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Old 07-16-2005, 02:59 PM   #161
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Still about perfect

I spent a rainy morning putting on numbers, installing the level, and installing anti-skid in all of the drawers. After 3 weeks and lots of hours working around the trailer, I still find that the build quality is just about perfect. Compared to my nightmare International AS, this one is sheer pleasure.

Our next Airstream trip is to St Louis in early August to attend my grandson's wedding. He is the third oldest, but will be the first to marry of the five. Rumor has it that my oldest granddaughter will be also sporting a ring when we arrive in St Louis.

Spring will be expensive since there will be two new college graduates then and each of my grandkids gets $1000 from me on graduation.
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:18 AM   #162
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Thumbs up Black water bathroom sink

I just found out through trial and error that my bathroom sink plumbing is connected to the black water tank, not the grey water tank as I originally assumed. Is this supposed to be correct? I always thought grey water was connected to the shower, kitchen sink, and bathroom sink. Since our bathroom sink appears to be connected to the black water, our black water tank fills fairly quickly since we always brush our teeth, wash our hands/face, etc. Please advise if this is something I need to get corrected or if it is normal for AS. Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:35 AM   #163
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Grey/Black water

According to my AS manual on page F-24, "The MAIN (BLACK) HOLDING TANK enables you to use the toilet for several days away from disposal facilities. The wastewater from the sink, shower, bath, and lavatory drains in the AUXILIARY (GRAY) HOLDING TANK".

So my lavatory sink should be connected to the gray water tank, not the black holding tank. Arrggh!

Just one more of a long list of items I need to get fixed...
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:56 AM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmimi
According to my AS manual on page F-24, "The MAIN (BLACK) HOLDING TANK enables you to use the toilet for several days away from disposal facilities. The wastewater from the sink, shower, bath, and lavatory drains in the AUXILIARY (GRAY) HOLDING TANK".

So my lavatory sink should be connected to the gray water tank, not the black holding tank. Arrggh!

Just one more of a long list of items I need to get fixed...
How do you know that this sink is connected to the wrong tank? I have read that the tank level monitors are notoriusly inaccurate. And we are seeing evidence of that.
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:39 AM   #165
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What goes where

We have intimate knowledge of our black/gray plumbing due to the fact that Airstream dropped both tanks for repair when we took our 2005 28' International to JC in June. Indeed, the bathroom sink water DOES drain into the black tank (along with the toilet, of course), while galley sink and shower drain into the gray tank. It has to do with the shape of the black/gray tanks how they fit into the metal pan that holds them; I doubt it can be changed.

That said, our black tank monitor works about as well as everybody else's (i.e., it doesn't work), but I've found the "potty peek" method of checking the black tank level be satisfactory. Guess we don't use the bathroom sink for much running water activity.

In a way, it's good that the bathroom sink is plumbed into the black tank in these units, since the gray tank is apparently engineered to have one inlet for galley sink, shower AND vent. This is the reason the galley sink water in the 28' sometimes backs up in the shower. Airstream fixed this for us by adding additional inlets to the gray tank and re-plumbing the whole shebang. This was MAJOR surgery, though; I would only recommend having JC service do it, and then only if the gray water backing up is a big problem.
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:48 AM   #166
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. . . . Airstream fixed this for us by adding additional inlets to the gray tank and re-plumbing the whole shebang. This was MAJOR surgery, though; I would only recommend having JC service do it, and then only if the gray water backing up is a big problem.
AgZep,

Was this redesign done as warranty work, or did they charge you for it?
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:38 AM   #167
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Manuals

I have found that the trailer manuals are cut and paste jobs and do not reflect the actual trailers very faithfully. First time I encountered this was seeing the drawings of shock absorbers in the manual for my 2003 International AS. The trailer had no shock absorbers. Next thing I found was that the electrical schematics were only an approximatio of the actual wiring.

OTOH, I find that the downloadable parts catalogs pretty faithfully show the physical details of the trailers.
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:04 PM   #168
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Warranty repair

Don,

Our gray tank problem was repaired at JC under warranty (we bought our unit in December 2004, manufacture date 07/04), as it seemed to be an engineering-related problem. AS service thought they could repair this problem (galley water backing up in shower) by re-routing the drain pipes in a more "downhill" fashion, but apparently that didn't work, so they decided to drop the tanks and see what was really going on. That's when they discovered three penetrations in the black tank (bath sink, toilet, vent) and just one in the gray tank (for galley, shower AND vent).

