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Old 08-06-2005, 02:07 AM   #1
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Unhappy Major Water Prob!

Hi,
I am the proud new owner of my first AS a 1971 25' Tradewinds and am having major water problems. When hooked up to the garden hose at my house water shoots out the filler tank inlet. Central heat looks like gas has been bypassed, shower floor is soft and hot water heater looks like it should be replaced. Oh Yea she has an awful battle scar from Hurricane Ivan above the rear bath. No curtains, bad conections to LP tanks, leaks in sink and bathroom, leaking water pump, steps rusted, window and door gaskets need replacing, and has an original number of 5662. Any help would be greatly appriciated. Live in Pensacola, FL and she has some major rust that I will address when she is fully functional.
Thanks,
Rich
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:59 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum!

Rich,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Vintage Airstream ownership. (Okay, maybe 1971 isn't technically considered vintage, but it might as well be.)

Not sure why the water is coming out the freshwater filler neck (actually, I'm not sure why it doesn't always do it) but mine never has. (the fresh water tank in my '73 Sovereign is leaning up against the fence right now, awaiting my motivation to deal with my "major rust issues" in the front part of the frame.)

This unit sounds like a great candidate for a restoration project.

If it's the original water heater, replace it. (34 years is a long service life)

You need to remove the bathroom and the rear belly pan to find out the source of the floor rot. You can be sure that there will be frame rust beneath it. Being near the beach guarantees it.

Don't plan on camping this summer....focus on the major issues.

Frame....expose it, repair and reinforce (weld), rust protect, and paint. New bolts through shell channel, floor, and frame at rear.

Floor.....replace all rotten segments of plywood. (it will usually be concentrated at the rear)

Bathroom....as you'll have to completely remove it to get to the floor/frame etc., you can trace your plumbing, repair/replace 30+ yr old fixtures, and refinish your bath to look like new. (Unfortunately, you'll probably have to disassemble your bedroom to get to it all)

Shell....be sure once all floor/frame repairs are complete that the rear shell/bumper joint is sealed properly with Vulkem or you'll be repeating the process in a few years.

After that, you can focus on things like axles, interior, decorating.

It's a lot of fun, really.

But when you're finished, you'll have an Airstream with another 30 years of service life in front of you.

(I've taken a few pics of my two projects which might provide some assistance, as well as many others on the forum who have gone much further than me.)
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeCloan
When hooked up to the garden hose at my house water shoots out the filler tank inlet.
There is normally a check valve in the 12 volt water pump that stops the city water form getting to the low pressure side of the system. Water is likely bypassing this valve and filling the fresh water tank to the point that it is overflowing out of the filler.

Pizzachop covered the rest, he has done it before and has offered some good advice.
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:10 AM   #4
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The water is coming out of the filler neck because the tank is full, or that is the typical reason why. The city water source valve to the tank is open. Close it and water won't go into the tank anymore. I don't know where it is on your coach, but I bet it's near the fresh water tank.

John
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:33 AM   #5
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Question Thank You

Thanks guys,
This forum is great, I am truley looking forward to restoring this classic. I just pulled the discharge hose off of the water pump and it has a spring spanning the entire length. Is that normal? Still havent found the valve to bypass the fresh water tank.
My initial investment was minimal so I expected to encounter problems. Currently I am just trying to learn as much as I can about the trailer. I am sure I will have my more questions in the future.

Thanks,
Richard
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:57 AM   #6
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PizzaChop is right on. If you spend much time fixing the propane lines and water lines and appliances, you'll be pulling them all apart when you get to the rust/floor issues. Do them in the other order - rust and floor first, then water, propane, appliances. Soft goods like cusions, curtains, fabrics go last.

Trust me, I've been there too. You'll save time and money if you tackle it in the right order.

