RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Fleetwood Products Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-14-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
jwmaustin's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Nashville, IN 47448
Posts: 660
Bounder fresh water tank "leak" (not filling to full)

We have a new 35K and love it. There have been hardly any problems but there is one design issue I'd highlight. What I'm seeing I thought people would be interested in.

The freshwater gauge would never stay at full after filling. What we ran into when we bought the 35K was what appeared to be a leak from the fresh water tank. I noticed that it appeared to drip out of the drainpipe. This is the pipe you can use to drain the water but its also the outlet for the "overflow". This is all located as you know immediately behind the steps.

Oddly the water would leak down to about two thirds and then stop leaking - it was a steady drip. I took it to the service tech at the dealer and he looked at it when we were finishing purchase. After we both studied it you could tell that the overflow line actually came into the tank at the two thirds point. And, as we talked about it, it appeared that there was a check valve that was in series with the overflow line. We confirmed that with Fleetwood. This, I assume, was done because there wasn't room above the tank to have the overflow at the top. So a low pressure check valve was used to "overflow" when it pressurized from overfilling.

So what was happening was I would fill the fresh water until the tank was full. It then would, after filling, force the overflow check valve open which then would fail to close completely. Since it wasn't fully closed it would leak down to the 2/3 point. So the check valve is defective. Given the design it will always be a risk that the check valve will go bad and have this problem. The tech and I agreed that changing the design would be better.

So now I have the materials to change the overflow pipe so it will allow the tank to overflow when it's full but keep the pipe high enough that any leakage from the valve won't matter.

Maybe others would want to do the same fix for about $10 and a 30 minutes investment.

I do probably need to document this and put pictures online I guess.

Look for the drain to overflow out the pipe in your first compartment on the passenger side when filling. (It WILL overflow with a big splash if you attach the garden hose to the city water connection and turn the bypass vale to fill the tank. If you just fill from the "gravity port" on the passenger side then probably all you get is the slow leak.) After that if there's a steady drip then you have the same problem. It's pretty easy to see the plumbing in that compartment and see what I mean.

SEE ATTACHMENT 1

The check valve that's bad is in the upper part of this drawing

SEE ATTACHMENT 2

As I said, I'm going to put some plumbing in to take the overflow outlet higher in the compartment so it will fill all the way up and even it the valve leaks it won't come out till it's all the way full.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	freshwater_plumbing.jpg
Views:	183
Size:	283.3 KB
ID:	60606   Click image for larger version

Name:	checkvalve.jpg
Views:	192
Size:	162.6 KB
ID:	60607  

__________________

__________________
Bill & Jenny - 2016 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42HD, 43 ft, Cummins 8.9 ISL - Blue Ox and SMARTCAR. Once/month traveler in Midwest and (as ofen as possible) Southern US. Home - Nashville, Indiana (Beautiful Brown County)
jwmaustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-14-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
chuckftboy's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North East Florida
Posts: 860
Looks like someone at the factory screwed up. My chassis is pretty much like yours except my overflow is 1 inch from the top.
__________________

__________________
2015, HR Ambassador 38DBT / 2006 Jeep TJ Towd
340 Cummins / Freightliner Chassis
chuckftboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2014, 08:56 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
jwmaustin's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Nashville, IN 47448
Posts: 660
My assumption is that the factory wanted to get as big a tank as possible and it was so near the floor there was no way to make a "loop" at the top to allow the drain to be high enough. They then added the cost of the pressure relief but it had to be set so low to prevent tank expansion that almost any pressure can cause it to leak. Pressure like waves going back and forth from sloshing, etc.

Yeah it wasn't a good design and a simple loop at the top should fix it. I'd say most of the Bounders of this size, not just the 35K could suffer from this. Maybe adding the other model numbers to the tags would help people find this.

BTW I should mention that this is the first "storage compartment", there is another door farther up that is the propane and battery center.

If you mostly use the "gravity feed" through the fill door you may not see this problem (not enough pressure). The gravity feed has a separate overflow. The overflow that's for the main tank protection (the one I'm referring to) is BEHIND the compartment we are discussing. You can see it at the top inside and you can see it at the bottom if you crawl under. Some have never filled from the city water connection. It's actually kind of helpful to just do that when you are connected over there in the utilities compartment. It saves unlocking the gravity feed door and can be done with a simple turn of the bypass valve.

