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Old 09-14-2021, 02:16 PM   #1
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Smile 2006 Rockwood 8318SS-Seek Info on Black/Grey Water Underside Tank Positioning/Plumbing

Howdy! I have a 33-foot, bumper-pull, 2006 Rockwood Ultra Lite travel trailer (model 8318SS) with a living room slide-out (port side) and a rear, starboard (right) side slide-out. The bathroom/shower are located at the rearmost, left side of the trailer with the black and gray water pull handles located between the left slide-out and the below (of course) the bathroom window. This is my 3rd travel trailer and I'm a lifelong mechanic, but prior-knowledge of configuration, etc... is always helpful (too bad they don't have manuals for RV's like specific car models, right?).

I'm hoping someone here might have information and hopefully photographs of how the black and gray water tanks are positioned under the floor (with underbelly skin and insulation removed), along with the associated plumbing (routing/connections, etc...). For example, are the black and gray water tanks positioned left to right or parallel/lengthwise with the chassis?

My black and gray water drain pulls are difficult to move in/out and it's time to replace them. If someone has knowledge of the configuration of the underside plumbing/connections/tank positioning/etc... (photographs would be great), it would be super-helpful before I begin the task.

Thank you so very much for your help! -James
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:56 PM   #2
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I actually just sold my 2007 8318SS last spring.

The black tank is right behind the pull handle there behind the wheel and is a short rod that connects the handle to the blade valve. There is a grey tank on the other side of that and has a much longer rod that is bendy and kind of a pain in the butt. For that one, if it gets bent it'll be a real buggar to open and close. Unfortunately, the only way to move it is to reach your hand up in there and follow it back as far as possible and then pull it. The secondary gray galley tank is under the big slide. That one has a nice blade valve that you should probably be able to see.

We owned the camper for 4 years and I had pulled down the underbelly several times.. twice to straighten that long rod and once to replace the blade valve. My advice is that if it's the original valve, it's probably shot. You might be ahead to pull down that back section and replace both of them (black and gray tank valves). Don't forget to straighten that rod while you have it out.

If it's just difficult to move occasionally, you can cut a small door in the bottom of the cloroplast to reach in there and manually move the valve.

I don't have any photos. Feel free to ask follow up questions and I'll try to answer to the best of my ability.
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:59 PM   #3
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The two tanks in the back are parallel to the camper. The galley tank as well as the fresh water tank are perpendicular and in front of the wheels.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:18 PM   #4
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Many thanks to you Sir - 007 matman !!

007:

I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to provide a lengthy answer to my questions... and the extra information as well. Knowledge and experience is paramount and you sir are a good man for sharing it.

Yes sir, the galley tank pull-rod is exposed under the living room (port) slide-out and ahead of the forward axle/wheel. Due to the factory positioning of the galley tank pull-rod, it's a real pain in the backside to crawl under to drain the galley tank (even with a homemade extension rod) and I plan to install a 72" extension cable (and new valve) before winter.

Now knowing that the gray water (for the shower/lavatory) is a linkage rod and not some lengthy cable is extremely helpful to know beforehand, not to mention the tank positioning. Many, many thanks, again!

The factory galley tank discharge pull-rod position (under the left slide-out) also created my "modification plan" to facilitate an easier (lazier) method for draining all of my tanks - I'll share :+)

I have some mobility issues (and I am getting a little older), so I decided that when the current gate valves failed (any of the three), I would put my "plan" in to action... and it's time.

I intend to cut two access holes (using a Dremel tool) in the belly skin (the "coroplast" - thanks again for the education on the technical name of the plastic) instead of removing the belly skin panel[s]/insulation (the reason for the question in the first place).

I will cut the first access hole of a certain size (size and best location still under consideration – recommendations desired) and then cut the second access hole (using the same pattern) slightly larger so that I can use the second access hole cut-out as an access hole cover for the first hole using #8 x 32 Black Phosphate Steel U Nuts/screws to attach it. Of course, I’ll have to buy or create a cover for the second access hole, but now I know the technical name of the plastic – thanks to you (available at Lowe’s).

After the access holes have been cut, I will install two, 72” (or less) extension cables to the new blade valves, route them through the underbelly, through the floor and mount the pull-handles on the bathroom floor or on a custom built, floor mounted base (the ultimate, poor-man's lazy-way to drain the tanks).

After I install the blade/gate valve extensions in the floor of the bathroom, I plan to do the same with the galley tank pull-handle (installed in the bedroom floor, up front). This will enable a destabilized/old body to empty all three tanks without getting dressed and going outside at night in the rain/freezing cold.

Seems like a lot of work, but I know it will ultimately be worth it. Then, I can sit inside and watch others through my window as they pull their handles to drain their tanks (the poor man’s electric waste valve switch).

