Well, I removed my black tank today.
Yesterday was spent removing the toilet. I have to work slow as I am still recovering from 2 hip replacements. My trailer is parked on a slope which places the rear access just at my waist and leaves adequate crawl space underneath. Crawl I cannot do but laying on my back I can. I have to sleep that way too but I did not dose under the Tradewind with all those years of dirt in the belly pan raining down. Goggles and mask were the fashion requirement. I have floor rot at the back which required cutting the carriage bolts to the tank tray. All the remaining nuts spun off easily....except one. That one was one the front edge of the tank. It was right in back of the end of the furnace duct to the bathroom so it was easy to locate it inside. I carefully pulled up the tile and found the head of the carriage bolt....buried in rot. Crap!
I suppose I expected it. Anyway I dug around the bolt until it dissappeared and a crash was heard outside as the tray and tank hit the ground. It was the last bolt. Well I drug the tank tray and tank out from underneath the trailer and was happy to see that the tray was in very good condition Some surface rust from the leaky black tank and an access hole cut by a PO to the dump valve which should be easy to patch. The black tank is spit the width of it and is a gonner. Now I need to go back underneath to see what other problems may be lurking there.
What I have to do to lower myself is do a push-up [down] from a chair to my knees then with my palms on the ground carefully swing over onto my back without crossing my legs or even touching my knees together. So much peparation is taken to be sure I have all the tools I need before I get down. Once down I crawled..er inched on my back under the trailer to see the condition of the rear cavity where the tank was located. What a nice surprise.
After reading several threads from other vintage AS owners of frame rust, sagging rears and evidence of varmit infestation I was really relieved to see the great condition was revealed. No frame rust. NADA. A PO had sealed openings with aluminum patches and caulk to keep critters and moisture out. I do, however, have bathroom floor rot. A previous PO had replaced the left rear corner near where the Intellewizard is mounted. That is why the floor gives a little there and along the rear but I have to find the source and reason for the rot where that bolt spun. I really should pull up the bathroom and replace that whole floor but physically I can't for at least a year. That is when my next doctor appointment is for my hips. I may just have to do a floor patch job for now. It appears I can do much of that from below. I could do it from above at the rear access and replace some of the copper plumbing. I would love to replace it all inside but that means kneeling and it was difficult to kneel to remove that spinning carriage bolt. I told that to my daughter tonight and she offered up her husband. A really nice guy.....he is a good architect....but eh.. not too handy. I suppose I could ask... they live 2 1/2 hours away..... I suppose he could do it in a weekend if I have everything ready. I'll 'feel' him out this weekend when we visit. Did I tell you they presented my wife and I with our 2nd grandson on 12/30? Well now I have to locate another black tank. Andy Rogozinski (Inland RV) has one but our local RV place says, "Sure we can get one for you." I doubt it but I'll give him the courtesy of trying. I took photos of it so I don't have to haul that thing in my car. I will post updates to this. Of course am open to suggestions....or help.