Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Fixer

Day 81

Water Leak
This morning we are back at Beaverton's lovely Fountain Park. Yes, this is the place that I got arrested and hand cuffed on July 21st!

The Scampy RV Team is going to repair the leak in our fresh water tank assembly. In order to do this fix, the bench seat covering the fresh water tank will be removed. 

Initially we figured that removing the bench seat would be difficult. However, on an RV forum, we found out that this is an easy task.

There are a bunch of places where this leak may be coming from. Most of these places are out of view. That's why the bench seat removal is critical to the leak repair.

Police Patrol Sergeant 
Yesterday evening, when I was in Fountain Park, I met a cop who is a sergeant in the Beaverton police department! He knows about me and the arrest thing! His name is Jim Shumway.

He wants to talk to me?! I cannot imagine what about. Anyway, Shumway goes on duty today at 11:00am. And he is going to the park to meet with me.

Begin leak repair
The Incredibly Fantastic Scampy RV Team has arrived at Fountain Park. An amazing coincidence! We are Day Camped in the exact same spot where George got him snatched by the cop on July 21st!

There are eleven Phillips head screws securing the bench seat. Six of those screws are located on the top-rear of the bench. I removed five of those screws easily using a battery powered drill motor.

The sixth screw turned out to be the screw from hell!

The cross-head of that Phillips screw stripped out! It took almost two hours to extract that screw using a large channel-lock pliers! Don't you just hate it when something like that happens?

At the bottom inside of the bench seat, there were three screws. Two came out easily. One would not budge.

By then I had enough of these screws, and used the now loose bench seat as a lever to finally extract it completely.

Fresh water tank assembly exposed
Wow! It took three hours to remove the bench seat. It would have taken only one hour if it were not for the screw from hell!

Fresh water tank assembly

Why the leak happened
As Little iPhone was capturing these pics, it was immediately noticed what caused the leak to occur. Actually, there are two leaks!

The leaks came because the hoses in the pic below have no strain reief.

Both hoses in this pic have no strain relief!
No strain relief = leaks!

Note: A hose strain relief is created by using enough hose to make an "S" shape in the length of hose.

This close-up shows both hoses disconnected
Left hose is the fresh water inlet. Right hose is the air-vent

Where's the Sergeant?
Sergeant Jim told us that he might take awhile after his 11am work start time to arrive for his promised visit. Now its almost 2pm.

In order to complete the fresh water tank repair, new hoses must be bought.

We are heading out to buy those hoses. Sergeant has our cell number.

Flexible tubing, plastic fitting, epoxy
Well, we left the park heading for the hardware store. And now it's about two hours later. It's a good thing we did this job in the Ace Hardware parking lot. Because we went for stuff at Ace about 8 times! I kid you not.

Right now we are waiting for the epoxy glue/welding to set-up. After set-up, the fresh water tank assembly has to be tested for other leaks.

Epoxy glue/welding jig

View of the fixing mess!

Note: The removed bench seat is not in the above pic. It's behind iPhone, out-of-sight. The bench seat cushions are inside Tránsito.


Finished Fresh Water Leak Project
We began to work on the Fresh Water project at 8:59am! That's over 11 hours ago. Double Wow! Hard pull!

This project had many zigs and zags. First off was the stripped out head of a Phillips screw. After the cross in the Phillips screw stripped, it took me two more hours to remove it!

At long-last, a little after 1pm, the  bench seat covering the tank was removed. Right after that, iPhone took a pic of the tank assembly, and we all saw immediately which parts were leaking.

What's the story behind the water leak?
The major leak came from a broken water inlet tube.  And that break occurred because when the fresh water tank moved, the tube broke away from the inlet spout.

The tube broke away. because the tube had no strain relief. And the strain relief was necessary, because one of the fresh water tank's hold down straps was loose.

Joy of Joys!
It is a major gift for me to be blessed with the responsibility to fix stuff that breaks! I've always been that way. I love fixing things, building things, having problems to solve. 

How it happened
I began working in the family machine shop when I was in my ninth year. And I worked in various family shops, off and on for 29 years after that. I was 39 years of age at that time that I left the business.

I had a skill for the shop. I was able to walk thru a plant full of huge machines, electric motors humming. And I was able to hear the one bearing of all those machines that was going bad.

I began my career in my Father's shop at the age of 9½ years as a drill press operator in a 1-man shop. That shop was named:
Production and Tool Engineering Company

I ended that career at the age of 38 as the General Manager of an 80-man shop, one of the largest job-stamping shops in the Western United States. That shop was named:
Punch Press Products, Inc.

Now I am an RVing Vagabonder-Supreme. Wandering the roads of the Western United States, Canada and Mexico. Searching for adventure.

But I still have inside me, the blood of a machine shop guy. Listening for a bearing going bad. A metal stamping press working too hard. A sawing machine screaming that it's blade is too dull.

Thank you God!




