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Old 06-07-2020, 06:53 AM   #1
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2005 Cayman questions

New (second) owner of a 2005 Cayman. Just brought it home, have a few questions.... The MH is coming out of two unused winters fully winterized.



1) The water tank doesn't seem to fill. I hook up a hose, move the lever to the 'fill tank' position, turn on the water pump, and get water out the tap, bathroom, head, etc. But the level indicator always indicates the tank is empty, and if I shut the water off the water coming out the tap quickly tapers off to virtually nothing. IE, there doesn't appear to be any water coming out of the tank. What am I doing wrong?


2) Where do I add bleach for sterilizing the fresh water system?



3) The refrigerator runs off AC or propane. Does the inverter supply enough AC when driving down the highway? I hope it's not like the AC where I have to run the genset to keep my food cold.


4) Does the 12 volt generator running off the main engine charge the house batteries when driving down the road?


5) Both waste tanks were drained as part of winterizing it. I ran some fresh water into the toilet as part of clearing out the antifreeze and found the stench overpowering. Could I have a blocked vent somewhere, an oversensitive nose, or might this get better with more actual use?


TIA,


David
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:35 AM   #2
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Owning several Class A’s over some 25 years maybe I can answer your question not specific to your model just in general;

1) The water tank doesn't seem to fill. I hook up a hose, move the lever to the 'fill tank' position, turn on the water pump, and get water out the tap, bathroom, head, etc. But the level indicator always indicates the tank is empty, and if I shut the water off the water coming out the tap quickly tapers off to virtually nothing. IE, there doesn't appear to be any water coming out of the tank. What am I doing wrong?

Sensors can dry-out or the older floating ones get stuck after two years without use. Are you certain you are using the tank fill inlet instead of the city water? Try moving the lever to the opposite position and see if you hear water filling the tank. Most people know their fresh water tank is full when you see fresh water draining out of the overflow and onto the street instead of checking the meter.


2) Where do I add bleach for sterilizing the fresh water system?
If you are using city water it likely already has some amount of chlorine in it that will keep your water clean. We travelled with a 100 gallon fresh tank and in our current trailer carry 80 gallons and never had the need to chlorinate the water.

3) The refrigerator runs off AC or propane. Does the inverter supply enough AC when driving down the highway? I hope it's not like the AC where I have to run the genset to keep my food cold.

Most RV refrigerators that operate off AC or propane are not connected to an inverter in my experience. The fridge will run off propane while you are driving and the 12V DC from your house batteries.

4) Does the 12 volt generator running off the main engine charge the house batteries when driving down the road?

Yes, in every Class A, Class C model motor home I know the engine’s generator charges your house batteries while you are drying down the road.



5) Both waste tanks were drained as part of winterizing it. I ran some fresh water into the toilet as part of clearing out the antifreeze and found the stench overpowering. Could I have a blocked vent somewhere, an oversensitive nose, or might this get better with more actual use?


It will get better with actual use. If the prior owner failed to clean or flush-out the black and gray tanks when they were last emptied you are smelling the residual chemicals mixed with fecal matter and other contaminants in the tanks. Probably the best way to clean them is filling the tanks about half way, add chemicals and drive for a longtime and the sloshing will clean the tanks.

Good luck
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
2) Where do I add bleach for sterilizing the fresh water system?
If you are using city water it likely already has some amount of chlorine in it that will keep your water clean. We travelled with a 100 gallon fresh tank and in our current trailer carry 80 gallons and never had the need to chlorinate the water.

I'm just trying to sterilize what's there, like shocking a swimming pool. I'll be draining the water after, not drinking it.


The owners manual suggests this, and it seems like a common sense thing after having it sit so long.


Thanks for all the other great answers!


David
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:14 AM   #4
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Update: The water works the same way whether the water valve is in the city water or fill tank position.


Water comes out all the taps/toilet fine in both valve positions, and does so faster with the water pump on, but the tank doesn't appear to fill at all.
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Old 06-07-2020, 04:18 PM   #5
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If the RV was winterized, there are several other valves that have to be set to get the system back up to speed. There is the large tank drain valve, the tank on/off valve, the tank to pump valve, the pump drain valve, the hot and cold drain valves, and the filter bypass and drain valves. Then, there is the hot water bypass valve inside the coach, and the water heater drain.

