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ErikOKCGC

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Aug 4, 2005
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Recently got a 1975 dodge tioga. The price was right (free), so I can't complain. In any case, I have been going through all the systems to verify everything is in working order.


I've read that the water heater should be flushed and drained, but find no drain other than the pressure relief valve on this tank. Am I missing something?

Also, I was unable to find any valve/switch for the city water/FWT do I need to install one, or does the pump act as a anti flow back device to the tank.

All electrical seems to run fine, but noticed that both batteries get drained within about a week while vehicle is not running, even with land power. I have to disconnect the main battery each time I park it, so that I can start it again. I thought the AC/DC converter had built in trickle charger. Anything I should look for?

Also, if RV is completely level, water pools on roof and leaks in dripping from the ceiling.  I checked the roof, and can find no cracks, holes, or breaks in the sealer. Can this condesation be piped elsewhere?

Thanks for any and all info.
 

Ned

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The water heater should have a large threaded plug near the bottom.  It may be nylon or metal.  You remove that to drain the heater.  Opening the relief valve will assist in draining.  Be sure to close your bypass valve, if you have one, or turn off the water and release the pressure in the system first.  Of course, be sure the water heater is turned off as well, both gas and electric if so equiped.  I find it good to run the hot water until it turns cold before removing the plug to avoid getting burned.

Older RVs may not have a valve to fill the fresh water tank from the city water inlet.  You most likely have a gravity feed for filling the fresh water tank.  Look for a small door, probably with a lock, on the side of the motor home labeled something like 'Potable Water'.

Water leaks can be very difficult to track down.  Common places to look are any items that are fastened to the roof, like skylites, fans, or air conditioners.
 

Ron

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I see Ned has given you some excellent answers to your questions.  One thing I would like to mention is that the water entry point doesn not always  occur over the area it becomes visible inside.  It could be entering anywhere on the roof and just migrating to the point you see it entering the inside.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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All electrical seems to run fine, but noticed that both batteries get drained within about a week while vehicle is not running, even with land power. I have to disconnect the main battery each time I park it, so that I can start it again. I thought the AC/DC converter had built in trickle charger. Anything I should look for?

You have two problems here - lack of charging and spme "phantom load" that is draining the batteries.

The charging problem could be bad batteries (won't accept a charge) or an inoperative charger.  Whenever you are plugged into shore power, your rig's converter/charger should be supplying 12V electric power to the rig and also re-charging the house battery as needed. It doesn't sound like this is happening.  Many rigs of that vintage had a converter/charger unit that was built into the AC electrical load panel. Others had a separate unit.  You will have to follow the wires to locate it.  If you can use a voltmeter, check the voltage in the 12V system, e.g. across the house battery terminals, when plugged into shore power. It should be in the range of 13.3-13.9 if the converter/charger is functioning.  I recommend replacing it in either case because the converter/chargers of that vintage were notorious for overcharging batteries and shortening battery life to two years or even less. A modern unit from Iota or Progressive Dynamics would be a major improvement.  Cost is around $175 for a 30-40 amp unit.

You mentioned BOTH batteries die and the engine cannot be started.  Usually the engine battery is isolated from the house battery and in most older rigs the converter charger does NOT charge the engine battery. I'm wondering if a previous owner may have cross-wired the engine battery to the house battery, to provide cross-charging and also use the engine battery to provide power when no shore power is available. The risk of that is running both batteries down to the point the engine cannot be started, as is happening to you now. Look for an add-on wire connecting the two batteries.  Sometimes there is an emergency start switch that connects the two batteries for starting.  Also check to see if this switch has been jammed in the "on" position or a wire added across the switch terminals.


The second part of the problem is some 12V loads that drain the batteries.  These are called phantom loads becasue they are often unseen and loads enough to drain a single battery in a week or so are not unusual. Examples are LP and CO detectors, electric steps, 12V electric clocks, stereo equipment, the control boards for refrigerators and water heaters, and so on.  You can measure your phantom load with an ammeter by disconnecting one of the house battery connections and connecting the ammeter in series. Be careful, though.  But if you fix the charging problem and isolate the engine battery from the house 12V system, these phatom loads won't really cause you much problem and you can probably ignore them if you have shore power available where you park the RV.
 

ErikOKCGC

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Great! thanks for the replies. As for water,it does have the city connection, as well as a gravity fill for the tank. My main question is if I hook up to the city side, what keeps the water from filling the FWT and over flowing through the gravity fill?

As for the electrical, I will be testing the things you describe. The 12 volt shore converter seems to be working as the onboard lights, pumps fans etc work, so I suspect if this is the same feed that charges the battery, then we must have a phantom load.
 

Ned

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As I said before, you may not have a fill valve for your fresh water tank to allow filling from the city water connection.  If you do, then you turn the valve off when the tank is full.  If you don't have such a valve, then you must fill the tank from the gravity feed.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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My main question is if I hook up to the city side, what keeps the water from filling the FWT and over flowing through the gravity fill?

The pump and the city water system are both connected to the RV's water system. Each has a check valve to prevent water from back-flowing when the other is pressurized.  Water will not flow into the FWT when you are connected to a city supply - you fill your tank via the gravity feed.  And water will not flow out of the city supply connector when the pump is running.
 

Woody

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Gary,

My 93 Pace has a valve I can open to fill the FWT from the fresh water inlet. I never do it, but I can.

Woody
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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My 93 Pace has a valve I can open to fill the FWT from the fresh water inlet.

Yes, that's what Ned was describing. I had the same thing on a 1996 Southwind.  It used to be a common feature on Fleetwood motorhomes but nowadays the gravity fill has mostly been eliminated on the larger rigs.

And the check valves are still in the same places. The purpose of the fill valve on the city water inlet is to bypass the check valve on the pump and feed direct to the tank, thus allowing the tank to fill.
 

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