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Old 03-26-2017, 02:26 PM   #1
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Fresh Water tank issue, need advice and help

I barely know where to start. First, I made a stupid, stupid mistake. Let that be first thing I say. But I have a major malfunction and not sure where to turn.

That said, I am not sure whether my mistake CAUSED the big error, or EXPOSED it. As briefly as I can:

Last fall when the A/C and roof were being replaced at the dealer, I had them winterize it since they had it till end of November. They 'appeared' to have done a good job and it has sat in driveway since then.

Yesterday I went out to begin dewinterize process, and when I went to open the Fresh Water tank drain valve, it was FULL of water! Everything else they appeared to do right, but that blew my mind. Nonetheless, I drained it and drained all the antifreeze out and put bleach and water in FW tank and turned on pump and flushed out the lines. I was using a water hose connected to the house here. I had put the anode rod back in and opened the bypass valves, and ensured the HW tank had water via the release valve. I ensured the on/off Elec switch was OFF.

My intentions were to let this sit overnight and today drain it and maybe put one more cup of bleach in FW.........then drain and move the switch to "CITY" water and begin making ice in the icemaker to throw away until clear.

BUT.........this is where my old age kicked in, BIG TIME and I'm literally sick about it. I am about ready to drive this thing off into the Arkansas River.

I apparently left the house water faucet ON all night!! Got up, headed out the door to church, and water was running down the driveway! UH OH. I turned water off and headed to church.

Got home, and went out to open the FW drain valve to let all that water out and 'Maybe' put more bleach, and the issue was clear. The entire FW tank was sagging almost down to the axles. Insulation is visible. Tank is a mess! The drain line is pushed up above the tank, due to the swelling, so that it is not draining very well, but I'm trying.

I put a big floor jack under there to jack up the sagging tank in hopes it would help drain.........at least to the point I could tow it to the shop. But it is higher than the sagging bottom. I then went out and removed the low point drain. It spit air and water and not much came out.

I took a pic but hard to see. This is from perspective of lying on ground behind passenger side wheels and pointing camera to drain on other side, showing the jack. Without the jack, I think the sag would be on top of axles.



This is what it looks like from the other side, driver's side....looking up at the exposed insulation and the drain pipe all pushed up in the way.



Here are my questions:

1) Is it possible that the full tank of water all winter broke something and that is what caused the problem? I am under 1st year warranty for another couple of weeks, FYI. Not sure this is a warranty issue though, unless it's something crazy I can't see right now.

2) Regardless of cause, is this drivable to the shop? If I remove the jack, afraid tank will rest on the axle.

3) I can't see any inside water leaks. Is it even remotely possible that all other systems are functional other than the FW system? We rarely use it anyway. I'm thinking of maybe "limping" to FROG to get it fixed if no way to get it done before...........although I have 40 nights before then already booked, all the way "Out West". No way I can take ANY chances, just asking.

I will try and monitor this as best I can next few hours. Any help is appreciated. I am pretty down right now.........too many things have gone wrong in last 11 months, and now to do something stupid.........maybe I need another sport.......

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:46 PM   #2
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Wow! That is a mess but it might not be as bad as you think...hopefully. Perhaps they blew out the water system with compressed air and used the pump intake bypass to put antifreeze in the system...and forgot to drain the FW tank. If I understand you correctly you connected to the city water connection and everything sort of worked as expected. The system pressurized, you filled the HW tank and you got water out of the faucets.

The tank, if full, is hopelessly cracked as your pictures indicate. This freezing probably broke the check valve housing on the pump so that the city water filled the tank again and water is leaking out of the tank as it will continually fill by running backwards through the pump.

You need to totally disconnect the pump, or at least plug the line going to its output so that the city water won't keep going through the pump and into the broken tank. Then drain the tank as best you can and stabilize the bottom of the unit so that you can move it. If that is the case you will then have an RV that only uses city water and has no useful pump or tank. if you are successful the city water pressure will remain and you will no longer get water leaking out of the tank and pump. That means your city system and hot and cold lines are still intact.

Hopefully that is the case. It is still a mess, and replacing the tank will be complicated but not an instant issue for you to use your RV.
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Old 03-26-2017, 02:51 PM   #3
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My initial thought is that the full tank over winter froze and damaged/stretched/weekend the tank causing the damage?

Running the hose all night should of not hurt it as it would come out the overflow as fast as it went in.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:08 PM   #4
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Without a doubt. A frozen full tank would split as would the lines to and from the pump and the pump itself.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:21 PM   #5
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Without knowing the exact mounting method they used on that model, I would bet it bent the tank supports possibly causing the tank to pop out of them, or deflecting the supports to the point it came apart. I've now repaired not only my tank supports but half a dozen for other people. If FR used the tank supports from LCI they bent, thats almost a sure bet.

Most likely it would be ok to take to the dealer as long as no water/weight is in the tank but I think I would try and drop part of the underlining just to double check.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:48 PM   #6
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Fresh Water tank issue, need advice and help

I would be after the dealer that winterized it for you but of course after the fact and everything purged you can't prove they screwed up. Sorry for your issue.

