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Old 07-12-2016, 09:32 PM   #1
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So just what *is* Thetford trying to tell us ;-)

We've been battling black tank odors this season .. it seemed nothing we have done in the past helped. We already have the Cyclone vents on the roof for our black and grey tanks and over the years, they have really helped. Unfortunately this year, odors have become past the point of covering up with air spray.

Our RV is an '05 and has (or had) an Aqua Magic V. I did plenty of research ... the bowl still held water and was tight to the floor. After reading plenty of posts about people that bought replacement seals, etc - and hearing bad stories about having to disassemble the toilet and many times, it not going back together right, I decided to just look at a replacement.

Amazon had a good deal on a Thetford Residential ($103 after $25 rebate), so I ordered a new Residential toilet. It's a little taller than the Aqua Magic V and has a better foot pedal operation.

The new toilet arrived today and so I prepared for the "stinky" removal.



Overall the process was really quick - it only took about 5 minutes to swap the toilets out. I shut off the water pump, disconnected the line from the back, removed the nuts on the floor bolts and pulled out the old toilet.



After a quick floor cleanup, and making sure the flange was tight to the floor, I dropped the new toilet on and tightened up the bolts.

Yeah it was a bit stinky for a few minutes, but once in place and after running the roof fans -and spraying Febreeze a little liberally - we had a new Thetford Residential Toilet in place.



While the DW was pleased with the new, less stinky toilet - the first words out of her mouth were "why is it white?" Oh Crap ... I ordered a white toilet, yet our tub/shower enclosure is bone colored. I really didn't notice it in the bright daylight, but as day turned to dusk - yeah the bright white toilet does stand out quite a bit.

Ok, so I screwed that one up. I was just so happy at how easily it went it, I really did not notice it.

Now, what did I notice? Just how uncomfortable - and wide - the toilet seat is. I sat on it - with my clothes on to test the sturdiness of it - and was not happy at all.

I had to run to Home Depot to grab a couple of shark bite fittings to modify the water feed, and grabbed a much more comfortable seat.

So what is Thetford trying to say about us RV'ers ... that we have really wide bottoms? Make the decision for yourself. This is a photo of the new toilet with the replacement seat on the bottom and the included Thetford seat on the top. Look how much wider the included seat is all the way around. I kinda' felt that I was going to fall through the seat.



So we're heading out at the end of July again for a few weeks - anyone in the market for a new *unused* white Thetford Residential Toilet with a comfortable seat for 1/2 the price of a new one? If so, let me know and I'll order myself a new bone one to fix my bonehead mistake.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:35 PM   #2
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Hey, the white one will be more visible in the dark!!
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:47 PM   #3
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Sounds like you got the geezer seat.

Seriously, it may be an ADA prompted design change. As someone with mobility issues and 4 replaced joints one of my real PITA's is a "normal" size toilet seat. Hard to do the paper work.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:50 PM   #4
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My old Aqua-Magic IV has a leaking seal (yours sounds worse though ). In the middle a 4 week trip I decided to order a new Residence. I went with Bone colored, it's already delivered and I'll be installing it when I return.

Did you need any additional parts or was everything included in the box?
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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My old Aqua-Magic IV has a leaking seal (yours sounds worse though ). In the middle a 4 week trip I decided to order a new Residence. I went with Bone colored, it's already delivered and I'll be installing it when I return.

Did you need any additional parts or was everything included in the box?
Everything needed was in the box - including the rubber seal for the floor, floor bolts and caps. I did have to go to Home Depot to purchase two 90 degree shark bite connectors as the water feed connection is in a different location than the Aqua Magic V. I didn't have to buy any new PEX pipe, I just cut down the PEX that was already there.

Not counting the time it took to go to Home Depot, the entire toilet swap - including modifying the water lines, was no more than 15 minutes.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:31 PM   #6
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Sounds like you got the geezer seat.

Seriously, it may be an ADA prompted design change. As someone with mobility issues and 4 replaced joints one of my real PITA's is a "normal" size toilet seat. Hard to do the paper work.
Ok so I can totally agree with that, and selling a seat that is compliant across the board.

To make sure I got the best sized replacement seat for us, I did bring the Thetford seat with me to Home Depot. The new seat is a little smaller on the overall radius - in that the seat bottom does not "cover/extend" over the side edges of the bowl. I found that Bemis 7M201SLOWA 000 seat was the best sized replacement (home depot SKU #814883) - and it has a soft close lid.

