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Saturday's Surprise

Eight AM on Saturday morning 2/25, Scott our mobile RV service tech arrived to finish installing the freshwater tank under our fifth wheel trailer. He worked the entire day getting the tank installed with the new, improved mounting bracket and supporting hardware. Finished wiring the tank sensors and added all the plumbing components. The last thing he did was a pressure test of the system with water added to the new tank. This is done to charge the water system and check for leaks around the multiple fittings attached to the tank.

Karen and I are in the rig reading when we get a knock at the door. Scott comes in and tell us he has some bad news...oh no! The brand new tank from Alliance that we waited almost five week for has a crack in it. No Joke! After spending all day under the rig working he was beyond frustrated. The crack (photo below with the red oval) was above the freshwater plumbing fitting that attaches the blue PEX water line to the water pump in the Nautilus water distribution assembly.

After some frustrated reactions were expressed from Karen and Scott, I remembered the Ron Howard movie about Apollo 13. I shared a memory of a scene in the film where Gene Kranz (played by Actor Ed Harris in the film) struggles to devise the plan that would safely bring the ship and its crew of three astronauts home after its oxygen system failed. " Let's solve the problem, Team . . . Let's not make it worse by guessing". So we took that wise advice and improvised a temporary solution to the problem with a patch over the crack with some Flex Seal® spray I picked up at a hardware store.

Scott dumped out the water in the tank using the dump valve below the crack, dried the area around the crack and applied the sealant. We let the sealant cure all night. Our plan was to finish the installation of the insulated underbelly material (coroplast) but leave the area around the dump valve clear to drain any water if the sealant didn't work.

Early Sunday morning I added about 60 gallons of fresh water to the tank to check for a leak. Praise God, no leak! We moved the rig to dump our black and gray water tanks and even with the motion during the short drive there was no sign of a leak. Scott and Holly returned on Sunday afternoon, February 26 to finish up and when they arrived I had some good news for them. Scott's patch worked! He worked for an additional 3 hours under the rig and observed no leak from the Flex Seal repaired area. He finished the coroplast installation, taped up the seams and crawled out from under our rig for the last time. We hugged goodbye to these two great people who are now our friends and we headed down the road.

We drove from the QYB Ranch in Marana, AZ north of Tucson to Deming, NM in about 4 hours arriving at 11PM. Still had 2/3 of a tank of fresh water and no leak. Now if you're wondering, Scott and I documented the damaged tank and emailed Alliance. Our plan is to continue our trip with the patched tank. We are scheduled to be in Indiana for the Alliance "Ally Rally" the end of May. Until then, we'll improvise and let Alliance "solve the problem, Team" when we get there.


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