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Old 09-15-2019, 11:34 AM   #1
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New owner - plumbing burst - 72 Safari

Yesterday was the first overnight in our 72 Safari at Powhatan State Park in VA. I hooked up my water and opened the tap wide open. All seemed to be going well but I did notice a slow leak come from the belly behind the rear wheels and just in front of where you hook up the water. After a couple hours a huge flood of water erupted from behind the rear closet (where the breaker panel is) and shot across to the other rear closet. I immediately turned off the site water hookup. In my mind, I have to have burst a pipe from behind the wall of the closet. That said, I can't see where the leak is coming from. After disconnecting the water hose i noticed the pressure of the water coming from the camp spigot was incredibly powerful. I was operating without a pressure gauge so my thought is the force of the water was too strong for my old pipes. Ugh.


Can anyone tell me where to begin as to how to address this? I have to find the source. Is it possible to remove the rear of the closet or is easier to go up through the belly pan? Also what is a reliable water pressure gauge and what should I set it at. Any help is appreciated. Going to start searching for pics on the forum now. Thanks all.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:50 PM   #2
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With a trailer that old, you may find quite a few repairs have been done (often badly) and.the original specs arent that helpful. Definitely look at accessing from the belly pan. If it has broken before a.prior owner may have made an access door in the belly pan. Also the water inlet itself may have problems. Locate that outside and hope to find the pipe inside a.closet on the inside.

Airstream has most.of the old model system diagrams and schematics online at airstream.com.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:58 PM   #3
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Even 70s trailers came with a pressure regulator just inside the trailer from the city-water inlet. However, it's been nearly 50 years since your trailer was built, so there's a whole list of possibilities about what went wrong, from the OEM regulator failing to a fitting failing to some previous owner having patched a bit of copper with garden hose. (Really, I've seen that.)

I like having a regulator out on the campground water source, because it reduces the likelihood that the hose will burst and flood the campsite in addition to being a belt-and-suspenders backup for the internal regulator.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:39 PM   #4
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to a fitting failing to some previous owner having patched a bit of copper with garden hose. (Really, I've seen that.)

And this is the culprit. Looks like a PO replaced some copper pipe with some heavy duty flexible tubing and using ratchet screw clamps to secure the new hose to the old copper pipe. The pressure was high enough to blow the tube right off the pipe. Luckily it was easily accessible and I was able to refasten and secure. A temp fix until I get to a better solution. Now i have a lot of moisture to dry up. Towels, fans and Damp-Rid should take care of the majority. Thanks again for the prompt responses.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:18 AM   #5
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Hi

The key to all this is the park where you stopped for the night .....

Unless they have changed things since we were there last, they have the highest pressure water system of any campground on earth. Go into their bathrooms and turn on the faucet in the sink full on. Water will bounce off the bottom of the bowl and hit the ceiling across the room. Yes that sounds like an exaggeration .... it's not.

We have an overpressure setup on our trailer as well as the regulator. When the overpressure triggered I decided not to stay hooked up to their setup. Indeed regulators have a finite life. One that is many decades old may not still be doing very well ..... They also have a max input pressure they will handle. I have no idea what the pressure is at Powhatan, but it is very much over the top.

(Yes, we pointed out the fact that it was a bit high to the management. They didn't seem very concerned.)

Bob
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:32 PM   #6
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Hi

The key to all this is the park where you stopped for the night .....

Man I'm glad you validated this. The water literally knocked a pan right out of my hand. For my first camper experience I'm glad I didnt do more damage then what I did. Folks be warned, Powhatan State Park in Powhatan VA has 'take the paint off a house' kind of water pressure at their sites. For older campers like my 72 it could be problematic without an external water pressure gauge. Other than that the park is beautiful with huge private spaces and hookups.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:16 AM   #7
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Hi

It'a an absolutely Wonderful little park. It's all very new and well done. Our answer to the water issue was to fill the fresh water tank and use that. In fact, that's pretty much become the normal way we run all the time.

======

One other minor note - if you happen to have a Garmin GPS, it's routing to the park will take you past a prison and then down a long dirt road. At the end of the road is a locked gate. If you are lucky (we where) the gate to the field next to the gate will be unlocked and the crop will have been harvested. Otherwise, you get to back down the road .....

So much fun !!!!!!

Bob
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