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Monday, January 18, 2016

Throwaway Society

Up in the morning, as I stepped into the Journey's bathroom, my feet squished on the rug.  Not good.  Plus we had no little grandsons visiting, so there was no bad aim to blame.

I got out a flashlight, picked up the rug and saw clear water (phew!) around the base of the toilet.  Looking all around, I couldn't see where the water was coming from, so I had to resort to exploratory surgery.



I keep lots of spare parts on hand and one of those is  a spare gasket for the toilet to floor connection.  I took the toilet off, looked it over and didn't see any source of the water leak.  I also took a picture of the toilet's model and serial number located on the back in case I needed to order parts (good luck with that, wishful thinking).



 Once that was done, I put the new gasket on and reinstalled the toilet.

After I bolted down the toilet, I reconnected the water line and had an "Ah Ha!" moment.  There was a drip coming from the connection where the water line screwed onto the toilet.  So I tightened the connection a little bit.  Still dripped.  Tightened it a little more.  Still dripped.  I was afraid to tighten it any more because the fittings are plastic.

On to plan "B".  Some thread tape.  Pulled off the line, taped up the male threads and reconnected the line.  Still dripped.  Tightened it a little more.  Still dripped.  Not good, so on to plan "C".

Off to Lowe's.  18 miles one way.  Yep, we're out in the boonies where we're camped at the COE Volunteer Village.  I picked up a small can of pipe dope.  18 miles back.

I coated the male threads with the pipe dope, reconnected the water line and no more drip.  I'm happy.

The next morning as I stepped into the Journey's bathroom, my feet squished on the rug.  WHAT!!!

Took my flashlight out, looked at the water line and it was dry as a bone, but there was clear water coming out around the base of the toilet.

Even though our toilet has a china bowl, the internal parts are all plastic.  In the past, I've had bad experiences trying to get parts for RV toilets, in fact, looking on line, a rebuild kit cost more than a new toilet.  So it was clear, the toilet had to be replaced. 

We headed out to the local RV dealer, well, local is a stretch, the "local" dealer is over 20 miles away.  Talking with the parts guy, they didn't have our toilet in stock, but had many other models that would work.  Yeah, they'd work but it would entail making up a new water line, cutting a hole in the bathroom wall and rerouting the line because all the toilets had the water connection on the other side of the toilet. 

A pretty big, time consuming project.  Not one I wanted to get involved in because with my track record, every time I work on things, it usually takes several trips to Lowe's.  Not going to happen because Lowe's, as you know, is 18 miles.  One way.

There is a Camping World 95 miles away.  With the toilet's model and serial number, I called them to see if they had one in stock.  The parts guy at Camping World said they didn't have one in stock.

Now what to do?  Drove back the 20 miles to the campground and I went on line again to see if I could locate a replacement toilet and see if I could get it shipped overnight, I'd bite the bullet on the shipping cost.  Just for grins and giggles, I looked at the Camping World website and there was the exact toilet we needed.  With a Camping World stock number.  Another "Ah Ha!" moment.  I called the store again, this time with their stock number and they had not one toilet, but four in stock. 

Here is where more fun started.  It was 3:15 pm.  They closed at 5.  Off we went to get a new toilet.

We arrived at 4:40 and bought the toilet.  The girl that I had talked to on the phone was impressed that we had gotten there so quickly.  She asked how fast I had driven.  I told her 75-80 mph.  (Disclaimer:  If  you are a police officer reading this, I drove 55mph.  Safely)   ;c)

The story ends happily.  New toilet installed, took the old toilet apart and found the cracked plastic valve inside that was the real source of the leak.  A simple part that could be replaced, if I could have found one.  As hard as it was to find a replacement toilet, I'd be waiting weeks to get the parts that have to be purchased as a kit, that costs more than the toilet.  I don't know about you, but my bladder isn't that strong.

It's sad that manufacturers make things disposable, instead of easily fixable.  For my toilet, it is amazing that the parts are more expensive than the unit itself.  Since the original toilet lasted over eight years, I guess I'll have a dry bathroom rug for at least for the next eight years.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

25 comments:

  1. To begin with, if there are any police concerned about your driving speed, they were probably hiding in the brush and you were lucky you were missed.

    Secondly, been there and done that. We replaced our "crapper" (that's what they called it), a couple years ago. The remains were left at Camping World. Figured if they sold us new parts, we could leave the old parts there. They may have been closed but we packaged it in a box. Had they been opened they would have accepted the return. We cleaned it first. Kinda.

