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Old 10-21-2002, 08:51 PM   #1
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Leak in the rear

Today I noticed that my AS was dripping fresh water from the seam at the rear compartment. Further investigation - there was water underneath the tiles I had just put down and under the shower. What is the easiest way to get to the pipes, tubing and fittings in a rear bath/shower. I noticed there is a bunch of supporting foam (I have a 2 inch by 12 inch cutout on the plywood that supports the tub section) - and that a few rivets are attaching pieces together. Has anyone encountered my situation and possibly give me some from experience advice?
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Old 10-22-2002, 02:15 PM   #2
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I would like an answer to a similar question. I have a leak under the back pan area at the seam - only when the bathroom faucet is running. I am a little scared to remove the rivets (hacksaw?) and pull the pan area away but am incouraged after reading a thread in the exterior repair section of this forum. I don't even know where to buy ParBond (chaulking?) or Vulkem which was recommended to reseal the pan of the coach, which I guess would have to be done if I un-riveted the area and pulled the pan off.
I love our old airstream and would like to be able to use it during the winter (with water & sewer hook-up) for overnight or longer guests. Any advice?

How much insulation is in the older models? Could I add foam insulation to the pan to protect the underside from the cold weather?

I am also in need of removing the old furnace (pilot light works but no blower) but it looks like I have to remove the kitchen counter to do that. Has anyone else had to do such a repair?

Any help would be welcomed.

Overlander71
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Old 10-22-2002, 02:38 PM   #3
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NOt sure if this applies to you - but I know that where my Bathroom Faucet is - I also have a access grill on the backside exterior that I "believe" (which in short means I have no earthly clue if its true) can be used to get access to that portion of the plumbing. May require your effort to be a two person job (one person at the faucet and the other at the backside working on the plumbing).

I noticed on my AS that I have an INCREDIBLE amount of foam that is at that seam - I am sure that it is rotted and I will most likely have to simply remove the entire belly pan and do a complete overhaul....

What exactly is that FOAM? IS it simply used for buttoning up the bellypan and providing the ability for compensating the shrinkage / expansion of metal during cold and hot days?

I am going to post some pictures - maybe that will help someone visualise what I have to do - I still have another month or so that I am living out of my AS in Seattle - and I really really want to get my shower fixed since - currently the leak is SO BAD that I had to cut off water and use other facilities - which is not akin to my want it now travel lifestyle....

Any hoot....
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Old 10-23-2002, 01:34 PM   #4
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Jody - Thanks for the reply. I too have an access door in the rear but it holds the shut offs (2) and the battery and the pipes to the sink but it is not a total access to that portion of the sink drain just the supply lines. I haven't determined access from the inside although I think the papel under the sink should also be an access panel. It is against my nature to have to cut into something to fix something else! The AS seems to be really buttoned up though. Earlier this year I had a plumber find a leak for me. I came out into the yard to find that he had removed the curbside taillight and cut through the back of that area to get to the area of the pipe with the leak in it. He couldn't change it out so it has a "blanket" on it! I know those have a "life" so in a few years I'll have to replace the blanket. Sigh. I don't have any foam at the seams but it sounds like a good idea. I am thinking about removing the pan and sliding in some solid foam insulation, if there is room. It couldn't hurt, right?

Is the weather in Seattle similar to Maine's this time of year? My son is living in our AS now (without the furnace) and I worry about the pipes in the back not getting enough heat - I understand it is provided through a T in the heat duct to the bathroom. I gave him an electric space heater to place in front of the duct (after removeing the grate) in the hope that some heat would get to that area of the pipes. He was so worried about it he couldn't sleep - had visions of the heater causing a fire, etc.. He will have to abandon it soon I think. He really likes staying in it and I enjoy going our everyday to putter around in it.

What is it about them that is fun?

Hope the next month works out for you. I will also try to post some photos. The manual is lacking in detail about maintaining the stuff that is hard to get at. Maybe some of us can document through photos different access options.

We also have a Jeep (older) but it is a 6 cylinder and it is a lot to ask of it to haul the AS around. What is your Jeep exactly? We actually get people yelling at us ("That's a big load for that little Jeep, isn't it?" and so on).

Thanks for your response

Overlander71
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Old 10-23-2002, 02:11 PM   #5
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I had never thought of removing the taillight to get access. That might be a good idea at least at first (especially since I have to pull out a dent there).

