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Old 04-04-2017, 05:55 PM   #1
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Angry 2004 Winnebago Vectra slow fill - replacement tank

Hello,

I have a 2004 Winnebago Vectra on a freightliner chassis. I am the second owner. The original owner didn't use it much and it was taken care of pretty well. I noticed right away that it was difficult to fill the tank. I could never get it full.

A few months ago I took it in for its service and asked about the slow fill issue. I found out there is a known issue with the fuel tank having the vent lines on the side which is what was causing the issue. I was told it is a freightLiner issue and there was a "Service Solution" to care for the issue. The Service Solution Number is 3443. There was never a full recall issued for this issue.

Originally, this Service solution would take care of the issue if you were under warranty and if you werent, Freightliner worked with some customers to still cover some part of the repair. The last post I found where this was true was in 2011.

I sent a letter to the CEO of frieghtliner and a service administrator replied saying that despite my unit having such low mileage and i was the second owner, the unit is too old (13 Years) so they will not honor the service solution.

So here is the net,

Tank for the Service Solution = $1500 + $200 in shipping to the service center

Installation - TBD = estimated at $160 an hour x 5 to 8 hours = $1280

I am not sure why the previous owner never had this fixed but i can only guess its because they didn't use the unit very much. it had just over 20,000 miles on it when I purchased it a year ago.

So, basically, this poorly designed tank, which Freightliner admitted was an issue is costing me $3000 and I got a too bad so sad response from Freightliner. I even asked them to split the cost with me and or at a minimum split the cost of install and they declined.

I'm positive others have this issue, some have been fixed and others not. You can still order the parts needed. Just give the last 6 of the vin and they will tell you if your unit was impacted but its 100% at your expense to get it fixed.

Frustrating to say the least, especially when you spend so much money for a vehicle like this!

What ever happened to maintaining the customer experience because you know if you do you are likely to get more business from them in the end as a repeat customer?
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:10 PM   #2
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If it was my RV, I'd drop the tank and add a new vent in the top of the tank. Not sure why you'd have to install a new tank, just modify what you've got. Also, I've never seen a tank remove and reinstall that required up to 8 hours of labor. I've dropped tanks on buses, vans, and cars and can't imagine what's taking them so long.

In fact, I removed a tank from a school bus in a junk yard and installed it as an auxiliary tank to tne one that was there. In 8 hours I had it mounted and an electric valve to switch from one tank to the other. I also was able to wire the fuel level sender to switch the gauge reading to whichever tank it was drawing from.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:40 PM   #3
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I did have my 2006 FCCC chassis fuel tank replaced probably back in 2009 as I saw the program on iRV2. Since I was under warranty, FCCC picked up the cost.

My issue was that the poor venting resulted in back-splash of diesel while you were filling. I'd be there manning the nozzle (especially on the passenger side fill) and all of a sudden, a splash of diesel would shoot out, and at one point, drenching me.

Now with a new tank, the drenching issue is mainly fixed. The vent pipes still sometimes fill with diesel (you know when you start to hear a gurgle when you fill) and I have to go under the coach to unhook the vents and drain them. That's usually about once a year.

Even with the fix, you cannot fill the tanks. On paper, I have a 100 gallon fuel tank. It really holds only about 60 gallons.

Before you spend $3000, you should try to clear out the vent lines. Unhook the hose clamp and either drain or blow some compressed air through them. That may solve some of your problems. But I don't think you'll ever be able to fill those tanks to their stated capacity.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:19 AM   #4
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I was going to drop the tank myself. Doesn't seem all that hard. I could not get the front end up high enough to get the tank out. I built ramps but they kept sliding when I got near the top so I thought I would use the leveling jacks once I got close to the top of the ramp and found a bubble in the hydraulic line while I was under there so aborted the whole thing. I'd rather not pay all that money for something I can do but I also do have the right tools to do it.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:03 AM   #5
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I discovered I can fill my tank from the passengers side. I loosen the drivers side fuel cap then refuel from the right.

