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Old 07-02-2010, 07:20 PM   #1
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1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Lewiston , Maine
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Exclamation Hot water in a 345 and toilet problem

Well, after what seems like a lifetime, I am in my RV. I actually have city water, electricity, and well that is the good news.

If you have a sense of humor read on... if not, just accept that maybe I bit off more than I can chew.

My first day:
The electric plug needed duct tape
The park guy and I hooked up the water after buying a pressure reducer and then we stood outside talking. After awhile I went inside. I had thought the shower was a good place to put the cat box. Unfortunately the PO had left the shower in the ON position and so I had an overflowing shower mixed with pine cat litter that would not drain.
No other drains drained properly after that.
Meanwhile the cats became locked in the bedroom and away from their box. They did their business on my bed.
The RV parks washing machines only take quarters at 15 second intervals for a total of $1.75 for a wash. Lucky I had quarters. Problem: the laundramat was about to close.
While attempting to force water down the drains to wash the litter through, the bathroom overflowed at the same time the neighbor knocked to inform me there was a separate leak from the hose system inside the RV.
I trace the leak to a water line inside a cabinet. I have no idea what used to be inside that cabinet and why there is a water line there. Any way, an employee is dispatched to find the right do hickey to seal off the line. I am told they have too much to do than help me and I should hire someone.
The cap of the evening was when I decided that I was done unpacking stuff into the RV and used the dead bolt lock.
Did I mention that there is no water flowing to my new Thetford toilet??
Suddenly I find that I need to use the bathroom urgently and for solids.
I try to exit the door, but no matter how I finagle the deadbolt it will not move.
I read the RV instruction book that came with my 86 345. It promises me a carefree and happy time and not much more. It does mention the lock panel on the drivers panel. I think maybe I can get out that way. No.
I give in and use my own bathroom.
I go to bed thinking that tomorrow has to be better.
It's not. The door is still locked.
I decide to either escape via the window over the sink (problem is that I put the soggy cat litter right about where I would fall) or try leaning out and using the key on the lock. Neither is really possible.
The bright side is that I didn't put the prickly cactus directly below.
I re-read the bright and happy manual a second and third time.
I push as directed when door won't open.
I have bruises everywhere on my left side.
My brain finally kicks in. Since the bottom seems to give and the deadbolt is obviously on the top, maybe the bottom needs to be re-engaged fully closed when I literally twist the deadbolt lock to the point I am afraid it is going to break.
This works.
I am free.
I think I maybe should walk away while I can still get out.

Day Two Questions if you got this far:

I finally got some propane via an extended stay system (the propane guy doesn't come for awhile yet.)

I now can work the stove but there doesn't seem to be a pilot. It's a new Magic Chef. I can live without a pilot.

How does the water heater work? Is it automatic or should it be. I turned on the red light in the bathroom as per instruction booklet assuring me of a happy trails experience. I'm not feeling anything luke warm an hour later.

Any ideas on how to get water flowing to the toilet?

If I could do these two things (plus unplug the shower drain) I would be in Nirvana.

Everyone else is cooking and grilling and listening to fiddling. I hope you are too, but when you get back from your holiday, any suggestions greatly, greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:52 AM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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QUOTE
How does the water heater work? Is it automatic or should it be. I turned on the red light in the bathroom as per instruction booklet assuring me of a happy trails experience. I'm not feeling anything luke warm an hour later.

Any ideas on how to get water flowing to the toilet?

If I could do these two things (plus unplug the shower drain) I would be in Nirvana.
UNQUOTE

The water heater should be turned on at the wall switch in the bathroom...Check the burner from the outside access door...often, a build-up on the the piezo(sparker) or burner prevents igniting the propane...if you see a build-up, gently brush it off with a brush, blow away the residue, and try again with the switch. Does the red light come on, go off, then come on and stay on?

There should be an in-line cut-off valve for the toilet, located behind and to the right of the toilet, right at floor level. It might be turned off...I would be careful about turning it on, as there may be a reason it was turned off(leak)...

The shower drain should be easily cleaned with a 'snake'...if you can't access a snake, try a wire coat hanger...
mike
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:07 PM   #3
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Cleveland , Tennessee
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It sounds like you turned the main water off when you found the mystery water line inside the cabinet. Just go to a hardware/RV store for a shut off valve. This way you can turn main water back on. You'll want this shut off valve in place when the ice maker you install there later needs servicing.

