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Old 02-27-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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1970 23' Safari
Alpharetta , Georgia
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Plastic Waste Tank Patch

Thought some might be interested to know - I tried patching a cracked plastic waste tank from a 1970 23' Safari. I cleaned the plastic with Greased Lightening. Melted the cracked area together with the heated metal tool. Cut some ALUMINUM screen to fit over the cracked area. Heated up metal tool(I used the guide to a circular saw and bent then filed the end round). Press the heated metal tool onto the screen patch and then watch it sink into the plastic, be careful not to let it sink all the way through. As a filler I cut pieces from plastic milk/water jugs and melted them into the screen patch. I would think it would be stronger than the original? I had to reheat the tool every 4-5 seconds with a Mapp GAS torch. I have seen this done for body work on cars, ask me in 5-10 years to see if it works on Airstream tanks!
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:33 AM   #2
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1966 17' Caravel
salida , Colorado
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i was just sitting her trying to come up wit an idea on how to do the same. seems like a good way to do it to me! thanks.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:58 AM   #3
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A great idea and very good work.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:24 AM   #4
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2007 25' International CCD FB
1970 23' Safari
1956 16' Bubble
Jamul , California
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Hey, that tank looks familiar!
Great idea on the repair. I had a similar crack in mine.
Thanks!
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1970 Safari 23' Land Yacht
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:54 AM   #5
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1970 23' Safari
Alpharetta , Georgia
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More repairs...

hey Bob! I wish it looked a little nicer, but it seems to be structurally sound. My next repair is the old Thetford dump valve. I found a rebuild kit and ordered it on Amazon, but I don't think it has all the seals. Do you know where I can find a 'slip hub' valve to fit on this tank? How is your 70' Safari rebuild going?

thanks
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:49 PM   #6
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2007 25' International CCD FB
1970 23' Safari
1956 16' Bubble
Jamul , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I used two new clamps, original sleeve, new dump valve from valterra and the original slip flange with new gaskets (local buy). I also got a valve assembly with a valve for the grey water line, standardized bolt pattern allows you to use your old flange on the new valve. I added a 22 gal gray tank but due to the height difference, enstalled anoter gray dump and the low end just aft of the streetside wheet. Pretty clean, works!
Our Safari is just about ready for a shake down. All new beds, storage, and just some finish work on the galley cabinets. Refer is driving me nuts, too cold on propane, great on 110v.
I'll e-mail some pics and a part number of the valve I used.
See ya out there partner...Safari Safe!
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:08 AM   #7
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well i tried it. and sorry to say it did not work. i spent all day on two little holes and i could never get it the leak completely stopped. but the holes i was trying to plug were on the bottom of my fresh water tank. i finally gave up and took it to a buddy of mine who owns a plastic welder and he got it fixed for me.....just thought i would let you know.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:57 AM   #8
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1970 23' Safari
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patching holes

hi Cojer - sorry you did not have any luck with it. To patch a hole I think you would have to cut a patch using similar plastic material, and then melt the edges together. I should have stated in my first post that it took around 2-3 hours of melting and blending. Of course, the best way is to to have a professional fix it with a high end plastic welder and the proper material. Also if time is an issue and money is not, Inland RV can sell you a fiberglass reproduction for around $350. Here is a link using a similar technique with a soldering iron and with some sort of metal pin for reinforcement instead of a screen. I used this technique to bond the crack, and then set the screen on top and bonded it for extra strength.

YouTube - Plastic Welding with Soldering Iron
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:53 PM   #9
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hey, no worries. i gave it a shot and didn't have any luck. will i try it again sometime? absolutely.
i also think part of the problem i had, after watching a real plastic welder in action, was that i was getting the plastic too hot. that coupled with the fact that the hole was near the bottom of the tank. the patch had to hold back quite a bit of pressure when the tank got filled up and it looked like the water was coming through a piece of cloth almost, you know not just like it was dripping from one little corner or seam. that's what makes me think i was putting it on too hot..creating little air bubbles in the process.....oh well next time i'll try some things different
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