Good luck with your new project! And welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop

(Okay, maybe 1971 isn't technically considered vintage, but it might as well be.)
Since when??

the VAC defines "vintage" as anything 25 years old, or older. so "technically", anything up to 1980 is vintage. (maybe '81, since the 2006s are coming out soon, if not already.....)
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeCloan
Hi,
I am the proud new owner of my first AS a 1971 25' Tradewinds and am having major water problems. When hooked up to the garden hose at my house water shoots out the filler tank inlet. Central heat looks like gas has been bypassed, shower floor is soft and hot water heater looks like it should be replaced. Oh Yea she has an awful battle scar from Hurricane Ivan above the rear bath. No curtains, bad conections to LP tanks, leaks in sink and bathroom, leaking water pump, steps rusted, window and door gaskets need replacing, and has an original number of 5662. Any help would be greatly appriciated. Live in Pensacola, FL and she has some major rust that I will address when she is fully functional.
Thanks,
Rich
Sounds perfect to me!
It will save you the trouble of breaking all that stuff yourself, a great time saver.

Your overflowing water tank sounds like either a bad check valve, or an open system drain valve. They look like water faucets, and are usually red colored.
Your furnace is likely one of the ones that has been recalled for leaking carbon monoxide into the coach, and it sounds like the P.O. took the direct approach, and unhooked it.
Water heaters are relatively inexpensive, and fairly easy to replace, you can pick one up from Camping World, or any other RV supplier you may happen to be near.
The battle scar, depending on how extreme it is, may be better left alone as long as it doesn't leak, unless you are comfortable replacing aluminum panels, or are real handy with a credit card.
Curtains are available from sseveral custom curtain makers, depending on what you want to end up with.
The rubber hoses to the LP tanks are also available from your RV parts store, at a reasonable price.
By leaks in the sink, are you referrring to the faucet or the drain?
The OEM Par water pumps are rebuildable, if you choose to do so. They are not terribly difficult to rebuild, or you can get a new pump from your friendly RV parts place again (can you tell you and they are going to become great friends?).
Good luck with it, and keep us posted on your progress with it!
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Old 08-06-2005, 07:13 PM   #9
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Post Thanks for all your help.

I was only trying to get a temp fix for the water because I have company coming in sun. My daughter (who turned 16 yesterday) has been visiting for 2 weeks and now her mother and boyfriend are flying down tom.

I could not belive after spending the last 6 months searching the internet, watching ebay, and checking the daily paper I found my classic in the thrifty nickel. I was the first to look at the trailer and bought it on site, less than 5 miles from my house. Talk about timing, now I can escape to the sanctity of the trailer if things get weird at the house. I have already spent 2 hot Fla nights in it with no AC and loved every minute of it.

I am really looking forward to this project, and with all of the information on this forum I think I can bring her back to respectability.

Thanks again,
Richard
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Old 08-06-2005, 07:51 PM   #10
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Thumbs up Its me again.

My AS has a number on top of 5662, can you re-register that number or do you have to get a new one?
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeCloan
My AS has a number on top of 5662, can you re-register that number or do you have to get a new one?
If it is not taken the WBCCI should be able to let you have it.
Good luck with the repairs. Remember to LITERALLY start from the ground up. Picking out curtains at this point may be a bit premature!
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeCloan
My AS has a number on top of 5662, can you re-register that number or do you have to get a new one?
I just called 2 days ago about mine, Jody at wbcci looked up the #, said it was available, and will hold it for me until registration is completed.
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:11 PM   #13
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Check valve, silly me!

Quote:
There is normally a check valve in the 12 volt water pump that stops the city water form getting to the low pressure side of the system. Water is likely bypassing this valve and filling the fresh water tank to the point that it is overflowing out of the filler.
Thanks, Brett! I think I had deducted that one once before when assessing my plumbing but I'd forgotten. (Like a lot of other things!!)

The water from the fresh water tank can only enter the system through the pump.

I feel so embarrassed!
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Old 08-07-2005, 08:49 AM   #14
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I'm a little confused Are you saying that on your coaches, that you can't fill the fresh water tank with the street water line? Mine has a valve on a bypass around the pump and allows the tanks to be filled. I have never used it, but it's there. Was this not a feature for '70's units?

John

Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzaChop
...

The water from the fresh water tank can only enter the system through the pump.

I feel so embarrassed!
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