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Old 01-06-2020, 01:01 PM   #1
kennyp
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Exclamation Safety concern: Black tank dislodging from unit

To all you 2017 ( and possibly before) Montana owners, this is a precautionary note you will definitely be interested in following up on. I have attached a letter I sent to Keystone advising them of a serious health and safety, and potentially deadly issue involving the factory mis-installation of their black tanks, particularly on the 3710FL model which I own. In a nutshell the tank has the potential to drop (dislodge) from its mount (or lack thereof) and crash through the belly of the trailer to the road. Not a pretty sight at the best of times but imagine this occurring at 60 miles an hour travelling through Las Vegas or Los Angeles, the results could be catastrophic. I repaired my unit at my own cost but to do so involved opening up the belly of the unit; I provided Keystone numerous warnings about this dangerous safety defect and my only request of them was could they please cover the cost of replacing/repairing the belly cover. Not only did keystone "not" thank me for the information I provided that could possibly save them from potential lawsuits, they brushed me off like I was a pain in the butt to their organization. All I can say is please read the attachment and be cognizant that keystone have been advised they may have some "rolling tornado's" driving on the roads of Canada and the US.
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File Type: doc Black Tank 3710FL .doc (27.5 KB, 298 views)
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:10 PM   #2
rohrmann
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I don't really think they care. The tanks have been improperly installed for years and tanks have split and broke in various ways, all due to being supported only by the lips at the top of the tanks, when the tank manufacturers say they should be supported from underneath. We had a leak in our grey tank and I was able to repair the crack instead of replacing the tank, and to avoid another incident of some other failure to either the grey tank or the black, I added supports under both the tanks, and now do not worry about them breaking or falling from where they are mounted. After I completed adding additional supports, I removed the braces, reinstalled the coroplast, and then reinstalled the braces.
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File Type: jpg added supports for tanks 2.jpg (291.8 KB, 133 views)
File Type: jpg added supports for tanks.jpg (95.4 KB, 104 views)
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:28 PM   #3
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They have known about this problem for years. All of their campers have it. They either don’t think it’s a problem or don’t care. We have no way of knowing which it is. Only Keystone knows and they aren’t saying.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:42 PM   #4
kennyp
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Hey Rohrmann, thanks for your response and support, (pardon the pun) You did a fantastic job under your unit, I will likely undertake a similar repair when I get my unit home. The apathetic approach of keystone is sad, but like you I get the feeling they could not care less. My primary objective here was to provide them information and prevent a serious event before it happens; guess it has fallen on deaf ears. be that as it may I bet if one of those tanks dropped off in the middle of a freeway they would pay attention...
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:54 PM   #5
Rondo
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If I am not mistaken, Keystone has switched to a different style of tank this past year or so. I think they changed them out in 2019 editions, but not sure. They are now one piece tanks and are supported a little better than the previous 2 piece tanks that were plastic welded together. I've replaced all three of my tanks, except for the fresh water tank and have braced up the tanks like Bob has. Keystone says the gap between the tanks and the metal crossbar under them is for the tanks to give some when they are filled but they do not take into account that the old tanks are just sitting on the edges of the tank and the frame and when the tanks start to fill the weight of the water and etc (8.5 lbs plus per gallon) makes the edges move some on the frame, thus the problem of the tanks dropping off the frame and the welds breaking. This is why now do not let my tanks fill totally and dump them when they are 3/4 or less full also. As Bob stated, Keystone has been notified of this problem for years and have not done anything about it until this last year or so. Hopefully, the new style tank and bracing is working out better for all of us but it to bad they can't make some sort of adaptor kit so the new tanks can be put in to replace the old style.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:58 PM   #6
Mudchief
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This has been a problem for a long time. I did the same as rohrmann. I fixed it myself. I found that one of the screws was missing.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:24 PM   #7
beeje
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I too have supported my tanks similar to the pics above.

IMHO it is NOT a good idea to travel with anything more than a few gallons of waste in ANY tank.

Also if you are going to travel with fresh water on board, make sure its either full or just a few gallons. A half full tank will slosh around and move the tank all over the place.

