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Something is causing the fresh water reading to be all over the place.

 

Night before last I heard the water pump kick on and not stop running.  I checked the fresh water level and it said 19%.  The pump kept running so I turned it off and connected the fresh water source at the campsite.

 

Got home last night, and parked the trailer.  Cleaning up this morning I check the fresh water level and it said 82%.  I added some water to the fresh water tank and it said 69%.

 

I put the trailer away and checked the fresh water and it said 0%.

 

All these reading were taken while the trailer was level.

 

Any ideas?

 

2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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A couple of things here. First, the pump kicking in and running non-stop. This usually indicates a water leak somewhere. That would also explain the initial low tank reading. With water in the tank and the pump running, or hooked to a water source, look for water draining from any weep holes under the trailer.

Next, the erratic readings. I have seen our fresh water readings jump significantly with minor changes in trailer level front-to-back or side-to-side. Haven't seen a 0-69% variance, though. I would experiment with multiple readings, adding water/draining the tank without moving the trailer.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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7 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

A couple of things here. First, the pump kicking in and running non-stop. This usually indicates a water leak somewhere. That would also explain the initial low tank reading. With water in the tank and the pump running, or hooked to a water source, look for water draining from any weep holes under the trailer.

I figured the pump running was because there was no water for it to draw in.  There are no leaks.

 

I left the house with a full tank of fresh water.  The meter said 100% and I know it was full because of the overflow draining.

2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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Our tank gauge also differs quite a bit depending on the level, which makes sense knowing the shape of the tank - long and flat. It takes forever to drain if not at the right angle. The pump running continuously would be a concern. My understanding about pumps is don't run them dry. This typically destroys the impeller.  Be interesting to hear what you find out.

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Hull #1238 - Legacy Elite II, TB. TV 2017 Tundra TRD.

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52 minutes ago, HDRider said:

I figured the pump running was because there was no water for it to draw in.  There are no leaks.

Make sure that your valve configuration is proper and that those valves are fully set into the position you desire.

 

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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1 hour ago, aaronorange said:

The pump running continuously would be a concern. My understanding about pumps is don't run them dry.

It is back to normal now that I have water in the FW tank. 

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2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

Make sure that your valve configuration is proper and that those valves are fully set into the position you desire.

 

I have not messed with anything since day one.  

2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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Part of my consternation is related to the fact I washed a big chuck of plastic out of my gray tank the second time I drained it.  That has me wondering if a cutout is floating around in the FW tank wreaking havoc with my meter.

 

I would not have left the pump on if the FW ran out, but it said 19% so I was still using it.  I pay attention to stuff, and expect the meter to be accurate. 

 

The joys of the burn in period. 

2023 Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull #1423

TV - 2015 Silverado 2500 Duramax 4x4

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More than likely, under the assumption that there is still a plastic plug in the water tank, anything inside the tank isn't causing your problem with the readout (however, this is still a possible explanation).

As Steph and Dud B mentions above, Olivers are very susceptible to rather "wild" tank" readings due to the trailer not being level and this is due to the shape of the tanks.

The sensors are on the exterior of the tanks - the easiest ones to actually see are the ones on the black tank.  Lift the dinette seat nearest the bathroom to locate the black tank.  Then look at the sensors usually located at the lower right side of the tank.  Unless you have placed something against these exterior sensors that interferes with the connections it is unlikely that these are the source of the issue.

Given where you live, I assume that you will be taking your Oliver back to Service at some point (something just before the first year's anniversary would be appropriate) in order to have it re-checked and to get anything fixed under your one year bumper to bumper warranty.

Bill

2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Our tank maxes out at 88%, with water pouring out of the overflow. Oliver said our fresh water monitor was fine, but the gray was bad and they replaced the gray monitor. 

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 John & Susan Dorrer, 2013 F250, 6.2 gasser, 4x4, 2022 Legacy Elite 2, twin beds, Hull #1045, Jolli Olli

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31 minutes ago, John Dorrer said:

Our tank maxes out at 88%, with water pouring out of the overflow.

