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Old 06-26-2014, 08:25 PM   #15
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Let's see, where were we......?

Oh, the leak! I found the problem. The Macerator is a stacked assembly. The housing part is held to the rest of the assembly by 4 studs. Two of the studs go all they way through to the motor housing and two (shorter ones) go to the pump body. One of the short studs had broken off at the pump body. I may be able to get a replacement stud but I may replace the Macerator with a new one. Looks like they cost around $200. This will be a project (one of several) for my next visit to the Interstate.
I recommend all Interstate owners check their macerator pump mounts after a year of use and before your warranty runs out. I found mine had a broken mount and the motor was just floating loose only held in by the hose connections. That was after 30,000 miles and 18 months. I got it replaced by dealer under warranty at no cost. Pays to check this item that does fail with use and is costly to replace.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:40 PM   #16
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Thanks Boxter, I'll have my Macerator checked. This might explain why my hose came off. It looked like the hose would be under compression when properly installed, so I couldn't fathom why it would come off like it did in the pictures.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:43 AM   #17
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A good maintenance check of everything can help eliminate problems on the road. Good job. , Jim
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:48 AM   #18
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Hi Wayne, everyone.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

Stainless steel hose clamps *will* loosen over time due to cold flow of the hose being clamped. Retightening them is part of preventative maintenance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creep_%28deformation%29

That is why the automotive industry has more or less switched over to various kinds of self-tightening spring-loaded clamps. There are some self-tightening stainless steel worm gear type clamps available as well as T-clamp type replacements:

http://i.frsimg.com//images/detailed...028_282029.jpg

http://img.directindustry.com/images...64-2878611.jpg

The problem in retrofitting such clamps is finding something that fits the available space and allows sufficient service accessibility.

Perhaps the mother ship should take note, but there are all kinds of costs that would come with switching over their production, for doubtful benefits, so I certainly wouldn't consider it a high priority compared to other quality matters.

As far as the OP is concerned, well, probably the pump housing is cracked. You might be able to find a replacement housing, but realistically, you're looking at $200+ for a new pump.
Thanks for the useful information Jammer. I will be looking for some of those clamps to use when I install the new pump.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:20 PM   #19
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One of the main problems with Airstream's macerator design is that the intake hose will never become clear of liquid. When the tanks are empty, the hose becomes half full and the macerator can't pump half water and half air. It is not possible to winterize it with antifreeze. The only fix is to remove the hose and drain it. The macerator will be damaged if it freezes, or perhaps the standing liquid may shorten it's life. This is not a bashing of Airtream, just a note of poor design.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:38 PM   #20
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Wouldn't pumping antifreeze through the system until it comes out the output hose eliminate this problem?
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:08 AM   #21
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Wouldn't pumping antifreeze through the system until it comes out the output hose eliminate this problem?

That is exactly how I winterized my 2014 Ext this past year and it survived the harsh Illinois winter just fine.


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Old 07-06-2014, 09:40 AM   #22
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Mine did, too, the first year. The second year, though, it started leaking from the casing. There is about two or more gallons of liquid trapped in the hose at all times which fills the macerator and partially fills the hose on the reel. If the pump can't push it out, liquid won't flow uphill. This most likely shortens the life of the pump and it may be more of the cause of failure than freezing.

I am planning on adding a clean out on the input hose if I can figure out a way.

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That is exactly how I winterized my 2014 Ext this past year and it survived the harsh Illinois winter just fine.


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Old 07-06-2014, 09:56 AM   #23
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If yours is like mine, when the tanks become empty, the hose starts chugging as the pump mixes the trapped liquid with air and the liquid becomes frothy. Adding antifreeze should work if you can get enough mixed in the liquid to protect the pump. But it takes a LOT of antifreeze. It makes a pinkish froth so it is hard to tell when enough antifreeze is mixed with the liquid to protect the pump and hoses.

Draining it is the only way to be absolutely sure in my opinion.

All I know is this. The pump started leaking after the second winter. When I removed the intake hose after I had winterized there was about two gallons of pinkish liquid in the intake hose. Do I definitively know that caused the pump to fail prematurely? No. But the macerator on my Roadtek-the exact same model-never failed in four years. And all liqiud drained from the hose.


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Wouldn't pumping antifreeze through the system until it comes out the output hose eliminate this problem?
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:25 PM   #24
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There is about two or more gallons of liquid trapped in the hose at all times which fills the macerator and partially fills the hose on the reel.
Whenever I drain my black and/or gray tanks, I reel out ALL of the hose, even if the dump station is only two feet away. That way, no water is trapped in the hose; the only places it could be trapped are in between the macerator pump and the reel, or upstream of the macerator pump, but nothing ON the reel.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:57 PM   #25
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Whenever I drain my black and/or gray tanks, I reel out ALL of the hose, even if the dump station is only two feet away. That way, no water is trapped in the hose; the only places it could be trapped are in between the macerator pump and the reel, or upstream of the macerator pump, but nothing ON the reel.
gmillerok1 is talking about the input hose, not the output.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:39 AM   #26
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Correct. I do the same thing to drain the liquid from the hose on the reel, but it has no effect on the liquid from the macerator back to the tanks.

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gmillerok1 is talking about the input hose, not the output.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:01 AM   #27
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One of the main problems with Airstream's macerator design is that the intake hose will never become clear of liquid. When the tanks are empty, the hose becomes half full and the macerator can't pump half water and half air. It is not possible to winterize it with antifreeze. The only fix is to remove the hose and drain it. The macerator will be damaged if it freezes, or perhaps the standing liquid may shorten it's life. This is not a bashing of Airtream, just a note of poor design.
Just wondering; what if you empty both tanks the way you would normally do it for winter storage then open the gray valve and pour antifreeze down the bath or kitchen sink? Wouldn't that fill the fairly short run of 3" hose to the point where antifreeze would flood into the macerator intake port?
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:31 AM   #28
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That is exactly how I winterized my unit. Plus, I ran the pump until pink liquid came out the hose. Still, the macerator leaked after I de-winterized in the spring. From now on I will disconnect the hose and drain the liquid from the hose.

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Just wondering; what if you empty both tanks the way you would normally do it for winter storage then open the gray valve and pour antifreeze down the bath or kitchen sink? Wouldn't that fill the fairly short run of 3" hose to the point where antifreeze would flood into the macerator intake port?
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