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Old 01-23-2010, 08:19 PM   #1
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T1750 Repair Work, day 1

Always on the lookout for advice, I offer the following report and photo journal of sorts.

Having never operated an LP gas system before, and being told by the previous owner that "the tanks are empty" I decided to tackle them first.

My aim was to get them filled, and then spend some time with the furnace running to see what the consumption looked like + be able to do some stuff inside without freezing. I figure it to be a bit like exposing cadets to tear gas and telling them to take their masks off. Nothing like real world experience in a controlled environment.

Well, after I PEEL the old tank cover off (it was shot, I knew that) I see that the bottom of the tanks are VERY rusty - I roll my eyes, liberate the tanks, and ..... they feel half full!?

Ok, sez I, the fill station (an RV shop and store) is 5 mins up the road so I take them in, thinking I'd still like to get them "topped off". No good - the valves are outdated and have to be changed, and one tank is so goobered up (parts of the "foot" missing from rust) that it won't pass recetification even with the new valve.

BUT he's nice enough to *give* me an old tank to rehab myself, then get them to install a new valve, recert, and fill (rather then sell me a new one for $90 which they had in the store) - So I take it.

I buy a battery box and a tank cover and head back planning to use up what I have and then return to this matter later. What I'll do is clean up the empty, get it done, and have it on standby.

The Platform the tanks sit on is hella rusty too, but that will have to wait for more paint friendly temps.

A check of the refer after all night being on shows it's working - yea!

The rest of my time was spent on locks... The previous owner didn't have keys to the 2 outside compartments or the locking door over the water filler so I started looking and found that these compartments can be accessed from the inside by pulling up cushions and seat bottoms. (The water door was already open)

I do so, and remove the screw holding the "tongue" on, get the doors open, and remove the old locks. Then install new ones.

While in the rear compartment, I find that the left rear corner of the floor is rather shot - soft and cruchy. Given where it is, it will be low on the list, but I WILL be soliciting the advice of those of you who have dealt with this when the time comes!

Then I spent some time looking, thinking, and planning. With the refer OK and the RV joint up the street having Atwood 6 gal units used for sale, I'm feeling rather upbeat about this again. I've always valued something where I can get my hands dirty on it, rather then buy it perfect and new - because almost always it ISN'T perfect and I have to do something... (I'm an engineer of sorts, I can't help it )

On with the pics... (Larger versions HERE)


Kitchen Cabinet - paper was stapled to back wall and bottom, black things are dead lady bugs. You can see the de-lamination of the back, and sagging ceiling here. "Gerbil-ed" edge at the top was from previous owner enlarging the opening to admit a microwave oven here, when I opened the oven water ran out of it, cluing me in to trouble inside.


Fridge Cabinet - the gaping hole used to be a drawer, why it's gone will become evident, again de-laminated paneling....


Inside Refer Cabinet - This is the view looking though the drawer slot and looking up. That's daylight up there. The remains of a panel "floor" below the refer is on the left, metal work that "supports" the refer on the right.


Top of water heater - Shot from the same location as the picture above, but looking down this time.


Water Heater - looking straight in on it this time. The crack I feel is at the bottom where I can't show it - just out of the shot are two gray water lines with Ts in them and those Ts are connected to one another by lines that look like the belong connected to these valves rather then each other. (I know this is a winterizing thing) But I don't see a check valve...


Comedy Shot - a wardrobe for VERY short people... Someone added 3 shelves in the wardrobe making that hanger bar rather useless...


Front "bunk" - some water damage here - I'm really not concerned about the look, I just want to stop the source... This I can't really attribute to a window, and up here the outside is aluminum not rubber roofing, though I suppose a breach in the left front corner of the roof could lead to this...


Front "bunk / ceiling - it seems to descend from this point, where the lathe is (BTW is it normal for them to be untreated naked wood?)


Outside of Refer - that black hole at the lower left is the hole seen in the interior shot. Cooling assembly is kinda rusty. You can see how the wood is shot here.


Less then effective repair of a less then effective door...


Water Heater outside....


