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Old 05-16-2014, 06:39 AM   #1
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While you're sleeping things are breaking!

Good morning,
Recently my wife and I arrived in Grand Teton National Park to resume our seasonal jobs here. After traveling across the country with no problems, upon our arrival here in the park, when I hooked up to "city" water I discovered we have a leak. It appears to only involve the water inlet circuit. There is no leak on the pump pressure side of the system. I tested this by turning on the water pump and allowing it to sit for several hours. If there was a problem, when the pump is energized it would have cycled periodically indicating a system leak. Thankfully the pump is silent, so we are using tank water until I can decide what to do. As usual with Airstreams, you can't see anything, but I was able to remove a panel in the back of a hanging locker so that I can see the back side of the fresh water inlet port and a few water lines. Looking down I can see water pooling in the belly pan just ahead of the curb side fender well. Outside this is where water is finding an exit. I have some really nice icicles out there in the mornings by the way. The offending leak appears to be somewhere under the floor. I can see a water line running toward the center of the trailer, but I can only see about six inches of it and then it's "gone". Being in the middle of nowhere I am naturally hesitant to begin cutting in to things, and will probably pay a visit to Jackson Center at the end of the season, but in the mean time my questions are these: Can anyone tell me where that water input line goes after it dives under the floor? After studying a few schematics it looks like it heads across the trailer to the toilet or perhaps the water heater. My next question is: If I choose to simply "let 'er leak" for the summer, is there anything under the floor or in the belly pan that could be seriously damaged? I hate the thought of allowing a leak to continue, but having to fill the water tank every other day for four months doesn't thrill me either. I failed to mention we have a 2005, 25' Safari FB. Any advise greatly appreciated, and many thanks.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:49 AM   #2
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Check the inlet itself, the pressure regulator inside starts leaking. It's fairly common, I've replaced two. Have not had a problem since I started using an external regulator in addition to the one built into the inlet.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:00 AM   #3
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On my "new to me" Pan America, I had a few leaks to deal with upon receipt of the trailer. Mostly faucets or hot water heater pressure/temp relief valve. After hooking up to city water pressure, I noticed a drip from the banana wrap just below the city water inlet.

In my case, it was easy access to the inlet on the inside of the trailer (under bathroom sink). Before yanking it out of the trailer, I snugged the 4 screws on the back of the unit and haven't seen a drip since and it has been hooked up to city water pressure ever since (1.5 months). I was lucky and maybe you can be too...provided you have access.


BTW, Airstream does a really nice job of gnawing holes through the interior for plumbing installation, don't they?




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Old 05-16-2014, 09:56 AM   #4
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My inlet started leaking too, I pulled it loose from the outside, tightened the screws, then left it hanging half out to dry the insulation for a few weeks. I had to give them another tightening while it was drying out.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:01 AM   #5
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Thanks all. I appreciate the replies. Although access is limited, I can see and touch (not at the same time of course) the back of the water inlet. Having lived on a boat for 15 years that was the first thing I checked. As far as I can tell, the inlet is not leaking. I can't see any signs of moisture around or under it and the insulation that is exposed through the gnawing is dry. I also felt all of the pex elbows and tees that are visible. All are dry to the touch. So unfortunately the leak appears to be under the floor farther inboard where I can't see or reach it. I expect it will require cutting our a section of the belly pan to access the problem, and I am VERY hesitant to begin such a project our here. Especially since our Airstream is our home for the next six months here in the park, and my wife would probably shoot me if I were to completely destroy our water system, or that part of it that remains functional. I am tempted to simply let the thing leak if I can be reasonably sure that I won't be causing any serious damage by doing so. It's not a flowing leak, just a steady drip. Right now it causes some pretty spectacular icicles to form each morning but in another couple of weeks temps should warm up a bit, and it won't be as noticeable. Allowing a leak to continue grates on my soul, but I fear it's either that or use tank water until our return to "civilization" in the fall.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:04 AM   #6
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Better use the tank water until you find the problem. Its not fun fixing water damage.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:55 AM   #7
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How much is it leaking?

The quantity of the leak would make a difference to me on whether I would let it leak or not.

Frankly, if it was me, and the leak wasn't large, I would let it leak while I watched the trailer for ill effects.

If the leak is just dropping into the pan, I and it is small, it isn't likely to do serious damage.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:58 AM   #8
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By the way,,, bore scopes are getting cheaper. I bought a respectable A/C Delco scope a couple years ago for about $100.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:02 AM   #9
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Leaking very slightly. Steady drip. Bore scope good idea. Many thanks.

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Old 05-26-2014, 09:11 PM   #10
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Roger "no fun fixing water damage". Still deliberating while using tank water.

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