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Old 01-11-2022, 09:18 AM   #1
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
St.louis , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 33
Holding tanks cover removal

Trailer: 2012 Eddie Bauer
Problem: Black water drain valve leaks.

The drain valve on the black water tank has started leaking. I contacted AS directly and asked them if they have a suggested fix. They suggested cutting an access panel in the bottom of the cover to gain access to the valves, they included a link to this site: http://odmrv.net/DumpValves/DumpValves.php

What I would prefer (and can't find) is feedback from anyone who has removed the galvanized tank cover, replaced the valve and then re-installed the tank cover.

Thanks for the input.

Nate

ps. If AS knows this is going to happen after a few years it would be helpful for them to install an access panel at the factory.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:56 AM   #2
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If it is just your drain valve leaking you can try this as a less invasive solution. It just connects onto your existing sewer connection and provides an additional seal for leaking black and gray water tanks. It keeps all the leaking waste inside until you are ready to dump.
When you dump, just attach your sewer hose to this, open your valves the rest of the way, black first / then gray, and dump as you normally would.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:58 AM   #3
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Can you tell what caused /is causing the leak?
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:47 AM   #4
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My solution will only work if, while the sewer cap is closed, sewage leaks out from the black tank while the valves are closed. In that instance, whenever he opens the sewer cap to dump, there is a build up of sewage that spills out on the ground and his hands.

Otherwise, he will have a bigger repair job.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:33 AM   #5
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Gousc: Thanks for he product recommendation. I'm going to try and replace the valve but if that doesn't work I might have to give that product a try.

Mefly2: I don't know if something is stuck in the valve or if the valve is just failing to seal. I've tried a few products to try and clean it but so far nothing has worked.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:47 AM   #6
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Nate,

I'm on the side of cutting an access panel as opposed to dropping the pan. I have not dropped a pan or can say which is easier but I did cut an access panel for R&R of both valves.

I mapped out the location of valves and pipes and marked the pan on the bottom and started cutting with aviation snips it did work but an electric shear might save some grunting. After valve R&R was completed I used some sheet stock and made a removable cover attached with hex head self tapping short screws.

Gary
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Nate,

I'm on the side of cutting an access panel as opposed to dropping the pan. I have not dropped a pan or can say which is easier but I did cut an access panel for R&R of both valves.

I mapped out the location of valves and pipes and marked the pan on the bottom and started cutting with aviation snips it did work but an electric shear might save some grunting. After valve R&R was completed I used some sheet stock and made a removable cover attached with hex head self tapping short screws.

Gary
I also recommend cutting an access panel On my '87 34' side bath the black and grey tanks are held up by one galvanized pan. There's a lowered Xmember between the tanks that the centre of the pan bolt up to. In my case after you unbolt the pan you need to slide it back and out, but as you slide the pan the grey tank gets obstructed by that lower Xmember. When I put the plumbing back together the subfloor wasn't yet on. I tried to install from below and after hours of frigging around (trying to keep the styrofoam on the sides and bottom of the tanks in place) I put the pan on and dropped the tanks in from above, then did the plumbing - in my case I rebuilt everything to move the exit. I didn't cut an access panel but I will when they are in need of service - I know exactly where things are.

Dropping the pan is a bear, getting it back in while under the trailer is worse. Some have no trouble - trailers are different, as are skill levels.

I've included a photo looking into the top of the tank pan with the new plumbing and valves installed, and the old setup sitting on top of the tank.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:21 AM   #8
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I just dealt with the same issue last fall. I started to try take off the whole belly pan and once I saw what a big deal it was going to be, I changed plans. I bought a power metal shears and cut out an area that took in both valves. After all the valves and drain pipes were replaced I simply riveted new sheet metal back up.
Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2022, 11:21 AM   #9
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Thanks for all the advice. I think I will try to remove the tank cover first and if it turns out to be too big of a hassle I will cut a hole. The factory told me the holding tanks are held up by two metal straps so the cover should not be supporting any weight. Luckily it is stored in my garage so I can take my time and work on it in the evenings. I called my local dealer for an estimate and they said it would be ~$2200 and they couldn't get me in until March.
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Old 01-12-2022, 11:31 AM   #10
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Be careful.....

when drilling and installing screws/rivets. Don't use any screws longer than 3/8'' when reattaching. 1/4'' would be best.

