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Old 05-09-2005, 09:33 PM   #15
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Tank source ... etc.

If that's the tank mounted above the floor, a local RV supplier may be able to get one that will suffice. Make sure it has a vent thats not integrated to the fill.

Start with these ...

http://www.incaplastics.com/

http://www.accutanks.com/ronco_water.htm

On the repair side of things, call these vendors and discuss your particular failure. They may have specific repair techniques for different applications.

If you can talk with a technical person and not just sales at Ellsworth Adhesives 1-800-888-0698 you may be pointed in the right direction.
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:47 AM   #16
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I fell asleep immediatately after posting last night (up too late the night before researching this topic). Now that I know more what I'm dealing with here are some links I want to investgate further. Do any of you have any experience with any of these products/techniques?

http://www.ehow.com/how_7770_repair-rvs-freshwater.html

http://www.permatex.com/products/ind...0Tank%20Repair

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/c...ants/21326.htm

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...g/15330543.cfm

I also confirmed that I could push on the tank and make it move, so I'm pretty sure that it is just held up by the metal surround which is a thicker steel (I think) than the rest of the belly pan. It is more or less held in position by the sheets of styrofoam insulation wedged between the tank and the surround. Given this discovery, I am thinking that it is possible that there is realtive motion between the tank and the sorround as the trailer travels down the road. Even though just the hose was just a peice of clear PVC tubing, eliminating the hose connection to the petcock might be a good idea so that it doesn't continue to "work" in whatever repair I am able to put in place. Thoughts?

That would mean I would have to get a big enough allen wrench to get that 1.5" plug (I think John was correct in calling it a "cleanout") out when I need to drain the tank.

On the other hand, if I could put a new spud in and was able to overlay the boss area with enough fiberglass patch (as noted in one of the above links) to really beef it up, maybe I could keep the petcock.

I'm so confused. Anyway, off to work now.

P.S. I also wonder if I should investigate marine repair kits/techniques. Those boat guys have to repair tanks and such, too.
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:49 PM   #17
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Joe, I would try the Permatex kit. You could reinforce the repair with a piece of thin plastic from a bottle, glued over the Permatex repair with a large dollop of Lexel. Tubes of Lexel fit a frame gun, and are available at Home Depot, etc. It is the adhesive used by some manufacturers of plastic rotomolded Kayaks to bond-in bulkheads. I wouldn't use it straight into the crack, as it contains some chemicals which Californians, at least, find noxious. Rather than attempt to source a large Allen key, I found a bolt, about 3 inches long with a head that fitted the socket. I locked two nuts against each other at the end of the bolt, and I use a wrench on the nuts. I found the correct size bolt at my local Ace hardware store. Good luck. Nick.
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:11 PM   #18
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Post Fresh water tank on 74 28' Argosy

I had already looked into Inca Plastics and they are too pricey, and I just looked into Accutank, and they have a tank that would work if it only had rounded corners along one long edge. The two tanks that might work are rv52w and rv53w, the aforementioned being the shortest at 60 inches and the later being 70 inches, besides that they are as tall at 8" and deep at 16".

I have measured and found that the maximum measurements without modification to the front goucho or to the tank is 10" tall, by 16" deep, by 54" long, but it may be possible to go as far as 60" long. After that it's back to the engineering drawing board.

These measurement allow for reuse of the existing water input and the vent, you would most likely have to redrill a drain hole, and the output to the pump would have to be located on the curb side of the tank.

I have found a like replacement from a local Airstream dealer though and if I cannot fix mine I am going to buy that one from them. Thank you for these threads.
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:12 PM   #19
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Talking To Driftwood

I called Ellesworth today and they are sending me a free sample of the product you mentioned, Yeah!!!!. I will let all know how the repair went in a few days.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:03 PM   #20
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Nick, Thanks for your input. I had more time to look over the links that I posted above. Upon a further intenet search, the Permatex Plastic Tank Repair Kit is available retail (I posted the link to the Permatex Industrial web site above). I think I'll check around tomorrow and see if I can find this kit at a local hardware, auto parts, or marine store as I really don't want to wait for mail order. Worst case, there are several options for mail order, but then this repair would probably miss our maiden voyage (we leave in about a week).

Of course the kit on the PPL Motorhomes site by Versa-Chem that includes resin and fiberglass cloth also looks interesting. That fiberglass cloth might really help reinforce everything.

My thought still remains to hold the crack closed with the hose clamp and perhaps permatex right over the top of the clamp. Or Permatex it and then tighted it up with a hose clamp. Either whay the hose clamp become a permanent part of the repair.

Also good tip on the bolt head for the clean out, but I am now leery to remove it because if I found I had to replace it like John HD, the new plug with the protruding square wouldn't fit if I wanted to put the access panel back on.

Oh yeah, and one more update. After further inspection I do beleive that the "boss" was "spin welded" to the tank. There are a couple of ribs on the boss that would be used to spin it and the inteface between the boss and the side of the tank is round. Both facts support spin welding. The stuff that looked like glue has probably just melted plastic.
Thanks again.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:26 AM   #21
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Joe, I prefer to use the lower plug, as it removes more of the water. My plug is in perfect condition, and I have removed and replaced it about ten times for winterizing and maintenance. It's also a lot faster when carrying out the sanitizing preocess as recommended by Airstream, with repeated filling and flushing of the tank after chlorinating the system. If the bolt head is a good snug fit, it should not distort the plastic. If the access cover were to foul the later replacement, I would fit draught excluder self-adhesive tape round the hatch to lift it off the head. Have a great trip. Nick.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:18 PM   #22
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Update

I bought a bolt to use as a tool and pulled the clean out plug today and it looks fine, so I should be able to use it to drain the tank in the future. I also bought the Permatex Plastic Tank Repair kit, but now it's too cold outside to do anything and rain is predicted.

