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Old 06-25-2008, 06:21 AM   #1
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Hi all, last week we bought our first RV. Before buying it we had Camping World do their 49 point inspection and other then replacing a $35 propane regulator it passed with flying colors.

So we decided to do a quick trip to figure everything out. My parents who are experienced RVers brought their motor home for moral support. We found a couple spaces at Detroit Lake so we cruised out for a couple nights.

Everything went great, towing the 28+ ft. long and 8+ ft. wide toy hauler took a little getting used to, I was really glad we invested in wt distribution hitch, P3 Tekonsha, and factory tow mirrors for our Dodge 2500.

One thing that came up was when we tried to use the hot water heater. First we found the switch inside and a switch outside so we turned them on and then after a little we could tell the tank was heating. (Good first step.) Then after the water only coming out cold, I dug around a little more and found what looks like a bypass valve. Turned that, and we had hot water.

Everything seemed fine but after a little while, we'd turn on the hot water and no water would come out. I'd go around looking for something. Turning that cold water bypass would make cold water come again and then sometimes switching it back, would start the hot flowing again.

Over the couple days, we tried it various times. Sometimes the hot would work great, other times it would not but coming back a little later and trying again, it would work fine.

It almost seemed like there is something floating around the hot water tank that would get sucked over the hot water out and plug it.

Any ideas for a newbie?

Overall a great trip, setup and teardown was remarkably easy, everyone slept comfortably, kids got along (10,12 & 14). Next time, we'll actually have to try hauling some toys in the toy hauler but we figured one thing at a time was a good start.

Thanks for your help!

Eric
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:21 AM   #2
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Hi all, last week we bought our first RV. Before buying it we had Camping World do their 49 point inspection and other then replacing a $35 propane regulator it passed with flying colors.

So we decided to do a quick trip to figure everything out. My parents who are experienced RVers brought their motor home for moral support. We found a couple spaces at Detroit Lake so we cruised out for a couple nights.

Everything went great, towing the 28+ ft. long and 8+ ft. wide toy hauler took a little getting used to, I was really glad we invested in wt distribution hitch, P3 Tekonsha, and factory tow mirrors for our Dodge 2500.

One thing that came up was when we tried to use the hot water heater. First we found the switch inside and a switch outside so we turned them on and then after a little we could tell the tank was heating. (Good first step.) Then after the water only coming out cold, I dug around a little more and found what looks like a bypass valve. Turned that, and we had hot water.

Everything seemed fine but after a little while, we'd turn on the hot water and no water would come out. I'd go around looking for something. Turning that cold water bypass would make cold water come again and then sometimes switching it back, would start the hot flowing again.

Over the couple days, we tried it various times. Sometimes the hot would work great, other times it would not but coming back a little later and trying again, it would work fine.

It almost seemed like there is something floating around the hot water tank that would get sucked over the hot water out and plug it.

Any ideas for a newbie?

Overall a great trip, setup and teardown was remarkably easy, everyone slept comfortably, kids got along (10,12 & 14). Next time, we'll actually have to try hauling some toys in the toy hauler but we figured one thing at a time was a good start.

Thanks for your help!

Eric
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:31 AM   #3
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Hi Eric. Where are you located to have gone to Detroit Reservoir?
Couple of things come to my mind.
First, look on or near the HW heater for a check valve. These are notorious for being junk. IF you have one, get rid of it. Second, be sure that all the bypass valves are actually in the proper positions. There might be more than one and unless you have them all set correctly you can do a couple of things. One is burn up the electric element and the other is no hot water because the tank is empty.
OH and welcome
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:43 AM   #4
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We're in Wilsonville, just south of Portland Oregon. Detroit Lake State Park is about 70 miles from home. Close enough, but also far enough away.

The whole time I was able to run water out of the pressure valve on the tank so it seemed to always be full.

I didn't find any other bypass valve. When the hot water would work, we could let gallons and gallons run, then come back a little while later and it was just as likely to work fine as it was to only let a trickle through and then stop so I'm thinking we had the valves right.