Interesting story - the yellow chock is what *I* put down. The plywood was the previous owners answer when he just jacked the A frame without chocking and the trailer nearly rolled into the back of his truck. Fortunately I had them available, the trailer had no chocks with it...



Like so many of us apparently, this is my ID sticker...


Overall "Beauty" shot. She's mine, warts and all :P

In the next three shots, can anyone tell me what these are/are for? They are held on by bolts clamping them to the frame, there is one on each side, they are just behind the propane tanks. There is a pin you can slide out, and then the "claw" will rotate downward.







Well that's all for now, comments always welcomed.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:30 PM   #2
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Wow! That thing looks a lot like the 1978 17-1/2SB that we bought, to fix up!

Good luck!





The three lower pictures, are snap-up brackets. They are used on a weight distributing type hitch.


Gary
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Ted,

Did yours have a sticker that looks like this one? It it in the front-most cabinet on the street side.

Gary

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Old 01-23-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
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Nope, nothing like that or any evidence that there ever was.

I think she's been neglected for a long time...

I'll set it right. It won't be a "museum" restoration, but I'll set it right.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:02 PM   #5
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Hi Ted,

That looks good. Glad to hear the reefer works too! They are usually dead.

I'm glad to see you still have all four original hubcaps. That's rare. I suspect it doesn't have many road miles since all are there.

For those roof seams, you'll need to look into some aluminum roof seal paint. It usually comes in a can with an orange label and I believe is called Dyco. Check your dealer for it. A quart can should do you just fine to do the whole roof.

No, the unfinished wood isn't original. The original seam strip would have been coated white similar to the ceiling panel. They often do fall down because they were just stapled up and they can sort of rot away when there is other water damage. I've never seen a strip that has the coating peeling off, so I have a feeling that didn't happen here. I think it is a new piece of wood. At least it really doesn't look bad...you could paint is like a ivory color and it would look normal.

I wonder if the LP regulator is clogged or the LP gas just isn't flowing from the tank for some reason. Try lighting a stove burner to see first. Maybe that's why the reefer isn't lighting on gas.

BTW, you won't never would have had a sheet like Gary has. Those ended sometime in the early '80's (like '80-'81), I think when they went to the 17 digit VIN's. They created a new type of sheet with similar info and included it in the owner's booklet instead of posting a copy on the wall. Have you seen a orange binder anywhere with a Sunline sticker on the cover?

That's a shame that they didn't have keys to the storage compartments. I do have some keys to those, I can get you the key numbers if you'd like if you don't want to replace the locks. All the storage doors were one common key and the water door was another.

The water heater plumbing has definitely been doctored up. When you get your new/used heater, go into another unit on the lot and take some pics of the water heater pluming design. This way you'll have an idea of how to plumb it up.

Oh yes, on the heater too, I see the screen/grate on the door is not in place. It normally stays on the door, not over the burner vent. You may need to bend the tabs on the grate and/or the door to make it stay.

Also, when you get your new heater, you may want to use the old outside door if it isn't too rusty. They came painted in the tan color from the factory and you probably will only be able to get a white one now, which does stand out on a tan trailer.

If it bothers you, just so you know you can get replacement screw cover trim for the windows. You can order it from All-Rite in California: www.all-rite.com The dealers usually don't have this exact style, but All Rite does. This should be your trim: http://www.all-rite.com/hehr-screw-cover-p-178.html

That certainly is an interesting repair on the access door. That certainly doesn't help the sealing issue. Hopefully there is enough there to make a strong repair on it...it looks like it's not cracked at least.

Gary, yup the T-1750 is the successor of the 17 1/2' SB.

Jon
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:48 AM   #6
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Hi Ted

Your enthusiasm is inspiring. Good for you! And your repair journal is pretty neat too. We can all learn from this. The pics help a lot as we all take away different learning from the pic.

Like this one


Seeing the coat hanger rail…. Well they have not changed a whole lot in 30 years… Seems Sunline must of used one brand and just never changed….

