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Old 12-01-2009, 10:20 PM   #1
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loss of fresh water while driving

Pulled into rest stop for lunch, turned on water pump (which turned off while traveling ?) noticed water from fresh water tank had filled sewer hose and was leaking out of a black pipe plumbed thru bottom of coach on passenger side. It seems if we leave a campsite with full fresh water holding tank, when we arrive same day at new campsite, we have lost 20 to 50 gallons of water. We have a 2006 Apex and cant figure this out. Thanks Chris aka Pathfinder
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:39 PM   #2
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The black pipe on the passenger side is often the overflow that is provided to relieve pressure and so that you know when the fresh tank is full. You can test this by filling the tank while you wait on the passenger side, when it is full, the water will start to come out of that black tube. They put it on the passenger side so that you can go to that side (normally where your chairs would be outside) and rest your feet while the tank fills, yet still be able to tell when it is full.

Normally if the tank is completely filled, it will slosh and drain a little out of that tube as you bounce or make corners. That would not account for the 20 to 50 gallons you are loosing.

On some coaches there is also a manual fill reservoir in the plumbing bay on the side of the panel, it allows you to put sanitizing or winterizing solution in the water tank directly. These are usually plumbed into the water tank just below the top. If that connection, at the tank is leaking, it could drain the 20 or more gallons you are loosing. It would also account for the water in the sewer hose and it also could account for the water draining around the through hole for the overflow tube previously described.

If you have the described manual fill, bend down and look to see where the water line from that fill connects to your water tank. Look and feel around the connection to the tank and you may find water. That tube is usually 1 inch or larger and with that size, the bottom of the tube where it joins the tank can be about 2-3 inches below the top. If that connection is loose or bad, you will loose about 3-4 inches worth of water during travel. That could be the problem.

P.S.
It has been know on rare occasions that the overflow tube is installed too low on the tank and it can create a siphon flow on some coaches. Remember back to sucking on the tube in a gas tank to create a siphon and then it just working on it's own.

If that is the problem, you may have to relocate the tube higher or drain some water off the tank before you leave to break the siphon effect.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
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Chris,

Alpines have been known to siphon water through the front over flow line. Some of us have rerouted the front overflow line and put a valve on it so we can prevent siphoning while we travel. The front vent line is in the front on top of the tank. IMO while traveling, when braking and going down hill the water in a full tank is going to leak out the vent. At times with enough down hill driving and breaking you can lose a considerable amount of water. At least that was my experience.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:46 PM   #4
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Greetings from Dallas where it snowed this morning,

The black pipe from which water is leaking is the vent for the sewer hose control valve above the holding tanks. Since my coach is in Palm Springs, I do not have the plumbing diagrams, so I am winging it. The sewer hose must be filling up with waste water from the RO somehow. Once the hose is full, the water goes up the air hose for the sewer hose and out the black vent pipe. Does your sewer hose extend and retract normally? I have seen this before but it was almost 4 years ago and I do not remember the cause or fix.We flooded the parking lot at Camp WRV and made a giant ice rink.

You might also post this on the Apex forum.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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Chris,

I lost close to 40 gallons from the overflow while traveling down the road. As Chris noted, I ran a PEX tubing from the overflow to the top of the propane compartment, and put in a antisiphon valve, and then a manual shutoff valve. Now I can keep all of my water. There are two overflow drains. One in the front which overflows first, and a second one in the back. The front one is the trouble one.

I don't have the RO system, so mine had nothing to do with that. But I would trust Basil's info.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:41 PM   #6
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Chris - We have the 07 mid door triple slide APEX. Here is how ours works.

In the fresh water-drain bay, we have some valves, which allow us to do the following:
1. Fill the fresh water tank w/o using the installed filters or the RO system.
2. Fill the fresh water tank using the filters, but bypass the RO System.
3. Fill the fresh water tank using the filters and RO system.

Doing choice 1 above, we have been told and from personal experience know that when the tank is full, it then stops filling automatically, and then will provide us water w/o using the water pump so city water is coming into the coach. We dont do this, as I don't trust that shutoff valve to work correctly. So once the tank is full, we shut off the outside water and run the water through the tank using the pump. The drawbacks to this is wearing out the pump, and having to fill the tank all the time, but I like the small bit of excersize and if the pump does not get used, it will degrade in time and won't work when we need it to. I also carry a spare pump as well.

We have not used choice 2 or 3 above, however, we know from reading posts herein that, about 50% of the water run into the filter with the RO selected will run into the gray water tank, and if the sewer valve is open, into that hose and provided it's connected to the drain outside the coach will go into the sewer system of the park. If you have the drain valve closed, that water will go into the gray water tank, and if I understand it correctly overflow that tank, backup into your drains and generally make a mess. I have not done this but, believe it's possible. Now, I am most likely wrong on this point, and it very well may go into the drain hose and need to be dumped overboard, since it fresh water, that would be ok. Like I say below, I need too look over all the different hoses and take a picture or two.

Now, I thought the entire APEX'S had the Drainmaster system for waste control, and if that is your situation, the sewer hose I don't believe should be full. I was under the impression that the black line was for air pressure so the sewer hose could be played out and retracted by that same air pressure. I believe the lines from the RO system/Filters are red in color (at least on my coach) and they go into the gray tank.

