A Tvan experience with a difference...........

Submitted: Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 12:42
ThreadID: 78106 Views:4520 Replies:3 FollowUps:8
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Hi Forumites,
Recently did a relaxing trip to Denham (Shark Bay area), prepared the CT as usual, checking brakes, fluids, lights etc etc all seemed OK.. When we pulled up at the campsite made a brew and noticed that the water level on the indicator was showing only half full, when I left home the tank indicator was full.
I checked underneath no signs of leakage everything dry, couldn't understand the problem, I decided to check things out when I got home, the water level from that point on until we went home acted normally, I should mention at this time I didn't top the system up at all whilst I was away.
Got home first weekend available I ripped up the carpet and removed the lid in the floor, to my great surprise the well the tanks sits in was half full of water, I removed the bung underneath and drained the water out. With only one connection being below the half water mark I removed the tank and checked the connection, appeared OK so I remade the joint just in case and installed the tank. Filled the tank to the half way point all good. Continued to fill, everything looked ok around the bottom connection but then the floor of the well started to get wet. Not sure if you know but the water tank on the Tvan is held in place with tennis balls, quite a smart idea when all things considered.
Removing the rear tennis balls I found the problem, the Fiamma 70 lt tank has four locations moulded into the tank to accommodate hold down bolts, these mouldings in the tank are where the tennis balls sit, the leak stopped when the tennis ball was removed on one side, I eventually found a minute split right on the corner of the moulded bit, the split only opened up when the tennis ball was in place.
I've now replaced the tank and everything is back to normal, it just goes to show how vulnerable you can be by caused by such a small event, and loosing such a vital part of your survival kit, WATER. The tank could have been repaired I suppose, due to the criticality of water in the bush a replacement seemed to be the best way to go,this is only a 2005 model, the coragations and other off road shocks have taken their toll.
The fact that the water didn't leak out is a testament to the quality of the dust sealing on a Tvan, just thought I would throw that one in............ Didn't do the water pump any favours though DOH!!!!
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:07

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:07
Sheet Happens..!!
AnswerID: 414843

Reply By: Member - mazcan - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:08

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:08
hi martyn
interesting diagnosis
but it seems there is no reinforcement on the tank where the tennis balls apply there resistance and caused it to crack

so wont this problem re-occur down the track unless you put in some sort of reinforcing
eg plywood /aluminuim plate etc

between ten/ball and tank side????

replacing the tank to me is only part of the fix job

unless the new tank has been strenghtened

just my thoughts
cheers and happy travels
AnswerID: 414844

Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:27

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:27
Hi Mazcan,
Very true, right on the money, symptom not the cause, good onya. I considered putting something between the ball and the tank but this put a greater load on the tank itself, the space between the tank and the well wall is an ideal size for the tennis ball, putting extra padding didn't seem to solve any problems without creating more. I considered using the hold down bolts as Fiamma intended, again space was at a premium and when I've drilled the holes I have four holes in the well I didn't really need.
My final option was to put a plastic bag in the gap, shove that everywhere I want to fill a space and then inject expanding foam, leaving the top open so I don't put excessive pressure on the tank, I didn't have the time today to do that,not really a valid excuse I know, but that's the best I've got!!! This to me would seem to be the best answer.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:44

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:44
I had a Track Desert Eagle, same tank & mounting system, we towed it everywhere over many years & never had a problem, (with anything) may be your tank was of faulty manufacture.
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Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:55

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 13:55
Hi Shaker,
When I spoke to Tvan over East they were of the same opinion, to them this was very unusual and they hadn't heard of a similar failure, they also believed that the tank could possibly have been faulty. I wasn't trying to discredit Tvan here, I am of the opinion that the Tvan is one of the best CT's out there, I've had a few reputable brands and I wouldn't change. This was just an interesting issue I had that I would put in the "lessons learned" category, I was just hoping somebody might get something out of my experience.
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Follow Up By: Member - mazcan - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 14:22

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 14:22
hi martyn
the expanding foam is good and may well provide a more even spread of pressure and could well be the answer, sounds good
time will tell
hope you've nailed it

the problem

not the tank lol
cheers
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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 14:28

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 14:28
Hi Martyn, same thing happen with my Tvan, cracked tank, tennis balls etc. rang Track in the east, they told me they don't use tennis balls in the new ones because of the issue with cracking tanks! Couldn't get a tank in WA at the time so I got one from Track and a few other bits and pieces that I wanted. The Tvan was the best CT we have had by a long chalk, and we will be having another one in the next few months for our trip next year. Cheers Kanga.
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Kanga.

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Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 15:02

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 15:02
Kanga1,
Very interesting, Yea I couldn't get a tank either I got mine from Caravan plus over East, including freight it was half the price I was quoted from Tvan, I also got a new water pump from them similar sort of price discount. I know we all have to make a living but this was a bit rich. Agree with you, great unit wouldn't change. There were some really good Tvans for sale Campertrailers.org, unfortunately they've been snapped up, only one left now "in the world" as Clarkson would say!!!
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 15:11

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 15:11
Yep, very common problem on the earler TVans caused by tennis balls pushing at the weakest point. I repaired mine 2 months ago. Just sealed it from both inside and outside with Sikaflex (it's food grade). Used high density foam to space out the tank now, and all is good.
AnswerID: 414859

Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 22:53

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 22:53
Hi Phil,
Thanks for the tip, soundz good to me I'l get some hi density foam tomorrow, to easy. Great.........
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Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 12:52

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 12:52
Hi Phil,
I went out yesterday afternoon and got some hi density foam, fitted this morning. Thanks for the great idea a lot less messy than the expanding foam idea. This is what the forum is all about. Great thanks.
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