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Old 06-15-2021, 05:43 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 19
Question Black tank in 78 Tradewind

Hello All, I'm new here and hope to get to know many of you much better in the coming months! I have done home renovations and repaired hauling trailers, but this is my first time doing anything in an Airstream or any form of RV for that matter.


I recently purchased a 25' 1978 Tradewind Land Yacht International. A large portion of the sub floor is fairly rotted and both the front end and bum are separating from the shell. I'm assuming I will eventually end up doing a full shell off. Thankfully the frame looks solid/usable. In order to remove the rotted sub floor I have removed the rear bath. In this model the Black tank is on a small riser above the sub floor that the toilet sat directly on top of. I am confused on how to actually remove the black tank.


Is this only attainable after removing the belly pan? or is there a way to disconnect the black tank from inside the trailer if the bathroom is already gutted? I couldn't seem to find a thread where this issue was discussed, but I'm new and may not be using the search function correctly. Thanks for any help!
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:54 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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You probably have a dump valve assembly screwed into the bottom of the tank from under the subfloor, so yes, you will have to drop at least the rear most section of belly pan in order to see the plumbing and dump valve. The valve will have to be cut away from the rest of the plumbing, and then, you might be able to unscrew it from the tank.

good luck!
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:30 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Welcome from Conifer! Always nice to meet a vintage Airstream enthusiasts who lives nearby.

Your 78 sounds like the 76 Sovereign 31' trailer my friend and I did a couple of winters ago. But the black tank was under the subfloor where I think it belongs. My son's 69 Globe Trotter 21' had an above floor black tank which I didn't like. It had a vertical drain port with the dump valve in the belly pan area.

Job one is to remove the toilet and the toilet flange. It is likely threaded into a 3" pipe thread "spin weld" on the top of the black tank. The tank will also have a vent pipe on the top of it somewhere. After the toilet flange is screwed out, many of them stick tight so use some penetrating oil, then remove the cover off the tank.

You can see the black tank maybe from the rear cargo door. But the toilet flange and vent pipe are likely the main tank holding pieces.

Here is a photo of my son's black tank, toilet flange, and dump valve. I assume your trailer has a rear corner wet bath.

David
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:44 PM   #4
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2021
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thanks for the response! will jump to dropping the belly pan i guess
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:46 PM   #5
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
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so great to see someone local! thanks for the help/advise Would love to connect at some point and see your AS and pick your brain for wisdom..
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:54 PM   #6
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1978 25' Tradewind
Evergreen , Colorado
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Here is the tank im dealing with. It was a center toilet/sink, closet on the left, and shower on the right.

*edit-
Not sure why all the pictures loaded sideways and upside down, but I can't find an option to rotate them.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:09 AM   #7
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
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Hi Vagabond: How about that, a mid bath 78 Trade Wind. I think the mid bath is better utilization of space, but creates a smaller bathroom. The big rear bathrooms of the 60s and 70s sold a lot of Airstreams I bet.

Well, from the photos it appears you are well into your project. It is a long haul, but an enjoyable one if a guy likes big projects. Now seeing the your photos, my response on above floor black tanks was way off target. Don't know why your tank now won't just lift out.

Airstream Forums struggles with phone photos. I understand they have to be cut down some to get them to post in landscape. I use a "point and shoot" camera that I downsize my photos to about 200kb. Airstream Forums downsizes them again to maybe 100kb.

Sure, I'd enjoy meeting another local vintage Airstream enthusiasts and have an "open house" on our projects. I'll send a private message to you through Airstream Forums and we can work on a date an place.

Here is a photo of my 75 Overlander just for fun.

David
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Old 07-09-2021, 04:24 AM   #8
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1976 25' Tradewind
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Flushing , Michigan
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Greetings. I have a ‘76 Trade Wind that is now essentially complete. I’d be glad to share what I have learned and employed in my own journey. I, too, had a very badly rotted bathroom/rear floor and early on decided that the shell needed to be removed to do a proper rebuild—it was even worse than I thought once the deconstruction was done, so I was glad I went that route. The frame had to be rebuilt at the rear, new tank pans were fashioned and installed, and several/most outriggers were replaced, then a new belly pan was installed. I hired out some work for which I was badly unqualified. It is a lot of work, but can be quite satisfying. If you use David as your advisor, you will be in very capable hands—I have learned much from him and wish he was not 1,000+ miles away.
Here are a few photos, send me a private message if you want. Good luck on your project!
Steve
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:35 PM   #9
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Hello Steve46: I've met T. Vagabond. Very capable young man. He is half our age, let that sink in for a while! You might enjoy following along with his 78 Tradewind project since you have already built one. Here is a link to his project thread.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f12...og-224484.html

They named their trailer Eleanor. I've never named any of my old trailers. They are things. But reading aviation history lately, many of the WWII aircraft crews named their airplanes. Airstreams look like airplanes a bit. Well anyway, maybe naming the trailer isn't so unusual after all.

David
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