Now I am doing the explanation from memory, and if I remember to look tomorrow (windy and dark now) I will amend my post with a follow up tomorrow. I could also take a couple of pictures, but don't know how to post them on here. If you don't have the drainmaster sewer system, then, the black hose might be the vent hose other posters mentioned. I have two lines white in color which seem to me to gurgle when I am filling my tank, so I have assumed those were vent hoses. FWIW, I have never lost water going down the road, nor do we see puddles on the ground when we have stopped quickly or turned sharply. When my tank gauge says it's full, it seems to stay that way. Your coach may be different than mine, so all the above may not be one bit of help. Not to nitpick, but people who don't own an Alpine or Alpine APEX don't fully understand how these were assembled and don't know that almost each one was an experiment. I know two can be parked next to each other, and nothing in one is in the same place as the one next to you although outside they look the same and in fact can be the same model-slides and all with things still different.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:43 PM   #7
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Chris:

Though I don't have the RO system, this topic was once a nightmare for me. Here is the post:

Full Fresh Water Tank

It is a known problem.

I will likely remove my fix (at some point) and replace it with an anti-siphon valve (just like in an irrigation system). I would prefer to maintain the vent "volume" of having two unrestricted tubes since sometimes the fill pressure is enough to bulge the tank with only one unrestricted vent.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:54 PM   #8
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It might not work for you, but our coach was losing some water due to siphoning and some backward out of the fresh water fill spot where the external water hose hooks up because the check valve wasn't working properly. I went to Home Depot and bought a simple on/off valve connection that I added at the hose connection on the coach. I just leave the valve turned off unless I have a fresh water hose hooked up. It stopped our problems with losing water; may not stop yours.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:45 PM   #9
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Chris, since I finally have Internet, I have only one line to the drain system, and it's from the RO. I have two water lines which must go from the tank and vent overboard, just behind the hose reel. Since this most likely did not help at least you know, other have most likely nailed your issue. Sorry i could not help.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:37 PM   #10
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Maybe I am not crazy or senile. We spent a week in the desert at Dumont Dunes over Thanksgiving. Dry of course. Before leaving I filled the water tank until it overflowed generously. Shortly after we arrived we ran out of water. There was plenty of water available from other rigs but how to get it in without a gravity feed? I tried hooking up a piece of hose to a water can but it ran in very slowly. Eventually I took the water pump down and re-plumbed it to suck from a hose in the can and discharge into the original pump inlet. This worked so good I think I will make a permanent plumbing change to perform this feat easily. All it takes is three Ts and two valves.

I read all the entries in these threads but am not sure how to apply to a 2007 34 dsfd. The pickup is already at the bottom of the tank and I can't see any other plumbing from the tank. It appears to be up against the floor and I see no front overflow. It is raining in L.A. now so I won't be able to look again soon. A friend of mine put a valve on the overflow of his National Coach and blew up the tank when he failed to open it while filling. If the vent/overflow does not extend into the tank, how can it siphon?

Any ideas?
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:40 PM   #11
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Chris,

Having had the exact situation you describe, another thought. The standard check valves are not the best in the world. When the SilverLeaf detects less than 20% water remaining in the fresh tank, it turns on the autofill from the RO system. If the pump is on, it will backflow thru the RO system and into the sewer hose just like the waste water does, thus filling the sewer hose.

Until I have the time (some of us are still in the *&^% mode), I ensure that the pump is off before driving. Even if the water level is much greater than 20%, the SilverLeaf will see less than 20% due to slosh. I have "validated" this theory a few times (whenever I forget to ensure the pump is off to be exact), so I am all too familiar with the situation. Several of the mods listed above could/should help alleviate the issue.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:24 PM   #12
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Rick:

Once mine started siphoning, the tank would collapse from the vacuum and empty about 50 gallons before burping. Between that and the high pick up point, I had only 25 gallons available on arrival.

Solving the siphon problem gave me 50 gallons. Solving the pick up point gave me another 25. With the original 25, I now arrive with 100 gallons.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:46 AM   #13
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I think WeBrnz2 has the Apex problem well characterized- the water going to the sewer pipe is RO reject water. On my 06 when I added the Vagabond RO system, I could not fill thru the RO with the house pump on if the city pressure was below that of the ShurFlo 5.7, as the 5.7 clicked on making its full pressure (while taking tank water & sending it thru the RO membrane). Either there is a cross connection in the system someplace so the city fill side sees 5.7 pressure that I could not isolate from the schematic, or the cross "connections" are the cheap nylon 3-way valves and the house pressure leaks around the formed interior of the fitting; I believe it to be the fittings. If city pressure was above the 5.7 pressure then no problem as city pushed water against the house system and the RO membrane, but if my theory is correct, you also have leakage of city water thru the 3-way's into house plumbing when filling thru the RO (not a huge amount but still a pain when you think you are doing one thing and the leakage is doing something else.

Solution is to add a pair of decent quality check valves isolating the cheap OEM diverters. Once in place the problem goes away. For those Apexers w/this problem and who will be @ Qzite rally, you can check out the check valve locations on my coach for the solution. I also have some check valves that are push type fittings and easy to install (except for access which may require some contortionalizing).
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #14
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Emike has it right, also have a problem when the inlet (city) water pressure is too low, lower than the ShurFlo 5.7 as stated. What I have found, is that when the inlet pressure is low, and now out of general habit, is to turn off the city water at the source unless I am filling via the RO system. This prevents city water intrusion into the system anywhere other than on the correct side of the RO membrane.

Wish I could make it to Quartzite, but this job thing kinda gets in the way of that one, I will have to see the set up another time. If I was not so lazy, I would review the plumbing myself and fix it one day, but why re-invent when you don't need to...
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