Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-09-2007, 11:40 AM   #1
Rivet Master
Pahaska's Avatar
2005 28' Classic
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,370
Images: 13

Sunday morning, I got out the hose and pulled the sewer cap to dump. Bad surprise! Fortunately, I only lost about a gallon of bad stuff.

The Classic 28 has a terrible linkage to the black water valve. Because the valve is in line with the tire, there is a jog in the rod from handle to valve. The rod scrapes at the handle and again when entering the tank box so that it has always been balky and quite ifficult for this 74 year old to operate while squating in the mud.

Anyhow, a closer look showed that the handle had shed the 2 spring wire keepers and had moved out, perhaps 1/2", filling the outlet pipe with "stuff".

With the aid of a blue boy, I now have the tanks drained and the black tank flushed. The valve rod moves only with great difficulty and will not go fully into the closed position. Right now, I'm taking a thinking break on what to do next.

When things settle down, I think that I will engineer some sort of lever to make the valve more convenient to operate. Actually, one of those 12v actuators might just do the trick.

John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
WBCCI #9632, TAC TX-10
Pahaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 11:47 AM   #2
Rivet Master
maxandgeorgia's Avatar
1995 30' Limited
Ashland , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,610
Pahaska, so sorry to hear of the icky mess, created seemingly by an Airstream engineers who don't "test drive" what is designed. They seem to have a penchant for arranging difficult essential parts behind tires, don't they? Our '95 has the fresh water drain located between and behind the dual axel tires. In addition to being in an impossible location for these two seniors to negotiate, even when prone on the ground on our backs, the handle to the drain is a flexy plastic that is impossible for us to grip and turn. We can only wonder why, why, why. . .and like you, we are thinking through a retrofit to fix our mess. Again, sorry about yours, and best wishes in your redesign! ~G

1995 Airstream Classic Limited 30' ~ Gypsy
1978 Argosy Minuet, 6.0~Minnie/GPZWGN
Chev Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison, 4X4, Crew Cab
WBCCI #5013 AIR #2908
Go, Mizzou...Tigers on the prowl!
maxandgeorgia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 11:53 AM   #3
Well Preserved

1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,576
Why not a pivot? Besides the obvious issue (pushing to open), you can make the actuating end of the lever longer, to amplify the force to close and open the valve. Less effort=more fun.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
Site Team
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,472
Images: 59
I like the pivot idea too. You could even get an old Hurst 4 speed shifter and mount it at elbow level. How cool would that be? First gear could be the blackwater tank, second could be the greywater, third would be the tank flusher, etc . . . . .
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 01:20 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Fyrzowt's Avatar
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
And reverse would be.....?
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 01:29 PM   #6
USN/LAPD Retired
Safari-Rick's Avatar
2005 25' Safari
North Las Vegas , United States
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 850
Is it still under the 2 year warranty?

2007 Dodge Ram Quadcab 6.7L Diesel w/jakebrake

"Better to have more then you need, then need more then you have because you don't have enough!"
AIR #: 8129
Safari-Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 01:54 PM   #7
Well Preserved

1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,576
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
And reverse would be.....?
Backflushing, of course. What else?...
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 03:36 PM   #8
Rivet Master
FreshAir's Avatar

1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,327
Images: 2
Your "stuff"

Even when the 'stuff' is yours it still is STUFF. I think now you have the incentive to redesign what a high paid engineer thought was a good idea.
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
FreshAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 07:18 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
sander17's Avatar
1996 28' Excella
Okemos , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 305
Images: 42
Remove the cap and Surprise!

Originally Posted by Pahaska
Anyhow, a closer look showed that the handle had shed the 2 spring wire keepers and had moved out, perhaps 1/2", filling the outlet pipe with "stuff".
I had the same problem with our 96 Excella this summer. It has the same bent rod going from the handle to the thetford valve. It would not go in all the way, with about 1/4" of travel yet to go. This was enough to slowly fill the drain pipe.
The root cause was a hard deposit inside the valve, preventing it from closing all the way. After flushing and flushing and flushing, I disassembled the piping connecting the black and grey valves to the central drain pipe. I then removed the black valve body. After quite a bit of scrubbing with a plastic scrub brush, the valve was like new. I smeared a goodly amount of thetford valve lubricant all over the seals and moving parts and reassembled. This resulted in the valve handle now going in all the way and sealing like new.

The whole process took a while, but I did not need to buy any valve parts or try to match part numbers. The biggest pain was drilling out the rivets to expose the plumbing and reattaching the panel. It appeared that the previous owner had some work done previously in this area, as there was an aluminum panel riveted directly under the valves and pipes. You may find that you will need to cut an opening to work thru and fabricate a cover once done. If that is the case, it might be better to have an RV shop handle this somewhat stinky job.

Good luck!
Okemos, MI
T.V.:'05 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 Quad Cab Cummins
sander17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 07:41 PM   #10
moosetags's Avatar

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,382
Images: 5
Bummer. That sounds like my luck. What you describe sounds like a deisign flaw. Airstream ought to made good on that one regardless of warranty.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
moosetags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 08:41 PM   #11
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,326
...any way you cut's a sh*&%y job!
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 05:14 AM   #12
GStephens's Avatar
1982 31' Limited
1953 25' Cruiser
Hamilton , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 563
Images: 15
As I am certain you already know, once the slide backed out, some paper or other debris likely got in the slot preventing the valve from fully closing. Sometimes you'll be lucky and will be able to keep working it back and forth until it eventually closes. I had this happen and was eventually able to get the slot clear without dismantling the valve. If it ever dries out, it will be more difficult to dislodge the obstruction. Looking forward to seeing you at the Texas Vintage Rally and hearing your presentation.
GStephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 09:48 AM   #13
1971 27' Overlander
Pumpkintown , South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 60
The valve on my '71 Overlander long hence stopped providing a perfect seal. While not particularly enhancing quality of life, it was no big deal that cap removal entailed gloves, long-handled pliers, and a bucket. Imagine my delight when, at last un-capping, the cap remained stuck while the PVC pipe abandoned it's inboard moorings, and "stuff" began dribbling from the belly pan. I don't look forward to the repair with particular glee.

While on this crappy subject, I'll relate an anecdote from times past. In the 1970s, I was service manager for a large mobile home manufacturer. A customer called late one friday, saying that he'd noticed a large bulge in the bottom-board of his one-month-old house. I'd seen this before, and it had so far been due to a supply line joint failing in transport, allowing seepage of fresh water. After apologizing for the inconvenience, and stating thay I had no-one available to affect repair befor monday, I asked if he would mind crawling under to slit the bottom board, thus giving the space the weekend to dry out.

Early monday morning I received a call from the owner. He explaind how lucky I was not be at my phone right after he made the cut. Seems someone forgot to cut the opening for attaching the half-bath drain to the main line, and opening it literally washed him from under the trailer in a tsunami of sewage.

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
Foureagles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 02:27 PM   #14
Posts: n/a
Again John,you'll design a solution to this. One that Airstream could probably incorporate on the production line. My vote for making you a full time Airstream design consultant.
  Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.