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Old 05-29-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
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Black tank leaking...

Hello all,

I was in the process of flushing out our black tank today and found a leak. The tank was full and I was trying to squeeze as much water into it, as I could. When it got to the full mark on the gauge, I ran it for a couple more minutes, hoping I'd be able to see when the pipe was filling up.

After what I considered too much time, I went outside to find out what was going on. I could hear water dripping down onto the aluminum underbelly and noticed it bowing down in the middle. I immediately dumped the black tank, but the damage was already done. Our toilet sits directly over the basement and has the 3" ABS pipe going down through the basement floor. The tank is located between the basement floor and the bottom of the trailer frame. It's at least a 24" space.

Since I've never see inside the underbelly, I wanted to ask how black tanks are normally vented. I never removed the black tank from the 299SR, so I did not see how that one was vented.

I'm guessing that maybe the black tank vent (If it has one) was where the overflow was coming from. If not, then perhaps the tank is cracked. Either way, I know the underbelly will have to come off. There is a layer of insulation board directly above it and it will need time to dry out.

Thanks in advance, for your help!


BTW: I'll get some pictures, but wanted to get the post out first.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:38 PM   #2
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With the temp hitting 95* today, I waited until this evening to drop the underbelly. What struck me first, was the outlet pipe for the front gray tank. It's quite a long run and has NO support whatsoever!



What I found next, was that the outside-rear tank hangers on the front gray tank were almost falling off.





You can see in the last pic, that there were even wires going OVER the tank! Those weren't the only wires, above that corner of the tank....



Yep.... That's the main battery cable, that goes from the converter to the battery! It too, was taking a short-cut across the top of the tank.

Once the wires were properly routed and the tank hangers actually screwed into solid wood, It was on to the fill tests, to determine which of the two tanks were leaking... When Kitty filled the front gray tank, I couldn't believe how far it bulged downward!



In this picture, you can see the tank sitting on the propane pipe, that goes across the frame...

Neither the front gray tank, or the black tank have support plates on the sides. When Kitty filled the black tank, water started pouring out the front-left side. That's the side with the slide and dump valves. If there is a separate vent for the black tank, I couldn't find it. I did find, that the left side of the black tank hangs down approximately 3/4" from the underside. Everything else is up tight against it. I'm wondering if that's by design, or because the tank is not properly seated on the down pipe. I could not get the camera in a position, to picture the left side of the black tank.

Tomorrow, after everything dries up, I plan to put some pipe strap on the front gray tank outlet pipe. I'll also attempt to drop the black tank. I don't know if the toilet pipe goes through a rubber flange.... If not, I'm not sure how I'll proceed. I could access the top of the tank through the floor in the basement, but I do not know how thick the floor wood is. Chances are, that it's the same 1/2" OSB that they used elsewhere on the trailer.

As far as insulation goes, there was a 1/4" piece of foamboard lying on top of the aluminum underbelly. There is also 1/2" pink foam, inside the frame rails. The only tank over the axles, is the 60 gallon fresh tank. Both gray tanks and the black tank, are forward of the axles. Anything carried in them, will add to the pin weight of the trailer.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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One thing I forgot to mention...

Whoever installed the tanks on this trailer, really did a poor job. Allowing wires to go between the tank and the underside of the trailer was a recipe for disaster. The tank hangers being screwed into only insulation, was incompetence. The gray tank pipe not being supported was inexcusable..


Not the kind of quality job, I would have expected from Sunline..
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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Gary

There almost has to be a tank vent. Go up on the roof and look for the stack. I "think" it is a RIVA code and a plumbing code. If not the thing will stink you to death every time your flush and the tank will not empty right.

The tanks vents are traditionally on top of the tank. Some go into a rubber grommet some are welded/compression fitting inserted. I have not actually seen mine but know of this from other units. So really do not know what method Sunline used to seal in the tank vent.

Seems you caught this before total chaos let loose.... WOW

I have a buddy with a Skyline and his tank vent dropped down about 3" into the tank. When the tank was 3/4 full the liquid would seal over the vent and the sewer gas would fly up the toilet every time he flushed to about run him out of the camper.... After he found the problem he went up on the roof, took the roof cap off and pulled the pipe up to be about 1/2 to 3/4" into the tank. In his case they had the rubber grommet type connection.

