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Old 03-31-2014, 02:11 PM   #1
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2011 23' FB Flying Cloud
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Fresh Water Tank Leak

It is unbelievable to me that Airstream allows their name to be associated with such inferior work. Now that i have vented.

I recently purchased a 2011 Flying Cloud 23FB. I've never used it. Didn't know it had a leak until we got it home and filled with water. it drips once about every second. I've checked all of the external connections including the drain plug underneath. We cannot visibly determine where the leak is. So I assume the tank cover needs to be removed before further inspection. My question is this: Should I take it to a dealer and pay the $700 that it will take to get this repaired or attempt to do it myself. Anyone with experience please include your suggestions or recommendations. Thank you!
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
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Not that they're perfect but why blame Airstream for a 3 year old trailer you just bought that has a leak.

Anyway, welcome to the fellowship. Are you sure the leak is coming from the water tank and not from somewhere else nearby? Could the tank have been filled with too much pressure that is forcing a leak at a fitting, drain it down some and see if it leaks.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Cruzin View Post
It is unbelievable to me that Airstream allows their name to be associated with such inferior work. Now that i have vented.

I recently purchased a 2011 Flying Cloud 23FB. I've never used it. Didn't know it had a leak until we got it home and filled with water. it drips once about every second. I've checked all of the external connections including the drain plug underneath. We cannot visibly determine where the leak is. So I assume the tank cover needs to be removed before further inspection. My question is this: Should I take it to a dealer and pay the $700 that it will take to get this repaired or attempt to do it myself. Anyone with experience please include your suggestions or recommendations. Thank you!


Where is the water dripping onto the ground from? That knowledge would help us give you advice as to how to trace it. If you can't see it, lay on the ground with your head in the puddle and look up. You will find out in 1 minute or less.


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Old 03-31-2014, 03:36 PM   #4
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Step back for a bit.

It is too early to tell. Drain the tank and wait of the drip to stop. This may take some time depending if the insulation, other than at the tank got wet. The tank is encased in Styrofoam and will not hold water. Once thing have settled down slowly fill the tank through the line that feeds the pump. Disconnect at the pump and make a connection to a garden hose. By back weeding the tank this way you are eliminating the fill tube, which may be loose at the tank connection. If it leaks this way you know it is the tank.

Once you determine if it is the tank and not the fill tube you can decide what to do.

If it is the tank and you have the ability to drop the belly pan do so and look around. An ABS tank can be fiber-glassed. Not sure about a poly tank.

$700.00 without them even knowing waht the problem is sounds like a Profit Center to me
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums! Have a good look around here and you'll find lot's of Airstream gripes that probably make Wally spin in his grave. Fortunately, there is this community of die-hard enthusiasts who will offer support, advice, and maybe even a little expertise.

For your water leak, the good news is that there are very few "penetrations" in the tank that are supposed to be there--the fill port, the breather tube, the pump connection, and maybe, possible, a drain. So if the dripping is occurring at a point opposite of where the above connections connect, you may have an unintended penetration, so to speak (ie., tank split due to freezing, screw unintentionally run into the tank, etc.). One thing you might try is to drain the tank, wait for all dripping to cease, and then connect the trailer to the "city water." Your water tank should be isolated from the city water, so if you see your leak start up again, then you will know that it is not the tank that is leaking, its some plumbing line.

good luck!
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
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Thanks Doug...Yes, pretty sure that the leak is from the tank or one of the fittings that goes into the tank. At this point, it doesn't matter. I'm trying to decide whether or not this job is for a professional. I am capable of making repairs but don't want to open up a can of worms just to save a few bucks?
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:09 PM   #7
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The leak is on the driver side and is coming out where the metal plate covers the larger drain plug. I remove the plate, that is how I know.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:11 PM   #8
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That is a good idea. I will do that tomorrow.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:15 PM   #9
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All good advice. I appreciate your input among a few others. I called AS and got a Fresh Water system diagram that may help. Thank you!
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:18 AM   #10
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Problem Found with Fresh Water Tank

We finally located the source of the leak. It was at the tank fitting for the Water Pump at bottom side of the tank. There are two solutions. First is to use a product like Marine Tex which is a two part marine epoxy like product that dries hard. Second is to remove the entire tank and of course it is the least desirable. I've elected to try and make the repair. Not sure the attached photo downloaded but if it did, check out the fitting. This was cause by sloppy installation at the Airstream factory. What else?Click image for larger version

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Old 04-02-2014, 11:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 1Cruzin View Post
We finally located the source of the leak. It was at the tank fitting for the Water Pump at bottom side of the tank. There are two solutions. First is to use a product like Marine Tex which is a two part marine epoxy like product that dries hard. Second is to remove the entire tank and of course it is the least desirable. I've elected to try and make the repair. Not sure the attached photo downloaded but if it did, check out the fitting. This was cause by sloppy installation at the Airstream factory. What else?Attachment 208822

Did you have to drop the tank cover in order to get the access shown in the picture?


