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Old 02-06-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
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Water Tank belly pan removal

After many years of owning Airstream Motorhomes, I got my first Trailer. Its a 1993 34' Limited and i need to get the belly pan off to get to the fresh water tank. What is the safest way to jack the trailer up high enough to drop that pan cover. I do have 4 Jack stands and all the equipment, just not sure how to start. Any suggestion and guidance is appreciated.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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After many years of owning Airstream Motorhomes, I got my first Trailer. Its a 1993 34' Limited and i need to get the belly pan off to get to the fresh water tank. What is the safest way to jack the trailer up high enough to drop that pan cover. I do have 4 Jack stands and all the equipment, just not sure how to start. Any suggestion and guidance is appreciated.
Place the jacks on the "axle mounting plates" ONLY.

Then jack the trailer up as high as you wish.

Or, an easier and safer way is make a ramp for the tires out of some 2 X 6's.

Then wind won't be a factor, and you will have plenty of room.

Andy
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:07 AM   #3
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Whats spooks me is the thickness of the Trailer frame and trusting it to support raising and lowering so much weight. The manual says to look for a label that points to plate rivetted to the main frame where the jack head must be placed. I have not found such a label or plate .
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
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Follow Andy's advice. I would recommend building ramps out of 2 x 6's rather than use jacks. Did my water tank on my Excella with jacks and was rather crowded under there. Good luck
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
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Peter,
I would say you need at least six jack stands. That is a very long and heavy trailer to put all that weight on a few square inches of the axle mount plates/frame. The "JACK" label is usually riveted on the belly pan where the main frame rail and an outrigger join about 12"-24" behind the rear axle. Be careful and good luck.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:29 AM   #6
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I would use the jack stands to catch the holding tank pan as well...it is pretty heavy and maneuvering it and lowering it can be a task for one person without trying to damage it
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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Whats spooks me is the thickness of the Trailer frame and trusting it to support raising and lowering so much weight. The manual says to look for a label that points to plate rivetted to the main frame where the jack head must be placed. I have not found such a label or plate .
Peter.

The axle mounting plates "always" supports the entire trailer weight, since that's where the tires are.

The stickers your looking for are for "stabilizing jacks ONLY". They are not to be used for lifting.

We raise 34 foot trailers from the axle mounting plates all the time. Never any hint of any type damage.

But, using 2 x 6's as ramps, totally eliminates any lifting of any sorts.

Or, you can always dig a ditch as use it as a pit, and pull the trailer over the pit.

Andy
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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Peter.
....
Or, you can always dig a ditch as use it as a pit, and pull the trailer over the pit.

Andy
Thanks everyone!!
Ok Andy, I'll be right on it.
In the meantime, I followed everyone's advice and pulled her up on some boards. Before dropping the pan, I removed a 6"x6" inspection Plate and found a leaking drain plug. And amazingly enough, it was the plug itself that has hairlines cracks and not the thread or the drain. Now I need to find a 1 3/4 plug that matches this one.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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I had the same problem with that plug. I made the mistake of removing it. It was a pain to get it to seal again. Those marks are mold marks. Wrap it with several layers of Teflon tape, the thick stuff if you can find it. Make real sure it does not cross thread. Liquid teflon won't work. I had to put mine in tighter than it was originally to get it to seal. The problem is the polyethylene tank stretches over time and the plug loosens up. You could also put a hose clamp around the flange to help reduce the stretch.

Perry
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:32 AM   #10
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I had the same problem with that plug. I made the mistake of removing it. It was a pain to get it to seal again. Those marks are mold marks. Wrap it with several layers of Teflon tape, the thick stuff if you can find it. Make real sure it does not cross thread. Liquid teflon won't work. I had to put mine in tighter than it was originally to get it to seal. The problem is the polyethylene tank stretches over time and the plug loosens up. You could also put a hose clamp around the flange to help reduce the stretch.

Perry
Yes, Perry, one would think its the thread.
Tried several layers of teflon tape, still leaked. The cracks I am talking about are not the mold marks you see. I put water in the hex opening and placed the plug on some paper and it leaked. The more I pushed down on it the more it leaked. Some light behind it revealed hairline cracks, with the main culprit starting in the corner of the recessed hex opening as seen from the back.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:45 AM   #11
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It should be a standard PVC pipe plug but finding a zero length one is the hard part. Try mcmaster.com.

Perry
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:22 AM   #12
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It should be a standard PVC pipe plug but finding a zero length one is the hard part. Try mcmaster.com.

Perry

Thanks for the link. They have all sizes except 1 3/4" , figures..
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
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Ahh Peter...so it begins. Its all good. My trailer is a lot smaller, but I also use the ramp method when working under it and pulling off a wheel or two. Works well. Best of luck with the big boy.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #14
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Also, watch the wires on the tank monitor system. I found that they get pinched putting tank bank in with cover. I would suggest cut long so they can be spliced from the top side. Not a tough job just take a little patience.
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