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Old 01-08-2005, 08:13 AM   #121
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You are really making headway Uwe. Looking good. When It came time for my plumbing redo, I chose PEX for several reasons. One being its ease of installation. I found all the parts I needed at West Marine. I decided not to purchase the special wrench and used a pliers. These connections don't have to be torqued down, just tight. When I turned the water on, only had one small leak at the cold connection at the bathtub. Just needed tightening down a little more. If I ever redo another vintage unit (I hope so) I will use PEX again. Its good stuff.

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Old 01-08-2005, 10:10 PM   #122
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More rivets!

Made a bit more headway today, got all the rivets on the streetside bucked in. Found an all new, more useful side of my wife, she's quite riveting with a bucking bar....
Also went to the RV Supply in Irvine on the way to the shop, and picked up some RV specific plumbing fittings to get that project started as well.
I think putting together is much more fun than taking apart and repairing. So, all of you that are still tearing and repairing, there IS light at the end of the tunnel, and it ain't a freight train.
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:43 AM   #123
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Yessssss! You turned Didi into Rosie the Riveter! I ordered all my rivet stuff yesterday - so in a week or so Ellyn (my wife) and I - will be Rosie too!

Ordering stuff and spending money was a good thing to do on a VERY snowy day yesterday.

So tell us - how much did you guys have to practice before you got the hang of it and how long did it take you to do the street side?

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Old 01-09-2005, 02:11 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J

So tell us - how much did you guys have to practice before you got the hang of it and how long did it take you to do the street side?

Ken
Well, it took 3 rivets on 2 scrap pieces of aluminum for her to get the hang of the basics of bucking rivets.
It did take, however, a good 30 minutes of gently convincing her to do it MY way, not hers.

It took approximately 4 hours total from the entry door around to the streetside rear corner, just before the bumper. 2 hours the other day with Murray, and 2 hours yesterday with Didi.
The complication yesterday was the wheel well getting lined up to match the holes in the skin. I ended up using my floor jack and short 2x4's to make the metal meet the requirements.
The supporting floor in this trailer was gone for so long, that the wheel wells were buckled from the tension of the sagging shell.
I also had to slightly lift and support the rear frame section to make the channel ride up to the proper level on the inside of the shell.

I am guessing that upon final inspection some 10 or so rivets will have to be removed and re-installed. Some of them mushroomed a bit, others got a groove from the air tool shank slipping to one side.

Taking a break today from the trailer, will have to buy a few tools later, but no work today. I found out that I need a 3 or 4 inch holesaw for the plumbing installation. My biggest one is 2.75in. Too small for the grey tank grommets to fit through. I will take some pictures of everything next week.
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Old 01-09-2005, 02:23 PM   #125
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Only 30 minutes? Gosh I figure it will take us a lot longer that that
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Old 01-09-2005, 05:52 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
I found out that I need a 3 or 4 inch holesaw for the plumbing installation. My biggest one is 2.75in. .
Uwe:
Sounds like ' a buckin' good time was had by all' !
I have 3" and 3.25" hole saws. Don't buy those sizes- and remember, most of those rivits are under the rubrail so only YOU will know which ones are not perfect!
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Old 01-09-2005, 06:03 PM   #127
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Dual cam High Performance

Those of you using the Reese Dual Cam High Performance hitch, I would like to know what kind of results you are having. Thinking of buying one and would like to know pros and cons.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:09 AM   #128
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Insulation and tank holder-uppers

Uwe, I have a couple questions for you:

how did you decide to use 3/4 inch closed cell foam for the floor insulation, why not thicker? I read online that you can get up to r9 or r10 per inch and thought about putting two inches down there (it gets cold here in Iowa).

I am not positive I visualize the tank hold-up bracket correctly.* I understand the rectangle of the frame for the tank, and then the flat pieces you welded on that go down below the frame, but then you welded the bolts to these piece pointing down?* Do you have any pictures of this?*

Thanks for your help,

Carlos Ferguson
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:51 PM   #129
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Tanks revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
Uwe, I have a couple questions for you:

how did you decide to use 3/4 inch closed cell foam for the floor insulation, why not thicker? I read online that you can get up to r9 or r10 per inch and thought about putting two inches down there (it gets cold here in Iowa).

