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Old 03-28-2007, 11:33 AM   #1
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Pretty soon I am going to be known as Mr. Leak: exhaust leak, hydraulic line leak and now fresh water tank leak. Today I dutifully checked the underside of the Journey to be sure the recent hydraulic leak was still fixed (it is) and noticed another puddle a little further forward. I crept underneath and saw a water drop falling from the back driver side corner of the fresh water tank every few minutes.

I called Winnebago and they told me that the "plastic" tank (he called it a bladder) rarely leaks and that I should pull the front inspection plate to see if any of the line connections were leaking. The plate location is obvious at the front of the tank as there is a 90 degree elbow which is the tank exit line when you want to empty the water from the tank. There are only three tank connections and everything was tight and dry.

There is a thin piece of sheet metal that appears to tack welded to the tank steel support angles. This sheet metal acts as a cover to protect the bottom of the water tank. The water is seeping through the small space between the bottom of the sheet metal and the top of the angle iron. I backed off a few of the bolts that go through the angle iron located at the engine end of the tank to see if water would spill out and it did not. In fact that space was dry.

The sheet metal is rusting pretty badly along the outer edges and maybe this leak explains the rust. But this is the first time that I have noticed a water puddle and I think I would have noticed as I check underneath pretty frequently.

I called the local Winnebago dealer and he said there is an overflow hose mounted at the top of the tank and that might be the source of the trouble. The tank gauge says the tank is full. I checked the plumbing diagrams and saw the over flow line on page 8 of 8. It appears to sit relatively adjacent to the tank fill line; both connections are mounted into the top of the tank. I was not able to get my hand up there through the front access hatch. Winnebago told me it is not possible to access the overflow plumbing fittings from the top of the tank through the floor. Is this correct? Is there any secret hatch?

So if the tank is not leaking then the water seeping out must be accumulated spillage water being contained by the metal tank shroud. I am assuming that the source of this water is from either a loose filler hose tank connection or a loose overflow tank connection. If that is the case then eventually this water should all seep out and the so called leak will disappear until the next filling.

Has anyone else had this problem?
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:33 AM   #2
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Pretty soon I am going to be known as Mr. Leak: exhaust leak, hydraulic line leak and now fresh water tank leak. Today I dutifully checked the underside of the Journey to be sure the recent hydraulic leak was still fixed (it is) and noticed another puddle a little further forward. I crept underneath and saw a water drop falling from the back driver side corner of the fresh water tank every few minutes.

I called Winnebago and they told me that the "plastic" tank (he called it a bladder) rarely leaks and that I should pull the front inspection plate to see if any of the line connections were leaking. The plate location is obvious at the front of the tank as there is a 90 degree elbow which is the tank exit line when you want to empty the water from the tank. There are only three tank connections and everything was tight and dry.

There is a thin piece of sheet metal that appears to tack welded to the tank steel support angles. This sheet metal acts as a cover to protect the bottom of the water tank. The water is seeping through the small space between the bottom of the sheet metal and the top of the angle iron. I backed off a few of the bolts that go through the angle iron located at the engine end of the tank to see if water would spill out and it did not. In fact that space was dry.

The sheet metal is rusting pretty badly along the outer edges and maybe this leak explains the rust. But this is the first time that I have noticed a water puddle and I think I would have noticed as I check underneath pretty frequently.

I called the local Winnebago dealer and he said there is an overflow hose mounted at the top of the tank and that might be the source of the trouble. The tank gauge says the tank is full. I checked the plumbing diagrams and saw the over flow line on page 8 of 8. It appears to sit relatively adjacent to the tank fill line; both connections are mounted into the top of the tank. I was not able to get my hand up there through the front access hatch. Winnebago told me it is not possible to access the overflow plumbing fittings from the top of the tank through the floor. Is this correct? Is there any secret hatch?

So if the tank is not leaking then the water seeping out must be accumulated spillage water being contained by the metal tank shroud. I am assuming that the source of this water is from either a loose filler hose tank connection or a loose overflow tank connection. If that is the case then eventually this water should all seep out and the so called leak will disappear until the next filling.

Has anyone else had this problem?
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Has anyone else had this problem? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Haven't had that problem, but I have a leaking gray water tank if I get it close to full. Not sure which problem I would prefer...

My fresh water tank has an "access" cap apx 4" in diameter on top of the tank accessible above the battery compartment. When my coach was new, the cap leaked if the tank was close to full. Dealer solution was to seal the cap with silicone caulk (in spite of my specific request not to do that as before we started fulltiming I used that cap to add sodium dichlor to the tank to sanitize it). I removed the silicone and cut a gasket out of a sheet of rubber. After I put the gasket on, it has not leaked since. I wonder if you have such an access cap somewhere??
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
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You might check the four bolts that are screwed into the tank that are used for tank level sensing. I had a fresh water tank leak on my 2004 Journey 32T and found one of the these bolts leaking. I removed the bolt and resealed to stop the leak.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:38 AM   #5
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We have a 2002 36G and I found you can access part of the top of the tank from inside the second curbside storage compartment. If you look in that compartment, you'll see the green and white freshwater fill hose coming from the gravity fill location accross the top of the compartment and going down to the tank behind a black metal panel.

It's a tight squeeze, but if you crawl into that compartment and remove all the screws holding that panel in, you can then look down at the top of the tank. From there you might be able to check more of the fittings and even where the freshwater fill hose connects to the tank.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:55 AM   #6
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A good trick for checking those tight spaces that you can't see in or get your hand in is to use a mirror and a good strong flashlight. You often can hold the mirror at a right angle and shine the flashlight into the space, or even into the mirror and see the hidden surface. I have used this many times while working on cars or usually the MH.

