Sponsored by Winnebago Industries

Author Topic: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking  (Read 3469 times)

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
[Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« on: November 06, 2016, 07:20:24 AM »
See the end of the thread for the resolution.

It's been a very long time since I've needed to make a post about my problem, but the good times are over. My fresh water tank is leaking on the end with the drain valve. Either the spun on fitting is leaking (very, very bad news) or hopefully just the drain valve is leaking.

We just had the chassis at Freightliner in Tolleson (Phoenix) for routine maintenance and I asked the tech if he could look for the leak while on the creeper. He did find the area where the leak is coming from but it's a 'cavern' - he could only get his hand up part way.  I've looked inside the bay where the valve is located (covered with a metal plate) but the carpeting seems to be dry.

I'll tear into this next week, we arrive home tomorrow from three months on the road (yea!)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 11:35:47 AM by John Canfield »
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Becks

  • ---
  • Posts: 992
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 08:16:53 AM »
Doesn't sound like fun John, good luck.
2006 Travel Supreme
Spartan 42FT Tag Axle
1040 watts of solar
2014 Jeep Rubicon/2003 Honda CRV

Corky

  • ---
  • Posts: 265
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 08:24:35 AM »
huh oh!!!
Might be time for a blue barrel strapped to the roof!  :o


Seriously this doesn't sound like a fun job at all - good luck.

Corky
'05 Itasca Meridian 36G
15 Jeep Wrangler Orange toad
'86 Suzuki Samurai Camo dirt toad

Mile High

  • ---
  • Posts: 717
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 08:56:09 AM »
Hopefully just the valve!
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

RGrimm

  • ---
  • Posts: 109
  • Starting Our Adventure
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 09:32:12 AM »
John - as Mile High said, "Hopefully just the Valve".

Having to repair/replace the FW tank would be a major job.

Safe travels home and I look forward to hearing your diagnosis and solution to the leak.

- Russ
~ Russ and Arlene ~
Northeast Florida
2006 Winnebago Journey 34H
Towing - 2013 Edge Limited
SMI - Air Force 1 Aux Braking
Blackhawk 2 All Terrain 10K

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2016, 11:16:45 AM »
It will be interesting to see what the problem is. If it is the spun on fitting, maybe I can spin on a new one.

Oh, only 405 miles left to run and we are home today. Easy travel here on the western side of I10, very little traffic and straight road.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 11:19:04 AM by John Canfield »
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6402
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2016, 02:42:20 PM »
The fresh water tank on my Meridian had an access panel on the side that you could get to the valves and connecting pipes.  With a little luck, maybe yours has one?
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

boatbuilder

  • ---
  • Posts: 1122
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2016, 02:52:20 PM »
You can either spin a new fitting in or I have seen ultrasonic welders for repairing roto-molded tanks.  You might want to see if there is a marine repair place that knows of someone with a welder.
Charlie

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2016, 05:12:36 PM »
I do have some small inside sheet metal access panels to the tank drain area, I'll investigate as soon as I get a chance.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

yoda2405

  • ---
  • Posts: 148
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016, 09:07:58 PM »
My FW Tank developed a leak while I was in Forest City for other warranty work. They said they corrected the issue by I think they called it roto welding a new drain fitting on the existing tank. I asked what that meant and they described it as spinning the fitting to melt the tank and fitting together. Maybe you can do the same if it turns out to be the fitting to tank leaking.

This fix has held now for 4 years.

Good Luck,
David
David, Linda, Pebbles and Yogi
2011 Winnebago Journey 34Y, 2015 Ford Explorer
W. TN

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2016, 06:57:55 AM »
The 'roto-welding' is pretty simple - the fitting is spun rapidly by some kind of a drill thingy and the friction creates heat which fuses the two pieces together. Simple and mostly effective. Still haven't dug into the leak yet.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

PAHipskind

  • ---
  • Posts: 59
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2016, 08:40:21 PM »
John - Maybe I can help you for once (or at least give you a positive outlook on your issue).  I had the exact same problem about a year ago. As you know, my caoch is one year older than yours, so the timing is impeccable. My issue turned out to be the valterra slide valve, and after accessing it thought the metal panel in the storage bay (looked a lot harder than it turned out to be), I was able to remove and rebuild with a kit from Amazon.  Took me a short afternoon, and it is now like new.
2004 Itasca Horizon 40AD Cat, 2009 CRV

boatbuilder

  • ---
  • Posts: 1122
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 08:46:57 PM »
John,   They also make rubber seals that are made to go in a hole and then a piece of PVC is slid thru the seal, expanding it and sealing the joint. We used them on holding tanks on the boats in place of spin weld fittings.  They are called Uniseals.
Charlie

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2016, 07:44:42 AM »
Thanks guys! I wasn't aware of the Uniseal but we've been away from boating for 20 years. I'm hoping it's just the valve though.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
[FIXED] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2017, 05:02:03 PM »
- it was the drain valve -

Okay, I put this job off for a few months but we need to use the coach next month and I've run out of excuses and time. Getting to that corner of the tank wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but I got contorted into some weird angles. I'm sure I'll feel that later.  After removing the access cover there it was, a T (two tank sections) leading into the 1.5" Valterra cable operated valve. The valve outlet just penetrated a sheet metal panel ultimately leading to the ground.

