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HTWT
11-14-2005, 09:36 PM
Loosing Water From The Fresh Water Tank


Coley, maybe you can shed some more light on thisÖ:confused:

Previously I asked the question about loosing water from the fresh water tankÖI have to ask again. We like to dry camp and when doing so we have to have all the water we can carry. I fill up at home and while traveling water leaks out. In 4 hours of traveling we loose 2/3 of the tank.

Whatís bringing this to the surface again is last weekend we camped at a state park in TX and before we left I put some water in the tank for the ride home, just for the use of the facilities if needed. As we were leaving the park I pulled into the dump station and found myself on a hill, nose up. As I emptied the gray water tanks all the fresh water drained out of the tank through the drains under the trailer.

This has nothing to do with walking away while filling the tanks or a ďreverse vacuumĒ as Scott previously replied (see previous posts below). As far as traveling with as little water as possibleÖI donít think we need to go there. Iím paying for the fuel and besides, the trailer does seem to ride better with a full water tank...maybe I have a center of gravity issue, Iíll work that one over the winter.


I honestly think this is a design problem, I have the dealer looking at it now, itís in for winterization and some other little things.



Thanks in advance, HTWT


(Previous posts on the subject)
(Original post from me)
Loosing water from fresh water tank

Has anyone had any problems with water leaking out the fresh water tank drain tubes. I fill up at home and when we get to our destination we have only 2/3 (or less) of a tank left. At home when I fill, the water gauge shows full and the overflow runs, canít put anymore in it. Additionally, it seems like the water pump is not as strong as it once was, water just seems to come out very slow. Shower works well after I changed the head.


(Scotts first reply)
One way that tanks empty...
What happens often with fresh water tanks as large as ours if that the owners hook up their water hose to fill the tank and then walk away and wait for the overflow tubes to start kicking out water to let them know their tank is full. While this may be more convenient than waiting and watching the monitor panel to monitor the water going into the tank, it often results in a "reverse vacuum". What happens is, the tank becomes full, and the water begins to flow out of the overflow tubes, but that overflow is not able to keep up with the amount of water coming into the tank from the hose. The result is, the tank begins to swell. (Note: there have actually been some who have caused their tank to swell so much that it caused damage to the coach).
Typically, a person stops the flow of water into the tank when they notice the overflow system kicking in - however - the tank may have already swollen up which means they can now have the reverse vacuum that I mentioned. It is very similar to cyphoning, in that the pressure now is going to go the other way, creating a vacuum, and emptying the water back out of the tank through the overflow lines. If a cyphone or reverse vacuum situation is created, it can actually keep going until the tank is 2/3rds to half way full before it stops. THAT is why some folks have problems filling their tanks up all the way.
The answer: ALWAYS be sure to keep an eye on your monitor panel when filling up your fresh water tanks. This will dramatically cut down your chances to create the reverse vacuum effect and loose the water that you were waiting so patiently to put in to the coach.

ST

(Scotts second reply)
Another Possibility
Concerning those who noticed some water coming out of the overflow tubes while traveling up a hill - even if you are not traveling with full tanks, when the coach is on an angle, yes, the water can get itself all to one end or the other and reach the top of tank and thus result is some water going out of the overflow tubes which operate through gravity.
One thing I will point out is that if at all possible, it is advisable to travel with very little water in your fresh water tank. This increases your cargo carrying capacity, your fuel mileage, and just makes the coach easier to tow down the road. Just a helpful hint.

ST

davebennington
11-15-2005, 08:02 AM
We have had the same thing happen to us when we were out this past weekend. I filled the tank at home and when we got to the campground we were still dropping water from the overflow hose. Something is going on there.

Dave:confused:

Scott
11-15-2005, 04:02 PM
While having four overflow vents (one at each corner of the top of the tank) can make for water loss during travel - what you are describing is not typical.

When you say that the fresh water tank emptied when you pulled the gray tanks - that tells me that there is something up with your fresh water tank valve. We need to make sure it is closed all the way, and that it operates correctly - opening and closing off.
It obviously shouldn't empty out when the gray tank valves are opened.
We need to get your valves checked at a dealer to confirm whether or not they are operating correctly.

ST

HTWT
11-15-2005, 06:53 PM
Scott, I didnít mean to imply that the fresh water tank emptied when I pulled the grey water valves, it emptied while on the hill, nose up. It didnít have anything to do with the grey water valves, I just happened to be emptying the tanks at a dump station that was on a hill. The fresh water was draining from at least one (I didnít look to see which ones were draining) of the three drains rear of the back tire as soon as the nose was tilted up hill. The same thing happens from starts from stop signs or traffic lights. Ironically, the dealer just called me back, I had him winterizing and checking out a few other things and he said exactly what you said, the drains are on top of the tank, water just comes out while the trailer is tilted or from starts after stops. This leaves me back to the design issue. I think, unless you have a lot of problem with this, Iíll cap the drains when I want to travel with a full water tank, else Iíll just loose water on the trip and fill up every morning at the campground before we leave. Just another step I guess. If you figure out what to do, as of now we plan on attending the rally in June, maybe we can do something there. Thanks, Rich

Scott
11-16-2005, 07:35 AM
Though we use large tanks in our coaches, they are relatively shallow, which allows for better weight distribution across the coach. With the overflow vents at the top of each corner of the tank, when you lifted the coach up on an angle, the back two vents began to let the water out. Short of installing a shut off valve on those overflow lines, I'm not sure what the solution is. I know we have to have the overflow vents/lines for code.
I will talk with engineering again to see what we can look at in the future to avoid the loss of water when a person is traveling. As far as parking on an incline, that will always cause the water to flow out one of the overflow vents, so there's not much to do about that without some sort of shut off - which I'm not sure is legal per code. I'll check into it.

ST

BluegrassMan
11-16-2005, 07:19 PM
Hi All:

I have NOT experienced water Loss on our G. Canyon yet. I have gone DRY camping 3 times this summer.