Our 2011 unit has traveled all over the US (Mostly by the previous owners) and still has all OEM tanks with no issues to date.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:45 AM   #8
Texan
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I've done the same as Bob and added support to my gray and black tank. I don't usually travel with much in my tanks but I don't want to be a statistic. This is not a hard mod to do. All you need is some angle iron and self tapping bolts to mount the angle iron and some boards to fill in the gaps between the angle iron and tanks. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:39 PM   #9
sberlin
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This looks impressive and something I might pursue on our 3701LK. My question is how did u remove the underbelly and more importantly how did u replace?
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:55 PM   #10
dieselguy
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Although I applaud you for bringing this up again, like said it's a many year old issue that those of us aware of it have fixed it on our own. You should have cc'd Forest River products and Jayco as well because I've been underneath them and their tanks are put in near the same sad way. Many people boast about traveling with full fresh water tanks, I just think they must be living right.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:49 PM   #11
Khanscel
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I had to replace cables on my tank valves. When doing so I noticed instructions on how to drill and mount tanks. It also stated that mounting tanks with Tex screws voided the warranty. But that is exactly how they where mounted
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:41 PM   #12
rohrmann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sberlin View Post
This looks impressive and something I might pursue on our 3701LK. My question is how did u remove the underbelly and more importantly how did u replace?

Our rig is a 2012, and the coroplast material is attached with TEK screws and in places along with aluminum strips screwed into the frame. Newer rigs I believe have the coroplast attached with a special nail, which can be removed and then replaced with the TEK screws. I just removed all the fasteners and dropped the coroplast, removing it totally away from the area. After making a repair to the crack in the bottom of the grey tank, I purchased a couple of 1 1/2" angle iron from a big box store along with 1/4" X 1" hex head TEK screws. This gave me the original two braces that were installed plus the two new braces, so there is now a brace every 12 inches under the tanks. Wood blocks or foam boards worked for me, along with silicone caulking to glue them to the bottom of the tanks where the braces were. The tanks have a 1/2" per foot of slope on the bottom, so each block will be 1/2" thinner than the previous one starting from the front of the tank going toward the drain end. Once the caulking was dry, I removed the braces, installed the coroplast back in place and the reinstalled the braces. I did all this by my self, but an extra helper would make the job easier. Now, with the tanks full, they do not flex as they are supported from underneath instead of hanging from the lips of the tanks. Obviously, do all this work with both tanks completely empty You also need a good drill/driver with the proper nut driver for the screws, because the TEK screws will drill their own hole as they are driven and then will screw into the hole they make in the steel frame. And, safety glasses or goggles are extremely important as you will be attaching the screws while laying on your back under the rig looking up.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:41 PM   #13
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I think it’s kind of cute how the OP actually thought Keystone would care.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:04 AM   #14
Texan
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The basic difference between Bob's install and mine was I dropped the coroplast and marked where I wanted the angle iron then reinstalled the coroplast then installed the braces. I then tapped my boards in place between the brace and coroplast then drilled a couple of holes in each brace where there were blocks between the coroplast and brace then installed short wood screws through the brace into the wood being careful not to go completely through the wood into the tank. If you have a floor jack then this will help you hold the braces up and also when reinstalling the coroplast by using a small piece of plywood on the saddle of the jack and reinstalling a section at a time. This mod is more for safety than convenience and everyone who has a Montana needs to do this. It certainly gives me piece of mind. Because of Bob and Richard I decided to do this and it only takes 2 or 3 hours. I'm sure there are several ways to do this but most importantly just do it. P.S. Bob is correct in that you do need to wear safety glasses because of metal shavings. Good Luck.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:46 AM   #15
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Yep! Happen to me this pass summer. 2017 Montana 3731FL, I was at Fairbanks Alaska this Summer. First my gray tank started to leak when it was getting close to being full, so I just started to drain it sooner than later.
So I was in Fairbanks drained the black tank and was flushing it for a second time when the damm thing dropped. WHAT A MESS! It didn’t drop to the ground but it did pull down part of the underbelly. I went and bought a piece of angel iron and some lumber and secured the tanks so they wouldn’t fall the any further. Now we weren’t able to use the bathroom at all, no showers or anything.
Had to cut our trip a little short to get back to Ohio to fix this problem.
I dropped the underbelly and noticed that half of the bolts that was supposed to holed up the Gary tank was missing. And this let the angel iron pivot and the tank dropped on one side and put stress on the the black tank. The angel iron that was holding up the black tank was twisted because the iron was so thin. I had to cut an opening behind the toilet to reattach the vent pipe. I put a larger grade of steel angel iron to replace the bent crap that that Montana uses.
I did call Montana but didn’t seem to interested in the problem. A lot of work but I did learn a lot about my RV from the underneath Looking up.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:05 PM   #16
craigb
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It's all about the money!

As long as Keystone is the top seller, they will do nothing. They virtually build an RV edition of a 737 Max and we keep buying them.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:30 PM   #17
Clark 2012 346LBQ
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We had our grey tank split and when we opened it up we found bolts missing where they should be and a lack of support. They no longer make our tanks so we had to repair it. Luckily it was a grey tank not black. Needless to say we added a full sheet of 1/4 inch plywood in between the tanks and new and old strapping and angle iron. We Took the initiative and did the same to our rear tanks as well. Before we had an incident their.
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