Apparently it has been leaking for some time since there is a bit of rust (now coated with Ospho) by the valve. Good old Amazon - they had the Valterra in stock for 50 bucks, now on the way. I think seals are available but there was no way I was going to reuse the valve body. Too much effort to gain access.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Kevin Means

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3818
    • Tactical Flying
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2017, 07:24:05 PM »
Good news John! The fix sure could have been worse. I dread the day our FW tank springs a leak. Getting to it is going to be so much fun! I think it's going to require using a crane to lift the house off the frame.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

SD75mac

  • ---
  • Posts: 34
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2017, 05:22:18 PM »
My FW tank dropped to the hiway a couple of weeks ago. After dragging it approx 40 miles (before noticing it), the entire front panel was grounded off. Winnebago will only replace the tank since it fell off warranty 10 months ago. The reason it fell was due to the fact the rear tank brace was never secured to the frame, thus allowing the tank to fall to the road.

Harold
2013 F150 4x4 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Winnebago UltraLite

Rene T

  • ---
  • Posts: 10162
  • Great being on the right side of the grass
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2017, 05:30:11 PM »
I think that's repairable.   :o ::) ;D
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

SD75mac

  • ---
  • Posts: 34
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2017, 05:34:03 PM »
I can't chew that much bubble gum  ;)
Harold
2013 F150 4x4 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Winnebago UltraLite

2dalake

  • ---
  • Posts: 298
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2017, 06:35:25 PM »
John, glad it was as simple as a leaking valve. 
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2017, 06:36:42 AM »
My FW tank dropped to the hiway a couple of weeks ago. After dragging it approx 40 miles (before noticing it), the entire front panel was grounded off. Winnebago will only replace the tank since it fell off warranty 10 months ago. The reason it fell was due to the fact the rear tank brace was never secured to the frame, thus allowing the tank to fall to the road.
Good grief. The lunch whistle must have blown before that brace was installed. So Winnie is replacing the tank but not paying for labor? I'm not sure what you mean.

John, glad it was as simple as a leaking valve.
Thanks Gary, I'm not sure my body will ever be the same  :D. The replacement valve arrives today and I need to brush the flaking rust/paint off and prime. Should wrap this up tomorrow. One benefit of this situation is these bays haven't been completely cleaned since the coach was brand new so I vacuumed it out and got rid of some junk.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SD75mac

  • ---
  • Posts: 34
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2017, 07:33:00 AM »
Good grief. The lunch whistle must have blown before that brace was installed. So Winnie is replacing the tank but not paying for labor? I'm not sure what you mean.

Replacing the tank, meaning they will ship a replacement tank but will not cover the installation or replace the underbelly material. I have to install myself or pay for installation.
Harold
2013 F150 4x4 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Winnebago UltraLite

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6402
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2017, 09:59:47 AM »
Wow, that is ridiculous! I can't believe that with a manufacturing defect like that they wouldn't step up and pay for the labor as well.  Winnebago has slipped in their customer service area a bit. I think I would call and start screaming up the line until I got to someone that would make a better decision.   
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2017, 12:10:03 PM »
Wow, that is ridiculous! I can't believe that with a manufacturing defect like that they wouldn't step up and pay for the labor as well.  Winnebago has slipped in their customer service area a bit. I think I would call and start screaming up the line until I got to someone that would make a better decision.
I'm a bit surprised as well but since you have a towable and not a motorized unit customer service might be handled a bit differently. When I'm in Forest City for the GNR I'll try to find out more about the towable side of the business. AFAIK, towable units customer service is completely separate from motorized.

I am making progress on my project. The rust on the panel that covers the tank drain plumbing was significant in one area about the size of a dollar bill, lots of pitting. I had to break out my angle grinder with flap disc to get rid of the rust. The Ospho did a good job of penetrating the pits, so the deep rust should be stabilized. After sanding and cleaning with MEK, I sprayed zinc chromate primer and then some semi-gloss black paint.

Dealing with the area on the bulkhead wall where the valve lives was a chore due to the access. I used my air powered right angle die grinder with a 4" Scotchbrite disc which did a good job of cleaning the area up. Cleaned up the area with MEK and I thought I was going to pass out from the fumes. Dummy me should have been wearing a respirator (I did when I primed and painted.)

