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Old 11-11-2009, 02:05 PM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Speedway , Indiana
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Water hose reel repair

Streamers,
I have just finished resealing my fresh water hose reel assembly. IT CAN BE DONE!
One of the biggest problems with gaining access to the reel is taking the lower part of the reel bin apart. I found that a 50/50 mixture of Acetone and automatic transmission fluid will penetrate the rusted bolts, so they will come apart with no trouble. Really, you must give it a try. Just make sure you do not get it on your paint.
Start by removing the 7 bolts that hold the lower bin section on, and get it out of the way.
Use the mixture on the two self locking nuts on the back side of the bin that hold the reel. I put a floor jack under the reel to support it as the bolts were removed. Unscrew the lower union nut on the plastic water line. Make sure you do not put any strain on the plastic. With the help of a screwdriver, you can then slide the plastic tube off of the union. Make sure the reel is in the "locked" position, and take the lower hose roller loose to get the end of the hose out. With the reel out of the coach, now the repair is easy.
With care, let all of the spring tension unwind from the reel by letting the mount rotate slowly until it wants to stop. Mark the orientation of the fitting, and remove the plastic 90 degree fitting from the hose shaft. Loosen the lock nut on the large set screw, and remove the set screw. Now pull the mount off of the reel shaft. Once the mount is removed, take spring holder loose from the reel by removing the small nuts around the outer edge, and pull it off of the reel.
Now turn the reel over and remove the hose from the brass adapter. Remove the spigot from the end of brass adapter. Remove the snap ring from the end of the shaft, and pull the shaft out of the brass adapter. Remove the 3 small nuts holding the brass adapter to the reel, and remove.
I cleaned up the inside of the brass adapter with some very fine sandpaper. The two O rings on the shaft are standard O rings that are available at Ace Hardware. I replaced the drain spigot with a brass pipe plug and Teflon tape. Get a pipe plug that fits the other end of the shaft as well. (The end the plastic 90 goes into). This is a good time to replace your hose. Get the best 25 footer you can.
To reassemble, start by attaching the new hose to the brass adapter with a new hose seal, and let the hose lay out through the opening in the reel. Attach the brass adapter to the reel with the 3 small nuts. Be careful to not over torque the nuts. Lube the new O rings with silicone grease, as well as the shaft, and the inside of the brass adapter. Slide the O rings onto the shaft into their locations. Carefully slide the shaft into the brass adapter, and replace the snap ring. The pipe plug should already be installed in this end of the shaft.
Now the spring holder is installed onto the reel, being careful to not over torque the small nuts. Looking at the mount end of the shaft, you will notice that there is a small relief in the shaft where the set screw will seat. Mark the end of the shaft with a marker so the relief can be lined up with the set screw. Slide the mount onto the shaft, and install the set screw. Tighten the screw and then the lock nut.
To do a leak test, install the other pipe plug into the shaft loosely. Hook the hose to a water source. Let the air out of the unit by loosening that last plug. No leaks...good. Wind the spring back up by holding the reel and winding the mount. If there seems to be no tension, you are going the wrong way. It will only wind up in one direction. I think I wound mine up about 12-15 rotations. Put the reel in the "locked' position.
Now the unit is ready to put back into the coach.
Install the plastic 90 into the shaft with teflon tape, and put back to it's original orientation. As you jack up the reel into the coach, just slide the plastic tube back onto the union. Leave the union loose until the two reel mount bolts are tight, then tighten the union nut. Put the hose through the rollers, and now you can pull the hose to unlock the reel and let it wind up. Replace the lower bin section, and you are done.
Good luck and have fun, Rob
Pictures to follow.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:13 PM   #2
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Water Hose Reel Repair

These pictures should help.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:07 AM   #3
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WOW!!! I don't have a hose reel, just power cord, but I think I have the process somewhat understood...GREAT post...thanks...mike
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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This one definately gets printed and put in my 'how to' folder. Great details. Changing the hose is on my to-do list, sometime in near future.

I never heard of your 50/50 mix for rusted bolts. Did it seem to penetrate right away or does it have to sit and soak for a while?
Sure sounds logical and worth a try. Thanks.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:06 PM   #5
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Where is the drain petcock located and does it drain the hose reel and any water left above it in the water line. I have never drained mine and have had not any problems but you never know.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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I had never used the hose, always use the water in the tank, then one day I hooked it up. The hose was a sprinkler hose with all the cracks in it. I replaced the hose. Had to remove the electric reel to get to the hose reel. Mine didn't have a hose screw-on, it was hose clamped to a barbed fitting. Not an ease job, but that's why we like them.
mel
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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Speedway , Indiana
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Guys,
The 50/50 Acetone and Automatic trans fluid mix works in just a couple of minutes. If you put it on and wait too long it evaporates and you have to put more on. It really is amazing.
The drain cock is located in the brass adapter end of the shaft. (Facing forward in the coach) There is no access to it when it is installed in the coach, so it is just another source of a possible leak. I replaced it with a brass pipe plug to eliminate the chance.
Rob
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:48 PM   #8
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Do you drain with gravity, pressure, or vacuum? Haven't tried your magic mixture, but will when I next need to...
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:08 PM   #9
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When they cut corners for the newer models this neat item was eliminated, how do I retrofit one, or both reels, space is available in the existing trunk of the Land Yacht 30. Must be nice to give a tug and have the hose and/or electric retract. Next time I am at a rv salvage yard maybe this would be a good item to look for, did any other brand use them?
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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I for one can live without the hose reel but the electric reel is one that I've lusted over since I aquired Airstream One.

The problem is that they ain't cheap! Nice job on the rebuild and the post Rob! Get's my vote.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:19 AM   #11
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Our 310 doesn't have the hose/power reels. However our 74 Excella 500 trailer does and since its being gutted to make into a car trailer I might have to look into seeing if that unit will fit in our 310.

Oh boy, one more item to add to the project list.......

Rob, great job on documenting the process.

Brad
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:24 AM   #12
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That is a great thread. I will copy this one off for my files ! Good Job in Speedway
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:08 PM   #13
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I'm in the middle of doing this very thing. Thanks for the details. I wish I would have read this post first, though!
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:57 PM   #14
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This will certainly help with my hose reel rebuild! Thanks.
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