If your pressure relief valve isn't sticking open much you may not see the leak except when driving and sloshing the water or something. The problem is clearly an issue and the tech (30 or so years of experience) said yeah if it were mine I wouldn't bother cutting out the bad valve and then have it fail again (because the valve is easy to cause it to open or fail) I'd just route the line up higher with a hose.

Thats what I plan to do and would suggest others do that too.
__________________
Bill & Jenny - 2016 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42HD, 43 ft, Cummins 8.9 ISL - Blue Ox and SMARTCAR. Once/month traveler in Midwest and (as ofen as possible) Southern US. Home - Nashville, Indiana (Beautiful Brown County)
jwmaustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2014, 11:04 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PNW
Posts: 123
We have the exact same problem and for the same reason on our 2014 35K. We noticed that as we were driving to the Monaco factory service center. We're here now and have added that to our list. Most of the camping we do in the PNW is dry camping. One of the reasons we purchased the 35K was for it's high water carrying capacity. Now we can only carry 2/3 of that. Hope to get it fixed, and on a permanent basis.
__________________
Damon and David
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35K, F53
2005 Honda CR-V, Blue Ox Base Plate, Tow Bar, Patriot Brake
Bruadair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2014, 11:45 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mojoracing's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: northern IL
Posts: 2,557
Jw, as I stated in our emails, I'm not sure i have the same issue but I find it funny that even when i fill my tank to what I think is full, the monitor only shows the tank is 2/3 full. I usually fill through the gravity fill so that valve must be really week if that's the case. I will check it out on Wednesday when I have some time. Do you think a high loop will solve the problem? Maybe a stronger spring in a ball type valve. Without looking at it I don't understand why they couldn't put it higher up or on top. We too bought ours for the water capacity and anything less than a full tank really hampers us.
__________________
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
mojoracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 10:17 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
jwmaustin's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Nashville, IN 47448
Posts: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojoracing View Post
Jw, as I stated in our emails, I'm not sure i have the same issue but I find it funny that even when i fill my tank to what I think is full, the monitor only shows the tank is 2/3 full. I usually fill through the gravity fill so that valve must be really week if that's the case. I will check it out on Wednesday when I have some time. Do you think a high loop will solve the problem? Maybe a stronger spring in a ball type valve. Without looking at it I don't understand why they couldn't put it higher up or on top. We too bought ours for the water capacity and anything less than a full tank really hampers us.
As you say, filling from the gravity port won't create enough pressure to "blow open the valve" as happens with the city water fill. Once blown open these valves have trouble reseating as long as there is some pressure present. It's hysteresis. As I mentioned earlier though even a full tank with water moving back and forth could exceed the set point on the valve and it will open and stay open for a while. I suspect you wouldn't notice a slow leak. As you describe it I'm not sure this is your gauge problem but the overflow design is a problem regardless.

Speaking from my engineering experience I know that low pressure relief valves are hard to make and hard to make accurately. So it's not surprising to me that this isn't a good solution. The "factory solution" might be to change out the valve but I don't agree with that. Yes, a loop in the line to make it effectively higher would be the same as having an overflow on the top. It might slosh out so keeping the relief valve or some type of baffle would help. If you go to the dealer it will be interesting to see what they do since a dealer has to only perform a factory authorized repair and I doubt Fleetwood will redesign that quickly.

Others should do what they feel is right but I'm not going to have a bad design that, like you, compromises one reason I bought this....higher tank capacities....even if its not a warranted repair. It's about $10 and 30 minutes to do.

(yes I think FW had room to make a top overflow port but probably thought it was a little too tight next to the floor. Manufacturers have to design in ways that asembly lines can easily and reliably do the work..I don't)

Bill
__________________
Bill & Jenny - 2016 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42HD, 43 ft, Cummins 8.9 ISL - Blue Ox and SMARTCAR. Once/month traveler in Midwest and (as ofen as possible) Southern US. Home - Nashville, Indiana (Beautiful Brown County)
jwmaustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 10:51 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
mojoracing's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: northern IL
Posts: 2,557
Going to check mine in the morning. Still doesn't explain why mine never shows completely full. When I fill it through the gravity until it is coming out the overflow, I go inside right away and it still doesn't show full. I don't give it enough time to leak when I check it so maybe it is just that my upper sensor is bad. Tomorrow will tell the tale. I will update.
__________________
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
mojoracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2014, 10:52 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
mojoracing's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: northern IL
Posts: 2,557
If there is enough room on top of the tank to put the overflow there, fleetwood could have done it as the tanks are installed before the floors go in i believe.
__________________
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
mojoracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 09:49 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
mojoracing's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: northern IL
Posts: 2,557
JW. just wondering if when filling the tank through the city fill, are you taking the cap off the gravity fill to release the pressure their instead of the overflow valve?
__________________
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
mojoracing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 10:46 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
SarahW's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In a lawnchair
Posts: 11,827
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojoracing View Post
JW. just wondering if when filling the tank through the city fill, are you taking the cap off the gravity fill to release the pressure their instead of the overflow valve?
I was wondering that, too. We can fill our tank full without any problem.
__________________
.2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C

