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Old 10-03-2022, 06:44 AM   #1
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Bulging Tank

I have a '21 FR Salem 177BH. On our last outing my wife pointed out the low slung area of the underbelly. It had begun to push out one edge of the accessibelly panel. After wrestling to remove the panels I found NO center supports for the fresh water tank! It wasn't just bulging, it was 9 months pregnant and ready to pop! It was so low in the center that a good deal of water hadn't made it to the drain when I emptied it. After pressing the center up hard and long enough I was able to drain it out. Gallons of water had been stuck in there for who knows how long. Other than calling the dealer today, which may well amount to nothing, all I can think to do is add some frame supports. I've been combing through old posts for insight and I see that this is an ongoing issue. Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:08 AM   #2
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As you mentioned, several have had this issue even to the point of the tank nearly or falling out. This has not been a one brand issue.

The usual fix is to add more supports.

Good Luck.

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Old 10-03-2022, 07:11 AM   #3
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Yes... an issue many have had.
There are lots of threads here about adding supports.
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies. In other posts, the pics show a single support in the middle. My FR tank runs nearly the width of the TT with no center support at all. Has this become the industry norm?
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:39 AM   #5
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Look into Kindorff or superstrut. Comes in different sizes at HD. It is used as a structural component by electricians. There are clamps that hold it to I beams
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. In other posts, the pics show a single support in the middle. My FR tank runs nearly the width of the TT with no center support at all. Has this become the industry norm?
There is no "industry" norm.

Some units like my 2016 Flagstaff had multiple supports along the bottom of the tank. Other makes of FR brands have nothing but the lip of the molded tank holding it in at the frame area. There are reports of many different builds.

That's always been some of the confusion here and on other forums. Many believe every R/V is just like theirs and that just isn't the case. You have to find what design/build your R/V adheres to (for whatever is being discussed) and make modifications as necessary.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:31 AM   #7
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These pics made in 2015 of an 18 month old Wildcat. Wildcat service suggested I install the wooden supports so that I could get to the Goshen rally where they replaced my boards with treated planks. They have held up 7 years. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-03-2022, 04:14 PM   #8
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I propped up a block of wood to my tank to help drain it out. It looks as though you did the same? The strange way my TT was constructed put the subfloor flush with the top of the tank and it leaves almost no wiggle room underneath. I'll be lucky to wedge a few 1/8" flat angle iron strips between the frame and tank. The good news is that I probably won't need to attach them. I'll check to see if the other tanks are precariously placed also, then slap tank heaters on them. When I cover the underneath with the "accessabelly" panels I'll do a better job sealing the area. I'm truly disappointed with the design and construction of this rig. It's as though they were made to break down.
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Old 10-03-2022, 04:32 PM   #9
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We pay a lot for whistles and bells, glitz and glamor with little to no regard for the quality behind the walls and below the floor. In viewing the pictures others have submitted for electrical and plumbing issues show a mess of tangled wires and hoses, not labeled, and little to no routing and supports.

Cram it together, we saw it work once, ship it! Some sucker will buy it.

If I'm asked what is a good brand or model, my answer is NONE OF THEM! It is just what one is willing to accept in terms of poor quality. Doesn't make any difference if it is a $10,000 unit or a $1,000,000 unit. Same crap, different name.

I've spent almost two weeks, working full time with our TT, chasing wires, dressing them in neat bundles and proper lengths, secured with proper support ties, and with labels on each end. Same for plumbing lines with the direction of water flow.

But hey, that's just me.

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Old 10-03-2022, 04:39 PM   #10
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It seems I've been making mods and fixing problems since taking delivery. You have said it all and you're as right as you can be. Find the problem, make a plan, and fix it better than it was.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
It seems I've been making mods and fixing problems since taking delivery. You have said it all and you're as right as you can be. Find the problem, make a plan, and fix it better than it was.
That's RV ing!
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
I propped up a block of wood to my tank to help drain it out. It looks as though you did the same? ….
No… I had filled my fresh tank to sanitize it. The water weight caused the tank to bulge which made it narrower which allowed it to slip down between the cross braces. One of them was anchored to the frame a little wide which gave the tank an advantage on its escape. The jack was used to press the tank back up between the cross rails.
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:38 AM   #13
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I have 3 supports under the tank on my 2020 microlite 21ds and it still bulges! I saw a video on a guy that added ratchet straps to his Rockwood tank for additional support. Short of breaking out the welder, this is the option I will try.

Another option would be to add a sheet of plywood or treated wood boards. However, my tank is really tight against the bottom of the trailer floor with no room to spare. To make it work, I found a tank with a thinner profile that would allow for this. The downside is I would have to give up 8 to 10 gallons of water capacity to make it work.

I will post a new thread with pics of my final solution.

Good luck!Click image for larger version

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Old 10-04-2022, 11:01 AM   #14
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Gotta be careful adding supports. The problem is a combination of a couple of things working together to create the perfect tank bulge storm:
  1. Design+ engineering problem: Not enough/proper venting (and/or over fill) + flexible materials = bulging tank.
  2. Design problem: Bulging tank = sagging tank drawing in ends CAN = FALLing tank.
  3. Design+ engineering problem:Bulging tank FIXED WITH SOLID/Inflexible SUPPORT (like a cage, or a flat surface) CAN = bulge now goes UPwards and exerts pressure against coach floor (can damage).

The best solutions include some smaller steps along the way: NOT filling tank to capacity (and/or watching amount of fluid going in), maintaining
vent lines, minimizing traveling with full tanks, adding a flexible strap for support, adding a *single* cross member (which still allows for some bulge, just not as much) and - of course - direct observation of your tank/setup (made harder with those enclosed underbellies).

Bigger (less practical) solutions might involve replacing the plastic tanks with less flexible materials (like aluminum or SS), support below AND armor above for floor protection, etc.

I wish it was simple. Unfortunately - like most problems - it's a little more complicated when you get into it.

Good luck!
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