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Old 03-29-2016, 03:15 PM   #1
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Muskogee , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2011
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And then there were more things to fix...

Always, it seems, during every extended trip, something breaks or fails and has to be dealt with when I return home. This time, after a ten day, 2000 mile trip, three things needed fixing.

The first was a bit troubling. I noticed a "drip, drip, drip" coming from behind the microwave. Removing the lower drawer underneath it, I found the cold water connection to the outside shower now was leaking. The cold water line is connected with a pex to threaded adapter, and it's not something you can tighten without redoing the connection, and that's not something you want to do on a trip. But I wasn't sure that was the issue as I couldn't really tell where it was coming from. I went outside, and removed the knob. Underneath, there is a flat washer and hex shaped bolt. I didn't have a socket, but tried to tighten it with a crescent wrench, and maybe it moved a tiny bit. I put the knob back on, tightened the screw, and no more leak. I called the company that makes these things, and the nice lady said to be sure to winterize the valves by putting on the hose on the quick-connect adapter, and opening both valves. She also said the hex bolt can be removed to replace the washer inside the valve. I usually run antifreeze through both lines but that is not something Airstream bothers to tell you. So, be forewarned.

The second issue happened on the next to last day. I plugged in to shore power, and waited for the AC to light up on the panel. Nothing. No AC. Figuring it was the transfer switch, so I gave it a good whap, and viola, AC came on. So I figured it was a bad transfer switch. When I got home an connected to shore power, again, no AC and no amount of whacking the transfer switch mattered. I checked the voltage on the shore lines inside the transfer switch when the AC was connected. No AC there. So it was the cord. Turned out the connections inside had worn out in the female plug. Amazon, and $74 later, problem fixed (although I could have rewired the adapter, the cost to do that was not that much less than a new cord).

The final issue was the MaxxFan Vent. The last day, the cover went up about 90% of the way, the fell down an inch, back up again, etc., etc. I called Maxxfan, and the tech diagnosed it as a stripped lever-$9 plus shipping and an easy fix to replace.

One last event that was not caused by anything other than the poor placement and design of the location of the macerator happened when the bottom of the macerator mounting bracket hit high center on a railroad crossing. Now it's a bit skewed to the rear, but my previous modification with the flex y adapter kept it from doing any major damage to the pump. I five pound sledge and a good whack should realign it. Again, they should have put the darn thing in-line with the bottom of the tank, and not underneath it, putting it at risk.

So, I guess I was lucky as it could have been much worse.
2011 Interstate WD/Lounge (since sold).
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:32 AM   #2
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2007 Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,335
We had a similar PEX event this past New Years Eve. At least you could hear yours dripping - ours was the silent deadly type which flooded a bunch of stuff before we found it. Tightening the connection did the trick although I added several battery-operated water leak sensors after the fact.

The issue of railroad crossings and clearance came up on another thread recently - probably the ferry boat crossing thread because railroads are another hidden hazard that folks might not realize until it is too late.

Deletion of macerator is on my punch list for design of a fantasy Sprinter-based Class B. Whatever conveniences a macerator pump may provide, there are so many hazards associated with it that the cons outweigh the pros IMO. You've just listed another, and I'm thinking back to Protag's description of how they can freeze in cold weather unless drained properly. Our tanks drain by good old fashioned gravity and sometimes low tech is the most reliable tech. In a perfect post-retirement world, I'd be inclined to put an Interstate or a custom-built Class B (self-built or otherwise) through hell and high water, and I don't want a macerator that scrapes rail lines or freezes or blows fuses or gets jammed up and has to be manually rotated to free the mechanism. This IMO is too much functional overhead and too many potential failure pathways for too little gain.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:05 PM   #3
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2011 Interstate Coach
Overland Park , Kansas
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,797
I just can't imagine dealing w/ a "stinky slinky" and I grew up on a farm and did my share of manure removal. I can deal w/ any minor shortcomings presented by the macerator system.
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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Upfitted Transit 350 sitting in driveway.
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