealer had forgotten to give me the keys to the access door for the dump valve handles, so when I finally got them in the mail it turns out the dump valves do not work.

I traced the problem to the cables that were lying across the exhaust for the generator, and the plastic melted. I can't see how the cables connect into the valves, but surely there is a way to replace the cables without replacing the valves?

I know it's under warranty, but my dealer is 100 miles away, and it will cost me more in fuel to take it in. I'll no doubt have to leave it for a week or more, and have the wife follow me down with the car. Plus, I have zero confidence in this dealer! Please tell me there's an easy way to replace these cables?
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:55 AM   #2
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Yes. You can replace the cables without replacing the valves. I purchased, cut to length, and replaced the grey tank cable on my 2016 Solera 24W. I was able to just shorten and reroute the black tank cable. Both cables now have almost a straight shot with very little bend in them and they work just fine. I did not have to replace the valves. Now, they are easy to operate, and do not leak. All is well. I contacted Brian Clemens about them when I was having the problem, but didn't push it. I did not ask for reimbursement since I was able to do the work myself and the cable was not expensive. I used a Valterra cable for the grey valve.

FR could easily cut those cables to the proper length before installing them at the factory. It would take a few minutes per cable but would be easy to do on the bench -- much easier than after the valves are installed.

How to do it:

There is a bracket/protective cover where the cable meets the valve. On the black valve, you have to loosen the bolts that hold the valve in place in order to pry the tabs that hold that cover in place away from the valve. The one on the grey tank valve is smaller and is held in place with a retaining clip that has locking tabs on two corners. Release the locking tabs and open the clip, then just remove it. There is a screw on the brackets where the cables meet the valves. It holds the cable retaining block in the bracket. Remove the screw and slide the bracket back away from the valve. You will have to remove that screw before you try to separate the bracket from the valve or it will prevent it from moving away from the valve.

There are two set screws that attach the cables to the valves. There is a set screw that holds the cable in the small retaining block where the screw was. That one goes in from the end and secures the cable in the retaining block. The other one attaches the cable to the rod of the valve. Remove both set screws to separate the cable from the retaining block and the valve rod. You may need to pull a bit to get the cable out of the valve rod after removing that set screw because the set screw bends the cable end a little and that actually helps secure it to the rod.

You will have to cut away some of the foam that is sprayed on the underside where the cable handles are mounted. Cut away as much as necessary to remove the nut that holds the cable to the access cabinet. Remove the nut and pull the cable out.

I recommend rerouting the cables to minimize the bends, then cutting them to fit. Here is a Valterra video that provides some helpful insights for replacing valves and cables. It talks about cutting and routing the cables starting at 7:15 into the video.


Installing the new cable is the reverse of removing it.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:34 AM   #3
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Hfalbright, Your explanation was very helpful. THANK YOU!

Scott
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:05 AM   #4
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I would not call this an easy fix, primarily because all of the work is done under the Solera. But if you have the tools and a way to lift or get under the rear of the RV so that you have room to work on it, it is doable. My driveway is raised with a retaining wall around it. I was able to back up to the edge of the wall so that the tail was hanging out over the wall and that gave me reasonably good access.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:32 AM   #5
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Another option you may want to consider is Valterra electric dump valves. Instead of pulling a cable you just flip a switch. If our "W" has cable issues I plan on going this route...
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:51 AM   #6
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I have had troubles with the cable outer housing coming out of the handle assembly. The crimp was not tight enough. I had the problem multiple times. I finally replaced the black tank cable with an electric valve. No further problems and much easier to use.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:24 PM   #7
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I assume you have to replace the entire valve to go with the electric option? Those valves are wedged in there pretty tight. I don't know how you could separate the plumbing enough to get one out without moving the tank or the sleeves that connect the pipes to the tanks. I was glad that I could get away with replacing only the cables. However, I expect that someday I will have to at least replace seals in the valves, if not an entire valve.
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:00 PM   #8
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Might I suggest you contact an RV repair location near you that can get authorization from FR.
I STOP driving to my dealer due to drive and poor workmanship.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:22 PM   #9
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electric dump values

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLdr1 View Post
Another option you may want to consider is Valterra electric dump valves. Instead of pulling a cable you just flip a switch. If our "W" has cable issues I plan on going this route...
There is such a thing as electric valves? I have a hard time getting under our W to work the valves. A switch would be great. Might be a good winter modification at our dealership. DH and I don't attempt things like this... We like being married. Ha!
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCTroy View Post
There is such a thing as electric valves? I have a hard time getting under our W to work the valves. A switch would be great. Might be a good winter modification at our dealership. DH and I don't attempt things like this... We like being married. Ha!
You can bet the bank it will be dealer installed if we go electric!
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:42 PM   #11
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2016 Forester 2401W had less than. Month. Had same issue. Also pulls are labeled wrong. Gray and black switches. In repair shop now. Issues like these need to be warrantied. I heard from shop FR is unreliable in calling back to authorize work. I can't imagine why, what with all the issues these have. Every time I read about another issue I cringe because I know that will happen soon. Running lights, radio, valve pulls and loose storage door behind drivers door. Can't wait. Disappointed in FR.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cfritts View Post
2016 Forester 2401W had less than. Month. Had same issue. Also pulls are labeled wrong. Gray and black switches. In repair shop now. Issues like these need to be warrantied. I heard from shop FR is unreliable in calling back to authorize work. I can't imagine why, what with all the issues these have. Every time I read about another issue I cringe because I know that will happen soon. Running lights, radio, valve pulls and loose storage door behind drivers door. Can't wait. Disappointed in FR.
After having issues with several new model/versions of cars, I found it is best to wait a year on a new model so the bugs are sorted.

You happen to be an early adopter doing a beta test, so hang in there.

We ordered a first year (2011) MINI Countryman S that should not have left the factory, but MINI let it anyways, so it does happen in the car industry, too.

The MBS is a great chassis and once you get those items worked out, you will enjoy it. My only major issues on the R were suspension/stability related and just needed to upgrade a few items in that regard. SumoSprings are my #1 mod and have really made this top heavy MBS a tight, road worthy machine. In addition, they even keep it very stable when parked at a site and my bigfoots no longer scrape on driveways, etc.. I am thinking they would be a major help for any "W" out there.

Best of luck,

Jay
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:41 PM   #13
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I agree with that theory and was under the impression it was the 2nd year model.

In any case thanks for the advice. We may need to add those
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:39 PM   #14
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I think the W has only been in existence for five or six months. Other owners please correct me on that. It was right at the end of the 2015 RV model year I believe.
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:19 PM   #15
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I think the W has only been in existence for five or six months. Other owners please correct me on that. It was right at the end of the 2015 RV model year I believe.
Brian Clemens posted the "teaser video" back on 11-15-14 and it was unveiled at a
RV show in December 2014. I don't know when actual production began but it was after that...

I haven't had any serious issues with our "W" yet.
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:26 PM   #16
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I wanna say the first customer units went out in March or April?
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I wanna say the first customer units went out in March or April?
The first owner thread I see here is by HomeOnWheels in late March so that may be about right...
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:10 PM   #18
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It was the 2015 model year that threw me off. If you have no issues consider yourself blessed. I am not even extremely picky either.
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