Sharing any ideas that you might have for the size and location of the proposed access holes (for access to the rear, black/gray water valves) would be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you so very much for your time and knowledge. You Sir are awesome!

Sincerely,
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:43 PM   #5
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Two things:

Don't cut full ports in the coroplast. Cut three sides in a U-shape with the uncut edge forward. Fold down to work. Fold back up and tape with Gorilla tape.

Did you know that electric valves are available? Even on Amazon. For that one that's badly placed, maybe an electric would be best.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:06 PM   #6
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Smile Thanks - Larry NC

Larry:

Thanks so much for your reply!! I really appreciate your feedback and excellent recommendations. The more I read the posts/answers/comments on this forum, the more I like it. Everyone seems so generous with their time here. It's a great website and kudos to the owner/creator/moderator(s)/admins.

Your advice is great and I would do just as you recommended, but the aircraft mechanic in me (from back in my prime years) always overrules my gut instinct to work smarter not harder. I enjoy "overbuilding" things, like creating access ports/covers, complete with blind nuts, etc... keeps my mind sharp, along with using up all of my spare time.... which I have plenty of, lately.

I will however not use as many blind nuts/screws as I would have on an antique airplane, that's for sure. Time on Earth is limited and I have more past than future, but it's more of a "fun" project for me. If I were younger and smarter, I would definitely use the Gorilla tape and use my time for better things.

I did consider buying some electric switches/valves, but I'd rather save that money for an occasional beer (or two) and maybe some iced chocolate milk ;+) In the past, I have been accused of being "cheap," but actually, I'm just frugal.

Again, I really appreciate your feedback and recommendations = they are solid (smart), good advice.

Sincerely,
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:18 PM   #7
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Okay, do this

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyQuake View Post
Larry:

Thanks so much for your reply!! I really appreciate your feedback and excellent recommendations. The more I read the posts/answers/comments on this forum, the more I like it. Everyone seems so generous with their time here. It's a great website and kudos to the owner/creator/moderator(s)/admins.

Your advice is great and I would do just as you recommended, but the aircraft mechanic in me (from back in my prime years) always overrules my gut instinct to work smarter not harder. I enjoy "overbuilding" things, like creating access ports/covers, complete with blind nuts, etc... keeps my mind sharp, along with using up all of my spare time.... which I have plenty of, lately.

I will however not use as many blind nuts/screws as I would have on an antique airplane, that's for sure. Time on Earth is limited and I have more past than future, but it's more of a "fun" project for me. If I were younger and smarter, I would definitely use the Gorilla tape and use my time for better things.

I did consider buying some electric switches/valves, but I'd rather save that money for an occasional beer (or two) and maybe some iced chocolate milk ;+) In the past, I have been accused of being "cheap," but actually, I'm just frugal.

Again, I really appreciate your feedback and recommendations = they are solid (smart), good advice.

Sincerely,
How about this:
Cut the ports in U-shape as I described. Take the new coroplast and cut 2" wide strips. Place them on the inside (upper side) with 1" overlap and mount with nuts and washers or blind nuts. Then install blind nuts on the visible portion so you can screw the U-flap to it. (This is essentially a three-sided recessed frame.) Write back if that's not clear.
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:50 PM   #8
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Leave the hinge side to the frontr.
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:40 PM   #9
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Pretty sure...

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Leave the hinge side to the frontr.
Pretty sure I said that in Post #5.
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Old 09-19-2021, 01:30 PM   #10
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More along these lines.

I really appreciate the responses, to date. I was also hoping someone might have done the same in the past (access holes) and able to provide some "rough-in" measurements for locating the holes, but not yet. I've always been "unique" and this example is pretty much overkill, but similar to the access holes I am working on now. I had photos, but my SD card got messed up. I'll post more later with access hole location measurements. In the future, I hope this post/comment(s) will preclude some poor soul enduring the removal of one or more underbelly panels. As the old saying goes, "It's easy to tear it apart, but it takes patience, skill and a good memory to put it back together correctly/adeptly." Hmmm, wait. I just made that up
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:09 PM   #11
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SD card

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyQuake View Post
I really appreciate the responses, to date. I was also hoping someone might have done the same in the past (access holes) and able to provide some "rough-in" measurements for locating the holes, but not yet. I've always been "unique" and this example is pretty much overkill, but similar to the access holes I am working on now. I had photos, but my SD card got messed up. I'll post more later with access hole location measurements. In the future, I hope this post/comment(s) will preclude some poor soul enduring the removal of one or more underbelly panels. As the old saying goes, "It's easy to tear it apart, but it takes patience, skill and a good memory to put it back together correctly/adeptly." Hmmm, wait. I just made that up
James, if you have a Windows computer handy, you could run scandisk which often fixes corrupt SD cards.
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