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Old 02-12-2006, 12:52 PM   #1
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1975 Tradewind - grey tank removal?

I have a 1975 Tradewind. Whenever the grey tank reaches about 1/2 capacity water starts pouring out of the under belly at the rear of the trailer. I am assuming that there a crack in either the tank itself or the plumbing somewhere. I have the Airstream Manual which nicely illustrates the plumbing system and I have removed the belly skin at the rear. I cannot seem to figure out where the leak is at so my next thought is that I will need to remove the gray tank so I can have a closer look. As best as I can tell this involves cutting all the ABS drain pipes that go to the tank, disssconecting the shower drain flange, removing the support bars underneath the tank and then dropping it down. I am wondering if anyone else here has done this job on a 75 tradewind before and if so, is there anything I should know before doing this...

-T
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:31 PM   #2
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T Man:


We have removed and replaced with new both the black and grey on my 1976 Argosy.

The procedure is essentially what you propose.

But, since you have the belly pan off now, why donít you first run water through the system to see if you can visually trace the leak?

Sergei
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
T Man:


We have removed and replaced with new both the black and grey on my 1976 Argosy.

The procedure is essentially what you propose.

But, since you have the belly pan off now, why donít you first run water through the system to see if you can visually trace the leak?

Sergei

Sergei,

I did try that but was unable to see where it was coming from. I may try again before cutting though. Maybe with more lights and one of those long-handled mirrors I can pinpoint the leak.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe

We have removed and replaced with new both the black and grey on my 1976 Argosy.

The procedure is essentially what you propose.


Sergei
Sergei - My Tradewind is the mid-twin / rear bath model. Is that the same as your Argosy?
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:11 PM   #5
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Yes, exactly.

There was a 10 gallon BLACK right at the rear and a 12 gallon GREY just forward of that.

Weíve now installed a 14.5 gallon black at the rear and a 32 gallon grey behind the rear axle, right up tight to it.

Sergei
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
Yes, exactly.

There was a 10 gallon BLACK right at the rear and a 12 gallon GREY just forward of that.

Weíve now installed a 14.5 gallon black at the rear and a 32 gallon grey behind the rear axle, right up tight to it.

Sergei
Sergei

I was wondering what it it would take to put larger tanks in... Now that you have confirmed that it is possible I am thinking that would be better than repairing the existing tank. You don't happen to have any photos of the work you did do you? I'd be really interested in loooking at them if you do!

-T
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
Sergei

I was wondering what it it would take to put larger tanks in...

-T
Larger tanks mean more weight. Make sure you compensate for this additional weight somewhere, somehow.
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
Sergei

I was wondering what it it would take to put larger tanks in... Now that you have confirmed that it is possible I am thinking that would be better than repairing the existing tank. You don't happen to have any photos of the work you did do you? I'd be really interested in loooking at them if you do!

-T
PS - Did you have to cut any of the frame to fit a 32 gallon gray behind the axle?
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:30 AM   #9
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T Man:

I have a drawing and photos and I will write in more detail later today.

Sergei
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Old 02-13-2006, 11:44 AM   #10
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Sergei,, am awaiting your post . also wondering how to equalize the weight in the front portion of the trailer in order to compensate. donna
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:30 PM   #11
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. also wondering how to equalize the weight in the front portion of the trailer in order to compensate. donna
don't think you really have to worry too much, with this sized trailer. the moment arm of the tanks is minimal...unlike the s t r e t c h units >28', where the rear of the trailer hangs back there so far behind the axles.

if you don't drive around w/ the tanks full, no problem at all.

replacing the univolt goes a long way, too. no, its not as heavy as a full tank of poop, but it is 40 lbs, as far aft as you can get in my trailer. a modern solid-state converter only weighs a couple of pounds.
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:35 PM   #12
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T and Donna:

Chuck, above, has got it right.

There is unlikely to be a weight or balance issue. As he says, weíd be better off to eliminate the weight of the old Univolt than worry about tank weights.

Modern day Airstreams usually have tanks in the neighborhood of 40 gallons EACH. They can do this because they locate them around the axles were the weight doesnít matter as much.

In my case, we put a new 14.5 black at the rear where the 10-gallon original was. You can make the argument thatís 45% more but in absolute terms, it isnít much weight gain in total.

In any case, people donít usually haul their full tanks around so the weight issue gets exaggerated.

We moved the new grey (31.66 gallons instead of the old 12) forward, to just behind the rear axle.

T, if your tank is actually leaking you may be better off replacing than repairing. If itís just a fitting or seal, you may avoid the cost and trouble with a simple repair.

If you do replace, you will want to consider going larger. Maybe you just want to go larger, period. I did.

We did not cut the frame rail per se but we did remove some cross members. These will be replaced or relocated when we finish up. The angle support system you make to hold the tank is a kind of strengthening cross member as well.

Once you get into doing something like this it is not as daunting as it first seemed.

I bought both tanks at Ameri-Kart in Indiana and can supply you with the contact number. They are a major manufacturer of RV tanks with about 200 sizes in their repertoire.

You find out what space you have available then hunt down a size that fits.

Or you can have a tank custom made to your exact measurements but that costs money, usually $500 or more. Ready made will run more like $150 to $200. I paid only $95.00 for the black. There are several sources right in California but I found them all more expensive than Ameri-Kart.

If I can figure out the photo system here Iíll attach a few photos of the work to date. The tanks in the photos are only propped up for a ďdry fitĒ. In a day or two we will have the hanging done and I can post pictures of that.

I have a drawing of the layout that I can fax to you. PM me.

Sergei
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:44 PM   #13
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Sergei,,, thank you so much for posting the pictures. will be so helpful in my future efforts to make the trailers function for longer trips,,,, appreciate your ground breaking innovations,,,, donna
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:26 PM   #14
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Sergei,
which tanks did you get? (model numbers, so I can look 'em up). your trailer probably isn't a whole lot different than mine...can't really tell from the pics exactly whats going on. was your original black tank below the floor? is that where you're putting the replacement?

I found ameri-kart's website, after you mentioned them before. looks like they have alot of models. (they never turned up in any google searches I did in the past, looking for tank manufacturers). still not easy to find ones that would fit inside the existing frame cavities, withough having to hang down below the belly pan, or just be too small to be worth the effort, imo. my frame cavities are 23"x5"x ~60-ish"...height and width seem to be be limiting numbers. don't think I can move x-members, either, as in or near the appropriate location, there are either floor joints requiring that support, or something else in the way. (shower drain, for example). One possibility I saw with one tank that is 8" deep...the 3" outlet would be just below the belly pan, so a drain pipe could be run on the outside.
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