Good luck and keep us posted.

PS I have those same type flatter tanks. I never looked at then filled....

PS2 also sort of surprised your LP pipe gos through the compartment. Mine runs on the outside of the tank compartment but it is a TT too. I'm assuming there are no Tee fittings to supply connection in the actual tank compartment?
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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OK how in the world did you get the 5er up top next to the house? Kitty out their doing her back up skills again?


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Old 06-01-2011, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
Not the kind of quality job, I would have expected from Sunline..
One word...Leola.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:51 AM   #7
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John B,

Actually I had no part in backing the 5'er UP the driveway, Gary had it up there when I got home.

I am not real thrilled with the issues he is finding in the belly of this thing. And with the horrible heat, it's not pleasant to try to be out there working on it.

And I am also on a Sunny mission, I am in the process of "buffing" Sunny to remove the oxidation that has built up over the years of sitting on the stealers lot.

To the best of my recollection, our 5er was sitting on the stealers lot before I ordered the '06 2499, and I ordered the 2499 as soon as the '06 models were introduced. So we're guessing that the 5er sat on the dealers lot about 4 years.

Kitty
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
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OK how in the world did you get the 5er up top next to the house? Kitty out their doing her back up skills again?
When I put the 311 in the driveway, Kitty was rushing KD to the emergency vet. Wasn't difficult..

As far as the vent goes, I found it. It's located next to the step that leads up to the bed/bath area. I can tell it's got a rubber donut holding it in the tank, but could only move it 1/4" up or down. I didn't want to try and move it up far, for fear of damaging the cap on the roof.

Also, the propane pipe only crosses the underbelly. The only thing attached to it, is a ground strap.
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan View Post
One word...Leola.

Meaning?
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Meaning?

I was thinking the same thing
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:49 PM   #11
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Meaning?
It was built at the Leola plant. I never thought the Leola plant was that bad, it's just the only thing I could think of for the difference in quality. The Leola plant usually built 'different' products, meaning they built most of the Saturns, SRs, fifth wheels, etc. Denver built the main Solaris line for a while with very few SRs until they closed Leola. The Saturns, early SRs, and fifth wheels usually had different components and slightly different methods from the typical Solaris coach. The distribution was clear from 1996 to about 2003. Some models were built across plants before and a little after that, but I've never had a chance to compare identical year/models from the two different plants.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:18 PM   #12
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Maybe you could use this from Harbor Freight to look inside the black tank and see the bottom of the vent.



I have a similar one from Harbor Freight and found some loose screws and wirenuts in my ceiling. It is currently on sale for $119 but will be $79.99 on June 10 to 12.

Wireless Inspection Camera - Great Deals on Wireless Inspection Cameras at Harbor Freight
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
When I put the 311 in the driveway, Kitty was rushing KD to the emergency vet. Wasn't difficult..

As far as the vent goes, I found it. It's located next to the step that leads up to the bed/bath area. I can tell it's got a rubber donut holding it in the tank, but could only move it 1/4" up or down. I didn't want to try and move it up far, for fear of damaging the cap on the roof.

Also, the propane pipe only crosses the underbelly. The only thing attached to it, is a ground strap.
Well I see you have mastered the driveway...... Good deal!

The LP pipe and no connections in the enclosed area, good deal there too.

OK I see you found the tank vent. If you ever get it out let us know how they attached it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:01 PM   #14
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Gary,

How is it going with that tank? I feel bad I did not come over to help, but I spent the whole weekend watching my grandpa. If you are still working on it let me know, and we ride over when we can to help out.

Dave
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:15 PM   #15
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Gary,

How is it going with that tank? I feel bad I did not come over to help, but I spent the whole weekend watching my grandpa. If you are still working on it let me know, and we ride over when we can to help out.

Dave

No problem man!

I actually buttoned the underbelly back up and plan to tackle it at Buttonwood. Bill (Trailblazer) has an inspection camera, that we're going to use. We'll see how it goes!
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:40 PM   #16
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Thats cool. Those things are great. We have used them to look inside of equipment for troubles.

Dave
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