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Old 09-16-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
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cracked grey water tank

Has anyone had much success repairing cracks in either holding tanks? I have a foot long split in the bottom of my grey water tank and was hoping I could just seal it up. If not, are these tanks still available? 1984-310. Thx!
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:37 AM   #2
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Has anyone had much success repairing cracks in either holding tanks? I have a foot long split in the bottom of my grey water tank and was hoping I could just seal it up. If not, are these tanks still available? 1984-310. Thx!
I would say don't even think about repair. Tanks can be made up any size using modern plastics, and there's probably someone near you who does it. Google brought up plenty, here's one:

RV Tanks Camper, Motorhome, Travel Trailer
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Punch View Post
I would say don't even think about repair. Tanks can be made up any size using modern plastics, and there's probably someone near you who does it. Google brought up plenty, here's one:

RV Tanks Camper, Motorhome, Travel Trailer
Great site, PUNCH, I am going to save it for sure. Hopefully not for me but a fellow camper, Ha! Ha!
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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True, tanks can be made up, but considering they are usually around $200, plus shipping by freight, then you have to cut the current plumbing (plus vents) and then get all the fittings to line up, that's a lot of work, (and some expense)

I believe that those tanks were ABS at the time. You may be able to find out through the forums. You'll wand to do a heat repair if possible, or a solvent repair is almost as good.

For a heat repair, you could get some Harbor Freight plastic welding rods and welder. For solvent, I would suggest getting a shape that will cover your tank. If in the side you may be able to order a 1/16" sheet of ABS online (even Amazon has them) Smear ABS cement on both mating surfaces, apply and hold. That may do it. Or, depending on the shape, you could peruse the plumbing department at Lowes and find a similar shape.

Last option is to order abs regrind from Vintage Trailer Supply and create a slurry in a mason jar from the regrind and acetone. Once it's the consistency of grape jelly, you can smear it into the crack.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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True, tanks can be made up, but considering they are usually around $200, plus shipping by freight, then you have to cut the current plumbing (plus vents) and then get all the fittings to line up, that's a lot of work, (and some expense)
$200. ? Yes I should say so, but there should be someone in just about any medium size town who can make them up..... usually people who make septic holding tanks or water tanks. Plus you can get it exactly the right size, whereas any materials you stick on the outside of a tank take up space, even if they work, which I very much doubt with the bacterial and detergent and grease contamination in a holding tank.

With all the repair methods you suggest, I would add "and pray" to the end of your suggestion. Also if you add up the materials costs, especially for the first 2 or 3 failures, and if you count your time as worth anything, $200. is reached and exceeded pretty quickly. It always amazes me how much time and money and thought people will put into nibbling around the edges of a problem rather than confronting it once and for all.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #6
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Punch, it may be different where you are, but in my area, I haven't found a custom shop that will make it up for less than $400 for a custom tank. I think some of our Southern states where the poster is from originally may be more into manufacturing. After calling multiple folks, I cannot come even close to the prices I've seen here for having my metal pan made to hold my black tank. I'm making all my own black and gray tanks partly for the learning experience, and partly to save over $600 or more, and get exactly what I want. I agree. I'm not a fan of putting duct tape on an issue, but not everyone has the money, skill, or resources to jump in and do the repair right the first time. Few of the folks on this forum are experts. Most learn as they go along. I think it's good to provide both options - Fix it right the first time, or fix it temporarily for your last trip of the season, then save up if you need to to fix it permanently.

Rob.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #7
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A simple fix is MarineTex from just about any boat repair place. I have repaired washing machines, fuel tanks, fuel pumps, boats, etc...and have never had a problem since. You can even leave it in place, rough up the sides all along the crack, mix the MarineTex and apply with a paddle similar to working bondo...you can sand it, paint it, it's flexible and I keep it all the time, just in case! A small repair kit is about $10.00 bucks...a quart of it from aan auto supply store is about $30.00...
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
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Oasis in Tucson had a fellow that plastic welded several cracks in our gray tank. I did a...well...uhm...'modification' on our black water tank while replacing the gate valve...the resulting pipe was too short, even though I did cut it twice...a 'boot' made up the length, and I VERY liberally used PL sealant(comes in a caulk tube)...latex gloves, gobs by the hand full...has held for 4 years in sub-zero to 100+ temps...I will NEVER do any black water work again...dealing with residuals is about the LEAST glorious aspect of Airstreaming... the same stuff would work for gray water...clean/coarse sand/clean/let dry/apply...drying takes time and patience...those cracks will leak/leach water forever. A point to consider is that if the tank is cracking from age, more cracks will appear...if you find a good place for replacement, please(oh, please) post it...mike
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:37 PM   #9
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I'm definitely looking to patch this up. I think I smashed it on a rock! I do some extreme camping!
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:02 PM   #10
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I'm sure I don't have any more money to spare than any of you, could well be less, and I save money wherever I can in working on my AS, so long as I'm still doing a good and permanent job. I have always been careful with what money I have (never in my life bought a new car, never borrowed money except for a mortgage, and that's long gone now) and I really only like to spend money once. With patching a grey tank you'll be spending money at least twice, and then either handing the problem on to the poor FO, for whom you will be that #$%&@# cheapskate PO, or end up spending the additional amount on a new tank anyway.

The other solution is to patch it and let it leak, which'll mean you'll never have to dump it again..... now, that's not a bad idea! Think I'll go and drill a hole in mine now.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:57 PM   #11
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A appreciate your advice PUNCH, but I'm not interested in replacing the tank right now. It's a time issue not money.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:12 PM   #12
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A appreciate your advice PUNCH, but I'm not interested in replacing the tank right now. It's a time issue not money.
Just fine with me, and it`s your MH, but in your original post you did ask:

Quote:
....are these tanks still available? 1984-310..
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #13
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Tank repair

I once had a crack in the bottom of my black tank in a '74 27' A/S. So I bought a patch kit at my dealer. The tank was polyethylene I think.... waxy feeling like that stuff they make milk bottles out of. I drilled a small hole at the ends of the crack and lightly sanded the area around the crack. Then applied the epoxy and glass cloth patch. Several years latter when I sold the trailer it was still holding fine.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #14
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Has anyone had much success repairing cracks in either holding tanks? I have a foot long split in the bottom of my grey water tank and was hoping I could just seal it up. If not, are these tanks still available? 1984-310. Thx!
The original tanks are no longer available from Airstream.

Andy
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