Broken off drain cock - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-07-2009, 05:18 PM   #1
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My handle has been rotting away, forcing me to use needle nose pliers to turn it, when needed. I haven't dealt with the problem (even after reading various posted solutions) because I am inept when it comes to these things and probably shouldn't even own a trailer! Today I was cleaning the trailer in preparation for next weekend and attempted to turn the handle on the drain cock and the whole thing broke apart from the trailer and water is running on the ground (but not on the inside!). So my question is, can inept me fix this somehow? I don't even really have a lot of tools, though a friend of mine does have a rivet set. Maybe I should take it to an RV place to get it fixed? How expensive might it be? I just can't be asking friends to help me with stuff all the time. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:27 PM   #2
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It is not that difficult to fix. I think you should just smile, swallow your pride and ask you neighbor to help out.

I f you were our neighbor I wouldn't mind at all.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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You'll be fine Lisa and you're capable of doing more than you know. Everything you learn about these lil trailers and everything you yourself understand to fix/maintain, not only keeps money in your pocket but will give you pride of ownership. There is a need for some basic tools. Harbor Freight and the like is a good place to get common tools, cheap. There are some tools I won't skimp on, but have found Harbor Freight to be pretty good for what I've needed.

I see you've read and responded to this topic: plastic knob to drain water tank rotted again, what do I do now?. That's a very good start.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
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I just can't be asking friends to help me with stuff all the time. Thanks!
Hey Lisa. Go for it.
My next door neighbour is a single Mom with two inept teenage boys. She is always coming over and asking my wife if I can come out to play. If the wife can't come with me I get one of the teenagers to help with her problem. I think that she thinks of me as her local handyman. Maybe I can help show the boys how to do things too.
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Old 02-07-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Lisa, I have replaced my own drain valve. It is pretty easy, but requires some standard tools that you would have to buy or let your neighbor give a hand. The valves are available on the internet or Camping World.

You will need:

1. New drain valve - make sure you get the 3/8 inch one.
2. Electric drill - even the smallest one would be OK.
3. Drill bit - 1/4 inch.
4. Silicon caulk to seal the new valve.
5. Pop rivet tool.
6. Pop rivets - 3/16 inch by 1/2 inch aluminum.

To do the repair:

1. Drill out the old rivets.
2. Remove the clamp and disconnect the vinyl tube from the old valve.
3. Remove as much of the old caulk as you can.
4. Caulk the back of the new valve.
5. Install the new valve using the pin of a rivet inserted from the inside into one of the old rivet holes to align the new valve.
6. Pop rivet the new valve in place.
7. Remove the caulk that is squeezed out when the rivets are popped into place.
8. Connect the vinyl tube to the new valve and tighten the clamp.

Good luck!

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Old 02-08-2009, 08:12 AM   #6
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Reading this post I almost feel bad for folks living in larger centers. Around here, you could almost collar any redneck off the street, and he'd fix it for a beer (if you had parts and tools on hand). That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not too far off.

Come to think of it, the standard payment for larger favours tends to be a case of beer.

I'd say give it a go yourself. It's not complicated, and even if you don't get it right, you won't really cause any expensive damage.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #7
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James, that's exactly what I mean. I don't want my neighbors thinking, "Here comes Lisa, wonder what she needs THIS time!". I want to do things myself, but I'm maybe not quite as capable as Donna! I'll work on it. Funny, Paul! I live in a smaller town--about 60,000 I think. Charlie, thank you for your specific instructions. I think I'm going to use the suggestion someone on another forum made and replace/splice the hose and just drain it out the door on the ground for now (short on time, we're leaving next weekend and it has to be done today). Eventually I want to replace the drain cock with a new one (maybe metal so it won't deteriorate in our hot sun) and I'll use your instructions then. Thanks, everyone, for the help!
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:39 AM   #8
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Lisa - just another point of view... I personally NEVER mind helping someone who is learning... if you want me to SHOW and TEACH instead of just DOING, that goes a long, long way.

