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Old 06-21-2018, 04:32 PM   #1
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1978 23' Safari
Gardner , Kansas
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 2
Valve repairs and city service leak ?s

Glad to be a new owner of a 78 23' Safari purchased from buddy's parents. We're third owner, so pumped to be new caretakers.

They bought a new one two years ago, so ours sat for that long, but it was winterized. Went to use it first time out and when hooking up city service water, and then opening spigot, my wife heard spraying water from what sounded like behind the shower. It's a rear bath model. Could not see any fittings below the sink leaking, and very difficult to see around the side to back of shower. Leak rolled out onto the floor beyond the shower and under the sink.

My question is should I remove the sink top to gain better access? I'm worried this could require taking the bath out or a wall panel in the bath. Yikes!

Also, the black tank termination valve handle broke off, and the grey water termination valve is seized. I've already read that best approach is to cut access panels in the belly pan.

Questions here are can I use a small cutoff wheel or are the tanks laying on the pan and in jeopardy of getting cut up?

Also, is it possible to replace the rubber, or best to cut out and replace with brand new Thetford valves?

I restore old cars so can handle just about all of it, but the leak in particular has me scratching my head how to access behind the shower, or where it could be coming from, and why leaking at all since it's copper, and was winterized.

Thanks, Schess
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schess16 View Post
Glad to be a new owner of a 78 23' Safari purchased from buddy's parents. We're third owner, so pumped to be new caretakers.

They bought a new one two years ago, so ours sat for that long, but it was winterized. Went to use it first time out and when hooking up city service water, and then opening spigot, my wife heard spraying water from what sounded like behind the shower. It's a rear bath model. Could not see any fittings below the sink leaking, and very difficult to see around the side to back of shower. Leak rolled out onto the floor beyond the shower and under the sink.

My question is should I remove the sink top to gain better access? I'm worried this could require taking the bath out or a wall panel in the bath. Yikes!

Also, the black tank termination valve handle broke off, and the grey water termination valve is seized. I've already read that best approach is to cut access panels in the belly pan.

Questions here are can I use a small cutoff wheel or are the tanks laying on the pan and in jeopardy of getting cut up?

Also, is it possible to replace the rubber, or best to cut out and replace with brand new Thetford valves?

I restore old cars so can handle just about all of it, but the leak in particular has me scratching my head how to access behind the shower, or where it could be coming from, and why leaking at all since it's copper, and was winterized.

Thanks, Schess
I'm sure you will get a better reply from someone more familiar with that year trailer, but my understanding is that generally you do have some clearance.

I never had to do it on our 2005 trailer (now sold) but always anticipated that one day I might!

I would be inclined to carefully drill a small hole (maybe even using a drill stop_ in order to probe and see how much space you have.

I think I'd be more inclined to use a nibbler or shears (elec?) to cut out an access panel - my fear with a cutoff wheel is that sometimes those things grab ad suddenly go a lot deeper than you want! Unless maybe you have some sort of dremel that has a depth adjustment that would prevent such a mishap!

Good luck with it!


As for your wall panel, I'm not familiar with the layout of your trailer but i think I would be a lot happier going in through a wall panel if necessary behind the shower plumbing than having to remove the shower!

Brian.
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:55 PM   #3
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
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You should have about 1” clearance between the tank and the pan. But you do not want to cut the whole under the tank. Start over on the valve side and cur a whole about 16” square. I used a nibbles. A grinder set up to limit the cut depth would work better. At that age I think you need to replace the valves. The plastic in the valves bends and cracks when replacing the slides. After the hole is cut it is about 2 hours to replace the valves and pipe. About 125 to 150 in parts depending on where you get them. Outdoor mart will sell you the correct ones. I ordered from them instead of trying to save a few bucks guessing which valve from other sources. I used white pvc from Lowe’s instead of the black abs. My approach was to cut a hole and look and then make the hole bigger as needed. Be sure to use a stop lock for any drilling. Close with a piece of al sheet and very short screws.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:36 PM   #4
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You will probably not have to “cut out” the valves. Mine were attached with 4 screws to a mount on the tank. They were glued to pipe that I replaced on the outlet side. Take the cover off the head of the shower and look for what you can see. Maybe you can fish a piece of Pex in or it is a joint at the shower.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:19 PM   #5
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You will likely be replacing Thetford valves not Valterra. There is a slight difference in the diameter of the waste pipes.

When JC "bandaged" a surgical incision to gain access to the waste valves, they used double sided tape plus screws and caulking. The previous repair shop had used only screws, which worked themselves loose so that the cover started dragging on the pvement and got mangled - another motorist flagged me down on Highway 401 to alert me.
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:39 PM   #6
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1978 23' Safari
Gardner , Kansas
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Many thanks for the advice y'all. Feeling more confident now. Appreciate it!
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