Meet the Toilet from Hell!!!! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-18-2007, 08:44 PM   #1
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So, I connect my hose to the new trailer and power that sucker up... glub glub gurgle.. the fine sound of water running up my hose and into my trailer.

I run up to the trailer to try it out.... and hear a loud trickle from the bathroom. Did I leave a faucet open?

No.. the hose to the toilet has fallen off the stupid compression fitting to the ball valve at the barb end and is dumping water all over the floor. No biggie, it's the bathroom. It has a drain.. thats what it's for. 'Cept my new carpet and trash can are on the floor.. no biggie, they can dry out.

I go shut the water off. How hard can it be to reattach the barbed end to the supply hose, tighten the clamp, and get on with life?

Well, this is where it starts going downhill. The danged barb is on a PVC compression fitting screwed onto the ball valve assembly.. UNDER AND BEHIND THE TOILET. AND.. somehow, the compression end has come dislodged from the nut. Instead of the hose disconnecting from the fitting, the fitting has disconnected from the nut.

Must get fitting back into nut. Easier said than done. and iffy at best, compression fittings don't like to be compressed twice. Sometimes it works, sometimes it looses its seal and your have to get a new one.

So.. I try anyway...I am hopefull.. ' cept...There is absolutely NO room to get into this thing to remove the nut from above the toilet, and it is darned hard to get in from the sides. Plus, there is no tool that is going to have that wide a diameter as the nut AND be able to fit into this space from underneath and jammed against the back wall. They had to have fastened it at the factory BEFORE the bath/shower assembly walls were installed

I manage to lay over the top of the toilet and "Hug" the danged thing, letting my arms fall behind and then creep back up towards the nut, which I can't see, with a cresent wrench, trying to loosen it with the tip of the wrench, cause there sure is no room to get in there sideways and properly. I am glad no one walked in on me, all they would have seen was my backside up in the air and heard strange foul language coming from behind the toilet. They would have thought it was the toilet from hell.. chanting bad things while trying to eat me.

After a billion turns this way, at about a centimeter a turn, and with my ribs crushed, I manage to loosen it enough to twist is off with my fingers. Not easy to do with a cramp in your wrist.

OK. the nut is off, all I have to do is get the fitting out of the supply hose and stick it back in there. Or.. I should say, get the manly nieghbor to do it, as I can't budge the thing even using explosives.

Okey dokey.. The fitting is out, the nut exposed.. and how the heck does this thing fit in here. Well, nothing a hammer can't fix, so thats what I did. Looks like a proper compression fitting to me, time to put it back on the toilet.

I reverse the whole process, taking another billion turns to get the nut tightened, put soap on the barbed end and re attach, tightening the hose clamp and hoping I have done OK.

Turn the water back on.. OK, it works somewhat now, the toilet flushes and there is only a small squirt and waterfall coming from the compression fitting. Off it comes again, and off to the Ace Hardware and pig feed store here in Mayberry.

They don't have a compression nut that size, but they look at it and determine it's a toilet fitting for an RV. (Brilliant guys they are.. and they figured that out in meer minutes after I told them what it was) Billy Bob measures ten times and comes up with an idea.. take a filler tube and nut assembly for a toilet, cut one end off and jam an oversized barb into it after running the tube under hot water for 20 minutes.

OK, I take this rube goldberg thing home and put the other end of the barbed fitting into my hose with a drop of dish soap, not 20 minutes of hot water.

Great! Yay! The compression nut has thumb tabs, so I don't have to assume the position and use the stupid cresent wrench again. EXCEPT.. It's the wrong size!.. Back to the store. Hmnn, that shoulda worked he says. I took the fitting and showed him it was 3/4 inch and not 5/8th like the one I have. (I should have checked, I know).

Well, this is a dilema.. lets try O rings and thread tape. EXCEPT, you can't get the the threads on the ball valve to PUT the tape on.. not enough room to wind it.

I try the O rings on thier own, going through the same dance to get it back on as before. Well, that worked, and only a couple drops a minute come out from the top of the nut I think the compression has decompressed.. I let it drip a little so I could check the rest of the water system.. which all works well, shower, sinks, hot water heater YAY!!!

No drips under the trailer.. tomorrow I try draining the tanks

Does anyone know what fitting I need for this thing? It's from a La Toilet, and Valterra does not seem to sell the nut and fitting..

What to do???
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:11 PM   #2
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This sounds like the best option...

La Toilet on eBay

Roger
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:15 PM   #3
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Only 2 trips to Ace Hardware?
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:15 PM   #4
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aren't YOU a funny guy...
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:19 PM   #5
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Rule number one: The bigger the RV, the bigger the headaches.
Rule number two: shoot the idiot that posted rule number one.

