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Old 04-25-2017, 08:27 PM   #1
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Fresh water tank and water heater question

hello, we are not new to camping but totally new to class A motorhomes. the wife and i just purchased a fleetwood bounder 2017 and the place we got it is less then helpful with newbie questions. the last thing i want to do is screw something up in this brand new expensive coach. we are leaving this thursday to a destination that we will have to dry camp for 4 days. yes, its maiden voyage and we are boondocking. does anyone here know what setting to put the fresh water valve at? my options are city (which is obvious), "normal" or "tank". my guess would be tank but why is "Normal" even an option. in my opinion its either city or tank. also, can we keep the water pump on during the duration of our trip or turn it on and off as needed. and last question is the hot water tank. can we keep that on the entire time or just when we are in need of hot water (of course it will be a pain in the morning at shower time having to wait for hot water). any input is much appreciated

thanks, tony

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Old 04-25-2017, 09:20 PM   #2
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Water pump can stay on it will not run when the taps are closed unless you have a leak. It has a pressure switch and uses no power when not running. I would turn it off at night or when left the coach for a time. I think the water heater would be fine left on. I leave mine on. If you think you may run short on propane you could shut it down when you know you won't need it for a while. I would let it
run at night and shut it down after my shower. Or just leave it on.
The normal position may be for running on the tank and tank may be for filling the tank when hooked up to city water. You can check that by hooking up to city water and trying the selection.

Larry & Sharon
2003 Newmar Scottsdale 3257 8.1 GM
1997 Jeep TJ DANA 44s ARBs
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:23 PM   #3
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Oh by the way
Larry & Sharon
2003 Newmar Scottsdale 3257 8.1 GM
1997 Jeep TJ DANA 44s ARBs
1995 Warrior (former)
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:35 PM   #4
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Welcome to IRV2.

On our Class A coach the fresh water valve position only matters if you are connected to a water faucet. If you leave it on the city position it will not fill your fresh water tank, if you turn it to fill tank it will fill your fresh water tank until it overflows.

As for the water pump you can leave it on all of the time if you want. We only leave ours on when we are not connected to city water or if the city water does not have much pressure and we want more pressure for showers. Just don't leave it on if the fresh water tank is empty.

Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:13 AM   #5
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Dunno what the normal position is either. City and fill are the two functions my three motorhomes have had.

Leave the pump and water heater on, or not. Makes no big difference, imho. For the water heater the considerations are time to hot water (the tank will stay hot for some time even if off) and propane consumption (minimal).
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:03 AM   #6
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Do not change water valve position with any water pressure from pump or hose on it. The seals in the valve will be damaged causing bypass.
The valve is a pita to replace but the seals can be replaced with the valve in place.
My Water heater takes about 30 min. To heat 10 gal. Water on propane.
Plz update your profile signature to include info about your rv.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:59 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for the info

Originally Posted by Hufficon View Post
Oh by the way
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:33 AM   #8
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Welcome to iRV2!

Does your valve look like the one in this link? If so, it appears by that link that you want to boondock with it in the "Normal" position.

As far as adding a signature to your posts so people know what coach you have, here are instructions on how to to that.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:07 AM   #9
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The positions of the water valve are as follows.

Normal - this is the position that you use when you want water from the tank to the tap. the pump will draw water from the tank and pressurize the system.

City - this is the position you want to use to pressurize the system directly from the city water hookup using a regulator on your hose, never run straight from the tap without a regulator. in this position the pump should be off and the tank will not fill.

Tank - this is the position you use to fill the fresh water tank, the pump needs to be off when filling the tank or it will run continuously.

Winterize - this position will use the pump to draw antifreeze into the system from the water hose connection and will pressurize the system with the pump but draw from the hose fitting not the tank as the "normal" position will. This position will not put antifreeze in the tank.

As stated above, do NOT cycle the valve with tap water pressure on it. Set your position then turn the water on.

Hope this helps

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Old 04-26-2017, 08:34 AM   #10
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All good info above. One word of caution is to be careful about turning the water pump off when going down the highway. Turn it on, use it shut it off. A couple of years ago a high end Newmar was destroyed on its maiden voyage to the west coast when a water line popped off and the pump flooded the rear of the coach and all electrical equipment below the leak. Enjoy the journey.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:14 AM   #11
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Also good practice to listen & wait for the pump to shut off every time you turn it on. If it doesn't shut off don't leave it on...figure out what's wrong.

Could be tank is empty - faucets should sputter w. air
or pressure switch on pump is bad - you can likely still get water by turning pump on as needed but don't leave it on until you get it diagnosed and fixed.
Sometimes pumps will keep running even w/ water in the tank if they were "run dry" and have air in them - in that case open a faucet and the pump should prime and a solid water stream shouldn't be far behind - close faucets and waitr for pump to shut off.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself leaving the water valve in a wrong position...happens to even the experienced... Sr moments happen! good idea to get into the habit of checking valve position anytime you hook up or disconnect hoses and/or get done filling tank.

Good luck
Don & Marge
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:18 PM   #12
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Spend the time between now and when you leave reading your manual; it will have all of that information (and more) in it. Without reading...you are likely to end up with some issues (dead batteries, overflowing tanks, etc) after 4 days of dry camping. Just a suggestion.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:08 AM   #13
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Water valve has been anwserd. As to the pump right or wrong we turn it on when needed, we do forget and leave it on, have seen two time either a brake or valve failure and flooding. This is over 55 plus years of RVing. Water heater, we water in the evening for
dish's then off over night. On when we get up on gas and if running the Gen electrical also by time the coffee is done the shower is hot. If very low temps, below freezing on gas around the clock.

2004 Clss C 31' Winnebgo
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:55 AM   #14
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My pump short cycles and I'm inclined to believe there's a leak and while I've never seen wetness anywhere there's large sections of the floor near the bathroom that are soft and will be getting replaced soon

The former owner advised me however that the fill valve needs to be in the city water position when running of the tank (boondocking) to prevent pressure loss I presume. Can anyone confirm? He said his new coach does the same thing if he forgets to move the handle to city water position

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