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Old 07-13-2011, 06:30 PM   #15
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I know, its nutty. Look at the first pics, just before starting--nice and clean! Its only when you start picking away that all that dirt and gunk comes out of the inaccessible crevasses. Of course, the sticky-vinyl walls that can't ever be cleaned and thereby attract every bit of dirt that passed through over the last how-ever-many decades...doesn't help.

all I can figure is that stuff must condense on solid surfaces. there's always gunk in the vanity cabinet every spring. can't all be mouse poop. You can see a couple of those plumbing couplers are sharkbites...those are only a couple of years old, and they're covered in gunk.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:34 PM   #16
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I know, its nutty.
I know we've had our share of nutty projects...things always get worse before they get better!

We went through a similar "yucky project" on our GT right before we sold it.
I sure wish "Mike" woulda been around to help us...

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Old 07-13-2011, 07:30 PM   #17
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Really surprising how different your 24'er and my 27'er are, bathroom-wise that is.

Once you cut the bad floor out, do you intend to open up the walls so that you can install new elevator bolts for the new floor splice? The radius area and back plate on mine were kinda weird. It was almost a requirement to pull some walls sections out. You might be able to get to it from underneath if you take out a piece or two of the belly pan, tho.

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Old 07-13-2011, 08:50 PM   #18
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Of all the floor replacement threads I've read over the years, I've never been able to figure out one thing:

How do you cut the little bit of wood that under the c-channel? I can see cutting across the floor w/ a circular saw, until you get within an inch or 2 of the wall, and you can't go any further...you could cut the last inch with a hand-saw...but how do you get between the frame and the shell?
I went as far as I could with a circular saw and 'carefully' used my sawsall to do the rest...where it left bits and pieces in the channel, I gouged it out gently with a 1/2" drill bit. I only replaced 18" across the front of our Argosy and 3' feet in the rear...I had the lower interior panels out to access the C-channel as well.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:05 AM   #19
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Really surprising how different your 24'er and my 27'er are, bathroom-wise that is.
yes, the 23 safari and 25' Trade Wind share this layout; larger units are totally different, with the sub-floor mounted tank.

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Once you cut the bad floor out, do you intend to open up the walls so that you can install new elevator bolts for the new floor splice?
Yeah, thats the plan. I don't think there's a choice, really. Belly pan is coming off, too. I've had it down before. I did some temporary repairs under there a few years ago, when I discovered that I had the problem. I pulled down the pan, took out the insulation, and was able to cut some small pieces of plywood to fit the "missing" area of floor. I was able to feel around under the channel, and the bolts were all there, and solid. I marked their locations onto the board with a pencil, and cut slots in it with a jig saw, so that I could slide it into place, and then glued/screwed cleats from the new piece to the solid floor.
So its not like there was any danger of the floor collapsing; (at least, not between the main frame rails, which is where any people would stand, (or sit, in this case)).
Anyway, this let me put off the big job for a few more seasons, but this spring, I noticed that my univolt (which is in the closet, to the left of the toilet...back curbside corner) is tilted up...which means that piece of floor is about to fall through. (there is no support under the floor in that corner, at all, and my temp repairs didn't address it at all).
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:20 AM   #20
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I have found one thing that will definitely clean the sticky off the interior walls. Krudcutter. Buy it at Walmart. Spray it on, wipe with a terry towel, then wash with soapy water( I use Simple Green). Takes the sticky off. Cleaning the interior walls was the best thing I have done to our 2 old Airstreams. And the stuff does work.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:29 AM   #21
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That works great...on the walls you can reach.
these, you really can't. maybe before I put them back in, I'll treat 'em w/ future floor wax, or something, to try and seal them up.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:38 AM   #22
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Anyone ever seen this kind of fastener?

yeah, its an "acorn nut". There were a few of these used on the visible areas of the tank cover, and a row of them along the shower pan, where it attaches to the bulkhead. I thought there would be a screw on the other side, when I took the first one off. But it looked like a rivet tail, and someone just stuck these decorative nuts on, with a dab of silicone or something. I put a nut driver on one to take it off, and it just kind of popped right off.
Another one did seem to have threads on the rivet tail. I guess its possible that the thread on the nut could have carved a thread-like pattern into the soft aluminum rivet tail. (?)
Anyway, these didn't look like normal pop rivets; it seemed like they had a tail on both ends, and were impossible to drill out. I wound up having to slide a hacksaw blade between the tank cover and wall and saw them off.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:16 AM   #23
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So I appeared on "the VAP" the other night...what fun!

