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Old 05-25-2022, 01:52 PM   #1
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Unistrut for low hanging fresh water tank?

On my Wildwood FSX 190RT, the FWT has lips along the side for its mounting as well as those nylon like straps that I guess are to help secure it. The lips seem to be secured by additional steel rails. The way it is mounted, it hangs just a bit below the main frame rails. It seems pretty secure and not too worried about it going anywhere. It hangs just a bit lower on the driver's side than the passenger side. I can actually push up on it and it will move up and down. I am getting a bit of sag on the tank along middle from frame rail to frame rail. It appears that the fresh water fill is mounted to the top side of the tank??? This will limit my ability to push the tank up any further.

But I would really like to use some Unistrut to limit the sag. Because the tank hangs a bit low, I will need to use some kind of spacers on each frame rail to be able to secure the Unistrut. I am looking for suggestions on what to use for spacers so I can properly secure it. I think I would need maybe a 1" spacer on passenger side and at least a 2" one on the driver's side. I did by the clamps to secure the unistrut to the rails but not sure how well or that it will even work when using spacers.

First pic shows underside from passenger side, second pic shows how far tank sits below rail, and third puc shows driver's side.
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Old 05-25-2022, 03:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyk101 View Post
On my Wildwood FSX 190RT, the FWT has lips along the side for its mounting as well as those nylon like straps that I guess are to help secure it. The lips seem to be secured by additional steel rails. The way it is mounted, it hangs just a bit below the main frame rails. It seems pretty secure and not too worried about it going anywhere. It hangs just a bit lower on the driver's side than the passenger side. I can actually push up on it and it will move up and down. I am getting a bit of sag on the tank along middle from frame rail to frame rail. It appears that the fresh water fill is mounted to the top side of the tank??? This will limit my ability to push the tank up any further.

But I would really like to use some Unistrut to limit the sag. Because the tank hangs a bit low, I will need to use some kind of spacers on each frame rail to be able to secure the Unistrut. I am looking for suggestions on what to use for spacers so I can properly secure it. I think I would need maybe a 1" spacer on passenger side and at least a 2" one on the driver's side. I did by the clamps to secure the unistrut to the rails but not sure how well or that it will even work when using spacers.

First pic shows underside from passenger side, second pic shows how far tank sits below rail, and third puc shows driver's side.
I am way too new to speak to whether it's a good idea to brace up your tank this way, or a bad idea. Having said that, and assuming it's not a terrible idea, choosing Unistrut for the job is definitely the way to go.

Unistrut is one of mankind's ultimate great inventions. It's right up there with duct tape and zippy ties. With the appropriate hardware, there's almost nothing you can't do with it. It's like Lincoln Logs for grown men. I knew a guy who built an entire utility trailer out of nothing but C-Channel Unistrut, and zero welding. You just have to visualize what you want, and Unistrut makes the necessary clamps, nuts, brackets, connectors, thingamajigs, and wickerbillys to make it happen.

Are you using the 41x41 (1.25") or the 21x41 (0.75")? My suggestion, for what it's worth, would be to make the spacers out of cut-to-size pieces of the 41, the main brace out of 21 (strength v. weight), then bolt the whole thing together with spring nuts and angle fittings, and then use Beam Clamps to attach them to the frame.

You may also want to consider some sort of insulator between anything clamped to the frame that touches that plastic tank. You wouldn't want unequal motion to wear a hole in the tank.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:02 PM   #3
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Here's a previous thread where Unistrut was used to support the fresh water tank.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ly-212330.html
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:23 PM   #4
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I just took a look and may have mispoke. I dont have Unistrut but Superstrut instead. Although they appear to be almost identical. I picked up two 10' 14ga sections from Home Depot:

Superstrut 10 ft. 14-Gauge Silver Electro-Galvanized Strut Channel
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Superstr...10EG/202714280
SKU# 202714280

The specs show they are 1-5/8 x 13/16 so not sure how that compares with the specs you were mentioning.

Obviously the sections need to be cut down to fit from frame rail to frame rail but that would give me some smaller sections to work with that maybe I can construct custom spacers with???
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:48 PM   #5
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Here's a previous thread where Unistrut was used to support the fresh water tank.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ly-212330.html
I saw that thread which caused me to run out and buy the Superstrut and frame clamps. I came home and got ready to do it only to discover that my tank mounting was different. The tanks in that thread are all flush with the bottom of the frame rail. Of course I couldn't get that lucky and mine is mounted so it actually hangs below the frame rail like I described above. It "may" be possible to push the tank up so the bottom of the tank is flush then secure it with my Superstrut rail but I'm pretty sure I would end up crushing the fill hose. I did see one poster in that thread talk about making wood spacers but I just don't feel comfortable doing that. He wasn't using the wood at the end where securing it but rather in the middle. I don't trust wood to be able to hold up to the elements. I would much rather come up with a more durable spacer idea.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:54 PM   #6
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I agree it would be better to use a material for the spacers that can better handle exposure to the elements.