  1. Only got one thing to say 🤞👍

  2. I think if you mainly listen and don;t argue , this Sgt. will have the charges dropped . One more thing when your parked on the street , or places like Walmart , do not put out your awning .
    Respectfully yours

    1. My thoughts exactly but we all know George has a gene in his DNA that........... Love him to death but he's got a ego.

  3. I am eager to hear what the seargent has to say!

  4. Call him Sarge. They like that.

  5. I hate having to use a vicegrip or worse yet channel locks as a screwdriver, GRRR! I have been replacing Phillips with square head (bit) screws, I read somewhere they were called "Johnson" head.You shouldn't have to move that bench again?

  6. Your close freebird but his brothers real name is. Robertson screw
    He has another screwy six sided cousin called Torx screw
    But you got to watch out, there's about 13,,,all different sizes in that clan

  7. They also make an easy out to extract Philip or torx head screws
    You can buy a set there called speed / outs For about 10 or $12

  8. Thx Ed my error...I still like them. Torx are pricey and I always have the wrong bit size.

    1. I completely remodeled the inside of a park model home that used all Robertson screws. I swear 2 guys used two different sizes bits when it came time to put it all back
      2 10 pound box of torx screws later,,, Where not as costly as the brand new 20v Makita drill and 10 torx bit I had to buy to replace the one that we wore out
      But if it's any consideration that bad boy Park model ain't coming apart

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    1. Mr, G Before you put all of the wood back together you might want to try filling The tank first. And see if it fills real sloooow to fill

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  11. Looks to me like the Scamp manufacturers either are lacking in knowledge or going the cheap route.

  12. The manufacturer’s hose looks fine in the pictures. It appears to be the correct length, and indeed has enough of a bend to accommodate slight shifting of the tank.

    The tank appears to have a “stop” at the base that restricts it from shifting. It doesn’t appear to be able to shift enough to stress the fill hose. I would assume there is a “stop” on the other side also. Could it have been a clamp over or under tightened?

    The fill hose inside your RV should never be lower than the tank inlet. That hose will fill with water and remain full of water always. That type of hose is not designed/rated for that purpose. It will slosh, vibrate, and with the weight of the water it’s holding, stretch or constrict at every turn. Most likely will cause more stress at the connector than you had before. At minimal a reinforced plastic hose should be used and strapped down, metal reinforced even better.

    Fill that baby up until it comes out the overflow. Reach down and pick up all that extra hose and feel what will be lying on your floor always.

    The best use for the type of hose you have would be to cut it to approx 2”-3” longer than the factory hose. That will give you the advantage of a little more flex while still keeping the complete length of hose above the tank fill.

    A true “strain relief” would actually be a separate t line or strap that would be shorter in length than the fill hose, and connect (for example) to the hose claps on each end of the fill hose. The object of a stain relief is to absorb to shock of the “strained” situation…..instead of the fill hose. A better example would be to attach one end of the strain relief to fixed point on the tank harness and other end to a support on the body near the fill tube.

    Not really sure what part failed??? Was it the plastic fill tube that cracked and you repaired with epoxy??

    Don’t mean to come across as a know-it-all, but the water needs to be in the tank not the fill hose. From a plumbing stand point the filling system was designed correctly at the factory.

    At the very least, lay all the extra hose on top of the tank and secure it. That will at least allow it to drain and not be another water hazard.

    If your tank is indeed shifting enough to have caused the damage, I would inspect the water lines to the pump. There is no flex/strain relief in them that I can see. That’s much more rigid tubing than your fill hose.

    1. I agree. The original hoses looked long enough to me. I would work on anchoring the tank better.

  13. Hello George, I've been following your adventures for at least 14 years or so and after losing your address for a couple of years have recently found you again and am glad that you are still the Supreme Vagabonder. And about that "screw from hell" it seems that I always have one of those on any project I take on. Good luck and keep on keepin' on! Max from Illinois.

  14. George, no morning posting? I hope you didn't get arrested again when you met with the Sargent of Policemen. Got my fingers crossed everything okay.

  15. A Scamp owner posted following - maybe something to checkout . . . . .
    What is cost difference between using OSB board (a material not appropriate for wet) vs marine grade plywood on the floor? Not a significant amount on a product that costs as much as a trailer. Why not at least offer it as an option? Our Scamp had the fresh water mounted inside on top of that OSB and in humid weather the tank would sweat so much that water pooled under our sink - soaking everything under there. Why not at least put an inexpensive plastic pan under the tank with a drain pipe thru the floor? Whoever mounted the wood cabinets in ours used screws that were about 3/4" too long and the sharp ends of all of them protruded into the cabinets. I called and asked Scamp and the only reply I got was that I should just cut the ends of the screws off. When I climbed under the Scamp to check out everything, I found the the hole cut into the OSB board for the toilet drain pipe was far larger than the pipe and was just raw OSB edges with no caulk or sealant of any type.