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Old 09-13-2008, 04:15 PM   #1
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Thetford Dump Valve Replacement in my 71

I have exposed the dump valve on my 71 Tradewind Thetford Model 01447. it is under the black tank which is mounted on the floor and above the belly pan. It is mounted vertically and has a factory T at the body of the valve body below the slide for the grey water plumbing. The discharge is vertical through the belly pan. I don't see this valve on the Inland RV website. Vintage Trailer Supply website just shows the slide valve itself. I would like to replace the whole unit because of it's age and some breaks on the plastic on the bottom flange and tangs where the sewer hose locks in. I would like to here any ideas and/ or suggestions from the forum members.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:12 PM   #2
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Lumatic,
I do not know if this will help, but I did a Google search for your Thetford valve and saw this...

Dump Valve
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:09 PM   #3
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I'm undergoing the same thing as you at this moment. I have a 1981 with 2 different all plastic thetford valves on the grey and black tanks. Is your valve all plastic, or does it have a metal back?
What I found was that Thetford apparently used the same model #01447 on all of their early valves even though they made several different versions through the years. My 2 valves are # 08707, and 08669 but these 2 numbers don't appear anywhere on my valves. You have to look compare through pictures to figure out what you have. You can do this on the Inland RV website Airstream Parts Sale Inland RV Center, Inc. (951) 734-8130. I also found my valves by googleing "Thetford Valve pictures". The first link gives about 10 pages of Thetford dump valves.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:26 AM   #4
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We have a 1974 31' Sovereign (Centre bath)
Have just completed changing all the copper plumbing to Pex. (P.O. froze up really well). While I was at it I changed the city water inlet from the street side rear bumper to the curbside and it now enters in the centre bathroom area beside the hot water heater. Also plumbed in outside shower fixtures and an inside water fill for the fresh water tank.
After running plenty of water to test my work I now notice a drip from the sewage discharge outlet. There is just a single outlet with 2 dump levers attached to the frame. I'm guessing that the grey and black water tanks are plumbed into the single outlet up inside the frame??
What kind of an issue am I dealing with at this point. I have read on the forum about using food coloring to determine which tank is leaking and intend to do this.
Have had the A/S for a year and have not had it on the road yet. There was also mention of lubricating the valves but everything is up in the belly of the coach.
Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:48 AM   #5
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Lubricating the valves is accomplished by putting an additive in the tank in most cases. If one leaks and you can't stop it from dripping, changing the valves is not really that hard. I did this on our rear bath Sovereign, and would have been done in 45 minutes, except for a black water spill that had to be cleaned up.
Since you will have to get up into the belly pan area, it would be a very good idea to replace both at the same time, they have both been up in there, and in use, the same amount of time. It would be frustrating to replace one today, and have the other one start leaking next week. I can't speak for VTS, but I know Inland has them on the shelf.
Umm, about that spill...I would run some fresh water through both black and grey tanks, and dump them, before removing the valves.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:47 PM   #6
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Thanks overlander 63. I'll follow your advice and replace them both this winter. How are the valves connected to the tanks and central dump pipe? I did determine that it is the black water valve that is leaking by using food coloring in the tank.
Since turning the water system on for a test run I also notice a very little trickle of water going into the toilet. It works well otherwise. Will this necessitate replacing the water valve under the toilet?
Is your Sovereign on the road and what work have you done to it. Have you repaired your vista view windows? Ours need attention. The tint on the other windows is bubled as well.
Thanks,
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nairnchyz View Post
Thanks overlander 63. I'll follow your advice and replace them both this winter. How are the valves connected to the tanks and central dump pipe? I did determine that it is the black water valve that is leaking by using food coloring in the tank.
Since turning the water system on for a test run I also notice a very little trickle of water going into the toilet. It works well otherwise. Will this necessitate replacing the water valve under the toilet?
Is your Sovereign on the road and what work have you done to it. Have you repaired your vista view windows? Ours need attention. The tint on the other windows is bubled as well.
Thanks,
Here is a link to the thread chronicling our misadventures to date:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314...ins-32395.html

The valves are attached by 4 phillips screws to a flange on the holding tank. The outlet has an O ring that seals the outlet pipe to it. Both valves dump into a common pipe, as you already know.
Our Sovereign does not have roof-mounted vista-view windows, and the only window that needed attention was the street side wing window. It had a built-in aquarium, which I drained.
We replaced our toilet with a new model, and have been happy with the results, even though it got launched by a series of bumps in the road. It is better to replace the toilet rather than trying to seal it up, I rather use the toilet that I know who used it last.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:34 PM   #8
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Just replaced my Thetford Model 01447 today. Old one had a stainless backing plate, new one was all plastic. $60 at the local Airstream dealer in Alachua.(The old one still had the price sticker of $14.70 on it!) I opted to replace rather than repair, because the pull stem was badly rusted.

Mine went relatively smooth. I did have problems with one screw that had a rusted head.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:52 PM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Similar problem with my '71 Sovereign

My '71 was also re-plumbed with Pex. I have put in a new toilet among other things but the Thetford valve does not shut off completely, and the sinks & tub drain continuously. I don't see any indication that this trailer has a gray tank. It is plumbed with black PVC with a Y with the left branch going to the vertical slide valve at the tank close to the toilet on the left side, and the other branch of the Y seems to be fed by the sinks and tub and has a vertical clean out, aprox. 1 1/2" to the right of the sink. I don't see any sign of a shutoff similar to the one for the black tank.

