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Old 03-31-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Questions after our first long trip - 2005 Classic

We just got home yesterday from a 7 week trip from home (near Toronto) to points west, including Yuma, Palm Springs, San Diego, Las Vegas, Tucson, Bisbee, and Branson, a little over 7000 miles.

This was the first trip with our newly acquired 05 Classic 30, with 2500HD diesel and Hensley and it was a first class experience. I felt as though I could not have had a better towing experience & already looking forward to our next trip.

Naturally, with a used trailer, we had a few niggling problems, but thankfully nothing we could not resolve en route.

Two things had me wondering though.......

(1) Is thyere any way to adjust the main door latch mechanism / striker?

We always seemed to have to slam the door harder than I would have expected to get it to latch properly. I tried silicon spray and also tried to ensure there was not an alignment problem but the problem persists. I thought there might be a way to adjust the latch but I didn't see any slotted srew holes that would allow me tomake an adjustment.

Any advice? Maybe its just something we have to get used to!

(2) Although we always had sewer hookups, I normally have the practice of leaving the drain valves closed - I know that is what you should do on the black water tank, and on the gray water tank, I like to do it in order to flush the drain hose after dumping the black.

We are not new to trailering, and I think we do a reasonable job on conserving water. My wife usually does not use the trailer shower, just me, and I always try to use minimal water, shutting off the shower between soaping and rinsing etc. We don't let the wate run excessively when washing dishes.


What I found however was that our gray water tank was starting to back up into the shower after only 2-3 days, whereas the black water tank seemingly had reserve capacity for a week or two!!

This seemed very strange to me. I couldn't find info in my manual on the two tank sizes. I think it is normal for the gray water tank to be larger than the black. Correct?

The difference between filling times of the two tanks seemed so dramatic that I almost wondered if the tanks had been switched when the trailer weas assembled - if this is even possible.

Anyone else have similar experiece? Anyone know the two tank sizes?

Not a major problem to us, although I guess it could be if we wanted to do any boondocking. (Probably not a likely event as I only permit peeing in our RV toilets!!!)


Cheers .......... Brian M.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:22 PM   #2
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We have a 30 gallon holding tank, with 20 gallon black water and 10 gallon grey. We dump dishwater into the toilet to help with this problem, also adjust water temperature over the toilet with the handheld shower. It's one of the few drawbacks to being small.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:45 PM   #3
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Hey Brian,
I hope you get some replies on the door closing issue as I have had the same problem on mine and thought that maybe this was just normal for AS.
Kim
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:46 PM   #4
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You will be surprised but I suspect it is the dish water that is collecting so fast in the gray water tank.

We have gone as long as 10 days watching how we use water and dumping the dish water outside or in the black water tank as often as possible.

Some door strikes are riveted in place and some are screwed. Take a look at yours. If screwed it is an easy task.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post

What I found however was that our gray water tank was starting to back up into the shower after only 2-3 days, whereas the black water tank seemingly had reserve capacity for a week or two!!

This seemed very strange to me. I couldn't find info in my manual on the two tank sizes. I think it is normal for the gray water tank to be larger than the black. Correct?

The difference between filling times of the two tanks seemed so dramatic that I almost wondered if the tanks had been switched when the trailer weas assembled - if this is even possible.

Anyone else have similar experiece? Anyone know the two tank sizes?


Cheers .......... Brian M.
The black and grey should both be 38 gallons.
I have the same problem. I am limited by the size of my grey tank.
the grey tank should be equal in size to the fresh water tank in my opinion.
They are the same size due to limitations of the trailer fame.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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Congrats on the maiden voyage!

Agree with the others on gray tank...always a limiting factor.
If we are staying more than a couple of days, I will hook up my sewer hose on day 2. If not, we can do 2-3 days easily before requiring dump...and I'll dump everything when we get home or make it ot a dump station.

On the door striker; I always pull on the latch when closing the door (pulling the strike in) this should minimize wear/tear.

Isn't great to have the proper towing set up?

Bill
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:32 AM   #7
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Brian,
Glad to hear your fist long trip went well.

I don't think tank sizes have change from '05 to '09, so according to the Airstream Internet site the tank sizes are as follows...

Black Water - 39 gallons
Gray Water - 37 gallons

We have an '06 30' with a slide and experience the same issue with regards to the door. I can usually get the door to close easily and latch properly by adjusting / tweaking the stabalizer jacks. Sometimes I drive my wife to the brink of insanity getting it adjusted just right.

We also find the same thing with regards to the gray water tank filling up quickly. I think it is all the dish washing my wife does. We only make a few trips a year when we don't have sewer hookups and found that we can stretch the gray tank capacity as others have done. Dump dish water in the toilet and use the campground facilities as much as possible.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:02 AM   #8
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Brian,
I can usually get the door to close easily and latch properly by adjusting / tweaking the stabalizer jacks.