Please post a picture once you get it all installed in order to help others in the future.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:37 AM   #7
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I did the supports under the fw tank on our last TT but another problem I had was tank bounce. Hitting a bump while moving, the tank would bounce enough that it sheared off the vent fitting on the side of the tank. So, after fixing the vent hose connection, along with under supports I added strapping over the top to keep the tank from bouncing up.
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Old 05-27-2022, 08:01 AM   #8
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That sounds like good advice and will keep it in mind when I tackle this. I would just have to figure out how to do this as I would have to get around the lip at the top of the tank. Although maybe I could just go over the top side to side as I have access to that.
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:09 PM   #9
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Thats what I did, over the top side to side. I just used nylon straps and eye bolts so I could put some tension on the straps.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:24 PM   #10
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Superstruts and Unistruts are like giant erector sets. You can build anything you want with them. You just have to look through the catalogs and decide what you need to suit your purpose.
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Old 05-27-2022, 09:20 PM   #11
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I did check for various components for both Unistrut and Superstrut and couldn't quite find a solution. But I think I may have figured out something to try. Since I will be cutting down the 10' sections to the proper width, I will have extra material left. It appears that I can stack a smaller section on top of the main piece right under the passenger side frame rail and should still fit into the frame clamps. That appears to be enough to handle the passenger side. On the driver's side, it looks like I would have to stack 2 small sections of the leftover pieces and that should be enough. But I will need to find longer square u-bolts as the ones on the clamp are not going to be long enough. I may use a couple bolts to keep the individual sections together with the main Superstrut rails I'm adding. I think I may also change out the nuts to nyloc nuts as well as some lock washers.
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Old 05-28-2022, 09:20 AM   #12
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Just this last week my son and I did the Super Strut mod on my 2019 Mini Light 2109S. Needed a bottle jack to raise the second unattached end of the Super Strut, but it was a pretty easy mod. I do recommend two people. Have not towed with the FWT full yet as my last trip was to a place with full hookups, but I will be going to a State Park (no hookups) in two weeks so will give it a trial run then.
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyk101 View Post
I did check for various components for both Unistrut and Superstrut and couldn't quite find a solution. But I think I may have figured out something to try. Since I will be cutting down the 10' sections to the proper width, I will have extra material left. It appears that I can stack a smaller section on top of the main piece right under the passenger side frame rail and should still fit into the frame clamps. That appears to be enough to handle the passenger side. On the driver's side, it looks like I would have to stack 2 small sections of the leftover pieces and that should be enough. But I will need to find longer square u-bolts as the ones on the clamp are not going to be long enough. I may use a couple bolts to keep the individual sections together with the main Superstrut rails I'm adding. I think I may also change out the nuts to nyloc nuts as well as some lock washers.
I have seen that done with pieces of strut to gain a drop down clearance for the support strut.
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:08 AM   #14
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... I picked up two 10' 14ga sections from Home Depot:

Superstrut 10 ft. 14-Gauge Silver Electro-Galvanized Strut Channel
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Superstr...10EG/202714280
SKU# 202714280. ...
Consider whether the 12-Gauge product would be worthwhile in your project.
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:19 AM   #15
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Consider whether the 12-Gauge product would be worthwhile in your project.
I used the 12ga. and even then the strut bows slightly. I would not want to go with anything lighter.
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:45 AM   #16
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Consider whether the 12-Gauge product would be worthwhile in your project.
That is a consideration. This would probably be a good time to decide. In my case, it does seem like the fresh water tank is pretty well secured. It isn't simply a typical long rectangular tank but rather has the extensions on either side of top that the steel framing holds the tank in by those lips. There isn't any real side to side movement. The only real concern I have is the sag on the bottom. Since the Superstrut isn't going to really be used for supporting the tank but more in assisting in limiting the sagging, couldn't I just use the 14ga underneath?
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Old 05-28-2022, 04:12 PM   #17
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Fresh Water Tank Cruising Low

What we had installed for our tank. This had to adjusted with fine care to allow for expansion. Always wonder if I should have installed a piece of plywood. Never travel full so never did.
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Old 05-28-2022, 05:37 PM   #18
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What we had installed for our tank. This had to adjusted with fine care to allow for expansion. Always wonder if I should have installed a piece of plywood. Never travel full so never did.
Attachment 274080Attachment 274081Attachment 274082


Interesting. What kind of rails are those that you used? One thing on my setup is that I have a decent gap above the tank and below the floor so I shouldn't have too much to worry about as far as expansion.
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Old 05-28-2022, 06:07 PM   #19
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Interesting. What kind of rails are those that you used? One thing on my setup is that I have a decent gap above the tank and below the floor so I shouldn't have too much to worry about as far as expansion.
Why would one need to allow for expansion with a fresh water tank? Unless one has plugged the vent line any pressure caused by expansion would be vented as the tank was designed.

FWIW, I believe many of the tank horror stories have their roots in someone stuffing a hose into a gravity fill port and filling tank faster than the small vent line can handle. That or they've installed a valve on the tank vent to prevent water loss, then filled tank creating more pressure than the supports can handle.

I've seen numerous instances where a hose has been stuffed into the fill port, the water turned on, then left unattended while tank fills. Suddenly water sprays out of the fill port. Removing the hose lets the pent up pressure in the tank spew water almost like from a free running hose.

Just saying.
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Old 05-28-2022, 08:17 PM   #20
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I have not experienced it but some have reported air trapped in the top. The expending tank buckled the floor.
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