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Old 04-05-2014, 08:46 AM   #1
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Water Heater Bypass - Do I have one?

Brought my new Tioga Montara 25K home and started preparation for use.

I finally found the drain valve for the fresh water tank - manual says mounted on the end of the tank, which it was however you have to take the small square panel off in the storage area to access it.

Got the tank drained and sanitized, however when city water was hooked up it all flowed out the low point drain hose. Looked all over the unit for valves to close this and could not find a valve so went back to the dealer (20 miles) and the shut off valves were found under the bottom drawer. Again no mention in the manual.

I could not find a water heater bypass in the coach and the dealer could not find it (dealer that I am dealing with is not really a Fleetwood dealer but another branch 45 miles away is so I do not know how they stand on their franchise agreement) so is there one in the coach as the manual states or is it ignorance that it cannot be found?

Is it possible they 'forgot' this feature when the coach was assembled?

What is in the manual is only a switch/valve/lever that has an on or off position it does not resemble a bypass like I had in my Coachmen,Pilgrim/Rockwood travel trailers in the past.

After the lowpoint drains were closed the city water supply fitting was found to be defective.

These deficiencies 5 days after pickup and prior to use only indicate the dealer 'kicked the tires' and gassed the unit and sent me on my way. Further proof is that I had to put about a pint of distilled water in the 2 6V coach batteries. I am very disappointed with this dealer.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:52 AM   #2
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Welcome to irv2. If you don't get an answer by Monday , try calling Fleetwood 800-322-8216.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
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Any chance the dealer could give you the name of the previous owner. That might be the best place to start.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:11 AM   #4
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The previous owner of this coach was Fleetwood Mfg. It is a new coach with 638 miles (trip from the factory to the dealer)

I should have stated it is brand new a 2014 Ford E450 and Tioga Mantera 25K coach.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:24 AM   #5
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It is possible that the water heater bypass was an option not ordered on your coach. Look around for any removable panels on the inside in the area of the water heater. I had an older Tioga years ago. The bypass was behind a panel below the fridge right at the back of the water heater. Remove any drawers in the heater area and check that way too.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:44 AM   #6
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Ours has one valve, with a yellow handle, that you turn to bypass the water heater. And, a one way check valve. They are located on the backside of the water heater. Our old mh had the regular three valves to bypas the water heater.
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:09 PM   #7
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Howdy and welcome to iRV2! Congrats on the new RV. I agree with Cliff that if you don't locate the valve, a call to Fleetwood CS will be the best path. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:15 PM   #8
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I called Fleetwood today and spoke with a customer service person and asked about my water heater bypass switch.

The service person brought up a nice schemetic of the valve on their terminal and said it was beside my water filter. (I do not have a water filter) I was then told it was at the back of my water heater but there is no access via the cupboard under my sink as the wall is not removeable!!! The next suggestion was that it was beside my pump which is under the bed in a seperate compartment that is not near the heater!!!

I do not think they know where the bypass switch is.

I hope I find it before I winterize next winter!!!
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #9
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He was probably looking at a owners manual, because the 2013 manual says it is usually located near the water pump. Did they send you a plumbing diagram? Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:48 PM   #10
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The by-pass on my Bounder was in the compartment next to the WH. The back of my WH was accessible from a hatch underneath that had a hinged door held up by three screws. It was difficult to see as it was undercoated.
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Old 11-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #11
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Did you ever locate it? I have the same problem on a used 2014 Montara 25 K I bought. Found a check valve on the hot water line out from the heater, but no valve to prevent the cold from coming in. Have followed all the cold water pipes and can find no valve.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:31 AM   #12
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I never located it as it was not built with a bypass valve. I am sure I saw it as equipped with one in Fleetwood literature on the web but I sure do not see it now and I have 'scoured' the web to find it.

When I called Fleetwood they said it had one and they sent me all the plumbing drawings which indicated it was a blue handled lever.

It is mentioned in the Jamboree literature but I think they just found another way to 'cheapen the Montara'

It is ludicrous to build a coach without this feature because Miami and Brownsville would be the only places it might not freeze and it could happen there.

My unit was at Camping World for warranty repairs when I showed up with 4 gallons of antifreeze wanting to be shown where the bypass valve was so I could pour the antifreeze in the freshwater tank and winterize it. They want $114, to winterize it and the antifreeze cost me $20. at Walmart.

I showed them the drawings and the email from Fleetwood and they agreed to install a bypass valve and install the antifreeze sort of inferring there would be no charge for this but I am sure when I pick up the unit after the warranty repairs there will be a charge for the valve installation and they will explain to me that it is an option on this Fleetwood model.

It is my fault that I did not clarify this on my 'walk thru' when I picked it up new from Camping World but the cost will merely be an installment on the tuition of life.

I do like my coach and if we decide we need more space I was thinking the Fleetwood Storm might be the answer but after not having a bypass valve in the Montara I may go Baystar if we change.

I had a bypass in my Coachman, Pilgram,Jayco and Rockwood trailers. Who would have thought a Class C m/h would be built w/out one???
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Old 11-25-2014, 06:19 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info!

It turns out that mine does not have a bypass either. I talked with a Fleetwood Customer Service guy, who looked at the VIN number and said he couldn't find one on the parts list. Ours is used and was a rental (bought it at Camping world). He surmised that the rental company ordered their units without a bypass valve to save money. My guess is that they use an air compressor to clear water out of the pipes, and so didn't bother with completely filling the system with antifreeze, hence no need for the bow. Our unit came winterized and the pipes are not full of anti freeze, so that the theory seems to fit.

All that doesn't explain why the brand-new unit you bought didn't have one. Since they're so inexpensive, it's totally odd.

It's easy to get to the pipes attached to the water heater, so I'm planning to buy a bypass valve and install it myself.

I'm glad to hear you like your unit. We upgraded from a smaller 24 foot with no slide out. I really love the counterspace in the kitchen in the 25K – gourmet meals on the road are part of our RV scene, so that's what caught our attention.

Thanks again for your prompt reply. It was a big help.

John
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:34 PM   #14
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mine was behind the toilet behind an access panel. I have a 94 tioga
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