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Old 02-15-2020, 08:35 PM   #141
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Leak Update

The leak between the tank and the valterra valve drips for about an hour. The drip is maybe one a minute. It quits after that. Very little water leaks out. It only leaks after I add water to the tank from either the sink or tub. It drips off the hose clamp. I feel no water above or below the hose clamp. The area stays dry all night. All fingers point at that joint, but why does it stop. I have about 10 gallons of water in the grey tank now. Should be plenty of head pressure to keep a leak leaking.

I'll keep thinking of all the possibilities of a "temporary" leak.

I glued a piece of FRP to the wall behind the tub. This gives that wall lots of protection from shower splash water. So I have one wall of four done in the wardrobe area. I haven't figured out yet exactly how the sliding door to the wardrobe / bath area works. We do know the heavy particle board doors for the wardrobe closets are too heavy, way too heavy for the aluminum extrusions and goofy hinges Airstream assembled it with. We will make lighter doors. I even think curtains would be adequate, but no decision from the boss on that one yet.

David
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:43 PM   #142
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I assume the line is horizontal? Is the line between the tank and valve completely or partially full with the 10 gallons in the tank? If only partially filled is your leak coming from the top of the line until the water level goes even or below. Just a guess from your description.
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:23 PM   #143
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Leak Fixed

I removed the Valterra valve and 3" ABS pipe going into the tank looking for a reason for a drip from this joint. I found two possible causes.

First, the molded boss in this old tank is no longer round. It is oval shaped in the vertical axis. Maybe my puny hose clamps didn't have the strength to force the plastic boss round against the ABS pipe.

Second, the molded boss had a very rough finish on the ID. Maybe some previous owner tried to scrap out some caulk with a chisel or something. There were scratches going front to back inside the boss. These could also be a cause of a leak.

I can not explain why this slow leak would stop after an hour or so. That one is a mystery to me.

So I cleaned off my sealant, applied new sealant to the ID of the boss filling all the scratches, reassembled the parts, and tightened my hose clamps to the max. I tested it yesterday and no leak or wetness observed. I've only got a gallon in the tank so far. Ten gallons basically makes the water level above the 3" molded boss so the whole area is under water. That's the best test.

Now onto the closet bulkhead walls and the bath pocket door.

David
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:27 PM   #144
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Nice work figuring that leak out David. Did you take any photos of the leaking fitting?
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:13 PM   #145
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Hi Coloradoup: Yep, I did take a photo of the out of round molded boss on the old grey tank. I don't know how much this played a role in the leak. I also applied a liberal amount of sealant to the ID of this boss to accommodate the scratching I found inside.

I reassembled, tightened the hose clamps, and no drips. Hooray.

David
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:21 PM   #146
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Wardrobe Door Pocket

The bulkhead wall material in this 76 Sovereign is 5mm thick I think. It is flimsy stuff after 44 years. My saw cuts through it like it was warm butter.

I wanted to show you this stack of parts that make up the pocket the pocket door slides into, and the aluminum extrusion that the wardrobe door hinges are bolted too. Both pocket door and wardrobe door weigh about 15 pounds each. I don't believe there was ever enough structural strength to hold the weigh of the doors. And if one came open during towing, you got a mess.

We will rebuild with heavier materials and maybe lighter weight doors.

David
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:10 PM   #147
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Wardrobe Woes

I'm stuck. I should have taken photos or measurements before we dismantled the wardrobe. Here is my delima:

The street side rear wardrobe wall is against the water heater. The curb side rear wall is the wall behind the tub. These walls fit the plastic end cap "groove". They gotta be right.

The two front wardrobe to bedroom walls must align with the bedroom overhead cabinets, and must align with each other so the pocket door "header" is square. This alignment creates a wardrobe that is wider than the shelves and kick plates we took out, and the walls don't match the previous rivet holes. I just don't get it.

I would appreciate a photo and maybe a width measurement of your wardrobe closets. Any help appreciated.

