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Old 04-21-2018, 05:23 PM   #1
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Holding tank drain valves

Is it necessary to remove the belly pan to replace black and gray water valves?
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:36 PM   #2
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It depends on the trailer. Several people have, and I plan to, cut an access hole around the valves and make a cover to fill the hole when I'm done. If you can see the valves through the rod holes and are careful you can probably cut without hurting anything. But the sensor wires for the tank gauges may be in the same area. Clearly it is safer to pull the pan unless you are sure you won't hurt anything. There is already a small access hole in my pan so I plan to just enlarge it.

Al
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:39 PM   #3
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It depends on the trailer. Several people have, and I plan to, cut an access hole around the valves and make a cover to fill the hole when I'm done. If you can see the valves through the rod holes and are careful you can probably cut without hurting anything. But the sensor wires for the tank gauges may be in the same area. Clearly it is safer to pull the pan unless you are sure you won't hurt anything. There is already a small access hole in my pan so I plan to just enlarge it.

Al


Thanks for the info. Is the pan mounted using screws or rivets?
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:43 PM   #4
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I cut a hole in mine about a 2'x2' square . did it last year used a grinder with a abrasive wheel , makes a clean cut unlike a nibbler . easy job if you don't mind laying on your back . I left the wheels on and put blocking under the tires to get enough room to work .
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Old 04-21-2018, 05:44 PM   #5
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I cut a hole in mine about a 2'x2' square . did it last year used a grinder with a abrasive wheel , makes a clean cut unlike a nibbler . easy job if you don't mind laying on your back . I left the wheels on and put blocking under the tires to get enough room to work .


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Old 04-21-2018, 07:20 PM   #6
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I bought a set of electric shears at Harbor Freight to cut my hole. I made a cover plate from a street sign from the local recycler. Airstream should have put in an access panel in the first place, especially since in the owners manual they tell you cutting a hole and not dropping the pan is how they service the valves.

My valves are in front if the axle. I raised my jack as high as it would go. Then, I lowered the stabs as far as they would go and put blocks under them for a safety net. I had plenty of room to work.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:58 PM   #7
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Airstream accessed the valves on my trailer by cutting a hole in the pan. I cut a hole in the one I did with the Harbor Freight nibbler. It is a thick tough piece of metal and everything falls into your face. I put the cover patch over the hole on with screws. Airstream uses rivets. All in all the job went pretty well. When you drill down there you need to be sure to have a positive stop on the drill bit.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. Is the pan mounted using screws or rivets?
My 2001 Safari had a polyethylene pan. It had steel straps around it screwed into the frame with hex head bolts. My 2002 Classic has a steel pan flange bolted (presumably into the frame) with hex head bolts.

Both already had access panels cut into them. The Classic access opening is not big enough to drop the valves so I'll enlarge it.

Al
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2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:45 AM   #9
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Then fabricate a galvanized access cover.
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