Black & Grey Tank Bayonet and Seal Fix

May 11, 2017-  We have had our rig at Fletcher’s Trailer Sales & Repair in Trumansburg NY (Finger Lakes Region) for the past three weeks.  We are calling this time her “Spa treatment”.  Fletch (Bill Fletcher) has been methodically going through the punch list we left with him and yesterday he repaired leaking bayonet system to drain black & grey water tanks and in the process also found some of the seals where the two systems come into needed repairs.  Also he needed to replace the thermostat on our hot water heater because, while it worked, it would not shut off…well, so i guess that means it really did not work!  LOL

We are fortunate to have someone working on our Avion who is an Avion owner himself and respects and knows the rigs.  On the online forums and YouTube with folks we follow (both Avion and Airstream owners) some folks have horror stories about RV repair folks (more from some of the dealers who just sell cheaper modern camp trailers) who have done some real cob jobs down to downright $1,000’s of dollars of damage to new and vintage all aluminum rigs.

Here is Fletch’s latest update. These updates are great and he sends them at least a few times each week describing and providing photos of work done that day.

Here are some pictures from yesterday:
The grey and black water drains.
waste water bayonets needed work
 Started by testing the integrity of the existing drains  by flushing the system.  Well….not so great was the prognosis by Fletch.
It not only leaked past the seals, but it also leaked at the slide handle. These were shot.
worn out bayonet valve
An access panel needed to be cut. Here he has cut it out.  It will have overlap flanges attached to the edges and then be sealed and riveted back in place should it need to be removed again.
access panel created to get to blk wtr drain area
 Most of the bolts and screws that hold this section of plumbing in place were so worn out it was hard to even get a vice grip around them or get them out.  Hey, 40+ years they have provided service….they deserved a decent burial.
screws worn out from age, rust
A spreader bar is inserted to gently push the fittings apart.  And out come the valves.
One of the valves showing the bad gasket. Note the flange hole on the bottom left. Rust will expand and push apart the surrounding plastic. When this happens to the corresponding flange that’s glued to the trailer, we have to make a reinforcement. (see later pictures)
new flange holder had to be created
Showing the cracked flange where the reinforcement needs to be made.
broken valve sealFirst a pattern is traced onto a piece of steel.
The piece is cut to length and put into our mill to have the radius cut.
What it looks like with new valves in place.
new valves and supports installed
Forgot to mention that the water heater gas valve was bad. So we replaced with a new hot water heater thermostat.  Here is picture of old one.
old hot water heater valve, needed new one

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