David
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:11 PM   #148
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David,

I feel your pain—I think that rebuilding curved bulkheads and getting them square and properly aligned is tricky, frustrating and not particularly satisfying. Add to that building/fitting the “pocket door” assembly, and one can have multiple challenges. Just fitting the rebuilt pocket door and its hardware properly afforded an inch or so of “play” that required much trial and error fitting. At one point I thought mine were acceptable and then realized they were not square/plumb/level which lead to much “adjustment”. All told I found it to be much more time consuming than I ever expected it to be. I, too, wish I had taken more “before” photos.

I’m pretty sure that Murphy’s Law has a corollary that goes something like this: “once disassembled an object (almost anything and taken apart for whatever reason) will not go back together and fit as original, and/or there will be parts left over at the end”.

I cannot directly relate to your experience as my 25’ TradeWind has no wardrobe, however the beds do abut the bathroom walls. Having said that, it seems that one reason for the extra space between the walls where the shelves go, might be if the new bulkheads were constructed of thinner material than the originals. Using my own experience, that seems unlikely as I “beefed up” the bulkhead thickness slightly. Perhaps placing a shim to take up the extra space may be an acceptable solution, also it looks like one more overhead cabinet needs to be reattached in the bedroom—I found this helps stabilize the bulkhead.

I don’t know if they will help, but here are a couple of photos:
1) the “wardrobe” I constructed within the bathroom where the utility closet had been and where the pocket door resides
2) bulkheads up between the bath and bed rooms, including the header for the pocket door.

Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:20 PM   #149
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Thank you Steve46: We learn on these Forums that it takes 10x times longer to reassemble these old Airstreams. I am over 2" misaligned between the two forward wardrobe walls. I don't remember how it was when we took it apart. My friend is coming over tomorrow and we'll figure out what to do. I'll keep you posted.

I moved on to refurbishing an overhead cabinet today. That job I can handle.

David
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:54 PM   #150
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Not Square Not Fair

I've spent maybe three days trying to figure out why my wardrobe to bedroom walls won't align right. My friend and Sovereign owner was over today and we spent another couple of hours reviewing the facts: Pocket door header forces alignment of the two bulkhead walls. Wardrobe to bath walls are in alignment and square. Wardrobe shelves are different widths, one at 26" and one at 24.5 inches. Wardrobe walls are tight to overhead cabinets over beds. Wardrobe closet doors are different widths. Street side wardrobe wall does not align with old rivet holes. We could find on errors in our reasoning. We reviewed the photos he took during the tear down and found nothing that helped us.

So my friend said what if Airstream made an error and got the walls crooked, not square to the side walls. So we clamped in the 24.5" shelf and the 26" shelf along with the pocket door header, rotated the walls about 3 degrees out of square and then the wall aligned with the old rivet holes. The walls are quite flexible so we could force it tight to the overhead cabinets.

It appears who ever set these walls up originally 44 years ago did not install them square. That is our guess, only a guess.

My friend said he never noticed anything was amiss with these walls. The bedframes, overhead cabinets, and wardrobe shelves conceal the error almost totally.

So I build it crooked just like Airstream apparently did 44 years ago, which will bother me, but I will get over it. Here is a photo showing how much the street side wardrobe closet wall will be out of square to the side wall.

Move on David
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Old 02-23-2020, 12:53 AM   #151
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I feel the same way you do. In my 58 I found cross members were not square to the frame rails. The distance from cross member to cross member varied up to 3/4" from side to side. Then I found the rear window was an 1.5" off center. That created some fun in making the new interior end cap look "symmetrical". Appears squares and tape measures were not assembly line tools.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:54 AM   #152
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I hear you David and have had a similar experience. Given I diverged from the original layout I did my best to keep things square, plumb, and level. In your situation, I’d do the same as you. As you know, moving one piece of the assembled puzzle shifts other pieces along with it. That would be a decision that could cause further headaches. Also, sounds like it wasn’t noticed during dissembling so I suspect those in the trailer will not notice in the future. Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:43 PM   #153
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Not even close to square

