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Old 09-18-2018, 08:59 PM   #1
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Shower drain leak

There is an intermittent leak from our shower floor drain that creeps outside the bath and runs across the floor of the van. The photo below shows the beginning of the flow, just a little gleam at the edge of the bath and refrigerator enclosure. After a couple of minutes the leak was a prominent flow across the floor.

The leak does not occur with each use. It seems to happen when the van is not perfectly level, either nose down or curbside-down.

I tested it when curbside-down by using the shower hose and flooding the washbasin. No effect. Then running water directly into the floor drain: leak began at once.

Any ideas of easy things to check? We are on the road and don't want to remove any access doors, but could do so on our return.

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Old 09-18-2018, 11:27 PM   #2
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The drain goes immediately down through the bathroom floor, turns a right angle, and goes through the waterless HEPVO trap. If water is leaking above floor level, the leak is probably right where the drain opens into the bathroom. Pretty much everything else is below floor level.

The HEPVO traps are like rubber duck bills. They tend to stick after periods of non use and back up shower water. I have been occasionally treating my shower drain with a little valve lubricant to minimize sticking.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:02 AM   #3
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One word: warranty. Cram an automotive towel along the seam to absorb the water and then get the rig in for warranty work as soon as you return.

Unless you see evidence of water backing up in the manner described by Pahaska, there's a good chance that it's going to be a crap show to fix properly. But even if the drain is slowed down as he described, obviously the resulting water should be backing up into the pan, not onto the floor.

Over the years, there have been numerous instances of Interstate owners having pipes either crack or completely shear off their connections because of the poor quality of the plumbing (it tends to break rather than bending with road vibrations). This phenomenon is almost guaranteed in T1N Interstates, but I've also seen examples in much younger NCV3 Interstates. Your rig could have something like that going on where you can't see it.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TayaraTravel View Post
There is an intermittent leak from our shower floor drain that creeps outside the bath and runs across the floor of the van. The photo below shows the beginning of the flow, just a little gleam at the edge of the bath and refrigerator enclosure. After a couple of minutes the leak was a prominent flow across the floor.

The leak does not occur with each use. It seems to happen when the van is not perfectly level, either nose down or curbside-down.

I tested it when curbside-down by using the shower hose and flooding the washbasin. No effect. Then running water directly into the floor drain: leak began at once.

Any ideas of easy things to check? We are on the road and don't want to remove any access doors, but could do so on our return.

Hi TayaraTravel,*

We're very sorry to learn about the issue you are having. Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customer_support@airstream.com*

Thank you.*
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:38 PM   #5
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ai-167473.html

This is a symptom many have encountered after the sink drain tailpiece shears off above the HEPVO
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:07 PM   #6
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On my previous motorhome, I had an ongoing problem with the shower drain. It went from the chrome drain to an ABS plastic pipe and joined the sink drain. However, flexing caused the ABS plastic to crack right under the shower. I ended up putting a rubber collar* between the drain tailpiece and the ABS pipe so it could move a bit. No more problems!

* Made for joining two pipes together.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:24 PM   #7
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Oh joy. Thanks all.
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:03 PM   #8
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I mentioned Dave on another thread, the one about generator living, and he emailed me directly to catch up. One of the things he said was:

"I have confirmed the complete "disassociation" of the gray water tank from plumbing. Will wait until after trip and cooler weather for repair."

What he means is that his gray water tank completely broke free from all piping, and is floating unattached in its cradle underneath his van. This is so common with T1N Interstates that I've yet to meet one in which this has NOT occurred (unless the owner has done a preemptive upgrade).

It sounds like Tayara is about to confirm partial "dissociation" of the wet bath from the plumbing.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:47 PM   #9
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On Friday last I sent a PM to the Airstream contact, as suggested above. Today I got a call from Mike V. at Airstream to discuss the problem. Looks like they are going to stand behind it, and I get to work it through my preferred local service shop.

I have an appointment Oct 17 to start the diagnosis.

Fortunately we completed our Yellowstone adventure and have no major trips coming up.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:19 AM   #10
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Is it going to be Bob Jones again?

I tried to phone them yesterday to see if they know of anyone who appraises upfit and custom RVs, given that I'm getting tired of dealing with Progressive as our insurance current policy stands. But I forgot that they close at 3:30 pm.

I hope you can get pics of whatever this problem is. People need to see issues like this. You won't be the last owner to experience it.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:54 AM   #11
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Other than seeing a leak, is there an easy way to see if there is a cracked or broken fitting somewhere? Or will such a problem always result in a leak? I am reluctant to tear things apart just to see if there is a problem. I looked at the parts manual and it shows three pipes rigidly(?) connected to the grey tank - shower drain line, galley sink drain line, and vent line. This vent line is also the drain for the bathroom sink.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:14 PM   #12
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Is it going to be Bob Jones again?

...

I hope you can get pics of whatever this problem is. People need to see issues like this. You won't be the last owner to experience it.
Yes, Bob Jones. We have had good experience with them. As opposed to a Houston Airstream dealer who shall remain nameless.

I won't have good photos of the lead, because I need to tilt the van for it to flow out on the floor. Folks at Bob Jones might try that.

I will share any photos they take.
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:16 PM   #13
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Other than seeing a leak, is there an easy way to see if there is a cracked or broken fitting somewhere? ...
One possibility is an inspection camera inserted into the drain. But I don't have such.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:08 AM   #14
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I spoke with Bob Jones yesterday. They specialize in Airstreams and could probably give me an insurance appraisal, if (more like when) I want to proceed with that. For the moment I've decided to hold my nose and pay my insurance premium. Down the road, I may get more combative about the whole process.

We have a camera of the type that was designed to peek behind sheet rock. Endoscope, borescope... ours is a Depstech which plugs into the iPhone and costs about $40, but similar offerings are on the internet for as little as $15 (cheap crap from China).

They are useful within limits, the main one being that they have a very narrow field of view with a fixed focal length. It's a tiny thing and I found it difficult to use, but I did examine the inside of both our black tank and our water heater with it. It was useful in that I could confirm (a) no cracks in the black plumbing and (b) no excessive scale or corrosion in the water heater.

Plumbing cracks can be difficult to spot in an Interstate. When the van is not moving, then tend to settle back together and therefore are difficult to see from the INside of the plumbing. Although they are often visible on the OUTside of lines (if you can get behind the wall) because there will be residual water marks.
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