THOUGH on our 98' Sea Breeze, the overflow tubes (2) were at my third axle UNDER the trailer. When I would chuck the tank full, the sloshing going down the road, would cause a cyphoning situation to take place. I placed vinyl caps over the hoses NO MORE 2/3 full tanks! When you arrive at your destination, you DO have to crawl under and slip them off so that the pump can pump.:rolleyes:

HTWT
11-16-2005, 10:10 PM
BluegrassMan, Thanks for the input, but why only 2/3 full?

BigBlue
11-16-2005, 10:11 PM
Though we use large tanks in our coaches, they are relatively shallow, which allows for better weight distribution across the coach. With the overflow vents at the top of each corner of the tank, when you lifted the coach up on an angle, the back two vents began to let the water out. Short of installing a shut off valve on those overflow lines, I'm not sure what the solution is. I know we have to have the overflow vents/lines for code.
I will talk with engineering again to see what we can look at in the future to avoid the loss of water when a person is traveling. As far as parking on an incline, that will always cause the water to flow out one of the overflow vents, so there's not much to do about that without some sort of shut off - which I'm not sure is legal per code. I'll check into it.

ST

Scott
Is the black water tank shallow also? If so that might explain why I don't get the draining action I had from my old trailer. The pressure head isn't as high as my old one.

BluegrassMan
11-17-2005, 07:12 PM
Hi All:
As I was stating, on my 98', I was losing approximately 1/3 tank of water on a 60 mile trip. If I had gone farther, I'm sure it would have been worse. I usually just put in about 20 gallon or so on a regular trip, then use the campground's water. REMEMBER ! Water is 8.83 pounds per gallon !:(

The plugs that I used were a flexible red vinyl just the right size to push on, and were tight enough not to fall off along the way.

phranc
11-17-2005, 09:54 PM
We never have (with this railer)filled the fresh water tank.we put in just enough for travel so we haven't experienced any loss yet.That I know of ,that is..But say Bluegrassman,I wonder if one could extend the vents to the side of the unit and then put on a small brass shut off valve where it would be easier to reach ?

BluegrassMan
11-19-2005, 04:14 PM
Hi All:

I guess that brass valves could be used, can't see why not. What is needed is just a was to stop the flow of air which causes the syphoning to start in the first place. I thought maybe the over flow hoses that stick out under the body could just be plugged, then NO suction can occour.

Just an Idea, Any thoughts out there ???:confused:

BluegrassMan
11-19-2005, 04:24 PM
Hi phranc:

The brass valves sound like a good idea. What is needed is to cut off the flow of air that is acting upon the tank, water sloshing, and air is moving at the same rate. STOP the air, syphoning stops. I was thinking that the hoses that come out under the body could be worked on, maybe valves there to cut off the air and or water.

Does this make sense to you...:confused:

HTWT
11-19-2005, 04:36 PM
I went to Lowes and purchased plastic inserts with screw threads on one end, then bought the caps. Inserted the plastic fittings and screwed on the caps. I can now get to my destination with all the water I put into the tank, when I get there I take off the caps. I think the 1/4 turn valves previously mentioned is better, and much quicker. Thanks for the idea, I'll modify my fix. HTWT :)

Paul & Nan
11-20-2005, 12:48 AM
We mostly go to state and county parks where there is no water hookups, so we need to carry water to last. Our guage for fresh water always reads 1/3 full after we have drained it to splutters. When we fill it, it reads 2/3 no matter what. We could last several days when we first got the rig, now it will only last a couple of days, and now we loose water when traveling, as mentioned above. It is a royal pain to run out of water in the middle of something when you have only been parked a couple of days and have been very careful.

Paul and Nan
2006 Bighorn 3500RL
2003 Silverado 2500 Duramax

phranc
01-21-2006, 08:51 PM
found this thread regarding water loss

http://www.rv.net/forums/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/16837679.cfm

Seems water loss is other brands problem also

dap
01-23-2006, 10:16 PM
:) I cannot see exactly the design everyone is talking about (waiting for delivery). But I think I have an pretty good perception of how things are laid out. Another idea since these are "vent tubes" (incorporated for the purpose of eqaulizing air pressure) would be to route the open ends to a location that is higher (much) than the top of tank rather than below the tank. This is a common practice in many types of tank designs. This way gravity would help solve the challenge rather than creating the issue. ...Just a thought.... trying to be helpful

timk
01-24-2006, 06:40 PM
Dap
Great idea, but,....
a, How do you get to the tank? I think you would have to cut the underbelly apart.
b, I guess it wouldn't be to hard to run them up and out the wall somewhere if you could get to the tank.
Mine are just sticking down out of the underbelly just behind the axles. I would think that you would want them running uphill from the tank so that any water splashing would drain back into the tank. If you just hooked on to the lines under the coach and then ran up, you would create a water trap, much like under a sink. It makes my head hurt trying to picture if that would work. Might be an idea to consider sometime after a few beers, when your head is going to hurt anyway.
TimK

phranc
01-24-2006, 08:25 PM
Seems like a decent production change for the factory.. Run the fresh water vent up to roof or under kitchen counter top ..I can see it now " Guaranteed not to lose fresh water ,unlike brand XXXXX"

dap
01-24-2006, 10:40 PM
Hey guy's thanks for the kind words. I was looking at it from a production angle (a small change to the production line) since I understand that the belly of the trailer is completely sealed (one of the many features I've learned on this forum). I would also agree that you would want these run 100% uphill rather than creating a "water trap". I can't imagine that it would be that costly (clear plastic hose is cheap) or difficult to install it this way as it moved through the production line (but then again I have not taken a tour yet....so I really don't know whats involved). I don't think I would want to rig this up to a set of lines that allready drain below the tanks... sounds like water laying in low spots could sour or mold. The small brass valve idea sounds like the winner so far. Sound like I will have to figure out some solution for when my trailer is delivered. Many times I like to carry a tank of water with me (some of the camp ground water is nasty). I've often thought about adding one of those little seperate water facets to my sink for fresh water to cook with and for coffee that only ran off of the water pump. Another idea might be some little type of check valve designed so the check valve part (moving piece) was more of a little round ball that floated but was heavy enough and small enough to let air pass around it, but when it was hit with water it would float to the top and seal the ened of the line. I could probably draw it easier than I could describe it. This might be something we could throw together for just a few bucks..... just thoughts and ideas....

timk
01-26-2006, 08:22 PM
While tracking down a hydraulic leak, I spotted the offending tubes and tank. If you click on the link below you can see pictures taken from the rear of the rig, looking forward inside the frame above the underbelly. Sorry about the quality of pictures but it was a point and shoot thing.