2nd - as a guy, we need to be needed. So asking generally does NOT have any negative connotations. At all!!!!. To help others... that is why God put me here! And, usually, I end up thanking the person who [b]allowed me to help.


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James, that's exactly what I mean. I don't want my neighbors thinking, "Here comes Lisa, wonder what she needs THIS time!". I want to do things myself, but I'm maybe not quite as capable as Donna! I'll work on it. Funny, Paul! I live in a smaller town--about 60,000 I think. Charlie, thank you for your specific instructions. I think I'm going to use the suggestion someone on another forum made and replace/splice the hose and just drain it out the door on the ground for now (short on time, we're leaving next weekend and it has to be done today). Eventually I want to replace the drain cock with a new one (maybe metal so it won't deteriorate in our hot sun) and I'll use your instructions then. Thanks, everyone, for the help!
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:10 PM   #9
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reminds me of some young neighbor computer genious we had.....my computer was down and a nice big dish of freshly made lasagna saved me about 200 bucks...

Quote:
Reading this post I almost feel bad for folks living in larger centers. Around here, you could almost collar any redneck off the street, and he'd fix it for a beer (if you had parts and tools on hand). That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not too far off.

Come to think of it, the standard payment for larger favours tends to be a case of beer.

I'd say give it a go yourself. It's not complicated, and even if you don't get it right, you won't really cause any expensive damage.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:27 PM   #10
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reminds me of some young neighbor computer genious we had.....my computer was down and a nice big dish of freshly made lasagna saved me about 200 bucks...
Ya mean I have been helping everybody for free all these years???? Pshaaawww Am I DUM or what????
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:03 PM   #11
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Don't get too worried about it for now. Put some sort of a stopper in the hole, get out there and GO CAMPING! Fix this minor problem later.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:12 PM   #12
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I read through this quickly so I apologize if someone already said so, but, Lisa, the $$ you spend paying an RV place to fix this will help you pay for the tools you need to do it yourself. Get your neighbor to show you and buy the tools you can afford (for this will need to be replaced again in a few years... and/or you may find yourself in a position to show someone else how to do it somewhere down the road!) Borrow any tools you can't afford (right now) and put them on a wish list...

FWIW, our drain cock is busted, too, and is wrapped up tight with several layers of the old standby, duct tape. No foolin'!

Good luck with it!

And that pan of lasagna is a good idea, too.


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Old 02-08-2009, 10:40 PM   #13
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Lisa, I never did get mine fixed. Camping World will see me come summer I guess. I am like you in that I don't like asking others to help me out. I am not going to ask my neighbor to fix it again. I read those instructions, and it sounds complicated to me. I may try to fix it before going to Camping World, but someone knowing how to do it could do it alot faster than I can.
There are no fancy mods to my camper, needless to say.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:42 PM   #14
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I ended up getting a new length of hose and running it from the fresh water tank out the door and putting a thing-a-ma-jig in it and a cap on the end. It's not leaking and I'm happy. At some point I'd like to put a metal type drain cock on the outside, but this will do.

Mary, you're right, paying an RV place to do it is silly if you can do it yourself. Yesterday, looking at the broken off drain cock I was feeling totally inept because I didn't have a clue where to start and truly didn't think I could do it myself. With some help from people on this forum and another, I regained some confidence and got to work.

Quote:
I read through this quickly so I apologize if someone already said so, but, Lisa, the $$ you spend paying an RV place to fix this will help you pay for the tools you need to do it yourself. Get your neighbor to show you and buy the tools you can afford (for this will need to be replaced again in a few years... and/or you may find yourself in a position to show someone else how to do it somewhere down the road!) Borrow any tools you can't afford (right now) and put them on a wish list...

FWIW, our drain cock is busted, too, and is wrapped up tight with several layers of the old standby, duct tape. No foolin'!

Good luck with it!

And that pan of lasagna is a good idea, too.
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