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Old 09-17-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Vintage Service at Jackson Center

To be honest, I hesitated bringing my 1960 Tradewind to Jackson Center. Somehow over the years I had gotten the impression that they weren't that fond of working on vintage. But five failed reworkings of my dump valve forced my hand. My TW was one of the few that had a slightly different type of old brass Thetford valve hopelessly locked onto a pipe nipple glassed directly to the interior of the tank. No nice exterior flange bolted to the bottom for easy access.

There's a lot to be said for over 100 years of collective experience collaborating on a vintage trailer repair. Contrary to what I had heard, some of the 40+ year guys are still here. These guys ROCKED! It wasn't the easiest repair of the day by any means, but after 8 hours of intensive care, my Tradewind finally has a competent dump valve that will clear the highest speed bump or steepest grade without being swept off. Life is good!

I'm headed over to the service center with fresh-out-of-the-oven oatmeal cookies now.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #2
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I don't know ow they did it. I had to take the tank out, chain the tank to a timber post, wrap a chain wrench around the valve with a 4ft helper bar and my 260lb son-in-law.

Comes right off.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Our experience....

Few years back we had an emergency fridge replacement done on our 63 Safari....couldn't have been a better experience.

We were planning a cross-country trip and three days before leaving home we discovered the fridge took a dump. When I called JC they were able to give us an appointment two days after our planned departure.(poi, they were swamped repairing hail damage from a WBCC rally in Bismark ND) We left home with coolers and left JC with a very good custom installation of a new Dometic.
They even re-installed the cool blue boomerang panel on the fridge door.

Was a relative newbe then (pre-forum), and the time spent talking to the "old timers" was a great learning experience. When I asked about getting some parts I was looking for they even gave me directions to Walter Thomas AS parts yard. Got everything I needed, burner for the water heater and a pancake cover for the black tank.

We even stayed an extra day for the tour and to spend more time at Walter's parts yard, great fun going thru all his "old stuff".

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Old 09-17-2009, 10:58 AM   #4
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Glad you have a new, clean-working valve for your trailer Dacia. Hope it works for 50 more years.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:18 AM   #5
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Glad you have a new, clean-working valve for your trailer Dacia. Hope it works for 50 more years.
More importantly....I hope Dacia lasts more than another 50.

Happy week early birthday D!
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:33 AM   #6
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8 hours labor, Ouch....
Glad it is repaired to your satisfaction.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:32 AM   #7
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Totally Satisfied

Finally, this morning I could dump the tank like a normal Airstream. I'm elated. I had to go with a Thetford valve to keep the outlet as flush to the belly as possible without a total tank rebuild. Markdoane, I hear you. Wayne, who has been with the plant 49 years, tells me our valve set-up was put into relatively few trailers. Good thing. They tried lots of penetrating oil, elbow grease, then they finally went to pneumatic power tools. The valve had to be cut to make it surrender.

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Jackson Center is not unreasonable with their labor costs. Hourly rates are better than anything I've priced in Chattanooga. I actually spent less at JC than I did with another RV shop who reworked a nightmare monstrosity that looked like an anaconda clinging to the belly pan. It lasted 4 months.

This vintage owner will not hesitate to go to the Mothership for repairs again.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
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That gate valve doesn't look anything like mine did. Wonder if its because yours was an Ohio and mine was a CA.

You had me worried with the PM's and was wondering why they couldn't figure it out. Glad it all worked out for you and am happy to hear you would go back again. All of those collective years of repair work has got to be worth something.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:44 PM   #9
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1960 24' Tradewind
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1963 16' Bambi
Southeastern Area , Tennessee
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Thanks for being there, Brad. You're right, it probably was a valve used only at Ohio. It wasn't really that they couldn't figure it out. What they weren't certain of was the O-ring sizes should they be able to rebuild the old valve. By the time I found the info, it was a moot point.

This morning I was again amazed at how good it felt to "dump" like a normal trailer. Thanks again, Jackson Center.

I wonder how much 5 pounds of solid brass would fetch at salvage?
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:10 PM   #10
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About $1.15 per pound...
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:50 PM   #11
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Wedge gate dump valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot View Post
Finally, this morning I could dump the tank like a normal Airstream. I'm elated. I had to go with a Thetford valve to keep the outlet as flush to the belly as possible without a total tank rebuild. Markdoane, I hear you. Wayne, who has been with the plant 49 years, tells me our valve set-up was put into relatively few trailers. Good thing. They tried lots of penetrating oil, elbow grease, then they finally went to pneumatic power tools. The valve had to be cut to make it surrender.

Attachment 87318 Attachment 87319 Attachment 87320

Jackson Center is not unreasonable with their labor costs. Hourly rates are better than anything I've priced in Chattanooga. I actually spent less at JC than I did with another RV shop who reworked a nightmare monstrosity that looked like an anaconda clinging to the belly pan. It lasted 4 months.

This vintage owner will not hesitate to go to the Mothership for repairs again.
Glad to hear you had a satisfactory experience at Jackson Center. My experience is that if you have the money, they have the time, and they do good work.

The wedge gate valve that you have pictured is the same as the dump valve in our 1960 Pacer. I overhauled ours rather than replacing it. It is a standard plumbing part except modified (probably by the Airstream factory in those days) to work on a straight push-pull rather than by turning the threaded valve stem.

It does not use any O-rings but rather a metal-to-metal seal, assisted by thick waterproof grease. In my overhaul (the valve had been frozen) I had to file and scrape the mating surfaces flat to mate with a reasonable amount of contact. It turns out wedge gate valves (in larger sizes) are common in sewage service and I bought some Nordstrom 386 sealant grease, which is recommended for sewage service, for the purpose. Worked fine!

Yours is the only trailer I have seen with the same dump valve as our '60 Pacer. Black tanks were a new thing back then and I think they did some experimenting before settling on the modern style knife gate valve.
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