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Old 07-02-2020, 08:43 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
Osoyoos , british columbia
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1974 sovereign

I am having a few issues at the back end of my Airstream. I live in it year round.
1. From the belly underneath, there is a short tube there. It constantly streams fresh water. Anyone know how I can get to what is happening? Someone suggested a seal is too old.
2. I assume it is a black tank issue, off and on, at the bathroom area the air just smells like sewage. Then it goes away, then it smells awful again.
Can anyone enlighten me?
3. The AC motor finally seized up. How to remove it, deal with it? Or is there one that is a suitable replacement?
I am a mechanically unskilled woman, but if I can find someone to work on the issues I could pass on any info.
Cross my fingers, thanks.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:03 AM   #2
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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1. Sounds like a low point drain valve is open.
2. Does the toilet bowl hold water? If not it has a bad seal.
2. How full is the black tank? Are you connected to a sewer?
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:16 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
Osoyoos , british columbia
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Thanks Twinkie. Yes the toilet bowl holds water.
How do I access the low point valve?
I am connected to a sewer. I close the tank and after a few days, I pull it open, drain, close it and start over. But in the meantime it can smell awfully like sewer once in a while. Is there a vent shaft or something that can be clogged maybe?
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:03 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Well, it all depends on how many modifications have happened to the trailer in the last 50 years...but, assuming the trailer is pretty much "stock," then:

1) I agree with the above suggestion that you have an open (or leaking) low point drain. Get a mental image of where the tube that is leaking fresh water is relative to the interior of the trailer, and then go looking for it. You will probably find this low point drain under the cabinetry in the rear of the trailer, assuming you have a rear bath configuration. If you have the original copper plumbing, then the valve will look something like an exterior hose connection on your typical house.

2) The black tank-stank could be several things: You might have a plugged vent pipe (look for the little pyramid shaped things on your roof that surround the black tank vent pipes), a broken vent pipe, a cracked black tank, a broken valve/plumbing connection underneath, or a bad seal between the toilet and the tank. Again, depending on how much this trailer has been repaired/renovated, you might have some direction. In my '73, the toilet (and the weight of the person sitting on it) was supported directly by the polyethylene tank, which cracked over time. It could be the same situation, if you have the original tank and set up. The fact that the smell comes and goes may be just a matter of whether the cracks (wherever they may be) have been flexed recently.

3) Do you have the original air conditioner? The way to tell is that back in those days, the AC unit was riveted directly to the shell, whereas modern AC units sit on the shell and are clamped in place via internal bolts/fasteners. If you have the original AC, then you are in something of a bind. A picture is worth 1000 worlds at this point. Anyway, there are folks on these forums that swear by those 50 year old units, and continue to find parts for them and repair them, BUT it is very unlikely that you will find a repairman who is going to take on that kind of project. If you have a more modern unit, then the approach is typically just to replace the entire unit. Again, not a lot of information to go with here.

good luck!
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:14 AM   #5
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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The above is all good advice.
You may be able to find a residential heating and air conditioning person to look at your air conditioner.
Most RV tech types are remove and replace types.
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:19 AM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Originally, in our'72, the low point drains were under the kitchen sink. Keep looking for them. l
We had a situation in our trailer a few years ago, with sewer smell on and off in the bathroom. We found that one of our toilet bolts that hold the toilet to the floor was broken, allowing gas from the black tank to enter the trailer. It might also be the vent pipe from the black tank has clogged somehow as stated above. Also, if you have your roof vents drawing air out of the trailer, with no window open to compensate for the draw, you might get sewer gas up through the toilet.
Good luck!

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Old 07-03-2020, 11:30 AM   #7
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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Actually, I would hazard a guess that it (sewer air flow) goes the opposite way, ie., if you have fans sucking the air out of the trailer, or windows open with a nice cross-breeze, you could theoretically suck air into the trailer via the black tank vent, through the black tank, and up into the trailer via leaky toilet seals, cracks int eh black tank, etc..
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:46 PM   #8
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1977 21' Globetrotter
Davis , California
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Is the fresh water only leaking with the pump on? It's possible you have a failed pressure relief valve. If you can view the area inside the trailer, you may see that there is an overpressure relief valve and drain tube there.

Re: the smell. If you open both the grey and black water tank drain valves while camping (i.e. sewer hookup) you may get odors flowing into the trailer via the shower drain, as there's no water seal to prevent gasses from venting out that way. Try closing the grey water drain and see if that solves the odor issue.
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