Ironically, although the sink back-up problem was on our punch list, we didn't really consider it a major problem--just attributed it to unique hydrodynamics. The JC techs thought otherwise and initiated the major repair. They brought in some of the engineers as well, so hopefully this quirk will be re-designed in the new models.
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:09 PM   #169
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Good deal!

I wonder if there are other '04/'05 28' Internationals out there with the same problem?
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:46 PM   #170
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The '04's don't have grey tanks. Just black tanks. I guess that's one problem averted.
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:07 PM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redeagle313
How do you know that this sink is connected to the wrong tank? I have read that the tank level monitors are notoriusly inaccurate. And we are seeing evidence of that.
Knock on wood, but my tank moniters are actually functioning correctly.

I found out accidentally that the bathroom sink is connected to the black water tank. I was draining my fresh water tank by turning on both the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink. My black water tank was about 5/8 full at the time. Gray water was empty since I was at a full hookup site and had the gray water tank open for drainage. I just let things run and run until the freshwater tank was empty. A little later, I went to go pee (luckily) and noticed that the water in the bathroom sink was no longer draining. I shut off the water thinking maybe something was clogging the drain. I looked at the monitor, and voila! the black water indicated absolutely full. I went back to the bathroom sink and notice it was still full and had an unpleasant smell (i.e. had mixed with some of the black water). I went outside, drained the black water tank, and found the bath sink fully drained now. So then I tested if it truly was draining into the black water. After fully emptying the black water tank, I closed the outside drain, turned on the bath sink faucet, and just let it run. After about 5 minutes, the black water registered half full. Then it kept filling up. I drained the whole thing and it was all clear water from the bath sink. Not scientific, but anecdotal enough for me to put 2 and 2 together to figure out where the bath sink was draining. While this isn't a pressing problem, it is very inconvenient as we will now brush our teeth and other bathroom functions in the kitchen area. Don't know if I'll ever be able to get to JC OH to have them fix the issue. Sighh...
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:18 PM   #172
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Since my trip to JC in late April, knock on wood, the tank sensors are fairly accurate now.
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Old 07-17-2005, 10:15 PM   #173
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I replaced my monitor panel in May due to a burnt out LED. Tank sensors were accurate on the old panel. New monitor panel is also accurate. So far so good.

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Old 07-18-2005, 12:36 AM   #174
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Jackson Center

Just curious as to what prompts people to travel to Jackson Center for warranty repairs. Is it the inaction, or an inability of the dealer to correct a problem?

The reason I am asking is I just purchased a new AS from a reputable dealer about six weeks ago that turned out to have a leak in one of the holding tanks. Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed that they couldn't schedule an appointment until a month later. Because of a busy work schedule, I hadn't really planned on using it right away. I arranged to have it there two days ahead of schedule because it's a 140 mile round trip. When I called 4 days after the appointment date to check on the status of the repair, I discovered they hadn't even looked at it. From that point, it was hard to get anyone to give any answers, or to even have to courtesy to call back. While I'd like to think I have been rather patient and diplomatic so far, I did laugh out loud when the AS factory certified technician who actually bothered to return my call said " Well, we don't make' em, we just try to fix'em up as best we can", then I suggested that very statement replace their current company motto.

I wasn't kidding about their being reputable, as they have been selling Airstreams and repairing for many years and, until this point, they have been a pleasure to work with. So, I'm not going to make a judgement on the dealership just yet because of this one negative experience, but I am prepared to accept that the 1,000+ mile trip to Jackson Center may become a reality.
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:43 AM   #175
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Quote:
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Just curious as to what prompts people to travel to Jackson Center for warranty repairs. Is it the inaction, or an inability of the dealer to correct a problem?
We started a poll on that question. Here is the link to that thread.