Ours usually reads 100% well before water comes out the overflow. Not exactly precision instruments.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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As far as the pump running all the time. You could have a air leak on the suction side of the pump. Check all the threaded connections to make sure they are tight and put your hand on the other connections to see if you can feel a suction..

A good test of the tightness of the suction side of the water lines is to line up the valves to suction water out of a bucket using the rear boondocking connection. If you can pull in water from a bucket then your piping is tight. If not that would indicate a loose connection somewhere.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

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With the long and low tanks, the see level is definitely an approximation, especially if you're not "perfectly " level, front to back, side to side .

Even so, they are more "accurate " than most, since the sensors are exterior, and properly calibrated, they do a reasonable job, so we opted for see level when we installed new grey and black tanks to increase holding capacity in our sailboat, seven years ago.

If you think it's fun getting actual readings in a trailer, think about a sailboat on a heel. 😁 

I'd recheck the valves, and look at dewdev's suggestions. 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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No way to be level at all where we live and travel. Only had our Oliver for 4 months and only went on one weekend trip so far. We left with a "full tank" as it did overflow. The meter was all over the place, before and after, never counted on any tank reading in any RV! Our gray and black tank readings are also not accurate.

We ran out of water after two days out. From our past RV experiences, thought we could not have used more than 20 gallons, 25 max. Good thing we have a 35-gal fresh tank in the truck bed. Pumped it into the OTT fresh tank to finish our trip.

Will have the electric motorized water ball valves soon, so not to move the bed. Figure we will always have 55-60 gal with both tanks filled (full s/b 70 gal). We fill up at home when going on local boondocking trips. There is no way on our property to park flat, unless I spent time with leveling blocks and I'm not going got do that at home, when packing for a trip.

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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jd1923, Using your 3 way fridge when the trailer is not very close to level in all directions is dangerous over the long term. This is true even when you are running it off shore power. You have a couple of choices, grade your parking spot and always level the trailer when camping, or install a DC compressor fridge with extra solar and battery capacity to run it.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/8865-fridge-fires-if-you-have-an-older-hull-you-really-need-to-pull-out-that-fridge-now/

There is a device called Fridge Defend that will monitor temperatures, but it is impossible to install in the old hulls without removing the fridge first, due to inadequate access from the outside. You cannot even inspect most of the critical components annually, as called out in the Dometic manuals, without doing that! Bad Oliver engineering on display here!

ALL your Ollie systems are designed to operate when level! The fresh and grey tanks are long and low, so minor variations affect the sensors and how much water is available to the pump... There was a factory “fresh water pickup tube” mod available for the older hulls, it moves the pump supply tube up top where it belongs, instead of at the back rear wall of the tank. I am guessing your Hull 113 tank was never modified, so you are only able to use about 20 gallons at best, when level, and less than that if the tongue is low!

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/2261-how-to-fresh-water-tank-suction-tube-mod-no-spin-welding-required/

This “no weld” modification worked very well for years, but actually adding the top fitting is a better solution from an engineering perspective. I do not know if Oliver ever issued alerts to owners about this, it really should be a Technical Service Bulletin!

John Davies

Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

jd1923, Using your 3 way fridge when the trailer is not very close to level in all directions is dangerous over the long term...

Our RV parking spot at home is somewhat graded. Five years ago, I installed a TuffShed. We picked the most level spot on our property, still Adam and I moved a lot of dirt downhill to level the 10x20 FT pad. Ordered a full truckload of driveway gravel for under the shed and a 10x30 parking area below it. 

Later I ran 125' 8GA burial type cable to a new panel in the shed, for lights, outlets and 30A service for RV use. I also built a ramp/platform out of used 2x10s, 3 layers so it's 4.5" tall for the downhill trailer wheels. We park the OTT level. Problem is the parking spot is also 125 FT away from the hose bib on the house. If I buy another 50' length of hose for potable water, it can reach, so I will buy a third hose soon!

The fridge is off when parked, with door cracked open. We do start it up 2 days before leaving. Often, I pull it up towards the house for it to be easy for Chris to pack clothes and food, and I fill the water, check tire pressure, etc. It's not level in our driveway. We run the fridge on LP from 2 days before any travel until the day after our return and there is no way to be level.

