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Old 08-05-2003, 08:42 AM   #1
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Question New Owner (ignorance is NOT bliss!) water leaks

I have owned my airstream for one month.....we are Leaving for Michigan camp trip on Saturday ....and i am worried I do not know enough about it yet ....!
I have a leak under the sink ! a white plastic tube leading into a black rubber tube.....
can i fix it using parts from home depot??

also....water has rotted the back floor and the floor around the fridge....any clue how this happens? is this typical??



the guy that sold it to me said he didn't bother using the fresh water holding tank anymore .....how can i check this to ensure it is in working condition?? we will not have water hookups where we are camping......


ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:05 AM   #2
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Well, it happens when leaks are not addressed. If there is floor rot, then you will have to replace some of the decking.

As for the water system, this all should have been tested before purchasing. You need to place a bit of water in the fresh water tank, turn on the pump and see if it works, if not, you'll need to bring some water somehow for this first trip.

If the water pump works, pumps water and you do not see any leaks, then sanitize the tank, lines, etc by mixing some bleach into the fresh water tank and run it throught all the faucets. Let it sit for a good 8+ hours and then flush the whole system out with fresh water several times.

As for parts from Home Depot, I am sure that most plumbing and electrical stuff can be used, especially if you are handy with tools and have a good understanding of how things work.

Eric

PS- given the fact that you know little of your coach or it's condition, I would not take it on such a long trip without a short shakedown trip first. You need to be 110% on the tires, brakes, axles, etc before thinking of taking it on such a long trip. I say this because of the tone of your post (I might be wrong) leads me to think you are only finding things as you trip on them. If you are not up to the task, take the unit to a quailified service center. The worst thing besides death or injury would be to be stranded in the middle of nowhere due to coach issues.
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:08 AM   #3
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Re: New Owner (ignorance is NOT bliss!) water leaks

Quote:
Originally posted by 31ftINT'LSOV1974
Ithe guy that sold it to me said he didn't bother using the fresh water holding tank anymore
Bother or maybe because there is a problem? Use caution here. As Eric noted a small amount of water and turn on the pump. Check the fittings around the pump. If all goes well, increase the amount of water to make sure the tank isn't leaking.

Hopefully you have checked all your systems before going out on your trip. Have you checked the wheel bearings and brakes? How old are the tires?

Don't go on any trip of any distance until you shake your new trailer out. Nothing ruins a trip more than having things fail.

Jack
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Old 08-05-2003, 09:09 AM   #4
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Fixing the leak

If the rubber tube you are referring to is to the hand sprayer, then YES, parts from Home Depot can be used (there is nothing special about the faucets used in an A/S...they are all units used in home construction/replacement).

As for the rotted floor, there has obviously been long term leakage. The leakage at the back could be from a leak where the body joins the floor near the bumper (this is fairly common) or it could be the black water holding tank. Either way, it needs to be determined and fixed.

The rot at the front of the refrig is a bit more puzzling. It could be a leak from the outside access panel that has allowed water into the trailer and it could also be that the condensation drip line from the inside of the refrig has either become dislodged or rotted allowing condensation to drip onto the floor under the refrig. There is also a possibility that the rot has NOTHING to do with the refrig, just that is the area where you are seeing the rot. I would do some exploration to see how far around the refrig you can detect rot.

A new sub floor, at least in the damaged area is probably in your future.

To check the grey water holding tank, just have the dump valves closed, and then turn on a faucet. The water will begin to fill the grey water tank. If your monitor panel is functional, it will give you an indication that the grey water tank is filling. If you monitor is NOT working, you will know when the grey water tank is full as it will back up into the shower/tub. I would leave it full for a period and see if you can detect any damp areas or dripping water under the trailer. I would also do this same exercise for the black water tank. You can fill it with a garden hose thru the toilet and since you can see into the tank when the toilet valve is open you will know when it is full.

Good luck
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:28 AM   #5
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My $.02

As far as the refrigerator goes, my thought is that the refrigerator has worn seals on the door and everytime that your non frost free reefer is defrosting onto your floor. A classic symptom of absorption type refrigerators.

