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Fresh water tank removal and replacement


Brian McKenna
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So…. We have a leak on our fresh water tank that only will hold 1/3rd full. It appears to be leaking in an area we cannot get to. Therefore, we are going to need to pull it out for inspection and possible replacement.  Anyone have any tips or tricks to share?

2003 Holiday Rambler Scepter PBD.

what would be the best place to purchase a new tank if needed?

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Just for conversation, surprised someone hasn't come up with an "inflatable bladder" that could be inserted into a leaking tank to close the leak.  Or, insert the bladder, inject some human safe coating in-between the bladder and tank interior, inflate bladder to coat the inside, sealing the leak.

Can you get measurements of the old tank?  Tape measure?  If it's a simple rectangle, then you have lots of options.

Edited by DavidL
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I found this post on IRV2 https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/leaking-fresh-water-tank-431065.html

But not much info on the actual removal.  You might reach out to the couple of posters who removed their tanks for advice.

I read several posts and some of the advice is to make sure you know where the leak is before you start, but it sounds like you've done that.

Just looking at mine my guess it has to come out on the passenger side.  The drivers side panel would have to be dismantled to take the hoses loose.  Passenger side has the overflow connection.  But I "think" there is enough room to slide it out after all the connections are taken loose. 

 

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Find a shop that does plastic welding

then use a low pressure, maybe 3 psi source and check for leaks. That is what we did for plastic cleaning and process tanks on plating and cleaning and chemical treatment lines when I was working 

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Posted (edited)

We are the second owner on this coach. We bought it 2 1/2 years ago with 20,000 miles on it from a retired military couple. It was to large for them and he kept hitting things. Little did we know that "the guy" he had help him work on this was a hack.  Nothing was/is untouched that we have found so far. The electrical on this coach has had ever wire cut at some point. That being said....

The grey and black tanks are above the fresh tank.  However, I think once I remove the homemade bracket around the tank I should be able to move it a little. I am looking at disassembly of the entire fresh water system. I mean, he used sharkbite fittings down below rather than PEX crimp fittings.  There are a few other things that do not look right. The pump is also sucking air from somewhere when it kicks on.

We boondock 90% of the time so it is critical that we get this addressed in the next few days as winter is coming to Montana on Tuesday.  My goal is to stop the leak on the fresh water tank and fix the pump.

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Edited by Brian McKenna
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Hi,

i had to replace sewage tank on my coach.

it was fairly easy because was able to swing up access panel on the other side of coach,(4 screws at bottom of panel.)

Got a close match tank from Recpro.

The key is figuring out how to access tank on passenger side.

Steve

 

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2 minutes ago, Steve Maurer said:

Hi,

i had to replace sewage tank on my coach.

it was fairly easy because was able to swing up access panel on the other side of coach,(4 screws at bottom of panel.)

Got a close match tank from Recpro.

The key is figuring out how to access tank on passenger side.

Steve

 

My passenger side is all propane tank. While I intend to take that out next year when we go all electric, it is not something I want to tackle over the next 3 days.

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58 minutes ago, Brian McKenna said:

My passenger side is all propane tank. While I intend to take that out next year when we go all electric, it is not something I want to tackle over the next 3 days.

It would be a big job for me to have to remove my black and grey tanks.  It may be easier to remove the propane tank then the black and grey tanks.   All the fittings on my black and grey are welded to the tanks.  Not much room to work on them and depending on where the fittings are you might have to remove the propane tank anyway. 

Maybe you could post some pictures of  both sides. 

Edited by jacwjames
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Well, it turns out the only way to get the tank out is cut a piece of angle iron out and remove the propane tank. Then the water tank can be pulled out of the passenger side with a little finesse. 

45EC7AA7-345B-48E6-A3C5-7BBD1744A82A.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, jacwjames said:

Amazing how much different these coaches are.  I guess they didn't have group meetings with the various design teams to try and standardize. 

 

But it looks like you've got a plan now.  Keep us posted.

Yeah.  I've talked with a lot of people today. Nobody has seen an "L" shaped tank before. All hose fittings are good. There is obviously a crack in the tank. It will be spring before we can do anything about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the pic, looks like I would

shut the propane off and ventilate the area.

Flush all tanks and drain them.

Disconnect all lines

Cut the black / grey lines in the middle of straight sections so they can be reglued together with a coupler.  Like right a little to the left where the blue (flush?) line crosses the black PVC

Cut the divider out with an angle grinder.  You likely may not need to do this as once the black / grey tanks are out, the fresh tank can be rotated to fit through the left side of that compartment.  I don't see why the propane tank needs to be touched (from the picture).

Pull the Black / Grey tanks out.  Black looks like it comes out first.

Pull the Fresh tank out

Put low PSI air into the fresh (with it plugged up) to locate all leaks.

Evaluate by where the leak is on if it can be repaired with plastic welding.

since the tanks are out, power wash the interiors spanky clean.

Retest

Put it all back together.

If you had to cut the divider out, needs some MIG / TIG welding to put it back in. Certainly shut the propane off HOURS before you weld and put a fan to ventilate area before striking an arc.  use scrap sheet metal and fiberglass cloth to protect the propane tank, the lines and tanks from weld spackle.  Repaint afterwards.

One day project.  Get Er Done!

Edited by DavidL
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The fresh water tank is wider at the back, Propane tank has to come out.  Pictures at the begging of thread show the wet bay side of the tanks.   

Last thing I'd do unless absolutely necessary is remove the black and grey tank.  The dump valve assembly on the back side has to be removed and from the pictures it looks like there is a portion welded to the tank that protrudes down, meaning the tanks can't be slide out on the back side, the whole panel on the wet bay side would have to come out.  Not an easy task. 

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14 hours ago, DavidL said:

From the pic, looks like I would

shut the propane off and ventilate the area.

Flush all tanks and drain them.

Disconnect all lines

Cut the black / grey lines in the middle of straight sections so they can be reglued together with a coupler.  Like right a little to the left where the blue (flush?) line crosses the black PVC

Cut the divider out with an angle grinder.  You likely may not need to do this as once the black / grey tanks are out, the fresh tank can be rotated to fit through the left side of that compartment.  I don't see why the propane tank needs to be touched (from the picture).

Pull the Black / Grey tanks out.  Black looks like it comes out first.

Pull the Fresh tank out

Put low PSI air into the fresh (with it plugged up) to locate all leaks.

Evaluate by where the leak is on if it can be repaired with plastic welding.

since the tanks are out, power wash the interiors spanky clean.

Retest

Put it all back together.

If you had to cut the divider out, needs some MIG / TIG welding to put it back in. Certainly shut the propane off HOURS before you weld and put a fan to ventilate area before striking an arc.  use scrap sheet metal and fiberglass cloth to protect the propane tank, the lines and tanks from weld spackle.  Repaint afterwards.

One day project.  Get Er Done!

That’s the plan. I’ll have to wait until spring to do it. No other option. It will be a PIA.

At least I have a welder.

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