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Old 11-14-2010, 07:20 PM   #43
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Bob,

Yes I'll use the original clips to mount the new rope lights, as they're the same size, etc...

I'm thinking of running the AC cords inside some flexible tubing (for insulation) and run it up through the vent for the converter/charger in the front face of the trailer, as it's the shortest, direct route into the inverters connections...

I'll post some pics when I get around to installing the new lights in a few days (weeks?)...

Regards, Ray
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:01 AM   #44
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The original old, stiff, Shore Power cord that's attached inside the rear bumper compartment, on our AS irritates me every time it's used!

We trekked up to Sonoma, Ca to my sis's place, above town for a Thanksgiving holiday visit - it was cold and rainy, and I again had to 'wrestle' with that danged power cord! Everyone had a great 'Turkey Day', including our 19 Month old GS, Andrew - he loved the crisp Maple Bacon we fried up in the morning!

When we got back, I decided to tackle the installation of a new Marinco socket mounted through the outside skin. I decided to mount the socket right where the original jeweled polarity light is installed in the drive-side rear of the trailer.

I was able to snake enough of the original cord back into the rear compartment, and then reroute it forward, inside and up behind the toilet, where the junction box for the polarity light is mounted.

I removed the light and junction box, drilled the 2-1/2" hole that was required for the Marinco socket assembly.

I connected and insulated the romex AC wiring that what inside the junction box, and moved it out of the way...

I stuck the original power cord out through the hole in the skin so I could connect the AC wires to the new socket, apply some sealant, and rivet the new socket in place...

I'm going to make a small alum plate to cover the socket on the inside of the skin - it's actually hidden from view behind a cabinet 'hatch', behind the toilet...

It's going to be great to have a nice new, flexible power cord that's easier to hookup and stow...now it's on to the the next 'project'...

Ray
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:07 AM   #45
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That is a great idea. I hate the power cord in my bumper area as well. Might look into that this spring. Thanks for the pics.
Tom
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:18 AM   #46
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I went to Marinco's website to get the part numbers - then bought the socket, cord, and 30/15amp adapter from Amazon...

Here's the Marinco info of the parts I used:

30A Contoured RV Power Inlet | Marinco

30 Amp Right Angle Locking RV Cordset | Marinco

Pigtail Adapter, 30 Amp Locking To 15 Amp Straight Blade | Marinco
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:35 PM   #47
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Great upgrade Ray!
Adding this to my to do list.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:27 AM   #48
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Finally bit the bullet and dropped the water tank to find a nagging leak somewhere near the top of the tank, as it only leaks when I fill it up...

1. There are a couple of dents in the RH rear of the pan that holds the tank - a PO must have backed into some obstruction - it doesn't leak in that area, so the dent must not be deep enough to do any damage...

2. Our 28 ft AS, being a rear bath with twin mid beds has access to the H2o tanks fittings from inside after removing the bed base - and easy job...removed the hoses and tank level sensor harness...

3. Hooked up the TV to the coupler and pulled the AS up onto some ramps to gain more clearance underneath...

4. Removed the cover over the drain plug - drained the tank...

5. Using an auto hyd jack to keep the tank from falling on me, I removed all the bolts around the pan's perimeter - 1/2 inch self tapping bolts - used my cordless impact wrench - 5 min job!

6. Dropped pan and tank easily when empty and slid it out from under...

Here's some pics of the pan dents and 'trash' found trapped UNDER the tank between the sheet of Styrofoam insulation - the gum wrapper was an especially good feature! there were two 'new' pop rivets, and over a dozen pop rivet shanks, all impressed into the Styrofoam by the weight of the tank directly against them! - Nice JOB by the AS crew back in 1978!

Also when I dropped the found the round heat duct in the floor that's designed to 'mate' with the long 'channels' molded into the tank for the warm air to circulate across the tank and into the pipe connection area, and back up through the floor under the Port side bed...

Great design - only problem in our case was that there was a 1/2 inch thick sheet of Styrofoam between the heat duct and the tank, effectively BLOCKING all air flow/circulation! WTF, AS Crew - way to go - you forgot to notch the foam - Where was the quality control back in the 70's? This must have been a Friday afternoon build...
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:35 AM   #49
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Here's some tank pics, with the imprinted label for those out there that may have the same year/model AS...

You can see a large 'notch' or 'void' area in the tank that's a mystery to me...it's probably about 2-3 gallons, and there is a removable plate (in the bottom of the pan) that's the same size as the 'void' area in the tank???

Viewed from below with the tank installed, you can see the underside of the plywood floor panel above, under the curbside twin bed, it looks like???

I wonder why this tank had such a 'void' area - possibly this same tank was used for several models and had an obstruction here, but can't imagine what, as it's between the axles???

Any ideas?
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:50 AM   #50
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After removing the tank, I filled it with water to find the leak near the top...

Sure enough it was weeping quite a bit - in the area of the heat duct entry point (about 1-1/2 from the top) - a natural weak point in this tank design right at this point, as there would be a natural restriction from the plastic beads being able to coat this right-angle area during the rotating manufacturing process...

