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Old 05-15-2018, 04:23 PM   #1
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Cable pull black/grey tank valve issues

Hey guys, first time posting here, been a long time reader though. I am sure the title of this post is an all too common issue we have with our cable linked valves. I have a 2015 Cedar Creek Silverback 37BH. It has two restrooms, and in total, I believe, I have 2 black tanks, 2 grey tanks, and 1 bath/shower tank. So in all, it looks like 5 tanks, so 5 cable pulls to the 5 valves.

I will try not to express to badly, my disdain for how these are constructed. Immediately off the lot these valves could only be operated when I let the Hulk side of me come out to push and pull the valves to operate. On the first trip back, I opened the collector pipe cap and had a mess of crap come out onto my shoes. After yelling and screaming and kicking the dog, I finally got cleaned up. Being that I bought the fifth wheel in a town 2 hours away, I really just didn't feel like hauling it all the way back and then driving back home and in a few weeks going back to get it ect...

So I have just dealt with it for the last few years. Some of the issues that have risen from the leaky valves, of which I believe they leak because the cable doesn't fully shut or open the valve, is that my black tank stays half way full. This must be due to allowing the water to drain from the black tank from the slightly closed valve and allowing the collection of the solids to build up. So I am guessing that I have got a massive pile of crap and toilet paper stuck by the valve of my black tank. Heck, there could be an alien growing in that hodge podge of crap.

So the time has come for me to break down and take a look. I have spoken to my local RV center, and it will be months till I can get it in. So I decided to see if I could do something about it. Oh, by the way, I actually broke the handle off the rear bathrooms black tank valve, so that will be another issue I will need to address.

Okay, so I get underneath the fifth wheel and removed the plastic belly by unscrewing the screws that hold the panels together and bowed them down and they popped off. Well, not really for the panel that the drain pipe goes through, had to saw the panel to get the panel to come off over the exiting drain pipe. With a few panels down and the insulation taken out, I could see a little bit better what I was looking at. By the way, it looks nice and pretty under the belly of our campers, they do a good job of sealing it shut that's for sure.

I can see the valves, or some of them. I guess my question is, am I smart enough and is there room enough to replace the valves? The other question is, I bet the valves are just fine, its just this dumb cable pull system that isn't worth a darn when it comes to pushing and pulling these valves open and closed. Another thought is, though a more expensive option, is to replace these valves with electronic valves. The local RV repair store quoted roughly $200 per valve and $500 for installation, which isn't to bad I guess, for running the wiring ect... So that's roughly $1,500 to get the whole thing done.

The local repair guy said that he isn't sure though if the electronic slide valves will fit, he would have to see, he said some of these fifth wheels don't have enough room to accommodate the electronic valves, I believe the have a longer sleeve on them.

So, guess this post is being written to hear everyone's opinion of this situation, has anyone had to do this before? I wish I could just have a manual pull slide valve installed, but the tanks are too far away to have a rod that far I believe, hence why they used the cable system.

So give it to me straight, whats are your thoughts as to what I should do?

Thank you for reading and responding
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:45 PM   #2
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I would bet that if you trace out the cables they are not secured and might be kinked in a place or two. If you straighten them out and secure them you may find they work better.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by koller1509 View Post
I would bet that if you trace out the cables they are not secured and might be kinked in a place or two. If you straighten them out and secure them you may find they work better.
Thanks koller, I will check on that as well, maybe that would be the quick fix
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:49 PM   #4
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I can sympathize. Had the same issues with a 2015 Cedar Creek. I used to carry a funnel to stick in the end of the flexible drain line when I took the cap off. 60% of the time something was gonna come out of that pipe! It was like poop roulette. Anyway, I replaced both black valves and still had the issue. (But they werenít stiff anymore). The gray valves were still stiff and you guessed it, still had the roulette going on. I traded the unit for a Riverstone with the Waste Master system on it so there is a valve at the end of the sewer hose which stays connected in case the valves leak. Works like a champ only you would need room to get the storage system mounted so your hose could stay connected.

Also, I think the cable instructions for the black/ gray valves say that you need to have the last two feet connected to the valve to be straight. So reworking them may make them less stiff.

Good luck, not a fun job but there should be room to change the valves out if need be.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:58 PM   #5
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Thanks koller, I will check on that as well, maybe that would be the quick fix


Look this is a quick fix until you can get back to your dealer. I used this for two yearsClick image for larger version

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ID:	172003. This is a valve that you twist on the outlet sewer.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:10 PM   #6
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Possible Cure for Sticking Cables

Once you check and see if the cable is properly secured and not kinked at any point then I would probably bet that the cable is probably rusted somewhere inside the flex sleeve that is around the cable. Try lubing the cable with a motorcycle product called Dri-Slide. It is a cable lube with graphite that you can either work into the cable sleeve or buy in addition to the lube a rubber clamping device that will allow you to inject the lube into the sleeve body using the aerosol propellant in the can to force the oil into the cable sleeve.

I and many others have used this product for years on our motorcycles, lawn equipment and boat cables with great success.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:26 PM   #7
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Cable Pull/Push on dump valves

Agreed, a more unrealistic design could not be conceived.



On our 2000 Golden Falcon 5th wheel the T handles were mounted at least a foot left of the access door, well inside the cabinet. This forced me to operate the mechanism with my right arm extended to its full reach (as in a tennis back hand motion), while the right side of my face was firmly pressed to the inside of the access door, all the while in a partial crouch.
We sold the unit and have a much newer one and no cables.




