Originally Posted by Bernese Bunch
I've been told by Oliver that they cannot provide a cassette toilet in the trailer. Can anyone explain why not? I've seen cassettes in all types of fiberglass trailers in the UK so I can't believe it's because of the curved outer shell. Is it possible it's because of the dual shell construction? I'd appreciate any input from Oliver owners. I like to understand the "why" when I get answers to my questions
Here is the why a small trailer company won't always offer specialized items as an option.
It would mean engineering analysis of their structure to make sure it would not fail with a hole cut in that particular location. It would mean creating new molds for making the fiberglass interface pieces needed to complete a clean looking, water tight installation including a door surround, interface pieces between the shell and the Thetford unit and also a custom hatch door to fit the radius of the fiberglass body. That is a lot of molds and making a great mold without flaws requires a lot of labor time and materials. It would also likely require a rework of the bathroom layout and bathroom fiberglass shell which is also a very expensive mold to produce.
So then they have two big bathroom component molds, one for the Thetford option and one for the standard option. That means more storage space and more shop floor space too as they will have to switch the molds moving them in and out when ever the "special" order comes along. But in order not to have any production lags during the production schedules they will need enough factory floor working space to have them both on the production floor at the same time. Materials go through a curing time.
It would likely mean some extra re-tooling in the factory for drilling jigs etc. which can be expensive to precisely fabricate as well as materials cost for them.
Then they have to source materials such as door gaskets, hinges and locks, electrical
fittings and plumbing fittings. They would have to figure out how to integrate them into the shop supply storage racks and of course someone has to label those bins and keep an inventory count of the parts on hand as well as order the parts, receive them and inspect them when they are received.
There are also electrical
and plumbing changes involved which means the existing wire harnesses used for the trailer will need to be adapted and/or specially created just for that particular option as will the plumbing components. As far as cost control it means parts that are not used frequently then must be kept on hand for just in case. Having inventory parts sitting around for "just in case" ties up the company's cash flow.
Now when something like that is installed and it is not a frequently requested item it will take the staff longer laborwise to install it because they will not have everyday proficiency which creates a reduced labor time per unit versus a once in a while installation. That means it will have to cost the customer more for that option than it would if it was a standard configuration. Customers won't at all like to have to pay more for a toilet installation which ends up meaning fewer people will choose it for an option which of course does not help the profit margins.
By the time all of that work is done then there is yet another real deal breaker for a small company, for a number of years they will only be able to offer the Cassette Toilet option at a financial loss to their company in order to make it seem reasonably priced. That is because it will take them years to recoup the cost of integrating that particular change as one of their trailer options. So it is a slow payback for a good sized chunk of investment.
Then if Thetford makes a design change to this one of a kind in the industry offering they would have to make another investment to adapt their molds and jigs to what Thetford has done. Or worse yet if Thetford decides the market is not there for the product in the USA and they withdraw it here they are at a sudden loss of the investment they made before they might have had enough time to recoup their cost for the changes needed for production.
There are a lot of toilet options on the RV market that can be placed into their bathroom as it is now designed. The Thetford Cassette is not one of them. Just be happy and don't wish for the moon too hard because sometimes it can't easily be obtained by the people you are asking to fetch it to earth for you. Small companies truly can't afford to offer a ton of options that are not easy to implement and now you know why they can't give you the moon.