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Old 05-17-2010, 09:07 AM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
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Dropping fresh water tank on my '73...

Mission: Use a Friday afternoon to remove FW tank. Involves sliding subfloor panel forward 4 feet. Piece of cake, right? I'd just never read how truly difficult it can be to access the FW tank, so with fair disclosure I'm including ALL the ups and downs...
  • To get a grip on 1" thick plywood panel I scabbed a 18" 2x4 on using 3/8" lag screens. Tried to move panel with 3-pound hand sledge. Panel winked and snickered at me. Noticed the under-trailer dirt has accommodated the neighborhood cats for 18 months, a genuine 27' litter box. Drag in loose deck board to lay on.
  • Used heat gun to soften caulked edges and wood chisel to scrape it off.
  • Tried coaxing movement w/ hand sledge. Board chuckles merrily.
  • Used bottle jack to lift 1" thick plywood up in its track to break caulk bond. Found entire 1" track lip smeared with gooey uncured Vulkem.
  • Panel engulfs fully in laughter while making a particular 'sniffing' sound. Aroma de'cat poo pervades my work clothes. Strip and change clothes outdoors. Panel is still laughing.
  • Placed plastic tarp down to avoid making dust. Inserted two 1" paper strips under lifted panel & track to keep the Vulkem from fusing back together. Used a paper grocery bag, cut bottom and one corner then folded it over to cut twins of strips, it took the entire bag, about linear twelve feet.
  • Even lifted with wobbly jack and paper in place board refuses to budge via the hand sledge or leg press.
  • Board is hugging its ribs from laughing so hard. Even the sound of the plastic tarp rustling sets it off. Every time.
  • My Missus came home from work, my reputation is now on the line. Got out the 4-foot screw jack. Threaded it through lightening hole in spar and wedged base against tank box. Looped chain around 2x4 scab, and cinched tail across the jack jaw. Got Trish in her nice work clothes to help hold up everything, and turn jack screw. Board moved enough to drop off back frame track. Trish admires the shiny Prodex insulation but found a staple with her knuckle turning the crank. Blood has been drawn.
  • At the sight of seeing the hand sledge the panel looses it to the point of tears running down its face. Trish starts siding with the board and snickers when the board is still unmoveable via any form of man power.
  • Smiling, I went to Harbor Freight and for $22 (sale price w/ coupon) bought an 8000# hand ratchet winch. I then further bought a Sam's Club 10x20 shelter-canopy to hold interior parts when I next pull interior liners and stage built-ins in some protected fashion when I cannibalize the '72 29' parts trailer when interior gets replaced...
  • Ran out of time - the slew of weekend chores, garden planting, mower repair, etc. intrudes.
Monday morning - write this posting and promise an update w/ pictures when I've dropped the tank.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:28 AM   #2
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GREAT start Wabbiteer, please keep us posted on your progress. I have a FW tank that I am going to have to remove and fix or replace in the near future if I plan on doing any boondocking. Any help you will be giving with pics would be great.
Thanks for the post
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:48 AM   #3
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I guess you could block the wheels of the trailer, put a pair of large eyebolts in the plywood panel, and hook a chain from them to your tow vehicle. Put the tow vehicle in Drive, and pull the panel out.
That would be a last resort, though. I can envision all manner of bad things happening if you do it that way...
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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BUMP!
How about an update on your progress?
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
Be sure to replace the plywood if it shows any signs of rot or delamination. You can fix cracks in the tank with a plastic welding kit.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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wabbit what is the floor plan of the Overlander and where is the dam water tank?
Why does it have to be removed? Replace or repair ?
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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I just replaced the fresh water tank on a 72 sovereign a few weeks ago. I was unable to move the one inch plywood as well. I was putting in a new tank so I cut a hole (maybe 2 1/2 inches) through the aluminum and the plywood with a hole saw. I hooked a racket strap to my pickup that I parked in front of the trailer and wench it out no problem. That is one heavy piece of plywood, so after everything was lined up on the install, I winched it back in.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:15 PM   #8
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The message erase-o-matic feature just wiped a six paragraph reply.

