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Old 12-29-2003, 06:51 AM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
Huntsville , Alabama
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Water line patch, or factory?

In gutting my "new" '67Overlander for floor repair/new floor covering, I found two sections of the copper, cold water line had been fitted with four-inch lengths of radiator hose & clamps. The first sighting was where the lines run past the battery. The other occurence was near the water pump.

I am assuming these are repairs by the previous owner. If that's the case, I am a perfect position to make more permanent repairs. Does anyone think my plumbing came this way from the factory? Is there any good reason I should leave these two hoses in place?


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Old 12-29-2003, 08:20 AM   #2
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1996 30' Excella
Brighton , Michigan
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I doubt this was factory installed and was more than likely a repair by a PO. I would replace the hose and repair the line now while you can get to them easily. Rubber hose will get soft and reputure under pressure.

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Old 12-29-2003, 08:27 AM   #3
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It is most likely that this was to repair a split in the line after freezing.

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Old 12-29-2003, 08:28 AM   #4
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Repair or original?

I found the same condition in my '59. It may be that the rubber hose was fitted over the copper to protect it from abrasion or contact with the battery.
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:07 AM   #5
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Rubber hose is used as a Flex joint strain relief for the copper pluming. As the trailer flexes copper will some but over time joints will fail. 1/2 inch OD tubing with 1/2 inch ID heater hose double clamped was used on 76 argosy from the factory, could not find 1/2 inch ID heater hose 5/8 is standard now, works but a lot of space to clamp closed so I used 1/2 inch ID 200 PSI rated air hose on the spots in back for the bed room recon figure the trailer will not see 200 PSI water pressure and the hose is out of the light to break it down good for another 28+ years. JIM
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:14 AM   #6
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The Airstream factory never has, nor will they ever, use a method of repair that reminds us of a Disney character.

First of all, radiator or heater hose MUST NEVER be used, even as an emergency repair. That type hose puts a distinct "rubber" taste in the water, and if used on the input side, can also put that taste rather permanently into the water heater and or water tank. There are several types of high pressure plastic drinking water hose available, that can be used for repairs, but never rubber.

As a test, for yourself, pressurize a rubber water hose and leave it in the sun for just an hour, then put some of that water into a glass. You will find it to be warm, which is OK, but also smelly and if you taste it, I promise you that you won't drink it.

That type repair is a cheap way to cover up typical "freeze" damage. I would suggest that you measure the diameter of all the copper tubing that you can reach in various places, to determine the extent of the freeze up.

Airstream used 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" copper tubing for the water system. If you find measurements that differ with that, then you have confirmed freeze up damage.

If that's the case, I would suggest you bite the bullet now, and replace all the tubing. If not, in time, you will experience failure after failure, that seems to never end, and will always happen on a trip.

If a previous owner repaired that trailer that way, I would suggest that you check other items for your peace of mind.

Does that trailer have rear end separation, bad axles, off brand (non Airstream) components added, silicon sealers on the exterior, signs of water leaks, bad shocks, worn out brakes, bad wheels, LPG leaks and the like.

Or, take the trailer to someone that can do a "complete" safety inspection for you, that will give you a report as to the integrity of "everything."


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