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Old 04-08-2021, 06:22 PM   #1
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Unhappy Fresh Water Tanks falling out

I am the owner of a 2021 Vibe 21BH that I purchase in April of 2020. I have only had it out 2 time in 2020 (Covid). Those 2 trips last year were short, single destination trips, one 2 hours one way and one 1.5 hours. So I have not really used it as I would have normally (pre-Covid) and the warranty is about to expire.

In 3 weeks we will take our first longer, multi-stop trip from NE Florida north to PA to visit family. We are excited to get back to traveling as we use to prior to 2020. Then the other day I read this tread about a member's fresh water tank moving/shifting that sounded like the tank's mounts are broken/detaching (thread here) and for me that raises some concerns and questions. I have always traveled with a full fresh water tank with every TT, 5th, and MH I've owned and never had concerns or an issue. But I am new to Forest River products!
  • How many owners (especially those who travel with Full tanks) have actually had fresh water tank mount issues?
  • Is this a design problem with certain FR brands? Types (Like Ultra Lights)?
  • Will Forest River tell me where my Fresh Tank is mounted? Who would I talk to? (When I owned a SOB TT and 5th, the manufacture actually emailed me PDF files of the Frame showing all the tank placements, mounts, braces, etc.)
  • Have any of you added supports to help hold their FW Tank in? Do you have photos of what you did that you can post?
  • Does anyone have photos of their FW Tank mounts? Without dropping the belly I can't see anything.

We really like our Vibe, but now that were looking at our first (finally) 2000 mile trip, after the problem aheraood9696 posted about their FW Tank, I'm not sure where my confidence is about not having similar issue.

Thanks,
-Russ
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:35 PM   #2
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I have had two trailers, a 2011 Wildwood 26tbss and a 2015 Puma 32dbks. I traveled everywhere we went with full fresh water tanks. I traveled to Florida from Philadelphia PA twice and multiple times to Myrtle Beach and never had a problem. As with everything, there are exceptions and a small percentage of trailer owners who had problems with traveling with full water tanks.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilcin View Post
I have had two trailers, a 2011 Wildwood 26tbss and a 2015 Puma 32dbks. I traveled everywhere we went with full fresh water tanks. I traveled to Florida from Philadelphia PA twice and multiple times to Myrtle Beach and never had a problem. As with everything, there are exceptions and a small percentage of trailer owners who had problems with traveling with full water tanks.
Thanks for your reply Bill. It's good to hear of folks who travel with Full FW like me that have not had issues.

Our trip to PA will be to Bethlehem (Lehigh Valley area) where we are originally from and still have family and friends up there.
-Russ
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:05 PM   #4
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Before our last trip, I added 3 strips of galvanized pipe hanger strap between the support rails, just to keep the bottom of the tank from sagging. We made a 1150 mile round trip with a full tank, and it looks fine. It did help contain the sag, and any weight on the straps is working to pull the support rails in closer to the tank.
Mine had no support across the bottom, just sitting on the support rails on the front and rear of the tank.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGrimm View Post
Thanks for your reply Bill. It's good to hear of folks who travel with Full FW like me that have not had issues.

Our trip to PA will be to Bethlehem (Lehigh Valley area) where we are originally from and still have family and friends up there.
-Russ
Have a great time! Some members say traveling with full fresh water tanks lowers their mpg. When I traveled with a gas or diesel tow vehicle, for me, the difference in mpg was negligible. I would rather have fresh water always available then not. At 2 different campgrounds we camped at had no water available at check in, I was glad I had water until the water problem was corrected, and 1 campground took 2 days to fix! Use the fresh water tanks, that's why they are there!
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
Before our last trip, I added 3 strips of galvanized pipe hanger strap between the support rails, just to keep the bottom of the tank from sagging. We made a 1150 mile round trip with a full tank, and it looks fine. It did help contain the sag, and any weight on the straps is working to pull the support rails in closer to the tank.
Mine had no support across the bottom, just sitting on the support rails on the front and rear of the tank.
My underbelly is covered with Coroplast (black cardboard looking plastic) so I can not see any of my tanks or there support system. Is your Wolf Pup 16FQ underbelly covered or can you see your FW Tank?

