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Old 06-15-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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mystery grill on bathroom wall

Does anyone have any idea what purpose this grill serves? It's obviously blocked, since you can see plywood behind it, and we are about to re-cover this area in new carpet and I would like to cover it up.

Previously, this area of the lower wall (beside the toilet) had the original orange shag on the wall here, but this area was left uncovered, and I can't imagine why.

Any thoughts?



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Old 06-15-2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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If you have a rear bath there is supposed to be a hole cut into it to allow warm air to circulate into the trunk area...looks like they might have forgotten the hole

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Old 06-15-2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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We have a grill like that in our bathroom too, which leads to the rear hatch area (with the dump valves and taps for draining the water tank). I figured it was to let warm air from the bathroom keep the pipes in the rear area from freezing, in colder weather.
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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We have one too on our '72 Sovereign. We just thought it was for access to plumbing if need be. Does it really need to be left open? It sure lets in a lot of hot (summer) / cold (winter)air. Since we are putting in the new floor we are not putting carpeting back in and will be using a bead board type panel instead. I'd rather not have to cut a hole in my panel. Maybe if its necessary a smaller hole would AS. Since we live in SoCal we don't have a lot of humidity, only right after showering maybe. What is the consensus on this?

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Old 06-15-2009, 04:15 PM   #5
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how about putting some u-channel around the grill and slide in a piece of carpet that can be removed if needed?
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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Grill

I have a 76 sovereign. The grill and the hole it covers is an air return for the hot air that the heater blows into the back compartment and the plumbing back there and the holding tanks in the back part of the trailer. Leave it open if you don't want your plumbing to freeze! Bill
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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Some people have their batteries back there, and if they don't have the plastic cover and vent line to the exterior you could get a nasty suprise if your batteries ever overheat and vent themselves into the living area. I would cover it. The heater should have a duct under the floor that blows hot air into the holding tank area, but it doesn't return above the floor in any I have seen. Also, it seems that Airstream was not too concerned about these vents, as I did not have one in my '64 Safari, but I did see one in a '64 Globetrotter. Go figure?
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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Well, in our model, the battery has it's own little compartment, accessible only from the outside through a locked hatch, and nowhere near this hole.

I'm not sure I even want to call it a hole, since it's really only a grill over a cutout that has been blocked with plywood ever since the TT was new, by the look of it.

The grill itself is not meant to be removed to have access from the interior to something in the "trunk", since it is permanently fastened to the wood with rivets.

Update: I just went out, opened the "trunk" and had a look at the structure from the outside. The piece of plywood that covers the "hole" is just sitting there loose, and can easily be pulled out. Directly behind the plywood are water drain valves that are easily accessible from the trunk.

Therefore, my feeling is that the only possible use for the opening is for use as a vent. However, the holes in the grill are of such a size that any insect that had a mind to could easily pass through it.

That, plus I have no need to heat (or cool) the trunk compartment, since this is only a three-season TT for us, we drain all the water and waste pipes come fall. It gets down to -40 here, folks, so no AS is going to be anything near comfortable in that kind of weather!

So, it will be covered over by the new carpeting about to be glued to the wall to replace the old orange shag, unless someone comes up with another possible use for that opening..?

My bet is that the piece of plywood that blocks the vent is a Canadian modification to the Sovereign, and deserves to be continued and supported.

Thanks for your suggestions and thoughts!
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:55 PM   #9
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Our Sovereign has the same part in the same place, though it is open. We also carpeted over ours, since we have no furnace to pump air into the holding tank area anyway.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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ironic...I was just re-doing the bathroom floor and (wooden) walls in my '74 Overlander and found the same thing. I considered posting here about it, but in the end I couldn't find a good reason for it to be there and just decided not to include it in my re-model job. I only thought of bad, as previously mentioned here: bug entry, cold air inlet in the cool months (waste of my propane $) and allowing cold to get out and heat in in the summer. So, since I was completely replacing the 1/4" plywood behind that "vent" which comprises that wall, I didn't cut a new hole there. I'm with Aage. When it's freezing outside, the camping season is over, the plumbing is drained. No need to give a little warm air to tanks and pipes not in use.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:17 PM   #11
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No furnace, Terry? Oh, well, you folks in California...
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:31 PM   #12
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Trust me

Trust me....this opening has a purpose. I have been all under that back area rebuilding my holding tank pan and replacing the black water tank dump valve. One caution.....this is for a REAR BATH model. There are two little 2'' tubes that come from the heating ducts and force hot air into the front of the holding tank pan. The ONLY exit is out the back, across the water pipes and sewer exit valves and back through the hole and grill you mentioned. No hole....no circulation! It's that simple. Cover it up at your own peril! Bill
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebolewis View Post
Trust me....this opening has a purpose. I have been all under that back area rebuilding my holding tank pan and replacing the black water tank dump valve. One caution.....this is for a REAR BATH model. There are two little 2'' tubes that come from the heating ducts and force hot air into the front of the holding tank pan. The ONLY exit is out the back, across the water pipes and sewer exit valves and back through the hole and grill you mentioned. No hole....no circulation! It's that simple. Cover it up at your own peril! Bill

No tubes of any kind run through our "hole". Would some models be plumbed differently? We live in Calif. and aren't exposed to cold weather. Would this make a difference? We have a rear bath.

Mary
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryw164 View Post
No tubes of any kind run through our "hole". Would some models be plumbed differently? We live in Calif. and aren't exposed to cold weather. Would this make a difference? We have a rear bath.

Mary
No the air from the furnace enters the area where the holding tanks are under/near the tub area, then it travels into the rear compartment and the hole behind the grate acts as an air return. It is to keep the pipes and valves in the rear storage compartment from freezing up. I live in a part of the country where it is possible to use an Airstream year round, but we do get the occasional hard freeze, by leaving the furnace on I don't have to completely winterize if I choose not too. A few years ago we spent several days and nights in the Airstream when an ice storm knocked out power to the house, we could stay warmer with a lot less effort in the AS than we could in the house, we ran the generator to keep the house furnace on, but we had to share with the other house so it would get quite cold before it was our turn again. We stayed nice and toasty warm in the AS, plus were able to cook hot meals, not an option in the house, it has an electric stove.


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