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Old 05-05-2003, 10:41 AM   #1
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Another stupid question

AFter we picked up our trailer (Safara 25 SS) a couple of weeks ago, we thought we had drained the hot water tank, and the fresh water tank. However yesterday when we were putting all of our junk away, my son opened a tap, and low and behold water came out.

Looked in the curbside compartment and found 4 shut off valves. Read the owners manual and got even more confused - Help!

The one valve flat on the floor appears to be a drain for something - a lot of water came out of it. We found another drain between the two curbside tires. There are also supposed to be another 2 values under the trailer somewhere that we haven't located yet.

The other three must be the hot water bypass. My question is how do you know which way to set the valves for normal operation. The owner's manual has two identical pictures, one denoting normal operation and one denoting by-pass mode!!

I also assume that if the handle of the valve is in parallel to the water line it is open, if perpendicular it is closed. Am I right?

Thanks again - I may get the hang of this thing yet!
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Old 05-05-2003, 11:38 AM   #2
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yes on the valve position. My experience also is that there is more water in the tanks then you can tell. My gauge read empty, and I was able to suck out 5 gallons with my vacuum cleaner.
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Old 05-05-2003, 04:05 PM   #3
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I think the Safari and Bambi are the same setup.

The ones on the floor are the low end valves. The three on the heater, one is to bypass, the others are for on and off. I forget the setup, but I played around with it (I should have taken notes for later), after about 10 minutes figured out the correct settings to totally bypass the heater.

The other two on the bottom though once the tank is empty, you can take them both out of the equation. Part of making sure the tank is totally empty though is to open a valve either on the heater or a faucet and then open the red low end valve to empty.

Hope that helps.

Eric
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:48 AM   #4
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I'm glad that I am not the only one confused about drain valves. I have two that I can reach from under my cabinet. The manual just says to push in and turn the valves clockwise to shut off and pull and turn the valves counter clockwise to open. It also says that the valves are non stop - you can just keep turning them but that about 4 or 5 turns will open or close them. I am not sure that is correct because it seems that when the valve handle is parallel to the pipe it is open and when perpendicular to the pipe it is closed. I sent an email to airstream tech and asked for more info. He replied that one valve is for hot water and one is for cold water but offered no further help as to what they are for or what the normal setting is. When connected to city water and one of the valves is open water runs out underneath my trailer. I just turned the valves to where everything appears to work properly and leave them alone. I have a drain valve between the tires that I use to drain the fresh water tank but have not a clue what the other drain valves are for or how to use them. I don't have the hot water bypass valve.
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:17 PM   #5
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Water heater bypass positions

One the three valve setup that A/S has used of late, the settings are pretty easy to remember. Normally you have the top and bottom valves open and the middle valve closed. To bypass the water heater, you close the top and bottom and then open the center valve. The whole idea of the bypass is to allow you to FILL the lines with undiluted antifreeze (the type specifically designated for drinking water lines), without having to fill the water heater with the fluid. Setting the valves to bypass DOES NOTHING to actually drain the water heater. When I winterized my Bambi, I removed the drain plug on the heater and then opened the overpressure/overtemp valve. This will allow the water heater to TOTALLY drain. On my Atwood (a design that A/S has used for many years), the water heater drain plug is on the lower left side of the unit as viewed from the outside.

The other drain valves that you find are for draining the water tank and the hot & cold water lines. When draining the cold & hot water lines, don't forget to open ALL the faucet valves (sink, lavatory, shower/tub and to depress the toilet so that water can drain from the those risers more easily. I have found a quick way to drain the water tank is to open the drain valve for the cold water line, turn on the water pump and it will power drain the tank in minutes. After I drain the tank and the lines, I pressurize the lines with my air compressor ( the adapter can be purchased at camping world or just about any RV store...I set my air pressure to about 15 PSI), then I open the drain valves one at a time allowing the pressure to build up between each opening. After I am satisfied that most of the water has been purged, I then uphook my pump from the water tank (I plan to install a permanent 3-way valve and tube before end of season), connect the inlet of the pump to a tube leading to the gallon jug of drinking line antifreeze, and then I turn on the pump. After the pump builds up pressure in the lines, go the most distant faucet and first turn on the hot water and allow the line to fill with antifreeze (ie the pink antifreeze will appear), then do the same with the cold water. Do this at each faucet as well as the toilet. I found on my Bambi, it took about 3 gallons of antifreeze to fully fill all my lines.

