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Old 01-19-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
1978 29' Ambassador
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
Question Tank pan removal on '78

I have a '78 with rear bath. I have been working on it and
there is a rank smell coming out of one of the round flexible ducts that goes under the floor. I've tried blowing it out, draining and rinsing the tanks etc. There were rodent droppings in the trailer when i bought it and am afraid his little corpse may still be with me. Or maybe there was/is a black water tank issue. I want to get up underneath to see what's up in there. The rear tank pan looks like it will just come off by removing a bunch of bolts. I would like to take it off and see what everything looks like in there. we're planning to full-time for the next year and write a book. It would e a great piece of mind to know everything about the trailer. has anyone done what I'm talking about, and if so how much work am i in for not only taking it off, but putting it back on. Any advice would be very appreciated.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
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1976 31' Sovereign
Missouri City , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,231
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I would guess that the flexible duct is a heater (furnace) duct that run around the black or grey tanks. These are used for heating the tanks so that they do not freeze. Getting to these as they run under the plywood floor and belly is not all that easy to do. Since they just run around the tanks cleaning and draining the tanks, while a good idea will not solve the smell from the flexible duct. Maybe someone has a service manual for a 1978 model. This may help sort through what you can do. Good luck


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Old 02-08-2009, 08:04 PM   #3
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1978 31' Sovereign
Bradenton , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
I have a 78 31' Sovereign with a rear bath that I just went through this. The pan is actually the support for the tanks, not just an access panel. You should search around for a service manual, (as opposed to the owner's manual) for your model to get detailed instructions. It's a job, especially without the right environment. With that being said, I did it myself in the side yard of a friend where I keep the trailer. I had leaks at the dump valve for both of the tanks, and ultimately cut the rear plumbing out to aid in the removal of all the crap. I knew that I was going to have to replace the valves anyway.

Once I removed the pan the tanks dropped down toward the front of the trailer, only supported by the pipes connected at the back. I had already removed the toilet and the toilet flange that screws down into the black tank. There is nothing more than the rear pipes on the grey tank. In the end, I used the scissor jack out of my truck to hold the front of the tank level until I could get the rear pipes to disconnect from the tank. Then I simply pushed the jack over and let the light tank fall to the ground.

More than you asked for, but if your 29 is like my 31, understand that the pan is also the support, and not just an access.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:55 PM   #4
j Z
1 Rivet Member
1979 23' Safari
Great Falls , Montana
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 14
I have a 79 Land Yacht Safari with a rear bath. I have several problems and could benefit from your experience.

First, removing the belly pan, how do I slide it out around the gray tank valve shaft? Is there a trick to removing the valve handle shaft from the valve so I can slide out the pan? The pan hangs up on it.

Second, the reason that I am into this in the first place, when my gray water tank is full, it only dumps approximately 20%. Most of the waste water remains in the gray tank. I can see it from the shower drain. Anyone ever have a similar problem?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 07-17-2009, 08:13 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,169
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Arrow Hope this helps, but be aware, data is for 1977 model

I have a 1977 Service Manual, and here are the pages from the parts of interest. There are no actual pictures showing how the heating pipes deploy over the tanks, but you can see clearly where they come through the floor. #4 points to the tank heating pipes.

Then, from the same manual, here is the diagram of the two tanks, plus the removal instructions.

I am very jealous: the Auxilliary Waste Tank (gray water tank) looks to be about twice the size of the one in my '74.

Good luck with your work.

If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:35 PM   #6
j Z
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1979 23' Safari
Great Falls , Montana
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 14
Thanks, looks like I should have removed the hose carrier liner as stated in step 2. I'll give it a try tomorrow and hopefully won't enf up covered in sewage.


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belly pan, smell, tank pan, tank removal, tanks

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