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Old 07-30-2010, 05:01 PM   #1
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Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,209
Water System Issues - APEX Owners

All, well Murphy was alive and well when I choose to change the solenoid valves controlling "autofill-on and autofill-off. Lessons learned (good thing a fellow member made a copy of his APEX Owner’s manual for me, the prints were invaluable).

1. Take a picture of the existing installation - you will forget in 5 minutes which is the correct orientation of the valves, and put one in backwards.

2. Note which side of the valve the debris screen is installed. If looking at the label side of the valve, the screen (incoming water) is on the left, one valve is facing you backwards when installed correctly for my coach.

3. Note which is the hot (12V +) wire by color (mine was yellow-which made no logical sense) and which side is negative (mine was gray. Standard 12V-DC convention is white for all negative wires).

4. For those of limited electrical ability – I figured out, if autofill-off is the state the system is in, there will not be voltage on the wires to the solenoid valves. If autofill-on, both valves will have 12V dc which closes SR-102 and opens SR-101. So again, make sure you orient the valves position prior to disassembly, and note which wire goes on which post.

Since the area in question has just enough room for one hand at a time, you need to plan your disassembly and reassembly with care. I believe the company who made the valves has an improved model, which I believe is larger, but has some more metal parts, albeit stronger, and maybe a better valve.

Once I figured out I had the SR-101 valve backwards, I then realized why my water pump quit, and also why I lost the silverleaf system. I had to bypass the original wiring to make it work. Once I get home and install a new pump, I will hope the original wiring is still working.

It took me two days to figure this out, and thank the heavens above, WRV did one thing correct, and installed a tank overflow of sufficient capacity to carry out the same volume of water coming in, otherwise I would have blown up the fresh water tank from hydraulic pressure.

I curse (words the woman would not like) the wiring quality & layout of these coaches. And one day, when I am sufficiently mad enough, I am going to rewire as much of it as I can, labeling them as I go, so I or the next owner can read which wire does what. To me, it seems they ran out of one color, and just picked up the closest color at hand to continue that circuit. I have one set of wires coming from the tank bay, made out of "4-wire-utility wiring harness - flat wire loom", using only three of the colors, and they change into another color once they get on the driver’s side of the coach. and coming off the relay mentioned below, they used a white wire, and wrapped a piece of orange tape around the end to denote a 12V + application. Additionally there are 3 relays next to the fuse box in the tank bay; two of them it seems have awning functions, the third have something to do with the autofill system and the water pump. Not mentioned very clearly on the wiring print contained in the manual. Trial and error was the way I figured out which did what to whom.

Now that I have it fixed and working properly, it's going up for sale when I get home, including the 2009 Jeep, because I have more hours working on it, than I get to use it, and that does not seem the way it should be. 19,590 miles, Cummins just completed an “A” service on it last week, and the engine fuel filter was also changed. I have spare filters for the genset, and air filter for the coach. Additionally, if this is the quality level of the RV industry, then all of the manufacturers should go broke, and the industry should die, because we as humans should not have to subject ourselves to this kind of abuse, and just pi** Poor quality and assembly. RVIA is the biggest joke in my opinion on this planet, and they also should be replaced by an organization which really has control of the assembly and quality of every RV made. Underwriter Laboratories are you listening, NFPA (NEC)are you listening.

Any takers, I will price it around 240K.

Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:37 AM   #2
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Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NorCal
Posts: 34
Sorry you are so unhappy with your Apex. We are on our 5th or 6th motorhome and on everyone we had to work the "bugs" out. Our 06 Apex is great and it just turned 47,000 miles. Part of RVing is dealing with all the little things that can go wrong as your house on wheels rumbles down the road.

A person who lives in our town (Redding, CA) has been looking for an Alpine, I will give them your address & phone number. Good Luck.

Tom & Nancy Polk

2006 Alpine Apex 40' MDTS
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:29 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,172
Solenoid valves are usually one way, and will generally leak thru the valve if installed backward. The solenoid has a spring that closes the valve against valve seat, and the valve head is shaped so the forward direction pressure will assist in closing; reverse pressure (when installed backward) will press the valve seat open.

