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Old 01-08-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Check your Belly

FYI Please add to your inspection list to check to tighten the bolts holding the Belly Pan and tanks to the frame. It's a 1/2 socket and the hardest part is crawling under trailer.

On my 2014 the fresh water tank fell out the bottom of the trailer destroying the belly pan and freshwater tank. It took an hour to get it out from under the trailer so we could get home. Turns out certain trailers have a hard rubber belly pan instead of a metal pan. What we think happened is over time the rubber shrank with age and the bolts were able to vibrate loose. After 62 days at the shop I got it back with a metal belly pan and a new fresh water tank.

The trailer was 3 1/2 years old, bought used from an individual and repaired by an independent shop.

Airstream is aware of the situation but their position is the repair is out of warranty and I understand but was hoping maybe they would show some good will on this but they didn't.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:38 PM   #2
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Thought thebelly pan was held on by rivets?
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:08 PM   #3
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The Belly pan for fresh, black and grey water is held on by bolts on mine. The belly pans are what supports the tanks to the frame, what you see is not the bottom of the tanks.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:19 PM   #4
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It is actually a tank pan which is usually made of heavy gauge galvanized sheet metal and bolted around the perimeter with bolts. I could see plastic being a problem for several reasons.

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Old 01-08-2018, 04:22 PM   #5
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Repair shop and Airstream called it a belly pan which I thought was strange because I had called it a tank pan. No matter what you call it keep it tight.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:46 PM   #6
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The tank enclosure is abs plastic on my Safari, held in place by bolts around the perimeter and two galvanized strips beneath that.

On the other trailers I've owned, all Excellas, the tank enclosure has been galvanized sheet metal bolted around the perimeter.

I've never seen any of them have a loose bolt.

I like the plastic better. There is no corrosion and they are more forgiving of normal dings. And, the plastic is a lot lighter than the metal ones when they have to removed.

add edit:
I looked in my parts manual, where the tank enclosure is listed as "Pan, waste tank".
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:53 AM   #7
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Does this plastic pan actually hold up the tank or is it just a weather seal?

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Old 01-12-2018, 04:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Does this plastic pan actually hold up the tank or is it just a weather seal?

Perry
I have never removed my plastic tank pan, so I'm not sure. I did cut out a hole for access to the drain. I assume the tank must be hung in some way inside the cover. Otherwise, the tank would fall to the ground and pull the plumbing down with it when the cover was removed.

I know the tanks are supported separately inside the metal covers. I have removed a couple of them.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:29 PM   #9
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Well the metal pans actually support the tanks. SOB trailers use straps to support the tanks. If the plastic is just a dust and water cover then that is fine.

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Old 01-12-2018, 07:08 PM   #10
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Well the metal pans actually support the tanks. SOB trailers use straps to support the tanks. If the plastic is just a dust and water cover then that is fine.

Perry
Inside the two metal tank pans that I removed, from a 1973 and a 1978, the plastic tank was supported by metal straps. One even had a plywood shelf between the strap and tank. I don't know if this was the way it came from the factory or if it was modified before I owned it.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:48 AM   #11
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To the best of my knowledge standard construction was a metal pan with a styrofoam wedge shaped pad with channels in it for hot air from the furnace to circulate air around the tanks. The tank pans on my 81 Excella II are about .040 steel and they are held on with bolts that will break if you try to remove them. The bolts are 5/16" I think. The tanks will fall once the pan is removed. I just cut a big access hole in mine to gain access to the sewer valves. Hole is covered with new metal and held on with screws.

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Old 01-13-2018, 03:56 AM   #12
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I guess bolts it is!
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:53 AM   #13
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Inside the two metal tank pans that I removed, from a 1973 and a 1978, the plastic tank was supported by metal straps. One even had a plywood shelf between the strap and tank. I don't know if this was the way it came from the factory or if it was modified before I owned it.
Started re-thinking what I said. I don't think I removed the pan on the 1973.
I also owned a 1987. I believe I remove the tank pans on the 1978 and 1987.
Memory fade
Sorry!
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:33 AM   #14
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Do you have to remove belly pan to check water tank hold down bolt tightness?
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