Somewhere in Nebraska we had a spare fuel tank fail. It made a bit of a mess, as it was mounted on the roof of the van. The story goes something like this.
Mike and Geneva were sitting in the shade of a tree with the dogs. They were about 40 feet behind the van. They smelled gasoline and commented that it must have been the last motorhome that pulled out. About ten minutes later a woman walked over and said “hey, there is gas pouring down your van.” We jumped up and ran over to find exactly that. Gasoline was running down the roof, across the windshield cover and down the front of the van. Geneva removed the windshield cover quickly, hoping to save the rather costly plastic coated canvas privacy screen. Mike removed the offending Rotopax. Then we began to clean up the mess. The gasoline had melted the wiper blades into little wrinkled snakes. It was beginning to eat at the windshield gasket. We were hopeful that it did not run into the headlight and dash wiring and melt anything.
As we started to wipe it with soapy water the neighbor lady came back with a Melaluca cleaning product and explained her observation. She was inside her trailer cooking when she smelled gasoline. She poked her head out and asked her husband what he was doing with gas and he said “I ain’t doing nuthin’ but watchin’ it run all over that there van.” Apparently this was the most entertaining thing going on in this RV park in Nebraska, but she felt it best to inform us! Interesting.
After we cleaned it up as much as possible we assessed the damage. Mike put on new wiper blades. We tested the lights and electrical system. Geneva took the windshield wrap to the shower for a bath. We checked the Rotopax can for cracks. We moaned and groaned about the peeled overcoat of paint. The worst damage was the plasti-paint that Geneva had applied to help prevent rock dings.
The can looked fine on both sides. But we found the tiny crack inside this handle area. The crack is not much larger than a piece of dog-hair. but with the pressure and location, it was enough to leak out 3 gallons of gasoline in about 20 minutes time. And provided a bored Nebraskan an hours worth of entertainment as we cleaned up the mess.
I will close by saying that after much cajoling and communication with Rotopax, we have been shipped a new tank AND had our purchase price refunded. Thanks, Rotopax. Our spare fuel is now back up on the roof rack where it belongs.