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Old 06-22-2019, 10:18 AM   #1
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Water pump do-over (T1N Interstate van)

This project has been on our to-do list for almost *five years*!!

In the T1N (first-generation) Interstate, the water pump is located under the kitchen galley counter on the forward (left) end.

As was the case with many other aspects of the T1N build, Airstream made an unconscionable mess of the space. Electrical wires and water lines flung every which way in a big rat's nest. It may have functioned, but the workmanship was ghastly, plus the messy installation resulted in the forfeiture of what should have been a cavernous storage space.

For almost 5 years, I have been squeezing my little laundry basket in there with the pump.

But then the pump seal started going bad, resulting in backflow and the noisy pump actuating at all hours of the night. LB_3 attempted to repair it, but that effort was unsuccessful, and not only that, the pump actually got louder. So then he tried to quiet the pump with noise attenuating materials, which made an even bigger mess of the space.

So we bought a new pump. And, if we are going to go to the trouble to install a new pump, we might as well clean up this area once and for all, so that we can finally make use of it for storage the way it ought to have been used all along.

I don't yet know how this project is going to work out, but here's the "before" pic of said rat's nest:

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Old 06-22-2019, 11:39 AM   #2
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"There's scope creep," LB_3 announced grimly. But at first, he wouldn't tell me what it consisted of.

This. The diagonal end-cap unscrews from the cabinetry without disturbing the remaining structure. If that thing could be trimmed out and REATTACHED WITH HINGES, it would dramatically improve storage access in the galley's butt end. All that space you see there top and bottom is very difficult to reach and organize via the door that opens into the center aisle.

The cabinetry is quite solidly constructed. It wouldn't require much bolstering to have this become a functional door rather than a fixed panel.

Maybe one of those doors that latches and unlatches by pushing on it, so it would be nearly invisible. Push on it, and it pops out. Push on it again and it re-latches. I don't know if that could be accomplished with this geometry, but it would be cool if it could.

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Old 06-23-2019, 07:02 PM   #3
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I feel like throwing up in my mouth - I can't believe we lived for almost five years with a water pump that sounded like a bloody World War II machine gun. WHY?!



This pic below doesn't give a good feel for what this space now looks like - the 3rd dimension is lost. The pump is suspended from the underside of the shelf via T-nuts and brass screws. It hangs down about 6 inches and everything else is now relocated up against the butt end of the fresh water tank. But the pic sorta makes it look like it is all in the same plane.

LB_3 engineered some vibration-dampening measures to go with the now-hanging water pump. This is a story-within-a-story, but those measures include four rubber pool cue bumpers inserted into the suspension mechanism. We acquired those bumpers some years back when he built me a custom six-quarters chef's cutting board with really robust non-slip feet (the pool cue bumpers made far better feet than anything else on the market).

Anyway, this is just an interim pic, but my mind is blown by how QUIET this thing is (and it's a Shurflo, same brand as the one we took out).

See the screw holes remaining in the floor, where that hot mess of non-workmanship originally consumed most of this precious storage space.

More to come on the cabinetry finish work.

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Old 06-23-2019, 07:36 PM   #4
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Very nice. Looks like a lot more useable space without all that mounted to the floor. Are you planning to cover it? To avoid anything being stored there to damage wiring or the pipes?

On the door clips. I saw something similar being used in the new 2020 AI-19... well, now that I think about it... those are different... I had to pull the panel to remove... not like the push and click that you are going to use...
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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Missed the edit window -

My husband wanted to see more of a true before-and-after comparison, so this is closer to being that (I had to back out on the lower pic to show the hanging water pump).

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Old 06-23-2019, 09:23 PM   #6
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Space for free! Quite an welcome addition, especially in a class b.


My shoulders ache for LB_3.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:30 AM   #7
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Yes, second set of photos shows the difference much better. Every bit of space that can be recovered counts!
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:17 PM   #8
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<rant>I swear it seems like AS goes to great lengths to make the biggest mess they can. Where has the pride in workmanship gone? Get it out the door, fast. Let the dealers fix this mess later. Go, go, go. </rant>
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tincampers View Post
<rant>I swear it seems like AS goes to great lengths to make the biggest mess they can. Where has the pride in workmanship gone? Get it out the door, fast. Let the dealers fix this mess later. Go, go, go. </rant>
I see your rant and raise you some female-dogging.

WHUT is my biggest pet peeve? The fact that Airstream used some of the best furniture-grade cabinetry stock available, no less than 8-ply (I am not even sure it is made any longer), but DID NOT SEAL THEIR CUT EDGES, which would have cost just a few more minutes of labor, but saved so much for the end-user.

As a result, even one glass of water spilled on the floor is a disaster. In 13 years, we had probably 3 minor water events. One Airstream-derived PEX leak, one minor leak before our ownership, and one other dribble that came from refrigerator condensation running across the floor to the opposite side, and this (below) is what happened to the bottom of our diagonal panel, the one that I took to a cabinet-maker this morning to have trimmed down so that it can become a door. This is the piece he chopped off so that the door can clear the floor (and my Flor carpet tiles) as it hinges.

It's going to take me a few days to prep and properly seal that whole panel, so the reveal on that part of the project is still to come.

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Old 06-24-2019, 10:21 PM   #10
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At least that nasty bottom edge is gone for all eternity. Won't be missed. Nope, not even a little.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
I see your rant and raise you some female-dogging.

WHUT is my biggest pet peeve? The fact that Airstream used some of the best furniture-grade cabinetry stock available, no less than 8-ply (I am not even sure it is made any longer), but DID NOT SEAL THEIR CUT EDGES, which would have cost just a few more minutes of labor, but saved so much for the end-user.