Its a little hard to see in the pictures, but the water tank is only 7-10" tall and the vents are attached about 1-2" down from the top of the tank. So it doesn't take too much imagination to picture water splashing as your driving or if you park on a side hill, you could easily drain 20%-30% of your tank. I could only see one vent attachment, but I have read that there are four, so no matter which way the water is splashing some little bit is going out.

I like the idea of venting up. Good idea for the factory in the future. However it would be a job getting to the area to do a retrofit. At least in my 3400rl. If you had the major part of the underbelly off it wouldn't be to bad if you had a cabinet to hide the hoses in. But I do believe they should be vented to the outside so that when filling your tank, you don't fill your kitchen cabinets.

So having been to the tank and back, my thought is to just put a valve in the lines under the rig, (as someone has already suggested) and go get another margarita.

Link to pictures http://home.earthlink.net/~djshomeimprovement/data/water%20tank/

TimK

timk
01-29-2006, 06:50 PM
Just a little update. I got a little further in toward the water tank today. Its only about 6"-7" tall, and when you consider the vent hoses are a little ways down on the sides, its ez to see why all the water splashes out. I'm all about plugging them lil buggers, now for sure.
Timk

Ken Washington
01-29-2006, 08:10 PM
For those of us that only carry enough water to flush the toilet on the road, this is not a problem. I can't see hauling that much weight with fuel prices the way they are unless I am going to a place with out water. Not much chance of that!

timk
01-30-2006, 08:55 PM
For those of us that only carry enough water to flush the toilet on the road, this is not a problem. I can't see hauling that much weight with fuel prices the way they are unless I am going to a place with out water. Not much chance of that!

Ken,
On a trip from the left coast back to Tucson 400 odd miles or so, we started out with the guages claiming 1/3 tank of fresh. When we got back to Tucson we were sucking air, barely able to get a flush.
TimK

Ken Washington
01-31-2006, 09:55 AM
Hi Timk,
If we put a cut off on this, can it stay closed when filling the tank? What is the purpose of this vent anyway?

timk
01-31-2006, 04:48 PM
Ken,

Its my understanding that there are 4 vents, I can see two of them, three out the bottom of the coach and one just beside the fill cap. I dont understand why we would need more than one vent. Someone else has posted here that a vacumn is created if water is used from the tank for more than a couple of days.

I am going to fill my tank this weekend to see how it fills and emptys, with the 3 vent valves closed. Will keep you posted. My last rv had only one vent and it worked just fine.

Our tanks are quite short but very wide. Perhaps if you were parked out of level so the primary vent is under water level a vacumn could be created when using water, but I wouldnt think it would take much for the water pump to overcome the force and just pull some air in.

TimK

cdbMidland
02-01-2006, 12:14 AM
My unit has the drains and I thought that all water had been drained last fall when we winterized the unit. However, when I reached Florida a few days ago, I was surprised at the amount of water that was leaking out the drain at one of the rest stops. Must have been frozen in there. Fortunately, nothing seems to be broken, although I have not tried to add water to the fresh water tank.

dap
02-03-2006, 11:49 PM
I don't quite understand the need for so many vents. I would think that one vent run upward to the exterior of the coach would suffice.

cdbMidland
02-06-2006, 05:38 PM
I finally added water this morning in preparation for some self-contained camping in the Everglades. Everything seems to be fine. I only filled the tank until the monitor showed it was full and no problems showed after driving 130 miles.

timk
02-07-2006, 07:40 PM
I finally got the time to test the filling of the tank with the lower three vents plugged. Here are my findings.

One of the things I wanted to do was better understand how much water in gallons are represented by the little lights on the water guage. Inquing minds want to know, kind a thing. So what I did was to put a stop watch on while filling up a five gallon bucket and then doing the math. This is what I found while filling my water tank.

1/3 tank should be 24 gallons it was 10.3 gallons.
2/3 tank should be 48 gallons it was 29 gallons.
Full should be 73 gallons it was 53 gallons.
Full to overflowing vents it held 71 gallons.

I am not a 100% about the 73 gal. capacity but I think this is what the spec is. And I wouldn't bet the farm on my accuracy but its sorta close. This explains why when I thought I had a third of a tank, I ran out too soon. And as you read on it also explains why when your full, you use just a little water and all of a sudden the guage says 2/3.

The interesting thing is the full sensor is located where the water level would be if the vents (4) are open as the factory has installed them. So if you fill your tank till the vents start to flow water then wait till they quit leaking there is about 1-1/2 to 2 more inches of tank above the vents that cannot be used if the vents are open. At this level I hold about 53 gallons.

So being the clever fellow I am, I think plugging the vents and just filling her up is the thing to do. Well,............ It exploded the tank. Naw just kidding, wanted to see if your paying attention. But what it did do scared the holly you know what out of me.

At 73 gallons the tank had sagged about 4 inches below the frame and underbelly. I was under the rig while it was filling, so I could watch the water level, and I could feel it sagging down as more water was added.

After opening the 3 lower vents a little air came out but not too much. And that baby looked about 8.5 months pregnant. Thought it was going to fall off. And it did hold 73 gallons.

So in conclusion, when filling I wouldn't fill with the vents closed. One vent dosent seem to be enough. If you have it full, and dont want to loose your water when driving, I would then close the vents. And, next time you fill your water tank take a little peak underneath before you fill up. Then when your tank is full, take another lil peak and see how many months along you are. Mine is getting an extra brace or two.

TimK

cdbMidland
02-07-2006, 08:32 PM
Looks like the factory needs to change its specs or revise the way the fresh water tank is designed and mounted (or both).

When I first bought my unit, I had the dealer "fill" the tank (probably to the full light on the monitor). I took it to a CAT scale and had it weighed with Saundra and me and the water. We were over the GCWR for the Dodge by just a few pounds.