Has this been re-plumbed, is there a slide valve I am not seeing, or was this trailer built to always drain straight out? I have to replace the valve at the black tank but looks like I have to remove the bumper to access straight in through the holes in the aluminum to get to the bolts. Is this correct? Any other advice or recommendations?

2nd question: When the Pex was run, it was not tied into the fresh water tank and pump. I will have to T off of the cold water supply line under the kitchen sink to hook up to the pump.
1.Is the pump a continuously running pump when turned on or does it have a pressure shutoff on it?
2.If continuously running, does it have to have a return line for pressure release? The old copper plumbing appears to be designed for a loop to re-circulate the water back to the tank. If not, why two shutoff valves at the pump and two lines to the tank? The filler neck has a 1/4" or 3/8" hose I assume is for air, so why 2 large lines?

3. What is the easiest way to tie the pump in, or do I need a different kind of pump with a single hose and a pressure switch?

I had to take it to the Texas Gulf and live in it for about 6 weeks while insurance adjusting in the Houston area before I was through with the renovation. The sewer system gave me the most problems, stopping up because of the water leakage but holding the solids in the tank, and sewer gas fumes in the trailer from a worn out toilet flush valve and other leaks. Now I have a new refrigerator and have fixed almost everything else but this sewer line problem. Any advice would be appreciated. Being a residential remodeling contractor with a specialty in historic home restorations, and also antique and classic cars, I thought the trailer would be a snap. It has not been too difficult but sure has different type of challanges, such as how to get a refrigerator out. I ended up having to use a 4" grinder to tear out the side and bottom to get to the bolts.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:08 PM   #10
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71's did not have grey tanks. The water from the sinks and shower will just run out of the sewer line connector in the rear of the trailer. There is no valve to stop the flow.

RV water pumps are "on demand" and have pressure switches which will turn them off at a preset pressure. I am not sure what your configuration is. My trailer has a large fill line to the tank, a smaller vent line and the water line to the pump.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:10 PM   #11
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My '71 .....It has not been too difficult but sure has different type of challanges, such as how to get a refrigerator out. I ended up having to use a 4" grinder to tear out the side and bottom to get to the bolts.
Side and bottom of what?? the refer or the trailer ? Sure hope not the door jamb to the trailer.

Your '71 never had grey tank as stock install. Prob if one was added as custom add on it would still be there, or at least some evidence of a hanging apparatus for it.
There are lots of answers to the plumbing layouts scattered thru these forums, and I suspect you'll be getting more posts with advice here on this thread soon. Do you have a service manual? I don't think there was such until '72 or maybe it was '73, but I am not positive bout that year. The nearest years manual should really help with most of your systems though. Just might not be dead accurate exact. In fact even the right year's manuals are not always dead accurate.
good luck to ya.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:53 PM   #12
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Sorry, I typed '71 instead of '72. It says '72 by my ID, but I keep reversing my numbers, saying I have a '71 32' when I mean a '72 31' trailer.

Yes I meant the refrigerator. We used a 4" diamond blade grinder to cut out the bottom and sides of the refrig to get to all of the sheet metal screws and anchor bolts. The refrigerator was no good anyway, had missing parts, and was not useful for parts so it was a lots quicker to cut it up to get it out.

On the water pump, mine has two large diameter hoses attached to the pump. One goes to the lower copper water line and the other to the upper line, both of which have shutoffs at the floor where at least one of the copper lines heads down toward the tank, or so it appears. I figure I will just have to unhook the rubber hoses and put them in a bucket, fill up the tank, then see what happens when I turn it on. I thought that perhaps it re-ciruclates the water throughout the trailer ending back up at the pump, probably as a method to bleed air out of the lines and be self priming.

As to the manual, I have not had any luck finding one, and seems like last year someone told me there was not one.

A couple of other things I did was to discard the old gas furnace to make room for a drop in range and removed the old cooktop and oven. I put in a new a/c - heatpump combination unit that I like a lots better than the propane heaters.

This is the first Airstream I have had and forget it is behind me because it tows so nice. I get about 13.5 mpg towing it at 70 whereas my other (non-rv) trailers of comparable size get me 11 to 12. All I have left is to get my water supply and dump valve repairs done, then polish the trailer.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:23 PM   #13
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'71 or '72 there is very little difference that I can recall. Neither had stock grey water tanks.
They became a regular stock feature on all models in with 1974 production run.
It is rumored that a very few '73's had grey tanks from the factory too. Maybe those were tests for the installation training? Whoever knows hasn't told us AFAIK.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:31 AM   #14
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I finally made some changes to my trailer and fixed the dump valve problem. Since the Thetford valve is no longer available, I took the drain system apart from the outside of the valve and cleanded it, then added a short PVC coupler followed by installing a new 2nd valve. Instead of standing it up due to lack of room, I installed it horizontally then installed a new 3" Y. There are no leaks now.
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