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Old 07-18-2016, 08:58 AM   #15
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How do you "dump" those Laveo toilets?
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:59 AM   #16
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How do you "dump" those Laveo toilets?

They use a plastic bag liner that you just remove when full. The mechanism encapsulates each flush. When full you remove the bag, place in trash and insert a new bag.

http://www.dry-flush.com


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Old 07-18-2016, 10:17 AM   #17
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Exactly. I fully understand why Airstream builds the Interstate with a conventional RV plumbing system, but for the 50% of us who have no intention of sleeping in the vehicle, and likely not showering or washing dishes in it either, it would be ideal to completely disregard the whole plumbing system. The relatively new Laveo seems like an ideal way to accomplish this, while retaining the very desirable feature of an on-board toilet.

Thanks again to those who have helped to confirm my hypothesis that the swap should be relatively easy.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:42 AM   #18
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I guess there will be no hand washing either and I sure hope those liners don't ever break when carrying your waste to the trash. You should have bought a Sprinter, threw in the toilet and called it a day. Winnebago ERAs were cheaper and don't have macerators since you won't be using it, why pay for it?
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:54 AM   #19
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I guess there will be no hand washing either and I sure hope those liners don't ever break when carrying your waste to the trash. You should have bought a Sprinter, threw in the toilet and called it a day. Winnebago ERAs were cheaper and don't have macerators since you won't be using it, why pay for it?
Quotes for a custom build which coincidentally had a layout remarkably like the AI were about equivalent to the list price of an AI. Admittedly I'll get some stuff that I don't want or need with the AI, but I also get better-than-custom cabinetry, integrated electronics and controls, a warranty, a network of servicing dealers, an identifiable product for easier resale, etc. Also a hefty discount off the list price.

Hand washing is easily accomplished through means other than a tiny sink using a plumbing system with uncertain water quality.

Winnebagos are really ugly.

You need to look at the bigger picture.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:13 PM   #20
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Quotes for a custom build which coincidentally had a layout remarkably like the AI were about equivalent to the list price of an AI. Admittedly I'll get some stuff that I don't want or need with the AI, but I also get better-than-custom cabinetry, integrated electronics and controls, a warranty, a network of servicing dealers, an identifiable product for easier resale, etc. Also a hefty discount off the list price.

Hand washing is easily accomplished through means other than a tiny sink using a plumbing system with uncertain water quality.

Winnebagos are really ugly.

You need to look at the bigger picture.

Sounds like you might want to consider an Airstream Autobahn rather than an Interstate.

https://www.airstream.com/touring-coaches/autobahn/


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Old 07-18-2016, 12:34 PM   #21
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Sounds like you might want to consider an Airstream Autobahn rather than an Interstate.

https://www.airstream.com/touring-coaches/autobahn/


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Not at all. The Autobahn lacks elements essential for our purposes or otherwise desired:
- rear a/c
- furnace
- generator
- toilet compartment
- wardrobe
- microwave
- useable refrigerator
- inward-facing seats useable as a single bed.

It would also not be cost-effective to convert the rear of the Autobahn for dog occupancy.
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:54 PM   #22
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inward-facing seats useable as a single bed.
You do realize that the width of the van at that point, inside wall to inside wall, is only about 5'6" so unless you're not very tall— or sleep in the fetal position— those two side-facing seats by themselves will not make a very comfortable bed; most people sleep lengthwise in the van, not side-to-side, no matter how the advertisement photos might show the bed made up.
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:40 PM   #23
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You do realize that the width of the van at that point, inside wall to inside wall, is only about 5'6" so unless you're not very tall— or sleep in the fetal position— those two side-facing seats by themselves will not make a very comfortable bed; most people sleep lengthwise in the van, not side-to-side, no matter how the advertisement photos might show the bed made up.
I appreciate your bringing this up, as I've been wondering what the finished interior width might be. I think it's great to have seats next to the dog zone, especially since we have ordered the Lounge Wardrobe which has full-height cabinetry on both sides. Our foreseeable use as a bed, however, is limited to my wife's threats to depart the hotel for the van if my (alleged) snoring becomes unbearable. Under these circumstances, it seems to me that there is ample clearance beyond her 5'4" height . . .
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:04 PM   #24
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I'm sorry but I just don't see any point whatsoever to reduce the built in utility of the plumbing system. Using the system, including dumping is routine and simple to do. I know you said that resale value was not a big issue, but I think the proposed modification will reduce the marketability and value of the unit. Even for use as a travel vehicle rather than a sleep in unit, I would much prefer to deal with the existing toilet system than the one you propose. Another point concerning your description of how you will use the AI, is I would not recommend using it to leave dogs unattended with the AC running using the Generator. I think you will get a lot of complaints from Hotel management about the noise. The AI gen set is the loudest of any RV I know of. I have owned quite a few to compare with, and currently own a Prevost bus that we have run over night but you can't hear it at all inside or outside. Also, remember the AI gen set runs on propane and you will need to replenish the tank multiple times on a trip of any length if you intend to run it overnight often. Please don't take my observations as criticism, I just thought there might be some value in an experienced opinion even if it is negative.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:08 PM   #25
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So do you plan on using any part of the water system? If so, probably should have it checked out to ensure its operability since there are instances where items were incorrectly installed at the factory. Then after draining, probably should put some RV antifreeze in the system and pump out to ensure there's no residual water in the macerator to freeze.

