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Old 04-12-2009, 11:10 PM   #1
Hedonistic Bohemian
 
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Noobie - how to fill fresh water tank?

I'm in my first 24 hours of having my Airstream (or any RV). It's a 2006 Safari 27 FB. I may have a number of question soon, but right now it's about the fresh water.

It isn't clear how to use the fresh system. I was expecting a fresh water tank bypass valve, but don't see one. Attached a hose w/fresh water to the fresh in but it doesn't seem to get to the system? Or fill the fresh tank?

There's an opening to add fresh water like from a jug, but it seems bogus to fill it that way with the hose. But it works and so far that's the only way I know to use water.

There are almost no manuals on how to use the Airstream, but a bunch on the various things Airstream installed. I'm not sure if those are just missing or you just don't get any.

Anyone know how this should work?

-CB-
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:22 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

If you can actually attach a hose to it, it is the city water inlet. The fresh water tank water inlet is behind a locked door. It does have a hose attachment, per se. I fill our with a regular garden hose sprayer. It just balances in the hole. There is also a commercial filler available that attaches to a hose.

Here is a photo of the setup on our 2005 25FB.

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Old 04-12-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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When you are connected to city water through the "City Water" inlet as shown in post #2, you will have fresh water from that source and you'll be using the water pressure of the city water system....you will not need your internal water pump when on city water. If you want to have water when not connected to the city water, then you will need to fill the fresh water tank through that opening you have discovered behind the small locked door (lower left in the picture posted in post #2...though I am not sure it's in the same location on your model...wherever it is, it will look the same). You fill it with a hose (a white fresh-water hose). You can buy fittings that allow you to attached the hose to the opening for filling rather than holding it in the hole if you want. Once it's full, you take the hose away, and you are set. Just turn on the internal water pump inside and you'll have fresh water from the fresh water tank using water pressure created by the water pump (which you will be able to hear running when you turn on a faucet). It's a snap once you understand how it works... Good luck! And enjoy your new toy!
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:53 PM   #4
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The one behind the door fills the tank, and I have to just hold the hose in there until if fills.

The one I can attach the hose to is labeled city water, but it doesn't put water out the faucets and stuff? It is hard to get the hose on and off that.

If the city water pressurizes the system, how does the system know not to use the tank/pump? What keeps that water from filling the tank, then pressurizing it and blowing it out the hole with the door? I was expecting a bypass valve, but I can't find one. There must be a simple thing I'm not getting.

=CB=
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:12 AM   #5
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[quote=Bohemian;686653]The one behind the door fills the tank, and I have to just hold the hose in there until if fills."

Yes, that is correct...or get a fitting that allows you to attach the hose to the water-fill port. When the tank is full it will overflow to the outside through the overflow tube/hole next to the fill port hole...and you're there...TB

"The one I can attach the hose to is labeled city water, but it doesn't put water out the faucets and stuff? It is hard to get the hose on and off that."

Yes, it will put water out through the faucets, toilet and shower using the city water pressure...check the treading to make sure it has not been damaged...it shouldn't be too hard to thread on...TB

"If the city water pressurizes the system, how does the system know not to use the tank/pump?"

When connected to city water, you do not need to have the pump turned on...it is not needed, as the city water pressure takes care of pushing the water through the system...TB

"What keeps that water from filling the tank, then pressurizing it and blowing it out the hole with the door? I was expecting a bypass valve, but I can't find one. There must be a simple thing I'm not getting."

The water pump, which is located near the outlet of fresh water tank, has a one-way valve built into it so when the system is under pressure from the city water, water cannot go "backwards" from the city-pressurized system into the fresh water tank...TB

Hope this helps...
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:23 AM   #6
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Here's a link to the fresh water fill gizmo we got at Camping World to attach the hose to the fill port. You can probably make your own if you visit a hardware store and build it... Secure-Fill - Item - Camping World
I like it a lot because I don't have to stand there and hold the hose...can do other things while it's filling (just don't forget about it!)...there is a shut-off valve on it, too.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:29 AM   #7
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Attach in line filter to the end of your fill hose, a 2ft piece of hose on the filter outlet fits down the fill tube, eliminates standing and waiting.

Hydro Lifeģ Exterior Disposable Inline Water Filter - Item - Camping World
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:58 AM   #8
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We use garden hose quick connects. These make your water hook-ups easy.

Brian
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:05 AM   #9
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CB, two things:

First, when you fill your fresh tank from the fresh water tank fill location, fill it SLOWLY. Filling it fast can cause the tank to expand because the air the water is displacing can't get out fast enough. One person here on the forum filled to fast and it buckled the floor slightly because the tank is between the axles under the flooring.

Second, if you have the "LS" package, this includes an Aquajet pump. The fresh tank can be used while connected to city water to increase line pressure. Why you can't do this without the Aqujet is beyond be, but I know that this was part of the descriptions I got about the "LS" package and the Auqajet being an upgrade from the ShrFlo.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #10
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Owners Manual

Hi,

If you go to the airstream site and poke around they have almost all the owners manuals on line and you can download it and print it out if you'd like. That will answer a lot of questions for you - and then come back here and ask when you get totally confused!

