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Old 03-19-2006, 05:34 PM   #1
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Plumbing advice for a '64 trade wind

... where do i start? we've just bought a 64 trade wind for this years camping endeavors, and i want to get the plumbing all squared away in the next week or so for our first trip in it. i plan on rebuilding the whole system out of Pex, however, i thought i'd hook up what's there and see what happens...

... well, nothing! it doesn't leak, except out of the rear when i open up a check valve that leads to a drain pipe next to the black tank dump pipe. i assume that's for winterizing, though am definitely open to advice.

i've tried opening and closing all the valves i could find, but nothing works. not the toilet, sinks, or shower. nothing leaks either (though i'm sure that's in the post!) is there some switch set up to change from city water to onboard that i may have missed?

before i replumb it, i'd like to follow the original layout as close as possible, since what's there is original (less headaches for the next owner). so, the big question is... where do i start?

thanks!

jp

here's a couple of pics of the valves i've found:

first one is the water hook up (i don't know why it has such a complicated valve set up... i plan on replacing it with a nice, simple brass fitting)

pic 2 is the copper speghetti under the toilet

pic 3 is what i assume is a drain valve for the fresh tank, under the bed

pic 4 is the fittings next to the water heater
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Old 03-19-2006, 06:09 PM   #2
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Remember, you asked for help...

First, make sure the valve on the bumper is on, so water can actually get into the coach. This valve is one of the mess on the back bumper.
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Old 03-19-2006, 06:11 PM   #3
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Next, the pressure regulator may be stuck closed. It is the little thing next to the water valve with the red handle, that kind of looks like, well, a regulator. I also see a 90 degree valve on the line that has the regulator. From its position, which may or may not indicate what it is doing, it looks like it is closed. Try turning it 90 degrees, and see if you get water.
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Next, the pressure regulator may be stuck closed. It is the little thing next to the water valve with the red handle, that kind of looks like, well, a regulator. I also see a 90 degree valve on the line that has the regulator. From its position, which may or may not indicate what it is doing, it looks like it is closed. Try turning it 90 degrees, and see if you get water.
thanks for the quick reply! i don't think there's a problem with the cluster mess of fittings on the bumper. the reason i say this is i CAN make water leak from the coach by switching open one of the small copper valves on the right of this picture. unless i'm wrong, i believe the water enters the coach through the line with that brass bell looking thing. i think the line with the red knob goes to the water heater. if the regulator was atuck closed, would water still run out of the overflow? it looks like the overflow tube is after that in the sequence of things.

so, other than getting the water to leak out of the overflow tube by switching that valve open, i can't get anything to work or leak.

any other thoughts?

thanks!

jp
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:33 PM   #5
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How Long Do You Let The Water Flow For?

Had to ask this question. I have a 66 Caravel and tackeled the plumbing first to deal with the system we would use the most ( I can do without electricity and gas as I am an avid tent camper). Any way, when I connected the hose for the first time the water ran and ran but I had zero water at the sink fawcet and other fixtures. My valve setup was to fill the tank and it overflowed from the external fill cap. I had to map out the lines and figure out the shut off valves to connect to city water. My AS had the plumbing redone and the original diagram was only marginally usefull. I feel copper is the way to go and am glad mine is all copper and brass fittings.

Mike
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Old 03-19-2006, 10:55 PM   #6
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More free advice----I think your Tradewind suffers from Previous Owner Syndrome. Lots of the stuff in your photos is not original. I see gas shut-off valves used in the water lines, grey poly tubing with crimped fittings, odd petcocks, and vinyl tubing patches. Get rid of it all and start fresh. Use the Pex tubing and fittings. Lay out your system on paper first and study it several times. Not something you can do in a week of spare time. Try to make all lines drain to a "low point" so you can drain both hot and cold lines from the same place. Be sure to check your pump while it is out of the trailer. Much easier than taking it out again after everything is done and you find out that the pump diaphram is cracked. In fact, I'd just put in a new Sureflow pump and accumulator right away. The accumulator evens out the flow and prevents the pump from cycling when a tap is turned on just a little. In your age of trailer and with the condition shown in the photos, there is a good chance that the copper pipes have been freeze-damaged before and are weakened. Often they are "swelled" but not cracked, making it impossible to install new fittings. Get rid of the pressure regulator (about a pound of brass) and use a hose-end pressure regulator instead. Much lighter, just as effective, and it protects your water hose, too.
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
Had to ask this question. I have a 66 Caravel and tackeled the plumbing first to deal with the system we would use the most ( I can do without electricity and gas as I am an avid tent camper). Any way, when I connected the hose for the first time the water ran and ran but I had zero water at the sink fawcet and other fixtures. My valve setup was to fill the tank and it overflowed from the external fill cap. I had to map out the lines and figure out the shut off valves to connect to city water. My AS had the plumbing redone and the original diagram was only marginally usefull. I feel copper is the way to go and am glad mine is all copper and brass fittings.