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Old 05-16-2018, 06:58 PM   #8
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May I suggest while you have the valves exposed that you lubricant them. There are videos on U-tube showing how, but the just of it is you drill a small hole above the handle and using wd40 or lithium grease, fill the body through said hole then take a small screw to seal the hole again.
I plan on doing this to mine sometime this summer.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:36 AM   #9
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I did the same think Spock did. Therefore, I hook up my sewer connection and then open the new attached-on drain valve. No poop on shoes.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:27 AM   #10
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While you have them exposed replace them with non stranded cables
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:47 AM   #11
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I also once got the Brown Shoe Shower...caused by a mountain road full of chatter bumps that made the black valve open just enough to fill that little empty space behind the drain cap.

I also now advise everyone to get this cap even if you aren't having issues as it is cheap insurance ($25 at Camping World) and never take it off.

Kinda like my slider hitch...better to not need it and have it than to need it and wish you had it!

Make sure you get the one that twists on just like the drain hose attaches.

One other benefit of having this is that now you can use the gray water to back flush into your black tank to dislodge any blockages.

I do this all the time (just yesterday, in fact) and it always amazes me how much more crud I get out even though I have the built-in black tank flush system.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:16 PM   #12
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I had my valves replaced with electric. They have been great so far.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:30 PM   #13
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This is a link to the valve. Put one on regardless of when you get the valves fixed. No telling when something gives or someone pulls a valve by mistake..

https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T58-...ra+rv+products
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:24 PM   #14
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My cable pulls on my 2017 Cardinal were also very hard to operate. In fact over the first winter, they seized up, and had the dealer fix it(warranty). I *thought* it was the valves, and spent money buying the thetford valve lube...ahahaha what a joke.

I finally decided to install Electric Barker AutoDrains

all I can saw is WOW. Install was a couple hours, but it was pretty easy. They mount to your existing valves and replace the cable pulls with a valve actuator on the valve end, and rocker switches that you can mount in your water bay, or elsewhere. When I removed the cable pull mechanism from the valve, I manually opened and closed the valve and they were really smooth...must have been all that valve lube... The only modification I needed to make was to extend the length of wire between the valve and switch to reach the waterbay. I then bought a few 3/4" rubber plugs off ebay to plug the holes where the cable pulls used to be.

Best upgrade I ever made!

EDIT: I too have the Valterra manual valve on the end of the dump as well, for that oops moment.
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:35 PM   #15
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2016 Cedar Creek Hathaway Cable Issues

I have a two year old fifth wheel. The cables are soooo hard to pull I was told partly because A braided cable is used on these models. I had my braided cables replaced with a solid wire cable and it made a big difference in the ease of opening and closing the valves. Sadly my black water tank valve still does not close all the way no matter what we do. We also have avoided brown shoe by using a manual valve at the end of the drain pipe that gets opened only after the sewer hose is hooked up. It works but.... if I do not open then close grey tanks in proper sequence the black water backs up into the grey tanks. I think the electronic valve system sounds like a great solution
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:34 PM   #16
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I've got a 2013 that has stiff valve pulls as well. Fortunately for me, it's the grey tanks that leak when I move, so not horrible - but bad enough that I put an external Valterra gate to stop it from happening any more. If they ever quite working on me, I guess I'll replace with electric or solid wire ones.
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:54 PM   #17
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.... if I do not open then close grey tanks in proper sequence the black water backs up into the grey tanks.
If you empty your black tanks first then this will not happen.

And, by emptying your black tank first you can now use your gray water to flush back in to the black tank to help dislodge any solids.

This does work...I do it all the time...matter of fact, gonna roll in the morning so I'll be back flushing my black tank sometime in the next few hours!
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:36 AM   #18
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Great Idea!

Thank you for that suggestion. I have been making sure my grey valves were shut tight. Dumping my black. Closing the black valve, then dumping the grey, closing the grey valves, then using my built in black tank flush system for about 15 minutes with the grey tanks closed. Then I close the black tank when water runs clear and add calgon and dawn plus about 4 gallons of fresh water to the black before trips. Smells much better but I don’t think the black valve opens or closes all the way so always am worrying about what is going on with that tank. I will see next time if I can get the grey to back into the black tank too... such a nasty problem these cable systems. I appreciate the advice.
Do you leave the last valve closed, then open grey valve and the black valve after draining the black tank to back flush it? What process do you recommend?
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:57 PM   #19
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Look this is a quick fix until you can get back to your dealer. I used this for two yearsAttachment 172001Attachment 172002Attachment 172003. This is a valve that you twist on the outlet sewer.

Awesome Spock, mine comes in today, along with my new sewage line. We moved the fifth wheel to my house and placed it in the back yard, ran 50 amp service to it and luckily its right next to the sewage cleanout, so it can be drained right there. My girls love sleeping in it, but my dang Rottweiler thinks that sewage hose is beef bone and goes crazy when he gets near it, after its all chewed up he wears it like a crown. Anyways, going to put this on today. Thank you.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:41 PM   #20
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Agreed, a more unrealistic design could not be conceived.



On our 2000 Golden Falcon 5th wheel the T handles were mounted at least a foot left of the access door, well inside the cabinet. This forced me to operate the mechanism with my right arm extended to its full reach (as in a tennis back hand motion), while the right side of my face was firmly pressed to the inside of the access door, all the while in a partial crouch.
We sold the unit and have a much newer one and no cables.




Lol, I can see the tennis pose.
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