The deadbolt.....hmmm. Our deadbolt sometimes sticks. This is because we need new hinges. From the outside, does the paint lines/trim line up correctly when the door is almost closed? By that I mean door against the jam, but not latched. If so, a quick temporary fix is to get a 1/4 " nylon washer cut with anotch (kinda like a C) can be put in the hinge to raie the door. Lift the door up beforeinsering washer. A helper makes this easier.

Ricky
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:30 PM   #4
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1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Lewiston , Maine
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Toilet problem sort of solved

After my umpteenth time through the very breezy no hassle Airstream guide, I saw the part in winterizing about opening and closing valves by pulling up and turning and pushing down and turning. So I did that on the toilet line and now I know why it was shut: there is a leak in the connection to the toilet. One more leak... no worries. :-(
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:51 PM   #5
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1978 31' Excella 500
Genoa , Nevada
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There will be a time when you say Yeay, it leaks, a leak is good to see! Come winter when everything if frozen solid.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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A common freeze/break poit is the valve located at the back of the toilet , towards the top, and central...hard to get to, but it can be done...
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gowiththeflo View Post
Well, after what seems like a lifetime, I am in my RV. I actually have city water, electricity, and well that is the good news.

If you have a sense of humor read on... if not, just accept that maybe I bit off more than I can chew.
I appreciate that you still have a sense of humor. Sounds like a real adventure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gowiththeflo View Post
My first day:
The electric plug needed duct tape
The park guy and I hooked up the water after buying a pressure reducer and then we stood outside talking. After awhile I went inside. I had thought the shower was a good place to put the cat box. Unfortunately the PO had left the shower in the ON position and so I had an overflowing shower mixed with pine cat litter that would not drain.
No other drains drained properly after that.
Meanwhile the cats became locked in the bedroom and away from their box. They did their business on my bed.
The RV parks washing machines only take quarters at 15 second intervals for a total of $1.75 for a wash. Lucky I had quarters. Problem: the laundramat was about to close.
While attempting to force water down the drains to wash the litter through, the bathroom overflowed at the same time the neighbor knocked to inform me there was a separate leak from the hose system inside the RV.
First, the electric plug needed tape: not good. Sounds like you need a new cable (For example at Vintage Trailer Supply—30A Power Cord, there are other sources and choices besides this type of hardwired including the popular Marinco systems [Marinco 30A Stainless Inlet]). Dirty secret, there are replacement plug ends available at Home Depot and other hardware stores that are not molded ends but serviceable in a pinch.

OK Really First, does you no good now, though. Hook up everything possible, water, electric, (drain probably not possible at home), and propane at home under controlled conditions. Keep the sinks and shower empty just in case, but you know this now.

On that first trip, you may want to leave the cats at home. Don't get me wrong, I'm a cat person. It's just that you and they will be happier if there are no problems on their first trip. Again, too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gowiththeflo View Post
I trace the leak to a water line inside a cabinet. I have no idea what used to be inside that cabinet and why there is a water line there. ...
Some motorhomes had an ice maker installed in a cabinet. It could be that this was its location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gowiththeflo View Post
The cap of the evening was when I decided that I was done unpacking stuff into the RV and used the dead bolt lock.
Did I mention that there is no water flowing to my new Thetford toilet??
Suddenly I find that I need to use the bathroom urgently and for solids.
I try to exit the door, but no matter how I finagle the deadbolt it will not move.
I read the RV instruction book that came with my 86 345. It promises me a carefree and happy time and not much more. It does mention the lock panel on the drivers panel. I think maybe I can get out that way. No.
I give in and use my own bathroom.
I go to bed thinking that tomorrow has to be better.
It's not. The door is still locked.
I decide to either escape via the window over the sink (problem is that I put the soggy cat litter right about where I would fall) or try leaning out and using the key on the lock. Neither is really possible.
The bright side is that I didn't put the prickly cactus directly below.
I re-read the bright and happy manual a second and third time.
I push as directed when door won't open.
I have bruises everywhere on my left side.
My brain finally kicks in. Since the bottom seems to give and the deadbolt is obviously on the top, maybe the bottom needs to be re-engaged fully closed when I literally twist the deadbolt lock to the point I am afraid it is going to break.
This works.
I am free.
I think I maybe should walk away while I can still get out.
I have been stuck inside my old Trade Wind due to a broken door lock. A different system than yours, but I can sympathize.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gowiththeflo View Post
Day Two Questions if you got this far:

I finally got some propane via an extended stay system (the propane guy doesn't come for awhile yet.)