We use this same lid on our thrones in our Sticks-n-Bricks - for us, it does make the throne more comfortable

I will say, that the updated flushing/water mechanism on the Residential is *VERY* improved over the water flushing on the Aqua Magic V. The Aqua Magic 5 has the water "jet" on the right side of the toilet and with the design, kind of swirls water around the bowl. The Residential has more of a sprayer at the back of the bowl that has multiple holes in it that causes the water to "jet" more into the bowl.

Another improvement in the design is with the ball valve that gets operated when you flush versus the flat "disc" that just moves back and forth on the Aqua Magic V.

In my testing I also found that the flush valve is much easier to operate to 1/2 way - so that you can add water to the bowl. With the Aqua Magic V, there was a hard-to-find sweet spot to just add water to the bowl.



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Old 07-14-2016, 09:38 AM   #7
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Did your Aqua-Magic not have the lift function on the flush pedal? I just lift the pedal with my foot and it just runs water, no flush.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:44 PM   #8
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Did your Aqua-Magic not have the lift function on the flush pedal? I just lift the pedal with my foot and it just runs water, no flush.
No, the Aqua Magic V (or at least ours), does not offer a lift function on the pedal. You had to find the "sweet" spot of pushing 1/2 way down.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:45 PM   #9
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Did you consider the porcelain bowl? We have been looking at replacing our low profile with one. Our Adventurer 38J has a separate toilet room that is quite small and it seems a higher profile would be more comfortable and the DW wants a porcelain.
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:12 PM   #10
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Did you consider the porcelain bowl? We have been looking at replacing our low profile with one. Our Adventurer 38J has a separate toilet room that is quite small and it seems a higher profile would be more comfortable and the DW wants a porcelain.
To be honest, I didn't even think about the porcelain bowl. We're not fulltimers, even though we spend on average 4+ months a year traveling in the RV. My primary driver for this project was to "get rid of the stink"!

When I looked on Amazon and saw the residential at $103 with free Amazon Prime shipping, I just couldn't pass it up. As you can tell from my ordering the wrong color, I may have gotten a bit caught up in the moment with the good price It probably didn't help that I was ordering late at night, and the $25 rebate was ending in about 30 minutes ...

And for anyone that is wondering - a resounding YES, this has so far solved all our black tank odor problems. It's been hot here the past few days and we have not noticed any bad odors. During hot days like this, when I would go out to open the RV in the morning, we could smell it and if we ran any of our overhead ventilation fans, the fans would also draw odors out.

In my book, money well spent ... and like @BFlinn181 said, it's much easier to see in the dark :-)
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:17 PM   #11
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Just be careful with that Thetford - the water valve likes to stick and you'll wake up to a flood (get a water alarm) and about the second time you accidently kick that ginourmous foot pedal, it breaks off at the valve and again you get flooding.

The better alternative would have been the Dometic 310, 320
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:23 PM   #12
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Just be careful with that Thetford - the water valve likes to stick and you'll wake up to a flood (get a water alarm) and about the second time you accidently kick that ginourmous foot pedal, it breaks off at the valve and again you get flooding.

The better alternative would have been the Dometic 310, 320
Thanks for that warning, sounds like an investment in a water bug will be well worth it.

There were a lot of good reviews on the Thetford on both Amazon and other sites. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Luckily it was only a $100 investment .. so will not break the bank if we find it's not the right commode for us.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:44 PM   #13
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Thanks for that warning, sounds like an investment in a water bug will be well worth it.

There were a lot of good reviews on the Thetford on both Amazon and other sites. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Luckily it was only a $100 investment .. so will not break the bank if we find it's not the right commode for us.
We have one in our 1/2 bath now, and our prior 5er had one and they worked fine for us, but over a dozen in our group had those issues and they really cussed them. I'm not necessarily going out of my way to replace mine. I have the water alarm behind it. (happens on that 3 am "got to go" time when you slip back into bed and don't notice it stuck )
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:02 AM   #14
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We have the Thetford Style 2 or Style Plus, not sure as the 'innards' are all the same part numbers - even the Residence has the same main parts. Between the waste ball and seal, you will have to make sure that it closes tightly and wont drain the water trap in the bowel. Common plumber's grease helps. We are on toilet 3 (warranty) now since August 2014 and this one is about to need replacement - with a Dometic SeaLand.

I do agree that the Thetford supplied toilet seat has to be for a wider nether end then either my DW and I are equipped with so have replaced it with an inexpensive Bemis throne seat from Lowes. To make ours work right, I had to put some more rubber bumpers closer to the edge as that seat would flex and drop off the side of the bowel.

Good luck, I hope you have better luck with a Thetford toilet then we have had on this 5er.
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