I assume based on the location of the gravity fill and hose going through the floor under the coach/bed that the FW tank is in front of the front axle. So without dropping the Coroplast (a job) the best I could do is put straps from frame rail to frame rail but I'd just be guessing at where the actual tank is.
-Russ
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilcin View Post
Have a great time! Some members say traveling with full fresh water tanks lowers their mpg. When I traveled with a gas or diesel tow vehicle, for me, the difference in mpg was negligible. I would rather have fresh water always available then not. At 2 different campgrounds we camped at had no water available at check in, I was glad I had water until the water problem was corrected, and 1 campground took 2 days to fix! Use the fresh water tanks, that's why they are there!
I have had at few situations at CGs where one had well pump issues, so no water and one that had a broken water line in the CG forcing the water to be shut off and after it was fixed we still couldn't use the water until the local county tested it. Its part of the reason to carry a full FW tank. For me it is more towing speed that affects my MPG than the little extra weight (330 lbs for me) for my full FW tank.
-Russ
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:48 PM   #8
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A friend just bought a 2021 E Pro 19fd. I looked under it at the fresh water tank supports and they have been improved from my 2014 Micro Lite (which I modified). Here's a thread with a few ideas if you decide to take a look at yours... https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...de-129346.html
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
Before our last trip, I added 3 strips of galvanized pipe hanger strap between the support rails, just to keep the bottom of the tank from sagging. We made a 1150 mile round trip with a full tank, and it looks fine. It did help contain the sag, and any weight on the straps is working to pull the support rails in closer to the tank.
Mine had no support across the bottom, just sitting on the support rails on the front and rear of the tank.


Did you just screw them into the frame? Iíve never had an issue but have thought about reinforcing mine. That sure sounds like an easy way to do it!
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:55 PM   #10
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Modified fresh water tank supports:
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGrimm View Post
My underbelly is covered with Coroplast (black cardboard looking plastic) so I can not see any of my tanks or there support system. Is your Wolf Pup 16FQ underbelly covered or can you see your FW Tank?

I assume based on the location of the gravity fill and hose going through the floor under the coach/bed that the FW tank is in front of the front axle. So without dropping the Coroplast (a job) the best I could do is put straps from frame rail to frame rail but I'd just be guessing at where the actual tank is.
-Russ

Yes, my tanks are all exposed and visible, with the fresh water tank right in front of the axle.
Here's a not so good picture of mine.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:04 PM   #12
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My first post, Yayy!

