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Old 09-11-2017, 01:34 PM   #1
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Default Question about RT front water tank

Buying a used RV makes for lots of fun projects. I was checking some things underneath and I noticed that at some time the brace that holds the front water tank had been hit/snagged whatever, and was dented upwards, and had put a significant dent in the water tank.

Mr. Fixit in me wants to take the brace off and straighten it out. However, the water tank appears to be plastic, and I am concerned if it has taken a set in the new, dented position, that removing the support for the dent by straightening out the brace will allow it to expand back to its original shape, and possibly cause flex cracking.

Am I over thinking this, should I go ahead and fix it or should I leave it alone for fear of causing a leak in the tank.

Thanks. Mike.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:29 PM   #2
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I must admit that I am not the best DIY person going hence I usually return to the old saying "if it works don't fix it"
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:35 PM   #3
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i have to agree with Prosche911. Ironic, there is another Article and it is about the brackets looking strained - all three. If it were me.....happy trails and enjoy the trips, forget the bends. Ron
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:34 PM   #4
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Interesting... I just happened to start a thread this morning about my braces/brackets being bowed and wondering if that was normal!
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:51 PM   #5
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If the hangers look sturdy and the tank is intact, I would let it go.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:06 PM   #6
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On the Chevies, the tank supports are hung on threaded rods that attach to the body and frame of the van. The cross support under the tank is just a formed channel that the rods go through with nuts on them.

What the supports also do is attach to the ground effects and running boards in some places, with two sheet metal screws. If the bracket took an underbody hit and bent a rod or two, it could have also pulled out the sheet metal screws. Same could happen is you just try to bend the support back without removing the screws first. The good is that the running boards sit on top of the support, so are still mostly held in place is the screws are out or damaged.

I do think it is you best interest to get the bracket and rods back where they belong so they sit flat on the tank and running boards. The tank is quite flexible and is likely not damaged at this point and should go back OK.

We had one bent, inboard, rod that moved the bracket back about 3", and I just loosend stuff up, took out the screws, and used a rubber mallet on the rod to bend it back. Worked out fine for us with no problems.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:07 PM   #7
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Thanks for that Booster, I will need to check for any screws into the ground effects.

The way it is bent inward, I will need to removed it from the hanger rods and straighten it in my vise. If the screws got ripped from the fiberglass then I can patch that with epoxy and re-drill.

From what I can see, the rods did not get bent, just the support under the tank.

I feel better about fixing this than leaving it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:48 PM   #8
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When you remove the support from the tank, it is always a good idea to hold the tank up in place with a floor jack with a 2X4 or such on top to spread the load.

Very interesting that the channel could get bent up without bending a rod. I wonder if someone tried to jack up the van with it, thinking it was the van frame.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:56 PM   #9
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Booster, I was figuring on draining the tank to remove all the water weight, do you think that would be enough?

The floor jack is a good idea, but all my floor and bottle jacks that would fit under the tank are out at my cabin, since I am clearing out this house to sell it.

Your suggestion of someone jacking on that support is a good one, the angle and direction (forward not backward) that the support is bent at would take a very unusually placed rock.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:02 PM   #10
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The fresh tank is lighter and not glued to as many fixed pipes as the the other tanks, but only has two supports and will drop when I support is taken off. If you don't have a jack available, and get the water out (tank will be maybe 10#) just rigging anything you can stuff under to hold it up in place while you work on the support should be fine.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:09 PM   #11
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Thanks sounds like a plan.

Reason I got started up under there was to disconnect the fill hose so I can replace the little flappy door inside the drivers door, the hose has zero slack and I did not want to try and stretch it for fear of damaging the fitting on the tank. Guess I need to stay cautious and do this the right way too.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:29 PM   #12
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I think Roadtrek quit using the flap door on the fill tube somewhere between yours and our 2007, probably because they leaked and broke often. Ours just has a plastic plug with a small vent hole in it that you pull out completely. It works great unless you lose it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:31 PM   #13
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.

Do you have any photos?
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:58 PM   #14
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Here's photos of the brace and the hanger rod.

On closer inspection, looks like the rod does a bit of a bend in it and will need some persuasion to get it back where it should be. I wasn't sure how it was attached to the frame but from this it looks like it may be welded. Will need to be careful not to break that weld when bending this back or I will have a real mess on my hands.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RT Water Brace - 1.jpg (20.5 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg RT Water Brace - 2.jpg (48.4 KB, 24 views)
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:04 PM   #15
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The second pic looks like it took a hit on the side and twisted the channel and bent the rod. I would have been a good sized hit, I think to do that much bending.

The area to the left in the second pic would normally be what connects to the running board, I think. One of the screws would be accessed through the open hole in the channel.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:08 PM   #16
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.

Is it really affecting the water tank much?

or just the Mr Fixit's OCD?
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:11 PM   #17
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I think it depends on if there are any sharp edges or stress points on the tank from it as it loads and unloads from weight.

I would worry more about the lack of support or sharp edge into the running board fiberglass, as they will crack if allowed to flex very much.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:13 PM   #18
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LOL Booster you must have these things imprinted onto your brain cells. Your description of how that brace attaches to the running board is dead on. I found the 2 holes in the fiberglass, and the holes in the brace, and had figured what that single oversized hole was for. Then I read your post and had to laugh as you had spelled it out 100%.

Regarding getting this fixed, yes, it is putting more pressure on the tank than the pictures show, especially since the twist in the brace puts the sharp edge of the brace directly agains the corner edge of the tank. Plus, the outer end of the brace is also twisted counter clockwise, and has caught the edge of the fiberglass where it turns back under, putting a knifes edge stress point on it. It is not a difficult fix so probably get it done tonight.
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