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Old 09-28-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
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Something's terribly amiss here.

I just spent the last eight days boondocking in my 2014 Sierra 346RETS. My wife was along for the first two days, home to go to school, and then for the last two days. We're experienced campers, myself 12 years and her part time for eight.

On day three I decided to check my levels, I found my gray 1/3, galley 1/3, black 1/3 which was no surprise and normal for this unit. I think you could pour a small bucket of water down the sink and it would say 1/3.

The fresh tank threw me. 1/3. This made zero sense, I came from a 45 gallon fresh capacity TT, the whole family made it six days on that once.

I have a five gallon bucket and a six gallon fresh water tote with me. 11 gallons in, now we're at 2/3. I thought maybe it was just below the 2/3 sensor.

I do this daily. Friday, the wife returns and I put 22 gallons in telling her she can have a shower Saturday morning since it shows full.

Saturday evening I ran out of water.

Ok, I decide to put 33 gallons in, we're leaving the next morning (Today ) so a half load will be fine and I'll figure the sensors out the next weekend.

With one gallon to go or 32 gallons into the tank, water starts running out of the overflow vent. I'm not kidding. The panel? Shows full on the fresh.

It's supposed to be a 64 gallon fresh tank. The brochure says 64 gallons fresh capacity, as does the website. Some manufacturers add the water heaters capacity to fluff their numbers, but even then it's still 20 gallons short.

Today, we decide to shower at home. Dinner and breakfast dishes are done, tanks dumped, hoses rinsed, black tank flushed for about five minutes. That's all the fresh system had on it.

It showed 1/3.

Has anyone else experienced this or similar? While appearing to be a serious pain I'm going to drop the belly shield and get a look at this 64 gallon fresh tank. I bought this unit specifically with boondocking in mind and the 64 gallons of fresh appealed to me. If it's actually 32 I'm not going to be happy at all.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:15 PM   #2
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Maybe the 64 gal capacity is in more than one tank and they're not tied together. I';m just guessing.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Maybe the 64 gal capacity is in more than one tank and they're not tied together. I'm just guessing.
That's what I hope to find out next weekend when I drop the belly shield. Two tanks that aren't working together? Easily fixed.

I'd take it back to my dealer and complain but they'd blow it off. I trust my dealer far as I can throw them right now.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:20 PM   #4
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First off do NOT believe that your sensors are the most accurate devices made.

The SeeLevel Tank Level System is by far one of the best on the market for accuracy.

Now for your fresh tank capacity, the only way to accurately tell how much it will hold is to empty it completely. Then start adding know volumes of water to the fresh tank until it is full or flowing out the fill tube.

Now you will know exactly how much your fresh water tank will hold.

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Old 09-28-2014, 09:30 PM   #5
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I dropped the drain cap on the way home and will do that maybe one day this week. While it ran out (And I wasn't clear, it wasn't just empty on the panel, it ran dry.) I don't know that the tank was absolutely dry. It could be picking up 4" from the bottom or any number of things.

Now, it's drained, so as you said, I'll know for sure.

If I do expose the tank I'll measure it's dimensions and do the math. That one will be really hard for the manufacturer to argue.

And now that it's got me thinking about it I'll look into that system. If it's the one I'm thinking of then I'm sure I'll like it.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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Well, I found the problem. It seems that the bloody bracing that holds the fresh tank up bent in the middle and let the tank fold up on itself. With the drain bone dry there was probably 25 gallons in there.

So, a floor jack, a little massaging with a hammer and I got the bracing back close to straight, now the rest of the water is draining out. Once actually dry I'll set the bracing out, straighten it, reenforce it with some angle iron and put it back. fortunately I don't think the tank is actually damaged. It's pretty flimsy material and has already mostly gone back straight.

It might be my fault. This is a pressure fill system, you actually screw the hose in place and turn it on. Water flows out the vent once full but it can only flow so much. Getting ready for my trip instead of standing there waiting I left it to fill. I noticed that it was full and kinda lazily walked over and turned the water off. Now I wonder if the incoming flow rate bellowed the tank and bent the frame. I had my regulator in place, but still 50PSI of water pressure is a lot of force.