Also, when drilling into the cover, remember there is only 1/2 thick Styrofoam between the cover and the tanks. Use a stop collar on the drill bit.

Good luck.

John
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:39 PM   #11
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Try this first

I had the same issue (and I know others have as well). In my case the valve wouldn't quite shut 100% and it felt like something was lodged in the valve seat - very likely toilet paper. I was ready to start cutting metal to replace the valve and decided to first see if I could resolve the issue without doing so. Good news is that it worked and it's been working well for a year since the remediation. So if the issue sounds familiar try the following:

1. Purchase and install a flush valve where the holding tank pipe cap is located. This valve will allow you to connect a garden hose to it and provide a tank flow shut off. (I bought the Camco Dual Flush Pro from Amazon $38)
2. Shut off the gray tank drain valve and the flush valve.
3. Open your black tank shut off valve and add water to the black tank until it's an inch or so from the bottom of the tank. Add a generous supply of a black tank enzyme cleaner, like Unique RV Digest-it, to the black tank.
4. Take the AS out for a short ride to help mix up the enzyme cleaner in the black tank/drain pipe.
5. Allow the AS to sit for a day or so to let the enzyme work.
6. Attach a garden hose to the flush valve, keep the flush valve closed and then pressurize the drain pipe with water. Slowly close the black drain valve on the AS to allow the drain pipe to become pressurized and you'll start to hear water 'squirting' through the black tank valve seat. This should dislodge anything in the black tank drain valve seat.

Hopefully this sequence will clean up your valve seat and allow the valve to start closing properly. If it doesn't, the rubber valve seat is probably shot and you'll then need to cut metal and replace the entire valve.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-12-2022, 03:18 PM   #12
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
St.louis , Missouri
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Sandlapper: Thanks for the advice. If I do end up cutting a hole I will either rivet or threaded rivet a cover panel.

JStetson: I'm ordering both of those from Amazon, going to try your suggestion first. Couple questions:
3. An inch from the bottom meaning like 5 gallons of water or an inch from the top of the tank meaning almost full of water?
6. If I understand this right: I will be filling the black tank by hooking the garden hose to the Camco drain and forcing water back through the partially open original black valve. With the valve mostly closed it should flush out any debris located in the valve seat. I think this is a good idea. Is the black tank sealed and so I would need to open up the toilet flush so the tank doesn't become over pressurized?
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Old 01-12-2022, 03:21 PM   #13
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Wheelock , TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nddstl View Post
Trailer: 2012 Eddie Bauer
Problem: Black water drain valve leaks.

The drain valve on the black water tank has started leaking. I contacted AS directly and asked them if they have a suggested fix. They suggested cutting an access panel in the bottom of the cover to gain access to the valves, they included a link to this site: http://odmrv.net/DumpValves/DumpValves.php

What I would prefer (and can't find) is feedback from anyone who has removed the galvanized tank cover, replaced the valve and then re-installed the tank cover.

Thanks for the input.

Nate

ps. If AS knows this is going to happen after a few years it would be helpful for them to install an access panel at the factory.

I had a similar problem. Open the cover and black water came out. And the dealer offered a similar solution.

But I was fortunate in that I discovered that something had lodged under the blade valve causing it to leak. After dumping the black water I filled the tank with fresh water and opened the valve again and it flushed whatever was lodged under the blade. You can also try taking a brush with a flexible handle to clean under the valve blade.

Good luck!

PS on your PS: AS is not too good about addressing simple things that should not occur. Just look at all the posts about things like the accordion door falling out of its track that could be easily fixed with a block of wood on the floor below where the door is stowed, replacing the plastic screw inserts in the curved doors with a glued dowel so it does not come out, etc. etc.
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Old 01-12-2022, 03:55 PM   #14
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
Hillsborough , North Carolina
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Next Time I am going to try copper tubing

The next time I get toilet paper in the groove of the valve,
I am going to try a piece of 3/8" copper tubing.
A gentle bend radius with a short straight section to match the path of the drain pipe up to the valve.
I plan to form the end of the tube to create a nozzle of sort, and adapt the near end for a garden hose to get good pressure out the nozzle.

