Author Topic: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement  (Read 102 times)

Offline srosa707

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  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
'73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« on: July 10, 2018, 09:19 AM »
So after purchasing our Brave last year we found the black tank had a pinhole leak that allowed it to slowly drip.  Since we like to "tread lightly", this bothered me and needed to be replaced.  After inspection, I found the original fiberglass tank had been "repaired" but failing so I decided to replace the tank instead of trying to put a band-aid on the already compromised tank.  Also, whenever the lavatory was used the floor sounded "squishy".  I assumed this was due to rotted wood so I wanted to address this issue while I was in there.


The first think I did was search this site for information or previous projects.  I determined it was best I called "Winnebagoparts.com" (WBP) and ask if they still had the mold for the tank I needed to fit the unique space.  Yes, I could have purchased a universal tank but I figured it was best to put the factory size back in (if possible) to assure proper fitment.  My model Brave DOES NOT have a factory gray tank, or at least my rig did not.  The gray water from the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower drain all go into the same pipe that exits into one side of the waste outlet valve.  I will address this later in my thread. 


I am starting this thread to hopefully give someone the information or foresight into this kind of project if this is something they are wanting to tackle.  It was much more time consuming that I anticipated, so please plan ahead. 

Offline srosa707

  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 09:39 AM »
The first thing I did was purchase the new black tank from WBP.  As you can see in the pictures, the tank IS NOT an exact replacement.  You will need to fab new mounts to attach it to the rig.  The tank has pre-installed "nuts" you can use to mount it to the rig.  I fabbed up some new mounting brackets using angle iron and then drilling the holes needed.  The mount closest to the front of the rig is a real pain and will require some creativity in fabricating.  Also, the holes for the vent and toilet ARE NOT drilled.  This tank is basically just a mold and will require full attention.  The end of outlet spout will need to be cut off to open it up for use (see pics). 


Part:  Replacement Black Tank
Price:  $238.79 shipped
Man: Winnebago Parts (WinnebagoParts.com)  P/N: 021489 01 000




Pic 1:  Tank as it comes from WBP.  *Note mounting "nuts" on tank. 
Pic 2:  Outlet pipe of new black tank as provided by WBP

Offline srosa707

  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 09:50 AM »
After dropping the old tank (i'll get to that in a bit), I determined the location of the tank sensors and added a Valterra rinse system to help keep the tank clean after use.


Part:  Valterra Tank Probes *NOTE, you need 2 packs to complete the job.  The Brave has 5 sensors, Valterra comes with 4
Price: $30.23 each pack of 4
Man: Valterra (on Amazon)


Part: Valtera No Fuss Flush
Price: $27.60
Man: Valterra (on Amazon)


(pictures renamed due to message board error  $@!#@! )
Pic 6: Picture of tank with mounts, sensors, and flush.
Pic 7: Same
Pic 8: Same with front facing mount system

Offline srosa707

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  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 09:57 AM »
I tried to access the bolts that hold the tank in from under the rig but they were severely rusted (Thanks Florida!) so I figured I would just remove the shower pan and remove them.  Once I removed the pan, the bolts were identified on the floor of the shower.  They are large flathead carriage bolts and were a real pain getting out.  Two of the bolts were under the front wall of the shower and I ended up cutting into the floor a bit and cutting them out with a sawzall.  If they are not fully rusted, the  nuts should be able to be removed from the bottom but the new mounting location on the tank will not line up with these bolt hole locations.  I recommend removing the bolts entirely and drilling new holes in the floor to mount the tank where your new mounts line up, like I did to mine. 


Pic 1: Old black tank removed
Pic 2: Location of tank level sensors.

Offline srosa707

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  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 10:00 AM »
*NOTE:  The tank I received from WBP is some kind of plastic.  The top of it dips down almost an inch.  You must account for this when adding your tank sensors!  WBP says the new tank is 26 gallons.


Pic 11: Dip in new black tank.

Offline srosa707

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  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 10:05 AM »
Here is the bathroom prior and after demo.  On our last trip with the RV the toilet stopped flowing water for some reason.  We used this as a good opportunity to add a new toilet to the bathroom while it was apart.  Also, the corner of the bath (where the vent pipe is) is basically just a piece of wood with a ton of caulking and crap on top.  Not sure if this is factory, but it was pretty janky.  If I were do to this again, I would look at adding a full pan that would allow the vent to pass through the floor.  This pan is made to accommodate the vent tube but I dont like the design.


After removal of the pan, it was determined that the wood in the flooring was in great shape.  So what the heck was causing the squishy sound?


Pic 12: Bathroom with toilet removed, demo started
Pic 13: Bathroom floor removed. Note the green carpet underneath!

Offline srosa707

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  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 10:14 AM »
SQUISHY SOUND FOUND!


So the factory installed this sound/heat insulation to the bottom of the shower pan in 1973 and it is a bit deteriorated.  It has become soft and squishy so I removed it from the bottom of the pan.  The new insulation was purchased at Home Depot (sorry, dont have details  :-[ ) and cost about $15 I think.  I glued it to the bottom and shaved it with an orbital sander to give it a slight slope towards the drain. 


The shower pan is easy to remove: remove toilet, disconnect shower drain, remove rubber beltline (screws), remove shower pan screws in the wall, and then remove toilet donut bolts.  Shower pan removes after that.


