Trouble filling water tank on van

Hi all.
I've got an 07 aussie wide caravan and seem to have trouble filling the tank.
When i put a hose in the filler i have to run it at less than 1/4 pressure, it seems it would take forever to fill it, whether the spray nozzle is on or off and/or i've got the hose shoved 10cm into the tank, water just builds up and bubbles back.
With the cap removed the filler is probably around 12cm deep and 6cm round then shrinks to about a garden hose size, no doubt the air is trying to escape causing this.
Is there some special way to fill this?

I'm guessing its a standard filler like most vans.

Any help appreciated.

Cheers Wayne

PS: sorry about the length of the rant
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 00:45

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 00:45
Hi Wayne

While our caravan has been adapted to fill from a point on the a-frame with an irrigation fitting that switches between the tanks, last year on of these blocked and i needed to fill the tank the old fashioned way, which is notorious for the problems you are having. I found if the hose is held at the opening and not pushed in, the water flows down the pipe and the air escapes with no problems. Try an put the hose in further and filling is slower. I hope this helps.


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Reply By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 00:45

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 00:45
The standard filler has provision for a breather hose to vent air from the tank back into the larger dia. section at the top.. 3/8" dia. (I think??) fitting at the back & top of filler....

Is this breather fitted ?

It is common practice for caravan & C/T manufacturers to neglect to do anything at all about the tank breather(s) .. For the life of me, I'll never understand why this is so :(


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Reply By: Member - Don M- Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 06:57

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 06:57

This often discussed on Caravan & Motorhome Forum and it is a problem I have with my Jayco Sterling. Haven't fixed it yet but the most common reason is that the vent pipes are bent and/or pinched as they run back from the tanks to the vent above the filler..., well in my case.

Reports coming back are that straightening out these vent pipes fixed the problem.

It drives me nuts, I have to say,

AnswerID: 408867

Reply By: Nutta - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 07:54

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 07:54
Thanks everyone, I'll have a look at this vent if there is one and also put the hose further in.

AnswerID: 408875

Follow Up By: Member - A J- Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 08:12

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 08:12
Nutta - Since reading about it this forum I have been filling my tanks from the bottom by using the drain tap and using the filler pipe as the breather. I find that I can fill at full pressure and you do not have problems with air locks and blow backs.

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:27

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:27
It has a tap at the front which must come from the tank, next to that is a tap which must be able to be hooked up at parks.
I might try the front tank tap and open the vent, good idea, will post back, cheers.
FollowupID: 678859

Follow Up By: Gazal Champion - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 17:20

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 17:20
Hey Nutta, that tap is on the pressure side of the pressure system in most vans and is not a suitable filling point. A J has the better solution. Speaking as a plumber.

On some vans they have not actually provided a seperate breather point but have come off the filler line just before the tank/s with a breather and this causes the same problem but worse.

The other thing is they allow the breather lines to sag causing water traps in the resulting in the same problem as crimped lines. This is my problem, typical plumber, haven't got around to fixing it yet.

Regards, Bruce.
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Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 08:48

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 08:48
I have the same problem with my CT.
Takes about 30 mins to add 60 litres.

It has the standard caravan fittings.

Found three things that cause the problem.

1. The filler is not much higher than the top of the tank (maybe 150mm), and about 1.5m away.

2. The filler hose rises after the filler to about the top of the filler and then drops into the tank. So there is only about 50mm of head at the filler to the highest point in the hose.

3. The tank overflow was partly blocked, which acted as a vent. (Hose on top of the tank).

So, The filler is towards the front of the CT, with the tank at the rear.
Jacking up the jockey wheel gives the filler more height and helps with 1 & 2.
If I park on a slope with the rear down it fills more easily, but still slow.
AnswerID: 408877

Follow Up By: Nutta - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:28

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:28
Hmmm, i never thought of the tank height and pipe, i will check that out too.

FollowupID: 678860

Reply By: aka - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:38

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:38
get a length of standard hose about 12 inches long put hose fittings on and push the hose into your water filling hole the air will come out and it will take only a couple of minutes to fill the tank
AnswerID: 408883

Follow Up By: Member - Don M- Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 17:05

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 17:05
Nah.., tried that on the advice of a mate who's been there done that..., made absolutely no difference...the problem is blockage of the breathers either by kinking or water in them.
FollowupID: 679064

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 11:47

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 11:47
I've got 3 water tanks on my van - 2 rear and one front, with all 3 fillers at the rear. The 2 rears fill readily but the front one is a pain due to the air locking - I've been under and ensured that the breather is not kinked or reduced. I can fill it ok, but only very slowly - that is the key. Seems to me that the front tank's filler should have been be at the front ! As others say, adapting a back-filler at the outlet point may be the go !
AnswerID: 408898

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 13:43

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 13:43
The breathers can fill with a little wtaer if they dip down lower than the top of the tank. This limits the rate at which air can escape during filling and you often hear a "glug glug" sound.

I have this problem with the Tvan's tank. Solution is to blow hard down the breather to push the water out of the breather hose - I can then fill my tank with the hose on flat out.
AnswerID: 408915

Reply By: ChrisK - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 13:54

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 13:54
I got sick of the same trouble with both my vans. I checked the breather & it all seemed to be OK. I found a perfect solution to the problem so try this for yourself. Remove the filler cap as usual and attach the hose to the drain outlet under the van. On my current van I have replace the standard drain valves with ball lever valves and fitted a standard click type fitting to the end of it. Now all I do is click the regular garden hose fitting onto the one at the end of the drain, open the ball valve and fill the tanks from below. It will push all the air out the much larger normal filler pipe and you will get the tanks as full as you want them without them coughing & splutering all over you and the place.

Seemed a simple solution thats worked for me..... Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 408916

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 15:36

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 15:36
I think you will find, if there is a breather pipe fitted, then you will find the the breather pipe is not fixed in a level or upward direction with no hollows that hold water. One way to check is to blow down the breather tube outlet to remove water and see if it fills up better. You should bet able to get enough pressure by mouth to clear the pipe.
It never ceases to amaze me the total lack of understanding that van manufacturers have on correct venting a tank. One manufacturer installs the breather fixed to the floor then down under the chassis then back up to the filler inlet. This will never work. Just ideal to make an air lock. Air between 2 lots of water. A breather pipe should not dip downwards more than the internal diameter of that pipe. Quite simple.

AnswerID: 408930

Reply By: Nutta - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 21:50

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 21:50
I stuck the compressor gun in the breather, it breathes alright!
Still wouldnt fill quickly so i just put the tap on low and left it running till it overflowed, prolly 5 minutes for 80l.

I might try filling from the drain tap underneath, although the 5 minute thing isnt to bad now, the beer fridge is 3 feet from the tap, times out well : )

Cheers folks.
AnswerID: 409001

Reply By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 16:10

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 16:10
I have had the same problem with a couple of vans. The problem is with the vent pipe (if the vent pipe goes back to the filler) The vent pipe may have low points. These fill with water and block the vent. To fix the problem drill a hole in the bottom the low point(s) - all of them - and screw in an irrigation thredded section from a standoff (a dripper would also do - it is just to keep the hole open). This has definately fixed my problem
AnswerID: 409104

Follow Up By: Member - Don M- Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 17:02

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 at 17:02
That sounds interesting...and I can believe that is the way forward..., well done that man...!!!
FollowupID: 679063

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