I then left the scale and emptied the tank and reweighed. I was surprised that the weight did not decrease by the 580# that I figured that I had drained, but only by less than 400#. I just figured that the tank was not as empty as it should have been. Now I know that I should not have figured on the 70 gallons that showed on the specs.

The one thing that I was really interested in was the weight on the truck rear wheels by weighing empty and "full". The rear wheel weight only changed by 20# - the rest on the trailer axles. This is what I was hoping for as we never travel with anything in the waste tanks and only a few gallons in the fresh water tank (for toilet flushing and hand washing).

Scott
02-08-2006, 10:10 AM
TimK and all:
The fresh water system in an RV is typically rated at the approximate number of gallons of fresh water that the unit can hold - and that INLCLUDES not only the tank, but also the water heater (12 gallons on a Landmark and Bighorn).
It's not surprising that when you attempted to put 73 gallons into the tank alone, it swelled the tank considerably.
On the issue of tank monitor panels/sensors - the fact is, this is not an exact science. I wish it were - because this is a situation that I bet I've heard more about from customers over my 20+ years in the RV manufacturing business than any other.
I wish they made a tank monitoring system that is exact. If they did, and it was affordable, we would have it. The truth is, KIB has dominated the RV market for these for years and they are in approx. 90% of RVs.
On the issues of overflow vents - on fifthwheels and travel trailers, the holding tanks are very shallow - and the bigger they get, in reality, they are just getting "wider", not deeper, so the issue of water sloshing around and going out the overflow vents is one that is inherent in shallow tanks. I think some of you have made good suggestions regarding your solutions to the problem and maybe one of them may be something we can look at implementing here at the factory.
Keep the dialogue open and going. Good ideas are needed in both these areas and to change an industry - it starts with the end user and that's you.
Until then, if Heartland is doing something wrong or needs to do something better - keep us informed.

ST

ST

BillB800si
02-08-2006, 11:05 AM
[quote
We were over the GCWR for the Dodge by just a few pounds............

The one thing that I was really interested in was the weight on the truck rear wheels by weighing empty and "full". The rear wheel weight only changed by 20# - the rest on the trailer axles. ).[/quote]
-----------------------

Which model Bighorn were you pulling and whats the specs on your Dodge?
Very interested.

Thank you,
Bill B. (Michigan)

timk
02-08-2006, 06:26 PM
Bill,
Our water tank is approx. centered over the rear axle. So full or empty I wouldnt expect much change in pin weight.
TimK

timk
02-08-2006, 06:35 PM
Scott,
I hope my input was not received as negative. I'm all about making my rig the best it can be, and understanding whats going on in the secret world under the floor. And if my noodling around can help someone else to do the same, well I guess thats why I'm messing around here.
TimK

BluegrassMan
02-09-2006, 07:06 PM
Hi All:

I just had a thought:eek: would a check-valve work in the vent hoses. What I mean is like a plastic tube with a ball in it. If the water tries to go out the ball seats tight. the water can't pass by. When the pump draws water it NEEDS vacuum, the ball would float up and let air come in the vent. When the demand is over the ball goes back to the seat.

It seemed simple yet does the job. That's me simple:p

timk
02-09-2006, 08:24 PM
Hi All:

I just had a thought:eek: would a check-valve work in the vent hoses. What I mean is like a plastic tube with a ball in it. If the water tries to go out the ball seats tight. the water can't pass by. When the pump draws water it NEEDS vacuum, the ball would float up and let air come in the vent. When the demand is over the ball goes back to the seat.

It seemed simple yet does the job. That's me simple:p

I think there are two things going on here. Filling the tank and using water.

Check valves should work fine when using water, (in my opinion).

I'm still a little worried about filling without the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th vent. When I did my test, filling my tank with only the vent by the fill hose open, (the lower 3 closed) my tank really swelled up. Not much air or water was venting out of the air vent by the filler. When I finally removed my garden fill hose, a ton of water puked back up from the filling opening. Presumably due to the ballooning effect of my tank. The bottom of my tank deflected about 4" from a flat position. So if everyting was equal in your rig, with a check valve allowing air in but not out, your tank might just swell up and sag as well. I dont think I would want to repeat what I did.

Right now I would still recomend a valve that could be opened when filling, and closed when driving. Or open when using water if a vacumn creates a problem.

I am going to add a cross member under the tank from frame to frame, to better support the tank. Then repeat the test. I will post my results.

TimK

timk
02-10-2006, 07:52 PM
Just another update.

After adding the additional cross brace below my tank, I repeated the fill test to see how much water I can squirt into my fresh tank without blowing it up.

Here is what happened.

1/3 on the guage held 10.2 gallons, about the same as before.
2/3 on the guage held 28.2 gallons, about a gallon less.
Full on the guage held 51 gallons, about a couple gallons less.

The little bit less is to be expected and seems right due to the fact that the tank is now holding its shape and not swelling.

The above was done with the rear 3 vents open. I continued filling till there was a full flow of water from the 3 rear vents. The tank now held 66 gallons. Still no tank swelling.

I then closed the 3 rear vents and continued filling till the fill opening started to run over. I am now at 75 gallons and no swelling.

An interesting thing I noticed, when I closed the rear vents and continued filling, I noticed no air escaping from the remaining vent by the filler opening up front. So I still have to think the rear vents need to be opened again after the water level has gone down past the full level.

I'm done now
TimK

elwaller39
02-10-2006, 08:14 PM
You say you added one cross brase to the bottom of the tank. How large of a cross brase was this and was this through the center of the tank? I would hope this would tell a story to Heartland to add another brase to support the fresh water tank. I too would like to have 70 gallans of fresh water when I fill the tank. I do not think that this would add that much additioal cost to a coach and to know your fresh water tank is not going to go bad in time from over filling it! Evans & Lana

timk
02-10-2006, 10:06 PM
Evans and Lana,
What I did was to run a piece of 2x3 steel tubing from the left I beam to the right I beam, just about centered under the tank. What I am doing is simply tweeking the factory design a little bit. If everything is right in your rig, and you left it alone, you shouldnt need the brace. By plugging the overflow vents as the factory installed them, I am putting more water in the tank than they planned. What this does is allow me to fill the last couple of inches of the tank, above the vents. The brace just helps with the extra weight of the water.