The brown Santa delivered the valve a while ago so I'll let the paint dry for 24 hours and then finish up the job tomorrow. It will be a great feeling to get this one behind me.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SD75mac

  • ---
  • Posts: 34
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2017, 01:57:10 PM »
I was told Winnebago manufactures their own tanks, and most for the other RV FW tanks.
Harold
2013 F150 4x4 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Winnebago UltraLite

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6402
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2017, 02:18:34 PM »
I would count up the actual number of camping days that you have used the unit. That may help your argument that it is still not that far out of warranty to be covered under a "good will" repair.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2017, 06:43:17 AM »
I was told Winnebago manufactures their own tanks, and most for the other RV FW tanks.
They do manufacture their tanks, I believe they call that unit Rotocast. For years Winnie has tried (and has) been a manufacturing source for other companies and the Federal government.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2017, 11:38:25 AM »
Yea! It's all put back together  8)  :)  8) . I filled the tank about 75% full and I'll let it sit for 24 hours before I add the cover plate to make certain there are no leaks. I'm a happy camper (as long as it doesn't leak!)
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SD75mac

  • ---
  • Posts: 34
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2017, 12:47:11 PM »
Congrats for you. Now hit the road.
Harold
2013 F150 4x4 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Winnebago UltraLite

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2017, 06:45:38 AM »
Yes sir, trip planned for next month.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SD75mac

  • ---
  • Posts: 34
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2017, 09:09:14 AM »
Me also, FW tank or not.
Harold
2013 F150 4x4 3.5L Ecoboost
2014 Winnebago UltraLite

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2017, 12:00:10 PM »
And after 24 hours we are still leak free  :) Time to button it back up and reload the 500 pounds of stuff I removed for access.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

jackiemac

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 1483
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2017, 12:53:16 PM »
Good news John, well done!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

boatbuilder

  • ---
  • Posts: 1122
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2017, 02:03:20 PM »
Glad you got it fixed.  Could have been a lot worse.
Charlie

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6402
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2017, 02:31:00 PM »
Outstanding John! I love it when you finish a job and everything turns out like you planned!
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2017, 06:47:36 AM »
Thanks guys! Now I need to take the coach to our local truck tire shop and get the slow air leak on an inside dual fixed. It only loses about 5 pounds a day so that might be hard to find  ::) .
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

boatbuilder

  • ---
  • Posts: 1122
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2017, 08:11:41 AM »
5 lbs a day ought to show up with soap bubbles pretty easy. 
Charlie

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2017, 11:37:43 AM »
Hope so. I had a trailer tire with a slow leak that took a tire guy a long time to find - the sealing rubber gasket for the metal valve stem was folded over on installation. The weirdest one was a Goodrich (Goodyear?) All Terrain AT on my truck, they never could find the leak and surmised the tread had become separated somehow internally. Didn't make a lot of sense to me but this is a good local tire shop. They work on anything from a wheelbarrow tire to heavy equipment tires.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Molaker

  • ---
  • Posts: 5766
  • We don't camp. We tour.
    • Pumpkin and Us
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2017, 12:29:29 PM »
Hope so. I had a trailer tire with a slow leak that took a tire guy a long time to find - the sealing rubber gasket for the metal valve stem was folded over on installation. The weirdest one was a Goodrich (Goodyear?) All Terrain AT on my truck, they never could find the leak and surmised the tread had become separated somehow internally. Didn't make a lot of sense to me but this is a good local tire shop. They work on anything from a wheelbarrow tire to heavy equipment tires.
In 1995 I bought a new 1994 Dodge Dakota pickup.  It one of those with Mark III spiffying - fender flares, low profile tires and mag wheels.  We moved to Chicago later and shortly afterwards I came out from work to find a flat tire.  I thought it was vandalism as the valve stem was missing.  I changed the tire then headed for a tire shop.  What they found was surprising, the tire had a tube in it!  The tire shop could find no reason for it.  They put in a new valve stem, aired it up and tested and tested.  No leaks.  So, off I went, still puzzled.  As time passed, I noticed that tire continued to leak down, very slowly, maybe 5 lbs a week or even less.  I had it examined a couple of times, but no one ever found a problem.  I just put up with it as it was approaching time for new tires.  I had new tires installed eventually.  Lo and behold, it still leaked!  Finally, I read somewhere about the mag wheels I had and where on occasion they would leak at the weld around the center of the wheel.  By now I'm approaching 100K miles.  I found an exact replacement on eBay, bought it had it installed.  I still have the truck.  No leak.  My guess is Mark III or the Dodge dealer had the same trouble I had.  Probably the dealer since the truck had sat on his lot for a year and they just put a tube in it so they could quit worrying about it.  I would have gone back to the dealer to raise hell, but the owner had since committed suicide.  I guess he knew I was coming.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11939
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: [Fixed] Bad news - FW tank is leaking
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2017, 06:56:35 AM »
.. I would have gone back to the dealer to raise hell, but the owner had since committed suicide.  I guess he knew I was coming.
That's quite a story! I still have my F-250, bought it new in 2000, the plan is to keep it forever.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

 

Hosted by Over The Network