Cautionary Black Water Tank Tale
2002 Winnebago Brave 32V
Last weekend we took the grandkids camping and after two days I noticed that there was sewage leaking from the black water compartment, not from the valves. The leak was minor at first so I decided to fill the tank and drain it and not use it until I got it home to check it out.
As the tank got full, the sewage started pouring out...yikes what a mess. I got the unit home and after pulling the control panel out (difficult) I saw that the black 3" ABS pipe that runs from the tank outlet to the drain valves had completely disconnected. I removed the access panel over the propane tank and saw that the vent pipe from the tank to the roof was probably just pressed in. I pulled up on the vent pipe and felt some resistance, but wanted to remove the pipe so I could clean and inspect the connection. What I didn't know is that the wires to the rear slide, bathroom light and isle light were all tie-wrapped to the vent. In the process I managed to tear loose the connections to the light switches and destroyed the slide switch (Camping World had an exact replacement). You can use a sharp box cutter to cut along the bottom of the cabinet and pry loose the panel inside the bathroom to gain access to the switches/vent pipe.
After I got the black water tank out and cleaned I saw that the rubber union was glued to the tank, it was too sloppy to have been done at the factory (I think), but at least it held. It wasn't glued at the pipe. The unions are rubber and have stainless hose clamps that secure the pipe ends. In my opinion they are too short as they only grab about an inch and a half of the pipe ends. I obviously spent a lot of time flooding/scrubbing the compartment with water and disinfectant and using a leaf blower and fans was able to dry it out.
The tank has sturdy brackets that keeps the tank from moving front to rear but nothing that I could see to keep it from moving from side to side, other than a bolt that was screwed into a bracket directly above the top read edge of the tank. I placed a piece of wood beneath the bolt on the top edge of the tank and unloosened the bolt to put downward pressure on the tank; hopefully this will provide some stability.
Although everything is back together and tight I'm uncomfortable with the fact that the valve assembly can still be lifted up and down. I think that this movement may have contributed to the pipe pulling out of the union at the tank. The valve assembly controls are right next to the stiff rear suspension and are probably subjected to a lot a jarring.
Just thought you'd like to know.
Anyone had a similar problem and/or solution?
2002 Winnebago Brave, 32V, Ford Triton 6.8L V10, 26K miles, Algonquin, Illinois