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Old 10-25-2009, 08:32 AM   #1
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SUN #961
Sunline Water tank and Pump problem-PLEASE HELP-

I will try to be clear and make this as brief as possible. I have a 1993 Sunline T2652 I just got. It was a park trailer and was used for 6 years in one spot seasonal by the owner I bought it from, therefore was hooked to the water supply. When I went to use the fresh water holding tank and pump (I didn't drain it first because the drain was clogged)Like an idiot I just filled it with fresh water and ran it through. Worked just fine and eventually the smaell went away. The stuff in there was horrible smelling. Kind of yellow. He told me that was antifreeze and each year they just drained it poured it back in the tank, shut it down and never ran the pump until next winterizing. Fine. So I run that out and three tanks of water over the course of a month (I kinda of backyard camp in the fall) and like to use everything as much as possible to keep things going on my campers. Setting seems to cause problems for me. Anyway, the water pump started to pump slowly this week. Very slowly to where it wold just run and no water comes out.. It was the original so I bought a new one. Same thing. I cannot get pressure to build and the pump seems to be trying way to hard and running way to long now. This happens on the hot and cold side. When hooking back to fresh water off the hose all is fine. The holding tank does have want appears to be mold in it for sure. Lots of it, But I poked the main line out of the tank and also blew it out. Could this be the problem that the outlet of the holding tank itself is clogging right away? the line to the pump seems clear and open If so, what do I do now. How can I clean a holding tank like this? I am going to need to do something for winterizing or I may end up just pumping from the pump from the bottles. Of course as it stands now I have no water really unless I use a hose line. thats a dissappiontent as I like camping in places that don;t have hookups too. I don't think the lines are clogged after the pump because it happens on the cold AND hot sides and also is O.K. when using water from the house hooked direct. I ran water from the house to try and blow out anything that might have clogged although it seems that both hot and cold lines to the faucets clogged would be kind of drastic. Could I have ruined two pumps running them too long dry?? Maybe there was nothing wrong with the old pump top begin with? Confused as I never had this happen before. Any suggestions? Thanks----john

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Old 10-25-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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Small Suggestion

I doubt it's the pumps.

If you still have the first pump you gan test it by using a bucket of water and simply connecting the pumps two wires to the teminals of you battery and watch it quickly empty the bucket. If this works it's not the pump.

Assuming it's not the pump it could be the voltage to the pump. Possibly you have a bad connection to the pump. You could measure the voltage across the pump, between the two pump wires.

First, I'd measure it when the pump is off. It shuld be equal to the battery voltage. Second, I'd measure witht the pump running. It should be lower than the battery voltage but I would guess not much more than a volt lower.

As to the cleaning the tank I would fill it with water and a cup of bleach and pump it thru your system and let it sit for a while. I would then pump the tank thru the system refilling the tank with fresh water and again pump thru the system repeating until the bleach smell is gone.

Hopes this helps start you down the road to solution

Norm and Ginny Milliard
1982 Sunline 15.5 SB
2004 Honda CRV 4 cyl, manual
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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SUN #961
Water pump and tank

The pumps seems to have more than enough power. It actually will fill the hot water heater and also fill the lines then stop. As I turn the water on it comes out pretty fast then quickly goes to slow and then stop if I run it long enough. At the pump wires I should see at least 10 volts, right? The trailer is plugged in and everything else has more than enough power. I am now wondering if there is a big piece of something maybe even silicone or something that wants to stay at the outlet of the rank and keeps blocking it or something. No way to tell really. I also noticed today that some of this crap in tank is almost like big flakes and some will fall off if I bang the tank. Doesn't seem to be real black at the bottom form them from what I can see though which is not much.I am wondering if there is a persistent piece or pieces that won;t stay away from the outlet. For sure this is getting on my nerves, and my wallet. I will do the bleach thing next. Thanks-------John
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:48 AM   #4
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My water tank is under the sofa and can be removed without too much difficulty. If your tank can be removed without too much problem, you might want to think about taking it out and using a garden hose to really flush out whatever crud is in there. Lots easier to clean when you can blast water in through the 1.5" opening for the fill spout and drain it the same way. And it is a sure way to be certain that all the crud is gone.

The line between the tank and the pump needs to be blown out. Disconnect at the pump end and use 30-40# of air to blow back into the empty tank. Borrow a small compressor if you have to.

It is also possible that there is some crud stuck in a water line downstream from the pump. Disconnect the trailer side plumbing at the pump and blow it out. Leave at least one faucet open before you do this so the pressure has somewhere to go. Cold side preferred so you don't just move the crud to the hot water tank.

Normal city water pressure should be about 40# in the system. Don't go any higher with your air compressor and you will be fine.

Regarding the pump operation, if you open one or more faucets wide open and leave them open, the pump may not be able to keep up with the flow and begin to sound like it is bogging down. The pump has a pressure sensor and runs as long as pressure in the system is lower than it wants. The way you are describing it, it sounds like the tank runs out of water and then the overheat protection shuts off the pump.

The pump needs to see 12 vdc or better up to around 14 or so. If your system is only producing 10 volts measured at the pump, there is a problem unrelated to the water system.

If both pumps behave identically, the problem is very likely elsewhere.

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Old 10-25-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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Hi Johncamps

First off welcome to Sunline Club. Glad to have you with us.

Now to your tank problems. It sounds like you are getting a clog into the pump from the tank. There are check valves in the pump that if they get dirt in them they will not seat and then it will keep loosing it’s prime and just sit and spin. I fought one of the Shurflo pumps once so I have worked thru the check valve dirt deal.