You stated that from the rear access - it doesn't give you access into the sink area - but it does have the pipes running through the shower located there? I temp relieved myself of the toilet leak by putting in a cut-off valve such that I could still have water elsewhere... I think that would be a good idea for the shower as well...

Come to think of it - the shut off valves - those are for main supply?

I do not have ready access to the rear Panel hence my questions. I literally have to unload and remove the extenstion box to get to it - and well when you are staying at RV Parks out here - they kinda frown on having all that mess around...

Seattle vs Maine. Both have relatively the same climate during Summer and Fall, but it does not get as cold here as what it does in Maine during Spring / Winter. Here the Puget Sound area keeps the temps somewhat moderate - so that winters get a tad chilly at times - but usually not freezing for long durations. Ironically you can go 50 miles outside of Seattle and it could be a winter wonderland.....

As for the pipes and freezing - I "HEAR" that there are supposed to be ducts and this that and the other with the furnace. And I would imagine that if its true it probably does work as advertised. I usually only use my rear electric heater - as it seems to keep things comfy and without the noise I have from the fan using the furnace.

And yes, the Jeep. I do not tow with it. My AS weighs in at 9000 Lbs fully loaded and driving coast to coast - it simply would not of hacked it. So I have a f350 Diesel P/U that I use - and actually kinda like now. Can't beat the 24 mpg gas milage. The Grand Cherokee I have - I use as my daily driver / weekend off-road trips. The GC is lifted 6+ inches and almost nothing now about it is "stock". Its definately a looker when I drive it - but for towing the AS - I wouldn't risk my life doing it. I tried it - and on flat roads it was ok - but soon as I hit a 1 degree incline - I was lucky to get 20 mph out of it.... I have a pic of it in one of my posts somewhere here...


That "blanket" he put on to fix your leak... is that something actually found in Home Improvement stores? I have never heard of those things ....
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:36 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Yes, the blankets can be found in home improvement or hardware stores in the plumbing section. I use several of them in the AS - the one the plumber put in and one that I replaced that had worn out - that was easier to find as it was near the furnace run where the back bed would be... so no cutting or contortions to get at that one. I put a little liquid detergent on the inside of the "blanket" before slipping it over the ends of the pipe (once I've cut the section with the leak out). This works great and is used for emergency repairs around the house by DIY's. I am looking at things in new ways as I work in the AS.

My As has three shut offs under the sink area and two in the tail end. They were confusing at first because there are so many of them all together - especially the grouping of three. I mean hot, cold and what? I think it is just to get all of the water out at several points in the lines.

Our suplimental gas heater is mounted in the front, right by the door so doesn't offer much help for the back end.

I am wondering about the advisability of stuffing fiberglass insulation into the back access area. Any danger of fire? I have a battery and charger in there becaus the converter doesn't work.

Funny about neighbors being intolerant about the necessary things you carry with the AS. I installed a dish in the backyard to try it out in the AS - just to see if I could build a portable contraption (no funds for the roof mounted automatic job) and the code enforcement officer sent me a nasty letter about perhaps being in non-compliance with local codes. It seems that he had a half dozen complaints about "what was going on over there" from neighbors. No one asked me to my face. Oh well.

I thought the extra storage in the back as pictured with your AS would be great but now that you mention it, everything I would need would always be on the bottom! Organizing isn't my strongest attribute and I always overpack. Guess I'll have to work on that too.

We're thinking of rebuilding a classic pickup to haul the AS. But that will be next year - I need to fix more stuff in the AS before it goes very far. I do enjoy it though.

What's the longest trip you've taken with your AS? It really hauls smoothly doesn't it?

Thanks for the tips.

Overlander71
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Old 10-25-2002, 12:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Our suplimental gas heater is mounted in the front, right by the door so doesn't offer much help for the back end.
Actually - the gas heater up front does have ductwork that extends to the rear - look by the curbside of the AS about a foor to the rear of the bunk bed (assuming yours has one there) - there should be a vent ... its suppose to also force air into baffle areas where the pipes run to prevent freezing....