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Old 09-29-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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WOW!

I am glad that you found the problem BUT...BUT...BUT...[Moderator Edit]...that should not have happened. Someone in the engineering department needs to have their head shoved up you know where.

That tank will need to come out and be replaced with another new one. I would not trust that tank for one minute.

Then all new support trusses will need to be put in place that can handle not only the weight and the road vibrations but all of the movement of the rig while traveling.

I would also double check their work and not accept anything that looks suspicious or lame workmanship.

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Old 09-29-2014, 03:46 PM   #8
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One psi overpressure on a tank that size means tons of force on nearby structures is possible.

Regardless of what you did or didn't do, there should be a fixed restriction in the line from the tank fill valve to the tank and the overflow tube should be sized that at 50psi regulated, the tank CANNOT be pressurised beyond safe limits.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:49 PM   #9
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Oh I agree, it shouldn't have happened. It's also a pretty piss poor design pardon the language. Two 1X1 lengths of angle iron, iron so flimsy I can twist it nearly 90* by hand, hold it up. Three short lengths of 1x1 go under the tank. It's not even attached, the chopped off tips of the iron just rest on the non welded side.

Here's what's going to happen. First, I'm going to cut a piece of real iron that runs the length of both long legs of the frame. Weld that properly.

Then, I'm going to add in two more cross braces across the floor, then add iron between the legs of the ladder work.

Finally, I'm going to weld in tabs to the non welded side where the ladder legs rest. Drill, add bolts so that the two sides are actually solidly attached to each other.

It'll end up so strong that the floor will push up before the frame gives again.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
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One psi overpressure on a tank that size means tons of force on nearby structures is possible.

Regardless of what you did or didn't do, there should be a fixed restriction in the line from the tank fill valve to the tank and the overflow tube should be sized that at 50psi regulated, the tank CANNOT be pressurised beyond safe limits.
One would think they should have something in place. Or for that matter, one would again think during my PDI they would have pointed that possibility out.

I suddenly greatly prefer my old gravity fill system. I hung the hose on it, once full it just overflowed.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:57 PM   #11
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So am I to assume that there is no warranty for this situation?

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Old 09-29-2014, 04:18 PM   #12
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I'm weighing that option now. My dealer's service dept is apparently incompetent. I took it in for service, gave them six weeks to fix a list of things to include a piece of popped flashing and a window that leaked obviously from one corner.

Four weeks later they pulled it in, looked at it, and ordered parts.

I claimed my camper two weeks later with a few things repaired. Four weeks later now I just got off the phone with them, still no parts.

I myself fixed several things that they couldn't or wouldn't. Bauer sent me a new door latch for example, this after the dealer underlined the code programming procedure and called it good.

So, who knows what they would do to fix it. At best, put the same crap in there and screw up the plumbing most likely.

I've got all the fabrication tools I'll need, might even have the angle iron lying around. Unless I see something wrong with the tank itself I'll try it and see what happens. I'll fix it better and far stronger.

I'd love to get it warrantied, but at this point I'm rapidly getting over this thing. It's had a lot of issues, nothing big, but numerous. This is now making me question the rest of the structure. If I fix it myself, like many other things, I'll feel better about it.
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:07 PM   #13
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Decided that I'll just fix it.

Got two 6' lengths of angle iron, a few bits and pieces to build a restrictor so this shouldn't happen again.

Tonight I pulled the frame out, got the tank fully drained and inspected. The tank appears to be in fine condition, if not flimsy and lightweight. I'll change that later, something bigger and more robust. There's plenty of room if I decided to go larger.

I finished straightening the bent metal, hammered the wrinkles out and fixed the attachment ear. Test fitted my new steel, got an idea on attaching some tabs on the opposing side to actually tie the sides of the frame together. I'll probably do a separate thread on the repair.
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:35 AM   #14
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Got it fixed, here's the thread where I covered the repair.

Fresh tank frame repair
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