Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Little RV Experiences SEVERE Plumbing Issues

We are having multiple plumbing problems.  Our tank level indicators are not functioning properly, our black tank valve appears to be broken or blocked as it won't close completelyOur water pump is losing pressure and running continuously during the night until someone gets up and runs the water for a bit and builds up the pressure again.

When we were in Elkhart Indiana having some warranty work done one of the problems we were having was with our tank level panel.  This panel tells you with the push of a button what the level is in each tank. It's important to know how much fresh water, gray water and black water are in the holding tanks because an overflowing tank is not a happy situation. The repair people actually switched the entire panel out.  

So yesterday shaped up to be one of "those" days.  Rob had plans to take the girls to lunch and I had plans to get some things done in the cleaning and laundry for example.  I asked Rob to dump the gray tanks and fill the fresh tank before he left and he did but when he opened the cap on the dump line he was greeted by a gush of liquid sewer.  EWWWWWW!  He got out the bleach and the hose and set to work cleaning things up.  Mission accomplished, gray tanks dumped and fresh filled.  

Meanwhile I was in and out of Meg and Alex's house doing the laundry and on the phone with the mobile RV Repair person we located who had agree to come and take a look Saturday (today) around 5pm. 

Meg and Rob left to go and meet Kelly for lunch.  About an hour later I headed outside to the house to switch laundry loads and was greeted with the worst smell ever!  OH NO, THE BLACK TANK IS LEAKING!  Panic!  What to do?  I grabbed a bucket out of our basement storage and put it under the leak, hosed the driveway down as much as possible and went inside to call the repair man again.  This guy has been awesome.  He's full of great information and very helpful.  He gave me a crash course in composting 101.  He said to get some peat-moss and some sawdust and put them in the container that will catch what is dripping.  This will kill the smell and make it safe to dispose of later.  

I called Rob and asked them to stop on the way home and pick up the peat-moss and sawdust.   As I head over to switch the laundry again, I notice the bucket is about 1/2 full.  We're leaking at the rate of about 1/2 gallon per hour.  Clearly, we need a bigger bucket. 

Rob and Meg get home and survey the carnage.   Rob decides we are going to the dump station.  My heart sinks because getting this 5th wheel backed into this 220' driveway is a nightmare of epic proportions.  After taking precautions to keep our waste to ourselves on the trip, we're off.  The dump station is at a rest area just one exit away.  

We make it to the rest area and begin the process of dumping and flushing the black tank.  I'd guess we were there for about 2 hours.   The flush water is running clear and nothing seems to be dripping and best of all, the black tank level indicator shows empty.  We decide it's safe to go back to Meg's and button up.  We decide we won't use the potty until the RV Repairman checks it out.  Hopefully whatever was causing the problem is now corrected.  We think it may have been clogged or had something obstructing the valve. 

After going through the ordeal of getting parked at the house again, we began the clean-up of the driveway which was a long process.  Once back in the Little RV I checked the black tank level just out of curiosity, it read 2/3 full.  The gray tanks showed 1/3 full and they were dumped too.  

We are currently awaiting the arrival of the repairman late this afternoon.  Hopefully he can shed some light on this situation.  I'll update you all when I know more.  

I'll just leave you with two more parting thoughts.  
First - We had a casualty yesterday... the DISH Tailgater.  It somehow got under the wheels of the truck when we were backing the RV up the driveway.
Second - Did it do us any good to send significantly more on a high quality brand RV?  

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