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Old 07-22-2012, 07:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Nobody ever mentioned leaks when I bought this thing.
Having owned four Airstreams, numerous boats and worked as a restoration house contractor for many years, I got to say, "They ALL leak". Let us know what you find , Gene.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:47 AM   #16
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Gene, good luck finding the leaks. We towed ours through t abad thunder and lighning storm in Montana last week for about an hour and I was expecting some, but didnt find any. I'm really glad you guys are starting to get some rain. Even if you have to cut grass, green is better.

There were lots of wildfire warning signs and evidence of several grass fires on i-90.

Dan
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #17
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First I made a tool out of a long spoon to apply Sikaflex through the fan blades and over to the roof. Couldn't see what I was doing and hope I got enough stuff on there. I also added a lot more inside where the crack is in the housing.

The aluminum flashing that has been sitting in the same place in the shop for a dozen years decided to take a trip somewhere without telling me. This is what I need to fix holes. Now I'll have to buy some more, use about 2% of it and save the rest for years until I need it and can't find it. I know my wife reads my mind and hides inanimate objects from me just before I need them, but I can never prove it.

Before that, I went to the hardware store and picked up a hose bib and a barbed fitting to use on the vinyl tubing. Couldn't find the Sharkbite valve that was recommended—they were out. The fitting was bigger than the hole in the L-shaped mounting bracket, so I had to file it bigger. Got that done and it started raining, so the message was stop and come back another day. Given that working under the fresh water tank is not entertaining, it was easy to make the decision.

Gene
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:04 PM   #18
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The leaking tank sounds like a really big and really complex job. My deepest sympathies.

Don't know whether you have ever completely removed your two leaking fans, but our leaks only stopped when the items were removed down to the roof and reinstalled new and properly. There were serious initial install problems, and holes drilled where no holes should have been, all of which had been covered over with a thick layer of caulk---which did not keep the water from finding its way through.

Good luck.


Maggie
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #19
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Gene needed a project, life was too easy.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:21 PM   #20
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Projects just come to me Mike. I didn't mention the house has a few leaks now. I guess we did better when it didn't rain.

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Old 07-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #21
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Brass drain valve.

Hi, everytime that I go to any hardware store, I always look for a brass valve that would work, but still haven't found one. [still looking]
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #22
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Maggie, I agree removing the fans and doing the installation correctly would be the best solution. I would need a new housing for the rear one and might damage the front one taking it out. By "housing" I mean the part that fits into the roof from above and it includes the motor, door and fan blades (they must come apart, but I can't see how from below). The crack is probably because it was screwed down too tightly, a common problem on things installed on Airstreams.

However, my aversion to being on the roof and my belief to do the least until there is no other way to solve it continue to stir me to do simpler fixes. 40% chance of rain today and maybe I'll find out if yesterday's fix worked.

If I were taking it out and starting over, I'd fill all the holes, possibly use 2 sided tape to secure them, and then seal the edges with Sikaflex. Better yet, I'd have someone else do it and may go that way when the opportunity arises. This is an annual problem and so far more Sikaflex has worked (not elegant, but temporarily effective).

Can't work on the tank today, hopefully tomorrow. Bob, then I'll take a photo of the valve and fitting I bought and post it. I had to bend the top part of the L shaped mountain bracket up a little to accommodate the handle. Having the OEM parts in hand at the hardware store made it easier to match the sizes.

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Old 07-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #23
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Hmmm, more complicated than my mind would have thought. The bad installs were the source of our leaks.

The black tank vent was the wrong size and shape for the space allowed, was jammed down til the frame broke, then screwed in and the broken pieces covered with caulk.

The fantastic fan had had new holes drilled and the originals covered with caulk. The FF folks sent a new install kit at no charge, then talked Doug thru its installation---on the cell phone from the roof.

We had caulked and caulked both areas, and still leaked badly---the black tank vent was over our closet, so there the water went.

It wasn't until doug took everything down to the roof that he understood the inexplicable reasons behind the unstoppable leaks.

We just repaired filiform corrosion around two of our ceiling lights, which I'm sure were from the vent fan leak.

Just sayin', may be worth your time in the long run to just strip it down.

In the meantime, we could badly use the rain here in Illinois, if you want to send the rain dancers our direction.


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Old 07-24-2012, 12:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, everytime that I go to any hardware store, I always look for a brass valve that would work, but still haven't found one. [still looking]
After several prior stops, we took a broken drain valve into a plumbing supply store in Natchitoches, LA---who had what we needed and the guy even helped us get the stripped parts out and install the new one---at no charge.


