Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
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 06-24-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
Grey Tank Leak

I just finished replacing the floor in the water compartment (where all of the connections exit). I thought it just rotted because of time. Today, I discovered a leak in the grey tank. It is running down the sides of the tank and into the newly repaired water compartment floor.

Partially dumping the tank (we are camping and the gauge said 2/3 full) slowed the leak a lot and may have stopped it.

Our tanks are 48 gallons, about 3 feet wide, 6 inches deep and nearly the width of the chassis (which is 100") They are side by side and hung on two large steel hangers on each side to keep them sloped toward the water compartment side. Removing the hangers is easy.

I'm assuming that the tank has to be removed to diagnose the problem. I'm also assuming that it could be repaired with fiberglass. The problem is going to be getting it out. The drain area is pictured here.

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=21682

Left on my own, I would have cut the smaller black pipe with enough space to attach another coupler below the existing one. This, I believe, would leave the resulting pipe too long to get through the opening. I could be wrong about that as I haven't taken all of the metal covers off.

I'm pretty comfortable with the tank repair (until someone tells me it harder than I believe) once it is removed. It is getting the tank out and particularly in cutting and then repairing the outlet pipe that has me worried.

Any input is welcome.

Charlie
__________________

__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 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 06-24-2012, 06:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
Update: I did not address the connection points to the tank in my OP. I do realize that one of them could be the leak point. I'm not in a position to take off all the covers etc. that would be necessary to expose the three connections (bath sink, kitchen sink, shower). Although I winterized carefully, it is possible that this problem was created the winter before last and we just didn't see it because we didn't fill the gray tank far enough and see the water dripping. It is dripping in the back of the compartment so it would have been hard to detect from the outside.

I plan to find the connection points and examine/test them before I try to do anything with the tank itself.
__________________

__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
Update:

I found the leak

http://www.irv2.com/attachments/phot...seam_crack.jpg

There is a flat area at the bottom/driver's end of the tank that connects to the part that is mounted on a diagonal across the chassis frame. The seam where those two parts meet is where the leak is. The area is about 14" long (side to side on the tank) and about 6-8", starting on the flat area and transitioning to sloped section.

Surprise, Surprise - it looks like it was an old repair. We've had the RV since 2004 and it hasn't been done since then. I suspect that it may have been done at the factory. There was a very heavy duty platform that I had to remove to see that part of the tank but the platform was supporting nothing - there was nothing touching the upper side of it.

My plan:

1. Let the tank dry out until Monday. I had put about 24 gallons of water in it in order to start the leak and have now purged the tank. I want the patched area to dry out completely.

2. Figure out what I can use for the repair. The old boat guy in me would like to use fiberglass. I know that I can lay up cloth and mat across the area and make a nice job of it. But I'm not sure that fiberglass resin is going to stick permanently. From the pictures, my eyes think that they can see fibrerglass strands but that could be wrong. I guess the alternative is an epoxy. I've never had quite as much success using epoxy in places like this. There is definitely flex in the tank.

All inputs are welcome
. We've got another long trip in a few weeks and I'm desperate to get this repair done and tested in the next two weeks. I don't want to be fiddling with this up until the last minute.

Thanks,

Charlie

BTW, there is another picture called tank seam 2 in the IRV2 collection. I don't think it helps much but it is a longer view of the seam/leak area.
__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Steve N Sal's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,614
Looks like a pretty tight area to work but you have to try something right? A friend of mine used Etenabond tape on a grey tank leak he had. Stopped it cold. His access point had a bit more room to work around but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get it done. Just a thought. Hope you get it fixed.
__________________
Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
Michigan (Summer) Michigan (Winter For Now)
Steve N Sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
Update 2
On another forum, I found several hits about repairing holding tanks. Apparently, there are two types - abs and polyethylene. For abs repairs, a product called Plasti Mend is recommended.