Pic 14: Shower pan removed with old insulation
Pic 15: Insulation removed
Pic 16: New insulation installed

Offline srosa707

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  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 10:28 AM »
Once the pan was removed, it was time to install the new tank.  Sorry, I don't have any pictures of this but it is a critical step and I recommend two people to do this.  With the mounts installed onto the tank, push new black tank into position and mark where you need your holes.  I had to go through the body mount on the front tank mount, but that was necessary to put the tank in the right position to drill the vent hole (more later).  Now you can drill your holes and mount the tank to the underside of the floor.  *NOTE: I recommend you use carriage bolts so you do not have to remove the shower pan to remove the black tank in the future.  I did not do this but its too late now.  I will run rubber hose over the bolt bolts and nuts underneath to prevent rusting to badly they cannot be removed in the future.


At this time, I added a new Valterra waste valve to the system.  The new Valterra valve is 4in inlet and the new black tank is a 3.5in outlet.  You will need an adapter to get these to work which I have provided information on below.


Part: Valterra Waste Valve
Price: $30.05
Man: Valterra (on Amazon)


Part: 4" to 3.5" Coupler
Price: $14.99
Man: Spectre (on Amazon)


Pic 17: Valterra valve.  Note the 2.5" inlet for the gray water.  This is where the gray water goes once it leaves the drain.  This does not go into the black tank but straight onto the ground (bring a bucket!)
Pic18: Spectre coupler between the black tank and the Valterra valve

Offline srosa707

  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 10:54 AM »
Now that that black tank is mounted, the floor pan has new insulation, and all the parts were in my posession, it was time to reinstall the shower pan and drill for the toilet and vent holes.  Yes, you must drill the toilet and vent hole into the tank since it is not drilled from the factory.  The original tank allowed the toilet flange to screw into the top of the black tank to hold everything tight.  This was molded into the fiberglass and you will not have this ability with the new tank.  You must drill the tank and use a "slip-seal" for both the toilet flange and the black tank vent. 

The corner of the shower pan needs to be constructed out of SOMETHING.  I used outdoor, weather rated wood from Home Depot and cut it double thick, then screwed it together.  This is an integral part of installing the shower pan.  I determined halfway into the project that the shower would get VERY little, or no use at all due to its size.  A more water proof product OR new corner-to-corner shower pan would be a better idea for this reason. I am 6'3 so using the shower is probably out of the question.  I might make an outdoor shower just outside, if needed.



Step 1: With black tank securely mounted in place, mark the location of the hole in the floor for both the toilet and the vent.  The toilet hole requires a 4" hole saw to drill a 4" hole, and the vent uses a 2.5" hole saw to drill a 2.5" hole. 


Step 2: CAREFULLY drill the holes in the tank. *NOTE: be VERY careful drilling the vent hole.  It is in the far corner of the black tank and it is very easy to drill into the edge of the tank which would be very bad!  This is why it is so important to get the tank as far into the front driver side corner as possible. 


Step 3: Install the required slip-seals


Step 4: Re-install shower pan


Step 5: Install new corner piece (if applicable)


Step 6: Finish installation of shower pan and corner piece (screws, caulking, etc)


Step 7: Mock up toilet and determine pipe length into slip-seal.  This needs to clear the lip of the seal by about 3/4" or so.  Use Windex around PVC piping to slide into slip seal.  *NOTE: this will not want to come back out so do this only once!  The other side gets glued into the new toilet flange (from Home Depot or the like).  Also, the Dometic flange and mounting kit are not required for installation.  It might even interfere with the shower pan, not sure.


Step 8: Finish installation of toilet.  My plumber buddy helped with the fittings on this part.




Part: Toilet Slip Seal
Price: $6.84
Man: (on Amazon)


Part: Vent Slip Seal
Price: $10.99 for 2.  Only need 1
Man: (on Amazon)


Part: Dometic 300 Toilet
Price: $112.18
Man: Dometic (on Amazon)




Pic 19: Pan lightly installed with toilet and vent holes freshly drilled
Pic 20: Fabricated corner piece.  This was eventually painted with exterior paint and sealed with caulking.  It shouldnt see too much water, if any.
Pic 21: Shower pan installed with corner piece, vent tube, and toilet flange
Pic 22:  Toilet installed.

Offline srosa707

  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2018, 11:00 AM »
Well, I think that is about it.  Again the project took a lot longer than expected but if you plan on doing this job, expect to do what I did and you should be good.  The tank sensors work with the factory Winnebago controls and all the plumbing and toilet worked great!  The toilet fits, but its kinda hard to close the bathroom door with my long legs while on the toilet.   I worked on this thing almost every day for a month to get it ready for the first camp trip with our baby and everything worked out great!  We made it to Gualala California and had a great time with friends.

Offline Froggy1936

  • 13 year member
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  • Posts: 1425
  • Member since: 2004
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie Winnie
  • Chassis: Chevy G30
  • Engine: 5.7 1995
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2018, 12:40 PM »
I replaced both of my tanks (after repairs only lasted a short time). Got them from Winnebago Exacty the same as originals , They had the nuts molded onto them for mounting, The originals failed due to stress at the mounting bolts actually ripped the tanks apart from the weight of the water . (sometimes you have to travel with nearly full tanks )  after installing the new ones i added straps 3 on each from the frame to the frame with universal strapping for extra support ! No problems in 5 yrs !  Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline srosa707

  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: '73 Brave D20 Black Tank Replacement
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 01:04 PM »
Yes, I considered straps on my tank but completely forgot when it came time!  I will probably add some in the future just for piece of mind.

 

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