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Old 03-27-2017, 07:51 PM   #1
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Odds of repairing a small crack in FW tank fill

While I was sanitizing the system a few days ago, I heard dripping in the underbelly. After taking a rather large section down, and inspecting the tank, I found a crack on the fitting where it's glued to the tank.

Local CW seems oblivious to whether it would be covered and wanted me to bring it in (it's still under warranty). I already had the tank out and refuse to drag the FW there and strand it for an unknown period of time. They suggested I contact Forest River myself. I emailed Chuck Pederson today.

On of my farmer friends has told me he has had almost no success repairing poly tanks that are not stationary. So, either FR decides to give me a new one (not counting on that) or I repair it myself and cross my fingers. Worst case is it'll hold a little less water after the repair starts to leak.

Has anyone had success with a long term fix?
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:57 PM   #2
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Those fittings are spin welded. Its done with a router and basically melts the fitting to the tank.

The tank is polyethylene. No type of adhesive will stick to it long term. You can try one of the epoxy tank patch products and it may hold for awhile but eventually it will let go.

The two 100% repair options are replace the tank or read up and look into plastic heat welding.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:08 PM   #3
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That's more or less what I've been led to believe. My best guess about why it cracked is the length of fill hose. The tank is over the axles, and the fill is up front. Both the fill and vent have low points, and retain water. I think the weight of water in the fill hose yanking on it down the road is what did it.

I'll make sure to secure that well when I put it back in. The vent issue I took care of with a "T" fitting so it should fill and vent fine now...relatively. Of course that doesn't fix the crack.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:11 PM   #4
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I think about the only way to fix a tank like that is the plastic welding, haven't seen it done on a tank but have seen many motorcycle parts fixed that way
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
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There is an epoxy you can try. I inadvertently drilled two 1/4 holes in the bottom of my fresh water tank and used this epoxy two years ago and it has been holding ever since. I travel with it full regularly over some really bad roads without any issues. The key to making it work is slightly heating the area with a torch as suggested in the instructions.

It is on Amazon and made by West marine. It is called 655 G Flex epoxy plastic boat repair kit.
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:49 PM   #6
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There is an epoxy you can try. I inadvertently drilled two 1/4 holes in the bottom of my fresh water tank and used this epoxy two years ago and it has been holding ever since. I travel with it full regularly over some really bad roads without any issues. The key to making it work is slightly heating the area with a torch as suggested in the instructions.

It is on Amazon and made by West marine. It is called 655 G Flex epoxy plastic boat repair kit.
I was thinking of trying epoxy. I have West 105, but not the G Flex. I may look into that.
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:02 PM   #7
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Forest River replaced our FW tank when it was discovered a Body Grinder wheel cut into it! We bought it in Freezing weather and No water in tank,enclosed Belly so you could not see it either! Getting ready for first trip and water was filling up the belly! I took Pics and they sent the New tank to another dealer who we did "NOT" buy from and they put in the new tank and tank heaters,which by the way don't forget them If yours had them! Youroo!! PS "Don't try to Repair"!
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:12 PM   #8
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I'd like a new tank, but I can't wait around for weeks to get it if at all. I'm going on vacation in a month, and I fully intend on getting a few days in before then.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:38 AM   #9
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If you have good access you can try this but it can have a downside.

You need one of these or something similar.

https://www.amazon.com/Bernz-Matic-S.../dp/B000PS9TQI


And a couple of these.....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0027...s=hdpe+welding

Then go to wally world and get a couple of polyethylene cutting boards and do some practicing. You apply heat to the cracked area gingerly, it has a low melting point, only until it flashes (turns shiny), then melt the rod into and over the area being careful to apply the pinpoint flame to the rod only while the tank is still soft. The downside is it's easy to blow a hole right through the tank if you're not careful which is where a true heat controlled welding setup shines. Its also much easier if you pull the tank so you're working down on the area as opposed to from the side or bottom.