Not knowing what I have, I called the Plasit Mend company. The tech said that an abs tank would have the output pipe directly fused to it since the pipe and the tank are compatible materials. In my case (see the first picture), there is a clamp around the outside of the tank outlet. The tech says that is an indication that I have a polyethylene tank and that the only solution is thermal welding. That could explain why the original repair didn't work. BTW, polyethylene is the stuff the milk cartons are made of. My tank definitely has that kind of flexibility, though it is thicker and doesn't bend as much.

The tech also said that Harbor Freight has a plastic welding kit for less than $20. He said that melting the seam back together (about 300 degrees) and then embedding stainless steel mesh screen into the repair should help to keep in from breaking again at the flex point.

I'm going to look in my area for a thermal welding shop and see what I can find. As you can imagine, the seam is in an absolutely awful place to get to.

I'm not out of the woods yet but the trees are not quite as dense as they were 5 minutes ago.

Again, ALL INPUTS ARE WELCOME.

Charlie

BTW, fiberglass isn't compatible. Darn...just my luck
__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve N Sal View Post
Looks like a pretty tight area to work but you have to try something right? A friend of mine used Etenabond tape on a grey tank leak he had. Stopped it cold. His access point had a bit more room to work around but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get it done. Just a thought. Hope you get it fixed.
Thanks for you input. I do have Eternabond from a roof repair a couple of years ago. If some of the other leads that I have don't work, I may resort to that.

Do you know if your friend's tank was abs?

Charlie
__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
C-PHartley's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Florida Cooters Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Venice, Fla.
Posts: 495
x2 on the Eternabond tape. I love this stuff. Just make sure the area is dry and clean. I use acetone to clean the area. Be careful as acetone is flammable. I put it on a rag and wipe the area to be cleaned, let it dry, and apply the tape. Be sure to roll the tape to get it to stick well.. I hope this helps.
__________________
--Chuck
95 Newmar Kountry Star, Spartan Chassis, Venice, Fla
C-PHartley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Steve N Sal's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfm11 View Post
Thanks for you input. I do have Eternabond from a roof repair a couple of years ago. If some of the other leads that I have don't work, I may resort to that.

Do you know if your friend's tank was abs?

Charlie
I do believe it was but not positive. I suggested the Eternabond to him as well as I read of people using it on swimming pools, hot tubs etc.. He just made sure the area was completely dry before he applied it and it worked. Good luck and hope it works for you.
__________________
Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
Michigan (Summer) Michigan (Winter For Now)
Steve N Sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
I think that Eternabond and Plasti Mend would both work on an ABS tank. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure now that my tank it polyethylene. I'm don't currently believe that either of those will work with mine.

After talking with the a local thermal welding tech, I believe that the previous repair was done in warranty at the dealer. They installed the support to try to keep the tank from flexing. I'll probably reinstall that support when the repair is done for the same reason but will configure it differently.

I feel like I've made more progress on this today than in the last two weeks.

Again, please keep your ideas and thoughts coming.

Charlie
__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Lincolnboy2's Avatar


 
Texas Boomers Club
Fleetwood Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Grand Prairie, TX (DFW)
Posts: 3,536
No input Charlie, just watching and hoping you get it repaired permanently and resolved quickly.

Missed y'all at the last Boomer Rally, was in Colorado Springs just in time for the Waldo Canyon Fire.....but still enjoyed the heck out of the cool (sometimes smokey) evenings and mornings.

Kent (Tina says Hi too!)
__________________
Kent - '03 Fleetwood Storm Ford F-53 V-10
With Susie (Lhasa); Angie (Shorkie) Ferbie (ShihTzu)
In Memoriam: Katie, Spencer and Zoey
Lincolnboy2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 314
I tried epoxy, fiberglass, and Eternabond tape on our black tank. All failed eventually. I used Plasti-Mend and it has held for years. I believe it is now stronger than new. I looked at your picture and thought it was ABS like mine. Then I read that someone thought it was poly. Try lightly sanding a small area. I think the ABS will look like satin and that poly will look waxy. Try a little abs cement and see if it has any solvent action on the surface. If it does, buy a kit from Plasti-mend. Their stuff worked for us, good luck, HarveyP
__________________
94 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE

