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Old 05-05-2016, 07:10 AM   #1
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Cannot fill fresh water tank

So we are on our first trip with our new to us 83 Excella. To my surprise and delight, everything seems to be working fine except for the simplest thing: we cannot fill the fresh water tank.

The campground where we are has city water, and that system is working fine. However, as we usually are at sites without city water, we decided to fill the water tank and use it, in order to calibrate how long the water supply would last us while boon docking.

I stuck the hose in the fill, turned the water on, and in about ten seconds the water started over flowing out the fill hole in a big way, and water was dripping underneath. I looked in the manual to see if there was some valve or procedure I was missing but it didn't say anything.

Anyone have any advice? Is there a vent somewhere I can get to without removing the belly pan? Do I need to run the water pump while filling the tank?

Of all the problems that I anticipated on our maiden voyage, simply filling the tank was definitely not on the list!

Thanks

Steve
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:18 AM   #2
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Check and see if the tank us already full. Sometimes they fill when hooked to city waster, a valve might be stuck. Turn the city water off and the pump on and see if you have water. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:19 AM   #3
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Sounds like the tank is already full!
Does your unit have the "autofill " feature?
if so, while hooked up to city water, turn on the autofill feature to see if it overflows like it does with the hose in the fill tube.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:28 AM   #4
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Thanks.

I don't know if there is an auto fill feature, but the manual and previous owner did not mention one. We tried filling the tank before hooking up to city water and that's when we discovered the problem. The fresh water level indicator says the tank is empty, but in my experience with older RVs is that these things are not always reliable. I'll disconnect the city water and try the system with the pump to see if the tank is already full later today. (Right now the rain is pouring down and I'm staying inside ).

Steve
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:29 AM   #5
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I agree with the others. Your tank may already be full. That sure is what it sounds like. Our 2005 Safari was known to mysteriously fill its own fresh water tank when hooked to city water at a campground. What made it strange is that it did not always do it.

I would shut off the city water and run water from the pump for a while. Then see if you can add water to the fresh water tank.

Brian
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:34 AM   #6
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My second thoughht is that the check valve in the pump is leaking and allowing a small amount of water to back flow into the draw tube from the tank thus filling it while on city water.
You can remove the pump head and try to clean any funk or accumulation in the valves.
Second... drop $80 on a new better pump. Surflo revolution is a great direct fit choice.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:58 AM   #7
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Well, things may have gone from bad to worse.

I found that if I turned the water fill hose on at a low rate of flow the water would not back up the fill pipe. Then I looked under the trailer and the tank was leaking on both ends at about the same rate as the water going in.

The tank runs crosswise near the axles. I'm told that when I drop the galvanized sheet it sits on, it drops out. True? If I get it out when I get home and the tank is shot, I'll try to find a replacement. Looks like more work than expense.

And the couple who sold us this were so nice. Lesson learned.
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:22 PM   #8
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Unless something drastic happened its unlikely the leak is that bad. Something doesn't sound right. Before you explore dropping the tank pan, check and make sure the fill hose is intact... Make sure a hose clamp isn't loose... Make sure the main drain plug hasn't failed (they do and they shrink) make sure the little hose between the tank and the drain petcock isn't shot... Make sure the draw hose is clamped tight. There are lots of fittings in the under closet area that could be fubar! Dropping the tank is unpleasant.
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:23 PM   #9
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I can't see direct correlation between not being able to fill the tank and the tank being cracked!
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LY007 View Post
So we are on our first trip with our new to us 83 Excella. To my surprise and delight, everything seems to be working fine except for the simplest thing: we cannot fill the fresh water tank.

The campground where we are has city water, and that system is working fine. However, as we usually are at sites without city water, we decided to fill the water tank and use it, in order to calibrate how long the water supply would last us while boon docking.

I stuck the hose in the fill, turned the water on, and in about ten seconds the water started over flowing out the fill hole in a big way, and water was dripping underneath. I looked in the manual to see if there was some valve or procedure I was missing but it didn't say anything.

Anyone have any advice? Is there a vent somewhere I can get to without removing the belly pan? Do I need to run the water pump while filling the tank?

Of all the problems that I anticipated on our maiden voyage, simply filling the tank was definitely not on the list!

Thanks

Steve
Hey Steve - We had exactly the same issue when we bought our '88 Excella - bugged us for the whole season!

THIS FIXED IT FOR US: Take off the fill cap for the freshwater tank - notice that there is a little plastic pin/bung attached to the plastic string that keeps the cap from getting lost (about half way along).

Gently remove the plastic pin/bung from the hole - now fill your tank (with hose at 1/2 pressure). The pin/bung seems to allow the air out as the water goes in!

When tank full, replace bung and cap!

I'll get a photo/video tomorrow to demonstrate if you can't work it out!
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:59 PM   #11
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There should be a couple of those holes. One bigger is the actual vent the other is where the tether for the cap goes.
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LY007 View Post
So we are on our first trip with our new to us 83 Excella. To my surprise and delight, everything seems to be working fine except for the simplest thing: we cannot fill the fresh water tank.

The campground where we are has city water, and that system is working fine. However, as we usually are at sites without city water, we decided to fill the water tank and use it, in order to calibrate how long the water supply would last us while boon docking.

I stuck the hose in the fill, turned the water on, and in about ten seconds the water started over flowing out the fill hole in a big way, and water was dripping underneath. I looked in the manual to see if there was some valve or procedure I was missing but it didn't say anything.

Anyone have any advice? Is there a vent somewhere I can get to without removing the belly pan? Do I need to run the water pump while filling the tank?

Of all the problems that I anticipated on our maiden voyage, simply filling the tank was definitely not on the list!

Thanks

Steve


Like others, my first thought was the tank was full and you were believing the meter which in my case goes red if you take a thimble full of water out.

The water running out the ends though sounds different.

My suggestion is to get down under an open the drain for the fresh water tank and see how much comes out. Pretty easy to tell if it is empty or not.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:05 PM   #13
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Check if the low point drains are open.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:15 AM   #14
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There is a big drain hole on the bottom of the tank...at least there was on my '89. First time I filled, it poured water...thought it was a tank failure. I removed the access plate (4 screws on pan) and found the bung was loose. PO had loosened it for winterizing. ..not necessary but that was his routine.
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