I can slowly and I mean slowly from the drivers side but I must insert the nozzle inverted keeping the shutoff port to the top. Because of this I use the right hand fill.

The problem on my coach is the fill hose has almost no drop and two nearly ninty degree bends causing the fuel to back up and shut off the nozzle.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:48 AM   #6
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I have the splash back issue too and I've tried all of the tricks mentions on the forums. Tried tilting the nozzle, having both fill necks open, tilting the RV with jacks, etc. I've heard the new tank eliminates all of those things. I purchased the tank already. I just need to get the old one out and new one in at this point.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parda03 View Post
I have the splash back issue too and I've tried all of the tricks mentions on the forums. Tried tilting the nozzle, having both fill necks open, tilting the RV with jacks, etc. I've heard the new tank eliminates all of those things. I purchased the tank already. I just need to get the old one out and new one in at this point.
Please post photos of your new tank and perhaps the old one when you get it out of the RV. I'm curious to see what changes in the new tank to eliminate the filling issues of the old one. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:22 AM   #8
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i have the same problem with my 2004 horizon I can get it mostly full but it really takes a long time to do. i have a feeling they only took care of people who complained . there is a forum post by someone with the same coach as mine and bought it new that they tried a new filler neck that was suppose to solve the problem but it did not. he finally got them to replace the tank which took care of the problem i think if it were an official safety recall they could not refuse to repair at their cost but it was a voluntary recall by Freightliner. It is pretty common for manufacturers to deny claims for known problems after the warranty is over. i am a furnace and A/C man and that happens all the time. if it fails in warranty they fix but even if they know the part is a problem they won't repair free after warranty is over.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:53 PM   #9
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Ours is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, it also has a filling issue. It basically fills pretty good, from either side until, it's getting close to full. Now, getting close to "full" could mean anything. But, it when filling and, it's within say, 3/4 plus or minus, the nozzle will click off. I then keep filling and, depending on the speed of the diesel flowing, it will continue to click off, several times, as it continues to put around 10-14 gallons more in it, 'till the level is right there at the opening.

It does this same procedure, pretty much every time. The last 10-14 gallons or so, take as long to put in as the initial 40-70. I would think that, if this was a vent issue, I'd have filling issues right from the start, not just during the last 10 or more gallons to top-off.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Ours is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, it also has a filling issue. It basically fills pretty good, from either side until, it's getting close to full. Now, getting close to "full" could mean anything. But, it when filling and, it's within say, 3/4 plus or minus, the nozzle will click off. I then keep filling and, depending on the speed of the diesel flowing, it will continue to click off, several times, as it continues to put around 10-14 gallons more in it, 'till the level is right there at the opening.

It does this same procedure, pretty much every time. The last 10-14 gallons or so, take as long to put in as the initial 40-70. I would think that, if this was a vent issue, I'd have filling issues right from the start, not just during the last 10 or more gallons to top-off.
Scott
According to parda03, the problem was the vent lines were mounted on the tank side. If that is the case, then filling would be fine up to the vent being submerged. Then the vent isn't a vent anymore and the fuel is displaced by air rushing up the inlet, slowing flow and triggering the nozzle off. That's why I'm curious to see photos of the old and 'updated' tank. If it's mostly relocating the vent(s) to the top from the side, many folks could save the $2000 tank and modify their old one.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Please post photos of your new tank and perhaps the old one when you get it out of the RV. I'm curious to see what changes in the new tank to eliminate the filling issues of the old one. Thanks!
I should have taken a picture of the new tank. I have to go by the shop where it is sitting this weekend so I will get a picture and when the old one gets pulled out I will get a picture of that one too as I plan to keep it, maybe fix it by moving the vent, then use it as a spare tank at the house to fill my tractor or sell it . If someone knows how to do the work and wants the old tank, let me know and I will make you a good deal. New tank was 1700 including shipping.
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:39 AM   #12
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On our F450 we have the same issue with the last part of the tank filling. I have upon occasion used a 5 gallon jerry can to fill the top. Once the nozzle shuts off in the tank I fill the jerry can and pour the fuel in from it. Since the fuel is not foamed from the jerry can it will pour in without issues. Have to be careful and listen to the fuel in the tank. Once it is full it is full and anything extra is on the ground.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:10 AM   #13
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Ok folks, here is the update. New tank is in and I can fill to the top no problem! Doesn't shut off till it is full! I don't have to open the other side or hold anything at a special angle. Works on full speed at big rig truck pump and reg pump! Took me no time at all to fill up from a little under 1/8 tank. Old tank would have taken 30 minutes to get to 3/4 with all of the click offs even at the slowest speed and I'd often have to hold it cause it would click off before I could get to the first lock on the handle.

