Saturday, February 25, 2012


I was awakened this early morning, when the awning on the side of the RV was retracting because the wind had exceeded the threshold set on the automatic retractor.  It really bangs against the side of the RV when it gets rolled up against the rig at the end.

And once I was now awake, I listened to the wind as it was flapping the flags on the rig behind us.  That's when I noticed that the wind was also venting the sewer tank on our rig.  See our ball valve in the bottom of the toilet has been leaking the water out of the bowl for about the last month or so.

I understand that this is somewhat common on Thetford RV potties that are about 4 years old.  Ours is no different, but when the wind blows just right it blows the stink back out of the tank and up the leaky valve.  I knew this was going to have to be dealt with but like all males, I figured I would do it when it really became a problem.

I have used the Apache Junction RV repair folks and parts store for several years since we have been coming here in the winter, and I had asked the repair fellow what I should do.  His service call would be $90 and parts and labor, but if I wanted to take the fixture off and bring it in he would just charges parts and a half hour of labor.

He then proceeded to explain how to get the toilet out of the rig in order to bring it in.  So because it was smelly this morning, I thought, OK, OK I guess today is the day.

There is a decorative plastic shield around the base of the fixture that comes off with a couple of rubber band like fasteners, and then it is fastened to the floor with hold down bolts in a flange just like a home toilet.  The water supply is just a threaded nut on a flexible hose. Like undoing the garden hose.

It wasn't too long and it was in the back of the SUV.  The repair man was going to fix it while I waited, until he couldn't find the right parts.....  That's my usual luck.....  So I left it.  They sent a runner to the supply house.

In the middle of the afternoon, I went back and paid for it, $65.  This is when I needed to actually know how to put it back in!  Instead of bee's wax for a seal, there is a rubber gasket that fits between the stool and the flange.  It then needs to be compressed by tightening the flange bolts.  You toss the old one away.

But where I got into trouble was the water line leaked when I put it back on.  Off and on and off and on and then a trip back for a new washer to go into the big nut, but then it still leaked.....................

The factory clamp on the hose fitting was also now loose.  I had some hose clamps in the junk box in the underneath bins.  So back apart with a new clamp as well as the new gasket, and it seems to be secure................................................................?

But this has taken most of the day.  Our temperature was 82 this afternoon at five PM and of course now the wind is non existent, but hey, there's water in the bottom of that toilet now!!!

Retired Rod


  1. Oh man. I've had so many of those "this should take a couple hours" jobs that turn out taking all day.
    I suppose that, if "every day is Saturday", then it's a way to pass the time, but when things drag on, the whole process can start to wear you down.
    The wind howling reminds me of when we had our motorhome, and I had (very cleverly I thought) used a length of sewer pipe slung up underneath the coach to house the stinky slinky.
    All fine and dandy. It was hardly noticeable and worked like a charm.
    Except one really windy night, it became glaringly obvious that the holes in my "storage pipe" were acting like little miniature flutes, and the thing would emit a low moan every time the wind blew! Not conducive to a good night's sleep I might add.
    I never changed it, and whoever owns the motorhome now will have a little mystery to sort out on some windy night. Beats smelling sewer gas I suppose.

  2. Good job Rod, looks like you finally got it. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  3. Thanks for the lesson, Rod. You've convinced me if that ever happens to us, I'm just calling the RV repair guy to come out and do it.

  4. Jim had to do this in our motorhome and we were shocked at the price of just the parts. And we have yet to find a job that doesn't take about three hours longer than we think it should and sometimes three days longer. Glad you have it fixed but I'm really glad that wind is gone. But I just heard Monday is going to really be windy again as that cold front comes through. Only in the 60's on Tuesday.

  5. oh wow what a job.....I think I'll just call in the Rv fixer when the time comes :)


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