The area of the crack was quite 'thin'...I drilled several small holes along the crack, heat 'tempered' the area with a propane torch, and applied some Poly-repair epoxy just for this purpose that I bought from Tap Plastics...I'm going to apply another coat, then epoxy some Poly material on top to provide some strength in this area - hopefully it won't flex here and work loose...

The 1st pic is with the tank upside down, showing the heat circulation channel - the leak is at the bottom (top of the tank) of the channel in this pic...

The 2nd pic shows the 'bottom' of the vertical channel where the crack is located - at the actual 'top' of the tank
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:09 AM   #51
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Great pics...thanks. Very interesting. In my 78 Ambassador some things were done hastily and of poor quality while others were done very well. I live near Jackson Center and had my trailer there for some repair 10 years ago. The guy that repaired my trailer was on the Ambassador assembly line in 1978. Should have asked him about quality control back then.
Tom
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:30 AM   #52
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I have had the belly pans down out of an 81' Excella II and I took the tanks down from my 89' Excella last year and found the same pile of crap in the bottom of the pans.
I guess all Airstreams get the final sweep down into the belly pans.
I don't understand why they can't go one last extra step and drag a vacuum into clean up the pile of debris......... They are so close and then drop the ball.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:53 AM   #53
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Looking at the debris in the tank pans, I would guess that during trailer build, the pans are mounted first, then the tanks are laid into the pans - probably with some time period between the two operations, allowing for the junk to be trapped when the tanks are installed...all this before the plywood floors are laid down...

I forgot to mention that I removed the five tank monitor sensors...each one was coated with a hard, brown 'plaque' like substance...YUCK!...

Two were completely coated, in effect insulating the SS metal rods from touching the water to give an accurate reading - as we have always experienced...

Using the wire wheel of my bench grinder, I removed all the 'plaque' to make the rods 'shine' again...

I'm going to use some steel wool to shine up the eyes on the harness that hook to the sensors before reassembly, hopefully to regain some accurate readings again...

I finished the leak repair process today by adding a generous second layer of epoxy, topped with a strip of poly material for added strength...That Poly-epoxy I mentioned above is real 'sticky' against the poly tank parent material, and appears to be capable of providing a permanent repair - at least there was no more leakage during today's fill test... YEAH!

I have also picked up some brass, 90 degree hose barb fittings to replace the thin-wall plastic fittings (output & air vent) used by AS originally...

AS used a rather rigid, almost Pex-like poly/vinyl tubing for the output line that goes to the pump (copper thereafter) and also for the air vent/breather tube that connects to the filler receptacle...this original rigid tubing allows for almost no movement, especially after 30+ years...I will install some new, more flexible tubing in these areas, along with the brass fittings to eliminate any breakage in the future - fingers crossed!...

Soon...Water, water everywhere, and now a few extra drops to drink instead of 'leak'!...

Ah, how I love the smell of 'epoxy' in the morning!...
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:52 AM   #54
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Here's a link to the Poly-Weld Adhesive I used for the water tank repair...

TAP Poly-Weld Adhesive: TAP Plastics
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:17 PM   #55
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Tackled the beast in the front yard this PM...rehung the water tank...thank goodness the neighbors were secured inside their cozy homes, as the the air underneath the AS was rather 'blue' during several choice moments as I tried to re-bolt that (*&%*)&%_($* stubborn flat albatross back up into the frame...

Didn't have a 'gopher' handy, so of course, it took several trips crawling in and out from under for forgotten tools, etc...It's lucky some deserving soul didn't stop by, or he would now be the proud owner of an AS with an ALMOST secured water tank - and for the princely sum of $1...!

After a number of 'adjustments' to the pan, I got it secured properly...used my cordless drill with a 1/2" socket to spin the original self-tapping bolts back up into the frame...YEAH! Beers all around!

As I'd stripped away the original factory installed sealant around the edges of the pan, I applied some sticky marine sealant as a replacement - that sealing process is important, as any wet, dirty road spray could fine it's way into the pan and chafe against the tank itself, over time - my fingers should recover in a week or so...Yuck...

Glad it's over, except for hooking up the hoses inside tomorrow - piece of cake!

Too bad this necessary repair was needed to fix a weak point (bad design) in the rotary molded poly tank - there was no stress apparent near the crack - just a thin area in the poly due to the hidden (from rotary moving poly beads during heating process) nature of that particular part of the tank...Can't blame AS for that...

Here's a few pics;...the repaired area; a reinforcement near the air vent fitting that had a small stress crack; and the fill level sensors after cleaning...

If you water tank leaks, now you have an idea of what to expect...
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:48 AM   #56
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With everything hooked up to the water tank, I gave it a fill test to check out the Fill Level Monitor...Worked like a charm!

Watching the monitor's LED's at various fill levels, they 'flickered' and turned steady ON, as the water level rose to make positive contact with the sensor/probe - Just like new!

And best of all, no leaks when the tank was full!

Guess I can cross that project off my 'Bucket List'...
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