Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-24-2022, 08:54 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
Jeff7176's Avatar
 
2018 25' International
Full-time , Traveler
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 192
Access Panel Location Recommendations

While out on the road in the great North, I went to a dump station, and when I pulled the handle for my grey tank it came all the way out in my hand. I pulled away the rubber “cover” that was around the handle to see inside the belly, and I could see the rod that actuates the dump valve, but I am a normal sized person and there was no chance I could squeeze my fingers far enough in that little hole to secure the handle back to the rod.

I have read here several times about folks adding access panels in the belly, so I cut a “hasty” access panel hole (drilled about 200 small holes in a square-ish shape and then finished with a Dremel) which gave me enough room to secure the rod and handle together again, and we were on our way.

I will clean up my sad excuse for a hole when we get to civilization and I can purchase an appropriate tool (as well as a sheet of aluminum to make a cover) to be able to make a clean cut, but that all got me to thinking.

If the grey handle came loose, the black handle probably will at some point. So I plan to cut another access panel hole and cover for that as well. But what other areas should I be thinking of doing the same?

We full-time and are often out in the middle of the wilderness (in the Yukon now) and it would be much easier to just drill out a few rivets, fix a problem, and secure a cover than start from scratch on the ground, under the trailer, in the mud, while it’s raining, and the mosquitoes are in full attack mode.

Any suggestions?

Our trailer is a 2018 International FBQ.
Jeff7176 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 09:13 PM   #2
Rivet Master

 
1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,526
I installed several access panels in the belly pan of both our trailers. I installed those where PVC connections were located in the event they sprung a leak. But mainly to replace Hepvo traps if needed. I cut an oversized piece of aluminum and attached with a few aluminum rivnuts and 8-32 SS pan head screws.
Bubba L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2022, 11:27 PM   #3
The Aluminum Tent 3
 
pcskier's Avatar
 
2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,884
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
I installed those where PVC connections were located in the event they sprung a leak. But mainly to replace Hepvo traps if needed. I cut an oversized piece of aluminum and attached with a few aluminum rivnuts and 8-32 SS pan head screws.

What year/models do you have that have plumbing under the floor in the belly?
pcskier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2022, 06:07 AM   #4
Rivet Master

 
1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,526
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
What year/models do you have that have plumbing under the floor in the belly?
We did a complete shell off renovation on both trailers. Neither trailer had grey tanks, so we added those. On the 55 I ran the shower drain in the belly pan to the grey tank drain line. The Hepvo trap is in the belly pan with an access panel (post #46 on the reno thread below).
Bubba L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2022, 11:55 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,338
Congrats on recovering from that small near disaster
As full timer you obviously had to pull a McGiver. One reason I travel with a few extra tools.
One of my trailers had valves replaced and there was a panel cut large enough for access to both valves.
My first trailer had a panel under the main plug in the water tank
I wasn’t even aware there was one, but the PO installed it to be sure the FW tank was well drained. I never used it.
JCW
JCWDCW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2022, 06:10 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
Dkoelfgen's Avatar
 
2011 27' FB Flying Cloud
Albertville , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 31
Blog Entries: 1
Access panel

Earlier this year while traveling in Texas I had to replace the Black water dump valve on our 2011 27’ FB.
I bought a power sheet metal snips at Harbor Freight (happened to be a store where we were). After drilling a 1/2” starter hole the nose of the power snip worked great. The galvanized steel that covers the tanks is quite thick, don’t think I could have done it with a hand snips. I cut a 10 X 12” hole leaving the front cut of the rectangle uncut. That way I could bend the metal down to access the valve then bend it back up when finished. I put 2 bolts with nuts in the slots to hold it till we got home.
At home I fabricated finished cutting the hole then made a cover from galvanized sheet with a L shaped lip for strength. Riveted in place it will be easy to remove.
Be careful drilling the tank covers as the inside tanks are very close to the large box cover enclosing them.
There is space by where the pull levers come through the side.
Hope this helps.
Dkoelfgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2022, 06:52 PM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
Jeff7176's Avatar
 
2018 25' International
Full-time , Traveler
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 192
Thanks for all the tips. I am uncertain about whether to buy some aviation snips or the power metal cutting tool thing from Harbor Freight (or similar, since I won’t be near one for a few months). If I need both left and right snips, the cost between the two is close to a wash.

I have to clean up my hole for the grey handle, but think I will make it larger so I can also access the valve in the event that needs to be replaced. I also pulled off the little rubber cover thing from around the opening for the black tank handle and noticed the handle to rod connection is very close to being accessible when the valve is closed. When open, it would be completely accessible. I also saw the handle and rod were riveted together. I thought there would be some kind of bolt and nut. But I think I will also add an access panel large enough in the event the black valve needs to be replaced.

From there I need to consider whether I think I need anything for the fresh tank. I don’t want to go crazy, but also don’t want to be figuring it out on the fly if something goes wrong.

Whichever tool I end up using, I’ll practice plenty first and cut all the holes conservatively.

Thanks again for passing on your experiences and advice.

Jeff
Jeff7176 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Winterizing Airstream - Water Pump Location & Access BobnGayl Winterizing, Storage, Carports & Covers 10 05-16-2019 05:38 AM
Access Panel Location for Shower??? LessOrdinary Plumbing - Systems & Fixtures 3 05-17-2018 09:13 PM
Water Pump Location/Access greatlakes 2000 - 2004 Safari 9 07-21-2010 08:35 AM
location location location goransons Airstreams on eBay 0 12-05-2009 09:29 AM
Location, Location, Location........... ROBERTSUNRUS Brakes & Brake Controllers 5 08-29-2009 06:13 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.