I did find that the drain on my water tank did NOT completely empty the tank as the drain was slightly above the bottom of my tank, but this small amount of water is NO problem as there is plenty of expansion room in the empty tank. I did put a small amount of chorine dioxide (an excellent sanitizer that is safe for RV use) in the tank to make sure that nothing could grow in the tank over the winter.

Hope this sheds some light on the matter.
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:04 PM   #6
 
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While we are on the subject of drain valves:

I tried already twice to get an answer: no luck.

We have a 1990 Excella 32', and only one of the valves is where the book said it should be (near water heater)

We managed to find 2 more under the kitchen sink, but cannot find the 4th one.

My last question could be: do we have 3 or 4 valves?

The book has been so inacurate on about everything electrical that I am starting to believe it is as much believable when it comes to the water system.

If we have 4 valves, where is that 4th one ? (NOT under microwave as the book said)

Thank you
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:08 PM   #7
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Femuse,

The best way to verify the number of valves to to check the belly pan. Each valve should have a corresponding hose poking thru the bellypan. You may have a situation where a repair was made and a drain valve was eliminated inside, but I would bet if that were the case you will still have some indicator in the belly pan. Either a hole or a small patch.

Good luck on your search!
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:12 PM   #8
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FWIW---I had a terrible time figuring out what all the vavles, etc, were for. The owners book could have been more informative & correct. The water heater by-pass valves for our 02 Bambi are located under the bed & while assessable by lifting the mattress, I have made a swivel end piece, on a round 1/2" rod, that fits over the valve handles. I keep this in the back storage compartment & use it to turn the valves on & off. Comes in real handy, as I'm to large to fit the small opening. Also someone had mentioned, in a previous post, that they had installed another door on the current bathroom door of thier Bambi. When the door is extended this gives the bath area a square configuration & MORE room. I made an over the top of the door iron piece that swivels & is removable if we desire. The rod is 17 1/2" long & fits in the top of the door frame when opened. We have a fabric curtain, that gives privacy & more room when opened. When folded back against the door, it gives some color to a otherwise blank door. It's a cheap solution & we didn't have to drill holes in the current door. Just thought I'd share this.
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:05 PM   #9
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Oh Yea, impossible to reach valves

A.E. and other recent Bambi owners,
Everytime I have to get to those valves under the bed, I curse A/S. They could have at least put the drain valves closer to the back hatch (I can reach them, but just barely and certainly not comfortably). The next time I have the Bambi at home (next weekend as we have a rally starting midweek thereafter), I am going to remove the handles and bore holes in the ends the same diameter as the ZipDee awning rod. I think that this will allow me to reach in and open/close the valves with the Zip Dee rod as they seem pretty easy to open/close. I still need to come up with a better solution for the water heater bypass, but at least I only have to get to those twice a year. I have no complaints on my front located valves as my unit has the coach rather than the dinette, so to reach those valves as well as the water pump, all I have to do is lift the armrest and there they are.

BTW, another use for the ZipDee awning rod is in making the bed in the Bambi (or the similar 25' Safari). The rod makes a really good tool for pushing and leveling the sheets, blankets and bedspread. In our new bedspread, I installed a large snap at the end near the edge of the refrigerator cabinet, so once the sheets/blankets are smoothed out, just snap the bedspread and then use the rod to move the bedspread into position. All said, we can make the bed in just a few minutes with this method
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:52 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
thenewkid64

The best way to verify the number of valves to to check the belly pan. Each valve should have a corresponding hose poking thru the bellypan
Thanks, good idea.

We thought that sooner or later we were going to find them... but, no.

Right now the trailer is still parked in knee-high grass, waiting for the weather change that will allow the work on his pad to be done.

We should be able to count those hoses then.

We don't have the manuals for our #1 & #2: life is much more simple without that "help".
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:24 PM   #11
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Some times ignorance is bliss
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Old 05-07-2003, 07:50 PM   #12
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Bambi drain valve locations

dtbw---look at your pm board regards the valves.
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:29 PM   #13
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I am a new owner of a 75 tradewind 25' trying to get a handle on what's- what. I have three turn valves under my gally sink and am wondering what each one operates and when should I keep them closed or open. Are there other valves I should know about? I am a first timer to AS and trailering if you haven't already caught on. Thanks for your reply. Bob
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