Curbside Door - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2006, 09:08 AM   #1
Suz
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My trailer came with a little spigot on the curbside of the trailer that was used for draining the fresh water tank. I've replaced several and never had much luck with them holding up. They always seem to crack around one of the rivets. In addition to that, I could never get the last one to stop dripping despite all my efforts - including the Vaseline trick that had always worked before. I replaced it in April and it was already starting to crack again. However, that wasn't my main reason for doing this modification.

There's been no access to the water tank unless I took my bed apart and even that was very limited. I never knew how much water I had on board. Draining the tank from that little spigot was extremely slow and not very effective. There was also dead space around the tank that could be put to better use. I thought about installing a larger tank, but a small tank keeps the weight down and has proven sufficient for one person.

My solution:

I removed the spigot and its drain line. I added an access door from the outside. Covered the bundle of plumbing/wiring with the carpet removed from cutting out the access door space. I shifted the tank back, which gave me an additional 6" or so.

By the way, a little research rendered some valuable information about a cutting blade for the Dremel that is made for cutting fiberglass. WOW! Sliced through it like melted butter. Way better than anything else that I've ever used. I was able to keep the carpet in place while I was cutting, which actually helped hold the piece of fiberglass so that it didn't splinter and/or fall toward the end.

I now have a wonderful compartment (apx 14 x 22) with easy access. I can always see how much water is in my tank AND it drains a lot faster and it doesn't drip!


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Old 06-19-2006, 09:12 AM   #2
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Nice job Suz
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:28 AM   #3
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Thanks, Ches.

One thing that I forgot to mention: I used the piece I cut out to patch the hole from the kitchen cabinet. Nothing fancy, just put a couple of rivets in to keep it in place. The original hole was very crudely done and I think it was suppose to give acces to this dead space by the tank. The only thing it was good for was for kitchen stuff to get lost in. because my arm is not 4' long and is only jointed at the elbow and wrist, it wasn't of any use at all ... even though I admit I did try. Newer models, of course, aren't like this. Someone got smart pretty quickly on this one.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:54 AM   #4
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So, you purchased the access door, right? Did it come with the gasket/trim material for finishing the cut? Does it lock (I mean with a key)?

Looks great, by the way! I like the way you reconfigured the drain.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:26 AM   #5
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I purchased the locking door from Casita because I couldn't find what I wanted elsewhere. It came with no instructions and I never looked at others that closely. Since it was the weekend, I couldn't call and ask, so what I ended up doing was riveting it to the side of the trailer. I drilled holes through the collar in order to do that. That's the only part that I'm not 100% happy with, but it'll do and that's how everything else is attached. I tried cutting a wooden collar for the inside and attaching it that way with SS screws, but I couldn't get it to pull up tight.

As I said, overall I'm pleased with it and I'm not beyond removing that one and installing a new one if I find a better install when I get a better look.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:59 PM   #6
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Suz,
Looks like the access door on our 2000 FD. The only thing missing is the little spring-loaded do-hickey which holds the door open.
The winged handle part of our drain valve rapidly succombed to UV from the sun so I installed a plastic in-line ball valve just inside the access door. I left the permanently open old valve in place so I can slip a 6' length of clear vinyl hose on it to guide the water away from "Nuestra Casita".
Good Job, Suz
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Old 06-19-2006, 07:49 PM   #7
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BRAVO! What a nice job you've done, Suz!

I've been thinking about an access panel for my Dutch Ovens! They are so heavy and I have space inside the Lovebug. I would love to be able to pull them out the side. And, the water tank I've been thinking about putting in the same area would certainly be easy to get at with this.

Thanks for the post, Suz! You've inspired me!
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:37 PM   #8
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Great idea and Job!

Help stamp out senseless wasted space in our lifetime!!!!

PS.. My drain valve thingy had all the same problems. I just turn on the pump on drain thru the sink.. I gave up with replacing them. Really goofy designs for these things!
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:38 PM   #9
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Well done Suz! VERY nice!

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Old 06-19-2006, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
My trailer came with a little spigot on the curbside of the trailer that was used for draining the fresh water tank. I've replaced several and never had much luck with them holding up.

There's been no access to the water tank unless I took my bed apart and even that was very limited. I never knew how much water I had on board. [b]Draining the tank from that little spigot was extremely slow and not very effective.

I now have a wonderful compartment (apx 14 x 22) with easy access. I can always see how much water is in my tank AND it drains a lot faster and it doesn't drip!
Very nicely done!
A previous owner of my Fiber Stream installed a regular brass hose bibb to the end of the drain pipe on my water tank. I find that very handy. I still feel that it drains slow, though...
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:56 PM   #11
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Throw those damn plastic shutoff valves away and replace them with a 1/2" Jamesbury 316 Stainless Steel ball valve. We use them all over the pulp mills and they rarely ever leak or conk out. Do a little research in your local areas and you should be able to find a supplier.
That is what I used on my water tank. The other bonus of coarse is they don't rust or break.

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Old 06-20-2006, 07:27 AM   #12
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Thanks, all.

Since this is behind the axle I don't plan on carrying anything heavy back there, but it will certainly be handy for the items I use for the water tank. Things like the funnel with hose attached for adding bleach or antifreeze and the water fill that goes on the end of the hose. Also a towel for spills. These things used to be buried somewhere inside my trailer and required digging to retrieve them. I also have a collapsible water jug that I'll probably keep in there.


While I was in there I put a longer hose on the air vent so I could loop it around on top of the tank. I'm going to see if this will assist in keeping some water in the tank if I drive with it full - which I rarely ever do.

Frederick, it still drains fairly slow ... I mean you can only get so much water through a 3/8" ID hose, but it flows much, much better than the old set up and I am very pleased with it.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:31 AM   #13
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... I also have a collapsible water jug that I'll probably keep in there.

OH, Oh! This gave me another idea! This is right below where my 12V plug is and the wiring runs right through that cabinet. I can add a 12V socket in there so I can get a small pump for pumping the water up into my water tank. Now, is that an idea or what?
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:31 AM   #14
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Suz,

Nice mod. Here's what I did with the vent tube. Taint pretty, but it keeps the water in the tank. Parts came from Ace H.
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