In no humor to retype it just now - will try and explain after supper.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:18 AM   #9
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Happened again, proof convenience for the programmers is more important than any intelligence the community may be trying to share, if it happens again, my fault, their fault, no fault, I am out of here.

Busy doing other things - unusual rain events, wet house basement, truck in shop nine days w/ double the estimate repair tab, normal hassles of everyday living...

I'd attempted TWICE to write up progress on the 10x20 shelter I mentioned at the end of the 1st post - its taken on a life of its own, 10,000 pounds of top soil to level pad and reinventing the wheel to keep it from becoming a 10x20 kite if/when the fabric ever gets applied to frame.

I have yet to pull the water tank floor-cover. The FW tank is forward of the axles as usual - the FW system was contaminated by long term high-strength formaldehyde; all the copper internals had bright turquoise blue salt coatings formed on them and the rinsed and empty tank still reeks with off-putting smell. Plumbing 95% condemned and removed.

I don't expect to replace the inaccessible tank though I have a spare sweet smelling one, instead replace with see-through box tanks put in under cabinets where they can be checked and cleaned easier.

The tank 'basement' will get sealed and painted and used perhaps via cut-outs in the flooring to lower battery strings center of gravity and/or the box water tanks. Still undecided, though I doubt that thick plywood is going back in.

Anyhow - thanks for checking in on me!!
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:19 AM   #10
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
The message erase-o-matic feature just wiped a six paragraph reply.

In no humor to retype it just now - will try and explain after supper.
Feel your pain.
I have had it happen more than I care to recall too.

I now, when I think of it, compose any post on notepad, and then when ready, I cut & paste it to the Message Box.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:32 PM   #11
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So if I understand the posts here correctly... if I was to undertake getting to the FW tank on a 1972 Excella to repair/replace a leaking tank I would have to basically remove the kitchen and the cabinets to get to the virtually immobile subfloor? I would then find a way coax the subfloor to yeild for me and that will get me to the FW tank. OR... I mount a separate tank in a usable storage area that may be inside the trailer. Other option I thought of is a 20-40 gallon tank with 12volt pump in the back of my 2500HD and hose to connect to the AS when I was to boondock. We rarely boondock so I would not really have the need to carry fresh water as we stay in state parks that have water hookups for the most part.

This task has sounded like an adventure and not surer it is something I would want to take on this year.

Mike
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:05 PM   #12
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Here is the portable fresh water tank that I thought would work in a pinch for boon docking.

Portable RV Fresh Water Tank: 45 Gallon - Item - Camping World
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:13 PM   #13
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Opening the 'basement' sliding trap door is not difficult on all trailers - just some are worse than others. My sliding 'door' just happens to be anti-social.

To drop the FW tank you need to remove the plumbing connections, filler port pipe, vent hose and the electrics for the basic tank gauge sensors - then unbolt the forward basement frame beam and slide the 1-1/8" plywood forward. I probably forgot something but thats the high points.

Today we dug eight 12"x24"x16" pits and are pouring cement deadman anchors to hold 3/8" bicycle lock cable eyelets just* above ground (*hopefully just below lawnmower height) to properly immobilize the 10x20 canvas building needed to finish stripping and rebuilding the 27' Overlanders' interior...
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:33 PM   #14
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hello all,

I too am in the process of actually reinstalling my fresh water tank in my 71 excella. It was very difficult to remove from its sliding brackets and I did have to sacrifice the 1 inch ply to get it out. I now have a new ply and had the tank welded and it is ready to go back in. I plan on using a couple of jacks and a scabb board on the ply to reinstall. anyone have additional tips on this daunting task, I have to work beneath the trailer without a lift? there is also the issue of the four boards that sit around and above the tank. how I secure these before reinserting the tank and ply is a puzzle.
thanks
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