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Old 04-13-2008, 07:30 PM   #1
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frank
New member with 2363 - More than I bargained for!

Hi folks! Name here is Frank. Will be camping with the wife-to-be, Kathy. We both live in South Jersey, about 15 minutes outside of philadelphia.

A few weeks ago I posted a question about hitch height on an '02 2363 and a few of you were able to help me out. Thanks again for the information! I wound up buying the trailer and getting it home with no problems. We picked it up two Saturdays ago. It lost trailer brakes 5 minutes after I picked it up, but that's a different nightmare for another time!

We knew we had some work ahead of us with this unit. The inside was in good condition, everything seemed to work, with a few minor issues. The price was low for our area, but the trailer was absolutely filthy - I don't think it was ever cleaned. The previous owners had a couple of dogs and the hair was just piled up everywhere and in everything. No problem, we've cleaned worse, and the $ savings was worth some effort.

We spent a good two days inside cleaning it up. It cleaned up very well, with the exception of the carpets, which need replacing. I took care of the few obvious issues it had while we were cleaning it up - stupid stuff like one speaker not working, broken TV antenna crank and so on.

We took all the curtains and the bedspread in to be washed, and I ordered all new blinds for the windows (the prior owners weren't too gentle with the original aluminum ones), and started purchasing things we needed to get out and camp.

Yesterday morning I ran out to home depot and picked up a few yards of carpet to replace the damaged stuff, and that's where things started to turn bad. The front carpet replacement which I did yesterday went without a hitch - I'll post some pictures in the mods forum in a few minutes. Today I wanted to do the rear (bedroom) carpet, so I got out there, removed the bed, fresh water tank, etc and started pulling up the old carpet. At that point, I found the floor in the rear of the trailer wet and partially rotten - about an inch and half in all the way across the back wall. There is one slightly soft spot in the wall as well right at floor level.

When we purchased the trailer, I went over every inch of it looking for signs of water damage and couldn't find any. There was no mold/mildew odor in the camper, just the smell of dog! The floor is solid throughout - the rotten area I found is so close to the wall that you can't tell it's soft there by walking.

I tried not to get too upset.. I don't think the previous owners knew it was getting wet. In my opinion, it looks to be an old, slow leak, possibly since the unit was new. I figure I've fixed worse things than this, so no use getting upset, just put the couple days work in and fix it.

I wanted to finish removing things from the bedroom area, including the water lines and eventually the water heater. Out I go to the side of the camper to hook up the air compressor to the city water inlet, and there I notice a HORRIBLE odor. I find that the previous owner not only left the black tank FULL, but that it had apparently frozen and now the pipe from the black tank to the tank valve is dripping at a very slow rate.

So now not only do I get to disassemble the rear wall of the camper, but I get to replace the drain line on the black tank! My biggest fear is that the freezing water has broken the black tank valve and that the only thing holding the contents of the tank is the cap. Still trying to figure the best way to deal with that worst case sceanario, but meanwhile I went ahead and ordered a FloJet macerator pump so I can get the tank emptied without moving the trailer around.

I'm sure I'll be posting frequent updates in the modifications and repair forums as I get this thing straightened out and we do some modifications to make it more "ours". So keep and eye out for me in there, and wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!

Here's a few quick outside shots right after I dropped it at home.






- Frank
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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Frank

Welcome!!!! Gee the TT looks great from the outside. As I read your post, I can feel for ya... Hang in there, you will over come.

A heads up on the fresh water system and smell when you blew on the fresh line, it sounds like your prior owner may not have been so diligent on sanitization. Do a real good chlorine shock sanitize to the fresh water system before using.

The black tank, it may or may not be a cracked valve. It could be a leaking valve. Unless the prior owner silicone lubed the slider valve yearly, the O-rings can get dried up and leak. My new to me one did that on the first trip out. I normally have a dump cap with a small hose fitting in the end. Just for this reason. If you get into a leak of the slider valve, you can take the little cap off first verse 3".... But I did not have the camper long enough to put the replacement one on yet. Well it was on for the 2nd trip....and so ws thee silicone lube too.

Good luck and please post pics of your projects.

Happy camping

John
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:18 PM   #3
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Frank,
Sorry to here of your troubles, I agree with John, by the looks of your coach it looks in great shape. I have already seen your post on the carpet replacement. You do excellent work. I am sure once you find out the problem in the back and replace the carpet like the front, it will be better than new. I think the good news is that if it was a major leak, more of the floor would be soft. I know I have to watch the condensation in my 2363 in the cool months. Perhaps a source?? As far as the black tank issue I think you have the correct approach. With a pump you can take care of the "stuff" and find out if there is any leakage.
Best of luck,
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:19 PM   #4
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Sorry, double clutched.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the words of encoragement, folks, it is GREATLY appreciated!

The leak in the rear appears to be a slow and likely old leak. I examined the outside and there's a few likely candidates. The roof edge, rear window and opposite door side taillight all show signs of not being sealed real well. Once the siding comes off, I suspect it should be easier to pinpoint the source, but every seam will be getting attention in the near future. I've dealt with similar situations in houses and have replaced many a sections of floor, floor joists and sill plates, so this should be a straightforward repair.

The horrible odor I smelled near the city water inlet is indeed the black water tank drain leaking. The prior owner was kind enough to leave the black tank about 80% full, and I suspect it has been that way over the entire winter. A quick inspection of the drain valve and associated plumbing shows the leak to be most likely upstream of the valve, but I'm not 100% sure of the source just yet. I don't see any cracks, but it was really hard to be under there at all with the odor. Words can not describe how horrid it is. First I need to drain and try to clean that tank, then I'll find the source of the leak with clean(er) water. I'm just hoping it's an issue with the drain plumbing and not the tank itself. As soon as the Flojet pump arrives, I will get this thing emptied out and begin the cleaning process.

As soon as that tank is emptied, I will get the rear of the trailer repaired. Will have plenty of pictures to post I'm sure.


Thanks again

- Frank
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:23 AM   #6
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