Plumbing, the water supply lines are sometimes found in HD and similar hardware stores but you will find the drain plumbing in a mobile home supply store. The drain plumbing is not typically found in HD (by my experience anyway).

Water tank leaks can be tolerated for a trip if they are subfloor level. just keep the pressure off while not in use.

Go camping and discover all of your problems, that is camping 101.

smily
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:49 AM   #6
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thanks for the info and the link smily....i am looking to join the local airstream orgs......would have already if you could do it on line!

any idea where i can get some slipicone( i have seen it recomended for the seals on the fridge)? also, have any idea what works best to get the nasty mold and mildew off of the seals??
thanks agn...!
ps we are planning on going to the rally in Helen ....are u going??
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:00 PM   #7
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thanks silvertwinkie!
yes we are finding things as we go along.....I was a bit desperate you see for an airstream! the desire was lit at the age of 12 when i met a man and woman in their 70's who were camping at st. andrews state park in Fl. They said they had been around the world (including Africa) in the airstream! I wish they were still around and I could let them know how they sparked my interest in airstreams forever! oh well I digress.....
they guy i purchased from had the unit for 15 yrs....he purchased it after it had been in dry storage since 1974.....the guy who bought it in 74 died before he could use it. His family tried camping once ...didn;t like it ...put it in storage then sold it to the guy i bought it from. A friedn ofmine who was divorcing lived in it for hte past two years.......so i assumed (ass u me ) everything was a ok......
i am thankful ...even with the little break down surprises...

the towing system should be in good shape...the previous owner towed it 450 miles to here ok.....?
i will go through all the checks before leaving....
we are looking to find an airstream authorized dealer tstop by on our trip to give her the once over......any suggestions for a stop between atlanta and hart michigan?
thanks again.....
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:06 PM   #8
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The leakage at the back could be from a leak where the body joins the floor near the bumper

anyone familiar with where this leak might come from and a fix?? perhaps the seals around the outside door flap??
thanks
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:14 PM   #9
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Between the hinge plate and the rear skin is a seam.

This seam needs to have the sealant (Vulcem) maintianed. This is a flex point on the trailer and the vulcem will crack and allow water to penetrate to the floor sheet. The problem is further amplified by the water that runs off the roof splashing on the bumper. This increases the flow of water over this spot and can cause it to get VERY wet without much rain.
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:19 PM   #10
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There is still ONE charter couple left

Of the original charter members of the WBCCI and who traveled on Wally Byam's around the world caravans, there is one surviving couple and they are still going strong. The couple is Elvera and Rupert Leuch. They are in their 90s and still towing an A/S. We had the opportunity to met them at the Region 9 Rally this past April in Harlingen Tx. They were originally from Wisconson. Quite an interesting couple. While they probably are not the couple that sparked your desire to own an A/S, they are an inspiration to all those that met them.
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Old 08-05-2003, 07:23 PM   #11
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I would have it inspected BEFORE you leave. Not sure where Hart is but Detroit is 712 miles from Marietta. That's a long way to go if your don't know for sure it's ok.

Tires rot from the inside out. 5 years or more old and they are questionable. Sitting alows rust to form on wheel bearings and brake drums. Even though it was towed 450 miles it does not mean there is not a problem. It just means one didn't show up.

Atlanta does have a Airstream dealer. It's on Thorton Rd. www.airstream.com has the contact information. It's a new dealer so might not be up to 100% on Airstream unique problems. I have not had a chance to ge by and check them out yet.

Three way camper in Marietta (might be listed as Kennesaw) should have no problems servicing the wheel bearings and brakes as well.
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Old 08-06-2003, 07:07 AM   #12
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Hart Michigan is about 75 miles north west of Grand Rapids on the west side of the state near lake Michigan. There is a good Airstream dealer in Grand Rapids in case you need parts or service while you are here. The name is Woodland Travel Center and there phone is 1-800-968-8688.
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