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Old 05-13-2013, 12:26 PM   #15
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
As the Airstream manual says, you don't use much bleach. Chlorine is bad for plastic, so not too much and not too long. We use the amount for 1 hour disinfection, drain on ground, flush with fresh water 3 times and there's no taste of chlorine or antifreeze. The ground where we live is all weeds, so we don't care about the chlorine's effects.

Chlorine dissipates in the air and sun, so get the right amount, use it right away, use a funnel to put it in the tank and fill the tank with water. I usually put a few gallons of water in the tank first so the solution is diluted quickly.

Once the solution is in the tank, I run the pump to get it into all the water lines and water heater, opening each faucet in turn. As soon as it gets to the spigot, a foamy solution will come out and you'll know the water line is filled. This cleans them, the pump and the tank. The small amount that goes into the grey tank can be easily drained. Most is drained out through the fresh water tank valve or the water line drains (I have 3 of those plus tank drain). It takes quite a while to drain the lines and tank. Open all the faucets, water line drains and tank drain, turn on pump to accelerate the tank draining and wait. The pump can run while dry, so don't worry about that.

When done, turn off pump, start running water into tank again, close tank drain, water line drains and faucets last. When tank fills, turn off water and repeat.

In between all this, some maintenance can be done while things fill and drain. It takes several hours at most.


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Old 09-28-2013, 08:44 AM   #16
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1993 30' Excella
1976 25' Tradewind
Flushing , Michigan
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Posts: 26
This is the first reference I have seen to the long time it takes to drain the fresh water tank. We have a 1993 30' Excella and the fresh water tank has never been used--I have only used it to winterize using pink RV antifreeze. When I did drain the tank of leftover pink stuff, it probably took 30 minutes to drain less than a gallon. When I sanitize the fresh water tank (we will use it soon, but likely use bottled water for drinking) is the best way to drain the fresh water tank through the drain petcock, or pump it all through the faucets and into the grey tank, then drain that?

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Old 09-28-2013, 09:06 AM   #17
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1999 34' Excella
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Round Rock , Texas
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When it drains slow I open the water door and remove the cap. This way there is not much restriction. If it can't get air it can't flow.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:43 AM   #18
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Posts: 10,814
The system (pipes, fresh water tank and hot water tank) will drain faster if you run the pump. It can run dry (ours can, check your paperwork on the one you have), so that is not a worry. Open every faucet, water tank filler and city water filler to let air into system.

If it still runs slow, there may be trash in the tank. When they build these things, they throw trash (metal cuttings, hamburger wrappers, etc.) in the area around the tanks and some may get into the tank itself before the plumbing is done. When they cut holes in the tank for the fittings, the cut pieces can fall into the tank and it is not easy to fish them out. It doesn't take a lot to clog the drain.

You may have to crawl under the tank and remove the access plate under the drain fittings and then remove the fittings to make sure they are not clogged. You may encounter trash when you remove the access plate—watch out for metal cuttings—they have sharp edges and can make for a nasty cut. Balancing a flashlight on your chest while you lie under the tank and try to see what you are doing is a good idea, but will lead to frustrations as you try to keep the flashlight from falling over and get your arms to bend in 6 places as you maneuver yourself to work on this. You can jack the trailer for more room, but be sure to use something very secure to hold up the trailer besides the jack. This is not fun, but necessary.

You can take the opportunity to replace the spigot. The plastic one recent models have come with gets very hard to turn. There is a better quality spigot available at some RV stores that will fit. I could not find one, so I used a hose bib that fit. It had to be installed at an angle because there are things in the way, but drains better than the OEM spigot and it much, much easier to open and close.

Steve, your trailer may be different, but the principles are the same (including trash). We sanitize every year and sometimes twice a year if we use the trailer a lot. We have an external filter for the water when attached to city water or when filling the fresh water tank. We also have an undersink filter that came with the trailer for a separate filtered spigot as part of the kitchen faucet—water gets flltered twice there, but we still use bottled water for some purposes. If we boil the water to make tea or coffee, we use the water from the fresh water tank or city water. While city water is usually fine, sometimes campgrounds use questionable supplies, especially in remote areas, so extra filtering is a good idea (we know a doctor who got giardia while on the way to Alaska and found the water came from a hose in a creek; most carbon activated filters will eliminate giardia—6 microns to filter out giardia, filters are usually 2-5 microns).

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Old 09-28-2013, 03:07 PM   #19
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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The spigot is slow no matter the age of your trailer. I can attest to that. If I'm going to use the fresh water tank for drinking, I sanitize the day prior to leaving preferably in the morning. I use the 4 hour method and pump a small amount of the mixture through all the outlets. I open up the drain after 4 hours and go back and check in a couple of hours. Usually by that point the 60 gallon tank in my Classic is drained. I usually refill again, run some water again through the outlets and let it sit an hour. I then open the drain again. That gets rid of most of the bleach taste. Either the night before I leave or the first thing the day of departure, I fill again.

Now if the timeframe gets compressed on the draining, I'll start the pump, open all the water outlets in the trailer and also open the grey water dump valve.


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AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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