Also, some solenoid valves must be installed in correct attitude, in the case of the Vagabondwater-supplied valves that means w/coil up. Why that's true I don't know, but it will be in the instructions for the valve if you get instructions. Its also good practice to install any electro-pneumatic device w/the electrical side up so in case anything leaks, the electrical won't be where gravity will wet it down. Think house pump, pump head down & motor up; a leaky head may drip but it won't ruin the motor suddenly.

Lastly, fitting threads on solenoid valves may be internally tapered (Female Pipe Tread) or standard thread (no taper), and you have to look close to decipher the difference. If you get level female threads on the valve but have MPT on the fitting, you can saw 3-4 threads off a standard MPT fitting end, dress the remaining threads clean & fill liberally w/pipe dope or teflon. This will prevent bottoming in what was likely a shallow female socket that was designed to take a hose-washer sort of o-ring. Some of ShurFlo's Female Thread sockets are of this type (their small accumulator comes to mind, although their kit comes w/the washers).
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,209
All - Once I turned the solenoid around correctly, everything sorted itself out except the pump. When I installed it this past spring, I had to turn the pressure adjusting screw almost 99% of the way in so it would cycle correctly. The little bit of head pressure being pushed against it, when city water pressure was acting on it, caused the switch to take a hike and not recover. I have uninstalled the pump, it's already on an RMA at Nw Trailer Parts and will get a new one on Thursday under warranty. It would have failed when we left this fall just because it's a bad system.

I still don't like the way WRV wired the coach. Part of my problem in figuring out what the problem was, is that when I did the initial change of the valves, a wire pulled out of the 10/12 butt connector, and I got freaked out about remembering where that wire went, having to stop one repair and initiate another, then go back to the original repair. I am going to rewire all those systems in the tank bay which then go over to the water/sewer services bay, with the correct sized wire, proper ground color wire (WHITE-14 or 12) and then make appropriate updates on the wiring print I have for the apex. For example; On the 50A cord real, the power for that unit starts as a #14 white wire with an orange tape on it, then changes color to a red #14, then an orange #16 before it ends up at the real connector as a white #14 wire. This/these are the kinds of issues I am finding in my coach.

Coin-OP - I would sell it, and will if the price is right, but I would want to spend a whole day with the prospective buyers to make sure they fully understood the systems in the unit. I love/like it a lot when things work, but WRV terrible quality control causes me to want to torch the thing, especially when I'm fixing one thing, and another bad wiring part fails then I feel like I'm chasing my tail.

Once I have it fixed we are heading to the coast toward the end of the month to give it a shakedown cruise prior to our sojourn south in October.
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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Old Rv'er-

We don't have an Apex, but could have bought one of the 2006's when we bought our Limited. We also wanted a mid-door 36, so that kept us from the Apex. However, we had a lot of quality issues for the first 2 to 2 1/2 years, and I felt like we were the poster child for WRV quality issues. We kept fixing these issues every time they came up and doing other improvements, and finally our coach has been great with not a lot of issues. The last 2 years have been very pleasant, when looked at in retrospect.

And today, we just returned from a 7-day trip and had no issues to fix. We have had a growing number of those kinds of trips lately. We just turned 42,000 miles on it.

So, if you keep fixing those issues, I believe like ours, they will go away or at least significantly reduce and you'll be a happy camper with it. It seems to me like you've fixed a good chunk of them, based on your posts.
Former Owner, 2006 36MDDS
2010 Arctic Fox 22GK Travel Trailer
2007 Toyota Tundra
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,209
OF - Yes, I know this. But every trip it seems to be something. I have some info silverleaf sent me but don't know how to attach it to this post. I have already sent it to EM.

It seems to make some sense but then one drawing does not match up with another, so I'm a little confused. I am going to check them against the real connectors once I am at the MH to see where my confusion lies. Today, I pulled the fuse I added to the incoming power and low and behold, the Silverleaf did not work, which is not what I was expecting, since I was hoping the pump being OS and removed would restore the circuit, so there must be a fuse someplace in the line, and I cannot find it as the incoming power and the pump power are off the same line someplace. Either that or I have a bad relay someplace. I have wired around it, so it works, and then I will test against the new pump once it's installed. I might be able to get to that install on Friday and will let all know.

I believe that once i get all the wiring issues taken care of, my repair time will go down considerably.

Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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