Anything can be fixed in these campers. The phrase “Time and Money” does apply but if you have the time, are handy sometimes the money can be kept to a minimum. Last summer I was up in Elkhart IN and they have at least 2 RV salvage places. They go around and buy new end of runs from RV manufactures. And some repeat selling stuff they just buy new. You have to shop the prices but some things are really inexpensive for the same thing you will buy at a dealer for 10 times the price. You could actually build almost an entire camper out of that place….

I will pass along one thing you might want to read up on. The LP system. The piping under the camper is normally all exposed to the weather. Corrosion from the elements is the enemy of these systems. Even the newer ones. I do not know what vintage piping your has, the newer ones use rubber flex line from the main tank regulator down to 1/2” sch 40 black iron pipe. The main feed pipe runs down the length of the camper and then tees at each use spot. Flexible copper tubing then goes up into the camper where it needs to.

The hoses dry rot over time and the black iron pipe rusts with the screw thread joints being the worst. A complete inspection and pressure test will tell a lot. There is not much to redo it if is marginal, just plain replace it.

To check the regulator and gas valves you can make a U tube Manometer to do a pressure drop test. Search on the web for LP pressure drop test or U tube Manometer. There are many you can buy or build. I made one myself. I use it on the camper to check the LP system each spring. My Son bought a used pop up that had some setting around issues, bees nests etc and you can trouble shoot a LP system quick with one. You are using the weight of water to measure gas pressure. Literally inches of water pressure.


The reason I bring this up is last summer 4 camp sites down from where we just camped 4 days early a very unfortunate thing happened to a couple with an immaculate restored 65 camper. They had an LP leak when the wife was cooking. Both ended up in the hospital and I never heard how they made out. Good I pray. Never heard the official story as there was not much left of the unit. Learning from these very unfortunate things drives home the need to check the LP piping under the camper and inside as part of the annual tune up of the camper. I have painted my LP piping so it will slow down the rusting, especially at the joints. The new LP systems are better then the old. You may need to convert your tank nut to the new safety screw on nuts. They have an excess flow checks in them that restrict and help shut down the gas when a large leak occurs. Since you have the old style tanks, that feature is not there.

Good luck with your rebuild and keep us posted. We have a few reconstruction artists on here already, yes blue sky was shining in when they where repairing…. And there coaches look great now. We can add you to there list.!!!

John
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
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Tankless Heaters

Ted,

I hadn't considered a tankless water heater before your comments. It's interesting because it saves 50 pounds of water weight and another 10 pounds of heater weight, not trivial in a small weight conscious trailer design.

Of course you do loose six gallons of water carrying capacity.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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In the case of my Atwood, it would be 20lbs of heater weight, according to the books.

Downside is they are a major current draw. Probably no big deal if you are on a 30A hookup esp if you don't have AC, but if your at a 15A you'll use the lions share of that juice to heat the water.

Of course, that too can be accommodated, temporarily turn off everything else while you shower, assuming there's enough left to run the pump... I don't know how much current they draw...
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:23 PM   #9
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There seems to be two types, propane and electric. I was considering the propane version.

As to amperage, I've upgraded to 30 amp service. The box is designed for it. I added a couple of 15 amp breakers and a 30 amp cord. We do not have air conditioning nor do we have a microwave in our tailer.

We have both in our motorhome and found that we rarely use them, primarily using the microwave for heating leftovers and making pudding (we now use the stove top and make instant pudding) and rarely are in a climate that requires air conditioning since we mostly travel during the non-summer months.

If we're traveling in the summer, it's to cool places like Alaska, Newfoundland or Labrador and absolutely never need air in those parts of the world.

As to current usage, we're frequently plugged into 15 or 20 amp service but do recognize that we can't simultaneously run the heater and toaster, when we do it results in a 'breaker test'.

Does anyone have experience with a tankless unit?
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted-Thompson
Of course, that too can be accommodated, temporarily turn off everything else while you shower, assuming there's enough left to run the pump... I don't know how much current they draw...
Ted,

If you are running the electric WH and the water pump at the same time, it should be ok. The pump is a 12v appliance...


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