What is a "check valve" and how do I find it?

Eric
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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Hi Eric, I am in Gresham, neighbors.
The check valve will usually be in the hot water side and either connected directly to the tank or attached to a short pipe nipple on the hot side. It kind of looks like a pipe nipple only bigger in diameter. Could be a hex shaped too. Had problems with the one on my Fox a few years ago and took it out, problem almost totally went away.
If you need more info, send me a PM with your phone number and I will be glad to walk you through finding it.
Don
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:41 AM   #6
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Don
There is 2 kinds of bypass one has one valve and a check valve, the other has 3 valves. If you remove the check valve then your bypass will not work.

Tom
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:12 AM   #7
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That is quite possible, But if as I suspect the check is bad it will have to be fixed one way or the other?
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:22 AM   #8
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I wondered if you were talking about Oregon... I'm in The Dalles.

Anyway, it sounds like you have the bypass system with a check valve and one manual valve. It could be that some scale or gunk got in there that maybe you could back flush...

Hot water tanks sometimes build up scale. You might try pulling the drain plug (when the unit is cool) or annode rod and drain the tank, and spray the inside of the tank out.

I have a plastic hose end wand that is meant for that purpose.

You could also put a hose up to a faucet with hot turned on, and try to back flush the valve that way if removing the valve is difficult. I think if it were mine, though, I'd just replace the one way valve.


What kinds of toys do you haul? I do the 4x4 qaud thing, often at Morrow County ATV park (great camp ground), or over at Millican/East Fort Rock east of Bend, or over at the Tillamook off road area...
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:56 AM   #9
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Thanks Jeff, I'll try that.

Our family of 5 (kids 10,12 & 14) has Honda motorcycles (70, 80, 150 & 250) and Quads (little eTon 70 and Honda 300EX).

We've mostly done day trips but dreamed of a toy hauler. We go to Brown's camp the most, been to Honeyman State Park and Oregon Dunes a couple times but the 4 stroke motorcycles are a lot of work in the sand. Now that we have the toy hauler it is really tempting to get some more sand worthy toys.

I'd love to hear more about the places to go. Particularly places closer to Portland.

I looked up Morrow County, that looks pretty awesome. Are sites generally available?
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:32 AM   #10
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The Tillamook/Brown's camp area is the closest decent riding place to Portland that I'm aware of.

The Morrow County area is really neat. The campground sells maps, there is a medical care thing set up there, and there is even a little restaurant there ran out of a camp trailer where you can buy a burger, hot coco, or whatever. Water, and a dump station are available.

I want to say non-hook up is $10 or $12 a night, and power/water sites are $15, but I could be wrong. They also have little two bunk A frames with electric heat and a barbecue for like $37 or something? Anyhow, neat place to ride. It is next to a US forest area that is also open to riding, though it is mainly dirt roads with some little logging spurs, but you can go fish at a small lake there.

Call 541-898-9500 to reserve a spot, especially on the weekend.

East Fort Rock is Dechutes National Forest, and abuts Millican, which is BLM, about 20 miles east of Bend on Hwy 20. Free camping, terrain varies from easy rocky trails to technical. Maps are usually available in boxes there.

About your hot water problem... If I understand correctly, you switched over the bypass, and when you turned on a tap you got water for a bit, then it quit?

When it quit was air coming out of the tap?

When I switch mine over, I'll get water for about 30 seconds from the water still in the pipes, followed by a couple of minutes of air while the water tank fills, then finally pushes water into the pipes again...
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:47 AM   #11
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With the water, that's the intermittent part. It will run fine for gallons and gallons, and then you go to use it and it will be just a trickle or nothing. Then do nothing and it will work again later.

It really seems like something is in the hot water tank that is causing the flow to be blocked.

Eric
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:15 PM   #12
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I just looked and the little hose attachment I have for blowing the big chunks of scale out of the tank is called Tank Saver, for what it's worth.
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