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Old 08-27-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
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1964 24' Tradewind
Orlando , Florida
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holding tanks above subfloor?

OK, so here is the deal. Im new to airstreams but just purchased a 24', 1964 tradewind, the frame, shell, axels, bellypan etc. are in great shape, but it is completely stripped on the inside. Basically I have a unit with a great shell and frame but nothing inside, my wife calls it our blank canvas.

My first question (I apologize, I have a few), is it possible to put the holding tanks above the subfloor? We plan on living full time and could possibly be in some colder climates, I figured that if I put all of the plumbing above the floor it would eliminate everything freezing in the winter. I am thinking that I can build the bed, cabinets etc around the tanks to conceal them. Is this something that people do?

Does anyone know where to get holding tanks? I have one original tank, it is made from fiberglass (I think its the black water tank because it has a dump valve). I am definitely on a budget but want to do it right. What size tanks should I get? should I buy them local or order online? I live in Orlando FL, does anyone know any places around that would sell them?

Thank you everyone for looking at this, I know that my thoughts are a bit scattered but I just want to do this the right way because its going to be our home.
photocodo
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:10 PM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
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Yep, my 71 has the black tank above the floor.
In fact there are several forum threads you could use to find info.

Not intending to send you down a rabbit hole, but here is one to get you started.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...ice-54806.html
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:26 PM   #3
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holding tanks above subfloor?

Greetings photocodo!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!



First, to give you an idea of the original placement of tanks:
  • The blackwater tank was below the floor -- basically centered below the rear window -- there was a duct taking heat from the furnace to the tank enclosure. The original capacity was between 8 and 12 gallons.
  • There was no graywater tank so the graywater entered the waste collector between the termination cap and the blackwater tank valve.
  • The fresh water tank was most likely mounted over the axles on the streetside (above floor) -- should be relatively easy to confirm as the threaded stainless steel bunge stopper is rather difficult to remove without leaving a very obvious repair patch panel (on the exterior side-panel of the coach). The fresh water tank held between 30 and 40 gallons and was a synthetic material with a PAR demand water pump to supply the water to the various fixtures in the coach.
What you propose about above floor tanks is possible, but you will have one significant problem to solve. The problem will be dealing with the waste from the shower/bathtub. There are really only two ways to deal with this issue that I have encountered:
  • Use a bilge pump below the floor to push the waste up and into the graywater tank (this is the type system utilized on some boats). The disadvantage to this is that you have a point where freezing could be possible if the furnace heat is not directed to that area under the floor.
  • Elevate the bottom of the shower/tub so that it is above the level of the graywater tank. This method drastically reduces the headroom in the tub/shower area and make entering/exiting the tub/shower challenging for some users.
Earlier as well as later model Airstreams and Argosys utilized above floor tanks for the toilet -- makes for a relatively easy installation -- the tank is basically enclosed in a plywood box covered to match the flooring, and the toilet then attaches almost directly to the tank via a flange and gasket system. The Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre is the only coach in the Airstream family that I am aware of that had an above floor gray water tank -- in this case, Argosy chose to allow the shower waste to exit after the dump valves before the terminator cap on the collector -- so a blue-tote is needed for shower waste on the 6.0 Metre Minuet.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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1968 24' Tradewind
Largo , Florida
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Hello, I also have a '68 24' Tradewind. I recently just removed and replaced everything. My watertank (existing) is forward under the large window with a plywood box with lift up corners to get to the pump. My blackwater/graywater tank in directly under my bathroom floor. If you are living in Orlando you won't have to worry about freezing in the winter. I live in Largo. Holding tanks (try West Marine on line or at a Orlando local store) or other vendors that will be suggested to you on these threads. You are welcome to drive to Largo (about an hour away) to take a look at my vintage baby. I'll be happy to show and tell you what I have done and learned.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Forgot to tell you, I lived on a sailboat for 22 years in Chicago. I had a head start with designing and living with holding tanks, pumps, etc. before I purchased my AS. Using a heat tape located around the underground holding tank will assist you from freezing in the winter.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:30 PM   #6
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Take a look at Craig's List for Tampa under RV's. There was a holding tank for an AS for sale for about $250.00. It looks like the shape would fit the entire front this could be about 30 to 35 gal of fresh water.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:36 AM   #7
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Our '66 Trade Wind has twin water tanks one under each dinette seat for a total of about 40 gallons. I don't know if this is original as I have 2 filler tubes in the front. The PO primarily boondocked so I suspect he added a 2nd tank.
Neil.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:00 AM   #8
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Thank you guys so much, this has been a great help. I am constantly amazed at how much information people have and are willing to share just because they love airstreams and want others to enjoy them too.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:02 AM   #9
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1964 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstreamjudy View Post
Forgot to tell you, I lived on a sailboat for 22 years in Chicago. I had a head start with designing and living with holding tanks, pumps, etc. before I purchased my AS. Using a heat tape located around the underground holding tank will assist you from freezing in the winter.
Thank you airstreamjudy. My wife and I are going to live in our airstream until we can pay off our student loans and then we want to live on a sailboat fulltime. Looks like we have similar interests.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:30 AM   #10
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One other thing to consider...since you plan on full-timing, is can you afford to loose loose precious storage by locating your gray tank(s) above the floor? Not as big of an issue with fresh tank as it is usually above the floor - but gray(s) depending you the configuration could suck up your cabinet space.

Also, are your kitchen & bath configured in such a way that they can share a single gray tank? I know when we added gray tanks to our '56 Safari, we found it necessary (for several reasons) to have two gray tanks(under the floor), not just one. We have for the shower & one for the kitchen to get the capacity we needed and make it worthwhile. They are linked together, but it is all under the floor - in order to do this above the floor it would have made the tanks smaller in order to keep everything concealed in cabinets - not to mention the issue Kevin mentions about the shower.

Just some food for thought - a '64 Tradewind is a bit on the small side for full-timing for two - I would think all the storage space you could get would be to your advantage.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do ~

Shari
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:56 PM   #11
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this might help

Frequently Asked Questions try going to this site. it has alot of good information. also you can go on utube find diy airstream restoration. inca in ontario ca. still makes tanks for some of the 60's airstream. They can also manufacture tanks to your specs. also you can go to airstream home and click on service, on the right hand side you will see specifications click on it and you can look up your specs maybe and some pics. also you may want to go to cnet and download a screen capsure program so your can print and save what you see. i think everthing is correct i've indicated.
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