What about the fridge on while driving in the mountains? Not often level in route! That's when you always need LP. Never heard of this issue with other makes, though the Class A and C in my experience had full size fridges. Also, our Bigfoot had a 63-gal tank that we were certain had 60-gal when full. Every RV manufacturer makes bad design decisions. BF put their large freshwater tank behind the rear bed, adding 500 # as far back as possible! I'll have to keep my eye on it. There is a thermostat-controlled ventilation fan added to our unit.

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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49 minutes ago, jd1923 said:

What about the fridge on while driving in the mountains? Not often level in route!

ALL absorption fridges work in this manner.  It usually isn't a "problem" while traveling because the ammonia (liquid) gets "moved" around a fair amount in all directions.  In fact - if one of these fridges stops working because of being left in a unleveled state for too long, driving it around on rough roads possibly will settle the liquid back to where its supposed to be and the fridge will work again.

You can Google it but here is a quick idea of why they must be "fairly" level:

RV fridges are susceptible to issues when not level because it can cause the ammonia/water solution to not flow properly and accumulate in low points of the system. Additionally, an unlevel RV can allow ammonia crystals to form inside the refrigerators piping.Oct 28, 2019

Basically, a good rule of thumb is that if you would feel "comfortable" living inside the trailer (i.e. sleeping) overnight, then the trailer is level enough for the fridge.  However, the closer the trailer is to level in all directions - the better the fridge will work.

Bill

2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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37 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

It usually isn't a "problem" while traveling because the ammonia (liquid) gets "moved" around a fair amount in all directions.  In fact - if one of these fridges stops working because of being left in a unleveled state for too long, driving it around on rough roads possibly will settle the liquid back to where it's supposed to be and the fridge will work again.

Thanks Bill, again I can count on the owner of that young girl named Twist #117! This thread goes from a drastic alarmed state, must replace it, to just be aware and keep an eye on it. I have a nose that can smell LP, other fuels, ammonia, any household cleaner in milliseconds. I also hear machine sounds that nobody hears! The only thing I should change is not to park her on our unlevel driveway 2 days prior to leaving. Keep it parked level. Get the longer hose to fill the tank there and pack and get ready on the flat.

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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Here's our #113, parked level in our driveway. The front jack must be lowered, and lowered again, until it's less than 4" off the ground! Exterior Courtesy Lights running 24x7 to fend of the Arizona Pack Rats! We love living in the mountains. Was brought up as flatlanders, you can keep suburbia, worth the effort to escape, for us never again living flat and humid!

BTW, don't jack up the rear, behind the rear stabilizer jack, for maintenance of the wheel bearings, brakes or ANYTHING else, without first having your OTT level! Working maintenance, I will always be careful as wrtned.

However, it totally s@cks that we have to level like this to merely fill a FRESH WATER TANK!!! (or run the fridge, OMG!) Hello OTT, you can install a flat FWT designed with interior baffles, so that it can be filled to 90% capacity at ANY level! Yes, can be done! Ty

Parked Level.jpg

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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12 hours ago, jd1923 said:

However, it totally s@cks that we have to level like this to merely fill a FRESH WATER TANK!!! (or run the fridge, OMG!) Hello OTT, you can install a flat FWT designed with interior baffles, so that it can be filled to 90% capacity at ANY level! Yes, can be done!

Well, certainly it is almost not possible to fill the Oliver water tank to 100% full if you are not reasonably level.  But, my Ollie isn't perfectly level (nor do I spend the time to make it so) when I have it in my driveway preparing for travel.  Interestingly, while in my driveway my Ollie is slightly high at the front and slightly tilted to the street side.  Being slightly high in the front means that the overflow tube in higher than it would be if things were level and with the tilt being low on the street side it also makes the over flow tube higher than it would be at level.  All this results in a fresh water tank that basically gets "overfilled".  No problem for me except for that first time I pulled out of the driveway and my wife started yell that I had a leak - due to the "excess" water now coming out of the overflow tube.