As a result, even one glass of water spilled on the floor is a disaster.
And let's not start on failing to paint screw holes in the body leading to body rust around pretty much ANY and ALL of the places they cut holes for utilities.

*sigh*
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:31 AM   #12
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And let's not start on failing to paint screw holes in the body leading to body rust around pretty much ANY and ALL of the places they cut holes for utilities.

*sigh*
Yes. There are historical threads on that, too.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:23 AM   #13
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And let's not start on failing to paint screw holes in the body leading to body rust around pretty much ANY and ALL of the places they cut holes for utilities.

*sigh*
85MH325 - Sorry to hear. But my unit has ALL wounds, screw holes, exposed screw threads, and body penetrations painted. Even rivets were painted. I specifically ordered the "Rustproofing Option" Few pics below from a folder full of undercarriage pics.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:12 AM   #14
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Space for free! Quite an welcome addition, especially in a class b.


My shoulders ache for LB_3.
Thank for feeling my pain.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:46 AM   #15
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I just put the final enamel coat on the removed panel. It was chock full of screw and staple holes on its reverse side, so I had to fill all those and re-coat.

I used Sherwin Williams oil-based enamel color-matched to the Interstate cabinetry interior. It will adhere to the OEM melamine-like backing if you give it a light sanding first. I had a good 3/4 can left over from our overhead cabinetry expansion project, so I did not have to purchase any for this little scope-creep project.

I may have hell to pay removing my front masking later today. The Interstate cabinetry "cherry" laminate has a matte finish. It's just enough texture to allow seepage under conventional painter's tape, so I masked it off with full-adhesive "regular" masking tape, which can deposit a residue if left on too long (in this context, greater than 48 hours is risky). Adhesive goo is typically easier to remove than oil-based paint, though.

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Old 06-27-2019, 09:54 AM   #16
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I replaced the water pump in mine (it is pretty cheap, so I didn’t mess with the old one). I changed it to have a inlet filter (didn’t originally have one) and a ‘T’ to easily add antifreeze without adding to tank.

I like how you moved it up to suspend- it would have been a royal pain to do that without removing that corner panel.
I think that will be on my lest to do. I like that idea a lot.

Thanks for the post.
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:44 AM   #17
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... it would have been a royal pain to do that without removing that corner panel.....
I assumed - and what we say about the word "assume" certainly applies here - that it would have been MUCH harder to get at that thing, or to do anything productive with the space, other than moving the pump.

Lo and behold, the panel is not even really structural. Or if we argue that it IS structural, it's secondarily so (as evidenced by the fact that only very small screws and staples held it in place). The cabinetry is overbuilt on account of the mobile nature of the application, so it can afford to lose a few bits and still be robust.

I didn't give it any thought, was my problem. We tore up the refrigerator cabinetry two years ago to widen it for the new Vitrifrigo, and I saw the redundancy there, but it did not go DING DING DING in my head about the other cabinetry being similar.

Anyway, the weekend approacheth, when hopefully we will complete this mod.
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Old 06-30-2019, 04:53 AM   #18
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THREAD SIDEBAR:

Be careful ordering cabinetry with "soft close" mechanisms, which are all the rage right now, to the point where you'd think they are the next manna from heaven. They rely on a device which contains a seal, and given a bit of time, seals break. And then the device becomes worse than useless.

My professional cabinet-maker (the guy who trimmed my galley panel) refuses to indulge his customers with respect to them. He simply will not install soft-close hardware, because WHEN they break (not if), it will reflect badly on him as a craftsman.

Why is this relevant to this thread?

Because once "soft-close" hit the market, everyone wanted it, and other types of cabinetry hardware went into decline. There's a lot of junk out there, but the quality options that USED to exist are now devilishly difficult to find.

We are now on our third trial option for closing the new cabinet door that we incorporated into our Interstate galley after replacing the water pump. It has been as aggravating as heck trying to find something that is not cheap crap from China that will work in this application.

I'll have that cabinetry reveal later today, but what a pain this has been, what should be such a simple task.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:40 AM   #19
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Videographer I ain't, but here is the reveal on the new cabinetry door in front of the new water pump.

Right now, the latch consists of two neodymium magnets with center bores, simply screwed one to the door and one to the shelf. As you can see, the hold is quite firm - I have to yank on it to get it to open. Thus it should stay closed while on the road.

However, LB_3 is worried that the neodyms are going to SNAP together with such force that eventually one of them will shatter (neodymium magnets are very brittle). He covered them with electrical tape to lessen the attractive blows, but this mechanism has plenty of room for improvement.

As I mentioned in the post above, nothing else we tried to use as a magnetic catch was strong enough. I bought two brands of magnetic touch latches, and both were junk. Wasted my dough.

Well, why not just put regular RV cabinetry hardware on there, you might ask?

Answer: Because I'd rather not mount a handle on this side of the cabinet. I'm toying with the idea of sealing this end of the galley off from the inside, and keeping it a little stealthy. Right now it has my "mobile office" magnetic organizer board on the front side of it, and it does not have the appearance of a door.

LB_3 asked, "Don't you think a thief would notice the piano hinge on the left side and open it anyway?"

Not necessarily. If they smash and grab, they'll have a need for speed. They might not notice that this part is open-able if it has no handle and office supplies stuck to it.

Anyway, here is the interim configuration. And BTW, this is the first time in almost FIVE YEARS that I will have a means of storing larger grocery containers like cereal boxes and snap-lid bulk food containers.

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Old 06-30-2019, 10:03 AM   #20
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Anyway, here is the interim configuration. And BTW, this is the first time in almost FIVE YEARS that I will have a means of storing larger grocery containers like cereal boxes and snap-lid bulk food containers.

It looks, dare I say it, spacious? Kind of staggering to find that much extra storage in a class b. Great job. both of you!
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