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Old 07-30-2021, 06:33 AM   #1
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Installing hatches for dump valve handles

I'm rickety, and accessing the handles is tough, so I bought the hatch and I don't want to mess up the skirt when I make the hole.

Will anyone who has done this please brief me on how you did it?

Since the skirt is somewhat folded, is the horizontal seam a problem?

How did you go about cutting the hole? Tin snips or jig saw?

The black tank valve is the only one I can add a hatch to, as the gray tank handle is accessible where the slide is located.

I just discovered electric actuated valves, but I'm not ready to take the plunge yet, but it's a growing possibility.
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:23 AM   #2
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Valve Access Ports

I'm "Rickety" as well so I added some round ports to ease the access to the gray/black valve handles. The bends in the skirt were not a problem, the ports don't sit perfectly flush but it's hardly noticeable and really doesn't matter since a tight seal isn't necessary. I did try to align the top of the port close to the bend of the skirt. I removed the factory light which I never use (if it's dark, I use a head lamp) and used the already drilled hole as a starting point to cut the first hole. Second cut out I drilled a good sized pilot hole to get started. I used a jigsaw with no problems. I did apply duct tape to the bottom face of the jigsaw to avoid scratches. The sheet metal screws are holding fine so far but could be easily be replaced with nuts/bolts if necessary. I added a wire to each removable center piece so I wouldn't loose them if they came loose during travel. So far no issues. One of the best additions I've done, makes accessing the pull handles so much easier for us old goats.
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:42 AM   #3
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The easiest way to cut the hole is with a hole saw. It will also give you the cleanest hole.
https://www.harborfreight.com/2-34-i...saw-57698.html


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Old 07-30-2021, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
The easiest way to cut the hole is with a hole saw. It will also give you the cleanest hole.
https://www.harborfreight.com/2-34-i...saw-57698.html


Joel
Prolly true, but I need a 6 1/4" hole.
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:06 AM   #5
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In the modification thread at top of page, you can find much aboot this. I did way back when!! If you go to my name, and look for past posts, you can find info and pics. Here is what I did:
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcfissel View Post
Prolly true, but I need a 6 1/4" hole.

They're a little pricey, but they do exist. Amazon has 6.3" and 6-5/16" sizes for around $20. For some reason, their 6-1/4" is around $22.


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Old 07-30-2021, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
They're a little pricey, but they do exist. Amazon has 6.3" and 6-5/16" sizes for around $20. For some reason, their 6-1/4" is around $22.


Joel
Thanks, I'm surprised that that size is so inexpensive.
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Old 07-30-2021, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuquala View Post
In the modification thread at top of page, you can find much aboot this. I did way back when!! If you go to my name, and look for past posts, you can find info and pics. Here is what I did:
Thanks, I like this solution. I think this might be a better fit for our trailer.

I just went to my trailer with the hatch gasket and a grease pencil to mark for a hole, and discovered the round hatch doesn't fit very well. Without removing the light, the valve handle will not be centered on the hatch, by a half diameter.

Our trailer is a 2019 model and the gray tank valve is right at the edge of the slide so, when the slide is out I can reach around the skirt and pull the gray valve. The rectangular hatch would prolly be a better fit, but I have to remove the light and a clearance reflector, which is no big deal.
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Old 07-30-2021, 03:33 PM   #9
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I used a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel. Was pretty easy. Also, the round, Kayak deck hatch is hinged so no worry to drop and maybe lose the hatch cover plate.
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:06 PM   #10
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I already had one these, which did the job nicely.

https://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-Ele...7858825&sr=8-5

Pretty sure I sourced mine from Home Depot
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:23 PM   #11
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I installed a marine screw on cover used in bilges of boats. It was very easy.

Used the part to trace the circle. Drilled a 1/4" hole at the line, and used a Dremel tool to cut it.

Looks great and now no more monkey motion to open the sink valve on the side skirt. My black and grey valves are inside the front storage area of the fifth wheel.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:50 PM   #12
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For all us Rickity guys, this seems like a lot of work. For about $300 you can have electric waste tank valves put in. Looking at some of the 5th wheels and travel trailers they way they have the gate valves with cables going back into know where land it's a no brainer for me. On my class A DP they are convenient inside the wet bay but I'm still think of putting them in. Some of these campsites are getting so tight you have to get pretty friendly with your neighbors to go out and dump your tanks.
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Old 08-02-2021, 04:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
"you can have electric waste tank valves put in."
This solution is looking better each time I look at how to solve my problem.

On our trailer the proximity of gray valve is in line & behind the front edge of the slide, so the skirt ends there. I'm thinking there has to be a support bracket to support that, so it is in the way also. It just seems there is one thing after another.

Thanks to everyone for their ideas for a solution.
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Old 08-02-2021, 11:06 AM   #14
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I have the kayak hatches and have been meaning to install them in our 24RLS.
I am glad I havent because the larger hatch looks like a better solution IMO.
I have a sheetmetal panel cutter for my drill and it goes through stuff like the skirting like a hot knife through butter.
Butyl tape the hatch and use "spring nuts" on the back side so the screws actually have something to bite into.
Hard pass on the electric valves for a couple of reasons-
Expense
Hassle of installation
Seems things like that always fail at the most inopportune times
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