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Old 02-25-2004, 11:55 PM   #1
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How do you get the darn thing out?

I saw some beautiful photos on this site of refinished shower and baths. Wanted to remove the shower surround to take and get a quote (not to mention clean), but I am stuck. We believe our AS is a 1980 Caravel. There is no access panel on the exterior...how in the world are you supposed to fix a plumbing problem? Photo is attached...any ideas?

Thanks to all.
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Old 02-26-2004, 07:28 AM   #2
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Re: How do you get the darn thing out?

Quote:
Originally posted by CampSayler
... Wanted to remove the shower surround to take and get a quote (not to mention clean), but I am stuck. We believe our AS is a 1980 Caravel. There is no access panel on the exterior...how in the world are you supposed to fix a plumbing problem?
If your Airstream is like my Overlander, it will be a lot of work. My bathroom is at the very back. When built, the bathroom was installed first, then everything else was installed, and screwed to whatever was already installed.

To remove everything from the bathroom for a floor repair, I ended up having to remove everything else except the front bed, and furnace just to get access to the screws that held the bathroom partitions to the fixtures.

I have read that, at the factory, everything in an Airstream is brought in through the front door. Therefore, it should be able to go out the front door. Working by myself, I was unable to get the tub/shower-surround assembly out the door. Maybe with two people it's possible. I ended up leaving it in the Overlander, and moving it out of the way.

I do recall I was able to access the plumbing by removing various things before the Airstream was gutted.

Keep in mind I have a different model, and there is 13 year production gap. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Tom
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Old 02-26-2004, 08:27 AM   #3
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Unless you are handy (very) I would think long and hard before I began to remove it.
I think the finest example of a bath (ABS plastic) redo here is in one of Kevin Allen's trailers. I believe it was done in the trailer without removing the whole shebang. I do know he hired it out to a professional. As for accessing the faucets and such, still a difficult get to... but I doubt it requires removing much if any of the ABS itself. Even if no access panel... Airstream should have designed in a service option. But ain't nothing certain in the RV world sad to say. Do you have a service manual?

Good luck.

Oh if you post the serial number someone can tell you exactly what model you have.
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:12 AM   #4
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Shower removal

I just removed and replaced the shower in my 1973 Argosy with the rear bath on the left as you inter the bathroom. The fauset can only be removed by pulling the shower!! You start by pulling the toilet then remove the rivets in the shower top and bottom, then disconnect the water lines, which are under the sink cabinet. the shower surround will then piviot out starting at the back wall. I did it alone, but a helper would have been nice when you pull it out! When you put it back use a lot of silicone between the surround and the wall and under the trim to prevent leaks, I used the clear silicone for windows. If you need more help, e-mail me at gunnyusmc@ev1.net or call me at 1-512-497-5120 anytime.

Good luck

Don
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Old 02-26-2004, 09:31 AM   #5
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Another option

Camp,

That debossed square about 12" below the faucet is the place where you cut out for an access hand-hole.

You will need to find a piece of ABS plastic or fiberglas slightly larger than the hole (about 6" x 6") to use for a patch.

When you have finished your repair, glue a temporary handle to the repair patch, insert it into the hole, caulk all around the patch and pull it into the hand hole from the back. After the caulk has set you can remove the temporary handle.

Depending on your skill level and how much care you use in preparation, the patch will be either be invisible, or will look awful.
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:23 AM   #6
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By golly I think Mark is on to it there.
And while your up there working on the inside, be sure to put your contact lenses on your finger tips, don't drop your tool, and be darn sure that you don't strip or booger-up any thing back there that might just be corroded on like it was welded.
There is little doubt that the old troll, Judge Murphy has spent time back there.

Thanks again Airstream Inc.
"The quality goes in before the name goes on" ....and it stays at least til the warranty runs out"

You might enlist the help of a blind plumber/pipefitter or a good surgeon, those guys can knit with their eyes closed.

I'm afraid this attempt at levity won't make your task any easier, but again Good Luck. and keep us posted please!
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:04 AM   #7
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One more thing

Oh yeah. Jaco has a good point.

Just like working on an intake manifold, stuff some rags around the bottom of the space between the wall and the liner to catch all the things that will slip and fall. Like your channelocks, nuts, false teeth, glasses, hairpiece (all depending on your age and genetic history).

I dropped a 1/4" washer down the intake manifold of my Mercruiser and it cost $1500 to put it right.

It helps if you have small hands.
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:17 AM   #8
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The design of the shower from a repair angle is hard to believe. Makes you wonder what the engineers were thinking / drinking when they drew up the plans. They probably passed the bottle around and mentioned "Remember guys don't ever buy one of these units, they will be a bitch to fix."
Looking at my current model I see only little improvement engineered into the repair angle. I guess Airstreams are never suppose to wear out or break.
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Old 02-26-2004, 12:19 PM   #9
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Mark does have a good, workable option on the access hole. After your patch, you could some of that rubbery non-skid liner stuff with the mesh holes in it to cover that whole horizontal area. It comes in a light color almost the same color as the surround. No one would ever know it was there.

FF
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