The fill/city valve is a manual valve, so I doubt it is the problem. I think you may have another valve mis-set. You can visually see the side of the main tank from the water compartment to visually confirm it has water or not.

There should be a cap in the water compartment that is a gravity feed for the main tank. Add your chlorine there. It should be right near the hot/cold hose.

The alternator will charge the house batteries, but it goes through a large solenoid in the battery compartment, which is controlled by a module in the forward electrical compartment. I have had both the solenoid and module go bad at separate times. So...the answer is “yes” so long as everything is operating properly, but not necessarily. Also be aware the alternator will burn up if you make it a habit of fully recharging the batteries off the alternator. It will maintain the house batteries, but should not be used to recharge them.

The refrigerator will run off the AC inverter. The inverter must be turned on, obviously.

The toilet should not smell. My bet is someone used it while winterized.
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:30 AM   #6
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CJ, thanks for the detailed reply. It looks like I need to spend a little time at/under the bus. I haven't seen several of the valves you mention, nor the side of the tank itself, and the owners manual doesn't show a cap in the water compartment to feed chlorine into.


On the bright side, the toilet stopped smelling so bad once it got a few gallons of water in it


I thought the propane tank was supposed to be shut off while driving, thus leading to my confusion about keeping the freezer frozen while driving down the road.


The MH is at a shop an hour away now, so I'll have to get back to the water mysteries when I get it back.


Thanks again for the help!
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Old 06-09-2020, 07:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
1) The water tank doesn't seem to fill. I hook up a hose, move the lever to the 'fill tank' position, turn on the water pump, and get water out the tap, bathroom, head, etc. But the level indicator always indicates the tank is empty, and if I shut the water off the water coming out the tap quickly tapers off to virtually nothing. IE, there doesn't appear to be any water coming out of the tank. What am I doing wrong?
The 2005 Monaco Cayman owner's manual (link here) covers both the fresh water tank fill procedure and how to disinfect the fresh water system.

Here's the likely reason the tank is not filling: There should be a valve between the outlet of the fresh water tank and the water pump inlet. Both the winterization procedure (page 226) and water system diagram (page 229) in the manual mention this valve. It may be in the compartment immediately forward or aft of the wet bay. I suspect this valve is closed. With the valve closed, water cannot fill the fresh water tank. This valve must also be open to draw water from the tank.

Note:This is not the fresh water tank drain valve. That should be a large (1-1/2" or 2") PVC valve.

Note: You fill the tank with the water pump off, using the hose water pressure. The sign the tank is full is when the overflow starts dumping water on the ground. Once the tank has water in it, you switch the city/tank valve to the "city" position and turn on the water pump to draw water from the tank.

Finally, you should add a "signature" to your profile. It contains whatever info you want; most people put info about their coach there, so they don't have to type it into each message. Instructions for adding a signature are here.
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:11 AM   #8
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When I look at the panel Mark provided in the manual, the gravity feed cap is, indeed, missing on the 2005. The manual says you have to use a separate pump to pull the bleach solution in. I can see why they added the cap to later Caymans...kind of a pain!?!

A work around would be to add it to the hose before you hook it up to city water...once you figure out the "fill", of course.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:34 AM   #9
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CJ, thanks - that's a brilliant solution to add the bleach to the hose before filling the tank and use the water supply pressure to get it into the system.


If I'm trying to shock the whole system, don't I want the valve on 'fill tank' rather than 'city water' though?


I found the valve between the tank and the pump. It appears to be open, confirmed by being able to pump water with the city water turned off at the incoming hose - IE, the pump had to be drawing from the tank.


I did get some water in the tank, according to the gauge. It took ~6 hours to get 3/4 tank - that seems like inordinately long time. I left the valve in the 'fill tank' position and the hose on for another few hours and never had water coming out the overflow. Is there a valve in the overflow pipe? Could this be plugged by some kind of critter?