I am not positive I visualize the tank hold-up bracket correctly.* I understand the rectangle of the frame for the tank, and then the flat pieces you welded on that go down below the frame, but then you welded the bolts to these piece pointing down?* Do you have any pictures of this?*

Thanks for your help,

Carlos Ferguson
Carlos,
I found that for sound damping and mild weather insulation, this closed cell foam is excellent. It floats, will not absorb water, and does not harbor rodents and insects. It also does not absorb odors.
I guess I could make double or triple layers of the material, but it was only available to me in 3/4 in thickness. I do have some left, and might take your advise to make the insulation more effective by layering the material.
It adheres very well with liquid nails. I used 2in styrofoma all around the edges under the belly wrap, and sculpted it to accept the curves.

Next, the tanks. I have taken the grey tank out today to finish teh installation and was able to take some pictures for you.

The one attached here shows the tank on it's way out, witht eh frame removed, but the plywood substucture still under it. The plywood is supported here with a hydraulic floorjack. Tank removal with tis system takes 10min. plus the time it takes to open 3 hose clamps for the pipes.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:21 PM   #130
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More tank details

This series of pics shows the tank still in at first, some nuts removed already from the studs that hold the framework up.
#2 shows the plywood detail, with the tank still up, and visible studs and tank between the framing and the lower plywood cover. There are also clekos visible, but their job is to simply hold the belly wrap in place until all is finished and I feel confident to install rivets.
#3 shows the tank and plywood down off the frame, on the floor jack.
#4 shows the plywood less tank.
#5&6 show the now vacant tank cavity, with framing and stud detail.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:47 PM   #131
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More tank details

#1 shows the drain detail
#2 shows a view towards the front with the rear bracket removed
#5 shows a detail of the stud welded to the frame extension. Sorry for the blurry picture.
#4 shows the tank holdup frame, with the rear bracket and tank frame section attached
#3 shows the rear tank frame section/with bracket. This bracket is needed for holding the rear tank frame section up. The rear section is removeable, so one can loosen the bolts on the main tank frame, remove the rear tank frame section, and slide out the plywood, then dropping the tank.
The fresh water tank also has a removeable section, facing the front of the trailer. The front ( fresh) tank can be removed in a similar way.

On edit: Hmm, the upload system scrambled my sequence three times now.. I hope I got this right....
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:57 PM   #132
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Grey Tank Details

The following three pictures show the details of inlets and outlets, plus a full top view of the tank.
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:54 AM   #133
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Talking more pictures....more questions...

still confused about how that rear bracket fits into place. in the pic of the frame sitting on the floor, are we looking back to front? I don't get how that bracket comes into play....

also having a tough time visualizing how the water is going to escape from this tank. it looks like the outlet would be blocked up by the rear support, and the frame. or does the rear bracket not go all the way across?

what are the dimensions of the tank, and where did you get it? is it a custom job, or "off the shelf"? $$$, if you don't mind...;-)

In my browsing around for a suitable grey tank, I noticed that tanks that the manufacturer's refer to as "holding tanks" are all sloped toward the outlet, for a gravity drain. I know you could always use the tounge jack to get the same effect at the dump station...just wondering if you're planning to use a mascerator pump with this setup?
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:42 AM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
still confused about how that rear bracket fits into place. in the pic of the frame sitting on the floor, are we looking back to front? I don't get how that bracket comes into play....

also having a tough time visualizing how the water is going to escape from this tank. it looks like the outlet would be blocked up by the rear support, and the frame. or does the rear bracket not go all the way across?

what are the dimensions of the tank, and where did you get it? is it a custom job, or "off the shelf"? $$$, if you don't mind...;-)

In my browsing around for a suitable grey tank, I noticed that tanks that the manufacturer's refer to as "holding tanks" are all sloped toward the outlet, for a gravity drain. I know you could always use the tounge jack to get the same effect at the dump station...just wondering if you're planning to use a mascerator pump with this setup?
The rear bracket does not go all the way across. It stops just shy of the outlet. That's why it has the angled bracket, which then attaches to the rear frame crossmember, instead of the streetside tank support frame. The other side attaches to the tank frame support.
The tank has a slight slope towards the outlet, enough for it to drain just fine. The tank itself is not sloped, it's how it sits on the support.
I filled it up halfway and then layed it down, and all but 1 quart or so rushed out immediately, without even tilting it. No macerator needed.
The recess at the corner of the tank has room for a 45 down adn then a 90 towards the streetside. Right after the 90 comes the dump valve, then it goes into the 3in assembly coming from the black tank dump valve. I will likely use a Valterra valve assembly that is already formed like this, as they use on many new Airstreams.

