Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-05-2016, 10:16 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2015 27' FB International
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 14
Grey tank valve rod broke

I have a 2015 Airstream 27FB International. When I went to dump the grey tank yesterday, the valve rod broke off, i.e. the cotter pin broke off of the rod connection. There appears to be no easy way to fix this without either taking the very large sheet metal belly off or cutting an access hole near the grey valve.

I'm really disappointed that this appears so poorly designed to access and fix. Although my AS is still under warranty, I can't get it into an AS dealer for at least a couple weeks. I'm on the verge of cutting an access hole near the grey valve. At least this will give me an access point if this ever happens again, which I suspect it will.

Any advice before I start cutting?
__________________

__________________
RichardW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2016, 10:51 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Wingeezer's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,708
Can't offer advice other than to say that I would do exactly what you propose cut an access hole.

I don't understand why AS can't be a bit more proactive in their design so as to make things such as dump valves - that will sooner or later need attention - more accessible. Doesn't seem too much to ask!

Brian
__________________

__________________
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1998 30' Excella 1000
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardW View Post
I have a 2015 Airstream 27FB International. When I went to dump the grey tank yesterday, the valve rod broke off, i.e. the cotter pin broke off of the rod connection. There appears to be no easy way to fix this without either taking the very large sheet metal belly off or cutting an access hole near the grey valve.

I'm really disappointed that this appears so poorly designed to access and fix. Although my AS is still under warranty, I can't get it into an AS dealer for at least a couple weeks. I'm on the verge of cutting an access hole near the grey valve. At least this will give me an access point if this ever happens again, which I suspect it will.

Any advice before I start cutting?
Stay away from the tank area. Mine only had 1/2" styrofoam sheet under it that was compressed, so only a 1/4" separated the tank from the steel pan.

Dropping the whole pan is a pain. My tanks had no straps supporting them. If your gray tank is full, all that weight will pull on the drain and vent pipes, which were the only thing that supported mine. You will benefit from cutting an access panel now, as it will come in handy when you have to service the dump valve(s) in the future.
__________________
Siegmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2016, 03:25 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
KJRitchie's Avatar

 
2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,217
Probably the dealer will have to make the cut to repair under warranty so make an appointment to get it done by them. If you goof it up you may be stuck with a big $$ repair.

Maintenance access sucks in Airstreams

Kelvin
__________________
2008 Classic 25fb "Silver Mistress"
2015 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins. Crew Cab, 4x4, Silver
KJRitchie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2016, 04:27 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Mrjkq's Avatar
 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Venice , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 982
That is one of the reasons I chose a rear bed model vs the front bedroom as the rear bed model provides direct access to the dump valves located below the belly pan behind the wheels.
__________________
Joe
Venice, FL
2016 FC 25RTB
TAC FL-47
2016 Nissan Titan XD Cummins Diesel
Mrjkq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 11:24 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
2015 27' FB International
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 14
Thanks for the advice

Ok, so I chickened out of cutting the hole now and dropped the whole pan. This was a pain, but doable. Actually, for me it was harder to get the pan off than to put it back on. I read the opposite in some other posts. As Siegmann pointed out, it is VERY important to empty the tanks first as their main support comes from the belly pan. There were also a couple of gas line supports in the way that were riveted in that I had to drill out. I replaced those rivets with screws. Another thing that messed with my head was that the rubber covers on the belly pan for the grey and black tank rods, on the side of the belly pan, were upside down (see pic), which meant both the grey and black tank rods had to be disconnected in order to drop the pan. I re-glued the rubber covers back on the pan correctly, with the slit facing upwards so the pan slides right over the rods, as it should have been.
I decided that I really wanted to get a complete picture of the underbelly of my trailer with the pan removed before I cut access holes. I was afraid that I might cut too close to the tanks. Also, I wanted to be absolutely sure that no screws to the access panel were in the vicinity of the tanks (even if the underbelly ever bottomed out and dented). I am currently in an RV park was able to do this with no special tools (other than a drill and socket set mainly). I will be taking the cover off again () in a couple of weeks to make proper access panels (we'll be parked at my engineer brother's ranch then; he's got a great shop for this).
On another note, I called 3 possible Airstream dealers to inquire about this repair. The soonest we could get in anywhere was 2 weeks. One dealer actually said they were booked until September!! It's been my experience that getting warranty repairs in a timely manner is difficult, to say the least. Also, I picked up a new grey tank valve from the nearby Airstream dealer (25 miles away). I realized after I got back to install it yesterday that he sold me the wrong part! That was also bit frustrating. My old valve still works, it's just a bit tight. Anyway, everything is working now but I will be revisiting it in a couple weeks. Thanks to all for the advice.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	BP.jpg
Views:	83
Size:	328.2 KB
ID:	258254  
__________________
RichardW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 12:36 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
1998 30' Excella 1000
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 546
Is Airstream still using the Thetford valve? If so, I'm surprised yours is getting stiff so soon. My black tank valve lasted over 10 years of full-time use before I had to replace it. Are your practices letting too many solids get into the gate area?

I think that the gray tank valve rod pin breaking with this new a rig likely an Airstream construction issue. While it may be extremely annoying that something that should be fixed by Airstream/Dealer at no time or cost to you, judging from your post, I think you will end up with a better end result, and also gain valuable knowledge and experience with your rig. Way to go!
__________________
Siegmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 02:42 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
2015 27' FB International
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 14
Thanks Siegmann. Yes, the valve is Valterra with Thetford extension handle (not the more common screw in handle - http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-652.htm). We've had our trailer about 1.5 years (bought new). I've been double rinsing the black tank whenever we empty it to avoid buildup (unless there's a line of RVs waiting to use the dump). The grey valve just feels a bit stiff, and it eventually broke the extension pin. However, to my amazement, the pins that were in the Thetford handle were aluminum rivets! These will clearly not last long, especially if the valve is a little stiff like mine. Maybe my valve is ok, albeit somewhat stiff to move. I do not like these Thetford handles at all. In fact, the black tank handle connection would rub the slitted rubber flap whenever it's pulled open. A normal cotter key would rip the rubber flap apart from repeated use. So now I'm thinking about replacing both my dump valves with the more common Valterra screw in handle type. Vintage Trailer sells extension handles in a variety of lengths to accommodate. These just seem better than the Thetford rods. Any opinions on that?
__________________
RichardW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 08:07 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
1998 30' Excella 1000
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 546
Can't help you there. At the time I didn't know any better, and replaced mine with a Thetford valve (at 3 times the cost!) and kept the original Thetford extension handles too.
__________________
Siegmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2016, 12:40 PM   #10
CRH
Rivet Master
 
1995 25' Excella
xxxxx , xxxxxx
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,245
I would have just cut the hole and made an access panel. That is what my trailer's manual says to do when servicing the dump valves....I did it and made an access panel out of a scrap aluminum sign....Airstream should have put in an access panel from the start.
__________________

__________________
CRH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Waste valve handle and rod pulled out of the valve BarnacleBill Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 20 04-12-2017 02:31 PM
1994 Sovereign 21' Grey tank valve rod ? tjansen Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 4 03-28-2017 09:20 AM
Hott Rod & Lightnin' Rod femuse Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 6 09-22-2003 12:46 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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