Grand total was $3,200. $1,700 for tank and shipping and another $1,500 for labor and additional parts. All new hoses, fill necks, vent lines.

I still think freightliner could have stepped up here and done something but it is what it is. I will send the CEO another letter.

Now I get the full capacity of my tank so an extra 25 gallons which is a big deal when you are getting 6 to 9 MPG in a long trip.

I will go pick up the old tank Thursday and then will post pictures of both tanks so you can see what they changed and I will do my best to write a description as well!

Worth the money spent? They say time is money and if I don't have to spend 30 minutes to fill up and can fill up less often so there is less of a hassle then maybe it is worth it. when you are on a 15 day trip across the country or a full timer constantly on the move , every time you have to stop costs in one way or another. Time and value are different for everyone!

If possible, I may fix the old tank and make it available which could save someone some money. Let me know if your interested!
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
According to parda03, the problem was the vent lines were mounted on the tank side. If that is the case, then filling would be fine up to the vent being submerged. Then the vent isn't a vent anymore and the fuel is displaced by air rushing up the inlet, slowing flow and triggering the nozzle off. That's why I'm curious to see photos of the old and 'updated' tank. If it's mostly relocating the vent(s) to the top from the side, many folks could save the $2000 tank and modify their old one.
I'll send pictures once I pick up old tank. Im told vent lines are on the side and the issue is as you described here. One exception, the foam from filling can cause the same issue as having the diesel full to the vent lines so the pump will click off when the foam gets to a certain level and the air seemed to push back through the filler neck as opposed to the vent lines clicking off the pump
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:42 PM   #15
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As promised here are the pictures of the old tank and the new tank. Notice where the fill tubes and vents are located, on the side of the tank several inches from the top. Hopefully this will help everyone with these units understand why they have a slow fill issue and can't get their tanks full

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Old 04-24-2017, 03:54 PM   #16
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Thanks for the photos, I can see why the old tank had a problem. Someone with some welding skills could move the openings to the top of the old tank for much less than $2,000.
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:33 PM   #17
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Thanks for the photos, I can see why the old tank had a problem. Someone with some welding skills could move the openings to the top of the old tank for much less than $2,000.
I agree. I can move them if anyone is interested in the tank or if someone else wants to move them I would make them a great deal!
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:01 AM   #18
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Yep, no drop and two ninety degree bents equals fill trouble! The reason I use the truck service and fill from the right.

Glad your problem is fixed. Now, if we can get Freightliner to pay for the fix.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:17 PM   #19
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Yep, no drop and two ninety degree bents equals fill trouble! The reason I use the truck service and fill from the right.

Glad your problem is fixed. Now, if we can get Freightliner to pay for the fix.
It didn't matter what side i filled from, it was a no/go. I wish they would offer some contribution to the fix. Its a clear design issue and they acknowledged it and even created a program to fix it. They did pay for some replacements and then paid for partial repairs for others but they say my Unit is too old now so the program to fix the issue wont be honored.

I'm in the customer support business and if you are really focused on customer experience and return business, when you know the issue is yours you do what's right.

Filling up on my last trip was fantastic! Didn't take long at all and tank was full without all of the cut off problems!
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