There are a hundered little things the factory could do to upgrade their products. But as someone else here has said, if they did them all it would cost 20 grand more and be a Landmark, or whatever.

Much to my wifes dismay, I simply cant leave well enough alone. Its a curse.

TimK

woodburner
02-11-2006, 06:50 AM
Tell me if I'm misunderstanding here....you folks are loosing fresh water in an area that is supposed to be insulated? What is happening to your insulation? This can't be right....I must be mis-reading this....

timk
02-11-2006, 08:58 AM
Tell me if I'm misunderstanding here....you folks are loosing fresh water in an area that is supposed to be insulated? What is happening to your insulation? This can't be right....I must be mis-reading this....

Whats happening is the vent hoses that run out the top of the tanks are loosing water when parked on an angle, or when driving it can splash out. The hoses exit under the coach, so the insulation is fine.

TimK

BluegrassMan
02-11-2006, 06:49 PM
Hi All:

Some of ya'll got in on this discussion rather recent, If you go back to the begining of the THREAD; you can catch all the earlier opinions.

Don' forget your physics class, this sloshing acts exactly like syphoning gas out of a tank with your mouth. Once you get the action going it creates a draw. That is emptying the tank more than the sloshing etc.:( Once you break the CYCLE the water stops running. I still use a vinyl cap over the over flow hoses on a long trip. Just my $.02 worth:rolleyes:

cdbMidland
02-12-2006, 02:21 PM
To Bill B in Michigan.

I have a 2003 Dodge 3500 quad cab with 4-speed auto and a 3.73 rear end with single rear wheel drive. GRVW is 9,900#. GCVW is 21,000#. Weight without Big Horn is 7,680# (full fuel and driver and passenger).

I am towing a 3655RD.

Sawbonz
02-12-2006, 03:49 PM
Sorry I will sound like a sap, but it has been bothering me since the beginning of this thread:
loose=not tight
lose=not gained

timk
02-12-2006, 07:27 PM
Sorry Karl,

After 40 posts misspellings become accepted as official.

How about this; the water is not tight in the tank "loose" so we loosed it on the road?

TimK

BillB800si
02-13-2006, 09:06 AM
To Bill B in Michigan.

I have a 2003 Dodge 3500 quad cab with 4-speed auto and a 3.73 rear end with single rear wheel drive. GRVW is 9,900#. GCVW is 21,000#. Weight without Big Horn is 7,680# (full fuel and driver and passenger).
I am towing a 3655RD.
------------------------------------------

Chuck,
You're over weight with that Dodge.
Your 7680 (truck) plus the 12,300 (trailer) = 19980. That only leaves you with 1020 lbs. Figure the 12,300 does not include any extras you had put on by the factory or dealer.

Everything I've read says add 2000 lbs for personal =
Water at 8#/gallon
Food
clothing
personal items
tools
misc..(chairs-ladder- etc....)
plus:
hitch
batteries
generator

cdbMidland
02-13-2006, 09:29 AM
Bill from Michigan...

I do not haul water nor anything in my waste tanks. I had the entire unit weighed on a CAT scale before adding any clothes or food and had plenty of capacity as we travel pretty light (even though we are spending a couple of months down south this winter). This weight already had the Pullrite Superglide 16K hitch installed, so hitch weight was already included. I do not carry a generator.

So, I am still "legal" in the weight category, but not by much.

I could swap out the 3.73 for a 4.10 and gain another 2,000#, and would have if I would have been overweight. I decided to see if I could safely haul this unit with the SRW, or should go for DRW. If Dodge would only offer the new mega-cab with DRW, I would trade, but so far, it only is on the SRW.

svd
02-13-2006, 11:49 AM
The spec sheet indicates the trailer weighs 11,950. How did you get to 12,300, did you weigh it?

BillB800si
02-13-2006, 02:34 PM
The spec sheet indicates the trailer weighs 11,950. How did you get to 12,300, did you weigh it?
------------------------------------------

I guess that depends on which 2006 brochure you want to look at. I have both brochures. So when in doubt I take the higher number... o)

Plus get this:
1st brochure says:
length= 38' 11"
GVWR = 18000 lbs
Dry wt. = 12300
Hitch wt. 2400

2nd brochure says:
length 38' 3"
GVWR = 16000 lbs.
Dry wt. = 11950
Hitch wt. = 2040
And they both are for the 3655RD....... Go figure.....


Bill B. (Michigan)

svd
02-13-2006, 04:58 PM
Wow, that is quite a difference! I looked at the spec on their website to get the 11,950. I agree, probably always safer to go with the heavier weight.
Steve

cdbMidland
02-13-2006, 05:01 PM
Spec sheet does not include all of the options. We have gel cote and dual pane windows.

By the way, the old brochure showed triple 6,000# axles, but they have dual 7,000# axles. First brochure was prepared before the first 3655RD was built.

phranc
02-13-2006, 06:48 PM
Most of the 'Extras' are 'standard' for the BigHorn..There are not a lot of options that weigh much .. Pretty accurate weights..

Jim_1899
05-30-2006, 10:57 PM
I went on my 3rd trip this weekend and know have pulled my new Bighorn 2,050 miles. This last trip was 720 miles round trip and the fresh water was not drained out of my fresh water tank since I installed three female hose ends and then screwed caps. It worked put we were not able to use the water while traveling, so I will try to find a value install. We had one other problem the crack stopped working, the nut fell off the left side and the screw fell out. The trailer was just being jacked up on the driverside. After an hour I figured it out and corrected it by getting the bolt back through and the nut fastened. One front leg is longer than the other so I used two 2x6's to put it back down after traveling. I guess I will have to take the bolt and nut off, disconnect the one side and even the legs back and then reconnect it. Has this happened to anyone else.

