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Old 05-13-2016, 07:34 PM   #1
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Hydro-Hot leak ...

FYI....
About 6 weeks ago Tris noticed a leak under the coach on our cement pad and placed a pan under what looked like it was coming from the pipe that exited the bottom of the coach near the Hydro-Hot. The coach had not been used in about 3 months and the leak would come and go. He was sure it was the HH and because there was no access panel - he was NOT going to fix it!!!!

After I researched it on IRV2 and printed up a lot of pages from other DIYS "technicians", he talked to the HH Tech that had serviced it in Indio at the Rally ( Wayne Howard of Beumont CA), Alpiners - Monty & Mike, he felt confident enough to cut the bottom of the coach for access to the back of it.

When he went to start the coach to put it up on blocks - he turned the key - NOTHING happened! 😡. 😫 He checked everything repeatedly w no cause for the power failure. To make a long story short - he took the lower Vansco unit from the front of the coach in the gen slide and switched it with the one in the battery compartment! BINGO! The rear one reset the front one that had failed and everything was perfect again!

Up on blocks it went and after 2 days of sawing through mushy particle board and sheet metal, destroying a number of blades, he finally had an access slot to reach the back of the HH. Actually his big hands would not be able to access it but we went to Beaumont yesterday and Howard's Tech expertly put in braided hose lines and used brass fittings (replacing the plastic) and pressure tested it and it now seems to be working fine! It only cost us slightly over $200 & We are at the KOA here and I have wonderful hot water!!!!👍. 😉

At some point Tris is going to have to replace the basement floor and he is NOT looking forward to that!!!! If anyone has any suggestions on that chore - be sure and let us know!!!!!
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:40 PM   #2
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Provided he did not do too much damage, I would cover the area he exposed with 1 or no more than 2 stainless steel sheets you could also use aluminum, predrilling a few holes to keep it up attached to the good part of the floor. Then using 30 year outside silicone caulk, put a good bead around that panel, that should be good enough to keep the critters out, and allow access to the area later on if needed. That would be similar to what I did, even though I could not get my hands in their either so mine is still not fixed.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:05 PM   #3
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Tris,

Start by cutting back the particle board until you reach solid/ not water soaked board.

That will determine whether you can put a sheet of aluminum or fiberglass to just seal up the hole or whether you have a larger area to contend with.

I would NOT seal up/keep particle board that had been water-soaked.

And for a sealant, I would use a good polysulifde such as Sikaflex 221.

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Old 05-13-2016, 10:32 PM   #4
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Thanks, Monty & Brett! The temporary cut is covered up with aluminum now but we are looking at a long term fix to the awful particle board they used to build the Apex floor. Tris earlier had cut out a small -maybe 8"x8" area of bad board and replaced it with cement board and put a brace under it. But the whole floor is bad and he will have to remove the steel support under there and remove a large portion of flooring and then add more steel supports.

I remember that Paul Sullivan had to have it done - so I think I will email him and find out what they did. Also - Basil did it to his Apex before he sold it to Arnolds so I will check on what pictures he has!

Appreciate the suggestions tho!
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:26 AM   #5
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I would turn it into an access door. Cut a piece of wood slightly larger than the hole, put hinges and a latch on it, put some rubber molding around the edges to seal it off from the outside, paint it/weather protect it and keep it for future access in case you ever have to get to that part of the HH again. And yes, make sure the hole you cut is large enough to get rid off all damage that had been done by the leak.
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:21 PM   #6
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Carolyn
Basil also has a picture of the tank bay (our Apex, fall of 2008) with the gray and black tanks removed. It gives a good visual of the back of the HH, and would show what to expect for framing under the tanks. Maybe it will help with a solution to patching in the floor.
I'll see if I can find it, but Basil may be able to get his hands on it quicker.
I did a patch on the floor under the air intake last fall. I used a treated plywood panel with a waterproof membrane under it, (with the rear bulkhead plate removed), then jacked the bulkhead up and bolted back to the frame to hold it in place.
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:00 PM   #7
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Here is the picture. I happened to walk thru the body shop in Junction City and saw this coach (now I know who it belonged to) with the innards exposed and thought that view may never come up again.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:42 PM   #8
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Looks like Basil beat me to it. Here's the back of ours with the tanks out. Since they had to remove the tanks to do the floor repair I had the presence of mind to have them change the fittings to brass.
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:01 PM   #9
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Thanks All!

People w/o Apexs really have no idea what we are dealing with! The steel brace running down the center of the coach makes taking out the existing particle board very difficult unless you remove the brace (involves only removing bolts) and Tris was thinking of doing just what you did, Todd, w waterproofing on plywood.

Would be nice to have an aluminum area bolted on floor behind HH so it could just slide out to give access to back of HH for future problems. Couldn't be hinged because of brace!).

I remember printing the pictures posted by Basil when he did them but haven't found them yet. I think I filed them under APEX on old desk top computer!!! Should put them on a thumb drive for future needs!

Basil, glad you are still keeping up w the IRV2 posts! Hope you guys are still doing well! Miss you!
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:32 AM   #10
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I suspect this Hydro-Hot access problem is not just limited to the 40 or so Apex coaches. Have others seen it? Looking at the picture of the HH sitting on the bare chassis, access was no problem until they built the coach around it. Love WRV!

The cross brace supporting the HH was bolted at one end and welded at the other. I cut the weld and installed a bolted bracket to swing it out of the way for future access. Others have done something similar. I can't imagine the work involved to replace that whole floor.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:23 AM   #11
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Carolyn,


I also suggest if Tris goes with marine plywood that he seal the edges before wrapping with Darco or PolyMax.


Good Luck!
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:12 AM   #12
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Basil - I think the HH wasn't used until the 06 Apex, was it?

Tris says that our cross brace is bolted at both ends. He just didn't want to have to take it off and have the contents of the compartment come falling thru! He also says that the whole floor in the compartment is mushy. Didn't Paul Sullivan have his whole compartment floor replaced? I have emailed him but he has not responded.

Thanks, Todd, I am not sure if Tris is going to do this project before we go to FMCA MA this summer or afterwards. He will check into getting marine plywood - he had not thought of that! Since his back surgery in Nov he is a little cautious about what he tackles now!!!!
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:17 AM   #13
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Carolyn, one other suggestion, put some kind of screen (maybe hardware cloth) over the drain so that critters can not enter. Not much you can do about ants, but Mice, voles etc love those little entryways.
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:46 PM   #14
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At least some 05's came with HydroHot, don't think it came on any 04s
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