We recently bought a 2018 Rockwood 2109s, which also has the fresh water tank located in front of the axles. After reading all these posts about issues with the water tank I went ahead and bit the bullet and cut the coroplast out under that section so I could see what I had. Something that I noticed with mine that led me to do this was that when I did a full fill test, the tank was obviously bulging down against the coroplast. I'm so glad I did this because if I'd tried to go down the road with a full tank I'm 100% positive I would have been in the "it fell out" club. The stock configuration has two relatively light weight cross members running side-to-side, and then it's supposed to have two light weight angle metal pieces running laterally between those two in a fore-aft position. I say supposed to because when I pulled the coroplast section out I found one of these two lateral support pieces just laying there on the coroplast. Looking for wear marks on the attachment points, I found none, which indicates to me that my second lateral support was never installed, they just tossed it on the coroplast and then put the water tank in. I reinstalled the loose support piece and then did another test fill. My tank is rated at 43 gallons, I use a flow meter to measure the water going in and sure enough, I was able to get to 43 gallons. But looking at the tank and supports with that much water was extremely alarming. The two cross member supports were bowed out and way down, I'd guess they bowed down a good three inches. I was surprised to see the bowing out since the two lateral support pieces are inserted into slots on the cross member pieces. I thought those would keep the cross members from bowing out but it still allowed for a good deal of deflection. More alarming was that in order to get 43 gallons in, it caused the tank to balloon everywhere there was an unsupported area, in addition to the metal support deflection. I quickly drained the tank and decided this needed to be fixed. Looking at
[URL="https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f217/fresh-water-tank-falls-out-202555.html"]this thread/URL], I decided to do something like what you see in post #15. That poster, #HangDiver, used 1/4" angle iron on his but all I could locate quickly was 1/8" so that's what I used. In my case 1/8" was sufficient, when I did a test fill afterward there was very little downward deflection on the cross members and none on the lateral supports. An interesting thing I found on this test fill was that my max water load now is only 35 gallons, as opposed to the factory rated 43 gallons. They get that extra eight gallons of capacity by allowing the water tank to balloon, which strikes me as a very questionable practice. To get 35 gallons in mine now, it was causing the top of the tank to balloon up into the cavity space between the tank and the floor of the trailer so my self-prescribed limit will now be about 32 gallons, but I'll likely fill no more than 30 gallons just to be safe. The upside of all this is I'm now confident in the ability of my trailer to be able to go down the road with a 30 gallon load of water and not have the tank end up on the road.
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:09 PM   #13
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I've had two fall out
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:26 PM   #14
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Everyone that I know that has had problems with FW tank mounts has installed "UNISTRUT" & "SUPERSRTUT" systems to hold the tank in place. The struts are stout and clamp on the frame. Not expensive and available at Home Depot.
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:29 PM   #15
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My 60g fresh water tank rests on 2 L shaped side rails of not very thick steel. between these is a thicker strip of steel running down the middle of the tank. Before retiring last year, we did very little boondocking and didn't need to have a full tank all the time. When under the camper doing other work, I looked at the tank and was shocked to see the center support strip bent down an inch or 2 below the bottom of an empty tank. Since I knew I was retiring and planning to go on very long trips with a lot of water, I decided to put in a support that can handle 4x the weight of a full tank.
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:38 PM   #16
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We have an Ultralite Rockwood. 2702WS. We travel with full tanks as well on occasion and then noticed the bulging correplastic. I paid an RV repair shop to weld supports and make sure I could travel with full tanks. Forest River warranty paid for part of the repair.
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Old 04-09-2021, 02:07 PM   #17
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Our single-axle MicroLite 19fbs only has a 190 lbs. cargo carrying capacity if the fresh water tanks are full. For that reason alone, we never travel with full tanks. Usually 7-8 gallons is enough to take care of stops along the way.
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Old 04-09-2021, 02:25 PM   #18
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We had our black tank slip off it's mounting rails, what a mess! pulled out the tube and seal from the toilet to the tank.

It was still under warranty, the dealer repaired it right away (within 3 days) as we were heading for the Smokies in a week. To prevent another occurrence, they added extra bracing and while the belly was exposed, they even braced the fresh and grey tanks too. Not had a problem since.
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Old 04-09-2021, 03:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
Yes, my tanks are all exposed and visible, with the fresh water tank right in front of the axle.
Here's a not so good picture of mine.
Mine are like Hangdiver's post right before yours. I noticed his and mine are on supports that hold the BOTTOM of the tank, not the top edge, which looks much less stable. I used to be jealous of the guys with the whole bottom enclosed, now I'm glad I have everything open to inspection as the tanks are mounted BELOW the plastic sheeting. I travel with at least a third of a tank full, a couple times all the way full. No problems.
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:58 PM   #20
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No!

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An interesting thing I found on this test fill was that my max water load now is only 35 gallons, as opposed to the factory rated 43 gallons. They get that extra eight gallons of capacity by allowing the water tank to balloon, which strikes me as a very questionable practice. To get 35 gallons in mine now, it was causing the top of the tank to balloon up into the cavity space between the tank and the floor of the trailer so my self-prescribed limit will now be about 32 gallons, but I'll likely fill no more than 30 gallons just to be safe. The upside of all this is I'm now confident in the ability of my trailer to be able to go down the road with a 30 gallon load of water and not have the tank end up on the road.
No. That is incorrect. Nobody balloon-tested your tank to pump up the capacity rating.

By long-standing custom, the fresh water capacity on travel trailers includes the amount in the water heater, usually six gallons, but could be eight or twelve. If the factory called it 43, the fresh water tank is probably around 37.
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