ChopperBill
06-03-2006, 10:27 AM
The Bighorn specs show that the water tank has a 63.5 gallon capacity. The 75 gallons comes from adding in the 12 gallons that the water heater holds. Not surprise you could only get 60 gallons in the tank. I think most manufactures count the water heater in with their total fresh water capacity.

Oops! Missed a couple of pages! It has already been said. :o

phranc
06-05-2006, 07:58 PM
We left NY with about 10 gals in the fresh tank.Stopped at a Flying J in Columbus Oh to overnite and filled (to overflowing) the fresh tank there.Went to louisville for a couple of days and then on to the 1st annual world famous Heartland Rally in Elkhart/Goshen. Drove from there to NY and arrived with all the water we put in at Columbus. Less some for a shower etc....Tank monitor still reads full.. What did I do different than the others ??

timk
06-05-2006, 08:53 PM
clean living?

Seriously, if you are NE of Alabama water will tend to flow away from the true magnetic north which will cause water to flow away from the vents.

Or..

Perhaps yours is plumbed correctly ? Can we take it apart ?

TimK

jbeletti
06-05-2006, 09:38 PM
Tim,

At the rally, Clarence (Wild Wind) was showing me the vents on his tank. His underbelly was open (it's returning to LSI after the rally). He showed me the vent connectors on the tank. They are plastic (4 of them) and are 90 degree connectors. His were rotated in a downward position. He rotated them upward, then tie-wrapped the vent hoses to frame members above the tank. That should really help. He mentioned that that a factory employee said that they rotate them upwards before putting the floor on, but his were not.

Can you take it apart? You certainly can take down your underbelly but be prepared with a plan to put it back securely.

Jim

Scott
06-06-2006, 10:02 AM
Heartland is in the process of making sure all vents are above the tank to eliminate any possibility of cyphoning. It is already completed on some models, and will be on all models within a month.

ST

L'l John
06-06-2006, 10:12 AM
Heartland is in the process of making sure all vents are above the tank to eliminate any possibility of cyphoning. It is already completed on some models, and will be on all models within a month.

ST

I hope my 3400RL is one of the models that already have the vents in the proper place . It is scheduled to come of line this coming Friday 6/9/06.
None None :D :D

ChopperBill
06-06-2006, 02:34 PM
Heartland is in the process of making sure all vents are above the tank to eliminate any possibility of cyphoning. It is already completed on some models, and will be on all models within a month.

ST
How can I tell if mine has the new vents? Thanks

phranc
06-06-2006, 08:45 PM
TIMK....????... clean living ?? actualy thought the negative water loss was because we made predominately right hand turns thus preventing the anti cyclonic action of the intermitent toilet flush.......

terawatt
06-07-2006, 09:49 AM
Scott,

Will there be repair instruction sent to the dealers for those of us who have bought out Bighorn before the "new vent era?" :)

timk
06-07-2006, 12:16 PM
Scott,
If the factory fixes this, what will we have to talk about here ??
TimK

Scott
06-07-2006, 12:40 PM
Terawatt,

There will be no "repair" instructions, because we are not talking about damage. As has been discussed in this forum, there are different options to different applications relating to different uses and expectations of the tanks and the overflow vents.
In other words, this is not an issue for a number of our customers. It is a phenomenon that can occur because of the nature of the beast.
What we have tried to do through this forum is discuss possible remedies that will best fit individuals needs.
Some have added valves; some have rerouted their vent hoses so that they go up first, before coming back down (looping them over part of a steel floor truss), others have simply addressed the issue by monitoring their water levels prior to departure.
We hesitate putting valves on these overflow vent hoses because you and I both know that someone will forget to open a valve and will burst their tank.
Hope this helps.

ST

mrcomer
06-07-2006, 01:25 PM
I see where Scott is coming from. Personally we do not do alot of dry camping so if anything we keep enough water in the tank in case we need to stop along the road to use the facilities or wash our hands etc. My preference is always to travel with as little fluid in all tanks as possible. In the case of some state parks I just wait till I get there and fill-er up.


timk and phranc - I appreciate your humor although it doesn't look as thou some others do. You made me chuckle. Thanks

Forrest Fetherolf
12-09-2006, 10:38 PM
The factory could eliminate the tanks draining when full, traveling, or parked unlevel. Most all of us have diswashers in our home with a little thing on the sink called an air gap valve. Simply connect all 4 tank vents together with an air gap valve higher than the tank and run the drain line wherever makes you happy. You won't loose water unless you overfill the tank or park the rig upside down.

Chulinw
12-10-2006, 07:17 PM
I have lost fresh water when I am backing into my drive way to get ready for a trip. I also like to travel with 2/3 of tank so I can make sure I have fresh water to use on the road. When I get to the campground I notice that 1/3 of the water has gone someplace besides using it to wash had and tolet use. I just keep read the form mabye some one will come up with a fix.

Jim_1899
12-10-2006, 08:51 PM
I had this problem and after reading post here on the forum came up with a quick solution that has worked for me. The water starts to siphon and you can lose it all fast. I like to fill up with water especially when heading to a few camp grounds that I don't care for the water.

I went to Lowes in the plumbing department to buy a female hose end that fits the three fresh water tank drain hoses. Then I screw on three caps so that the water does not drain out. I can take a photo of them if you would like.

My wife's uncle had a huge expense after filling up his fresh water tank with a high pressure hose at a campground and in his RV the tank expanded and damaged his floor. I guess this is the reason that they installed the overflow drains. I can now leave with a full tank and not lose water. Most trips I fill up the water tank.

jpmorgan37
12-10-2006, 09:59 PM
Jim;
Are you talking about a garden hose end? What size, 1/2 inch? Sounds like an easy fix.
John

timk
12-10-2006, 10:06 PM
I have lost fresh water when I am backing into my drive way to get ready for a trip. I also like to travel with 2/3 of tank so I can make sure I have fresh water to use on the road. When I get to the campground I notice that 1/3 of the water has gone someplace besides using it to wash had and tolet use. I just keep read the form maybe some one will come up with a fix.

Chulinw

If you start out with just barley 2/3's of a tank, the water level in the tank has only to go down a very small bit, to get the 2/3 sender out of the water. Your guage will then say you only have 1/3, but in reality you may well have over half a tank, (or not). Or if your just a bit out of level the water level can get that sender dry as well.

