Whale "caravan" water fill.

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Post by Nuevo II EK on Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:06 pm

The submersible whale pump supplied with my now ex-2010 Nuevo II EK would lift 10lts of water from a bucket in just under 2 minutes I know this because I timed it and this was after I had cleaned out the in-line filter. Although we were happy with the A/S we hated the useless water fill system and this was one of the main reasons we have not bought another A/S and are buying another make with a conventional water fill system.
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Post by DuxDeluxe on Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:12 pm

I don't find it inconvenient, I must say - mine is the Truma version. I fill through a conventional (supplied) hose without any issues and when out and about, refills are accomplished either through the same hose, or with the pump and a few feet of hose submersed in a Fiamma 23 litre carrier, which I have used precisely once in the last two years. Filling speed on mine is the same as the previous van.
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Post by inspiredron on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:42 pm

Nuevo II EK wrote:The submersible whale pump supplied with my now ex-2010 Nuevo II EK would lift 10lts of water from a bucket in just under 2 minutes I know this because I timed it and this was after I had cleaned out the in-line filter. Although we were happy with the A/S we hated the useless water fill system and this was one of the main reasons we have not bought another A/S and are buying another make with a conventional water fill system.

My 30 seconds was a guess - I only tried it once, back in the autumn, and it seemed very quick at the time. It might well have been longer than 30 seconds though. But I don't think that mine has any in-line filter. If it does then I haven't seen it, let alone cleaned it. Perhaps it is the filter that really slows down the filling for some folk. I wonder if the 2013 models will have a filter?
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Post by DuxDeluxe on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:21 pm

Nuevo II EK wrote:The submersible whale pump supplied with my now ex-2010 Nuevo II EK would lift 10lts of water from a bucket in just under 2 minutes I know this because I timed it and this was after I had cleaned out the in-line filter. Although we were happy with the A/S we hated the useless water fill system and this was one of the main reasons we have not bought another A/S and are buying another make with a conventional water fill system.

It is always possible to specify of adapt to another conventional filling system. It is a free country but a water filler can't really the one of the main reasons not to buy? shrugg
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:33 pm

My first three vans had a nice big pipe to pour fresh water in. I filled up with a hose at home and always carried (but rarely used) a flat 'blue' hose. On travels I've found it best to 'service' the van every day on the basis that if illness or weather interfere you can always have a couple of 'days off'. I used a 7 litre watering can with a flexible end to top up fresh water and the toilet flush (the end never touching anything). It is easy to carry the watering can and cassette to the service point, empty one and fill the other. Next trip take a bucket of grey water instead of the cassette and job done.

AS introduced the Whale and Truma fill sytems so that they could use a small bore pipe for filling and therefore locate the fresh water tank more or less anywhere. That gave flexibility of design for layout of the habitation fittings and for weight distribution.

The Whale system is complex including an electrically operated valve sensitive to water pressure on the water inlet with overall control by a level detector in the fresh water tank. The system is designed so that it can be connected permanently to a water supply or used and filled as required by an external pump. The system works ok but don't touch the pressure adjustement on the back of the filler valve.

The Truma system is not - its just a small bore pipe connector. If you fill from a height of about 2.5 meters the water will just flow in. The vehicle will be supplied with either a hose fitted with a pressure reducer or an external pump or both.

As well as the range of UK and continental main sites we use aires and stellplatz and their multitude of differing service stations and spend lots of time with no hook up. Using electricity to fill with water, trying to connect a hose to many continental taps and carrying additional water containers all said I'd never have either of those small bore fresh water filling system - then the perfect van came along, except it had the Truma fill system, That was (nearly) all we didn't like so we bought it.

I've now had a years experience with the Truma system and its ok. The pressure reducer in the hose means that you will only get 40 litres from a service point for your euro rather than the 80 expected. It turns out however that the reducer is to protect caravan systems where switches on the taps operate the pump that would not be happy fighting off a high mains pressure. That is not a problem in the store and forward water systems used in motorhomes. The filler connection might 'blow off' if the pressuer is too high but you don't have to turn the tap full on. I now use a hose without a pressure reducer and the tank fills as quickly as the old style filler.

