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Old 05-28-2009, 06:59 AM   #1
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Capt Skup
Shame on someone at the factory, tank leak

Noticed recently a rather unpleasant smell emitting from the trailer since it has warmed up. I could smell it inside too. Come to find out it was entering the trailer from a floor vent(heater) near the entrance door. Opened up the basement(fifth wheel) and whoa, what a stench. Obviously I had a leak somewhere in the sanitation system(poop tank and/or plumbing. When flushing the black tank I saw liquid(yech!) draining from the belly pan enclosure. Well time to become an investigator. I Removed all the fasteners(if anyone remembers from my past posts, on our first road trip with the Sunline I almost lost this 20 something foot sheet of steel due to a nitwit using undesized fastners to secure it to the framerails), lowered the panel, finding it coated in something not to pleasant. I scrubbed it down with a liberal dose of Simple Green and the bottom of the black tank, too. So I started filling the black tank to look for the leak. Surprise! Surprise! What did I find? That the tank had previously been patched over the leak, which is in one of the dimples on the bottom of the tank. Now I am the original owner, I know I have not applied a patch on the tanks before. So how did that leaking patch get there? Hmmm? Someone at the factory? So I am going to probably use Eternabond tape to patch the hole, I think my best option. Happy Camping
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:14 AM   #2
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Re: Shame on someone at the factory, tank leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Skup
Noticed recently a rather unpleasant smell emitting from the trailer since it has warmed up. I could smell it inside too. Come to find out it was entering the trailer from a floor vent(heater) near the entrance door. Opened up the basement(fifth wheel) and whoa, what a stench. Obviously I had a leak somewhere in the sanitation system(poop tank and/or plumbing. When flushing the black tank I saw liquid(yech!) draining from the belly pan enclosure. Well time to become an investigator. I Removed all the fasteners(if anyone remembers from my past posts, on our first road trip with the Sunline I almost lost this 20 something foot sheet of steel due to a nitwit using undesized fastners to secure it to the framerails), lowered the panel, finding it coated in something not to pleasant. I scrubbed it down with a liberal dose of Simple Green and the bottom of the black tank, too. So I started filling the black tank to look for the leak. Surprise! Surprise! What did I find? That the tank had previously been patched over the leak, which is in one of the dimples on the bottom of the tank. Now I am the original owner, I know I have not applied a patch on the tanks before. So how did that leaking patch get there? Hmmm? Someone at the factory? So I am going to probably use Eternabond tape to patch the hole, I think my best option. Happy Camping
Capt,

Is the tank made of ABS? If so, in my opinion, the best option is to solvent weld the tank back together. I had to do this on my black tank, which had a very large crack in both the tank and the dump plumbing. If I took the time to sand down the repair area, you'd never know it was touched.

If you'd like, I could work up a little step-by-step procedure for you and others.

- Frank
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:23 AM   #3
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I wonder if it left the factory like that or maybe happened in transit or on the dealers lot. But the good thing is that you can fix it.

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Old 05-28-2009, 12:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanyonkitty
But the good thing is that you can fix it.
Even better is that fact that the leak is on the bottom of the tank, and other than getting some "dark" stuff on the underbelly sheild, nothing other than odor got into any of the wooden frame or insulation. From your original description, it sure sounds like a little Awesome and maybe some Clorox spray will totally deal with it after you make your final repairs.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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Frank, I just got back from Leo's vacation center over in Gambrills where I picked up a Eternabond(is that the correct spelling?) repair patch. I do have a stick of that two-part plastic weld so I am going to ruff up the area with sand paper, wipe it down with alcohol than apply the putty over the crack(will stop drill the ends), let it sit up than apply the sheet of patch material. Hopefully it will hold up, Eternabond is pretty good stuff. Next I have to run over to Lowes and get a couple of sheets of insulation board to replace the stuff that was ruined. The insulation that the factory installs in the heated area is pretty weak, not much to it. This will give me a chance to go overboard like I usually do with projects.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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I believe it left the factory that way. How would the sales people where you bought it know the blackwater tank had a problem since they never used it?
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:50 AM   #7
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I suggest if you ever have a holding tank leak, don't bother trying to repair it while installed if the leak is on the bottom of the tank. Gravity will work against you. I picked up a patching kit made for plastic holding tanks. Had a few sheets of fiberglass cloth and three packs of two-part epoxy. Followed directions, applied patch, results=still leaking. So I bit thet bullet, and removed the tank, flipped it over to remove the failed patch. Did it right this time, cleaned up all the mess, stopped drilled the crack, sanded and flamed the area. Bought from the marine store a two part flexible epoxy, West Systems 508 I think was the number. You mix it 50-50 resin/hardner. Cut sheets that would overlap the crack on each side by three inches. Mixed the epoxy, coated the crack and surrounding area, applied the cloth, saturating it. Wound up with three layers of cloth, well saturated. Cured in the sunlight. Patch looks good, I think I will have success with this one. Tonight I will begin the reinstallation. Hardest part will be reconnecting the stink pipe, routing back up to the roof fitting. I also bought from Lowes new insulation sheets, far better than what Sunline installed before the belly is closed back up.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:20 AM   #8
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Capt Skup
Well the tank is back in, I have the pipe to the toilet reconnected(second time I have had to cut that pipe, first was to replace rotted OSB flooring), reinstalled the dump valve, and now have the stink pipe reconnected. That stink pipe was the worst. What I wound up doing was removing the aft bulkhead in the front basement which gave me access to the pipe. It allowed me to reconnect it where I had to cut it to drop the tank. My plan is to fill the tank tonight(if it ever stops raining!) and do a thorough leak check. If all goes well I will install the insulation and the belly panel. Than maybe...we can get back to happy camping.
If you think the holding tank area of your fiver is well insulated from the factory it is not. I do have 2" blue foam block insulation stuck up against the inside frame rails but it looks like stuff left over just stuck in randomly and what the factory installs under the tanks looks more like cardboard than insulation. I will change all of that.
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