Replace Bigfoot Bathroom handbasin taps. - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-14-2007, 04:13 PM   #1
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I have a 1986 19' Bigfoot, I keep it in good condition and it gets well used. For the last few trips I have noticed the cold tap in the bathroom handbasin is leaking up through the valve stem. the water eventually drips into the storage compartment under the basin and into the belly and escapes through a drain hole. It is not in a location where damage will occur if I can cure the leak soon.

I have replaced the Tap washer, the "O" ring on the stem and the packing washer to no avail and I am pretty sure the 22 year old tap is just plain worn out. I have tried plumbing shops for a new valve assembly to screw into the existing tap body without success.

I am now pretty certain I will have to change the whole assembly (two taps mixing into one spout and a shower take off). I am sure I can get a new tap as a similar unit is used in modern Bigfoot campers and maybe trailers.

The problem is the Bigfoot has a moulded Fibreglass bathroom inside a moulded outer shell. There is a storage locker with a small door below and to the side of the underside of the bathroom handbasin. I am unable to see or even feel the underside of the taps assembly to undo the nuts on the old tap set. I am sure a dealer can perform the job but I am hoping someone else has already solved this problem and can give me some hints or suggestions. Thank you.


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Old 07-15-2007, 06:00 PM   #2
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Name: KJ
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Hi Colin, Sorry I didn't read your entire post. It appears to me that up through the storage compartment is the answer.

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Old 07-15-2007, 08:45 PM   #3
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Hi Keith:

I am quite sure you are correct. If I could find someone about 18" tall and handy with wrenches, the tap assembly could be changed in minutes. I happen to be 6.3" and weigh 200 lbs and as I said in my original post, I can't even feel the underside of the tap.

I think ( with fingers crossed) that I may have solved the problem. The tap has slightly leaked for months and the washers, the "O" ring on the stem and the packing washer all seem to be non standard modern sizes. The original flat washer is designated "0" 1/4" and this size designation is still available today, but it is now converted from metric and is a full 1/32 bigger than the original. The same applies to the O ring and the packing washer. I have lost count of the hardware and plumbing shops that have sold me the "nearest" size. Consequently nothing fits exactly.

I was talking to a friend today and he had read my post. He is a retired hospital maintenance engineer and he suggested I lubricate all the rubber tap parts with "O" Ring Lubricant and he gave me a tiny bottle of it. I coated the three rubber components and the tap now glides open and shut like silk and makes a complete seal.

I was so thrilled with the result I coated the two "O" rings in the shower head on - off button that has been very stiff for years and that also now is as smooth as the day it left the factory. My friend assures me the effect will be long lasting and the bottle, (about 2" high) will last for years.

I feel that I have discovered a magic plumbing potion, and I very much hope that it has permenantly solved the problem.
Thank you again for your thoughtful comment.


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