From what I've seen on this forum re: recent models, "fully integrated systems" could be an oxymoron.

I got a quote from the local upfitter for layout similar to the Autobahn that included a toilet, lavatory, frig, and six ton rear A/C (engine driven) on a Ford Transit for about half the Autobahn. Of course some of that is due to a Transit being cheaper than a Sprinter. The build quality was light years ahead of Airstream. As to reselling, used Interstates don't move very fast either.
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Old 07-18-2016, 06:48 PM   #26
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Thanks busb2 and 73shark, negative opinions are often the most useful. I'm trying to reach enlightenment, not seeking post-purchase affirmation.

I don't think the fully reversible substitution of a Laveo for the OEM toilet and black water system "reduces the utility of the plumbing system". It's simply an alternative, not an irrevocable modification. The rest of the fresh / gray water system would remain untouched, and the OEM toilet could be reinstalled with two bolts.

I'm guessing that this forum is dominated by true RVers, the other 50% of Interstate buyers, who don't mind dump stations. Undoubtedly it seems wasteful to purchase a vehicle with features I'll not utilize, but the benefits of the overall package seem unmistakably better than other alternatives available to me.

I labored for weeks trying to develop a useable custom design on a Transit platform, and then on the Sprinter platform when I ran into wheelbase constraints with the Transit. I definitely favor the high horsepower of the EcoBoost Transit and gasoline over diesel. But the numbers just didn't work and integrating everything successfully would undoubtedly have consumed vast amounts of time that I don't have available. The one-off end product would also almost certainly be a highly illiquid asset, without any dealer support. In multiple dimensions, the economics of the AI are much better.

A custom Sprinter build would have enabled me to utilize a Power Tech PT-3SV2 diesel generator and possibly superior Coleman Mach a/c unit, but the advantages are not compelling. Testing of actual examples by an apparently credible source posted on the web found that the diesel generator was actually no quieter than the Onan LP in this application, and the PT-3SV2 installation sacrifices ground clearance.

There seems to be widespread consensus that the AI propane tank is too small (even the dealer openly admitted this), but what's the alternative ? Similarly, it seems that all generators in a Sprinter-sized platform are too loud. Inasmuch as I don't want a vehicle larger than a Sprinter EXT, I think it is more pragmatic for me to work towards mitigating noise and lack of propane capacity, instead of trying to invent an entirely new package.
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:52 PM   #27
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There seems to be widespread consensus that the AI propane tank is too small (even the dealer openly admitted this), but what's the alternative?
Too small? It holds an actual 60 pounds (14 gallons) of propane in an 18-gallon tank. The older T1N Interstates (pre-2008) had smaller tanks, but I doubt you'll find a Sprinter-based RV that has a larger propane tank than the current crop of Interstates.

60 pounds of propane is enough to run the generator for about 22 to 24 hours, depending on the load applied to the generator and assuming you don't also use propane for the water heater. If you run the generator only when the interior temperature is above 80°F and you need the rooftop A/C because the MaxxFan isn't enough to cool the interior, then you should only have to refill the propane tank every three or four days at most— or less often if you occasionally have shore power available for the A/C. Of course that also assumes that you stay away from the Gulf Coast in summer where the overnight low is still above 80°F.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:09 PM   #28
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On my recent trip to Florida and back, I used about 1/2 gallon per hour when running the A/C on the generator.

The one time I ran the tank empty, we could only get 12 gallons in. Not sure why.
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