As before on site I usually fill with my watering can (I now have a german 10 litre can made for motorhoming) and use the external pump (you need a water container with a wide neck to accomodate the pump). The power supply to the pump is controlled by the Sargent control unit. This can be set to be permanently on. I've modified my pump fill unit to include a switch in the pump wiring on the van connector. I can now operate my 'service routine' exactly as I have done with my previous vans.

I'm happy with the Truma system but would rather not have the Whale.

Finally I would like to have kept the large bore no electricity needed older system but if small bore was needed to enable the van I have, so be it!

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Post by inspiredron on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:54 pm

Helpful post, Peter, particularly about the speed cutting down how much you can take from an aire or stelplatz service point. But it looks as though you are using the external pump as your reserve input device anyway. I don't think that the pump's power usage is significant when you don't have an EHU.
I had forgotten to add to my posts that, with the Whale, there is a widget that you fit to the block that normally slots onto the inlet which disables the valve within the block (just like the inlet itself does) which is designed specifically for filling the loo's header tank. But you do have to hold it for that! and have somebody to turn the tap on and off.
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Post by Guest on Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:27 am

Thank you all for the replies.

Now I need to decide what to do for my new Nuevo content

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Post by murph on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:38 pm

Personally on the basis of negatives versus positives on this forum, if a van had one of these as standard and the converters wouldn't alter it I would not imediately discard it, as there must be a way of fitting a standard filler even if this meant replacing the tank because the filler neck was too small, though I am quite sure in most cases that the small filler could be cut off and replaced with a nut in type filler neck. If you cant do this yourself the supplying dealer should be able to if he is any good, if he can't or won't deal elsewhere. if you cant get on with it it would be well worth £100 to £200 to get it altered.
Haggle over the price as most dealers would not want to lose a sale, they might even do it as part of the deal.

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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:34 pm

The problem with altering the fill system is that as well as replacing the filling point you need to establish a large bore downhill pipe route to the tank as the water will not flow through the small bore pipe without about 2.5 to 3 metres of head or pressure generated by the mains or a pump. It varies from van to van even within a model range and certainly there are a few that can be modified but most can't without some other compromise.

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Post by DuxDeluxe on Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:46 pm

Penguin had a normal system fitted next to his Truma system on his (I think) Nuevo..... Don't know if he calls in here any more but he had the best of both worlds
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Post by inspiredron on Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:42 pm

DuxDeluxe wrote:Penguin had a normal system fitted next to his Truma system on his (I think) Nuevo..... Don't know if he calls in here any more but he had the best of both worlds

That's what Auto-Sleeper offered me - but it takes up extra space in a bed locker that already has a big cover over the Whale filler, the Gas Locker, and the battery. As I have said previously, I declined.
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Post by Guest on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:58 am

Update

Once again I have found all comments on this thread very helpful.

As my Nuevo ES has not yet been built I have been given the option to have a conventional filler as well as the whale filler. I'm assured there is no u-bend involved. Given the new layout of the ES I don't think there should be too much of a compromise in storage space in the bed box.

I'm tempted to go for both.

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Post by Dutto on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Hi there,

I haven't contributed to this Thread because I actually think it is a "no-brainer" subject!

When I had a caravan I started off with a 10 litre can that I used to hump the length and breadth of caravan sites. The water was decanted by means of a small hand pump attached to the can.

I then graduated to a 30 litre Aqua-roll which I used to trundle the length and breadth of caravan sites. The water was decanted by means of an electric pump dropped into the Aqua-roll.

I then graduated to a 30 litre internal tank but I still had to trundle the Aqua-roll the length and breadth of caravan sites. The water was decanted from the Aqua-roll to the internal tank and the only difference it made was that we could "tour" for a limited amount of time without looking for water.

Why did I need the Aqua-roll when I had an internal tank? Because the pitches were often a long way from a water supply and filling the caravan's internal tank involved raising levellers, hitching the caravan up to the car and towing it to the tap.

During all of this time I also had a Waste Water tank. It started off as a 10 litre can and finished up as a 30 litre gadget on wheels. The Waste Water Tank also had to be humped or trundled the length and breadth of caravan sites!

