Welcome to Manins' truck camper project

Auxiliary Fuel Tank

Replacement Tank

Auxiliary tank started leaking in the Flinders Ranges. Here the drip has been reduced by lowering the fuel level.

In June 2016 (approx 25,000 km) a month out in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia on a very long trip I noticed diesel dripping fast from near the front of the auxiliary fuel tank which was full. Fortunately the main tank was nearly empty so I was able to pump out almost half the fuel in the auxiliary. This slowed the leak a lot, to about one or two drips per second. When in mobile phone range, discussion with TravelTrucks suggested that an internal baffle had broken away due to travel on the rough "roads". This had happened to one or two other tanks and had been fixed in later models. They sent a replacement tank, supplied under warranty, to Alice Springs for fitment by AirPower, at the time the nearest Iveco agent. However, I had to pay for the fitting.

The AirPower technicians did a mostly good job but it took all day and cost me over $1000. Inspection showed that they had left one crucial support bracket bolt loose, had plumbed the pump in back to front so it blew rather than sucked, and had badly crimped the vent hose for the water tank. Some considerable time later, I found that the rear strap had come undone, possibly contributing to cracking of the support brackets (see below). I am thankful I don't have to deal with these people again!

One positive is that by mistake the supplied replacement tank did not have an outboard 5 litre tank for the camper's diesel heater. And fitting the takeup tube into the replacement tank would not work because the tube had been cut short for the smaller tank. The happy solution was to supply the diesel for the heater from a T in the main fuel line immediately after the fuel pre-filter. Now the heater fuel is never stale, its level never has to be checked, and the heater uses so little that vehicle operation is not jeopardised.

20170408_100921.jpg 20170318_152020.jpg

Cracked Support Brackets

At around 56,000 km I noticed that the rear strap had come undone some time earlier. Inspection showed that each of the two support brackets was cracked in both webs. This with over 100 litres of diesel on board! Replacing the missing nut on the strap was not so easy; cautious driving for the next 800 km got us home without mishap.

The fix was to either have gussets welded in place on the brackets (a really bodgy idea), or buy improved support brackets and straps from TravelTrucks. Because of some other failures (!) they now have them made from 3 mm steel rather than the original 2 mm steel.

It was a bit of a trial first removing the original brackets and tank and then fitting the new brackets and the tank. The tank has changed shape over time and this caused all manner of problems. I must have tightened and loosened the brackets three time to get the tank back in. And the straps! I had to make a lever and blocks to get them into place with the tank resisting all the time. Nevertheless the job took only about 5 hours, a few hours less than it took the clowns in Alice Springs, even including fixing up a crimped breather hose, rerouting the cable to the fuel level sensor in a sensible way, and recoating bitumen paint lost during the installation of the tank.

The strap bolts are now held on with double nylock nuts.

20170408_100904.jpg

The old, cracked, brackets out.

20170408_100945.jpg

The new, thicker, brackets ready for installation.

20170411_131025.jpg

Auxiliary tank back in with two straps bolted to the brackets.


Fuel Supply Point

20170411_131037.jpg

The diesel heater is now supplied from the main fuel line. The changeover tap above the auxiliary tank used to allow supply to the main tank or to the outboard tank for the heater. Now it continues to supply the main tank and alternatively to a barb to which a hose can be fitted to fill a container. The photo shows the tap and barb fitted with a capped tube to keep dust out.

Could be handy some time.

LINKS