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Old 10-05-2014, 12:26 AM   #1
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sknight's Avatar
Appalachian Campers
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 908
Fresh tank frame repair

On a recent trip I had an issue with my fresh water, specifically how much I had available. By my calculations I was 30 gallons short on my actual capacity. I talked about that in this thread. Something's terribly amiss here.

Well I decided to fix it myself. Yes, the unit is under warranty but A: My dealer is incompetent and wouldn't repair it properly. My last service visit proved that. B: They're 80 miles away, the next closest Forest River dealer is another 100 miles. I'd burn more in fuel hauling it there than it cost me to fix it.

I pulled the tank out, saw that the tank itself is fine if flimsy. I'll look into a bigger tank one day maybe, there's room to work with.

I straightened the frame work, then added a piece of angle iron welded right onto the existing frame to reenforce it. I noticed that the tank was actually sagging between the ladder rungs so I added some 1" square tubing between the rungs with a thin sheet of plywood on top, now the tank can't sag through and is supported. I noticed that the corner of the tank that has the drain and the supply line for the pump was actually higher than the rest of the frame so I dropped that to be actually 1/2" lower than the rest of the tank.

One side of the frame is hard welded in, on that side the ladder rungs just sat on top of the angle iron, no attachment at all. What I did last was weld in some iron tabs, drilled through the rungs and added 5/16" bolts so that now the frame is actually one piece. It's so strong now that I'm pretty sure the tank will split before the frame gives again.

As for prevention, I used a ball valve and two water hose adapters, I put that between the water hose and the fill connection, when I test filled it I let it run full flow until it was running out the vent then closed the valve until the inlet flow was less than the vent flow, until water was trickling out instead of actual pressure. Marked the valve position and from now on I'll set the valve there and just walk away while it fills. Might take an hour or more to fill, but I'll be busy doing other things.

Sorry, but only a before and after photo. I might be a photographer, but I'm awful about taking photos during my projects.

Before. You can see the factory angle iron that bent allowing the tank to fold like a taco. That water? That's with the drain line completely dry. That's how high the sides of the tank lifted up.

After. You can see the braces between the cross braces I called ladder rungs, also the tabs I welded to bolt it all together. After this shot a little cleaning and black paint makes it pretty.

2001 HO Cummins powered Dodge 2500
2014 Sierra 346RETS
Nights camped in 2014-28
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:44 AM   #2
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Evergreen Owners Club
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Location: Springfield, MO
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Nice job, maybe you should visit the factory and give them some lessons.

Keith & Drena with Casey & P-nut (dogs) & Gabby (cat)
2014 Silverado 3500HD Dually 4X4
2014 Evergreen Bay Hill 365rl
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:25 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2013
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The factory people probably would poop all over themselves and then revoke his warranty! They hate to be wrong!
Steve & Trudy
Swamplands of Louisiana
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:20 PM   #4
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Appalachian Campers
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 908
Originally Posted by Swamp Man View Post
The factory people probably would poop all over themselves and then revoke his warranty! They hate to be wrong!
Yeah, they likely would! But honestly, I can't get my dealer to fix anything under warranty anyhow (I spent this weekend fixing several things that they couldn't/wouldn't/didn't bother to, including adjusting the kitchen slideout.) so let them revoke it. I love the camper, it's a great floorplan, it seems fairly well constructed in general. Pulls great, is a superior camping experience overall.

And, truth be told, it's my fault. I think I ballooned the tank causing the frame failure.

But I feel the frame was faulty in design and shouldn't have failed like that, plus I think there should be a restriction to slow down the incoming water rate or a large enough overflow to outpace the fill rate, something in place to keep pressure from building within the tank. Seems simple to me, it's a 1/2" line in, make it a 3/4" vent line. If I upgrade the tank later on that's what I plan on doing.

Either way, it's well fixed now, I just need to be watchful in the future and not pressurize the tank especially now that it will either split the tank or push the basement floor up!
2001 HO Cummins powered Dodge 2500
2014 Sierra 346RETS
Nights camped in 2014-28
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repair, tank

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