Then I bought a motorhome in the form of "Petal" with a 35 litre internal supply tank and an internal waste water tank. allthumbz allthumbz

Now all we have to do to get water is to turn the ignition key and drive over to a tap once every three to four days; which we have to do anyway to empty the waste water tank and the toilet cassette!

In my opinion, the less kit you carry the less maintenance you have to worry about, the less things can go wrong and for sure the space and weight can be used for other things! allthumbz allthumbz

Hope this helps. wave wave

Best regards,
drinksallround

PS I was recently walking around a caravan site with a mate of long standing. We were admiring some of the mobile palaces which were hooked up with power supply, cable TV, pressurised water supply and both "black" and "grey" waste lines plumbed into a sewer system.

Neil turned to me and said "Remember when all we had was a jerry-can of water and a waste hose that ran to a bucket with a hole in the bottom?" lol4 lol4

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Post by Guest on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:05 pm

It seems to me these days there are two types of motorhomers. Those that keep their van virtually permanently on site and explore the area on foot / bus etc and those who move their vehicle daily from the site to explore / go places. With the whale filler, I suppose A/S are trying to cater for the former, so these motorhomers just need to re-fill using an aquaroll, without moving their vans. Its each to their own, but we fall into the latter category and would always want conventional filler. up!
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Post by murph on Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:17 am

Hi All,
I totally agree with Hoopman, and AS should provide for the wild camper by advertising a choice rather than assuming that everyone stays on sites, if you want to do that you might as well buy a caravan at a much lower price. Surely
motorhomes are for touring rather than being parked up.
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Post by inspiredron on Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:02 pm

hoopman wrote:It seems to me these days there are two types of motorhomers. Those that keep their van virtually permanently on site and explore the area on foot / bus etc and those who move their vehicle daily from the site to explore / go places. With the whale filler, I suppose A/S are trying to cater for the former, so these motorhomers just need to re-fill using an aquaroll, without moving their vans. Its each to their own, but we fall into the latter category and would always want conventional filler. up!
John

I don't agree - the Whale is fine for me and we move on most days. It is at its worst if you don't move the van. After all who wants to clutter up the van with an aquaroll? I have not even found the need to take a collapsible container!
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Post by Peterm on Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:13 pm

I wonder if there is any point having ASOCs and forums, and AS managers at the AGM. They are clearly neither listening to or consulting their customers, and have not got the technical skills of many of them.
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Post by Rufus Stone on Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:48 am

We first experienced the Whale system on our Cotswold. On a Caravan Club site for the initial check and run up all went well. Next a visit to a CL in Norfolk. Excellent site with hard standing and water/waste available on pitch.

Problem experienced was the inability of the Whale submersible pump in the fresh water tank to handle water that has a higher than normal air content. We travelled with the tank near empty, filled up on site in Norfolk and then found the pump would not work. After extensive investigation I made contact with Autosleepers who, whilst very helpful and accommodating, could not resolve the problem. We therefore had to drain the fresh water system; go without centrally heated hot water and use a kettle for the rest of the stay.

Following our return home it appears that the water on the site in Norfolk, being off a local well and highly filtered, had too much air in it for the pump to handle. I communicated this to Autosleepers who spoke to Whale Engineering. The latter agreed that in some circumstances this will occur. The object lesson is that with this relatively new, costly and premium brand product (the Cotswold), you are somewhat limited as to where you camp and the type of water you use!

Good eh? Rufus
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Post by inspiredron on Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:15 pm

Rufus Stone wrote:

Following our return home it appears that the water on the site in Norfolk, being off a local well and highly filtered, had too much air in it for the pump to handle. I communicated this to Autosleepers who spoke to Whale Engineering. The latter agreed that in some circumstances this will occur. The object lesson is that with this relatively new, costly and premium brand product (the Cotswold), you are somewhat limited as to where you camp and the type of water you use!

Good eh? Rufus

No, Not good - but IMHO you are being pretty hard on A/S and Whale.
There must have been a HUGE amount of air in the water that you had taken on board. I have been caravanning/motorhoming since 1972, always with Whale pumps (submersible since electric - the first were foot pumps), and have never experienced this issue. And Whale have always been superb over any contact that I have made with them. I would say that this is a once in a lifetime problem - or was there a problem unrelated to the water supply?