There are a couple of fixes in this very thread, but if you do a search on "loosing" you will get a whole page of hits, with lots of good ideas.

TimK

sailorand
12-11-2006, 09:43 AM
Very simple to fix. Go to Home depot or Lowes, go to the plumbing isle and get 3 1/4 turn valves like the one that is on the FW tank drain. Install them on the 3 vents hoses and then close them. Just remember to open them when you fill the tank. Simple, easy, quick and not too expensive to fix if you can use a screwdriver

Uncle Rog
12-11-2006, 11:49 AM
Howdy, never had the problem until now so I never checked out this thread. I had the broken tank fixed under warranty but much to my dismay I was still losing water pulling out of my (steep) driveway. Upon inspection, and happy to say, I realized the water was coming from the overflows. I am going with sailorand on this one. Never had this issue with other rigs, but it seems like an easy fix...............

mufflerman
12-11-2006, 05:32 PM
Why not just run the vent up to the fill neck, on my cyclone there is even a spot to put a hose. The vent has to be higher then the tank, I plugged the vents on a trip and I didn't lose water out of the fill neck.

sailorand
12-11-2006, 05:39 PM
3 of my vents for the water tank come out underneath and by the wheels. Unless I take off the bottom coroplast to reroute them. Maybe much later I will take it off, but now now. It is really raining here and I have this aversion to laying in cold water for hours...

Chulinw
12-11-2006, 07:37 PM
Going to get the valves and fix this like you said in other post about the problem of the water vents. I will get this fix and I am sure it will help out a lot. Like I was told make sure you have the vent valves open when filling the water tank in order to avoid any type of damage to the fresh water tank. This form has been very helpful to me and enjoy reading and I keep on learning new thinks to make life a lot easier. Tks for the help...

mufflerman
12-13-2006, 02:37 PM
The valves will stop water from running out, But what a pain in the butt. I hope you are the only one filling the tank, or put a big sign by the fill neck!

meanderingman
12-28-2006, 06:47 AM
It may be worse than you think. I have a 2006 Bighorn that is supposed to carry 63 gallons of fresh water. My fresh water tank was reading empty and sucking air into the water pump. I drained the tank of 3 gallons of water. After calibrating a garden water meter I filled the tank; it started overflowing from the vent hoses at 37.5 gallons. The tank gauge read 2/3 full. In addition to that, I am losing water when traveling, down to 1/3 tank. So I start out with 37.5 gallons and lose water while driving. This is a serious problem because I do a lot of dry camping. I'm going to have this checked out over the winter, will do a follow up when I get feedback from the service technicians.
FOLLOW UP--CORRECTION: Expert technician found the tank sagging, placed two bracing beams under the tank. The tank fills completely; technician measured the tank dimensions and calculated that it does indeed hold close to 63 gallons. Technician ran the vent hoses up into the water pump compartment and then out through the underbelly without vacuum breakers. The problem of losing water on the road is better, but one day I filled the tank until I saw the first drops of water at the vent hose drain--I then watched as 1/3 of the water siphoned onto the ground. I guess the next step is vacuum breakers.
FOLLOW UP: PROBLEM SOLVED--FINALLY
I had a problem of losing fresh water while traveling; I would start out with a full tank of 60 gallons and end up with 20 gallons at my destination. The original configuration of the 4 vent tubes had them going slightly upward from the top or sides of the tank, then down through the underbelly. Our first attempt to deal with the problem was to re-route the vent tubes further up into the water pump area, then back down through the underbelly. I seemed to be better, but I still lost fresh water.
The basic problem seems to be that the vent system is designed to siphon.
SIPHON DEFINITION; tube or pipe system consisting of two rigid or flexible legs in the form of an inverted J, used to convey a liquid from one vessel to another vessel at a lower level, over an intermediate point that is higher than either. When both legs of the siphon are full, the hydrostatic force due to gravity is larger on the longer leg, thus causing the liquid to move up the shorter leg, over the bend, and down the longer leg. The siphoning process can be started by filling a siphon with liquid before placing it into its operating location or by applying suction at the lower end after the tube is in position. Once started, the flow will continue until the liquid level in both vessels is equal, or until the level in the higher vessel falls below the inlet of the tube when air is sucked in and the siphoning action stops.
© 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
In this dysfunctional system, any time water begins to flow through the vent tubes it begins to siphon until the water level in the tank drops below the level of the vent tube outlet. Water flow and siphoning can begin with overfill, acceleration, deceleration, uphill, downhill, curves & turns, parking or driving on a slant, etc.
Here’s an example that I observed: I filled the tank until I noticed a tiny stream of water from one of the 4 vent tubes, then watched as the stream increased to full flow and continued for several minutes, dumping about 20 gallons. The siphoning must have partially collapsed the tank allowing more and more water to escape. Then, when a partial vacuum formed in the tank and the tube could not siphon any more water, the tube drained and filled with air, stopping the siphon.
Another example from before our first fix: I had driven 15 miles. When I made a turn off the road into a parking area, there was a circular path of spilled water on the gravel. I started out with a full tank, arrived with 1/3 tank.
DISCUSSION: my 1986 Alfa had a single vent tube about 2 inches in diameter that began at the top of the tank, went upward about two feet above the tank, and exited horizontally through the wall—it was possible for air and excess water to drain, but not possible to siphon.
SOLUTION: I cut the vent tubes off at their highest point, bound the tubes together with wire ties, and inserted 90 degree elbows pointing downward into a large funnel (the kind from an auto supply store that is used to add transmission fluid). A one inch plastic tube clamped to the funnel neck runs down through the underbelly to drain. This system can and does vent air and excess water, but it cannot siphon. Now I arrive at my destination with a full fresh water tank. :-)

Uncle Rog
12-28-2006, 10:39 AM
MM, sounds like our rig only worse. We had a broken tank that would take a full load of h20 but would lose about 1/3 on the road. We have a 3600RL and am not sure if we have a 63 or 75 gallon tank, we have literature that says both. Any body know for sure? I bought a 5 gallon pail to drain into just to find out, I will post my results.....Happy New Year!

cdbMidland
12-28-2006, 11:21 AM
Fresh water figures include the hot water heater. So a 12 gallon hot water heater leaves 63 gallons for the fresh water tank if your rating says 75 gallons.

