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kamo 11-01-2006 04:00 PM

air pump vs water pump

In my '62 Bambi there is an airpump connected to the water tank, to provide water pressure.

Should I keep this design, or upgrade to a new water pump?

(This question might answer itself soon, as I have never tested if the air pump works.)


InsideOut 11-01-2006 04:15 PM

An air pump can only be used with the stainless steel tanks. If you are replacing your old tanks with new plastic ones, you will have to change out the pump too. You can't use an air pump with a plastic tank.

Shari :flowers:

dwightdi 11-01-2006 04:16 PM

I changed mine out on my 63. Did not like the idea of having the water pressurized all the time because of potential leaks. It is a pretty small compressor and takes some time to pressurize the system if you leave it off most of the time. You also can not add water to the tank when the tank is pressurized. The pressure seal cap on the side of the unit also required you to also open a vent and both became a little difficult if not lubricated properly.

kamo 11-01-2006 07:55 PM

It's the original system, but the tank looks like it's galvanized, not stainless steel.

I think I'll just get a water pump. Any suggestions on make/model?

dwightdi 11-01-2006 08:17 PM

I had an extra PAR but most people the newer shurflow that does not make as much noise. You still have to rubber mount them and have a rubber tube section between the pump and the tank and the pump and the rigid waterlines for the best sound isolation.

markdoane 11-01-2006 08:44 PM

I've heard of galvanized tanks,and mine was aluminum. I don't think they were stainless-that would have been pretty high end in 1959-62.

I got a Flojet VSD pump, I don't know if it is quieter than the Shurflo but it's pretty quiet.

CaddyGrn 11-01-2006 10:13 PM

Keep the pressure up! :)
We have a 63 Bambi with the original water system. Love it! The galvanized tank is great, no plastic tasting water here! I really like the pressure system. Ours works well and the pump will work about 3 different times before we run out of water.... so I know when the pump starts for the third time I can figure one more dish washing and meal....:cool:

It does take a little while, but the pressure system doesn't have to come on in the middle of the night and wake everyone up when the water is used! :D

We have a little shrader valve on the outside of the neck of the water fill pipe so if our little compressor quits we can use one of those little tire compressors that plug into your cig lighter to pressurize the tank.

If all works, I would try it out first and see what you think! I have had the other types with plastic tanks (yuk!:yuk:) and the water pump that comes on each time you turn on the faucet.

The original is simple and works well. No new wiring or installation. :)

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)

kamo 11-01-2006 11:19 PM

OK, then I'll test it this weekend. I just have to make sure there's no shorts and hookup the battery.

Mark Wiltrakis 11-01-2006 11:33 PM

Question for markdoane
Don -

Did you keep your original aluminum fresh water tank? Mine looks great, seems to have no leaks, and I like its looks. The filler neck interior looks crusty, and I know not what lives in the tank itself.

Can I clean up the original and keep it in service somehow? This, with a modern 12 v water pump, would be my preference. On the other hand, I'm no fan of the taste of aluminum foil.


scottanlily 11-02-2006 12:18 AM

The tank in our 60 trdwnd was aluminum with the red Grover pressure pump
(they still make them )and the tank was trash inside due to corrosion of the aluminum from the water inside ,you need to remove the outside faucet bib cap and get a light to see inside ,if its purely clean your happy ,if its got granulated crud in it its no good .I had a new stainless steel tank made for
it ,round as original same length and all using stainless fittings matching the original design ,I can go to a modern water pump also if I like but this setup
works good ,you can take a shower if the pressures up ,not super great but
great enough if want to and we have done it before camping . we also have the outside air fitting to pressurize the tank should the 12voltpump fail you still can use an external compressor or a tire pump as was the original idea
for boondocking (that would be some work )yes .Mark W is right about the aluminum taste ,not healthy remember that ,A better idea to use a water filter after the tank .We drink bottled water and showers and dishes and such with the tank water ,but Ill drink it if needed ,its stainless steel anyway.


markdoane 11-02-2006 06:04 AM


Originally Posted by Mark Wiltrakis
Don -

Did you keep your original aluminum fresh water tank. . .

