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Old 12-02-2020, 10:42 PM   #1
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Water pump stops pulling water at 1/3 full???

So we picked up our 2021 Rockwood 260BS last week and have spent most of the week camping in the driveway. I have run into an issue that I need help diagnosing. When running off of the water tank only, no city water, the pump stops picking up water at the 1/3 level on the meter. If I put more water in the tank everything works fine. We dry camp a lot and I'm concerned about how much capacity I'm losing because of this. I know that those lights can be very inaccurate, and I am unsure of how many gallons are actually remaining in the tank. Has anybody out there seen something like this??? Any ideas as to what to do??? On a positive note I am very impressed with the build quality of the Rockwood. It is head and shoulders over my Springdale.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:34 AM   #2
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Sounds like it is empty and the indicator is not correct, typical problem. Verify by opening the fresh water tank drain when the pumps stops working and see how much water comes out.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:37 AM   #3
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When I open the tank drain, a lot of water comes out. I will measure how much using a five gallon bucket. I am in the belief that its is many gallons, not just a trickle.
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:41 AM   #4
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Does the pickup hose for the pump come out of the bottom or the side of the FW tank ? If it comes out the side and camper is off level, or the fitting on tank set too high, there will be a lot of water that won't get picked up by the pump.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:39 AM   #5
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Looking at other's post in this forum which has a picture of his water tank, the pickup is mounted in one corner of the tank. As other's have mentioned if off level (or if tank is mounted off level) and that pickup catches any amount of air, it will stop pulling water.

I would be personally looking directly at the tank and pickup to see if there is an issue there.

Just a thought - is it consistent every 1/3? I could almost envision a piece of plastic (like the punch out for the hose) or other debris from manufacture that floats around and when it gets low, it gets caught up in the suction and plugs the pickup. The way to test is to pump/run water until it stops. Shut off the pump for 30 seconds and try again. If you get water for a bit and then it stops flowing water that might be it.

/Jeff
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
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I'm thinking you have a slight air leak on the suction side of the pump ... like the screws on the pump head slightly loose(don't go nuts with the tightness..self tapping in plastic), a pump strainer with gasket not seated properly or bowl loose, inlet line nut on pump loose, or it's gasket not in place. In other words, at low suction head lift you can deliver water to the pump, at high suction lift the weight of the water column. it cant overcome the leakage. Wouldn't be a stretch on a new unit
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:21 AM   #7
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Appears to be normal.

Pump pickups are typically located on the side, not the bottom of the tank, which means there is a lot of tank below the level where the pickup is completely submerged. The pump will lose suction as soon as any part of the pickup starts sucking air. Tank orientation also plays here if the trailer tipped away from the pickup the pump will lose suction sooner.

You'll lose suction with about 1" of water in the tank. E.g. 12" tall 30 gallon tank will leave 8% (1/12) of water in the tank or about 2.5 gallons.

Tank gauges are a guess at best although the fresh water sensors remain cleaner than the waste tanks.

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Old 12-03-2020, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lundy View Post
. We dry camp a lot and I'm concerned about how much capacity I'm losing because of this.
Since you boondock and you may need to get every drop of fresh water out of that tank, that 5 gallon bucket and the fresh water tank low point drain might come in handy.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:09 PM   #9
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Lots of good advice. You can also try draining the tank completely, then using something similar to this water gauge (or filling with buckets to measure gallons) https://www.amazon.com/Pack-Measure-...5&sr=8-11&th=1

and then measure flow out from the water pump. You will know how much water is left in the tank.
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:17 AM   #10
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This has been posted here before....
pump suction line goes into side of the tank.
A few or several gallons are left in the tank when the pump sucks air.
I found my new rig would leave as much as 6 gallons in the tank when the pump sucked air.
I removed my bottom drain valve and replaced it with a T on it's side.
I put the drain valve on the bottom of the T and moved the pump suction line to the side of the T. I plugged the side port of the tank.
Now I can pump the tank dry unless I'm sitting very unlevel.
Others here have done the same.
In fact at one time at a FROG rally I heard that factory guys were doing this exact same retrofit for people who asked.
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:24 AM   #11
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Camper water capacity is routinely overstated. E.g. - 36 gallons is really less than 30 usable because 6 is in the water heater and there's water in the fresh water tank you can't get out. I carry a 35 gallon water tank in the back of my Expedition when we dry camp along with a small pump to get it into the camper. Weighs less than 350 pounds full.



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