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Old 10-04-2020, 12:33 PM   #1
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2020 27' Flying Cloud
Howell , MI
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 77
Unhappy Belly pan leak after using macerator & back flush

While winterizing our TT yesterday we drained the black and gray tanks using a Flojet portable macerator pump. This contraption includes a connection for incoming water to flush the waste pipes and the discharge (graden) hose. While backflushing I heard a loud pop (or bang) and water started coming out of the belly pan, curb-side front and rear corners and about halfway inbetween. The black and gray dump valves still work, i.e., effluent stops flow out of the 3" waste pipe when the valves are closed. The belly pan, however, continues to drain for quite a while after the dump valves are closed, but eventually it just drips and then stops. This is a new TT 2020 FC 27 FBT, so I have never had the belly pan off. Not sure what I've done, but it appears that something has broken. I plan to call our Airstream dealer first thing in the morning (Monday) but hoping I might get some education here in the forum first. Also, we are ~2 hours from the dealer and ~3 hours from the factory, so not sure if I should let the dealer deal with this, or just call the factory service center.
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Old 10-05-2020, 01:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandLAir View Post
While winterizing our TT yesterday we drained the black and gray tanks using a Flojet portable macerator pump. This contraption includes a connection for incoming water to flush the waste pipes and the discharge (graden) hose. While backflushing I heard a loud pop (or bang) and water started coming out of the belly pan, curb-side front and rear corners and about halfway inbetween. The black and gray dump valves still work, i.e., effluent stops flow out of the 3" waste pipe when the valves are closed. The belly pan, however, continues to drain for quite a while after the dump valves are closed, but eventually it just drips and then stops. This is a new TT 2020 FC 27 FBT, so I have never had the belly pan off. Not sure what I've done, but it appears that something has broken. I plan to call our Airstream dealer first thing in the morning (Monday) but hoping I might get some education here in the forum first. Also, we are ~2 hours from the dealer and ~3 hours from the factory, so not sure if I should let the dealer deal with this, or just call the factory service center.
Hi BandLAir,

We're sorry to hear about the issue you are having. Please send us your contact information, email and the last 6 of your VIN so that we can learn more and share it with Customer Service/Technical Support. Thank you.
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:43 AM   #3
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2020 27' Flying Cloud
Howell , MI
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Thanks for seeing my post and responding to it. I sent you a PM with the information you requested and list of some other minor service items. I will call the 877 number in the next day or so if I don't get a reply to my PM.
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Old 10-08-2020, 02:57 PM   #4
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Castaic , California
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Hi there. Had the same issue happen to me. Was wondering if you already had airstream address or repair the issue. Curious as to what was the problem.
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:46 PM   #5
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2020 27' Flying Cloud
Howell , MI
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The issue is not resolved yet. I am scheduled to drop the TT off at the dealer (Woodland Airstream, Grand Rapids, Michigan) on October 22nd but it might be sometime in November before they actually look at it. I did get a call from Airstream and ended up talking to one of the service advisors. I have an appointment at the factory service center on March 15, 2021, partly has a backup plan and partly because I need the entry and screen door adjusted. The soonest they could get me in was sometime in January. The TT is winterized with no plans to use it until Spring 2021, so no reason for me to tow it around in mid-winter. I will try to remember to post the resolution when I have it. ~Bruce
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:04 PM   #6
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If you are handy and want to avoid taking it in, it may not be a difficult repair. You did not say, but I am going to assume you were backflushing with both dump valves closed. If so it is likely one of the glue seals let go on the effluent pipe. You can test that by shutting the two valves and backflowing with a small water rate again to confirm the leak. Then you can partially drop the pan and repair the leaking joint.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:56 PM   #7
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2020 27' Flying Cloud
Howell , MI
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Thanks, Brian. I did, indeed, have both knife valves closed and failed to mention that in my OP. Duh! I actually had the black tank valve shut and the grey tank valve open to back-flush the grey tank and closed the grey tank valve with the water still running. The bank/leak occurred just after closing the grey tank valve. I have an older bus conversion and I do this all the time with those valves without an issue.

Based on my evidence, I think you are probably correct about what has happened. While the repair is probably within my skill set, I'm not in the humor to try to get the trailer up higher in the air and remove the belly pan. High temps here are in the 40's, lows at freezing, and it's the rainy season. I also have a short list of other minor warranty issue (IMHO) so I will have the dealer look at all of this.

I also have an appointment at the Airstream Factory Service Center for mid-March 2021. This is partly "just in case" the dealer cannot fix something, and partly because one of my issues is that the entry door, especially the screen door, needs to be "adjusted". I've seen the As FSC videos on how that is done with a 2x4 and a mallet. No desire to try that myself, and I'm not sure the dealer will want to deal with it either. ~Bruce
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:52 PM   #8
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Castaic , California
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Belly pan issue

Thank you all for your input. Same thing occurred when I closed the gray
tank valve while using the flowjet macerator. Heard a pop and water started leaking out from the belly pan.
Already scheduled to take the airstream for service for some other minor issues.
We’ll just have the dealer repair it. Thanks again.
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:35 PM   #9
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2018 25' Flying Cloud
Folsom , California
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What was that "pop"

As I found out through experiencing a similar situation, the “pop” sound you hear is likely from one of the metal clamps coming loose the secures the rubber connection between the grey tank outlet and the “y” outlet manifold. The rubber hose connection allows the outlet manifold and knife valves to be removed. It appears excessive pressure from whatever source between the knife valve and holding tank will cause the connection to come loose. Re- clamping hose only takes a few minutes to repair, the problem is getting access to the tank, either by dropping the belly pan (a really big job) or cutting a hole in the pan (difficult but doable) to access the repair area. I check with AS factory repair personnel, they said either method was OK. However, cutting the hole allows easy access to the knife valves and manifold area for any future issues.

Photos show the hole cut in the belly pan and manifold connection, and the rubber connection and clamps from grey water tank to belly pan. Biggest difficulty was cutting the hole in the belly pan. The hole was covered with a similar piece of sheet metal, sheet metal screws (making sure none would penetrate one of the tanks) and sealed with tape.
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Old 10-26-2020, 03:32 PM   #10
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2020 27' Flying Cloud
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Thanks DennisPlee. This certainly makes sense, and I appreciate the photos and tips. In warmer weather I would probably pull the TT up onto some boards and look at dropping the belly pan. We had the 3.5" lift kits installed, so I have a bit more room underneath to begin with. But with highs in the mid-40's and a gravel driveway, I will keep my appointment with the dealer. I have about 5 or 6 other minor warranty issues, the rig is already winterized, and we have only had just less than one year, so I will let the dealer deal with it this time.
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