It is easy to feel when the bend radius is correct in the tubing by gentle sliding the tubing up the drain pipe with the valve closed and then open to clearly identify the length and the correct curve. I used this pipe technique to get some silicon lube up to the valve blade when the valve got hard to pull. A simple piece of cloth on the end of the tubing with a big dab of silicon lube......Worked Great.

I had Out-of-Doors Mart cut the access panel the first time I had the valve problem. I think they might of had one hour of labor, plus the sheet of aluminum, screws, and they used Butyl tape between the new plate and the bottom pan to form the seal. They used screws rather than rivets so it would be easy to open a second time if ever needed. It cost way less than I had expected. Plus they gave me the hint to put the street side up on blocks whenever trying to replace that valve to avoid the trickle that might come out of what one thinks is an empty tank.


The Picture shows a sample of the tubing to match the distance on my 25 foot Flying Cloud.
The white tape is the mark for the distance to the cap so I know how far I need to go. The tube worked great for the silicon....now I just need to form the nozzle and add a hose fitting.
The bricks are regular 4x8" for scale.
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Old 01-12-2022, 04:17 PM   #15
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
St.louis , Missouri
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Thanks GeeSag, the first thing I bough about a year ago was the Swivel Stik RV Black-Water Tank Rinser. I thought I could run it up the drain valve like your copper pipe idea. I was never able to make it bend or curve into the valve to get it cleaned.
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Old 01-12-2022, 05:26 PM   #16
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3. It doesn't have to be an inch but you need enough water to get the enzyme down into the pipe. I would assume the more concentrated the enzyme solution is the better.

6. Probably a good idea to open the toilet flush valve if your pushing quite a bit of water into the black tank.

The whole idea is to let the enzyme solution work on the entire valve seat and then give it a good pressure rinse to dislodge any crap remaining in the valve seat.

Good luck
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Old 01-12-2022, 05:31 PM   #17
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I think cutting the access opening is a better solution than removing the pan. I have never taken the pan off so I do not know for sure but I suspect the pan edge is under the axle. Yes to trying to resolve the issue without accessing the valve. But, so far I have had 2 ruptured valve bodies and 2 more valves with torn seals. Not fixable without taking the valve apart or replacing it.
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Old 01-12-2022, 06:05 PM   #18
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One more option....

Dump the tank. Close the valve. Turn the water off.

Pour a gallon of vegetable oil down the toilet. If you can, pull the trailer up on blocks on the street side, so the oil is covering the closed valve, lubricating the rubber seals.

Let it sit, or even better, take a drive so the oil sloshes the closed valve. Find a good place, or a dump station, to let the oil out. Give it a few quick open/close sequences to get the oil on the valve blade. Or just leave it in there until the next trip. Then dump with everything else.

As an extra step, pour some vegetable oil down the toilet occasionally to keep things lubed, and pour some in the toilet bowl as well to lube the toilet bowl seal.

Might save a lot of work underneath.
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:21 PM   #19
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2016 22' Sport
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I found a method that worked for me to remove my gray tank galvanized sheet metal cover, and may be helpful to others as well. The previous owner of my 2016 Bambi had apparently backed over a stump and put a serious bend in the bottom of the galvanized cover. No apparent leaks, but i was concerned about the long term impact of the bend on the tank inside.

After studying the situation for quite some time, I came to the conclusion that the pipe from the tank and the dump valve was added after the sheet metal was installed, so that there was no way to fully remove the cover to straighten out or replace without somehow cutting off the dump valve. When I was just about to give up, I realized that the end plate where the pipe exited the tank was simply riveted to the main part of the cover, and that I could just grind the rivets off, leaving the end plate where the pipe came through in place. This allowed me to remove and repair the remainder of the cover. I was able to hammer the cover back into shape, eliminating the damage, and then reinstall and re-rivet the end cap on using new stainless steel rivets in the original holes. The cover was surprisingly robust, maybe 16 or 18 gauge sheet metal, and took some serious effort to straighten.

The whole process was reasonably easy, taking maybe three hours including removal, beating the panel straight, and reinstallation. This approach may work for other similar situations where good access to the piping and valve for is needed, while avoiding the need to cut into the panel. Best of luck!
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:25 PM   #20
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Adding a pic of how this cover removal and repair worked since the description might be confusing.
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