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Old 03-20-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
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1978 23' Safari
Sacramento , California
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Question Water fill tube replacement in 78 Safari

Hi,
I have a 1978 Safari with a brittle and cracked fresh water fill tube. When you fill the fresh water tank, water pours into access space under the stove.
I see the connection for the tube to the fresh water tank in the access area under the stove but the tube goes through a small hole in a plastic interior cover for the wheel well and I can't get to the fill spout end of the fill tube to take off clamp to remove and replace fill tube.
How do I get to the fill spout end of the fill tube?
The plastic interior cover over the wheel well looks permanently attached to interior skin.
Do I have to cut out a larger access hole in the interior wheel well cover?
Thanks Much!!
Joe
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:46 AM   #2
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1971 27' Overlander
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Welcome to Air Forums. This may not work for you but, how is your exterior fill door attached. On the 71 I uncoupled it under the sink then removed the fill door on the exterior and pulled the door and tubing out to replace it. In 78 though your fill door is in place behind the skin with rivets..?
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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1978 23' Safari
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Yes, fill door is attached on the inside of exterior skin with rivets.
I have included photos of fill door from exterior and fill tube from interior where it goes into hole through interior plastic skin over wheel housing.
This plastic cover is riveted into interior wall skin.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
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I think your going to need someone with a 78 Service Manual to give you the R&R procedure. You could also buy one from Airstream or on Ebay. It's a very worthwhile investment.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:13 AM   #5
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1978 23' Safari
Sacramento , California
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Hi Gary,
I have a service manual.
It does give directions for R&R of the fill door.
It says you have to
1) drill out the rivets in exterior skin
2) cut hole in interior skin
3) pull out door from inside
4) replace and seal door then rivet to outside skin
5) cover hole in interior skin with fabricated patch and rivet with white rivets

Was hoping to just get to back of fill door easily
Guess I need to cut hole from inside to get to back of fill door.

Joe
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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1973 27' Overlander
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Be extremely cautious working around the molded inlet liner, they can get brittle after 30-odd years. I do not believe replacement parts are available in case you find trouble along the way. To repeat, I wouldn't remove the fill hatch via drilling rivets unless it was someone elses trailer, errr... unless it was a procedure of last resort!

I'd be way more interested in cutting those access hatches in the wheel well liners (inner & outer?) and patching in a two-section replacement hose (accessible splice in center) to keep any stress off the formed inlet liner while installing it, replacing the vent hose (small tube in photo) and inspecting the general other hoses, wires and connections at the FW tank. The 1972 parts trailer I bought had the FW tank vent hose nipple connection on the tank itself crack & shear away, the previous owners ignored it leaving a constant water source in the tank basement when towing or filling the tank.

Maybe painting the plastic liner too would slow down the aging from ozone, UV and other attackers?
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:57 PM   #7
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Thanks
That sounds great.
I may try something crafty before I cut into the interior wheel well skin(s)..
If opening is big enough, may try to thread in a length of boat/rv hose(standard white fill hose stuff) with female end resting in the fill door. Then making a joint or two to connect the white hose to some rubber reducer thingy that could be attached to the FW tank fitting?
I would leave the existing vent tube connected as is.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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Sounds like a plan - the less you disturb it the better. Do you think something in storage snagged and tore the hose? I bet somewhere there are 'store-bought' splices for that corrugated spiral hose style...

But do be thorough knowing where and why it failed, someone like me might be too polite to mention about possibilities of drowned mice in the FW tank and just not mention it since it'd be such a party killer forever on... Or that their removed & discarded 1973 tank had a slime mat with teeth weighing almost the same as the empty tank itself... mouse teeth that is.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #9
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1978 23' Safari
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I just purchased the AS.
I had filled FW tank with cleaner, emptied, filled with clear to rinse, emptied, filled with sanitizer and then was in the process of emptying again when I noticed carpet was wet.
Had my wife look under stove as I started to add water from fill door.. she yelled stop after 1/2 a second.
I looked under stove and found 1 1/2 crack in fill tube just above prior repair splice.
My three full tank fills poured water into the space under the stove the whole time.
Have all floor level tambour access doors open with the carpet lifted up and a fan stuck in trying to dry the plywood, carpet and padding

Whole tube is brittle.
I think they should have used a bigger splice insert on prior repair.
I think maybe they made it shorter and it stressed the remaining hose.

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