Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 78, low 68)
TOILET REPAIRS, PART ONE
We were happy to see the new RV toilet arrive right on time Friday the 13th.
Al has installed a few residential toilets over the years, and never had any problem, but of course Rv toilets are not the same.
We removed our Aria Classic. No problems there. I did the lifting to spare Al’s shoulder.
We soon noticed the closet flange on the motor home floor, wasn’t quite right as far as the bolts matching up to where they needed to be on the new toilet.
This is a picture of a similar product, however the one on the floor is apparently cemented in. You can’t remove it, and you can’t turn it so that the openings for the bolts are where you need them to be.
As it turned out, the OEM toilet Monaco used doesn’t attach to the closet flange at all. The seal fits into it, and that is all. It’s attached with two lag bolts, which are much further apart than the bolts on the closet flange.
What was Monaco thinking? Why didn’t they install the closet flange so that if you ever needed to replace the toilet, it would match up to other toilets.
One good thing is that our Monaco motor home has a wonderful feature in which you can turn off the water for each individual item. It’s extremely handy to be able to turn the water off just for the toilet, and still have water elsewhere in the coach. It was nice to be able to wash our hands while working on the toilet.
We were extremely frustrated and after a lot of research and head scratching, we came to the conclusion that the new toilet was not going to work for our motor home. We considered drilling new holes into our closet flange and using lag bolts to mount the new toilet, but the base wasn’t as wide as the old toilet and it would have been wobbly anyway.
By this time, we were tired and frustrated. We decided to go with Plan B, although we weren’t exactly sure what that was at the moment. Shortly afterwards got an email saying part for the old toilet was now available. They had been on back order and no one knew when it would be available.
At that point, we decided to re-install the old toilet and wait for the parts. At least we would have a toilet, even though it had to be flushed manually. At this point we were thankful for that much.
There may be a way to make the new toilet fit without a major ordeal, but since the parts were on the way, we decided to stay with the old toilet. It’s actually a much nicer toilet and is a solid one piece of porcelain, instead of the cheap plastic base like the new one.
So…..it looks like we have made an expensive mistake, and learned an expensive lesson. Anybody want to buy a brand new porcelain Thetford Style Plus toilet? We’ll give you a good deal!
The new parts arrived, but we were dreading it and procrastinated a few days.
We finally got brave enough and tried again. There are a lot more parts on an Rv toilet than a residential toilet and the instructions weren’t very clear on how to replace the foot pedal, but al figured it out. As it turns out, the original toilet had some parts that weren’t attached quite on center, which causes the foot pedal mechanism to rub against the side of the toilet. He tried to remove that part, to see if he could center it correctly, but it was tightly bolted down and he was afraid he would break the porcelain if he kept at it. We would really be in trouble if he broke the porcelain base. He decided to file away the porcelain area that rubs and hope for the best.
Next step was to reinstall the toilet. It’s much heavier than the one we had ordered and it’s a lot harder putting it back in than it was to remove, but I managed. Al couldn’t even help me because there is no room in our tiny bathroom. Al screwed it back into the floor with the lag bolts.
The next step was to reattach the water line, and this is where we had the problem. For some reason the heavy duty blue water line had shifted a little and didn’t match up to the back of the toilet, although by feel it felt like it was in line. It doesn’t bend much and only goes up and down a half inch or so. We both tried and tried and couldn’t get the darned waterline attached. Of course you’re doing it blind because it’s behind the toilet and only one hand will fit behind the toilet.
Again, we were happy to have the separate water disconnects in the motor home. We had water to the sink in the bathroom, and could turn off the supply to the toilet. We now had a working foot pedal, just no water supply, but we were better off than we were before!
So, that work around worked for about a week with us both trying again and again to get the waterline to attach.
Finally, Al suggested I try to take a picture to see if we could see why it wouldn’t screw on. I did, and then he saw the water line was a little high. He managed to shove it back down a little and was finally able to attach the water line to the toilet!
So….my advice for you all is to buy spare parts for your toilet, because if/when they break, you’ll be very glad to have them on hand.
What an ordeal!