SarahW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2014, 03:43 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
jwmaustin's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Nashville, IN 47448
Posts: 660
To the point raised about FW and what they could have done: there are sometimes choices you have in a design that work in the manufacturing process and other choices that don't. This can be due to cost, component sourcing, assembly line capability, product variation and others. There are also bad designs period. I can't tell which this is because I want to be fair to the engineers and assembly workers involved but I know how to improve it for my unit. That's usually all you can say in these forums.

To the point regarding removing the gravity fill cap: yes, I've tried that and, no, it doesn't fix the problem. I drove it with the cap off for a few weeks actually. In fact the water won't, in my case, run out the gravity fill first when filling from city which is maybe a foot higher than the relief valve. My last effort was to slowly fill the tank to ensure it's only "95%" full and therefore avoid any pressurizing. The valve still drips down to 2/3. The valve is clearly weak in my case. I'm choosing to not rely on just the valve or having to open another locked cap or being painfully careful.

I'm also choosing to not deal with a future problem possibly because when calling FW about this 2 months ago when I bought the unit they didn't have these valves on hand. Which could be that there are few problems with the valve or it's a component that isn't used much in designs or it's hard to make or something else. It could even be that people don't notice that they only have 2/3 capacity.

(and also to Mojo I'll say that I also can't seem to get the gauge to show full)
__________________
Bill & Jenny - 2016 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42HD, 43 ft, Cummins 8.9 ISL - Blue Ox and SMARTCAR. Once/month traveler in Midwest and (as ofen as possible) Southern US. Home - Nashville, Indiana (Beautiful Brown County)
jwmaustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2014, 09:44 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PNW
Posts: 123
We had the same issue with the tank emptying to 2/3 full. Yes, we had the drain cap off when filling.

We heard from the factory service center in Coburg Oregon today that they replumbed the relief (check) valve to be higher than the tank. Our service adviser says that the tank now holds a full tank of water as it should and without any leaking.
__________________
Damon and David
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35K, F53
2005 Honda CR-V, Blue Ox Base Plate, Tow Bar, Patriot Brake
Bruadair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2014, 09:59 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
jwmaustin's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Nashville, IN 47448
Posts: 660
I should have updated you all.

Yes that's what I did myself (on my own - I do some work myself because it's easier than taking the time to go to a dealer)
__________________
Bill & Jenny - 2016 Winnebago Itasca Ellipse 42HD, 43 ft, Cummins 8.9 ISL - Blue Ox and SMARTCAR. Once/month traveler in Midwest and (as ofen as possible) Southern US. Home - Nashville, Indiana (Beautiful Brown County)
jwmaustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2014, 10:10 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PNW
Posts: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwmaustin View Post
I should have updated you all.

Yes that's what I did myself (on my own - I do some work myself because it's easier than taking the time to go to a dealer)

We like to do a lot on our own too but we had a list of 71 warranty issues so it was worth taking to the factory service center. If this were a lone issue it wouldn't have been worth the drive.
__________________

__________________
Damon and David
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35K, F53
2005 Honda CR-V, Blue Ox Base Plate, Tow Bar, Patriot Brake
Bruadair is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
leak, fresh water, water, tank, bounder



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fresh water tank overflowing bpolkusm Class A Motorhome Discussions 12 03-17-2014 04:14 PM
2003 Pace Arrow 37A access fresh water tank RVBobcat MH-General Discussions & Problems 3 02-27-2014 11:53 AM
Dump Fresh Water Riover Palazzo Motorhomes 7 02-26-2014 08:52 PM
85 Southwind fresh water tank acetech Fleetwood Products Owner's Forum 7 10-25-2013 10:35 AM
Axle hits water tank 2010 Surveyor Tom3205 Forest River Owners Forum 11 04-29-2013 01:19 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.