Congratulations on your new Airstream and welcome to the forums.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:36 PM   #11
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I have to giggle, reading all this, because we had no such online help when we took on our first RV in 2002------a 77 Barth, with no owner's manual. Had a blast with it, and made many wonderful memories with the grandbabies, but we knew absolutely NOTHING. Were it not for the kindness and patience of strangers, we would have probably driven it over a cliff and said good riddance!

You are so fortunate to have such expertise at your fingertips!
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
CB, two things:

First, when you fill your fresh tank from the fresh water tank fill location, fill it SLOWLY. Filling it fast can cause the tank to expand because the air the water is displacing can't get out fast enough. One person here on the forum filled to fast and it buckled the floor slightly because the tank is between the axles under the flooring.

Second, if you have the "LS" package, this includes an Aquajet pump. The fresh tank can be used while connected to city water to increase line pressure. Why you can't do this without the Aqujet is beyond be, but I know that this was part of the descriptions I got about the "LS" package and the Auqajet being an upgrade from the ShrFlo.
AMEN! I just stand there and point my white hose AT the inlet for the white tank. No expanding tanks for me. It really only takes about 5 minutes to fill the white tank, so why not watch and make sure that it fills but doesn't overfill?

One thing I do notice is that I generally get higher pressure when I'm using the white tank. BTW - check the threads about sanitizing the white tank. (I use bottled water when boondocking to drink, but still do the clorox trick periodically. Don't want any green stuff growing in the white tank.)

Paula
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:53 PM   #13
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i am redoing my 65 caravel and intend leaving it on a lot. can i remove the fresh water tank and the pipes to the 12v pump and just use the city water?
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:10 AM   #14
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Sure ... you can remove the fresh water tank, etc, and just use city water hookup ... but if you ever want to change your mind and take it traveling/camping or want to sell it, you may be sorry you did it. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
Here's a link to the fresh water fill gizmo we got at Camping World to attach the hose to the fill port. You can probably make your own if you visit a hardware store and build it... Secure-Fill - Item - Camping World
I like it a lot because I don't have to stand there and hold the hose...can do other things while it's filling (just don't forget about it!)...there is a shut-off valve on it, too.
TBRich....I'd be real careful filling your fresh water tank with the "fill gizmo." You're using a 1/2" to 5/8" diameter water hose supplying water at approximately 80 psi to fill the tank. When the tank is full and you do not shut off the supply, the water coming into the tank at 80 psi will then pressurize the tank as the small overfill tube will not be able to relieve the pressure fast enough to prevent damage to your water tank.
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:25 PM   #16
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Good point....I actually do stand there and wait for it to begin overflowing and turn the water off immediately, as there is a shut-off valve on it... Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:57 PM   #17
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Fill Switch on the Control Panel?

When I am connected to city water I simply flip the switch for the fresh water fill on the control panel. Am I the only one who uses this feature? Maybe all Airstreams don't have this switch.

Anyway, you have to keep track of the filling process manually on our trailer. The fill valve simply allows water to enter the fresh water tank from the city supply. No expanding tanks, bulging floors or other problems. However, when the fresh tank is full, water simply runs out the opening concealed by the lockable door on the side of the trailer. It's embarrasing to come back to your trailer with water running down the side of the skin. Now I turn on a timer to remind me to shut off the fresh water fill.

I filled the fresh tank a time or two from the outside and found that to be a pain. Although sometimes it's necessary.

As far as a bypass valve... I think that feature is automatic - probably a built-in check valve or something. When using the on-board pump the water is drawn from the fresh tank and the check valve keeps it from pumping out the city water hookup and vice-versa.

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Old 07-20-2009, 01:56 PM   #18
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I posted the original question a while back. I've come a long way since then, yet, just a few days ago I stuffed the hose in there and wasn't there when the tank filled. I was prepping for departure and heard some popping sounds that seemed new. Thought. More popping. Looked around. Water spewing out but didn't knock the hose out. I pulled the hose out and a fountain of water came out - maybe shooting 3 feet - for a while, as the over pressurized tank contracted to its normal size. Yikes! Doesn't seem to have damaged anything though.

I of course had read the warnings above about this exact scenario. However, having actually experienced it will probably make it stick in my head a lot better.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:56 PM   #19
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OOPS, very sloooow, I use an inline filter which slows things down a bit and just dribble it in. Glad it wasn't serious, live'n learn.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:22 PM   #20
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... just a few days ago I stuffed the hose in there and wasn't there when the tank filled. I was prepping for departure and heard some popping sounds that seemed new. Thought. More popping. Looked around. Water spewing out but didn't knock the hose out. I pulled the hose out and a fountain of water came out - maybe shooting 3 feet - for a while, as the over pressurized tank contracted to its normal size. Yikes! Doesn't seem to have damaged anything though.
Actually, it may have done more damage than I thought. The other day I was on my back looking around underneath and trying to see where I might run a cable for a backup camera. That's when I saw the reality.

The fresh tank expanded enough to permanently bend the sheet metal that encases it. At first I thought it might look different from the underneath of the grey and black tank areas for some manufacturing reason, then I remembered the popping metallic sounds. It surely seems bent from the event.

The question is - is it a problem?

It hangs a small bit lower now, I guess reducing the clearance, but that doesn't really concern me. But there's a definite bent place at one of the seems which could create an insulation issue in freezing conditions. I should take a picture when daylight returns and post it. I have no idea what things look like inside that sheet metal so I don't really know if it's a problem or not.

Anybody here know?
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