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Old 09-02-2013, 06:45 AM   #1
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'77 Safari Bathroom and Rearend Repairs

I wanted to share my renovations/repairs here because I think it may help others who want to tackle this job. Unfortunately it seems to be easier to find information on doing a shell off than on removing the toilet

Background:
We've had our Safari for 2 years now and it's been a great trailer. The PO took great care so we have some great bones to start with.
Since we purchased her we've made the following repairs/renovations:
- replaced all fresh water plumbing with PEX
- replaced the water pump (old pump had a torn diaphragm)
- resurfaced the counter tops with new laminate
- replaced the carpet with vinyl plank flooring in the kitchen and bedroom, and vinyl tile in the bathroom
- installed 4 Michelin tires

Starting this summer we have been having problems with the waste tanks, The grey water valve leaked when closed and the black valve was difficult to open. I also knew we had a small soft spot in the floor under the sink, about 8"x6" which needed attention. I was forced to do something after we had problems dumping at the end of Jamboree in the Hills:


That's the black tank handle
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:54 AM   #2
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I was able to re-attach the black tank handle and took the trailer to the local municipal yard which has an RV dump station. I commandeered the dump station for about an hour, first dumping the contents of the tank, then filling the black and grey tanks with fresh water and dumping 5 more times until I was satisfied they were clear enough to disassemble.

Then demolition began, here's the before:

The bathroom was surprisingly easy to disassemble as demolition mostly consisted of drilling out pop-rivets one evening:
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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Next I started on the tank removal. This went much smoother than I had feared it would. My tanks are covered in a large galvanized pan bolted to the frame, after removing the bolts the pan drops down leaving the tanks suspended by the plumbing connections - don't remove the pan with full tanks! The bumper is held on with only 4 bolts.


I did find a bad rear cross-member but luckily that was all the damage I found, most of the frame has the factory paint and I only found 2 mouse nests, the insulation was dry and not as stinky as I had feared.






The tanks appear in great shape and the floor is as I expected. I will be replacing the about 12 inches across the back and having a new hold down plate and rear cross-member fabricated.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for all the photos. My 66 Tradewind blackwater (switched to gray) tank is leaking slightly. I am hoping that it is an easy fix and that I don't have to drop it.

Dan
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:11 AM   #5
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Time for an update.

I had a local fabrication shop make be a new rear cross member and hold down plate, I've painted the hold down plate and the top of the cross member that won't be accessible once welded in. The new metal is definitely heavier than the old pieces, so the trailer will be good for another 35+ years. I did find one bad outrigger on the street side which will also be replaced.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0412.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0410.jpg

I cut out the sections of floor I will be replacing, I tend to make larger patches than needs but it's a lot better than trying to patch to a soft spot.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0416.jpg

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0417.jpg

The 2x4 is holding up the floor supports so I can work in the bathroom without damaging the remaining floor.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:16 AM   #6
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One thing I definitely do not like is the lack of support for the toilet. The tank sits on top of the floor and the toilet bolts to the tank, so the weight of the toilet, and anyone using it is supported by the plastic tank. There is a piece of plywood that sits on top of the tank between the tank and the cover which distributes the weight across the tank, but I don't trust it. if the tank cracks, any contents will leak on the floor inside the trailer. I plan to add vertical supports to the plywood so that the load is carried by the floor, not the tank.

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0413.jpg

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0414.jpg

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w...g/IMG_0415.jpg
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #7
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and then what? How did your bathroom turn out?

I have a 77 safari as well and am about to tackle the rear bathroom/floor repair too. I need to replace/repair my tank valves as well.
I have had my safari for a couple of years and now have access to a heated shop so over the winter I plan on doing some repair/renos.
thanks for the posts, it will help me a lot when i get mine torn down
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:11 PM   #8
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Aldean Fan,

I really appreciate all the pics and info. I have a 77 safari that I recently bought. It has both been fun and challenging/ frustrating! The PO gutted the whole thing and removed the flooring in the back 1/3. Im trying to figure out how everything goes back.
I have a question for you if you can remember since this was a few years ago since you did your work... The tank cover is about an inch below the old rivet holes in the bath room. When you removed your toilet, black water tank cover, plywood and then tank, was it sitting on some 1 inch supports? If I put it back like it is now the cover will crack when the toilet is used.