I was unable to find holding tanks that would give me maximum capacity for my space, off the shelf. I had them all custom made.
The fresh and grey were about $ 360.00 each,and the black tank with it's curved section came to about $ 320.00 or so. I don't have the invoices handy, but that's about the best I could find. All the tanks are polyethylene.

I can't take much credit for this design,as it is common on most Airstreams, most years. I simply mofified the frame to accept the tanks as they are mounted on late model Airstreams, or some of those from the mid 70's. I got the idea from a cutaway drawing of an Airstream frame inside sales brochure for Classic trailers. Plus,I studied the installation of the factory fresh water tank of my 1971 Tradewind.
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:04 PM   #135
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water questions

Hi Uwe,

Today I followed your lead and cut out the four cross braces by the axle and shaped the 2x4 material to fit into the spaces left (thanks for the idea for making a template for the ends, this saved some time. Once I had one cross brace cut I used it as a template for the rest...).

I am getting ready to weld them in place tomorrow, then the support framework, then I just need to get the tanks!

But first, questions, questions...

1 - I am wondering if there is a good reason against welding angle iron on three sides below the frame, leaving it open from one end front or back depending on the axle, the tank could be pushed up and in, the plywood slid into place underneath, then the fourth piece of angle iron bolted in on some fashion. It seems your system has a framework to hold up the tank that is all one piece bolted up together. What is the advantage of your system?

2 - How do you get the slope in your tanks to run to your drain point? Your tanks are 4.5 inches and there is some sort of slope built into your support - is it that the plywood has supports to tile the tanks to the drain? Or is it the framework that holds up the plywood that is tilted?

3 - I have been worrying that I am adding too much weight to my trailer, and you appear to be adding a lot as well. The original setup for my trailer was 30 gallons in a galvanized tank (which weighed 40+ pounds itself, so I figure 35 gallons originally - I will add a 25 gallon grey tank, increase the black by about 8-10 gallons, and up the fresh to 40. This looks like 350 extra pounds. I think this will be offset at least in part by my new interior and heavy things that I won't reinstall, I am hoping it will also be ok because they will be centered on the axle and my frame modifications.

4 - So this is my proposed setup for your gracious commentary:

The black tank is in back, curbside, under the toilet but above the floor, I will increase the size a bit, extend it forwards under the closet in front. It will dump to the rear, with a macerator pump inside the rear hatch.

The grey will go behind the axle, the kitchen will drain into the to of it, the shower and sink in back will drain together into the rear side.

The fresh tank will be in front of the axle and be fed through the floor, under the kitchen cabinet.

I plan to have a macerator on the black tank outlet and a pump to run the grey water to the toilet, both for flushing and cleaning when I dump the black tank. I am wondering where to run the pump line for the fresh tank though. What does the intake on the pump look like? Are you just attaching it to the lowest point on your fresh tank?


Thanks, Carlos Ferguson
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Old 02-23-2005, 09:42 PM   #136
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Carlos -
One thing to keep in mind regarding enlarging your tanks - you will never travel with all three tanks full. On the way to camp, the fresh is full - on the way out the others are full. Always leave enough in the black to keep things from drying up and causing a clog. You know what I mean. It will slosh around while driving and keep the valve clear.

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Old 02-23-2005, 10:03 PM   #137
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Water Answers

But first, questions, questions...

1 - I am wondering if there is a good reason against welding angle iron on three sides below the frame, leaving it open from one end front or back depending on the axle, the tank could be pushed up and in, the plywood slid into place underneath, then the fourth piece of angle iron bolted in on some fashion. It seems your system has a framework to hold up the tank that is all one piece bolted up together. What is the advantage of your system?

Capacity, Carlos. My original design was just like what you have described, but then I stumbled across the fact that teh tank would have to be 4in smaller in both directions to fit in the cavity, so it can slide past the horizontal legs of the angle steel.

2 - How do you get the slope in your tanks to run to your drain point? Your tanks are 4.5 inches and there is some sort of slope built into your support - is it that the plywood has supports to tile the tanks to the drain? Or is it the framework that holds up the plywood that is tilted?

They'll drain well enough, even with minimal slope. I built the slope into the bracket. ( less than 1/2 inch over the length of the tank.
It drains almost completely, even on a flat floor. I partially filled it, and then layed it flat without a drain valve. It definitely drained, and did so very quickly. I estimate there was about 2 quarts or less of liquid left inside the tank, without a slope to it. Once I lifted up one end slightly, a small puddle of remaining water escaped through the drain hole. I am not worried that it won't drain well, unless the trailer sits at a nose down angle. Yikes!