David, your discovery reminds me of my own experience. Someone once remarked to me that the factory must not have ever issued levels or squares for use in assembly (imagine if someone asked....what is a plumb bob...?). I tend to concur as my below experience shows.
My ‘76 Trade Wind originally had a gaucho on one side and a wardrobe and drawers on the other side. I decided to do away with the wardrobe and put twin beds on each side. When I reinstalled the interior aluminum walls and then rehung the overhead cabinets, something just didn’t look right (at least to me, the biggest critic of things that don’t turn out to my own satisfaction). Well, hidden by the wardrobe, now removed, was the misalignment/out of level condition of the overhead cabinet. I did what I could, but, at least for me, my eye is drawn to this spot whenever I gaze upon the area. I know the walls/bulkheads are square and level, as well as there being a consistent measurement for the door opening top to bottom, as I took great pains to ensure that. See the photos for the proof—the streetside is nearly perfect as the square shows, the roadside is off by nearly half an inch.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:52 PM   #154
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Battery box

David, thanks for the idea, here is a photo of my new constructed battery box, dry fitted into its spot.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:50 PM   #155
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Your wood battery box looks perfectly fine. It will isolate the battery off gasses from the living quarters. I think it was 1977 when Airstream started installing the batteries, converter and fuse panel up front under the front window and on the A frame. I think batteries have been located there now for a long time. New fangled AGM batteries have less risk of battery fumes.

David
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:56 PM   #156
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Crooked Shelves for Crooked Walls

I'm working on making tapered shelves for my out of square wardrobe closet. We've decided to use a second accordian door for the wardrobe and bath area instead of the old, heavy pocket door. We also plan to fabricate new closet doors as the original ones are about 15 pounds each and about 1" thick made of particleboard and covered with formica.

Gonna be a lot of pieces parts to make getting the wardrobe back together. My friend is working on refurbishing the bed frames and bedroom overhead cabinet. Two working makes the job go faster of course.

David
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:22 PM   #157
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Curbside Wardrobe Done

Well, mostly. It is quite time consuming when every part you make has to be hand made due to everything being curved and not square. But we got done what we planned for this hanging wardrobe. We raised the floor about 13" to create more exterior cargo storage under the wardrobe. You can see how we cut the bulkhead wall just aft of the cargo door in the photo below. 76 Sovereigns did not have much external storage room, so we added some.

Now onto the street side closet that we decided would be shelf space. Think clothes pantry if you will. Again, painstakingly slow due to hand cutting everything to fit. Shelf space will be large as the closet is roughly 24" wide by 22" deep.

We are initially thinking of keeping the heavy closet doors the trailer came with. This door design is prevalent throughout the trailer with similar doors in the bath and galley.

So on we go, one piece at a time.

David
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:43 PM   #158
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Street Side Wardrobe Done

We decided to install shelving on the street side wardrobe. Curb side is hanging stuff, street side is folded stuff. I call it a "chest of shelves" since they aren't drawers.

It was time consuming as every shelf had to be had fit to the inconsistencies of the closet. But it is all assembled and ready to go.

The next job is building the door frames and hanging the doors. We will also make a new "header" over the entry way to the two closets. This will tie the walls together and add some structural strength. Airstream had a piece of 3/16" material up there, but ours is badly rotted and warped. No good.

A little progress every day we hope.

David

(Shoot, left the camera in the shop.)
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:41 PM   #159
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Wardrobe Shelves

Here is a photo of the 5 shelves we made for the street side closet.

Now we fabricate the door frame and then hang the wardrobe doors. It is my opinion the doors are too heavy for the lightweight aluminum framing that Airstream used. We will build it stronger, albeit heavier.

David
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:01 PM   #160
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Nice shelves! Looks like plenty of storage space is available in the trailer. Keep up the good work, Brian
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