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  2. This opens the door to explore so many twists and turns involving potty humor. I'll refrain - its puddle pirate appreciation week.

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  3. Maybe I'm wrong, although I did work in an RV parts department for a couple of years. But that water vale is readily available, for about $26. Here it is on Amazon... http://www.amazon.com/Thetford-34100-Style-Water-Valve/dp/B003D50KM2

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    1. That wasn't the part that was leaking, but Amazon looks like a better source than the dealer next to the Winnebago factory that I buy almost all my parts from. I intended to rebuild the entire toilet, but that parts kit cost more than the new toilet and the dealer would have to order it from Thetford and then ship it to me. Not the response you want to hear when you need the parts right away. Next time, I'll check Amazon first.

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  4. After the problem we had with our non-winterized rear toilet two years ago I now carry a 1/2 inch nylon plug for those unexpected water gushers. Glad you got it fixed up.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  5. We finally gave up and replaced ours too s year ago. Guess we should all contact Kevin when we need to find parts.

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  6. We finally gave up and replaced ours too s year ago. Guess we should all contact Kevin when we need to find parts.

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  7. Paul looks like we have the same toilet. I'll bet the problem was the water inlet valve. I just replaced the one on our toilet for the second time.
    I even wrote a blog post on this:
    http://gonebyrv.blogspot.com/2014/03/thetford-aqua-magic-style-plus-toilet.html

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    1. I saw that post, but it wasn't that valve, there is a some kind of connection that comes off that valve and leads into the bowl inlet itself that was cracked and leaking. I wanted to get an overhaul kit to rebuild the entire toilet, replacing everything but the ceramic bowl, but it cost more than a new toilet, and that was if I could even get a kit in a timely manner.

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  8. Glad the "King's Throne" is high and dry;o)) But PLEASE slow down...you are scaring me!!! Don't want to miss a minute of your upcoming Disney Cruise adventure:o)

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  9. We found that out last summer a new ceramic toilet was actually cheaper than repair parts for our 16 year old plastic one.

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  10. Jim replaced our crapper a couple of years ago. That is not a job that can be put off.

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  11. Oh yeah. Sounds like all the RV problems we get into. Nothing is ever close :) Glad it's all fixed!

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  12. Since there's only one of me, I'm hoping my toilet will last 16 years??

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  13. Glad you got that fixed. Nothing worse than having to dash to the shower room in the cold night air.

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  14. Yup, expensive but cheaply made. We had to replace our Thedford toilet because a small piece of plastic broke off the the fitting on the toilet where the foot lever fits. Only option was a new toilet for a part that might cost $10 or less to make:((

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  15. Good job, Mr.FixIt. I bet Mrs. FixIt is happy.

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  16. Always an adventure in an RV that is for sure.

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  17. Amazon can be a great resource for parts, but be aware that timing is not the only issue you may face, Amazon may not deliver to some locations. Make sure you check before you order.

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  18. If it's not one thing with the RV, it's another ... Mui's favorite saying '-)

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  19. Those toilets are a mess. Over the years we've had many different problems. One time the bowl filled up with water, clean water luckily, and I sleepily wandered in during the night, sat down and got a wet bottom. That was quite a shock!

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  20. Those toilets are a mess. Over the years we've had many different problems. One time the bowl filled up with water, clean water luckily, and I sleepily wandered in during the night, sat down and got a wet bottom. That was quite a shock!

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  21. I just repaired my toilet. Fortunately it was the inlet hose had loosened. I, like you was careful tightening the plastic nut! I'm glad that is all that it was, my toilet is only 2 years old. I full time.

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  22. Keeping spare parts around as you travel in your RV, I would agree is a great way to stay prepared. That is nice to know that if you ever needed to replace a part in your RV you can always go talk to an RV dealer and they may be able to help you. Getting an RV seems like a really fun vacation idea, knowing where to go for any issues along the road is very helpful.


    http://www.qualityrv.net

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  23. This was the first RV I ever owned and I still think it is the best for many reasons. The ride is unbelievable, you just feel like you are riding on a cloud. It really has great pickup and it is easy to navigate on the road. If you are not driving one today, get in one and just hit the highway, you will be sold.

    Liza Pilon @ Prairie City RV

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