I don't think epoxy will provide a long term fix in an area as in your picture. You have too much movement in that area.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:31 AM   #10
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As you are contemplating your repair, google welding polyethylene tanks. There's quite a few YouTube videos on the processes and some different perspectives which you may find of interest. Good luck
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:20 AM   #11
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I'd like a new tank, but I can't wait around for weeks to get it if at all. I'm going on vacation in a month, and I fully intend on getting a few days in before then.
Do like 90% of Members do,just hook up to City water! Youroo!!
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:02 PM   #12
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My drain line was cracked at the weld similar to what it sounds like you have.
Forest River replaced my tank under warranty with no issue. They sent me the new tank and I had a service center install it. I submitted the invoice and a few weeks later was reimbursed.
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:04 PM   #13
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Tank Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by rat4spd View Post
While I was sanitizing the system a few days ago, I heard dripping in the underbelly. After taking a rather large section down, and inspecting the tank, I found a crack on the fitting where it's glued to the tank.

Local CW seems oblivious to whether it would be covered and wanted me to bring it in (it's still under warranty). I already had the tank out and refuse to drag the FW there and strand it for an unknown period of time. They suggested I contact Forest River myself. I emailed Chuck Pederson today.

On of my farmer friends has told me he has had almost no success repairing poly tanks that are not stationary. So, either FR decides to give me a new one (not counting on that) or I repair it myself and cross my fingers. Worst case is it'll hold a little less water after the repair starts to leak.

Has anyone had success with a long term fix?
I have a friend and he had an issue with the fitting weld on his FW tank, similar to yours. He made a temporary repair using Liquid Nails 100% silicon adhesive. It lasted for several seasons, but eventually failed then he bought a plastic welder from Harbor Freight and made a permanent repair. That was over 5 years ago and is still going strong.
High Density Poly Ethylene is one of those materials that virtually nothing will stick to. As an electric utility, we install miles of HDPE conduit every year and I know from experience that the only method to permanently join the ends of the conduit is with thermal fusion. There are some 2-part epoxies out there and they seem to work reasonably well for our applications, but anything that is exposed to vibration or repeated flexing will come apart unless thermally fused. IMHO, if you decide to repair, use the plastic welder method.

Good Luck ........... Swampy
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:34 PM   #14
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BEFORE you do anything contact FROM they're now VERY Customer Sensative. I believe you'll get the replacement tank in a timely manner.
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Old 03-28-2017, 03:53 PM   #15
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I did email the rep at Forest River. I'm waiting to hear back. I'd be more than happy if they shipped me a tank. I'll put it back in. The cracked tank is sitting in my garage right now.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:04 PM   #16
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I did email the rep at Forest River. I'm waiting to hear back. I'd be more than happy if they shipped me a tank. I'll put it back in. The cracked tank is sitting in my garage right now.
There you go. The job is 1/2 done already...
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:18 PM   #17
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I believe there was a post earlier that listed the phone numbers for the contact person for each FR division. I know that texting/email seems to be the preferred comunication method, but, sometimes nothing beats good old fashioned talking. Besides as slow as I type on this thing talking is certainty faster.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:29 PM   #18
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I'm with swampy on this one, and as others stated, the best is heat weld.
My poly FW tank had 5 screw holes through bottom. This was done by CW on a previous enclosed belly repair, for the previous owner, so I had no recourse warranty or with CW.
I purchased the heat gun from HF (very cheap) and used HDPE and simply weld closed every hole. Been two years not a drop.
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:50 PM   #19
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I got the rear tank support stiffened with 3/16 angle of the same dimensions, welded nicely to form something that will never bend with a tank on top of it. I need to dig out the front support yet. I reinforced the frame bracket welds while I was at it. When I put them in, I'll use three screws instead of two that they used.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:05 PM   #20
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Nice job. FR replaced my brother's FW tank, no problem.
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