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Old 07-04-2008, 09:18 PM   #1
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Holding tank strap is loose

My 2005 Safari FB had a loose holding tank strap on the BW tank. When I looked underneath the bolt was missing that held it in. I got a new bolt as recommended by AS Tech but it won't hold because the captive nut it threads into appears to be stripped. Another bolt on the retaining bar seems to have the same problem, it is hanging half way out but can't be tightened up.

How do you gain access to the captive nuts to replace them? Or should I try to retap them?

Jim
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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I discovered the same problem on my 2002 Safari this afternoon. The bolt was missing and the replacement I purchased cannot be tightened. The bad one is on the front of the fresh water tank, curbside. I will check the rest of them tomorrow.

LR
Bismarck ND
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
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I called Airstream today about this. They said the strap is held on by a 5/16 (18) x7/8 in long washerhead bolt. The bolt cuts its own threads into the frame.

Apparently this is put in with a powered wrench as several of these are stripped out on my trailer. This is sloppy work by someone.

I am going to try using a 3/8 in self tapping bolt and see if that will hold.

Jim
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Jim J, please keep us posted.

R/
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Old 07-07-2008, 10:10 PM   #5
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Jim

I was lucky in that an access plate was just ahead of my striped bolt. I was able to put in a 1 inch bolt with a nut and lock washer. I also checked the rest and a few were a little loose. I suspect it would not take much to strip these out as the cross member they screwed into is very thin. I think your plan of using a self-threading 3/8 bolt is a good idea. I am going to purchase a couple for emergency use.

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Old 07-08-2008, 08:00 AM   #6
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They gotta hire youngsters too

It seems like somebody at Airstream had their airtool set on kill that year (vs. just stun ). I haven't heard so much about this problem lately. See: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f457...off-24397.html
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:38 AM   #7
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A 5/16 x 18 Heli-coil might also work( unless the frame is too thin). You can use low strength locktite on the threads to keep them from getting loose.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:43 PM   #8
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I got the 3/8 thread cutting bolts and ran one up into the hole hand tight and then gave it another 3/4 turn. It is holding. I'll see if it is still there after my next trip

The frame is only 5/32 in. thick so with 18 threads per inch we are not quite getting the required 3 threads of engagement to get the full holding power of the bolt. This is marginal engineering on top of sloppy assembly.

Funny thinng was that while I was under the trailer I found one of the 5/16 bolts wedged under the grey water tank strap. I don't think it was the one that fell out, probably one that got dropped during assembly.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:50 AM   #9
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Here's one possible permanent fix. Steel, zinc plated steel, and stainless steel rivet nuts and rivet studs are available in 5/16 sizes. There are installaton tools that should work anywhere you can get a drill. A hand tool is about $150 from McMaster-Carr and the rivet nuts are cheap. Maybe,if this is a prevalent problem, someone could buy the tool and pass it around to amortize the cost?
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:40 AM   #10
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The last thing we need is a holding tank falling off going down the road.

Engineering/Poor quality control, bad....

These units are not Fleetwood/Shasta/Thor SOB's

Wally would not be impressed
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