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Old 01-15-2019, 08:14 PM   #1
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Fresh water tank and pan cover removal 1999 Excella

I need some instruction for my next Airstream adventure

I tried to fill the fresh water tank in my 99 Excella 34' a few weeks ago. I was surprised to find as much water ran out on the ground as into the tank. I've determined that the leak is near where the filler tube connects to the FW tank. I cut the end off of a water hose then slid it into the filler tube. Once the hose gets to the fitting at the tank it will not go through the fitting into the tank, but the leak is substantially reduced at that point. Either the tank, the fitting, or the filler hose could be damaged. In any case I can't access any part to touch, actually I can only get a glimpse of the leak using a mirror and flashlight. The FW tank sets directly beneath the shower. The filler tube runs between the shower seat and the wheel well. Every part I need to work on is in a non accessible location.

I've determined I have to drop the pan/cover and I assume I'll have to drop the FW tank to get at the area I need to repair. I've never done this before, so as I get into it I'm going to ask for some instruction from those who have.

First questions: How do I get the plumbing loose from the pan/cover? (I am not asking about the tank drain) There are two low point drains that extend from the bottom of the pan/cover. I can't even see the pipes they attach to, from above or below. Those drains are brass petcocks. When I unscrew the petcocks will that detach the pipes from the pan/cover or is there another attachment that keeps the pipe attached to the cover?

Thank you in advance for your assistance!
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:24 PM   #2
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Here how I did it on our 2014.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...lacement-2929/
http://www.airforums.com/forums/blog...t-part-2-2930/
Maybe this will give you some ideas.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:36 PM   #3
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Thanks GMFL.
I appreciate the information you provided.
I cannot access the plumbing from the top without doing substantial demolition to cabinets, shower, walls, and floor. I've got to get the drains loose from the bottom.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:22 PM   #4
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After searching the forum for a few months, I finally found a photo that helped me understand how the low point drains are attached to the fresh water tank cover.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f443...ml#post1240309

Looks like I'll have to cut an access hole in the tank cover to disconnect the pipes from the petcock/low point drains.
I'll share some photos as I get into it.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:21 PM   #5
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Completed the work, sorry no photos!

I took photos with my phone, but they turned out so dark that they were useless.

I replaced the filler tube without dropping the tank cover. I'll try to explain the process:

First I raised the trailer enough for me to crawl under the axles, by placing solid wood blocking under the tires. I also put down the stabilizer jacks.

I removed the access opening cover from the fresh water tank cover. After determining I could get my hand inside to do the work, I made the access hole larger. I used metal nibbler shears, aviation snips, and a side grinder with cut off wheels to do the cutting. Then smoothed the edges with stone in my drill, so as not to cut my arms while reaching inside.

I was able to get a 1/4" ratchet into position to loosen the pipe clamp. When the clamp was loose I tried to slide the pipe off of the fitting. The pipe was so deteriorated it crumbled in my hand. I could see that there were two places the tube was split, where the water was escaping when I was trying to fill.

I removed the four screws from the filler door, then pushed a stiff putty knife between the door and trailer skin. I did this multiple times around the perimeter of the door until all of the tape and caulking was cut free. Still there was caulking attached around the tube on the inside of the wall. It was frustrating to pry and tug, trying to get the door loose, but after an hour of work it popped out.

The vent tube was still attached to the door, but was held on with a screw clamp that came off and was re-installed easily.

The old filler tube slid right out still attached to the back of the door. I removed the tube and cleaned the bits of caulk and tape that remained on the back of the door.

The filler tube I purchased for my Excella was 1-3/8" x 3'. Next I slid the new filler tube down through the opening and connected it back to the tank fitting. The clamp was harder to tighten back than it was to remove because it kept spinning around the tube while I was working with one hand.

After cutting the new filler tube to length and attaching both vent and filler tubes to the door, I used double sided mounting tape to hold the door in position until I could get the screws back in. I finished up the door install by caulking the perimeter.

I took this opportunity to remove the bung plug in the bottom of the tank to rinse out any debris that might be inside the FW tank.

I also too this opportunity to replace the tank drain, installing a boiler drain in place of the old plastic one.

I fabricated a new larger access hole cover and screwed it in place.
This process took me about 7 or 8 hours, including a couple trips to the hardware store for parts.
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drop fresh water tank, fresh water filler hose, low point drain, petcock


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