Mark, thank you for posting a link to the manual. I had the manual but didn't think to post the link for those kind enough to try and help me I'm confused by this though:
Quote:
Note: You fill the tank with the water pump off, using the hose water pressure. The sign the tank is full is when the overflow starts dumping water on the ground. Once the tank has water in it, you switch the city/tank valve to the "city" position and turn on the water pump to draw water from the tank.
If the city water supply is pressurized, won't the pump be adding extra pressure from the city water rather than drawing from the tank? I thought the pump could even be turned off and water would be supplied by the city supply, though probably with a little lower pressure.


Thanks for the pointer on the signature. I'd added the Cayman to my 'garage' and somehow just expected it to show up on my posts.


I guess the thing I'm stumped about now is why it takes ssoooo long to get any water in the tank. I'm sure the hose could pump 100 gallons in much less than an hour, but something is clearly restricting it.
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Old 06-10-2020, 08:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
If the city water supply is pressurized, won't the pump be adding extra pressure from the city water rather than drawing from the tank? I thought the pump could even be turned off and water would be supplied by the city supply, though probably with a little lower pressure.
If you intend to run off the tank, then the city/fill valve should be set to the "city" position and the city water turned off, depressurized or disconnected. The water pump should be on. While it's possible to have the city water on and the pump on, there is generally no need to do this, and it just confuses things.

The 92-gallon fresh water tank should take less than 45 minutes to fill. You don't know your nominal city water flow rate, though. To help figure things out, do the following:

1) Get a 5-gallon plastic pail and a stopwatch.
2) Fill the pail from the hose.
3) Calculate the fill rate.
4) Empty the pail.

If the fresh water tank is empty:

5) Put the pail under the fresh water tank drain valve.
6) Open that valve.
7) Attach the water hose to the city/fill valve.
8) Set the valve to "fill."
9) Fill the pail.
10) Calculate the fill rate.

If the fresh water tank is not empty, and you don't want to empty it:

5) Close the fresh water tank valve.
6) Break the piping at the inlet to the fresh water tank valve.
7) Attach a short hose section to the piping at that point.
8) Put the short hose section end in the pail.
9) Attach the water hose to the city/fill valve.
10) Set the valve to "fill."
11) Fill the pail.
12) Calculate the fill rate.

I would expect no difference, but you never know until you test.

The overflow on the fresh water tank could be blocked or collapsed. As a first step, I would find it under the coach. If you can then find the overflow tube, that would be better. It may require some disassembly to view the overflow tube.

A slow fill also can occur if the city/fill valve has partially failed. This does happen. Per the steps indicated above, you will determine the flow rate through that valve. If it's not pretty much the same as an open hose (at least 2 to 3 gallons per minute), then you know you have a problem between the fill hose and the tank inlet.

One more thing: I am making assumptions about how your coach is plumbed. It would help you (and me) if you confirmed the piping system design between the city/fill valve, the water pump, the fresh water tank, and the fresh water piping that goes from the city/fill valve to the coach. You may find a camera helpful; you can use it to take picture in places you can reach but cannot easily see.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:56 AM   #11
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Most of the time the city pressure overrides the pump, so the pump never runs. At some parks, with low head pressure at the hose, the pump will cycle because the pressure drops enough to kick it on. I usually turn the pump off when connected to city, as it prevents draining the tank a bit when showering. Not a big deal either way...consistent pressure if you leave it on, or don't worry about losing water if you turn it off. A couple times I left the family alone in the rig for several days. When I came back the wife wanted to know what "that noise is?" They had drained the tank due to low city pressure, so the pump was trying to pump air when the water was turned on.

I'm still not sure why your rig is so slow to fill. My Cayman is an '08, and from the manual, a lot was changed by then. It takes about 30 minutes to fill from empty. A blockage somewhere is a definite possibility.

Shocking the system could be done both ways. If you run it on city, it will directly shock all the plumbing, and not the tank. If you add it to the tank, then it will run through the plumbing via the pump...assuming the valve is not on fill. Going through the tank would likely be more diluted than sending it directly through the plumbing. Also, don't forget the water heater will try to retain the bleach, so if you use a lot you may want to drain the heater when you are finished.

Edit...it just occurred to me that we did have issues with the little pressure regulator that came with the rig. It started acting up and slowing the water feed to the rig. We eventually went with a nice adjustable regulator that goes on the park's faucet. It is nice because you can set the pressure you want in the rig. You might try removing the regulator to see if it is restricting the fill.
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