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Old 01-03-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
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1958 22' Caravanner
Pueblo West , Colorado
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Fresh water intake for '58 Caravanner

I am restoring my 58 and it still has the old pressurized tank system. I really like how it works and would like to keep it. I was wondering on how the fresh water intake works. It has to let air out while letting water in. Does anyone have any info on this? It looks like an outside hose connection on your house, and I am wondering if my tank is getting filled up. Any help appreciated.

Ron in Colorado
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:30 AM   #2
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Ron, Yes your tank is being filled but also building up air pressure. In order to completely fill the tank you can open a faucet to let the air pressure out until the tank is full. When water starts out of the faucet the tank is full. Be sure to have a water pressure reducer hooked up. This always worked for me.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:08 AM   #3
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I, too, like the pressurized water system in my '61. My fresh water inlet also included a schrader air valve the same as tires have. I imagine air pressure could be released through it to completely fill the tank with water. I, instead, added a hose connection to my drain line so I can fill the pressure and hot water tanks completely from the bottom up while letting air out through the hose connection at the fresh water inlet. When water comes out of the inlet I know the system is completely full. As soon as I start filling the system I get cold water at the sinks because the outlet from the pressure tank is at the bottom of the tank. Hot water faucets will run only when the water heater tank is full because that line is fed from the top of the water heater tank. I let the hot and cold water faucets run until water flows, then shut them off and continue filling the system. When your water system is completely full and any pressure is bled off, the air pump, when turned on, should run only a second or two to build up pressure. If your pump runs for a length of time there is still air in the system and is not completely filled with water. When my system is full I usually connect to city water at the upper fresh water inlet to maintain water supply and pressure.
The schrader valve can also be used to pressurize the system if your air pump fails.
Sam
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #4
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my 58 has a hose connection on the curbside bottom, near the hot water heater. It has a backflow preventer and a pressure gauge. Water enters the system and flows to the tank from its bottom. The trapped air in the top of the tank pushes on the water to drive it through the system. I assume, if you bleed off the air bubble you will get more water in the tank, but the air pressure is needed to push the water. My air compressor is set to click off at 60#.

The 1 1/2" front "port" is so you can fill the tank from a bucket when boondocking. If you don't have battery power to run the compressor you can hook a bicycle pump to the schraeder valve there and pressurize the tank.

You should also have a hosebib under the front streetside, to drain the tank before you travel (no use hauling all that weight on your tongue). I get out on the road before I start to drain the tank, or you leave a large swampy puddle in the park.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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I have 1960 and decided to take the tank out. When I got it out and looked inside with a flash light I could see it was really crusty and did not look to healthy. I am putting in new plastic tanks, pex and a water pump. I am putting in two tanks. One where the old was and one where one my road side twin bed is. My 73 airstream has a fresh water tank which is around 32 gallons. We go through that water very quickly.

Brian
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samb View Post
I, too, like the pressurized water system in my '61. My fresh water inlet also included a schrader air valve the same as tires have. I imagine air pressure could be released through it to completely fill the tank with water. I, instead, added a hose connection to my drain line so I can fill the pressure and hot water tanks completely from the bottom up while letting air out through the hose connection at the fresh water inlet. When water comes out of the inlet I know the system is completely full. As soon as I start filling the system I get cold water at the sinks because the outlet from the pressure tank is at the bottom of the tank. Hot water faucets will run only when the water heater tank is full because that line is fed from the top of the water heater tank. I let the hot and cold water faucets run until water flows, then shut them off and continue filling the system. When your water system is completely full and any pressure is bled off, the air pump, when turned on, should run only a second or two to build up pressure. If your pump runs for a length of time there is still air in the system and is not completely filled with water. When my system is full I usually connect to city water at the upper fresh water inlet to maintain water supply and pressure.
The schrader valve can also be used to pressurize the system if your air pump fails.
Sam
We have this same set up on our 62 Ambassador, the aluminum piece where the hose bib is attached is actually a screw on cap, I finally got up the nerve to remove it with a pipe wrench. I replaced the rubber gasket (made one out of a thick sheet of rubber purchased from Ace Hardware). Now the cap comes off so that you can just put a hose in the opening and let the tank fill normally. Once filled, we just screw it back on tightly and it does not have a problem with holding pressure. It is also useful when boondocking and you want to fill from a jug or as we do from our collapsable water carrier from the back of the car. Our pressurized system works very well. We had one incident where our battery was dead, and we pressurized it through the schrader valve with a portable 12v air compressor for inflating tires.

When we are connected to a city connection, we just hook up the hose to the bib and it works well. The only downside to the set up is that you have to fill the tank when using a city connection.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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1958 22' Caravanner
Pueblo West , Colorado
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Thanks guys,
Have anyone of you taken a schrader cap apart? There is a small opening on the inside to let the water in. It is not like a regular house connection. That is why I was wondering on how it works. When I hook my hose ito it, water comes out the top part of the value. This might be just a bad gasket. I have had the tank out and replaced all the plumbing and I could not find any release ports for the system. It does have a drain port on the hot water tank. I really like the idea to attach a hose there. Does anyone know where I could get a new schrader ? Thanks again for all the great info.

Ron
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:13 AM   #8
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1958 22' Caravanner
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Sam, I forgeot to ask you how you did your hose to the Hot water tank?

Thanks again
Ron
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ron Banks View Post
Sam, I forgeot to ask you how you did your hose to the Hot water tank?

Thanks again
Ron
When I re-plumbed my trailer I included two drain valves at low points in the warm section of the trailer. One for hot and one for cold water. The drain lines continue on after the valves and exit through the belly skin. This keeps water in the lines from exposure to freezing temperatures. I added a hose connection to the end of the cold water drain and use this to fill my water system after it has been drained and I want to take on as much water as possible. The cold water line enters the bottom of both the water heater tank and the pressure tank so I am filling both tanks from the bottom up. This forces the air out the top where I release it through hot and cold sink faucets and the water inlet faucet on the side of the trailer. As water reaches a faucet I turn it off. The last place to expel air is the high point at the water inlet on the side of the trailer. At this time there is virtually no air left in the system. I then close the drain valve and remove the hose. I have tested my system to 75 pounds, but I still use a pressure reducer any time I am hooked to city water.
Sam
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