Here it is after nine o’clock in the morning and I’m just getting my carcass out of bed. I must have relapsed or something. This dang cold has settled into my lungs and causes me to go into coughing fits whenever I try to lay down. Wifey thinks I may have to get some stronger drugs to lick this thing; she’s probably right. But, I have not stopped since acquiring this said “common cold” so I just might have to do just that. Stop and lay low for a day or two.
Yesterday I was outside crawling around under the rig to reinstall the water tank. Just what I needed to do, lay on the cool damp ground. But I did discover why the “bottom fell out”.
The water tank is formed with two flanges at the top so that it can be held in place using two iron angle brackets that cradle and hold the tank in place (one on the front and one on the back of the tank). These brackets have flanges welded to each end to use as a bolting pads; they bolt to the coach’s frame on each side. The two pads have three bolt holes each for a 3/8 inch bolts.
However, in their infinite wisdom, Forest River’s manufacturing team only used two 3/16 self drilling, self tapping screws in each pad to hold the brackets (and tank) in place. Therefore, there was enough tensile strength in those screws to hold 500 pounds of weight which is what the tank weighs when filled with water. Therefore, three out of four of the screws broke loose on the front bracket.
Fortunately we don’t run down the highway with a full tank of water, however, we do carry about a third of a tank which is about 160 pounds. Also, we are lucky that the back bracket hadn’t broke loose instead of the front one. The water tank would have fallen completely out of the rig possibly injuring anyone following us. As it was, the water tank fell forward and came to rest on the axels with only real damage being done to the plastic underbelly panel.
So, now I know what has to be done and how to fix the problem. It’s just going to take me a little bit of work and some 3/8 bolts to remedy the problem – a problem that I (or anyone else) should never have to experience. The sad part is that all the RV manufacturer’s take these short cuts – even on the higher end units. All in the name of saving a few pennies.
Also, I will need to manufacture a new underbelly panel and replace some insulation. I’ll use some plywood and make a two part panel that will allow me access to the tank in the future (it will also be much easier to install).
It’s a good thing I’m handy. Red Green says that, “If your woman doesn’t find you handsome, then she’d better find you handy!!!” Miss Judy’s lucky, she got both!!!
Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -