Repair RV Holding Tanks

RV holding tanks (grey & black water) can be damaged by flying rocks, or dragging on rough terrain. Having a leak can be messy, and in most area’s is illegal. Replacing a whole tank can be costly, and what if it happens while you are out on the road? This could create some real challenges.

Minor damage can be repaired fairly easily, inexpensively, and pretty quickly. Most holding tanks are made of ABS plastic. You can purchase a holding tank repair kit or you can buy similar supplies from a local hobby shop. All you need is a gap filling cyanoacrylate adhesive with separate activator (similar to super glue, but thicker and dries slower) some sand paper, and fiber glass cloth.

Repairing a crack

  1. Empty the holding tank
  2. Clean off any dirt or grime around the damaged area (make sure it is dry)
  3. Drill a small hole at each end of the crack, this will keep it from spreading.
  4. Cut a piece of fiberglass cloth a couple of inches larger than the damaged area.
  5. Saturate the fiberglass cloth with cyanoacylate glue.
  6. Use your hand to spread the fiber glass cloth over the damaged area. (wear gloves)
  7. Once the fiber glass is in place apply the accelerator and you will have an instant bond.

This repair is strong and long-lasting too. The tank should be ready to use in 15-20 min.

Do you have a holding tank disaster story? I’d like to hear it.

Vintage DIY Help

May be you have a vintage trailer that has been sitting around your backyard, and unlike some very creative people, you can’t think of what to do with it. So it sits collecting dust (mold, mildew, and dry rot)

or may be you just have an older trailer that needs some repairs.

I found a resource, actually they found me first on Twitter, that has a collection of everything you might need to find parts, learn how to for some of the common repairs, or sell what you think is just junk in your backyard. It’s the Tin Can Tourists.

As I started to click through the pages I was impressed with the wealth of information and the amount of helpful links I found. It’s a great site if you’re looking for help with a vintage travel trailer.

 

DIY: Replace a RV Marker Light

As I have mentioned before my Trailer is a 1986 model. UV rays and temperature changes take their toll on plastic over time, and marker light lenses are no exception. The lenses on my trailer are cracked, faded, and letting water inside the housing.

I picked up some new marker lights at Walmart for less than $3 ea. I will walk you through the process of changing the entire marker light. It’s pretty simple. First remove the 2 screws, and then the red lens should pop off.

The only thing holding the housing to the trailer at this point is some plumbers puddy. Gently pull on the housing and it should pull away from the trailer, be careful the wires in the back should have room to pull out, but could catch. You don’t want to break a wire and have it stuck inside the wall where you can’t reach it.

I’m not sure if all trailers use the same color coding for their wires, but on mine green is for the power side of the marker light and white is the ground. If you are not sure you can pull off a taillight and see what colors are connected to the bulb and what color is grounded to the trailer body.

I replaced the yellow wire nuts with new ones because the old ones were rusty inside. I also put some electrical tape on the wires to keep them together (RV’s bounce and rattle going down the road). I placed some plumbers puddy on the upper edge of the marker light, this lets water run down if it gets inside, but makes a nice seal on top. It is also being used to keep the housing mounted even and tight.

I screwed in the new marker light housing, and put a liberal amount of caulking around the housing. I did leave weep holes on the bottom side to allow for water drainage.

I snapped the new lens on and it’s good as new. The entire process took about 20 min. It’s as easy as that.

Inexpensive Update For Old Trailer Flooring

My trailer is a 1986, it’s old but it’s paid for. The floor itself was in good shape, but the floor covering was not great (honestly half of it was really bad – the carpeting). We decided the carpeting had to go, and the linoleum could use an update. I know how to lay down sheet flooring, but the thought of working around all the corners and cabinets seemed challenging. We thought we would try stick on tiles. We found the cheapest tile @ $.29 a square and it had a 80’s look too. I wasn’t sure if the sick on tile would stay stuck with the temperature changes. It’s stayed in place for over a year now.

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Remove the carpeting (linoleum is installed the entire length even under the carpeting, do not remove)
2. Make sure there are no staples or tacks. I pulled most but had to pound a few down and grind a few.
3. Remove items that you can like the toilet or tables.
4. Use a product like TSP to clean the linoleum. It gets rid of wax and dirt.
5. If you have any tears in the old linoleum you can use a skim coat to level out the flooring. Any bump or dirt will show up with the shine of the new linoleum.
6. I started my first row at the door way. Remember you need to keep tiles square (a little bit off shows up way off on a long run) existing cabinets & walls should be square.
7. Slide the tile close to the wall leave about a 1/8″ gap. I found these tiles need a little room for expanding and contracting.
8. Slide the next tile snug against the previous tile. Start with that edge pressing down working your way to the next edge.
9. You can cut the tile with the protective paper still on as you perfect the fit around items like cabinets. Remember to leave a little room for the tiles to expand.

Here’s my final product.