The tip is to use a good sized hand mirror (I usually use the DW make up mirror. Just wipe the dirt off when you are done!)

Good luck, Sarge
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:26 AM   #7
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Today I took a second look at the tank and fittings and also discovered the access view to the top of the tank and its fittings.

Everything is dry as a bone and shows no sign of leakage. So I am going to wait and monitor the leak and try to determine if the tank is truly leaking. As the problem is solved I'll update. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:14 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SteveG:

I called the local Winnebago dealer and he said there is an overflow hose mounted at the top of the tank and that might be the source of the trouble.

Has anyone else had this problem? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your dealer is probably correct. It's a common problem. The plastic tube is too long that extends down into your tank and a siphoning action starts and sucks the water out. You can remove tube and shorten it so it's only an inch long or so.

If you fill your tank and not move the coach and it doesn't leak - the tube is too long.
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:55 AM   #9
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I know for a fact that the water tank has a overflow because I was setting up at a campsite and turned the valve to fill my water tank as it was low and got talking to the guy next door . I forgot I was filling my water tank and went around to get the auwing pulled out and a camper from acrosed the road came runnig up and said I has a leak coming from the water tank. I ran and shut the water off and went inside to see if any damage to the tank . It was full and bulging but no damage thanks to Winnie and there overfill valve. I have done dummer things before but letting 75 gallons of water drain on my campsite was on the top of the list. Hope this helps and makes your day some time you have a Seionior moment.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:34 PM   #10
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Since March 29 the dripping has slowed from one drip a minute to one drip in 3 minutes 12 seconds. So I think this is progress! But I won't re-fill the fresh water tank to determine if there is a hole in the tank until the dripping stops. My theory is still that water got trapped in the metal shroud somehow and that the tank does not have a hole. Hopefully this "theory" plays out. More later...
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:19 PM   #11
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Steve, if it is still dripping since the 29th, I think you have a leak.

Maybe try changing the pitch of the motorhome, is it in a nose up or down confiuration?

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Old 04-04-2007, 02:54 PM   #12
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Jim, The RV is level and that's Ok as we'll be rolling next week which will change things: dry it out or leak it up more. I lowered the driverside jacks initially to assist draining the water and it helped some. I am in no rush as it is not convenient now to repair it (if it needs repairing.) So still working the plan.

Thanks for the input; always appreciated. Steve
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:20 PM   #13
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Steve, had the same problem with my 36G Meridian. Drained tank, dropped flat panel to gain access. Found that cable operated tank drain valve was leaking at the fitting where it connects to the bottom of the tank.

Retorqued fitting with water pump pliers, and all is well. Not a big job - just a lot of bolts holding the tank cover on. (Make sure tank is emnpty before dropping panel) &lt;G&gt;
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:27 PM   #14
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Red T, Given both MH are both 2004 36G the designs should be pretty close. I took off the inspection access which is in the front (vertical)wall of the tank and could see the drain connection to the tank. Infact, there is a 90 degree drain fitting that is mounted so that the inspection plate has to be contoured to fit over it. Is your design the same? I could not see or feel any water around this outlet.

I did loosen all the bolts (about hald way) that holds the bottom shroud cover in place except the front ones (did not want to have the tank move at the front and damge the connections)and no water ran out.

It appears that the tank is held in place by cross bars and the bolts just remove the bottom shroud cover?

Thanks for the input. Look forward to seeing how well our designs match up
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:34 AM   #15
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Once again I am indebted to the forum members for their assistance in helping with my fresh water tank leak repair. Red T gave the best clue as I eventually discovered we had exactly the same problem: a loose drain line connection. Trouble with this particular leak is that it cannot be seen from the inspection port; the bottom tank cover must be removed. As this cover supports the tank, the tank MUST be emptied prior to removing the cover. The cover is not hard to remove, just a gillion bolts and it's on the heavy awkward side. I used a small hydraulic floor jack to support the covers weight and then after the last bolt was removed it broke loose and I just lowered it down and rolled the cover out of the way.







Spotting the leak was easy. There was still a drip of water on the black tank connector pipe along with some calcification. I checked the rest of the tank just to be sure but that was the only leak. The drain line starts with a 90 degree elbow protruding through the inspection port cover. This elbow is mated to the drain valve; the drain vale is mated to a threaded coupling. The threaded coupling halves were stuck together (a small dab of PVC glue) so it took a little prying to get them apart. Once there were two haves the 90 degree end of the line moved out of the way and the short black tank connector pipe can be easily screwed out of the tank. The black tank connector pipe that screws into the threaded tank drain stub out was very loose, thus the leak.




I cleaned up the threads and applied a thin layer of Teflon tape to help seal the threads. I screwed the black connector pipe back in and hand tightened it. Then I noticed the coupling was not now lined up. The tank had slipped down some. I tried to push up the tank and thread the coupling but I couldn't exert enough leverage and in a jack knifed position I was concerned that I might cross thread the coupling. So I backed off and went and found my hydraulic bottle jack. I used a piece of lumber between the jack head and tank to protect the tank and then carefully and gently jacked the tank back in place until the coupling faces aligned. The coupling screwed together as easy as a well oiled bike pedal spins!






Then I ground off the rust that had accumulated around the outside edges of the cover and then painted the cover with some rust protection paint for raw mental and then finished it off with some flat black. Finally I refastened the cover with the gillion bolts.

Tank leak is now repaired. I have some additional photos at the IRV2.COM photo gallery.
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