What is the cost of a rivet?
Full hookup, pulled the black tank dump valve to open and the whole rod separated from the stainless steel shaft. After the astonishment subsided, I was a able to determine that the assembly was connected together with a single aluminum rivet. In fact, both, the black tank rod and the grey water dump valve rod were riveted together with a single rivets. Amazed, that this might be a factory procedure, I contacted the dealer were I purchased and asked for guidance on a repair. I was educated on the rivet technique used by the factory as a standard in construction for tank valve actuators for many years. Astonished once again, and a bit miffed that I am parting with a possible $500 for engineering inadequacies begging for common sense review, I elected dealer service. I need the repair, and at the mercy of a lesser denominator, no warranty and few to trust for proper service.
In detail, the remnants of the broken rivet remained inside the stainless steel shaft and requires dropping the belly pan, drilling, to clear the machined hole to effect a repair with a stainless cotter pin. Effectively, 4-5 hours of labor to repair a single rivet, not to mention a road trip and 2 weeks down time.
My Airstream is a 2017 30' Flying Cloud bunk, and went out of warranty in March of this year. I am withholding comment.
The dump valves and related plumbing require periodic service.
Rather than dropping the belly pan, many owners cut an access hole using power shears, and cover the area with a slightly larger piece of aluminum when the repair is completed. That is less involved than removing the belly pan, and makes such repairs easier in future.
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