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Old 05-03-2018, 09:54 PM   #1
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Complete Freshwater tank swap 23D

Well for the record this was FUN!
Found recently that I developed a leak high up in my freshwater tank. If the tank was full it would leak, if I drained approximately 5 gal off, No leak?
All the fittings were good no leaks from filler neck, air vent, tank drain, pump intake, Cat Com sensor, nothing. So I knew there was a hole somewhere and it was high in the tank. Only thing to do was drop the tank and find out, But I was not going to drop the tank till I had a new one on hand.
I ordered a new tank from Dixie RV in Calera AL, and have nothing but good things to say about them. Tank was $115.00 plus shipping of $56 from Airstream.
Many of you know me and know that if I do something it’s going to be over the top. This tank swap was no different. I took this opportunity to change my tank monitor system from CaTCom to a SeeLevel system. (HUGE improvement!).
I replaced the 1/4” low point drain ball valve.
I replaced the cheap plastic tank drain with a very nice chrome plated brass one and relocated this drain to be in the center of the tires for easier access.
I insulated the tank pan, as Airstream made a very poor attempt at it.
I painted the inside of the tank pan with automotive undercoat and the outside of the pan with bedliner paint.
I replaced the vent tube and filler tube with new tubing.
I added a disconnect to the low point drain so that if I ever have to do this again I will not have to cut anything loose.
I made the inspection hole in the bottom of the tank pan useable by making it bigger and made a new cover plate.
All new pex fittings used are brass now.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:58 PM   #2
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Cause?

Now for the cause.......
Drum Roll

A rivet embedded in the top of the tank.
Along with the 3 hand fulls of trash I got out of the tank pan was this guy. On top of the tank and managed to get between the top of the tank and a cross brace where it got embedded in the tank.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:05 PM   #3
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The SeeLevel install

The SeeLevel system install was easy and this system is so much better than the CaTCom system. I used the existing wiring and it worked out great. Hardest part about the install was accessing the black tank on the 23D which required removing the toilet and accessing through the black tank vent cover (it was very tight and I have Med. size hands.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:20 PM   #4
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Swapping drain valves

I swapped both the low point ball valve and the tank drain.
I swapped low point ball valve just because I was working in the area
I swapped the tank drain because I hated that cheap plastic one that every time I touched it I thought it was going to break off in my hand. I also relocated it to fall in the center of the two tires for easy access. Airstream plumbed this drain with Pex and had just a short piece of flexible tubing inline to prevent stress between the pipe and the rigid mounted drain. I used flexible tubing the whole was to help further reduce stress on the tank connection. I can also now connect a hose to my tank drain and drain away from trailer.
Also I know the drain valve looks low in the picture. It’s just the angle it is up and plenty out of the way.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:25 PM   #5
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Insulated the tank pan

I painted the tank pan inside ( undercoat) and outside ( bedliner) and used 1/2í foam on bottom and 3/4Ē foam on the sides to insulate the pan. Airstream did a poor jod of this and used what looked like styrofoam scrapes or old packing material.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:32 PM   #6
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Inspection hole

The original inspection hole was small and you could not remove the bottom drain plug if you needed to clean internal filter. I enlarged the hole by lengthining it which allowed removal of the drain and better visibility of all the connections. I also made a new cover plate for it. You can see in first pic what size the old hole was by the cover plate overspray. And in the bottom pic how you can now access the drain plug for cleaning the internal filter if needed.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:35 PM   #7
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Random pics

Hereís just a few more pics of the process.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:54 PM   #8
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SeeLevel sensor protection.

I sprained the SeeLevel Sensors with undercoat to help protect them and which was recommended in the installation instructions.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:05 PM   #9
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Ronnie, this looks awesome!!! Nice job. You make me want to drop my tank just to do the upgrades and make sure I donít have a loose rivet. How long did all of this take??

Also, can you explain more what the internal filter is? Iím not aware of that.

Iím even more convinced now that we need to open up a custom AS business in the future. You got mad skilz!
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
Ronnie, this looks awesome!!! Nice job. You make me want to drop my tank just to do the upgrades and make sure I don’t have a loose rivet. How long did all of this take??

Also, can you explain more what the internal filter is? I’m not aware of that.

I’m even more convinced now that we need to open up a custom AS business in the future. You got mad skilz!
Took me 2 days. day 1 to drop and paint. day 2 plumb and reinstall.

Internal filter was a surprise to me also. It’s a small plastic screen filter in the pump pickup tube. Approx 4” long and 3/8” in diameter. Mine was fairly clean but the big drain plug on the bottom will allow you to clean / back flush

Hard to believe that due to Airstream leaving trash in the pan caused this problem.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:23 PM   #11
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Cool. Also, how did you calibrate the sea level system, or how did you know where to put the strip on the tanks?
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:29 PM   #12
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Cool. Also, how did you calibrate the sea level system, or how did you know where to put the strip on the tanks?
First cut sensors to desired length based on tank height. Then,
For black and gray tanks I fill tanks with water to where I wanted 100% to read and then adjusted sensor up and down using painters tape till it read 100% the marked tank and mounted sensor.
For New freshwater tank I filled tank with a little water and ran pump till it sucked air ( because pump will not get it all) and then added back 5 gallons and adjusted sensor till it read 0%, marked and mounted.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:33 PM   #13
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P.S. I got my package today. Thanks
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:39 AM   #14
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What perfectly superb work... your attention to the details - from the largest to the smallest - is exemplary. Thanks for posting photos of "the process" for us earthlings.
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