Help with one crappy job - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2007, 09:12 PM   #1
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Sorry...couldn't resist the title

I'm sure that someone else has run into this, but I can't find any references in the history or in the document center.

We have a Sealand 911-28 toilet and it seems to be leaking at the base of where the toilet meets the black water tank (not where the blackwater tank meets the floor). It seems like it should be pretty easy to remove the four nuts that hold the toilet to the tank, but looks are deceiving. The bolts come up from inside the black water tank, but there is nothing to keep them from turning when trying to remove the nuts. There is a thin double-D head on the bolt inside the tank (like a traditional toilet in a house), but it is so thin I can't really get grip on it to keep it from turning.

Does anybody have any suggestions for how this repair can be done? I can stick my gloved hand into the black water tank through the toilet opening, but I need some way to grab onto the bolt head.

Thanks,
-Isaac
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:14 AM   #2
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I am no help.

Call Jay Herb.. he TELLS me he does toilets..

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Old 07-31-2007, 03:37 AM   #3
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Isaac,

It sounds like Scamp used the same approach on your trailer as Casita used on my first trailer.

They used the brass bolts designed for home toilets for attaching to a floor flange, but without the floor flange. They just pushed the bolts up through the fiberglass floor and daubed silicone on the heads in the tank. On mine they held the bolt with pliers when tightening the nuts meaning the threads were ruined above the nuts. Here's the bolt:



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On mine, they also didn't drill the four holes with equal spacing so the seal was distorted:


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What I did on mine was to add a floor flange. I bought a threaded floor flange (for screwing in to a female threaded black water tank) and cut off the threaded part. I had to enlarge the hole in my black tank to accept the flange (the white part in the picture.


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I then bolted the flange into the tank using stainless steel machine screws and nuts with lots of silicone for a permanent seal. It was easy then to attach the toilet using new flange bolts and nuts from Ace Hardware. The new flange bolts had flats on the threaded end for holding with vise grips without destroying the threads.

I realize this may not apply directly to your situation. Casita builds their own tank from fiberglass and it sounds like Scamp buys a plastic tank. This may give you some ideas on how to proceed though.

For example, you'll probably have to just grab the existing flange bolts with vise grips and force the nut off over the damaged threads. It's easy to get new flange bolts at the hardware store.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:05 AM   #4
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By the way, Isaac, if working on your toilet is a crappy job, you're not cleaning the tank properly.

After:


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Old 07-31-2007, 05:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Sorry...couldn't resist the title

I'm sure that someone else has run into this, but I can't find any references in the history or in the document center.

We have a Sealand 911-28 toilet and it seems to be leaking at the base of where the toilet meets the black water tank (not where the blackwater tank meets the floor). It seems like it should be pretty easy to remove the four nuts that hold the toilet to the tank, but looks are deceiving. The bolts come up from inside the black water tank, but there is nothing to keep them from turning when trying to remove the nuts. There is a thin double-D head on the bolt inside the tank (like a traditional toilet in a house), but it is so thin I can't really get grip on it to keep it from turning.

Does anybody have any suggestions for how this repair can be done? I can stick my gloved hand into the black water tank through the toilet opening, but I need some way to grab onto the bolt head.

Thanks,
-Isaac
I have the Sealand 911 in my 1983 Scamp 16 and just did the same job ... so far so good. I had to cut the nuts (with my trusty Dremel tool) to get the toilet off. The brass bolts are just as you describe, plain old brass toilet bolts with no flange just 4 holes in the top of the fiberglass tank.

I replaced the bolts with 4 stainless steel 1/4-20 bolts but I screwed the bolts into stainless steel Tee-nuts. I first set the t-nuts into the top of the tank with a hex head bolt screwed tight from the inside then replaced the hex bolt with a 2 inch Phillips head bolt because that was the only bolt I could get with threads all the way to the top of the bolt head. (West Marine) It helped to pre-kerf the top of the tank with the Dremel tool to provide small slits for the points on the T-nuts to start into. I also used a rubber washer and a stainless washer on the inside hoping that the ruber washer would help seal the hole.

