Salvaging the Fresh Tank

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I’m going to modify the tank with two 3/4″ drains in the bottom. I can get the Metal Company in Denver to spin in the flush fittings. Hopefully this will allow me to spray high pressure water into the tank and get the crud out. Besides, it takes the tank more than an hour to drain through the original feed fitting.

BTW, when I was checking the tank for leaks I noticed that the vents are about 1″ down from the top in the 5″ tank. That means that if you fill the tank with the trailer level, you only get about 80% capacity. Depending on which side your kitchen is on (generally the tank fittings are on that side),
you need to have that side of the trailer high, maybe 5 degrees, in order to fill the fresh tank to something like 95% capacity.

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My process:
1. Moderately strong concentration of Clorox, sloshed around and let sit for an hour, with occasional sloshing
2. Added some Murphy’s Oil Soap, sloshed around (I could stick my finger into the tank through the 1.5″ holes [for the 1" drains] and feel the gunk, which felt a little oily).
3. Dumped about 3 lbs of ice inside, sloshed around
4. Added more Clorox, sloshed around now and then for about 4 hours
5. Stuck a cleaning wand in through the holes and sprayed the inside.

Voila! Almost perfectly clean tank, saving $485.

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Now I need to run up to Denver and have the guys at The Metal Company spin in the 1″ drains.

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I am totally flabergasted by the number of steps it takes to get the fresh tank back in:

    1. Saw the tank out, since the old plywood wouldn’t budge
    2. Clean the tank
    3. Get a couple of the leaking sensor pads replaced and two new drains spun in
    4. Find the 1″ plywood
    5. Protect the upper side and edges of the plywood with spar varnish (hey, this is just a 10-year fix) and the bottom with silver paint (why does it need an aluminum cover, which is just a place to pool water and rot the wood?)
    6. Carve out reliefs in the upper surface to allow easy sliding of the plywood under the new drain fittings and holes for access to the drains
    7. Make better street and curb side shims to hold the tank in place (and that will hold themselves in place while inserting the tank, a real benefit from what I’ve heard)
    8. Brace the tank up in place
    9. Slide the new tank support into the support channels

This only took a week. Here’s the photos… New drains and modified plywood support. The small amount of relief cut into the face of the plywood helped a lot, but the real help came from the two ramps cut at the holes and at the leading edge of the plywood (the plywood was thinned down to 3/8″ at the edges which allowed the 3/4″ projection of the fittings to slid right in). This allowed the fittings to slip right up over the plywood as I slid it in. I didn’t feel any additional resistance at all:

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Couldn’t quite figure out how the street and curb side shims were supposed to fill the main frame “C” channel spaces:

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Made shims that fit into the frame:

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Braced the tank up into position so I could slide the plywood in without another person needed:

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Fabricated two drain covers, using a piece of 1/8″ aluminum as the mandrel. The key is using a piece of hardwood (and hammer) to shape the receiver part of the cover. If you use a hammer directly, the aluminum sheet will tear on the mandrel.:

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Safari II is now basically back intact. I need to work on the propane lines, intall the Fantastic Fan and matching Vent, and finish the PEX, but the heavy lifting is done. Whoot!