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Old 10-21-2013, 07:28 AM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Pointe aux Roches , Ontario
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Thumbs down waste water tanks falling through belly pan

I have had this great 31' 1977 AS International Sovereign with rear bath and twin center beds for about 10 yrs. So many memories were created with our 4kids they still talk about it today as young adults. Our last camping outing was at the end of Sept and there I discovered the waste tanks when full are pushing through belly pan . I'm very concerned as we are planning a trip down to Florida in February. After fall harvest is done I will be pulling the old Airstream in the workshop instead of farm equipment. Are we doomed for a winter camping vacation or is this easy fix?
Are we better to trade in for another a few years younger or put money and time into this great old camper? I was dreaming of renovating the inside and polishing the outside but don't intend to pull the walls off and floor apart, just build new cupboards and furniture and floor. I'm afraid with what is happening that this camper may be much more work than wanted because we don't want to do without for very long especially in summer.
Sorry for rambling on,
waiting for experts to give me the solution. Thanks
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:04 AM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
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The waste tanks sit in a galvanized box that is probably rusting through and the weight is causing them to drop. If that is the case, they are also putting strain on the plastic plumbing which could cause that to crack. Its probably not a really hard repair. You will need to remove any part of the belly pan over where the tanks are and then drop the box that holds them up. Before you do that, make sure you disconnect any of the inlets and the vents so you can reconnect them when you put them back in.

As to whether to trade it or keep it, that is you call. You have plenty of good memories with it, that has to count for something. But unless you buy something fairly new you are probably going to have maintenance issues with another airstream along the way. I would also take a good hard look at your current rig with an eye toward looking for any rot in the floor at the back by the tanks and the bumper area. Any trailer will need maintenance, especially if it sits outside all year, if this one is in good shape overall, it may be better to stay with what you know rather than go with an unknown. HTH
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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The tanks sit in galvanized boxes supported by a steel angle frame(s). If you pull the rear bumper and the box and cover you will find where the frames are bolted to the rear frame, fold the belly pan back towards the front and you will probably find out the boxes are at least partially rotted if not the frames supporting it. Mine had not fallen out, but were close to it. Mine is not fixed yet, waiting on a new shop But the total for materials was under $250 and if I paid to have stuff fabricated it would be another $250 or so. The frame is hinged at the cross member towards the front of the tanks. Removal is fairly straight forward but does require toilet removal and releasing the shower and sink drain. Does your trailer have rear end separation? Step on the rear bumper and see if you see movement between the shell and the bumper, if so you have it. It can be repaired. IMHO repairing is usually better than buying another headache.

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Old 10-21-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Aaron were did you price out those parts for $250?
Thank everyone for the great pointers. I'll check for that rear separation tomorrow
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:29 AM   #5
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Aaron were did you price out those parts for $250?
Thank everyone for the great pointers. I'll check for that rear separation tomorrow
One sheet of 20ga galvanized flat stock, and about 32' of 1"x 2" steel angle, and some bolts. I got it from work and paid whatever the company paid for it. We buy most of our stock from Dillion Supply which has a local branch. The $250 number was off the top of my head, it may actually be less than that.

Mine required more angle to repair the frames, as well as plywood replacement, reworking the rear flashing to keep it from happening again. My black tank had a small crack in the top, that was welded back up using milk jugs and a hot air welder.

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Old 10-22-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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Mount Vernon , Washington
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you don't have to remove the tanks, they will stay in place if empty. you will have to fix by replacing the frames that are holding up the galvanized pans.
see photos here of what I did.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...tml#post622064
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #7
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you don't have to remove the tanks, they will stay in place if empty. you will have to fix by replacing the frames that are holding up the galvanized pans.
see photos here of what I did.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...tml#post622064
My pans were rotted out, as well as the frames.

Aaron
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
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I just replaced my pan. Cost me 125 to be fabbed up by a duct shop. It was not too hard to do, just tought to get to the screws or bolts that held it in.
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