The only time we lost water feed was when the outlet blew off a submersible pump because the clip was not tight enough - but I would hope that your extensive checks would have discovered that. On that van there was no pressure switch as each tap had its own microswitch.

I presume when you turned on the water pump switch on the Sargent panel that the pump ran non-stop (because the pressure switch was not being turned off)? Did ANY water come from the tap when you opened it? You always need to open a tap when you first fill the system and wait for a steady flow or air will be trapped in the pipes preventing pressure building to turn off the pump. And a hot tap must be open for the boiler to fill - no water in there can spell disaster.

If the pump was not pumping water from the taps but was running continuously it can only mean three things -
1. The pump is not sitting in water.
2. The outlet pipe has come off the pump
3. There is an air lock at the pump, which these pumps are designed to avoid, so that the impeller is turning in air (if it is a rotary impeller) or the pistons are pumping air if it is a pumping type rather than impeller. That could mean that the pump is inverted so that the impeller is out of the water - its chamber must be in the water - that is how it primes itself - water pumps cannot pump air, only water.
I have not investigated the pump on our Lancashire but its throb makes it sound like a piston type rather then a rotary impeller. That points to 1 or 2 as the more likely causes.

I would be amazed if the air content in the water was enough to stop the pump from working. My guess would be that the water would need to be around 50% or more air, as though you the pump was trying to pick up water from the bottom of a waterfall - possible if you were taking off water while still filling - but that would settle after a few minutes in the tank and normal operation would recur.

Let us know once you (or the dealer) find the cause.

BTW This thread is principally about filling the tank and the relative merits of an open hole or the Whale Filler, not emptying it. up!
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Post by paul bullock on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:17 pm

I ordered a nuevo ek at the nec 2011 and stipulated i needed a conventional water filler, it arrived with both ive not used the whale and all seems ok! smile!
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Post by Lyonnesse on Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:56 pm

I have read with interest all the comments on this subject and agree that it is not fit for purpose. It is also un-hygienic, the external pump is stored wet the ideal place for bugs to multiply, and it is impossible to keep it clean never mind sterile. The sooner we return to a simple hose with a lockable cap the better.
I have a Broadway and will not buy another Autosleeper with this system
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Post by skyrakes on Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:29 pm

No problem filling with the supplied hose. Connect up go for a natter (It switches off when full). I take a aqua roll for topping up using the supplied small pump. That is if I stay on a site more than a couple of days. I can also leave the aqua roll (With the van reg no printed on) on my pitch if I wander off in the van.
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Post by Jaime 007 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:49 pm

The people at Willersley are able to retro fit an additional water filling system at a cost of £205.48 excl VAT. I will be arranging to have this work done when the weather has improved so that if the present system fails, (it has done so already-solenoid failure) at least I will have a back up system. Conatct Alan Curry (Customer Service Manager) or Mark in the service department.

I hope that this info will be of use to you
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Post by Barbara K on Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:58 pm

I've been following this topic with interest as I was also concerned about the length of time that we waited for our 2011 Cotswold to fill with water. After 30 mins at 1 service point somebody told us that the connection to the van should be tighter and used the cover to lock the connection in place. This did speed things up a bit.
As we now need to disinfect the system before taking the van out to Spain I wonder how this is achieved in a closed system. There was only the flat hose supplied with our van.
thanks for any help.
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Post by Robbie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:54 pm

Barbara K wrote:I've been following this topic with interest as I was also concerned about the length of time that we waited for our 2011 Cotswold to fill with water. After 30 mins at 1 service pint somebody told us that the connection to the van should be tighter and used the cover to lock the connection in place. This did speed things up a bit.
As we now need to disinfect the system before taking the van out to Spain I wonder how this is achieved in a closed system. There was only the flat hose supplied with our van.
thanks for any help.


I agree you do need to use the cover to lock the filler properly into place or it wont fill promptly
You will have an external pump with your van as well just use that and put it into a drum filled with your cleaning solution. Remember to change your pump setting on the control panel to external and then when ready select fill.

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