The problems of sloppy assembly are not unique to Airstream. It is very common in the RV industry. Prior to my Airstream, I bought a brand new Casita, followed several years later, by a brand new Bigfoot. Both required things that had been hastily and sloppily be put right. Both had cross threaded and or improperly sealed plumbing fittings that needed repair.


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Old 04-02-2014, 11:40 AM   #12
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Huh...it looks like the "spun-on" fitting has separated from the tank. If so, you will be trying to glue HDPE to HDPE, and not very many things stick to HDPE. Regardless, its worth a try--easier than dropping pulling the tank. The other thing to check, is whether that line to the water pump is putting a bind on the tank fitting. You might also want to put a longer hose in that section so that it has a little slack and isn't pulling on the fitting.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:58 PM   #13
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Smile Fresh water tank leak

I have 2011 23 FB International serenity and had the same fresh water leakage issue. Fortunately it was under warranty. The dealer told me that leak was at the connection of the drain pipe. They removed the tank send it to place where they re-spun the fitting (this was there wording). They installed the tank with new insulation. We love our unit already have over 10,000 miles and planning to go to Alaska this summer. Good luck
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:05 AM   #14
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Thank ken, I did NOT drop the tank. I gained access by cutting away a necessary portion of the galvanized cover pan from the bottom. It was somewhat difficult but do-able. I'll find out this morning if my efforts were successful. I'll refill the tank and then check for leaks.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:09 AM   #15
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Hello Zia, I appreciate your feedback. I am new to the world of RV-ing and have quite an introduction since we purchase the 2 year old (2011) FC 23FB from a fellow eighty miles away. I should have turned it over to the dealer but then I would not have learned as much as I did by jumping in and attempting the repair ourselves. Glad your repair went well. Thanks again.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:02 PM   #16
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Good advice. Got up this morning to refill the tank and check the leak. One step forward and two backward. Now the drain fitting is leaking. The original leak is fixed with the Marine Tex. Wow! that is good stuff. I'll go through the same repair process to repair the drain fitting. After that and it still leaks, I'm taking it to the dealer.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:47 AM   #17
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Fresh water tank leak at the fitting

Just had my fresh water tank replaced at Airstream NW in Portland yesterday. Same symptom of a very slow drip as reported by others. 2010 FC 25FB I'm the original owner.
While the dealer said they do not see many tank replacements it does seem like a few folks have had compromised fresh water tank fittings? The tech said the other one looked weak as well. Other possible causes mentioned by the tech might be road vibration...
Pricey replacement.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:42 AM   #18
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They fail because the plumbing connection nipples were over torqued and bottomed out at the factory. The fitting eventually fails due to the stress and you have to replace the tank. This appears to be a reoccuring issue in certain years.

On mine, you could clearly see where the nipple was bottomed out so bad that it eventually cracked the boss and tore it from the tank. The tank replacement is a big job.

I replaced mine myself. Here's a thread which includes some photos of the failure. (lots of photos of the problem and the fix) Not only were the plumbing connections over-torqued so were the bolts on the mounting straps. Looks like the good country folks that build these things like to "ranch it down tight"!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ng-114716.html
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:19 AM   #19
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I have a 2011 FB 23' with this same issue. I can see the location of the slow drip. I'm going to seal mine to eliminate (or at least reduce) the leak for an upcoming trip. If it still leaks after that, I'll decide whether to replace the tank.

Thanks to all the comments and info!! Very helpful!
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Step back for a bit.

It is too early to tell. Drain the tank and wait of the drip to stop. This may take some time depending if the insulation, other than at the tank got wet. The tank is encased in Styrofoam and will not hold water. Once thing have settled down slowly fill the tank through the line that feeds the pump. Disconnect at the pump and make a connection to a garden hose. By back weeding the tank this way you are eliminating the fill tube, which may be loose at the tank connection. If it leaks this way you know it is the tank.

Once you determine if it is the tank and not the fill tube you can decide what to do.

If it is the tank and you have the ability to drop the belly pan do so and look around. An ABS tank can be fiber-glassed. Not sure about a poly tank.

$700.00 without them even knowing waht the problem is sounds like a Profit Center to me
I believe I overpressurized my tank filling it with water and popped a seam. I had a garden hose tightly fitted into the fresh water inlet and pulled it off in a big hurry when I saw the inside floor bulging upward. I got a 6 foot geyser of water out of the inlet.

In any event it leaks now and appears to be be getting worse. Leaks from the belly pan port and starboard for several days. I will try the fill through the water pump hose trick and see what happens.

If the leak turns out to be a fitting or line and not the tank is there a fix short of dropping the tank?

How big a job is dropping a tank on my 71?
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