Very good point...
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:32 AM   #9
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Glad your trip went well and safe.

As far as the door goes, the door pin (on the door jamb) on our '05 25FB, it is slightly adjustable. At one point we adjusted it out slightly to make the door close without having to slam it. It closed nice and easy, but it didn't seal real well. We did 8 hours travel in the rain, and took on a bunch of water inside the trailer. Our door is hinged at the rear. I readjusted the pin back for a tight seal. I have to pretty much have to close the door hard, but it seals tight.

As far as the holding tanks go, Lucy has a 37 gallon gray tank and a 39 gallon black tank. We usually camp with full hook-ups. We keep both dump valves closed except while actually dumping. We both take long showers, and use other water as we do at home. We dump the gray once a day. The black lasts us 4 to 5 days. When we used to save gray water to rinse the slinky, sometimes we would partially dump gray to keep some rinse water. We switched over to a Sewer Solution about 2 years ago, so we no longer have to worry about saving gray water for rinsing. As long as we are hooked-up, we use Lucy's plumbing just like at home.

Brian M. (also)
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:36 PM   #10
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Door closing

After 3 years of ownership, I too have struggled with the door. Two things mentioned above have largely solved the problem.

First, I always noticed that it closed well when hooked to the TV, or just on the tongue-jack (no stabilizers). So I pretty quickly figured out that I was putting too much torque on the unit with my stabilizers. I've found a happy medium that keeps the unit stable but doesn't jam the door.

Second, I realized that my upper door hinge had worked loose (they screw in). I think Andy once pointed out that this can be a funciton of bad axels, which we had. With the axels replaced, I worked hard at tightening these up. That involved two people - one to turn the screws and (no, this isn't a joke) another to put upward pressure on the door (lifting it) to get the hinge tightened down as much as possible.

Now, it closes very smoothly 'on the road'. When on stabilizer jacks, I can get it 90% smooth by adjusting the jacks.

One last comment - it will change from night to day if the nights are cold and the day is warm with direct sun. Thermal expansion.

Hope this helps.

Regarding the gray tank, our unit has a 34-gallon gray and 34-gallon black. We can go more than a week on the black, but only 2-3 days on gray. Think about it. Not to be crude, but you flush a couple of times per day for each person, and each flush is (I would guess) less than 1/2 gallon of water - so, 4 to 6 gallons per day if there's two of you. Washing dishes and showering uses far more than that.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
You will be surprised but I suspect it is the dish water that is collecting so fast in the gray water tank.

We have gone as long as 10 days watching how we use water and dumping the dish water outside or in the black water tank as often as possible.

Some door strikes are riveted in place and some are screwed. Take a look at yours. If screwed it is an easy task.
I'm guessing it is screwed in as it seems to have a hex head on it for a wrench. I did put a wrench on it but it didn't loosen easily so I decided not to apply too much force until I learned more about it and whether it can be loosened in order to adjust.

I am surprised as some of the things AS do. For example, the external grab handle on the right side of the door frame has some corrosion and I would like to remove it to try cleaning it up or replacing it, but it looks to me as though you cannot remove it unless you remove some of the interior wall covering - which I don't want to mess with!

Brian.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:10 PM   #12
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I was advised by Airsteam sage Lee Garrabald never to use lubricants like WD40
around the lock mechansim, they attract and retain dust which is bad for locks, find another lubricant ie lithium...for the door ...
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:57 PM   #13
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I am surprised as some of the things AS do. For example, the external grab handle on the right side of the door frame has some corrosion and I would like to remove it to try cleaning it up or replacing it, but it looks to me as though you cannot remove it unless you remove some of the interior wall covering - which I don't want to mess with!
Brian.
I had to get to the door hinges and drilled holes with a hole saw that were big enough to give me access. When done I covered the holes with blank electric plates that almost matched the interior color. You have to look for them to see them.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:38 PM   #14
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Some trailers have the bathroom sink drain into the black tank too and I think there may be one with the kitchen sink draining into it. That would be a wise way to plumb them. We find that 2 showers and two days or more of dishwashing fill the grey tank. The black tank has never filled or come close. By the time a week is up, even with a lot of deoderizer, the black tank isn't too pleasant when the toilet flap is opened. The grey tank should be bigger and the black tank smaller, but they aren't designed that way.

There are lots of reports of door problems. Our deadbolt wouldn't close properly until I took it apart and greased it. Use graphite on the locks. The striker plates can be lubricated with parafin. The door or the frame may have been twisted by a PO. It seems easy to torque these trailers and repeated overuse of the stabilizers could cause a problem. Don't use them to lift one side if the trailer isn't level. Silvertwinkie discovered his door worked better when he had his jack at certain heights. I think the door frame on the trailers needs to be reinforced to prevent these common problems, but no one is going to do that unless they are rebuilding the whole thing. Start with the simplest things—graphite and experimenting with the jack.

Looks like you had a good trip with very few problems.

Gene
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