On every extended trip, it seems that something breaks or has to be fixed when I return.
This time, it was two things after a 12 day boon docking trip.
After I returned, and was cleaning up, I found this:
just in front of the refrigerator and on the street side. Obviously, something caused it to leak as it was still damp. The question was, where was it coming from?
I removed the refrigerator to see what was going on behind it. My first thought was perhaps condensation from the refrigerator, since Airstream pays no attention to the required opening needed for air space. To remove the refrigerator, there are four black plugs on the face of the housing when you open the door. Pop them out, and the box is held in place with four screws. You have to remove the door to get to the hinge side. To do that, simply unscrew the small bolt on the top hinge and pull it off. Then the door can be removed by lifting up and setting it out of the way. The box itself is not very heavy and is easily moved out. I just pulled it out enough to inspect behind it. It looked like this:
it appeared to me it had come from the fresh water inlet. So to test it, I attached a hose. But no leak. However, it was obvious this was the source. Just in case, I left the fridge on for several hours, in place, and the hose on under pressure, and then pulled the box again. No leaks or moisture.
But I remembered that the last night I stayed in a park that had extremely high pressure. Now, Airstream tells you that there is a built-in pressure regulator so I have not been using an external one. Bad idea.
The problem was the inlet. Both the hose connection on the inside was not very tight, nor were the four screws that hold the housing itself together. I figured that under high pressure, it leaked. In fact, I could see mineral deposits directly underneath the housing so this wasn't the first time. So that was the culprit. I tightened the four bolts that held the housing together, and the screw on connection as tight as I could.
I'll again go back and use an external pressure regulator, after realizing all that keeps the van from being dry and flooded is a cheap plastic part.
The fridge was not guilty.
The second issue I had is after I dumped three times was the macerator started leaking. Since I made a modification to the plumbing, I was concerned it was something I did.
Removing the macerator, I found that it is held together with four stubs that use a cap nut to hold it together. One stub was missing a cap nut, and for that matter, some of the stud itself, as it had sheared off.
I called Xylems's tech support, who told me that this will happen if the outlet becomes plugged, as the pressure can cause the studs to shear off. So much for a good design.
I will replace the stud, and clean out the pump, and see if that fixes the issue. I don't believe it had anything to do with my modification. However, I may add some support to the pipe where it attaches to the macerator to be sure that the water, sitting in the hose after it's dumped, isn't causing it to bounce around and put pressure on the macerator housing. I estimate there's a good gallon of liquid always sitting in the lower plumbing that can never be pumped out by the macerator, as it sits level with the impeller, and the pump can't pump air and half water. The only way to completely drain it all it is to remove the hose (and the reason my first macerator froze even after pumping pink antifreeze through it as we had a very extreme winter that year and the anti-freeze/water combination was not enough to protect it.
I post this to suggest that in spite of Airstream's stating a pressure regulator is already in place, it would be a very good idea to ignore that and use an external one as well as a safeguard to what I experienced.