Fresh water tank enclosure

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Well-known member
May 2, 2009
Northcentral Oklahoma
Has anyone ever removed the 20 some odd bolts around the bottom of the fresh water tank enclosure on Winnebagos?  From the underneath it looks like a heavy metal rim with a light metal center on the bottom of the enclosure.  What holds the tank in place and is it a plastic tank like used on most of the RVs?  Does the fresh water tank actually rest on this metal bottom part of the enclosure?

The reason I'm asking, while I was under the coach trying to patch up the rusty places on the storage compartment in front of the left front tire I noticed there was rust around the edges of the fresh water tank enclosure, which I've polished off and repainted.  And was wondering just what holds the water tank in place and what happens if the metal around it rusts through.

And speaking of the rust in the compartment in front of the driver's wheel, I assumed moisture had gotten in around the bolt bracket for the genny tail pipe but I've about decided the moisture has gotten into the compartment along the lower rear seam (right in front of the tire) where the bottom of the compartment attaches to the side wall of the compartment.  So anyone who has a coach with a storage compartment in front of the driver's front wheel be sure and keep an eye out for any moisture inside the compartment along the rear lower seam.

It's amazing what a person will find out by crawling around under their coach.  Certainly enough repairs to keep me busy during what warm days we occasionally are having.
I pulled the access panel off of my Meridian and my Journey when I added the SeeLevel tank monitoring system to the rig.  The access panel on the lower edge of the tank will give you access to the drain valve and the water lines for the tank. The tank is plastic and is encased in Styrofoam insulation about 1 1/2 inches thick.  It looks as though the tank is supported by the metal enclosure. 

I have a few pics of the inside of the access panel on the fresh tank if you are interested.  Or you could find them by running a search on "See Level" system. Both John Canfield and I have both posted installs of the system that show the inside of the fresh tank enclosure.
Took ours off last year. Made sure the tank was empty, then started loosening the bolts. Didn't take all of them off, left a few to hold the tank up. I then made braces to hold the tank up inside the cavity. Took one end loose and slipped the brace between the bottom plate and the tank to hold the tank in place. Then took the other end loose and put the brace in place to hold that end. Carefully lowered the cover to a creeper to get it out  from under the MH. I then wire brushed and ground off all rust, gave it two coats of rustoleum, and let it dry for a couple of days. I replaced everything in reverse order, being careful to not break any of the plumbing. It has held up so far without any more rust. It  was more than a one day job since the paint had to dry thoroughly.
Good Luck,
Indiana Journey
I remember reading a post somewhere where a Winne owner had the bottom of the tank enclosure rust out and nearly dropped his tank.  This past spring when I was doing my most recent round of 'rust abatement' under the beast, I scubbed the bottom edge and bolts with a wire brush and treated it with SEM Rust Seal, followed by a couple of coats of Rustoleum.  I used this on the ping tanks and my CAT oil pan and it seems to really arrest the rust.  I also found some rust on the bottom of the fuel tank and that got the same treatment.

As you noted, crawling around under these things is revealing. 
Thanks for all that information.  That would really be nice to have the water tank drop off while driving down the road.  I used a wire wheel on my drill and polished off all the rust around the bolts and edges then sprayed with Rust Oleum rust abatment.  After the ground dries out a little I'll get back under there and give it a good layer of spray Rust Oleum paint.  The back and bottom of the driver's side compartment in front of the front wheel that had rusted out enough to lose the genny exhaust pipe bracket will probably get a good coat of undercoating spray after the Rust Oleum rust treatment.  Its too bad so many problems are not discovered until the damage is already done.
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