Hopefully the weather will get better by the weekend, so I can get the trailer out of my driveway before my Homeowners Association assesses me a fine. They "served" me notice today and were sure to highlight the Bylaws stating that they have the power to assess a fine. They got the date the trailer first showed up in my driveway wrong (they said the trailer was there earlier than it was). They didn't have the decency to include a name or phone number on the notice for me to explain my situation. In fact, I haven't got any communication from them for over a year, other than my dues notice, so I don't even know who to call. Such a fine Association.
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:18 AM   #23
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So Far So Good

Well I went for it today. I used the Permatex kit (actually two of them). First I tried to make the repair such that I could remove the plug and replace it with the spud at a later time if I wanted to. Due to the limited space I just ended up making a mess and it became clear the plug would never come out. About that time the resin hardened up. So back to the store for another kit. This time I glassed right over the plug - it ain't coming out now. After time to cure, I filled the tank and the repair held. So far I haven't got the cleanout plug to seal properly. I did find a flush replacement cleanout plug that will allow the bottom panel to go back on. I found it at one of three Ace Hardwares I visited today. It's the right diameter and black in color, but the threads don't taper as significantly as the original plug. That original plug has started to show some cracks, so I don't think I will ever get a good seal with it. I think with a little finesse with teflon tape or teflon paste and I should be able to get a good seal with the new plug, but I'm not worried about it until the tank is flushed and sanitized and ready for the final seal.

I also fixed a few other minor things today. Today was a good day. Tomorrow I tackle the water pump and a few other minor items. So far (knock on wood) we look good to be road ready for the Indy 500 Rally. Of course there will still be things to do after the rally like touching up paint on the tongue and bumper. But I hope to have all the systems working for the trip.
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:49 AM   #24
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Here is the link to a great explaination of PP and PE and the adhesive you mentioned.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:32 AM   #25
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Thumbs down Plastic tank repair dilemma solved!!!!

Well here it is the answer you have all been waiting for. The Ellsworth Adhesive mentioned earlier in this thread can and will repair the plastic tanks in the airstream line. We have a 30 gallon nose mounted fresh water tank and it was cracked around the filler neck. I was able to repair it and I will let all know how well the long term holding power is. Remember to ask for the plunger and mixer tip 10:1 when ordering their product. They did not charge me for this sample (one full container of their product). You might not have the same luck, but it is worth a try.


If you have a plasic tank repair this is the product to use. It is easy and clean (you do not have to touch the product it comes with a mixing tip) Just point and squeeze.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:42 AM   #26
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Stinkytwinky

You said that you do not need to touch the product.

Does that material have any "toxic" ingredients?

If so, it will contaminate the water in the tank.

There are materials that can be used to fix plastic tanks. However, most of them are not safe to use for a "water tank".

Additionally, the older tanks had a tendency to crack because of the materials used back them. Once they start cracking, or so it seems, they don't quit.

Todays tanks, so far, have stood the test of time. This is true for fresh water, black water as well as gray water tanks.

Andy
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Old 06-01-2005, 11:51 AM   #27
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I disagree. A well repaired tank can last for years without further problem. Mine did, until I had to redo the repair this year. Likewise, products that are toxic when applied are not necessarily toxic when they dry, many are inert at that point. Also, most crack repairs involve adding material to the outside of the tank to hold the crack closed, not to actually contain the water - the water will have little to no contact with the product when finished. Considering the expense of replacing the tank, and getting one that will exactly fit in the tight spot where the tank sits without modifying furniture, I think it's worth a try.

Thanks for the report back on Ellsworth, Stinky. I might be getting more of that myself if I find my welded crack has opened up again.
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:26 PM   #28
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Steph.

My point was to alert those that may not be aware of potential toxic problems that a patch could cause.

Normally, a crack in a plastic tank can be repaired by simple plastic welding the crack. Harbor Freight has that tool for about $20.00. Then if desired. a patch can be added to cover the plastic weld.

However, again, some of the old tanks were made with plastic that hardened in time, making it prone to crack somemore.

This is especially true with the black water tanks from about 1975 and older.

Water tanks from 1969 and older have been somewhat of a problem. From 1964 to 1967 Airstream went through 3 different tanks before they hit pay dirt.

Essentially then, repairing the old tanks can be done, as you have done, but new cracks, in time, once again could appear.

Unfortunately, as with most anything, quantity dictates prices. If a few of a old part, such as a tank are made, that's one price. If a hundred or so are made, that quickly becomes a different matter. Considering how many parts are still in demand, for the older trailers, a company would have to have almost unlimited resources, to stock hundreds of each old part.

But, in spite of less than ideal circumstances with many replacement parts, the "Airstream Way of Life", continues to grow, year after year, especially with the vintage models.

You Steph, are one of it's strongest positive supporters, in more ways than one

Andy
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