3 - I have been worrying that I am adding too much weight to my trailer, and you appear to be adding a lot as well. The original setup for my trailer was 30 gallons in a galvanized tank (which weighed 40+ pounds itself, so I figure 35 gallons originally - I will add a 25 gallon grey tank, increase the black by about 8-10 gallons, and up the fresh to 40. This looks like 350 extra pounds. I think this will be offset at least in part by my new interior and heavy things that I won't reinstall, I am hoping it will also be ok because they will be centered on the axle and my frame modifications.

Your plan appears to be a good one, with all the frame modifications you are doing. Yes, you're adding weight, but you're also making provisions to carry it safely.
You will want to take a look at the axle rating, perhaps go to a 4500lb axle. Take the full load into consideration, and add a little for safety, but not too much. Too much weight rating is as bad as a tired axle.

4 - So this is my proposed setup for your gracious commentary:

The black tank is in back, curbside, under the toilet but above the floor, I will increase the size a bit, extend it forwards under the closet in front. It will dump to the rear, with a macerator pump inside the rear hatch.

The grey will go behind the axle, the kitchen will drain into the to of it, the shower and sink in back will drain together into the rear side.

The fresh tank will be in front of the axle and be fed through the floor, under the kitchen cabinet.

I plan to have a macerator on the black tank outlet and a pump to run the grey water to the toilet, both for flushing and cleaning when I dump the black tank. I am wondering where to run the pump line for the fresh tank though. What does the intake on the pump look like? Are you just attaching it to the lowest point on your fresh tank?

My design does not allow for grey water flushing of the black tank. I also did not make provisions for a macerator. My hopes are that all the dumping will be via gravity.
My black tank dumps straight down, through the floor, towards the dump valve, much like on newer Airstreams.
I like the idea of a grey water flush, seems that would save considerably on fresh water useage.
The pump intake/water outlet is at the bottom of the tank. I added another outlet for a tank drain. It is a 1/2in fpt spin-in fitting. You may also tee off the water pump feed line, butmake sure you provide a drain for the water lines, so you can winterize the trailer if necessary.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:46 AM   #138
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Why didn't I think of that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfshr
Carlos -
One thing to keep in mind regarding enlarging your tanks - you will never travel with all three tanks full. On the way to camp, the fresh is full - on the way out the others are full. Always leave enough in the black to keep things from drying up and causing a clog. You know what I mean. It will slosh around while driving and keep the valve clear.

FF
Yes, of course, I don't know why I didn't think of that - the max I would carry would be 40 gallons when the fresh tank was full, and this is close to what the trailer carried originally, when I am "done" using the water, it will just be redistributed minus whatever I use for drinking!

Is it safe to say that systems are designed so that the capacity of the grey tank + black tank is equal or less than the fresh tank? With the system I am envisioning (a separate pump to use extra grey water for flushing the toilet) I can't think of a situation when I would need more grey and black space than I have fresh water.

Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:52 AM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
The pump intake/water outlet is at the bottom of the tank. I added another outlet for a tank drain. It is a 1/2in fpt spin-in fitting. You may also tee off the water pump feed line, butmake sure you provide a drain for the water lines, so you can winterize the trailer if necessary.
So, Uwe, does the pump pick-up from your fresh tank come straight of the tank too, or does it hang below the tank a bit? I looked back at your photos and can't quite figure how you the last bit of water out - won't the pump just hit air once the water level is below the top of the pick-up pipe?

Tee off the water pump feed line? To get water to the pump from there somehow?

As always, thanks!
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:57 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcferguson
So, Uwe, does the pump pick-up from your fresh tank come straight of the tank too, or does it hang below the tank a bit? I looked back at your photos and can't quite figure how you the last bit of water out - won't the pump just hit air once the water level is below the top of the pick-up pipe?

Tee off the water pump feed line? To get water to the pump from there somehow?

As always, thanks!
I guess that's one of the drawbacks of the flat tanks, because even though I have a slight slope in the installation, there will always be a slight amount that can't be retrieved by the pump. It's like that on my 71's factory installation also. When I run out of water, and the pump stops delivering, I can alwasy still drain a gallon or two out of the tank via the drain.
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