It’s almost impossible to hit two targets with one arrow, but when it comes to RVs anything is possible. We are talking about installing a wastegate valve for your RV while also insulating the underbelly at the same time. It isn’t as complicated as it sounds. But even if it does, you shouldn’t despair as we are here.
Today, we will tell you how to install an RV wastegate with an insulated underbelly, and that too through a step-by-step procedure.
Here are the steps you should follow:
Gather All the Tools
Any installation requires a set of specific tools for that job. For the wastegate, the idea is the same. You must have a range of mechanical and electrical tools to help you do the job, including:
- A waste gate valve
- Flange seals
- Drill machine (wired or wireless)
- Angle grinder
- Screws and bolts
- Grease or other lubricants
You can acquire these tools from a reputable hardware store. But if you think that it’s too expensive to buy all the tools, you should look out for the stores that have a rental facility. You can save a lot of money by renting the required RV tools and returning them once the work is done.
Detach the Underbelly Cover
The first obstacle in your way is the underbelly cover. It protects all the important insulation padding underneath the RV so it is a necessary component.
The cover is held in place by numerous rivets. They are attached to all the corners and frankly, there are too many of them. You might have to employ the services of your friends to help you do this faster. But if going solo is your cup of tea, then you must ensure you take out all the screws and place them in a secure container. You don’t want to lose the rivets and then buy new ones later.
Alternatively, you could use an angle grinder, cut away all the bolts and screws, and remove the underbelly in an instant. However, then you would have to invest in a new set of rivets, which is an additional cost you must bear.
The next step is to remove the fiberglass hidden beneath the covering. You might need a sharp tool to do this, like a pointy screwdriver or spatula.
The wastegate will be in full view, once all the obstacles are removed. Now you can start working on the installation.
Find the Leak
The reason you are doing all this work is to fix a leak or to prevent any further leaks. No matter the case, you must move towards the more affected valve. So, the first thing you should do is empty the waste water tanks and seal the RV in a way that no one uses the facilities. Afterward, pour water through all the wastewater tanks and check the valves one at a time. You can do this by shutting off the valve and then pouring in clean water from above. If the wastegate valve isn’t holding fast and water is leaking through, you must make the replacement there.
While you are doing this, it wouldn’t hurt to thoroughly clean the wastewater tanks. This would save time for you in the future, so don’t think twice.
Remove the old Valve
The wastegate valve is held together by a set of bolts. You have to remove them, and then the flange seals are sandwiched between the components. Once all that is done, you must clean the flange seals and set them out to dry. If you have bought new ones then you can throw away the old ones.
Install Flange Seals
The seals are vital to the valve’s performance; therefore, they must be clean and free of debris before you install them. The flange seals are made of rubber, which is why you need a sticky solution like grease or a gel lubricant to hold the seal to the wastegate valve.
Apply the lubricant on both sides and make sure to be thorough.
Install New Waste Gate Valve
Take the wastegate valve, and attach it to the pipe while spreading the seals. The flange seals must encircle the valve to prevent any leakages, and there shouldn’t be any space left between the seals and the valve.
Once you are sure there’s no extra space between the components and the system is tightly shut, attach the bolts and fasten them using a wrench. Recheck the spacing once again and then move on to the next step.
Check the Valve
You must repeat the process followed in step 3 to check there are no further leaks in the system. The wastegate should not leak any fluid once the valve is closed. If you are still getting some, it means the flange seals are not attached properly. Therefore, you must remove the valve, reattach the seals properly, and then recheck.
Reinstall Underbelly Cover
Now it is time to reinstall everything back in its place, including the waste water tanks, the insulation padding, and the underbelly cover. Follow the proper procedure and use the RV’s manual for more information, if needed.
The underbelly cover must be held tightly in place so do not miss any rivets.
That’s all you need to do! It’s a lot of work, but you can do it in a day without needing outside assistance.
A typical wastegate valve costs somewhere between $20- $60.
Flange seals are necessary to prevent any water leakages.
Yes, most modern RVs have multiple wastegate valves. However, if you have a conventional RV with a single blackwater tank then there should be only one.
The flange seals and gaskets are put in place to prevent any leakages from happening. However, you can ensure nothing like this happens by cleaning the wastewater tanks regularly.