Mike
i left the water running for 15 minutes or so, and listened to the open faucets and water tank, but heard nothing. i may try it again today just to be sure.

jp
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darol Ingalls
More free advice----I think your Tradewind suffers from Previous Owner Syndrome. Lots of the stuff in your photos is not original. I see gas shut-off valves used in the water lines, grey poly tubing with crimped fittings, odd petcocks, and vinyl tubing patches. Get rid of it all and start fresh. Use the Pex tubing and fittings. Lay out your system on paper first and study it several times. Not something you can do in a week of spare time. Try to make all lines drain to a "low point" so you can drain both hot and cold lines from the same place. Be sure to check your pump while it is out of the trailer. Much easier than taking it out again after everything is done and you find out that the pump diaphram is cracked. In fact, I'd just put in a new Sureflow pump and accumulator right away. The accumulator evens out the flow and prevents the pump from cycling when a tap is turned on just a little. In your age of trailer and with the condition shown in the photos, there is a good chance that the copper pipes have been freeze-damaged before and are weakened. Often they are "swelled" but not cracked, making it impossible to install new fittings. Get rid of the pressure regulator (about a pound of brass) and use a hose-end pressure regulator instead. Much lighter, just as effective, and it protects your water hose, too.
thanks for the advice! i'm not familiar with the way the water system SHOULD work, but i'll draw up a diagram of my thoughts on things. i'
m still a little confused on exactly how i need to plumb the switch from cuty water to onboard? i assume it's just a 3 way valve, to prevent water from running out the external hookup when on board water is used, and vice versa? i did see a switch for the water pump in the tail area, but that's just electrical, i'm sure.

jp
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:35 AM   #9
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rough diagram

... my first attempt... i'm sure i've missed a few key pieces at some of these junctions, and maybe a shut-off valve or 2...

comments always welcome! thanks again!

jp
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:54 AM   #10
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Thats basically it. Instead of a "switch valve", though, mine has a "check valve" just to the left of the water pump in your diagram. makes it a one-way street, preventing water from flowing into the pump. The pressure regulator also performs this function on the other end, as water can only flow through it in one direction. so water pressure from the pump doesn't flow out the city inlet. (someone earlier suggested "loosing" the regulator; well, ok, but if you do, replace it with a check valve. the hose-end pressure regulators are not one-way devices, to the best of my knowledge).

One thing you want to add in that section is a safety pressure relief valve, with a tube that goes outside the trailer. In the event that one of the sources of water pressure fails, and over-pressurizes the lines, it will activate, and let the excess water out of the trailer. the external drain line keeps it from flooding the interior of your trailer. The water heater can cause this situation, too, (heating water increases pressure) so its not just in case of regulator failure.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
Thats basically it. Instead of a "switch valve", though, mine has a "check valve" just to the left of the water pump in your diagram. makes it a one-way street, preventing water from flowing into the pump. The pressure regulator also performs this function on the other end, as water can only flow through it in one direction. so water pressure from the pump doesn't flow out the city inlet. (someone earlier suggested "loosing" the regulator; well, ok, but if you do, replace it with a check valve. the hose-end pressure regulators are not one-way devices, to the best of my knowledge).

One thing you want to add in that section is a safety pressure relief valve, with a tube that goes outside the trailer. In the event that one of the sources of water pressure fails, and over-pressurizes the lines, it will activate, and let the excess water out of the trailer. the external drain line keeps it from flooding the interior of your trailer. The water heater can cause this situation, too, (heating water increases pressure) so its not just in case of regulator failure.
thanks for the quick feedback! would this diagram be a little more accurate? if i understand this correctly, i will not need to flip any valves in the plumbing to make the switch between city water and onboard?

are regulators and check valves specialty items, or are they available from Home Depot?

thanks!

jp
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
thanks for the quick feedback! would this diagram be a little more accurate? if i understand this correctly, i will not need to flip any valves in the plumbing to make the switch between city water and onboard?

are regulators and check valves specialty items, or are they available from Home Depot?

thanks!

jp
yep, thats it. only thing missing is a couple of low point drains...one one each line (hot and cold). I would imagine that those would go in the back of the trailer somewhere, as on this year trailer, everything is at floor level...there's no spot that's lower than any other. so if you put those in the back, then raise the tounge jack...instant low point. just open the drains and raise the tounge, and everything will just run downhill and out when its time to winterize.

I happened to notice a similar looking pressure regulator at HD the other day, but it was for 3/4" line. I would guess its for heating systems...don't know. I would imagine a plumbing supply house would be your best bet for this sort of thing. HD's stock of plumbing fittings is kind of sparse...
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