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Old 08-12-2010, 12:22 AM   #1
Benvenito
 
1965 26' Overlander
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Unhappy Newbie needs help! Camping this wknd & know nothing about plumbing!

I've been working rather diligently for the last 3 months to remodel my '65 Overlander 26 footer. I have focused so much on flooring, paint, and interior that I haven't even tried the water/plumbing in the trailer. Where's a good place to start? Should I fill the fresh water tank in the front of the Airstream? Should I hook the trailer up to the garden hose and turn on the water? I believe the water pump works b/c I have turned it on and can hear it pumping. How do I know if the toilet works? How do you drain the black water? Do I need to buy chemicals for the black water tank? I see on the water tank in the front of the trailer that there is a brassy line going through the floor straight down on the right side. Is that for draining the fresh water beneath the trailer? As you can see, I'm a bit clueless here. I have logged countless hours working on this trailer so far. Everything I've tried to operate on this camper has worked, and worked well. So I wouldn't be surprised if all the plumbing and what not works, but I just don't know where to begin! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Ben.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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hose

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benvenito View Post
I've been working rather diligently for the last 3 months to remodel my '65 Overlander 26 footer. I have focused so much on flooring, paint, and interior that I haven't even tried the water/plumbing in the trailer. Where's a good place to start? Should I fill the fresh water tank in the front of the Airstream? Should I hook the trailer up to the garden hose and turn on the water? I believe the water pump works b/c I have turned it on and can hear it pumping. How do I know if the toilet works? How do you drain the black water? Do I need to buy chemicals for the black water tank? I see on the water tank in the front of the trailer that there is a brassy line going through the floor straight down on the right side. Is that for draining the fresh water beneath the trailer? As you can see, I'm a bit clueless here. I have logged countless hours working on this trailer so far. Everything I've tried to operate on this camper has worked, and worked well. So I wouldn't be surprised if all the plumbing and what not works, but I just don't know where to begin! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Ben.
I would put a hose to the city water and have someone at the cut-off just in case. Open the windows so he can hear you yell,"CUT IT OFF". Hopefully you won't have to yell.
Just because you hear the water pump does not mean it works. If you don't have any leaks then fill the water tank. What you discribed sounds like a drain for that tank. Start with a small amount of water first and see if you can get it to drain.

Dan
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:25 AM   #3
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Agreed...

I'm with Dan - that's how I started - I might just add that before hooking up to the garden hose, you should invest the 6 or 7 dollars in a water pressure reducer - pressure coming from most homes or city water is too much even for newer campers to handle - it can be especially troublesome in older campers or trailers that have been sitting, etc...I don't know anything about the tanks in your model, but a quick google search might give you some answers there...
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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Newbie needs help! Camping this wknd & know nothing about plumbing!

Greetings Ben!

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benvenito View Post
I've been working rather diligently for the last 3 months to remodel my '65 Overlander 26 footer. I have focused so much on flooring, paint, and interior that I haven't even tried the water/plumbing in the trailer. Where's a good place to start? Should I fill the fresh water tank in the front of the Airstream? Should I hook the trailer up to the garden hose and turn on the water?
My personal preference with a new to me coach is to start with the onboard system then work to the city system. First, I sanitize and fille the fresh water tank . . . this verifies that it isn't leaking and that the drain valve and vent are in working order. Then, I activate the water pump and start with the closest faucet opening both faucets until water flows while observice the water lines for leaks. Once, I have been able to establish water flow at each faucet or fixture, I close each valve and low point drain then wait to see if the water pump cycles indicating an undetected leak or problem with seals in the water pump. The reason that I start with the onboard system is that if there is a leak the onboard pump is going to pump less water in a given amount of time than the water from the city supply. This also permits a test of the onboard water pressure regulator that is almost immediately after the city water enters the coach - - if water flows out of the city water inlet when the onboard pump is operatine there is a likely problem with the pressure regulator.

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I believe the water pump works b/c I have turned it on and can hear it pumping.
About the only thing that can be ascertained when the pump is turned on, is that the motor is operational. One observation that I will make, and many owners will disagree, is that if your coach has the original PAR water pump it is well worth rebuilding - - I feel confident that none of the new pumps on the market will be as durable as the original PAR - - the only benefit to the newer pumps is that they may be a bit quieter. The PAR in my Minuet has been rebuilt at least once that I know of, and since the pump that the previous owner in my Overlander had failed I also installed a new PAR in the Overlander 15 years ago and it is going strong after its first rebuild.

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How do I know if the toilet works? How do you drain the black water? Do I need to buy chemicals for the black water tank?
If you can flush the toilet and the water flows into the toilet and there aren't any leaks on or near the toilet, it is fairly safe to consider it operational. The flapper valve should seal and hold water to prevent odors from the holding tank entering the coach.

The blackwater tank is immediately below the toilet, and when the flush valve is totally open you can see the level of the contents. When the tank is at least 3/4 full (you can add water to reach 3/4 full prior to dumping). With the dump hose ("stinky slinky") connected to the dump valve and the opposite end securely inserted into the sewer connection -- pull the black tank gate valve release and wait for the flow to stop - - then run fresh water through the toilet to help rinse the bottom of the tank and the dump hose. Close the dump valved and remove the "stinky slinky" from the trailer first (rinse the hose with fresh water while the opposite end is still in the sewer) drain the hose into the sewer and then store in the bumper storage compartment.

Whether to use chemicals in the black tank is a subject of much discussion. Some always use chemicals while others never use chemicals. About the only time that I use holding tank chemicals is when the weather is very hot and I am going to be camped at a rally with minimum electric where I can't run my air conditioner.

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Originally Posted by Benvenito View Post
I see on the water tank in the front of the trailer that there is a brassy line going through the floor straight down on the right side. Is that for draining the fresh water beneath the trailer?
Your fresh waterr tank probably has two lines running from the tank and usually exiting through the floor. One of the lines will have a half-turn valve, and it is this valve that is used to drain the tank. The other line is the vent tube and it allows air to enter the tank as water is removed from the tank by the pump. If you overfill your tank, it is also likely that excess water will flow through this vent tube as well.

If you don't already have on, you can obtain a copy of the original owners' manual from the Airstream store at this link. While it won't be up to the standards of current manuals, (this was only Airstream's second year for the owners' manual), it does have a wealth of information for coaches of your model year. It would be '74 before Airstream would offer a shop service manual.

Good luck with your Overlander!

Kevin
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Just one thing to add to this good set of how-to's...don't use your standard garden hose to fill up your fresh water tank...they are not recommended for use for drinking water (although all of us have drunk out of them before and are still here, right?)... Get a fresh water hose from an RV place...they are usually white and the packaging will say it is safe for drinking water use. And the pressure regulartor is a good recommendation....you can also get that at an RV place.
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