Jackson Center Poll

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Old 07-18-2005, 11:50 AM   #176
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Thanks for the link, Jack. I can see there's not much that hasn't been discussed on these message boards. It's a tremendous resource. It seems that some of the reasons for the trip to Jackson Center are a mixture of lack of confidence in the dealer, and a desire to get the job done right. Others are simply logistical. I'm planning a trip to Kansas City in the next year. It may be worthwhile to swing through Ohio if the tank issues aren't resolved to my satisfaction. From the looks of things, I'll probably have a small list of other repair issues by that time. I was told they are dropping the pan on my rig today so they can get to the tanks.
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:14 PM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmimi
I just found out through trial and error that my bathroom sink plumbing is connected to the black water tank, not the grey water tank as I originally assumed. Is this supposed to be correct? I always thought grey water was connected to the shower, kitchen sink, and bathroom sink. Since our bathroom sink appears to be connected to the black water, our black water tank fills fairly quickly since we always brush our teeth, wash our hands/face, etc. Please advise if this is something I need to get corrected or if it is normal for AS. Thanks!
I just had my 28'CCD checked and my lav sink is tied into the black water tank as well. I'm trying to do a pro/con on having it changed. The upside is that the gray tank is what fills the quickest already so tying in the lav sink will only add to the inflow. Since we only wash hands and brush teeth (with water NOT running) I wouldn't think it would add much to the black tank. My concern would be maybe getting some odors vented up or having the black tank back up. So far I haven't had the shower back up. I'm just wondering if it is worth possibly causing other issues by rerouting plumbing etc to have the lav sink connect to the gray tank like it's supposed to. Your thoughts? Thanks much
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:31 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Tin Hut
I'm just wondering if it is worth possibly causing other issues by rerouting plumbing etc to have the lav sink connect to the gray tank like it's supposed to. Your thoughts? Thanks much
One of the biggest black tank problems stems from too much doo-doo and too little water. With the modest water usage we have of the bathroom sink, I would be glad to have that extra liquid in the black tank.

I don't know where my bathroom sink goes (2008 28' Classic). Guess I should run a quick check sometime when we are at a full hookup.

BTW, the tank sensors in the new trailer, so far, have worked the best of any trailer I have owned. They operate on pressure on a bottom-of-the -tank sensor rather than fluid capacitance like my previous trailer sensors. Pressure should be relatively unaffected by crud.
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:53 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Hut
I just had my 28'CCD checked and my lav sink is tied into the black water tank as well. I'm trying to do a pro/con on having it changed.I'm just wondering if it is worth possibly causing other issues by rerouting plumbing etc to have the lav sink connect to the gray tank like it's supposed to. Your thoughts? Thanks much
The question is was this done as a compromise due to tank positioning or maybe was it a way to add a little more capacity to the grey water? I know that my grey always fills faster than the black so maybe this was a way to stretch that capacity. Water usage in the bath sink is minor so its affect on the black may make this a change for the better.

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Old 07-21-2005, 02:19 AM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
The question is was this done as a compromise due to tank positioning or maybe was it a way to add a little more capacity to the grey water?
According to AgZep, the bath lavatory drains into the black tank because of the shape of the black/gray tanks and how they fit into the metal pan that holds them. I've done some minor plumbing while remodeling my house, and any plumbing needs some sort of vent so that fluids can drain correctly. Unless they vented the black tank up to the roof of the trailer, they would need some other vent - looks like they choose to use the lav sink as the vent.

It's not really a big issue that the lav sink is connected to the black tank ( In fact, it's probably good to get more liquids in the black tank and have it vented properly.) It's just that AS should update their manuals and tell buyers that the lav sink is connected to the black tank so they know to conserve a little more if they don't want to fill the black tank too quickly. We were filling up our black tank very quickly when we were at a full hookup, as we kept the gray tank open (as suggested by the AS manual and other friendly RVers) and assumed that when we ran the lav sink faucets, things were just draining and not filling up a tank (gray or black). When we dry dock, we conserve on everything - so not a big deal. But when we are at a full hookup, we don't conserve as much, probably like most people, and ended up emptying the black tanks every day and a half. Personally, not such a big issue that I'd want it changed. As others have said, it's probably good that it drains to the black tank. They just should have told us in the beginning is all.
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