Before you go nuts trying to get the pump to work, then it becomes clogged up again, you have to deal with the tank. Now to the tank. What you are describing is a very big problem in my mind. Now I do work for a food company so I may be on the other end of spectrum on keeping water clean. However,

If you have green, smells bad, chucks you have a major bacteria problem. The microorganism count could be in the 10 to the 6th or 7th counts. As a fellow camper friend I would not recommend you even use that tank to wash your hands or dishes with. Water that heavily loaded can cause ill heath issues.

Now what do you do? Well it depends on how bad it is. Worst case, a new tank if cleaning cannot cure it. If you can see heavy green chucks and lots of them the normal camper sanitize may not work as the tank cannot get coated well enough all the way thru the crud. I do not know on your older model however on my 2004, T2499 the tank is held in by a metal frame and one side is bolted on. By unbolting the one side the tank will come out. If you have the tank out, then you can see all areas of it and deal with it out in the open.

You now have a 2” hole where the fill hose attaches, stand the tank up on end and try with a garden hose to blast down in there and break loose all the crud. Then turn it back over and let it run out the 2” hole. If you have a high pressure water washer, the wand may fit in that hole to help with the blasting.

Once you have tried getting it all out, then you can do a chlorine shock treatment to it. Fill the tank with about fresh water a few inches, add 1/4 cup per 15 gallons of water of unscented fresh bleach. Make sure it is unscented. If it is a 30 galls tank then you need 1/2 cup. Keep filling the tank. Let it then sit full for at least 3 to 4 hours. Then drain, flush 2 or 3 times with fresh water completely. If you can see the tank totally free of crud, then you may try to use it. It is a judgment call at this point. If there are any green or yellow curd masses left inside they will keep on growing. May have to repeat the cleaning until it is 100% crud free.

Once your past the OK I’m going to keep it and it is clean, then fill the tank with clean fresh potable water and add 1/2 cup of baking soda pre dissolved into it and let it sit for a day or 2. That will help get rid of the chlorine taste now embedded in the plastic. You can also do this step when you sanitize the entire camper.

Also before re-installing the tank check the fresh water fill hose for crud, the tank vent line and the pump suction hose. All 3 of them need the chlorine shock treatment as well.

Put your tank back on. Sunline has used food grade silicone on the large fill hose fittings. At least on mine. You can find food grade when it lists it for Aquarium use. Toxic to fish is just like toxic to humans. On the back in fine print it will state it meets a CFR number. Code of Federal Regulations. That number should takes you to the food grade regs. Do not use normal home Silicone it is not food rated. See this pic of where I bought some in Lowes/Home Depot. Sorry I can't remember which one. And only 1 carried it in our area.

Once the tank is totally clean then put it back in and redo the entire sanitize again for the camper. The tank will get a 2nd cleaning then too. Your camper is infected with the same bio load that came out of the tank. Drain and blow out the system before you sanitize the camper to get all the old water out 1st. Especially the hot water heater. If you need help on sanitizing the system, PTHutch has a good write up on it here on SOC. Have to dig a little to find it. If you can’t find it let us know, we can dig to find it too. I have to get back outside to finish up some things now or I would look too. The search featreu should trun it up. Search on "chlorine" or "bleach" should hone in on it.

Once word of caution, if you do decide to keep the tank in the camper and attempt to clean it, I would not let the crud water go thru the pump or the TT. You just put all that crud thru the pump and the check valves in the pump will not be happy. Nor you… plus you super infected the camper. Let it drain out on the ground some how.

Good luck, hope this helps and report back. We too learn from you on how you over came the problems.

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Old 10-25-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
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SUN #597
Re: Sunline Water tank and Pump problem-PLEASE HELP-

Originally Posted by johncamps
Kind of yellow. He told me that was antifreeze and each year they just drained it poured it back in the tank, shut it down and never ran the pump until next winterizing.
I hate to be the bearer of more bad news... but, I don't like the sound of yellow antifreeze. Before you spend all kinds of time cleaning out the old tank you should check with the previous owner what "brand" of antifreeze he used. If he says "Prestone" you'll need a new tank. There is a big difference between RV/plumbing antifreeze which is propylene glycol and automotive which is ethylene glycol. The RV type is always pink and not toxic. The automotive type uses various dyes from red to green to... yellow and is deadly. You likely don't have any left to test, but the automotive dyes are fluorescent and will show up nicely with a UV light--leak detection. Automotive antifreeze will kill anything it lands on. If you drained it on the ground and have a dead patch... that's your answer.

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Old 10-25-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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SUN #961
Water tank and pump problem

Thanks a lot everybody for the input on my problem here. Well, I did the blow out thing into the tank and yes, this cured the flow problem. Also, yes there is green crud on the screens of all my faucets and for sure a badly contaminated tank now that I finally got right down to it all. I will have to take it out I guess. I will winterize and take the tank out. Its a fairly easy get to as it is under one of the twin beds. I think I'll be ok if I use water through the system from the house for awhile and that should flush the lines out pretty well as far as a health hazard and then I can start again fresh with a clean tank. I don;t think it was auto antifreeze as it had a crummy smell not like auto antifreeze. Smelled like silicone actually when I first opened the faucets.This has certainly been a learning curve when buying a camper that was "parked" at a campsite for 6 years and not really used as a "camper". If the tank is in as bad a shape as the battery was, of course it has not been used very much. My old 86 Sunny still has a very clean tank!. Thanks again everybody and at least I have learned something. Now to work to correct it. ---John
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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Small thought

It's reasonable to use house water to flush the water pipes, particularly if you're on chlorinated city water and you don't have a filter on your water line. Though there isn't much chlorine in typical city supplies it will help kill anything eventually.

Anytime yu buy an RV, even new, there seems to be things to fix. I always look upon fixing as training for future problems.

Norm and Ginny Milliard
1982 Sunline 15.5 SB
2004 Honda CRV 4 cyl, manual
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