Even though I've started demo, I still haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do irt a new tank arrangement. I've been toying with the idea of putting a larger black tank in, "while I'm at it". but its not a simple thing to do, with this trailer.
As the pics show, there is no capacity for a bigger tank in the existing location; but there is plenty of room under the floor. Lots of other folks have installed tanks in that location, but not with a bathroom arrangement like this. the problem here is that the existing tank is holding up or connected to everything else in the bathroom; not just the toilet. It supports the vanity and sink, and is attached to the shower on one end, and the closet on the other...no way to just "remove" it.
So my thought was to put a tank under the floor, and replace the existing tank with an empty box that would hold up the toilet and vanity and sink, cover it with the existing tank cover, and put a 6" riser pipe down through the floor to the tank below. From inside, the bathroom will look "original", and there'd be no need to redesign and manufacture the interior.

So I ran it past the VAP guys, to get their take on it, and they were generally against the idea. And being a little nervous about being on the radio, I forgot to bring up a couple of points, as the conversation evolved the way conversations do. It became more about "13 gallons is enough," rather than other structural reasons not to do it.
What I failed to mention after it was too late (and not wanting to hog up too much of everyone's time), was that its not really that I need to carry around 25 gallons of toilet effluent; yes, the small tank is a little bit "tight" on longer camping stays, so a little bit more capacity would be handy; but also, its that there is space for lots more below, and it could be used for not just poop, but extra grey water capacity, either manually or with a transfer pump. ( I have friends, for example, who have very large black tanks...bigger than they'll ever fill, and they dump their dishwater down the toilet in order to conserve grey water tank capacity.)

Anyway...there are still other reasons why it might not be a good/practical idea. One problem is that with these typical stock tanks, they're wedge shaped, and with this particular bathroom layout, the toilet would sit above the very shallowest part of the tank. I can see a potential "black hills" type problem right there. The other re-habs I've seen, where people put large wedge-shaped tanks in also happen to have the toilet located toward the street-side corner of the trailer, right over the deepest part of the tank. stuff that goes into the tank in that area will have something to float/disolve in immediately. In my proposed arrangement, there won't be any water directly under the toilet until the tank is nearly full.
A work-around for that, though, is that instead of a pipe that goes straight down from the toilet to the tank, you could put an elbow under the toilet, and a 3" pipe running sideways toward the deep end of the tank, and drop into the tank over the deep end. House toilets don't have to go straight down, right?
well...problem there is that these toilets don't use much water. would it be enough to push things all the way through the pipe?
RJ Dial made his bath arrangement like this. don't know how/if it works well in practice, though.

thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:01 PM   #24
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Or . . . use a bumper dumper





or. . . .

a five gallon pail and a bag of kitty litter.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:06 AM   #25
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Turns out my dad has a jig-saw (saber-saw?) that has attachments that enable it to flush-cut by off-setting the blade. Also has one that puts it out in front of the shoe, so you can cut right up to something.
This'll work as long as I'm not cutting on top of a cross-member. (which would require the depth-adjustment of a circular saw).
My thought is that I'll cut the floor flush with the edge of the cross member, so the jig-saw should work. For re-assembly, I'll attach a piece of angle-iron to the x-member to make a support/nailer for the edge of the replacement plywood.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:10 AM   #26
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I'm thinking I may have to remove the bulkheads that form the bathroom. I finally got the closet wall out, (which was quite difficult), and now I can see that the lower skin extends forward of the bulkheads and terminates behind the bunks. don't think there'll be enough room to work with them just peeled back; so the walls will have to come out...and that means the bunks and overhead cabinets, too...which means the trailer will be half-gutted.
oh, well. here it comes....
Bunks and cabinets shouldn't be too hard to get out. (ha! famous last words...).
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:43 AM   #27
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Seems I spoke too soon on the VAP the other night re: the condition of my black tank. It is indeed cracked at the top, around the threaded flange. I guess I've been lucky that I never filled it up all the way to overflowing.

That could also explain why when the tank level does get high, it gets kind of stinky; there was room for fumes to waft up through the plywood top plate and around the outside of the toilet mounting flange. spilled water has been getting in there over the years, damaging the plywood plate, so fumes could come up the other way, too.

So, it looks like there will be a new black tank. Still in question is whether it will be a stock replacement, or a retro-fit beneath the floor.

Back to that subject: Here is what RJ did...not mounting the toilet directly above the black tank:




My question is whether there is enough "whoosh" from these low-flow toilets to propel the effluent all the way through a horizontal run of pipe to the drop into the tank.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:48 AM   #28
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anyone? comments?

Oh, well. Got most of the bathroom removed, now. Also removed the first piece of skin--the center panel, which was easy to remove. The other skins that wrap around to the straight side walls...well, those aren't coming out unless the bathroom bulkheads come out, as these skins attach forward of the bulkheads. Which means the bunks and overhead cabinets need to come out, which means the trailer will be half-gutted.
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