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Old 12-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #1
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Tight gray tank dump valve

From day 1 the gray tank dump valve pull handle on the 25er has been tight. I've tried to sptay a lube into it with little affect. with the final dump for winter, the handle was tighter to pull open then ever. Does anyone have a technique for loosening the pull on this dandle? Or maybe replacing it, which does not appear to be a DIY project? I sure don't want to break it off miles from a service shop. The black tank valve is smooth and easy to open.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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If you can get to the valve, on the Valtera valve there are 4 bolts that hold it together.
Loosen each about 1/4 turn. I assume it would be similiar on other brands.
It seems like the rubber swells a little bit.
Airstream used to use Thetford valves but I don't know what ones are used on newer models
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:07 PM   #3
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I too have a very tight gray water dump valve(it appears to be a smaller one compared to the exposed black drain valve). Could it be from sitting for over a year without being used? Will it loosen up after a few uses?

Is there anything you can pour in the tanks to lube the valves?
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kmaggard View Post
I too have a very tight gray water dump valve(it appears to be a smaller one compared to the exposed black drain valve). Could it be from sitting for over a year without being used? Will it loosen up after a few uses?

Is there anything you can pour in the tanks to lube the valves?

Yes, Camping World sells lube for the valves. Posted here in another place: add vegetable oil to the tank.


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Old 10-23-2014, 07:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antique Pedaler View Post
From day 1 the gray tank dump valve pull handle on the 25er has been tight. I've tried to sptay a lube into it with little affect. with the final dump for winter, the handle was tighter to pull open then ever. Does anyone have a technique for loosening the pull on this dandle? Or maybe replacing it, which does not appear to be a DIY project? I sure don't want to break it off miles from a service shop. The black tank valve is smooth and easy to open.
In case the problem is the cable instead of the valve itself…

Go to a bicycle repair shop, and ask for a cable luber, typically used to lubricate brake and derailleur push-pull cables. The cable luber clamps to one end of the cable and allows an aerosol can to spray inside the cable's outer sheath. When lube drips out the other end, you're done. You'd have to disconnect one end of the dump valve's push-pull cable to use it, and reconnect when you're done.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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I could be mistaken but I believe that the 2010 25' flying cloud has a similar dump valve arrangement to my 30' classic of the same year.

At some point in the life of the trailer it will become necessary to cut an access hole in the belly pan under the valves, and cover it with a removable panel. You can look into the area through the rubber flaps, and get a small flashlight or cyalume stick in there, to see what you're doing and avoid damaging the tanks or plumbing with cutting tools. I used a power shear to do cutting once the initial hole was drilled, because the power shear would not protrude enough above the material being cut to risk damage to the tanks.

The standard 3" Valterra valves cost around $10-$15 each and are easy to replace once access is achieved. Seal kits are usually around $5.

I do not believe that the trailer in question uses a cable actuated valve.

There are various home remedies to make the seals more pliable, vegetable oil and dish soap being the two most frequently mentioned. Some of the tank treatment products are supposed to incorporate a valve lubricant.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice to all. Jammer you are correct, my trailer has the traditional big dump valve and the a smaller one that pushes shut and pulls open with a small rod.

Funny about the veg oil, I thought of that but was too embarrassed to ask about it. Makes sense though, oil heavier than water, valve is at the bottom of tank. I think that will be my first try since I can never use that big jug of oil from Costco anyway.

Thanks, again
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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Oil is lighter than water. But it will still coat the valve as you empty the tank by dumping.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:27 PM   #9
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Whoops! I had it backwards. Thanks
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:10 PM   #10
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Whoops! I had it backwards. Thanks
No big deal, just turn the trailer upside down.

Ken
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:54 AM   #11
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Funny about the veg oil, I thought of that but was too embarrassed to ask about it. Makes sense though, oil heavier than water, valve is at the bottom of tank.
PAG lubricants are heavier than water. Mobil Glygoyle 460 is a food grade gear lubricant with a specfic gravity of 1.048.

MOBIL Food Grade Gear Lubricant,1 Qt,NSF H-1 - Oils - 6HHD2|104077 - Grainger Industrial Supply

It does absorb water eventually so i am not sure how long it would last , but might actually help it get into the sealing area of the valve to clean and lube if there was a small amount of water filling the valve body.

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Old 10-24-2014, 11:26 AM   #12
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Thanks, but I chuckle.... The old saying 'pouring money down the drain'. Almost $45.00 with delivery charge!

Think I will try the veg oil and then turn the trailer up*#de d#*n and shake like Ken suggests.

(Can't bring myself to say it for fear of a jinx)
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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Thetford makes a drain valve lubricant. After emptying your holding tank, just dump some down the drain in one of your sinks. Run a little water down the drain to make sure the lubricant passes through the j-trap below your sink. Then, sit back and relax. The lubricant will sink to the bottom of your holding tank and rest against the inside of the valve making it easier to open the next time you dump your tanks. A bottle of this stuff costs about $8 at Camping World. But, if you do decide to turn your trailer upside down as Ken suggested, please post photos.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:37 PM   #14
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Thanks Nomad, I ordered this one from Amazon;

Camco 40246 TST Drain Valve Lube with Coco Oil - 16 oz

$7.96 with free prime shipping. You were right on the money!
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