Then I put plumbers goop (silicone like sealant) around the bolts/t-nuts and rim of the hole and installed a new thick sponge gasket, (from my local RV supplies place) replaced the head and tightened everything up. So far so good... no leaks.

The problem with this deal is that while the t-nuts hold the bolts in place just fine, tightening the final nuts tends to loosen the bolt/t-nut ... on one of my bolts I had to hold the top of the bolt to finish tightening it ... if you put the t-nuts on the inside (of the tank) then the rotation will be the same and the t-nuts will tighten as you tighten the final nuts ... however, when and if you need to take it apart again, the outer nut rotation may just loosen the bolt in the t-nut and you'll be back to square one. With my t-nuts on the top of the tank, loosening the exposed nuts just tightens the t-nut.

I haven't done it yet but I may cut off the exposed ends of the stainless bolts and replace the ny-lock nuts with acorn nuts just so it looks a bit better but that's real low on the list.

The good news is that parts are still available for the 911 toilet including the original style flange seal.

I thought about another method too. You could make a circle out of 1/4" aluminum that has a center hole in it a tad larger than the hole in the top of the tank. Make the outer diameter about 2 inches larger than the hole. Then cut the circle in half. In each half drill and tap two of the holes for the toilet bolts and thread the bolts up tight into these holes. Drill two more holes such that you could bolt or screw these plates to the inside of the tank. The half circle plates can then be inserted into the tank and either screwed or bolted in place (bolts up of course). This would give a solid and secure base for mounting the toilet.

Good luck and be careful not to cut your hands working in there.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:35 AM   #6
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Isaac, I have the same toilet and replaced mine a while back. I don't recall having any real problem with it. It was pretty straight forward. I do remember thinking how awful the old seal was. It had no resemblence to the new one at all.

I also recall a couple of my bolts were rather corroded so I probably sprayed them with some PB Buster first. (I did use a brass brush and cleaned them up before I put them back.) I'm trying to think how I kept them from turning when I removed them. Since I usually figure it out as I go, the methods don't also come back to me.

As far as sticking my hand into the black tank, I guess for some of us women, it is better to put our hands in a clean black tank than it is changing all those poopy diapers and/or cleaning dirty toilets!
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:53 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody for the tips. I finally got it done. The most difficult part was getting the old bolts out.

On two of the bolts, I was able to grab the top with vice-grips and turn the nuts off far enough to then grab the bolt under the nut with thin vice-grips and finish taking off the nut.

On the third bolt, I couldn't get anything under the nut to grip the bolt while I tried to remove the nut, so I ended up using a hacksaw to cut the nut. Boy, that takes a long time with only 1/2" of travel on the saw.

The fourth nut was a bugger. I couldn't get the nut to move at all on the bolt, so I had to use a dremel tool to cut it off. For those of you familiar with the base of the toilets, I could only get the dremel tool in to cut the nut vertically. I had to cut both the nut and the bolt vertically, then turn the nut and bolt, make another cut and slowly break the nut off of the bolt.

The installation of the new was easy. The rubber washers on the heads of the bolt actually kept it from turning while I tightened down the new nuts.

Based on all of your feedback, I did come up with a plan in case I had to keep the bolts from turning while I tightened the nuts. I bought extra nuts so that I could thread the first nut on and get it as tight as possible. Then, to keep the bolt from turning, was was going to put two additional nuts on at the top of the threaded end of the bolt, tighten them together ("lock" them together), then use a wrench on one of them to keep the entire bolt from turning while I tightened the bottom nut. Nuts, that a lot of nuts. Fortunately I didn't have to do this.

Anyway. all's well that stays in the "well".

Thanks for your tips.

-Isaac
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:57 PM   #8
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Another Toilet Triumph!!!!
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