I replaced the tank with plastic because I wanted a little more water on-board. The old tanks only hold about 18 gallons, without the air blanket. The new tank is 28 gallons and was a pretty tight squeeze behind the gaucho. I still have the old tank, compressor and fittings. I may use them somewhere else.

The tank looks solid. I don't know what the inside looks like. I wouldn't use it for drinking water, because I couldn't be sure about the quality of the water. You might also get a little oil blow-by from the compressor.

NorCal Bambi 11-02-2006 10:09 AM

pressure tank
I have to go along with my wife. We really like the pressure tank. I was able to inspect the inside of the tank by soldering long wires to a auto light
and then removing two of the fittings on the tank.
the light down into the tank gave me a good visual inspection of the tank. It was also a good method to help me clean out the tank. I then used a very long hose on my compressor to check the tank with pressure. I had it a long way away from me during this test. And I was behind the building during the test. If the tank exploded I wanted to be a long way away. I let it set for several hours during the testing. Yes, It is
when it runs. I think part of the
is that the shock
rubbers are old and hard. I haven't looked into replacing them yet. My guess to why they have be replaced by water pumps is that the tanks are very expensive to replace today. When the pump goes off, and someone asks, "What is that", it opens a whole new avenue of Airstream conversation. Something
seem to enjoy. At 3 a.m. when I have to use the head, it nice to not wake my wife with a
water pump.

NorCal Bambi 11-02-2006 10:11 AM

Well that was interesting. I use the spell check that comes with Foxfire. I don't think I'll do that again.

Sugarfoot 11-02-2006 10:17 AM

I also still have and use the original aluminum tank. No crusties, no leaks, clean and was in great shape. But I do like Scott. Bottled water for human consumption and the tank for everything else. It's still on my list to get tested the water contents and quality of what comes out of the tank, but low on the priorities. Now, just need to get my Grover working properly. :rolleyes:

Sugarfoot 11-02-2006 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi
Well that was interesting. I use the spell check that comes with Foxfire. I don't think I'll do that again.

That post looked like Christmas! :)

Mark Wiltrakis 11-02-2006 10:25 AM

Don -

Thanks for your colorful reply. I'll give my original equipment a try our before deciding what fresh water components I want. Scott's brand new stainless tank probably should be on display - not hidden under the gaucho! Sounds very nice.


scottanlily 11-04-2006 12:59 AM

Well Mark ,let me tell you it doesn't look all polished up and is dull looking .
I did want the medical stainless look at first .but I needed to be convinced by the stainless steel welder /fabricator guy I use that a pressure vessel needs to meet certain criteria ,meaning the thinner shiny sink type stainless would be too thin for a pressure tank ,so then 12" diameter tubing ,kinda like a stainless steel pipe with 1/8 stainless endcaps .It works well for sure ,but as
markdoane says ,the capacity is small ,about 20 gallons or so ,its a bit larger than the original tank .I must say the water tastes like tap water from city
sources not purified ,I just didn't want any more corrosion troubles ever.
It also is heavier too ,but its just abit more tongue weight I figure.

1959newbie 11-13-2006 10:54 AM

12v Grover pressure pump

Originally Posted by scottanlily
The tank in our 60 trdwnd was aluminum with the red Grover pressure pump
(they still make them )

Hi, Scott,

My Grover is black, and I just got the bad news that it would cost ~$300-400 to repair it (new windings, etc., etc.). Do you (or anyone) have any idea where I could find a similar one? I've actually called Grover and not gotten anywhere.:sad:


dwightdi 11-13-2006 11:10 AM

Try the wanted ads on this site. Someone should have one sitting around after they converted to the regular pump system. Ebay will always be a little high.

scottanlily 11-14-2006 08:32 PM

wow Lynn ,thats quite a steep price there !! Im surprized also Grover din't have some available help .I checked their website and the compressors they show look the same .I do have another Grover for a spare .i can check it
too see if it works .I also have another brand air pump from a motorhome
air over type as the grover ,it has a pressure switch too .i can check that out and also my local Rv place tomorrow wednesday.i then can let you know
whats up for you .by the way the electrical motor part is a very common
12volt DC motor ,used in other applications so it still may be able to get one.
since I have the spare Grover i will look at it and see what can be substituted
for the motor part if possible ,we'll get you fixed up there Lynn .


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