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Old 02-11-2007, 06:58 PM   #1
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4th broken water tank drain valve

Today we broke our 4th plastic fresh water tank drain petcock. Everytime we drive on a rocky road, it breaks.

The small metal shield below provides little or no protection.

That's 4 valves in 3.5 years. This is a terrible design.

Can anyone recommend a better replacement? This is getting old.

73/gus
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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Having never broken one, I'm curious...

Is the petcock/handle flush with the side of the tank when you travel, or does it stick out? It should be flush with the side...

Is yours behind the rear wheel? Is it really getting broken by thrown rocks, or might it be wheel movement or some other component... Ours is inside front wheel, and is a pain to reach, but never gets hit..

As goofy as it sounds, I think I'd put foam/duct tape over valve when traveling, if you can't turn it far enough to get handle out of the way... Maybe others are having same problem on 31's and have a better fix...
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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I am unfamiliar with your year, but just reading your question - how about putting in a plug instead of a petcock.
It would not be as easy to drain as you would need to remove the plug, but it would be Easier then constantly breaking and replacing the petcock.
Hope this is of some help.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:20 PM   #4
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having broken one and replacing it with the same i can say it is not an easy task.

is the hole in the outer tank misaligned? perhaps it is putting stress on it and snapping it off. or is it getting hit by outside objects?

if it is threaded like mine is you could replace it with a short piece of pipe with a cap on it. nothing to hit.

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Old 02-11-2007, 08:05 PM   #5
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The break is the same as before - petcock broken off by rocks.

The valve is behind the front tire, curb side. It sticks out from the tank and has a small metal shield below.

See this image - which is what it looks like AGAIN!
http://www.airforums.com/forum...6&d=1083520568

73/gus
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:10 PM   #6
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I feel your pain, I've broken two on my Safari, seems to me the guard should be IN FRONT of the drain, not under it. Then again, if a rock decides to jump straight up it might work. Queried AS JC about this, they don't think it's a problem. Well it is when all your onboard water drains away and you stop for the night planning on the shower. It needs to be rethunked, kinda like no winterizing kits on the water pump.......
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:10 PM   #7
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gus

the photo explains alot. bend up a sheet metal shroud, box shaped and screw it to the tank.

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Old 02-11-2007, 08:17 PM   #8
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replace plastic drain w/brass pet cock type valve. I buy the brass valve in 90 degree and drill out 3/8 fender washer, solder onto valve where the body goes square(disassemble valve 1st to preserve seal) drill two 3/16 hole in washer/flange you have just created and reinstall. I have used this fix many times over the last ten years and have had no more problems with the customers coaches repaired in this manor $appx.5.00
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:51 PM   #9
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excellent idea! costs almost the same as a new nylon valve!

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Old 02-12-2007, 08:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crestonrv
replace plastic drain w/brass pet cock type valve...
How do you keep thisone from being damaged from rocks and road gators without a shield around it?

73/gus
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:30 AM   #11
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Mud flaps.
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:32 AM   #12
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Got them! Now what?

73/gus
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:36 AM   #13
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Got me. If you have a good set of mud flaps on the Airstream and you are still having the issue, I guess my next suggestion would be to rivet or screw on a deflector plate...sort of like an upside down "L" type bracket.

My dump valves are directly in line with the tire discharge and I go on gravel fairly freq. No issues so far, but looking at your pics, your area appears to be right behind the tire....

I'm still puzzled how rocks could get around mud flaps on the Airstream......
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:47 AM   #14
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Oh. Our mud flaps are on the Sierra. This valve is right behind the Airstream curb front tire, so mudflaps on the Airstream wouldn't help.

After replacing the valve again, am considering a combination of a metal valve AND a box type guard. Still looking at valve options.

73/gus
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:27 AM   #15
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Gus,

On the inside of the rear of the wheel well, there is an outrigger that you could use metal screws and mount the mud flap from the inside of the wheel well. A good flap will flex only so much, but at the same time, even with the gear near the wheel well, it should still clear it, if you mount the mud flap from the inside on that outrigger toward the rear of the well. Of course you could also place a piece of metal or plastic there as well, but I personally like a good rubber mud flap that doesn't flex too much, yet still gives way if you hit something. I've considered this many times for the Safari and it seems doable..... It wouldn't take a big flap either...you just need a few inches (maybe 5 or 6) lower than the well itself to deflect any projectiles.

PS- if you do go that route, also use Vulkem or some sort of good caulk to seal the screws in so that water and such doesn't get behind it and rust out the outrigger prematurely.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:29 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info. Good idea for protecting the rear portion of the trailer.

Does a mud flap at the rear of the wheel well protect the valve that is closer to the front of the wheel well?

73/gus
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:41 PM   #17
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My bad...I read it and looked at your photos and just plugged in the discharge for the black and grey tank.....

Mine is right between the axles as I would think yours is too. I've been down some pretty rough roads and haven't lost mine....yet, but one suggestion would be to fabricate a metal cover on a hinge and use that as a protector. There is plenty of steel around that area to secure such a beast. I'm questioning though what the heck would make you loose so many....roadkill, off pavement travels (but then again, I do off pavement all the time on gravel, sand, etc). Are the tires aligned properly? I know it's a long shot, but I've been posting and tracking the QC threads since 2004 and I don't recall this one being out there or at least as many times as you've seen.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:50 PM   #18
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Two road gators and two rocky roads (we can correlate to the leaking fresh water). Yesterday it was a 10 mile stretch of US 90 in west Texas where TXDOT has taken the road down to raw, gravel sub-base, that we travsersed at the posted 40 mph construction area speed limit.

This moderator had a replacement, the metal valve suggestion came from several customers, and there was the Sierra owner who is on his third valve. This is just a poor design to have such a breakable nylon valve unprotected from road debris.

The wheels have been aligned, but it still happens. Just a lot of rocks flying around down there.

73/gus
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