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Old 12-11-2012, 10:38 PM   #1
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Flooded the RV, what did I do wrong?

We picked up our 2004 Holiday Rambler Presidential 5th wheel on Friday, Nov. 30th. Hooked it up and slept in it one night before leaving on a 7 day trip (not in the RV). I turned off the water at the city faucet and turned off the water pump before leaving. (No, I didn't disconnect the water hose from the faucet.) Came back 7 days later to a COMPLETELY flooded rv. Bottom of shower was full of water, running out the door, down the steps into the kitchen and living room. Carpet is soaked, even the sofa at the very end of the rv is soaked and there were puddles standing in the floor vents. Hubby says he thinks the faucet did not shut off completely (even though it wouldn't turn any further) and we had water trickling into the rv the whole time we were gone. When we hitched it up to take back it to the dealer (insurance says it's covered), water poured out from the vinyl underbelly and the whole thing groaned like the Titanic going down.

Aren't you supposed to be able to leave city water on when in regular use? We had it on all night with no flooding. Does the fresh water overflow into the gray water tank? Can't figure out why the water wound up in the shower if not from gray tanks. There were no leaks or running water from any of the inside faucets, so the water had to have come up through the shower drain.

What are the chances of the RV surviving sitting this way for a week? Will they be able to get the water out and make it livable, or is it a goner?

We were supposed to be moving into it today to live full time. A little fearful that our investment may be down the drain (pun totally intended). Any advice, words of wisdom, comfort for a newby who left her new home at the dealer after only one week of ownership and one night in it?

(Just a note: if it's something really stupid I did, I may have to re-register under an assumed name to continue taking advantage of this awesome forum!)
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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If the valves are working correctly you should not have any problems. I've left ours for weeks with the water connected and turned on with no problems. There should be a valve to shunt the water from filling the tank to running straight from the park connection, in addition there should be a check valve to prevent pressure from going out the hose connection when the pump is on.
On the side of the stick house there is a hose bib, that won't shut off completely even though the valve won't go any further. I need to put a new washer in it someday.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:13 PM   #3
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I think what might have happened:
1. Thought city water was off.....but it leaked by
2. One of you sink valves or shower valves were leaking to fill grey water tank
3. Grey Water tank over flowed through the shower drain, its favorite place.

I would pressure back up and see where the leaks are coming from. Once found, repair and you should be good to go.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:06 AM   #4
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Ask your insurance company to recommend a good restoration contractor. We are familiar with patterns of water escape, what can be dried and saved, what can't be dried and saved and requires removal and how to disinfect for mold and mildew. Since it was 7 days old, not something you want to undertake yourself as this is classified as a grey water back-up and is contaminated with protein from food stuffs. Once properly dried and disinfected, you can take to an RV repair shop for rebuild.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:25 AM   #5
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Yes you should be able to leave the water on, with that said I would offer this caution. When leaving for an extended period always turn the water off. Hose and tubing leaks are not unheard of in RVs.

I had the tubing that runs to my refrigerator for the ice maker spring a pin hole leak one afternoon. Fortunately I found the leak when I got home and only suffered a couple loose tiles. Had I been gone a week it would have been much worse.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #6
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I agree odds are the city water was not fully off.. one thing a lot of folks do not know.

RV's are designed for fairly low pressure, Mine says 45PSI max though it will accept 50-55 with no problem.. Some of the valves in an RV and some of the seals have a design max of 60 PSI. and at higher pressures may leak.

City water: In the summer I stay at two parks, well water 50-55 PSI max per the maintenance folks who actually adjust the pressure switches on the pumps.

Where I'm parked now 80 PSI is common (I measured myself) and the park reports pressures as high as 120 PSI city water, no local control.

What protects my RV. well two things. First a Watts whole-house regulator (First thing off the park hydrant) and 2: I fill the on-board and use it. (There are reasons for this that have nothing to do with pressure, Pressure is not the only thing the city over does).

Just last week, I filled the on-board tank and turned the water off, A few hours later we had a knock on the door and lake of the north ws just outside our door, Turns out it was not .. Quite... off. (Still set to fill though so all that happened was overflow, no damage).
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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I agree odds are the city water was not fully off.. one thing a lot of folks do not know.

RV's are designed for fairly low pressure, Mine says 45PSI max though it will accept 50-55 with no problem.. Some of the valves in an RV and some of the seals have a design max of 60 PSI. and at higher pressures may leak.

City water: In the summer I stay at two parks, well water 50-55 PSI max per the maintenance folks who actually adjust the pressure switches on the pumps.

Where I'm parked now 80 PSI is common (I measured myself) and the park reports pressures as high as 120 PSI city water, no local control.

What protects my RV. well two things. First a Watts whole-house regulator (First thing off the park hydrant) and 2: I fill the on-board and use it. (There are reasons for this that have nothing to do with pressure, Pressure is not the only thing the city over does).

Just last week, I filled the on-board tank and turned the water off, A few hours later we had a knock on the door and lake of the north ws just outside our door, Turns out it was not .. Quite... off. (Still set to fill though so all that happened was overflow, no damage).
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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Heard back from the dealership today, the faucet for the sink in the bedroom did indeed have a leak (would not turn off all the way.) Had a chance to check "city" faucet (actually a faucet at the side of the house on the property where we will be staying for a while) and there was more stream leaking by in the off position than we even realized at first. Bad combination, if either one of those things had not mal-functioned, we still would have been ok.

They are tearing the floor coverings out today, the wood underneath is wet but not rotting. They tell me that getting it dry will stop any damage and that it was not damaged enough to need replacing. Insurance is covering everything except the deductible.

Thank you to all who replied. Hoping to have the RV back in a about a week and a 1/2 and begin our move in.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:01 AM   #9
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Been full time for 4.5 years and water has been on all the time with no issues. If we go away for a few days without the RV, I always turn the park hydrant off and have not had an issue. Going forward I think I will disconnect the hose too. If the trailer is not hooked to a water source, I won't have to worry about water inside the trailer (I never use the fresh water tank unles traveling or a hard freeze here in TX).
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:54 PM   #10
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I hope they can fix it correctly. It is going to take some time to dry it out. From your post it seems like you had a lot of water damage. Keep us posted and make sure you can have them fix things that warp or mold later.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:15 PM   #11
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That would be one RV I'd just quietly walk away from if possible - the presently UNseen water damage will constantly come back to haunt you...
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #12
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I would hope that they total it as well, there are to many unseen problems that will arise from that unit. I hope that you don't get hurt on the loss, but it would be much better to give up and let that one walk away. There are too many units out there without that kind of damage to try and fix that one. You cannot live in it and try to repair it at the same time. Due to construction techniques it will be ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to get it dried out and prevent the growth of mold from the flooding.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:21 PM   #13
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water shut off

Hope the repairs and dry out goes well. Here is a story to remember.
While we where camp ground hosts, a RV came in and they left for 5 days. three days after they left, water was pouring out of their front door.
The park had a power outage and well was off long enough to have no water pressure in the park.
With no water pressure, The diverter valve in the shower opened and when power came back, water pressure built back up and water came out the faucet (not shower hose), filled the holding tank and water overflowed the bath tub.
The diverter valve gives you pressure in the shower hose.
We always make sure water is shut off when we leave.
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