I now can work the stove but there doesn't seem to be a pilot. It's a new Magic Chef. I can live without a pilot.
The Magic Chef in my Excella had the pilot turned off and the tubes from the pilot to the burners were just laying in the bottom of the cooktop area. The PO or someone had closed off the flow of gas to the pilot, it is adjustable. I assumed that it was to save propane, keep from having a hot spot on the stovetop, or a combination of the two. I have never turned it back up. It's not much trouble to light a burner with a BBQ lighter when I use one. You do, however need to light the oven pilot.

Glad you still feel like sharing! Hang in there, you will get these problems worked out. And you are having a great time. After all, you have the manual to assure you that you are.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:57 PM   #8
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,935
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Dont worry!
There is always a price to pay for such a Classy Motorhome!
My first trip in my '84 345 we had a water leak from the shower(freeze burst pipe), and a leaking water heater(pipe not seated after replacement by the PO).
My Deadlock is dead... and from what I read, I am lucky! Still like to have it working tho!
Keep up the humor, and dont loose faith... its all worth it when people coo and smile at your pride and joy!
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:02 AM   #9
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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Wouldn't trade the 'problems' of our MH for the PROBLEMS of our house without wheels...so nice to say "lets just park HERE, and fix some food..."...not the tent camping we used to do, but the older we get, the more we appreciate the creature comforts...m
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Lewiston , Maine
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Four or five days later...

The deadbolt has not moved from its upright position, nor will it. I have discovered the "Exit" sign in the rear bedroom. I assume I can cause some kind of damage but get out there if I ever need to.

The toilet is working! Only needed a valve tightened in a spot that a hamster with hands couldn't get to. Speaking of which, the size of the bathroom seems designed for a hamster (the bright and happy manual forgot to mention that... although I love the picture of the flowers in a glass vase on the table and the bottle of wine and the peek into the bedroom in the back.)

The hot water heater now lights but goes off after two minutes. I know a lot more about needing screw drivers of all sizes and other tools and a chimney sweep brush. I admired that 86 circuit board, remembering that the first PCs were just a few years before.

The awning... ah, the awning. Such a nice thing to have when one is living inside an aluminum can, but such a delicate flower. Two minutes up and down? Is that on a modern AS? For me it is more like an adventure in wrestling and hanging from the aluminum arms and bracing myself against the sidewall with feet while pulling backwards. Have watched that how to video on YouTube a thousand times. Please come to my RV and do the same thing in two minutes!

I knew there wasn't much storage except in the liquor cabinet. Thank god for that. I can even count on it staying closed, I think, due to the push in do hickeys on the side.

I think I'm having a good time in my classy old girl. The neighbor, however, is trying to sell me his fifth wheel, while shaking his head and rolling his eyes.

So that's it for now.

Oh, did I mention I travel with cats? More than two, let's just say.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:27 PM   #11
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1990 34.5' Airstream 345
Lewiston , Maine
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Update... two weeks later

I'm knocking on the newly polished wood overhead .oin those nice cabinets on the 345 before posting this.

After the first few days, things did indeed settle down. I haven't had to jump out a window or deal with any floods. The toilet works! The water heater lights... sometimes... but doesn't stay on for long and there is no hot water from the faucets.

I've been attacking the sticky ceiling problem for a few days. It's hard to work overhead. Anyway, the Krud Kutter is the winner so far. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser takes off dirt but not the stickiness in this unit. But yes, wash, wash, rinse, rinse afterwards. I hope I get it done so I can follow up with the Future floor product before the stickiness comes back! I'd like to go for something requiring less elbow grease but the unit is occupied and I can't really blast it with chemicals. And since it does the job after a fashion, I think I will just continue down that route.

Today the front curtains got washed. I'm not thrilled with the results and would love to get something better looking down the line.

I'm lucky to have decent Internet WiFi inside my MH here. It goes up and down but when it's on it is fast.

Storage!!! Oh how I wish I had more storage.

And the canopy rolls up crooked and so I need to work on that so I can lock it before I travel anywhere. I now have a ladder that allows me to get up there so that helps. I really can't use it here though because of the winds.

I saw a group of Airstreamers today. One had a trailer painted like a tiger or zebra... wished I had my camera.

Anyway, here is a picture of the ceiling showing the change in color (I hope). Happy trails, everyone.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:29 PM   #12
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Glad to here things have smoothed out for you.
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