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Old 12-26-2014, 10:40 PM   #9
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Freon, in my safari, the black water tank sat on a support made of light plywood, maybe 1/4" (Luan?) that sloped to the part of the tank that drops below the floor. The slope was made with a thicker, about 1" piece of wood at the end and a thinner one near the cutout. I don't recall the exact measurements but I might be able to get them from mine. I haven't replaced the toilet yet but my black tank is back in and hooked up to drain. The support was rectangular, close to the width of the tank and had a cutout to allow the tank sump to drop through. Kind of a U shape although the bottom of the U is quite narrow as compared to the sides. Hope this helps. Lorry
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
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Hi Freon, Lorry has it right, there is a spacer that sits on the floor under the tank. The spacer is about the size of the bottom of the tank with a cutout for the drain, the spacer is made of 1/4 plywood with 3/4 inch strips at the ends and 3/8 strips near the cutout, the weight of the tank makes the spacer bend and achieves a slope to the drain.

I was worried about the weight of the toilet being carried by only the plastic cover and the tank so I made vertical supports out of plywood which hold up the plywood on top of the tank. I fastened the supports to the top with screws and to the floor with 1 inch L brackets. Now the there is no load on the tank or the tank cover, any load on the toilet is transferred to the floor.

Feel free to pm me or rely to this thread if you have any more questions,
Good luck with your project!
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Old 12-28-2014, 11:55 AM   #11
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77 Safari

Thank you AldeanFan and Lorry!!!

I just could not understand what was missing... I was about to build a 1"
frame under the tank but I was worried that the dump piping and fittings underneath would be raised to high and not allow the connection through the bumper.
Now does the slope in the bottom plywood frame affect the toilet flange and make the flange slant along with the toilet?

I also ordered a "shop manual from Secretary Services" but it wont arrive for a few weeks. I'm hoping it will have pictures of the bath with covers removed so I can see how the water & LP piping was routed.

You guys are so awesome for responding to my SOS Thanks again!

Freon

P.s. If you ever have any a/c or electrical questions for your home systems or light commercial please look me up, I would be very happy to help.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:35 AM   #12
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no the tank sits level and the top face and flange is level, it is just the bottom that will slope. I have the shop manual for my 77 and it does not have particularly good pictures showing the water and lp piping. The illustrations are all in exploded view. I am assuming yours is a rear bath? Mine is. In mine, all LP is routed outside on the bottom and only enters trailer at each necessary fixture, ie water heater, stove, furnace, fridge. I think code requires it to be outside. I have some pictures of my plumbing before I removed it that might help, I can email them to you but they prbly need some explanation. Do you need to locate drains as well or just new water service?
I am about to start closing up the underbelly of mine and replacing the copper water lines with pex.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:38 AM   #13
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Life really got in the way of this one, Our first daughter Pearl was born in the middle of my renovation, then it got cold and snowy, then I put the trailer back together and went camping and forgot to update my thread.

Here's the summary:

I replaced the rotted wood, welded in new outriggers, an new rear crossmember, built new cabinets, bathroom walls and doors and a new counter top. All the drain plumbing was replaced with ABS and Thetford valves so I figure I can repair the bathroom on the road with basic tools and easily available parts.

New crossmember and new drain/valve plumbing:






New Bathroom sink (a salad bowl from the kitchen store at the mall)


New closet walls and door - 1/4 plywood with Pine frame for weight savings


New wall between the bedroom and the bathroom


we kept the layout as it was because it was functional. All the plastic was repainted with Krylon Fusion.
Sofar everything is working out very well.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freon View Post
Thank you AldeanFan and Lorry!!!

I just could not understand what was missing... I was about to build a 1"
frame under the tank but I was worried that the dump piping and fittings underneath would be raised to high and not allow the connection through the bumper.
Now does the slope in the bottom plywood frame affect the toilet flange and make the flange slant along with the toilet?

I also ordered a "shop manual from Secretary Services" but it wont arrive for a few weeks. I'm hoping it will have pictures of the bath with covers removed so I can see how the water & LP piping was routed.

You guys are so awesome for responding to my SOS Thanks again!

Freon

P.s. If you ever have any a/c or electrical questions for your home systems or light commercial please look me up, I would be very happy to help.

The toilet flange attaches to the plywood on top of the tank with screws, the bottom of the tank won't affect the top.

One mistake I made was to glue up the drain/valve assembly with the valves straight, The factory valve was offset and I thought that Airstream was just lazy when they put it together but the valves have to be on an angle with the dump handles pointed slightly downward for them to exit below the bumper. Make sure you dry fit all the plumbing with both tanks, the bumper and tank cover installed before you glue it up, my mistake cost me the valves and about $50 in plumbing supplies.
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