Uncle Rog
12-28-2006, 12:40 PM
That makes sense, thanks cdb. I think I will do my bucket test anyway, it's a long weekend and we are not camping.........

ChopperBill
12-28-2006, 04:05 PM
Not to nose in here but I wouldn't even attempt to "fill" the tank if it did not have the cross brace. Mine did not have the brace and the tank fell down, at about 3/4, the first time I tried to fill it. Take in a account mine was one of the last of the "06's" built.

Uncle Rog
12-31-2006, 05:58 PM
Howdy, Happy New Year to everybody. I have had my suspicions about my fresh tank capacity so today I ran a little test. We filled the tank to overflow then ran the kitchen faucet for a few seconds to equalize the pressure and the overflow stopped. We then drained the tank into a measured 5 gallon bucket stopping the flow at every filling. This was quite tedious since it is 75 degrees and required several bottles of measuring fluid, notwithstanding the beer, I have a witness and we were only able to fill the bucket 9 times, barely! Now the tank was totally empty with the pump sucking air and no faucet worked inside. My math 5x9 equals 45 gals the stated capacity of the tank is 75 gals, where in the world is the other 30 gals? I do not think it is in the 6 gal water heater. Anybody have any Ideas? ..............UR

timk
12-31-2006, 07:03 PM
Another thought, if your measuring capacity by pumping out the tank. You might be leaving some water in the tank. You could try raising the door side of the rig a bit, and see if you get some more out.
TimK

phranc
12-31-2006, 07:13 PM
Uncle Rog,, could the solution to losing water while traveling be as simple as what you did ? That is to run a faucet for a minute or 2 after filling to equalize the pressure .... opinions ??

timk
12-31-2006, 07:16 PM
Yet another thought, I found a formula in the net for figuring gallons for cubic feet. (you can always trust the net) HxWxL in inches divided by 231 equals gallons.

I am guessing at the size of my tank from memory but here it is anyway.

If you do 36x48x10/231 you get 74 gallons.
If you use standard vents then you tank is only about 8 inches tall.
Then 36x48x8/231 you get only 59 gallons.
If your tipping the tank about 2" to the off door side, you will be about 14 more gallons short from vent loss, and from the pump sucking on the wrong side. So now your down to 45 gallons, take another 6 out for the water heater now your at 39 gallons. So now your getting close to your findings. Thats all I got.

TimK

svd
12-31-2006, 07:50 PM
The spec sheet I have shows a tank volume of 63.5 gallons, and a hot water tank of 10 gallons. Did you install a tank brace, and could doing so reduce tank volume? I wondered about that when I installed my brace.

ChopperBill
12-31-2006, 08:37 PM
Pretty sure the fresh tank capacity is figured on some Heartland engineer filling the tank under IDEAL conditions which will never happen in real life, or being optimistic of the tank manufactures specs. Could be kind of like my 45 gallon black and grey tanks filling up in 5 days! I am a pretty healthy guy but on my best day I couldn't fill a tank up that big in 5 days! Good thing the dealer found out the sewer drains were going up hill and the tanks weren't completely draining. (Thanks Valley Camper for going the extra mile to fix them!) That is why I always showed a 1/3 full after a dump station trip. Darn near made a visit to my urologist after the first camping trip! :eek:

Uncle Rog
01-01-2007, 12:42 AM
My rig is less than 1 degree out of level in any direction and I have done my test twice, looks like I am going back to J&L, my witness and brother in law who owns a Prowler has a snicker on his face, mostly being from new years. I give up for now................

sislv
01-01-2007, 07:11 PM
See my post at:

//heartlandowners.org/showpost.php?p=8631&postcount=23

I think Loco and others had the best idea on how to cure the fresh water tank vent line problems. Doing the modifications suggested you don't have to worry about the tanks draining. You won't have to plug/unplug the vent lines, turn valves on/off, and shouldn't have to worry about losing water while going down the road.

Happy New Year to all.....

Tom & Sharol

Uncle Rog
01-02-2007, 12:09 PM
Howdy, I read about running a little water to brake the flow at the overflows in a previous post, my spec sheet shows a 75 gal capacity, and the "repair" of my broken tank was done by an authorized shop and reinstalled "properly". After running my test as stated the monitor panel shows dead empty and the pump sucks air. I guess my issue is when I fill the tank I want to be able to drain 75 gals of H2O not 45. My best guess is that the vent / overflows are monted too far down from the top of the tank which is unaceptible if that is the case.....I will report later when the shop has made the fix....I want 75 gals !!!!!..........UR

Fordsd250
01-02-2007, 12:25 PM
Has anyone tried filling the tank with measured amounts to see what can be put in the tank?:confused:

Uncle Rog
01-02-2007, 12:35 PM
Yup, at a timed 5 gal per minute my overflows go off at 9.5 minutes....

phranc
01-02-2007, 09:41 PM
Here is a posting on another forum about the 'losing water while traveling'
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/18906516.cfm

Uncle Rog
01-03-2007, 12:57 PM
I talked to my service out fit yesterday about my less than advertised FW capacity and he told me that it is common with the large flat tanks. That if they COLLAPSE the water fills up the sides and will not fill the middle! They should be made with rigid enough plastic to at least keep their shape, I would think. Since my tank has been repaired once already I am a little skeptical at best of the condition of the tank. Any ideas? My warranty is up in March, with 5-6 weeks extension for previous service work down time, and I am a little concerned about not getting this thing right before I am orphaned by HL......

willy
07-15-2008, 01:08 PM
HI, We have a 2006 2955RL, just tried dry camping. Put the hose in, water started to come out the overflow...thought it was draining, plugged it. then it came out the other line plugged it, etc. I ended up plugging up all 3 lines. From the posts I learned there are two overflows..what's the other line? My tank drain, I think, is under the hot water tank. Happy camper!!