Quote:
I am wondering about the advisability of stuffing fiberglass insulation into the back access area. Any danger of fire? I have a battery and charger in there becaus the converter doesn't work.
Put some metal flashing around where your charger and battery are - then add the insulation you need. I also believe that there is special insulation that can be bought from home centers - such as that you put around those recessed lights in attics - designed specifically for that kind of application - I personally do not see a issue with it - the main concern is that you give both the battery and charger airflow...for cooling and ventilation...

For your sat - try this link for some helpful how to's.

http://bart.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/sat.htm

Keep in mind that if you are using regular coax from the dish back to the RV - you will be chasing a ghost becuase you will never get a strong signal if any at all - you need to make sure you are using the RG-6 cable - available at radio shack...

The extra storage compartment on my Unit - was there when I purchased it. I believe I am the third owner of the unit. The original owners had fixed the sag in the rear (yes according to some sources it wasn't a issu with a 79 - but pparently it was on mine) - and when they had it fixed they had a extension of the frame added on so that they could mount and enclose a generator. so the storage area is actually split into two sections. Actually I found it quite handy as its easy acces for startes and secondly I can keep all the hoses, electrical adapter - and other items I would much rather not have in the AS safe and sound. As a matter of fact I also have a 10 gallon portable water bottle that I put in there - in the event I am dry docking and need potable water for say shower or something... so its been somewhat adventageous.

The downside is - the frame is beefy and hangs down lower than the rest of the AS. Which makes getting up my driveway a painful experience - since the last five feet end up dragging as I go up my hill. The other disadvantage is that you can not see the end extension of the trailer... so backing into places takes a little more effort in remembering that everything is actually WAY closer than what it appears....

The longest trip.... well that would be the maiden voyage. And that trip I went from Philly to Seattle (2500+ miles). Luckily I did my homework - got the right truck for the job - and the right hitch set-up - and getting it out here (I am still in Seattle) was actually a pleasant experience. However, those little things have popped up here and there - and with my work schedule - it is frustrating to deal with as I have not the time - nor do I want to send the unit to a repair shop and be forced back into hotels for a few weeks (after all that was why I bought it in the first place - to avoid just that).... but no regrets really - its comforting to be in my unit - after a long day - knowing that the convienances are there and I brought with me the things I enjoy....So the last 5 months of living in my AS have gone quite smoothly and even completed some remodeling to make it "more homey" - or as I would like to say "the portable bachelors pad". lol



I am going to look into getting some of those blankets you recommend... and I think also do the insulation deal in the front as well since a good portion of the heat loss I have somes from the to battery compartments by the tongue...

Thanks for the post !
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:56 AM   #8
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Hi,
Thanks so much for taking the time to offer me so many good suggestions about maintaining an AS. Today, I am putting antifreeze in the supply lines and have been told to put it in the water tank and pump it through the system that way. They swear I can flush the tank enough so that it is ok to put drinking water in it afterward. I am a little doubtful but I haven't used it for drinking water yet - buy water most of the time - so maybe not an issue. In fact, it makes me wonder exactly how to cleanse it before using it at all - I have no idea if it is clean or not from the previous owner.

I am finding that the AS is great if nothing needs repair but needing repair seems to require an major disassembly of something - in the case of the furnace I have been told I need to remove the kitchen sink area cabinets. Seems extreme to me!

Thanks also for the great web site - the articles are terrific and I really appreciate the extensive photos and diagrams. Very helpful.

Thanks again.
Overlander71
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:05 PM   #9
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Does anyone know how to replace a leaking pipe under the tub without taking the bath tub out?
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:53 PM   #10
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Hi,

You don't need to put antifreeze in the supply lines or holding tank - at least according to my manual for the 71 Overlander. If you need the procedure for winterizing - at least according to Airstream - let me know and I'll sent it to you.

Gary
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:40 AM   #11
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I had a leak in my 75 LY. it was where the pipe leaves the shower valve and goes to the connection to the shower handheld hose. I had to take the panal off that is on top of the panal that the valve is in.
When I go it off I saw all the pipes there. mine is a rear bath and I could get to all the pipes except the drain from there or from the rear cargo door. Not sure if yours has the same configuration???

to remove this panal I had to remove the metal strips top and bottom of this panal. drilling out the rivets after removing the white nosing from the metal strip. then I drilled out the rivets that were left holding that panal to the wall and the lower panal.
It is not hard to do and I actually removed the panal that had the shower valve also. It took me less then 2 hours to remove both panals fix the leak and reinstall.
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