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Old 07-24-2012, 01:01 PM   #25
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Our soil stacks (vents for grey and black tanks) don't leak so far as I can tell. I have read of the holes and the vents being different shapes and the factory trying to fill the spaces with sealant. You have to ask yourself why someone would cut a hole that didn't fit the thing he was supposed to install, except it apparently has happened frequently. I have also read of the vents being such cheap plastic they break after a few years. So far no problems with them.

Both FF's have leaked, but the one over the bed has been much better at not leaking and I prefer it that way.

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Old 07-25-2012, 06:23 PM   #26
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I installed the fresh water tank valve and it took a while because it had to be installed about 45˚ off because the frame interferes with the handle. That meant drilling new holes for the for mounting bracket in a very tight space (unless I removed the tire). Since the barbed fitting didn't screw in flush to the valve, I had to find something like a washer to make a better fit to the bracket. All I could find was part of a Romex connector for 10-2/ground. So it's a kind of goofy job, but works. I hope vibration doesn't open the valve or I'll have to come up with something (bungie cord perhaps) to keep it closed.

The drain valve is attached to the lower side of the tank, not the bottom, so unless you tilt the trailer to one side, it never empties completely. There's enough water left in the bottom for new forms of life to grow in there.

Then I started filling the tank with water looking for a leak and by the time I had about 23 gal. in it I could find no leaks. But I saw a faint water track from where the fill tube enters the tank. Actually the tube is clamped to a 90˚ elbow and the elbow is attached to the tank. I saw the track and some mineral deposits around the bottom of the elbow where it is attached to the tank. I didn't think this was worth fixing and it looks like leak would be very small and only when the tank is filled to 85% or more.

I sprayed some foam on the upside of the access plate. The end of the tank has no insulation and that's where all the pipes are; they would freeze faster than the tank. I couldn't see where the heat duct comes in to this cavity, but it doesn't seem to be in this area. With the hole left by the dealer when they did something with the monitor sensor, heat in there would quickly exit through the 3 sq. in. hole. And with no ability to have positive pressure in the tank area, the duct would have little pressure left for the bathroom. The amount of heat that comes out there is very small. There was a dust cover for the wires attached to the monitor sensor and it had fallen off, or had not be reinstalled. When I added water to the tank, the monitor was pretty accurate.

I picked up some sheet aluminum at the hardware store and will make a plate to cover the hole and spray some foam on that too. I'll make another plate for the mystery hole.

I sealed the roof around the bathroom fan again. I also did a better job sealing the top cover where there are two screws (maybe, can't see what kind of fasteners because of the old Sikaflex) I happily discovered I can reach the side of the rear FF by standing on a ladder and then I can reach the side with an inch to spare. All my efforts to do it from the inside were unnecessary except that by removing the stuff inside I could see the hairline crack. I smeared a lot of Sikaflex on the side and especially on the crack.

I hope to get all this done in the morning because I am tired of it. Once the tank is sealed up, then I can spray water on the roof and hope not to see any inside.

Photos of the valve before and after installation below.

Gene
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:58 PM   #27
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I hope the leak investigation and fixes are done. I've thought it was done before, so I won't say it is fixed, just hoping.

Tested both of the roof leaks by having the hose at an angle so the water came down like rain and Barb could find no leak. Someday this will be done right if I can entice Lewster here.

I made two plates. One was just 3" square for the mystery hole. The other required 2 bends and now I am learning how to work with metal. Simple stuff, but new to me. Put it in a vise, carefully bend, then hammer to get it more square. I sealed both plates with rope (a/k/a "cord") putty—I don't know if it will last, but it is what I had. I decided not to use spray foam in there because I might make it (more) impossible to fix anything in there. It took about 10 times crawling under the trailer, something that I have done enough of for a while.

I'll just have to wonder what crap was thrown into the water tank cavity. One piece of aluminum was all I saw, so I guess the rest of the trash is on top of the tank.

Repainting the tongue and top of the propane cover will have to wait.

Gene
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:30 PM   #28
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Gene, the drain bibb looks good. You have a hose end now, so you can connect up a hose and drain the tank. You could fill it from there now too if you had to. I've used the rope putty before and it's pretty sticky and durable. It should last for a while. I've been busy all week catching up on two weeks of vacation. I washed the Tahoe yesterday and the trailer today.

We are having beautiful weather, mid 70's and sunny. Hope you found all your leaks.

Dan
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