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Old 07-20-2013, 11:36 PM   #1
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Filling fresh water tank woes, redux

Still can't fill the fresh water tank on my 09 20'FC. I can force feed about 1/4 of a tank (according to the AS systems monitor). No matter which way or how fast or with a variety of devices and hoses will the tank fill. Water backs up and blows back out the filler tube. An RV mechanic inspected it (pulled off the fill plate and checked the tubes and inspected the top of the tank with a mirror from inside). He determined the return air vent on top of the tank (or hose where it fits on the tank) is crimped, not allowing air to vent as I fill the tank. Mucho dollars to repair (remove struts, drop the tank). Anyone had any experience with dropping the tank on this model? Placement at the rear under the kitchen makes interior access difficult or is there a way? May try to tackle myself (I'm a sick man). Jeff
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:33 AM   #2
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Jeff, any chance of forcing a very stiff tube down the vent to function as an Airstream stent?
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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Are you sure it is not full? These monitors are known not to be very accurate. Have you tried emptying it and then filling to see how much IS going in? JMHO
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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Reduce the flow of the filling hose. Thus allowing the air to come up and out of the filler tube.
If the vent tube is pinched, slowing the rate at which you fill the tank will allow the air to escape and not blow the water out of the filler tube.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:47 AM   #5
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People have had this problem before with the 20 - in fact I had the same thing with mine - a 2007. Not certain but think there is a problem with the way the filler pipe is routed. Best thing to do is give Airstream a call. If you do a search you might find additional info on here.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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Jeff, any chance of forcing a very stiff tube down the vent to function as an Airstream stent?
Thanks but the filler tube is too bent. A thought though is to put a small flexible neoprene hose down the filler tube to act as the stent and bypass the original vent. Might be the ticket. Leave the small neoprene tube above the water level. Tried everything else might as well give it a whirl. Thanks for the tickle. I'll let you know.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Al - K4GLU View Post
People have had this problem before with the 20 - in fact I had the same thing with mine - a 2007. Not certain but think there is a problem with the way the filler pipe is routed. Best thing to do is give Airstream a call. If you do a search you might find additional info on here.
I did the search and found others with the same problem but not the same model and no resolutions that would work in my case. I heard that about the routing of the filler tube but I routed flexible neoprene beyond the bend into the tank. That's how I can get at least a little water in until it backs up into the tube. Thanks.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=RLS;1329492]Are you sure it is not full? These monitors are known not to be very accurate. Have you tried emptying it and then filling to see how much IS going in? JMHO[/QUOTE
Thanks. Yes I tried that. Like everyone else I don't trust the monitor. Like the stent idea best so far.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:32 AM   #9
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Reduce the flow of the filling hose. Thus allowing the air to come up and out of the filler tube.
If the vent tube is pinched, slowing the rate at which you fill the tank will allow the air to escape and not blow the water out of the filler tube.
Thanks. Tried that at multiple flow rates. Even at a trickle with a slanted-end hose filler at various depths water will back up into the tube and eventually blow out the filler cap (even knocking out the attached cap stay and blowing out the small hole). Even with a neoprene hose clear inside the tank. Makes no difference. It blows back with force too. Makes a rumbling noise followed by a long hissing noise as air tries to escape through the vent. Will try the "stent" suggestion by inserting a smaller neoprene tube through the filler tube, keeping the end above the water level to see if I can bypass the original vent which obviously is pinched or otherwise disabled. Thanks to Drathaar for the idea.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:40 AM   #10
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You also could add an intake port to the line to your fresh water tank by cutting into the line between the pump and the tank. Of course you would have to have a check valve in it, and use pressure hose to fill it and be sure that some air venting is done by the original input lines.

But, it another possibility.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:49 PM   #11
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Could this be the beginning of the end? $3 worth, two 3-foot sections, different diameter flexible clear vinyl hose to serve as a (stent) bypass airway for the fresh water tank. Out of town this week (golf). Able to try it out the fix a week from tomorrow. Stay tuned! If this doesn't work, looks like the checkbook is next. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

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Old 07-29-2013, 08:48 PM   #12
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Success! First time the fresh water tank has been full. Solution: First of all emptied the fresh water tank and checked the status monitor. Empty. Then ran a neoprene hose all the way into the tank with a funnel attached at the filler end. Ran the smallest diameter neoprene hose I bought alongside the filler hose to act as a vent, bypassing the original vent. As I added water I adjusted the length of the air vent hose until the water flowed in freely instead of backing up the tubes. Kept up a steady flow (with no blow-back) until the tank was full. Taped the two tubes together to maintain the proper depth next time I fill the tank. The bypass air vent tube idea would not work unless I ran a tube all the way into the tank. checked the status monitor. Full (for the first time)!

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Old 07-29-2013, 09:29 PM   #13
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I'm not sure of the floor plan of your trailer, but I have been in several and have never seen one that most of the filler tubing could not be reached from inside the trailer.

Under the wardrobe or behind a cabinet. The interiors are installed very simply, and there are lots of voids and hidden spaces.


Best of luck.

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