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Old 05-09-2016, 11:51 AM   #1
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Sewer tank valve

My 1975 Trade Wind sewer valve pull handle is stuck and can't open it. This Airstream has been sitting for many years. How can I get the valve open?
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:29 PM   #2
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Are you sure its stuck in closed position? Per aps its stuck in open position. If so try pushing it instead of pulling it.

YOu might try pouring a few cap fulls of vegetable oil in the black tank to see if that will loosen it. Worse case is to unbolt the valve mechanism from beneath the tank and replace it.

I assume the tank is dry and unused for years?
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:02 PM   #3
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I am not an expert regarding stuck valve, but I think that I would 1st get a 5 gallon can of dawn and water, put in the toilet, let sit for a short while. On the outside I would lightly tap the pull handle with a rubber mallet, not too hard, just enough to lightly move the slide valve. You may have to be patient and try several times. Then try pulling the handle slowly. Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2016, 02:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by camper View Post
My 1975 Trade Wind sewer valve pull handle is stuck and can't open it. This Airstream has been sitting for many years. How can I get the valve open?
When an Airstream trailer has been parked for several years, many things can happen that you should address, before you invest a lot of money into repairs.

The first major thing to do is to make sure the trailer is water proofed. Check the window, access door and entrance door gaskets, and especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets that only last 2 to 3 years.

All of the appliances should be checked over and repaired if necessary.

The largest bummer is the axles. Any torsion axle that doesn't move for a long term but is carrying a load, will help the rubber rods within the tube to deteriorate. Plus, torsion axles only last about 25 years when used properly.

There is an article in this forums that will teach you how to check them out.

Make super sure that every LPG fitting is checked for a leak, however small.

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Old 05-10-2016, 10:59 AM   #5
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Andy has it right - take care of the leaks first, the frame, floor, axles, and propane system and you've got an aluminum tent. Then get the electric water and sewer taken care of. The sewer valves might be cheaper to replace - they could be really brittle and you don't want to find that one has failed - when you remove the cover to put on the drain hose!

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Old 05-10-2016, 01:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by camper View Post
My 1975 Trade Wind sewer valve pull handle is stuck and can't open it. This Airstream has been sitting for many years. How can I get the valve open?
Hello camper

Permit me to answer the question you asked

Your trailer probably still has the white Thetford dump valve. It may be in any of a number of configurations but will look like one of the ones on this web site:

The first thing to do is turn the shaft clockwise several turns to be sure the valve is not sticking at the shaft seal. It may help to pull gently on it while turning. It is unwise to use excessive force. If it comes open, great. If not...

There are nine stainless steel screws that hold the two halves of the valve together. Loosen them a little then try to open the valve. If that doesn't work you can gently separate the two halves with some shims. That will loosen the blade from the seals.

You may find that you have to replace the gaskets and seals to get the valve to work reliably. It may be better in the long run to replace the entire valve with a Valterra valve, for which parts are more readily available. The Valterra valves can be purchased for less than the cost of the gaskets and seals for the Thetford valve.
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