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Old 06-21-2019, 05:20 PM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
TYLER , TX
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1965 Safari Thetford Check Valve

Hi! First time post! Please forgive any etiquette faux pas.

We have a 1965 Safar Land Yatch Twin 22í

Our toilet has water constantly trickling into the bowl. It never shuts off completely. I believe it is the check valve. I took the valve off and closed the ball and poured water in the top and it poured out the bottom. Now, Iím not the smartest gal on the planet, but I do believe that would be a problem. I bought what everyone seems to think is the proper replacement, but the holes donít line up. It might be possible to fill the holes and retap new holes to make it fit. It is the Thetford 09868 Ball Valve.

So many questions... Did I buy the wrong ball valve? Can I possibly make do with this one?

One more question, as I look in the brass valve, it looks as though the lip has come unseated (if that is possible). Could the brass valve be repaired? It sounds silly even asking, tbh.

I read my forum emails diligently, but I donít seem to find this exact topic. Thank you in advance for you time.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:51 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi from Colorado: Welcome to the Airstream Forums. There are a lot of folks more knowledgeable than me who might very well chime in.

I had a 66 Trade Wind 24' twin, one size up from your Safari. The toilet in the thing was worn out. It was interesting to me how hard someone worked to make a gravity toilet for an RV back then. Mine was leaking and rotted out the plywood it was mounted to.

I enjoy spending other people's money. I'd suggest you replace that antique with a modern RV toilet. They cost about $250. Unfortunately, like your new valve, nothing would fit. So new toilet becomes a new subfloor, becomes a new black tank, becomes a new drain manifold. And while you're at it, you can add a new grey water tank too. Now you might as well rebuild the bath. Maybe you don't like the sink over tub design, I didn't.

Some help hun? Now your Safari will be up on jack stands for a year or so. But it will be a significantly better trailer when you are done.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:41 PM   #3
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1965 22' Safari
TYLER , TX
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Considering

Hi dbj216!

Thank you so much for your reply. My Safari is in near mint condition. The sub flooring is great. The stove hasn’t even been cooked in, so I am a little hesitant to start tearing apart. I realize that is the standard answer. That being said, I remember a debate on a here a few weeks ago about this same subject and baby and bathwater. One point that was made was fight the battle now or later when you are retired (sic). It did get me thinking. I do have a good fiberglass guy. I would keep the bath/sink combo because at rallys, that is the most commented feature. So if money is not my first concern, then I am going to try to repair it.

I looked through a few pages of your thread. Your progress is phenomenal. I love the shower install.

PS My husband wants to know if you still have the check valve, lol !!!
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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That old porclein toilet must have weight 20 pounds. It was heavy. I didn't keep it. The linkage was rusted tight.

I wondered if your Safari was in good condition when I saw you wanted to repair this old toilet. Most 50+ Airstreams aren't in very good condition and need a lot of work. So that's what I guessed, and guessed wrong.

Maybe a free ad in the "parts wanted" category of these forums would yield some results. Who knows. It will be quite a scavenger hunt to find it I bet.

David
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:31 PM   #5
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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I removed the toilet from our 66 Safari because it had more issues than could be repaired. I still have the original toilet. I will look tomorrow to see if the check valve is still there. I would think they were about the same units. Also, you may take a look at parts@vintagecampers.com or call Jo Ann Piper there. I was looking for a specific vent stack for our 55 and they came through. Iíll check and PM yíall if I have it. Good luck
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:42 PM   #6
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Well Shestreams, there you go. Bubba L knows an awful lot about vintage Airstreams. You might find the part you are looking for.

David
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:22 PM   #7
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1965 22' Safari
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I got lost!

