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Old 06-11-2007, 11:35 PM   #1
RMPeters
 
1969 31' Sovereign
Edmonton , Alberta
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Black Water Tank

Hi, my wife and I have been restoring a 1969 Soverign International. As we do not have immediate access to an Airstream dealer per se, we have taken it to another RV dealership. They are under the impression that we do not have a black water tank and this might be the case(??). Being more of a woodworker, not a plumber, does anyone know how to figure out for yourself if you have one and what I need to get to properly get it working should I have one? If I do, there is no couplings or valves on the sewer outlet in the back to properly test.

(Also, seen different pics with different things done w.r.t. paint on the pinstriping; does anyone know what AS did in '69, whether it be a single blue stripe, red stripe, both???)
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:08 AM   #2
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I think you should have a black water tank, but not a grey water tank. The toilet should sit on top of the black water tank. Push down on the pedal to open the toilet drain and look in. You should be looking into the tank.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:49 AM   #3
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Do you have a sewer outlet in the rear - the large pipe with a gate valve on it? Here is a link that may help you with what the original 69's looked like - see the photo archives.
Vintage Airstream Photo Archives
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:00 PM   #4
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Hello azflycaster,

right now I have the trailer parked after our weekend adventure. I will have to go out and see if there is a tank. What the tech told me is that when he used a fish he could not feel a tank there, more piping than anything else. Not knowing the full history in that respect, maybe it was taken out? Hoping not...
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:02 PM   #5
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Hello Gary,

we do have a sewer outlet in the rear but there is no gate valve or any other valve otherwise. When I went to hook it up I also noted that I did not have a proper adapter to even attach the sewer hose to. Under this scenario, I have been looking and assuming that I need some sort of Thetford Valve arrangement. Is that accurate?
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:11 PM   #6
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A Thetford adapter would be correct. You can get them at Camping World and other places.

It is interesting that you do not see a valve for the tank dump. My 75 Trade Wind has the "Black Water" valve hidden inside the storage area of the rear bumper.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:09 PM   #7
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1962 24' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
A Thetford adapter would be correct. You can get them at Camping World and other places.

It is interesting that you do not see a valve for the tank dump. My 75 Trade Wind has the "Black Water" valve hidden inside the storage area of the rear bumper.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<,
Our '69 Sovereign has the "black water" gate valve inside the rear compartment, above the bumper compartment(that's where you hook up the hose). It's the one with the handle like the other storage area on the streetside. Also where the battery and a lot of the wiring and plumbing and valves are located. Sometimes it is hard to find in there.

Are you sure yours was not originally (or converted to) a "park" model at some point? They tell me that if you park your Airstream on a permanent basis you can connect the plumbing direct to the sewer system and bypass or remove the black water tank. Avoiding the prospect of the tank becoming a sewage storage pond under your AirStream. I may have some pictures it that will help.
cheers, bill b.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:28 PM   #8
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1969 31' Sovereign
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Hello Bill,

if you do have some pictures, that would be great. Like I say, not really a plumber and that is one area that I have the most trouble with. I have not looked in the rear compartment, but that would be a good thing to look at before ordering anything online.

I am the 3rd owner (at least) of our new baby and didn't really get a full history of the trailer from the last owner. When he had it, stayed in storage for 2-3 years. I would suspect that maybe what you think is the case though, as the guys I took it too are not self professed AS experts but very qualified and able regardless.

Thanks for all the help guys!!! Really, really appreciate the help!!!
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:04 PM   #9
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Gate Valve 71

Here is a photo of the gate valve set up in a 71 - the sewer outlet is in the bumper compartment. This valve is inside the trunk.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:06 PM   #10
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They all have some sort of tank, if they were not modified. A lot of older units have black/grey combo tanks.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:45 PM   #11
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1962 24' Tradewind
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Blackwater gate handle location

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpeters
Hello Bill,

if you do have some pictures, that would be great. Like I say, not really a plumber and that is one area that I have the most trouble with. I have not looked in the rear compartment, but that would be a good thing to look at before ordering anything online.
Attached is a view of the rear compartment of our sovereign and, as in real life, you can't see the handle from here. See the blue tag? Pretend that the handle is behind it (it is.) Stick your hand behind the thing that has the blue tag on it(that thing is the water pressure regulator.)Down out of sight you should feel a "T" shaped handle. It may have a clip on one or both ends of the "T." The clips are to keep the handle from working its way up while driving down the road. (We have cattle trucks here that do that all the time. Yech.) If the clips are over the ends of the "T" they just pop off the ends to allow you to pull up on the "T". Pull up several inches. That opens the "gate" and the unpleasent effluent flows forth. Hopefully into the hose you have attached. I converted our Thetford connection for the hose to a standard one with a cheap adapter so I can use a variety of connectors.
good luck.
cheers,
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:07 PM   #12
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1969 31' Sovereign
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I wanted to express my personal thank you's to Richard, Gary, Bill and Silvertwinkie. I went out today and took a look. With much success I found the Gate Valve and the fact that I do indeed have a black/grey/holding tank, whatever you want to call it. It looks like it has quite a bit of crap (no pun intended) in there. So, will have to pick up some chemicals and clean and flush it out a little bit. Outside of that then, everything is ready to go, minus acquiring a proper connector for the sewer pipe and a polish and our baby is like new again.

Once again... Thank you!!!
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpeters
I wanted to express my personal thank you's to Richard, Gary, Bill and Silvertwinkie. I went out today and took a look. With much success I found the Gate Valve and the fact that I do indeed have a black/grey/holding tank, whatever you want to call it. It looks like it has quite a bit of crap (no pun intended) in there. So, will have to pick up some chemicals and clean and flush it out a little bit. Outside of that then, everything is ready to go, minus acquiring a proper connector for the sewer pipe and a polish and our baby is like new again.

Once again... Thank you!!!
You need a "Thetford" outlet cap.

You can also get a Thetford water hose drain type sewer cap.

Some people use both.

We have both.

Andy
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:26 PM   #14
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Chemicals

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpeters
. So, will have to pick up some chemicals and clean and flush it out a little bit. Outside of that then, everything is ready to go, minus acquiring a proper connector for the sewer pipe and a polish and our baby is like new again.
Make sure you get safe chemicals....they are actually enzymes that eat up the stuff--do not use formaldahyde as that preserves it and who wants to do that....also many campgrounds do not want you to use the formaldahyde ones even if they have the name of the toilet on them (Thetford). pj
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