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Author Topic: Help! Major repair advice needed  (Read 1585 times)


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Help! Major repair advice needed
« on: February 22, 2019, 03:31:59 AM »
Hello all, please forgive any errors in etiquette this is my first time posting.

My partner and I live in our RV full time, it is a 38ft 5th wheel we purchased last summer. We were off grid for the summer with no issues, thinking we got a great deal. As we live in Colorado, we moved to a park for the winter to avoid the woes of heating the rig without electricity while we worked out our off grid lifestyle. Thatís when the problems began.

We rarely used the tanks when off grid. Showered and washed dishes outside, never filled the fresh tank, and only used the toilet in extreme emergencies. We emptied into a rhino once a week and had no issues with little usage. When we moved into the park, we hooked up to water and used the tanks more freely. We had oodles of heat tape and heaters and thought we were prepared, but found that maybe the deal we got was due to previous owner neglect. The first issue was with the toilet. It clogged. We used a chemical and were patient and the issue seemed to resolve itself. This has now become a repeat occurrence, despite the black tank registering as empty. The black tank has also come partially unattached from the underside of the rig and has a slow leak. It will not drain due to the way it is slanting under the rig.

Next is the user error: The heat tape did little to keep our incoming water lines from freezing and pipes have burst, causing what Iím sure is a great deal of water damage. We have since shut off water and went back to our off grid water ways. Meaning no shower, no toilet, no sink. In a park, we have limited options for doing some of these things outside. We have spent buckets of money and are at the absolute end of our finances, living in a situation that seems to get worse by the day.

As a result of our lines freezing, pipes burst into our hot water heater. When we turn water on to the rig, it sprays out from the underside constantly. Without being able to turn it on, we arenít sure how to diagnose the source of the leak or burst pipe.

The water pump also screams at us in the middle of the night, when we were fortunate enough to still have water. Very very loud grinding type sounds. We read that maybe a mousepad to stop the vibrations would help, but canít work on this until we resolve the other issues.

Our converter has stopped turning, and weíll be unable to go back to battery power if we ever get the rest of these issues resolved. We have a decent solar set up but not enough to heat us throughout the subzero winter. Iím guessing this will just need to be replaced.

This is our home, and we would love to save money over the upcoming months and try to complete some of these repairs ourselves, but are at a loss on where to turn. Does anyone have any experience in having a holding tank separate from the unit, and have any help to offer on how to diagnose and hopefully repair our home. The stress is killing us and we just want to get our dream back on track.

Thank you thank you any and all help is appreciated.

Rene T

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Re: Help! Major repair advice needed
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2019, 06:47:39 AM »
Welcome to the forum. Sorry to here about your issues. Can you open up the toilet valve and using a flashlight, can you see the bottom of the tank? 
What do you have for a RV? It may help.
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