Cummins/Allison
HarveyP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2012, 04:50 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveyP View Post
I tried epoxy, fiberglass, and Eternabond tape on our black tank. All failed eventually. I used Plasti-Mend and it has held for years. I believe it is now stronger than new. I looked at your picture and thought it was ABS like mine. Then I read that someone thought it was poly. Try lightly sanding a small area. I think the ABS will look like satin and that poly will look waxy. Try a little abs cement and see if it has any solvent action on the surface. If it does, buy a kit from Plasti-mend. Their stuff worked for us, good luck, HarveyP
Thanks for the suggestions, Harvey. I really like the one about trying the abs cement and seeing what happens. I had called Plasti Mend and talked with their tech. He was the one who told me that he thought my tank was poly, based on how the outlet was setup. I sure would like it if he was wrong and it IS abs.

I'm headed for HD and will pick up some abs adhesive. I'll let you know.

Charlie
__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2012, 08:59 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Phoenix, Az
Posts: 11
I had a blowout on an -04 trailer camper and the tire tread ripped out my plumbing to the grey and black tanks as well as broke the grey tank. I bought the plastic weld kit from Harbor Freight and welded the tank while it was in place. It leaked. I then wiped JB Weld into the weld area and it held as long as I owned it. A Plastics Engineer told me to try a solvent on the plastic such as paint thinner. Do the same on a piece of known plastic (such as irrigation pipe or a plastic welding rod). You must identify the plastic to select the correct plastic welding rod for the job.
By the way, the plastic welder is like a soldering iron. You attach an air source to blow hot air onto the work surface. It is a pretty safe process. The welder kit comes with various types of plastic welding rods.
On my motor home, I found the vent pipe broken at the grey tank top. I replaced the screw-in fitting, added some new black pipe, and put on a rubber union from Home Depot. Now, the joint has some flex and should never break again. I lubricated the inside of the rubber union with silicon oil to make it slide together more easily. When I raised the tank back up into place, the pipes slid together.

I hope this helps and wish you well.
__________________
Dirt Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2012, 12:12 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
chasfm11's Avatar
 
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DFW Area, TX
Posts: 2,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Rider View Post
I had a blowout on an -04 trailer camper and the tire tread ripped out my plumbing to the grey and black tanks as well as broke the grey tank. I bought the plastic weld kit from Harbor Freight and welded the tank while it was in place. It leaked. I then wiped JB Weld into the weld area and it held as long as I owned it. A Plastics Engineer told me to try a solvent on the plastic such as paint thinner. Do the same on a piece of known plastic (such as irrigation pipe or a plastic welding rod). You must identify the plastic to select the correct plastic welding rod for the job.
By the way, the plastic welder is like a soldering iron. You attach an air source to blow hot air onto the work surface. It is a pretty safe process. The welder kit comes with various types of plastic welding rods.
On my motor home, I found the vent pipe broken at the grey tank top. I replaced the screw-in fitting, added some new black pipe, and put on a rubber union from Home Depot. Now, the joint has some flex and should never break again. I lubricated the inside of the rubber union with silicon oil to make it slide together more easily. When I raised the tank back up into place, the pipes slid together.

I hope this helps and wish you well.
Thanks very much for your input. Several others including JWalker have suggested JB Weld. I agree that the correct step is identifying the type of plastic that the tank is made of. I'm on my way to HD now to get some abs adhesive and see how that reacts.

Like your situation, this leak is not a new one, though I hadn't seen any evidence of it before. For that reason, I'd prefer a professional plastics guy to try to make a permanent repair. I have a shot at that with an estimate of about $200 and will likely go that route if turns out that the tank is polyethylene. If it does turn out to be ABS, there is a lot more information available about making those repairs, including using a thermal welder. They tell me the key to a permanent repair is getting the stainless steel wire mess embedded into the patch material. The ABS repair kits include that.

I'll be sure to post my results, successful or not as soon as I get the ABS test done. I know for sure that my water tank is polyethylene and the black and gray tanks are very different in appearance from it. But just because they are black and not translucent like the water tank does not say that they are ABS.
__________________

__________________
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
KF5-NJY
chasfm11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
leak, tank



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


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.