Having said all this - I normally don't fill my fresh water tank with any more water than necessary.  If my plan is to simply be driving for the day and I know that I'll be stopping at a campground that night, I just might not fill that tank at all - why tow around the weight of the water.  Note here that I always have a couple of milk jugs with water in them stored by the toilet in order to have water to flush my standard toilet when necessary.

Don't forget - one of the main benefits of the tank design in the Oliver is that the weights of the liquids in these tanks is distributed low down and relatively evenly from side to side.  This is a major contributing factor in the towing stability of Olivers.

Bill

p.s.  both the fridge and the fresh water do not require that the Oliver be perfectly level in order to fill and/or use them.  Specific degrees of "off level" can probably be found in any particular manufacturers owner's manual.  I simply use my senses in order to determine what is OK for level - if I can sleep relatively comfortably and if my adult beverage doesn't roll off the dinette then I'm good to go.

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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jd1923, Do not discount the fire risk of your old Dometic fridge! Just because you never heard of this issue with other makes doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious problem. With a used trailer you have no idea how the previous owners used the appliances.

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RV Fire – 3 Things You MUST Do Today!

There is a lot of useful info here,

https://www.arprv.com/products.php

but be aware that you cannot install one of their kits into your older hull without removing the refrigerator fully into the cabin to gain access to the working section. Remove  your fridge and inspect it, it will most likely be in a dangerous condition. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

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Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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23 hours ago, jd1923 said:

However, it totally s@cks that we have to level like this to merely fill a FRESH WATER TANK!!! (or run the fridge, OMG!) Hello OTT, you can install a flat FWT designed with interior baffles, so that it can be filled to 90% capacity at ANY level! Yes, can be done! Ty

That is true of any rv, as far as a 3 way fridge. Doesn't matter what brand, trailer, motorhome or fridge. If you are comfortable walking around and sleeping, the fridge is likely ok running.  If you are parked on an incline, the fridge is in danger of crystalizing the coolant. Period. Driving up and down mountain roads is irrelevant,  as you're obviously going up and down, and redistributing. Parked without running fridge, also no issue.

 Statement is a little more "true" for the low and flat fresh and grey water tanks, BUT they also have significant advantage. Water weight is kept low, adding to stability. Enclosed, not exposed to parking bumpers, etc. And, add to the towing stability,  imo.

(Someday, let me tell you  about a used rv we delivered, with exposed grey tank that some previous driver had damaged.... and our repairs, over a ditch, on our backs, on a tarp,  in the yukon. I miss that belt I sacrificed, and the hours we spent hunting down stainless strapping.. ollie enclosed system is so much better!)

We manage water by filling the freshwater tank, and monitoring.  We rarely hook up to city water. (Three or four times in 15 years?)

If the grey shows full, fresh is close to empty. Or vice versa. We can "see" black level with a flashlight, if necessary,  and leave it out of the equation. 

It's not rocket science. Eventually,  you'll know if you are close to  full. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/9/2023 at 6:29 AM, John E Davies said:

https://www.arprv.com/products.php

but be aware that you cannot install one of their kits into your older hull without removing the refrigerator fully into the cabin to gain access to the working section. Remove  your fridge and inspect it, it will most likely be in a dangerous condition. 

JD:  Spot on from the guy that has been there and done that!    Thanks for your caution and taking the time to remind the new guys.  

IMHO, the removal process as JD has documented in his posts is a PITA.  With advent and now widespread installation of Litho's with suitcase/rooftop solar, the capability of our DC systems is to the point that we can seriously consider removing and replacing the frig with an inverter frig.  Even though I have a huge supply of JD's service parts from his efforts, I likely will be adding to it and passing them along to another OTT or SOB (MaxBurner Term) :-).

Until I have the time to do so, I do recommend adding supplemental twin fan exhausters as I have posted (and others with other fan units).  By increasing the airflow/heat exchange you are lowering the temperature and alleviating some of the risk of these three-way gas fired refers.    

Once again, IMHO, this is just another reason to ensure your propane and smoke detectors are replaced early (For sure no later than 5 years service).  

GJ

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TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.

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