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Old 02-01-2014, 08:00 PM   #1
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Fresh Water Pick Up

First off, let me state that we love our Alpine Coach. There's one thing that really bothers me though. The pick-up fitting for the fresh water line to the pump is an inch and a half or more above the bottom of the tank.

The tank has a large, flat foot print. Putting the pick-up in this position means the pump starts drawing air when the tank still has a lot of water capacity left. Is this the normal situation or should I have an extension on the pick-up to the bottom of the tank?
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:25 PM   #2
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Mike,

That is pretty much a common situation. If you are camped in one spot, you don't tend to pull air into the pump until you are nearing the end of your water supply. But if you travel with a low tank, you will definitely pull air into the pump if you are much below half full.

If you search this Alpine Coach forum you will find a couple of solutions. Some have had a new fitting put onto the bottom of the tank so that they can get all the water. Some clever person put a Tee in the fresh water drain with a 1/2 fitting on the side, and used that for the pump connection point. Seems like a good idea to me.

I have a SeeLevel gauge with more resolution on the water level, and it showed me I tend to run out at 11 gallons of water. I have not tried to find a way to get that final portion of water. I am happy with the 90 gallons I can get as is. But if you dry camp you will want to get that final portion.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:32 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim. We are learning to boondock and I want to get as much out of the fresh water tank as possible. The large capacity was one of the points we liked about the Alpine.

Today, I adjusted our jacks to put the fresh water pickup below the water level so my wife could shower. I don't know for sure, but I think there's more than 11 gallons in the tank (based on how much went into the holding tanks).
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:37 PM   #4
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Jim did fail to mention his great idea he shared with me (others do the same thing) of adding a shut-off valve to the front overflow drain pipe on the fresh water tank. If you fill the fresh water tank to as full as possible you'll notice that water starts dripping out of that front overflow pipe which is also attached slightly below the absolute top of the tank. In fact, the water will start siphoning out after turning off the shore supply and you'll lose some more water when driving down the road.

On my '03 FDTS the pipe comes down right behind the LPG tank. I extended the pipe out to the side of the coach in the LPG compartment strapped to the support bracket, added a shutoff valve reachable from the side. I wait for the water to start dripping and the turn off the valve. I wait about another 5 to 10 minutes or look inside to see how full the tank really is. You can get as much as 15 - more gallons of usable water in the tank. BIG DIFFERENCE! It really helps when boon-docking.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:50 PM   #5
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Check out post #2 by Old Scout in this thread.

Fresh Water Tank

I thought there was a post with pictures of it, but I have not found it. If all else fails sent him a PM.

Bob is correct. That will get you more usable water. Huge different in my case. Just not the last bit you are looking for. But the mod that Bob is talking about is why I didn't bother with the last gallons.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:57 PM   #6
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Had the same issue with ours, I moved the pickup to the drain, pics HERE.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:26 PM   #7
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Thanks Dave. I knew I had seen pictures somewhere.
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