It’s difficult to believe that I forgot to wish Florence a happy 4th birthday, because she and I share one! So, a happy belated birthday to Florence! The best home away from home anyone could know. It’s also tough to believe that Florence has been in our lives for four years, it seems like an eternity, and buying her seems like yesterday at the same time.
Florence is going to have some new adventures in the upcoming months, so despite the near radio silence on this blog, be sure to stay tuned to find out more about what she will be up to.
After a long hiatus, Flo has gotten some attention!
As I’ve been end-of-summer cleaning and doing maintenance around Flo, one of the things that has really been bothering me was the apparent ice damage that happened last winter. After mistakenly leaving the “shore” water on, the water system seemed to freeze. At first inspection, the damage seemed severe: the regulator was shot, the toilet valve was shot, the kitchen faucet froze so solidly that it split down the middle.
Upon discovering the problem, I panicked and turned off every valve I could find, including two under the dinette next to the fresh water tank. I turned the water off and lamented the damage, but didn’t do much about it… using a long hose and bottled water for a while.
This past May, I bought a replacement kitchen faucet from Lowe’s that was almost the exact same as the original that came with the Airstream, only it was made by Pfister rather than Moen.
After several months of tripping over the box, worrying about the faucet, and avoiding the installation for some reason today, I took the leap and installed it.
I thought, I’ll get the old one off (at least) and then just “see” how the new one looks in place.
Getting the old faucet off was a bear. the Moen faucet seemed to be held by some invisible force that wouldn’t budge no matter what I did. After about an hour of patient work, I got it completely off, and had just a hole in the counter top.
Shockingly, the Pfister faucet was ridiculously easy to install. The box contained little adapter that you screw into the hot and cold water feeds, and then the entire thing just snaps together, literally. Click, click, click, tighten up the bolt that holds the thread faucet in place and boom, done.
I recommend the Pfister faucet, though I did have to call the 800 number at one point to ask a quick question and it was closed at 7pm, eastern time. I didn’t love that. I figured out the answer to my question though, and didn’t need their help after all.
It also turned out that the “valves” that I was turning “off” weren’t really water feed valves at all, but the “low point drain” which, in irony of ironies, drained the water from my trailer to prevent any further damage. So, all said and done, crisis averted, and all has been repaired!
It’s hard to believe that I’m entering the fourth year of living in Florence! Life in an Airstream continues to be a comfortable dream come true, and I couldn’t be happier that we made the decision to buy Florence three summers ago!
About a month ago, I was washing dishes and all of a sudden, the water simply stopped. My first thought was that the water main buried outside must have broken, but upon further inspection, I found that the water to Florence was flowing perfectly and with a decent amount of pressure. Because the water would flow from the storage tank when the pump was on, that told me that everything was working inside Florence as well. The only point where water didn’t seem to be flowing was at the point where the outdoor hose attached to the side of Florence, a strange little hookup marked “City Water Inlet.”
I didn’t know much about the City Water Inlet (and I don’t really think I know that much more now…) but I learned that what appears to be simply a male connection for a female hose, actually has a bunch more going on. The inside of the connection contains a small white plastic box that contains a pressure regulator. It’s a little device that ensures that water coming from the source isn’t so pressured that it will blow your plumbing apart inside the Airstream. I also learned that the valve is especially prone to freezing. When they freeze they lock up, and boom. That’s it. They’re kaput and need to be replaced.
Plumbing is well outside of my areas of expertise, but the adventurous side of me decided to give it a try.
My first move was to remove the old valve.
It was a tougher job than it appeared to be. There seemed to be a lot of screws (4 inside that were VERY long and 4 outside that were very short), and it was very challenging to work in the tight quarters under the sink. The inside of the valve attaches to a little female receptacle that has a daisy wheel around it to tighten or loosen. It was pretty easy to loosen. Then, I had to pry the old valve off the side of the Airstream, because it had this sort of grey caulk goop all around it.
When I pulled it off, there was a noticeable hole in the side of the Airstream.
I plugged the hole with a towel to keep water and critters out and ordered a replacement valve. I also ordered a 90º elbow too. The elbow goes on the outside and helps to secure the hose to the City Water Inlet valve, without putting pressure on the valve itself.
The new valve slid right in the hole, but aligning the interior connection with the daisy wheel took some effort. I tightened the daisy wheel to a point where it thought it was tight. It wasn’t. As soon as I turned on the water main, water squirted out inside of the Airstream. I turned off the main and tightened it until my fingers really (really) hurt. That seemed to be tight enough. No more dripping or squirting, a nice dry seal, and perfect running water in Florence once again!
I took some time to re-caulk the outside with some clear silicone caulk, and hopefully, I won’t have to replace this valve for a very long time!