On Saturday, Oct 1, we departed Las Vegas, NV on our way to Rusty’s RV Ranch in Rodeo, NM… As typical, we had our car hauler pulled out and waiting for us, hooked up, loaded the Model S into the hauler, then headed down the road.

As our TPMS started getting signals from the hauler’s tires.. I noticed two things:

  1. The tires were a bit low on pressure – not significantly, but still, they needed some air.
  2. One of the four TPMS sensors were not reporting.. a dead battery perhaps?

About 45 minutes down the road, we pulled into a truck stop so I could try and remedy both issues.

Alas, a strange thing I observed – as I was backing the hauler and coach into a truck parking spot, there was a parallel set of wet ribbons on the pavement that aligned with the edges of the coach… uh oh…

When I got out, sure enough, there was a good stream of water pouring out from both sides of the coach, out of the wet bay and AquaHot bays. In addition, I could hear the pump running… Upon turning off the water pump, the water slowed and stopped. Ah, at least I could stop the water loss.

Upon further inspection, and cycling the pump on/off a time or two.. I identified the source – the supply (and/or return) line for the domestic hot water end of the AquaHot system. Turning off the hot water supply valve in the wet bay did not prevent the water leak… so, the pump had to stay off ( with short bursts of ‘on’ state while we flushed the toilet or washed our hands ).

When we departed LVM Resort, we had 90% in our Fresh tank.. now, only 60%. A darn good thing I found and stopped the leak else we’d have exhausted our fresh water pretty quickly.

That night, I didn’t get much sleep… I awoke at about 3:30am, and of course, my brain set off to figure out a solution to the problem.

You see, it wasn’t as simple as just replacing a line or two – clearly a 5 minute job… oh no.. the longest part was just getting access to the hoses. Unfortunately, this end of the AquaHot (the hot water end) was behind the coach’s power cord reel, and the AquaHot control panel. This, was to be a job of a few hours at least.

Worse yet.. Rusty’s RV Ranch is very much, the middle of no where. The closest grocery store was an hour’s drive. And, I didn’t look forward to working on a wet project on the long dirt pull-throughs and commonly high winds of that locale.

With only 3.5 hours of drive time to Rusty’s that morning… I though, I should be able to knock out this repair in a much better spot.. some place where I could easily get parts.. with an asphalt surface. Oh, how about a Lowes or Home Depot parking lot? Yes, indeed… the closest one was only 16 minutes from where we stopped.

With plan in place… and not a hot shower to start my day… we made our way to Home Depot where I set about tearing into the coach and finalizing my repair plan.

It turns out, the supply and return lines for the domestic hot water to the AquaHot were installed to rest on top of the cut edge of an 1/8″ steel wall. And, by the evidence… it takes just over 7 years for these braided steel lines to be worn through and to spring a leak.

I ended up replacing the braided steel lines with 1/2″ Pex line instead, and adding a rubber bumper on top of the cut wall to prevent future cutting through – in case the Pex line comes in contact with the wall.

Here are some fun highlight photos of my repair session… šŸ™‚


Resident Tesla nut and polymath. Raised in eastern Kentucky, joined the US Navy at 19 to operate a Nuclear Reactor on a Fast-Attack submarine. After finishing his enlistment, Michael has continued to follow his passions in technology, astronomy, and of course, traveling the country.


Ryan · 2022-11-14 at 19:21

I’m curious as to how many gallons these reservoirs hold?

    Michael · 2022-11-14 at 19:23

    Hi Ryan, on our RV, the fresh tank holds 90 gallons. The size will vary greatly depending on the make and model of the RV though…

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