Only kidding Gina. RV's are alot like mobile homes, (I used to live in one.) Some of the plumbing and furnace parts may have to come from RV or mobile home shops due to different types of fittings and different threads. I had a terrible time finding parts for the mobile home furnace.
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:31 PM   #6
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it was actually three trips. I had to return the basin wrench they loaned me that wouldn't fit in there either!
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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Well, I DID warn you!

All seriousness aside, I had a great guffaw reading your account of the GREAT TOILET CONTORTION PROJECT. But, I am sorry about your ordeal, because I went through about the same thing when the valve started malfunctioning. For what it is worth I will try to relate what I learned.

First of all I did not have a problem with the connections. All the plumbing in mine are PEX tubing type, so when you mention these fittings I am not expert enough to tell whether we are talking about the same thing (your trailer was manufactured almost a year before mine, and they may have changed the fittings). I can take pictures of mine to see if we are talking about the same thing.

The PEX fittings are "eased" on by applying heat from a flame such as a butane lighter (not recommended) or a heat gun (not too well focused). These fittings virtually never leak and usually go on right the first time. But I digress.

I realized early on that I could not get wrenches in there to do the job very well, so I opted for removal of the whole toilet. It took a herculean effort, sawing away at rusted mounting bolts, etc., pulling, rocking, using crowbars, etc. I have pictures of the net result if you need to know exactly how the thing is mounted, quite non-standard and prone to seizing.

Bottom line: don't remove the toilet if you don't have to. Being into the Burro for the long haul I have developed a new strategy:

I will drill a pilot hole then use an electric jigsaw with a carbide-granule blade to cut an access panel through the fiberglass behind the toilet (two layers close together). I will then hinge and trim the panel in wood and put a lock or catch on the inside. You will soon find out that leakage from the shower is a non-issue in that area.

Your mileage will vary, but I am determined to never go through that chiropractor-baiting maneuver again. It will be a bit of work to make a nice access panel, but I only have to do it once. As you can tell, doing the work then will be a relative picnic. It also means that the area to the curb side of the toilet can be fiberglassed in with a smiliar access by the entrance door for additional storage. Feel free to bounce questions off me on this one.
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:53 PM   #8
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Found a couple of pictures which may clarify how this thing is mounted.
Attached Thumbnails
Valterra_toilet_mount.jpg   Valterra_toilet_pipe.jpg  

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Old 02-18-2007, 09:54 PM   #9
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The thought of cutting into the backwall from the enterance doorside did occur to me, but was WAY more work than I want to take on, not to mention, risky.

The fitting looks just like a gasline compression fitting, only the parts are PVC.
Billy Joe Bob Bubba said something about this being a Pex fitting, but from your desription, I don't see how it could be.

Is there some sort of gooey gel or semi liquid pipe thread sealer? I found some in a tube at the feed store and Radio Shack, but it said it was NOT for PVC.
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Found a couple of pictures which may clarify how this thing is mounted




I'll get a new porta potti before I do THAT!
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Is there some sort of gooey gel or semi liquid pipe thread sealer? I found some in a tube at the feed store and Radio Shack, but it said it was NOT for PVC.
TPD -- Teflon Pipe Dope. Good on PVC, metals, etc. It's what most gas pipers use these days instead of teflon pipe tape.

--Peter
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:22 PM   #12
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So, all in the interest of science I crawl in there and sna[p a couple of pictures (I came out all crooked). The second one shows the feed pipe from the floor as it makes a 90 degree turn to go behind the toilet. The first one shows the fittings as they enter the valve. Valterra sells the valve assembly, so that is no problem.

Does that look like your fittings?
Attached Thumbnails
Valterra_fitting_1.jpg   Valterra_fitting_2.jpg  

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Old 02-18-2007, 10:25 PM   #13
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Per, no. The only thing that looks similar is the Ball Valve end. The water supply hose looks just like any white flex fresh water supply hose, except it's smaller in diameter.

I am gonna have to go out and get this thing apart and take a picture. I'll point the camera upside down and sideways LOL!
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:33 PM   #14
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So sorry you are having troubles with the new rig, but things like that happen. Luckily you have the mechanical ability to tackle the job of fixing her up. The toilet from Hell will return to normal with your loving touch.
I would think the people getting your old one will be lucky enough to just hop in and go camping.
They are the lucky ones. Now you get to fix up another one, but think of all the fun once you have it the way you want it. Sure is a lot roomier.
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