I myself would not wait and hobble through the camping season not having use of your fresh water situation. If the park your staying at has water problems which has happened to me your out of luck if you can't use your pump and fresh water tank.

Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:57 PM   #7
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I did not connect to the 'city water connection' as there is only ONE connection. One water hose connection. That's it. The same connection fills either the FW tank or uses City Water, depending on which way you move the switch. It has two positions "City" and "Gravity".

I will be talking to the dealer tomorrow. They are a good dealer, but this is a BUSY time of year and while I do not doubt they WILL work on it, I do know know if I will have to pay (probably, but not my worry right now), or worse, whether they can get to it by May!! Guess I'll find out tomorrow.

11 months of crap going wrong. But this one is on me. Still, I'm as down right now in this 'game' as I've ever been..............
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:01 PM   #8
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Bet you busted the check valve and now your switch effectively only has one position city water and backfill to tank through pump.

Bet it looks worse than it is. Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:03 PM   #9
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How cold did it get this winter? I'm out west and still have snow, and I don't know your end of the country. Cold enough to freeze tank solid?
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimber45 View Post
My initial thought is that the full tank over winter froze and damaged/stretched/weekend the tank causing the damage?

Running the hose all night should of not hurt it as it would come out the overflow as fast as it went in.
Exactly what I thought. That's what it's done in the past. Heck, that's the only way I know to ensure the FW tank is full! There's no gauge. It never caused this damage.

I will discuss with dealer tomorrow but I can just hear it now. They'll work on it........probably finish in May. Or July.

There went 40 booked nights, maybe.......

I'm afraid to go out and touch this thing........
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:14 PM   #11
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Since November when it was winterized, there were lots of nights the low was low 20's. Low enough to freeze it, yes. Not as MANY days as up north, but plenty cold enough for a while.

I am just kicking myself badly right now. Should have checked it, figured dealer knew what they were doing. Heck, they knew enough to remove refrigerator filter, even.

I will be at their doorstep tomorrow. Of course it CAN be fixed, by somebody, somewhere, sometime. I'm just out of time, and out of patience.

I appreciate the help.
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:18 PM   #12
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If your 40 nights are full hookups, I would access the pump, add a valve to the suction side and turn it off. Then make sure the tank is empty, secure it up in place, (they weigh almost nothing empty) and then camp till frog or your dealer can take care of it. Definitely a bummer but no need to ruin your summer. Best of luck.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:17 PM   #13
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I would not leave your camper there indefinitely Maybe if they can't get right to it they can get it to work on the city water side without flowing over to fresh, temporary until parts come in and it can get repaired.

You could use the bath houses at campground and carry external water( Walmart sell 5-10 gallon water containers.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:36 PM   #14
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I wish we were able to book 40 nites, perhaps next year. But to your situation, best of luck-- you have some great options from many that responded.
And welcome to the group that 'could just kick myself'
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:35 PM   #15
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Thanks to all.

After stewing on it for most of the day, I have sort of arrived at a conclusion. I think that I exposed a problem in my driveway that might have shown up down the road at some campground. I don't think I necessarily caused it, though I admit that is possible.

I will be at dealer's doorstep in the morning. I will see what they say. First camping trip is 04/10.

And I just looked again, and it's actually 52 nights assuming that I get into FROG, not a guarantee. But one huge trip all laid out "Out West" and have been planning on it for months and months. I guess (?) if they can't get to me, or if it takes too long, that I'll just figure out how to ignore the FW tank and use only city water function. Have to drop the pan, throw away the wet insulation, and put pan back up somehow. I actually think it will work now on city water.......but will feel better if dealer confirms that, even if they can't fix me 100%.

But sometimes I think I've graduated from "Sometimers" to "Mosttimers" disease. I'm pretty low.

But thanks for the responses.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:58 PM   #16
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Sorry to hear about the disaster. Since the problem was caused by the dealer not draining the tank when he winterized it, maybe you can work out a deal to rent one from him, just a suggestion. Good luck.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:10 PM   #17
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If the dealer winterized it and 'forgot' to drain the fresh water tank, they caused the problem, not you. You paid them to do a proper winterization.

I would have this discussion with the dealer and if they are stand up guys, they will fix it for you.

If they won't or can't get to it, simply put a shutoff valve in the line at the outlet of the water pump. You won't be able to use the fresh tank or the pump but you will be able to use city water without having it back fill the tank and run out on the ground.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:15 PM   #18
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Thats on the Dealer dude !!! I would walk in and blame them and not say a word otherwise .
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:30 PM   #19
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11 months of crap going wrong. But this one is on me. Still, I'm as down right now in this 'game' as I've ever been..............
Hang loose buddy and read on - we STILL expect you at BamaGanza!!

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If the dealer winterized it and 'forgot' to drain the fresh water tank, they caused the problem, not you. You paid them to do a proper winterization.

I would have this discussion with the dealer and if they are stand up guys, they will fix it for you.
That is a BIG X2!

And if that fails, I would contact Forest River direct and explain to your division what happened. I have seen Forest River do some pretty amazing things in the name of good will and customer service!

...Please let us know how the meeting with the dealer went.
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:03 PM   #20
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Wonder how this turned out.
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