Sunday, March 8, 2009

I am a convert

Being an old girl, Anna has some obsolete parts. Her black tank valve was the original Thetford and it would not fully hold in the tanks contents. I had taken the valve apart last winter and rebuilt all the interior trying to revive the valve, but all last year it was dripping and a blueboy had to be hooked on. Fixing this problem has been on the agenda, and due to some help from a good friend, it has taken place.

The first step was removing the old valve. I thought there was going to be issues with the last screw holding it in, but it decided to come out. The hole in the floor was not big enough either, so out came the Dremel with a straight bit and I free hand cut some of the plywood back. That is why the line to the right looks so wavy. Hey, you look into the eye of the tank and try and cut a straight line free hand with a Dremel.

Now here is where the help of a friend comes into play. Steve Klohn( ByamCaravanner on the Airforums and the nicest republican I know, he really is a super person. Hell, he is a super dude) made this plate for me. It is 1/2" aluminum and was machined to fit the screw pattern in the Thetford plate which is fiber glassed into the bottom of the tank. The other set of holes are machined for the new Valterra valve bolt pattern.

Only 1/8" separated the bolt pattern, so the whole valve needed to be rotated a few degrees to miss the bolts going into the tank. But there it is. All installed and ready to hold back the tank contents.

And there it is again, mouth closed...

And again even more enclosed. I might fashion a round door, but it is really not necessary in my eyes. Just to nip this before it becomes a comment... If you actually think you can stop, hamper, delay, alter, impede, or change the desires of rodents and reptiles from coming in... well, if you believe that, you had better hit the crack pipe again. If they want in, they are in no matter how well you close off the belly pan. The best course of action is to first not give then reason to enter. This means keeping the trailer clean. Keeping all food put away. This means emptying the trash can frequently. This means keeping the scene clean. The second line of attack is to feed the critters. Nothing says yum like a nice pile of Decon.

The belly skin had a bad rip in it from snagging the handle in a fence post. I made this simple beauty ring to dress it off. I think it actually looks intentional instead of a patch job.

The handle will still need some work. Valterra is not a sponsor. I will not advertise for them for free. The name will be getting ground off soon, but it was getting late and my wife was making me a margarita so I called it a day.


TomW said...

Hmm, Valterra is not OEM for Airstream. Do you have Anna on any anti-rejection meds?

Keep an eye on her skin - it may turn white...

Just kidding, Frank. The repair looks great!


Anonymous said...

Good day Sir,

Please remember that your Valterra retailer had you sign a non-grinding agreement when you purchased our product. Should you stay the course on your present plan of action, you will be subject to the same laws applied those mis-informed individuals who remove mattress & cushion tags. Don't do it - it is not worth it.

While you have been told what NOT to do, should you have any questions, please feel free to call 1-800-555-TOMW. We trust that no phone call will be necessary. Do the right thing.

Valterra Inc.

utee94 said...

Forget the grinding-- I think you need to replace that handle with a billiads 8-ball, now THAT would be cool.


Anonymous said...

I was thinking a replacement handle along the lines of your metal patches might be in order. Maybe in the shape of a toilet. It would defintely be orignal.

Anonymous said...

Giving up on the blog or are you just too busy with the client work? We miss your posts. Don't make the same mistake as Colin and have a dead website!