Iím sorry for the late response. I couldnít figure out how to get back to this thread. Here are a few photos of the inside. I replaced the fridge with a clear front drink fridge. New windows, new cushions and new ac and thatís about it. I have a new exhaust vent with a fan to install soon.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:28 PM   #8
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1965 22' Safari
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Grateful

Thank you both for your help and advice.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:45 PM   #9
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Where there's a will there's a way. About 15 years ago we had a 1966 Overlander with the same toilet. The flush valve (the part you are talking about - a check valve is something different) leaked onto the floor (not into the bowl as in you case). I was able to adapt a more modern Thetford flush valve to work, though I had to connect it via hoses and clamps rather than copper pipe. Wish I had photos or could remember the specific valve I used, but that was a long time ago and it was one of my first repairs on our first Airstream, so the details are lost to time. I just say this to state that I am sure someone with mechanical creativity could find a way to adapt a modern flush valve to work in your situation.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:04 PM   #10
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1965 22' Safari
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Thumbs up

Hi Joe!
So i was thinking the check valve was the valve more to the bottom left, but I didn’t know what to call it. My husband said check valve and it stuck. And I really didn’t want anyone to think the bottom check valve so I circled it in the photo. I am so grateful for your clarification. I agree there’s an adaption that could work. I am torn between replacing with a new one, and repair. How long will it last? Am I just throwing money at it? Granted, so far I’m just out a few bucks for a valve that needs to be adapted. But, there was a small leak that I had repaired. When should I cut bait?
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:58 AM   #11
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The flush valve controls water to the bowl when steping on the flush pedal. I assume the white flush valve you bought could be somehow adapted. We replaced the leaking original brass flush valve with a modern white plastic one ourselves.

The other valve associated with a toilet is the vacuum breaker or backflow valve that keeps water from flowing backward from the toilet to the rest of the fresh water system. I don't see this valve in the photo, but it must be there somewhere. The red handled valve near the bottom of your photo seems to be a simple shutoff the would stop all water from going to the toilet. I do not think these are typically provided in modern Airstream.

To keep things looking original adapting a modern flush valve is the only option. Done properly I would think it would be a durable change.

One could also eliminate the flush valve that is tied to the flush pedal and put a separate valve in the water line that is contolled independently. Interestingly, this is how our 1962 Airstream was originally plumbed. Step on the pedal to dump the bowl, but turn a separate hand valve to add water to the bowl. Mechanically, this could be easier to implement than trying to keep the valve connected to the flush pedal, though you'd need to figure out where to put the hand valve. One benefit of this option is better ability to modulate how much water you use to fill or flush the bowl.

As for swapping out the toilet to a modern one, I do not know if a correct height toilet exists. Every case I have seen of someone doing this required the nice neat fiberglass surround to be cut away to allow the taller modern toilet to protrude higher. Certainly fitting a low profile modern toilet (if you can find one) under the fiberglass surround without cutting it could be a challenge if the bathroom surround is not removed, which likely requires full bathroom disassembly.

One other caution. I have heard that the pot metal riser that holds up the bowl can be brittle and may disitegrate when trying to remove it, so there might not be any going back if the original toilet is removed and you change you mind.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:07 AM   #12
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
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New Thetford Install

Here is what I had to do to replace the original toilet should you decide to go that route. I installed the high profile Thetford Aqua-Magic hand flush. As shown in the photo, I had to cut away a small amount of the existing fiberglass bench.
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To get the exact height to accommodate the bench, I added a spacer to the floor to raise it approx 3/4".
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You have two good options; good luck!
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
Here is what I had to do to replace the original toilet should you decide to go that route. I installed the high profile Thetford Aqua-Magic hand flush. As shown in the photo, I had to cut away a small amount of the existing fiberglass bench.
Attachment 344291 Attachment 344292

To get the exact height to accommodate the bench, I added a spacer to the floor to raise it approx 3/4".
Attachment 344293 Attachment 344294

You have two good options; good luck!
I think this is the cleanest looking and simplest modern toilet retrofit I have ever seen on a 1964-66 Airstream with the so called "airline" bath. Great work!

Question. Does this toilet use a foot pedal or hand lever to flush?
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:25 AM   #14
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Joe, we abandoned the foot lever. It is a hand flush. Thanks for the compliment.
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