I'm going to try to make this tacky topic as light hearted as possible. Hopefully, some more good advice will come out of this...
There was a thread on this in 2013, with some good discussion and advice, but I'd like to get some additional advice and put some of my recent learning into the discussion.
Our Northern Lite is about 11 years old. It has a Thetford Aqua-Magic V hand flush toilet in it. After the first couple of years, the bathroom started getting stinkier and stinkier, not only after driving, but also when it was left in one location for a week or two. A phone call to NL, and the thread in 2013 on this forum gave me some ideas to try and things to check. At that time, I pulled the toilet off the flange and saw a couple of additional things that weren't mentioned in the previous discussion here. They are:
1. The flange installed by NL does not actually meet the specifications for flange height recommended by the manufacturer of the toilet. Thetford states in the manual, that the flange needs to be 7/16" above the floor that the toilet is mounted on. Since most RV manufacturers use off the shelf parts for things like toilet flanges, I guess that the toilet manufacturer assumes that there would be some kind of metal or plastic spacer that should be installed between the floor and the flange to ensure correct flange height.
2. The design of this model of toilet is not particularly great. There is an internal compartment below the bowl that acts like an unseen funnel of waste, that you can't clean out, unless you use a manual wand and garden hose to blast things clean once in a while. Think of the bowl at the top, then the little blade that opens and closes sideways. Then, below that is another compartment, that is funnel shaped, that contains the blade mechanism at the top. Stuff sticks in this lower area, and once some of the gaskets by the hand actuator (also located this area) fail, you essentially have a open air path between the black tank, and bathroom, along with a collection of "bad stuff" that will have been the funnel. Again, no tank rinse system reaches this area. Only a wand, lowered directly below the flush blade, will get at this debris.
Here is an article posted by someone with a great sense of humor on this topic: http://interstateblo...interstate.html
So, a few years ago, as part of my removal of this toilet, the first time, I noticed that the flange was too low, there was obvious leaking from the toilet ring area, and this funnel interior was in need of cleaning. I didn't really know at that time of a way to adjust the height of the flange to the bottom of the toilet, so I cleaned everything up, put in the new gasket on the blade of the toilet, and installed a new ring in the flange, and bolted the toilet down again.
A few months ago, "La Fumes Noir" returned. Apparently, the flange has been broken by (perhaps) my over zealous tightening of them to try to ensure the seal between the toilet and flange. I went through about 4 hours of agony to remove the existing flange, which was not only threaded in with teflon tape, but screwed down, and also glued to the floor with marine adhesive. In the future, I'd probably prefer a root canal over that adventure...
It appeared to me after thinking about how the flange failed, that stress on the flange bolts would be primarily over tightening, OR, due to the weight shift during the "paperwork" stage of the use of said toilet. Upon further collection of data in our household, I found that everyone is right handed, so this is a very real possibility.
So, thanks for reading to this point. Here are the things I would love everyone's advice on:
- Can anyone who has ever replaced their camper toilet with a new one give their thoughts on how it went, and did it solve some of their smelly issues...
- Anyone out there who has been through the "flange failure" and replacement process?
- Any thoughts from any one on this particular model of toilet? Should I replace it? Or, is it still probably okay once you install the correct flange / height.
- Anyone installed an after market black tank rinse kit? Now would be the time for me to install one if it's worthwhile.
At this point, we're not using the camper for a few weeks. I have a clean, threaded opening on my black tank, and it has a temporary cover screwed in. Now that I've gone through all the nasty work of taking this apart, I'd like to fix this once and for all.
Thanks for reading...