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Old 07-07-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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How to remove the Toilet?

I'm removing everything in a mid-70's Sovereign bathroom. I don't see how to get the toilet out! Can anybody give me advice?
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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If you look behind the pedals in the front there is a bolt coming up with a nut on it. Take the nut off. Same in the back on the right or left, there will be a bolt coming up from the floor with a nut on it... You will have to push the pedals down to see it...
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:11 PM   #3
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There may be a plug under the seat that can be removed to get to the bolt towards the rear. There are usually 'secret' access holes or techniques. The floor pedal trick is a common one and is often facilitated by using a soda bottle or something in the toilet throat to hold the slide valve open and take tension off the pedals.

The toilet is held to a closet flange with two bolts. The closet flange screws into the top of the waste tank and is screwed to the floor. There is a seal that seats the toilet and it would probably be a good idea to replace it when you put things back together.

Different toilet brands use different positioning for their hold down bolts to the flange. That can be a problem sometimes when upgrading toilets and having to reposition the closet flange.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverslug75 View Post
...I don't see how to get the toilet out! Can anybody give me advice?
Look for a +/- 3/4" flat cap on the top at the 10 to 11 o'clock position.

Pry off the cap and insert a thin wall socket (1/2" I think) on a long extension - this will allow you to reach the trailer rearward (left side when looking at it) toilet flange bolt. As has been indicated, the trailer forward (right side) flange bolt should be accessible from the foot valve area. On all of the Thetford toilets I have seen the flange bolts have been clocked to the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock position - there may well be other arrangements. The closet flange usually is free to rotate about the screw-in flange to allow for angling of the toilet should you desire to do so.

I just replaced the plastic original toilet in the trailer with a thetford aquamagic china bowl high profile model. Nasty job, but what an amazing overall improvement.

During the replacement I was able to unscrew the top flange assembly that secures the flange to the top of the holding tank. I then cut a circular hole into an approximately 12" X 14" piece of 5/8" plywood, and reinstalled the screw-in flange into the black water tank using the new piece of plywood as a strongback on top of the original 1/2" flooring. I ended up with a much stronger and secure toilet mount.

Make sure you utilize a new toilet flange gasket when you go back together with it.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:46 PM   #5
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The toilet riser that Thetford sells has a good rundown on bolt positions for various toilets on the back of the box. Take a look next time you're at your local RV parts house.

Adding 5/8" to the floor depth could cause a problem with the closet flange threads getting to the tank threads. A standard flange has a 1 3/4 depth and the deep one you can find sometimes is 2 1/4. male or female threads both common. 3" pipe thread.

The closet flange should be solidly screwed to the floor (with screws not long enough to go through the floor to protect the tank) and should not be twisted after it has been screwed into the waste tank and positioned for the toilet. There are usually 4 slots for the toilet bolts which have heads designed to be trapped in the slots.

But Dennis seems to be talking about two parts and that confuses me as I haven't seen one like that. There are differences between RV, mobile home, and house closet flanges but they are all one piece and screwed to the floor, too.

You shouldn't need to worry about the flange at any rate unless you have some floor rot to deal with or are changing toilets and the new one has a different bolt position preference.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
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Thanks to all for the explanations and advice. The toilet is out now thanks to you folks. Will a conventional toilet work as a replacement or do I need to stick with a Thetford or similar style?
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:06 PM   #7
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Depends...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverslug75 View Post
Will a conventional toilet work as a replacement or do I need to stick with a Thetford or similar style?
What do you mean by conventional? The replacement must be an RV toilet. I suppose you could install a residential toilet but that's just not practical.

Pay attention to the arrangement of slots where the bolts can be installed. Thetford has an installation guide that gives you some pointers on which toilets are drop in replacements and which toilets require re-arranging the toilet flange.

Also check the space requirements. Depending on the height of the toilet, seat style etc. the toilet may not fit your rig.

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Old 07-09-2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
Adding 5/8" to the floor depth could cause a problem with the closet flange threads getting to the tank threads. A standard flange has a 1 3/4 depth and the deep one you can find sometimes is 2 1/4. male or female threads both common. 3" pipe thread.


I did have to pull up a bit on the black water tank threaded riser to make up the first thread.

Pipe strength is designed on the last full thread – as long as you have at least one thread made up properly the pipe will hold as designed in tension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
The closet flange should be solidly screwed to the floor (with screws not long enough to go through the floor to protect the tank) and should not be twisted after it has been screwed into the waste tank and positioned for the toilet. There are usually 4 slots for the toilet bolts which have heads designed to be trapped in the slots.


On the Thedford Closet Flanges used in the mid 70’s the design is similar to the illustration below:

The area in blue (the outer flange) indeed does rotate about the white section (inner pipe threaded pipe and gasket area). The blue area rotates for two reasons:

One, so that the toilet can be rotated to a position acceptable to the owner.

Two, in order to accommodate toilet bases that have the hold-down bolts in orientations other than the 90-270 position.

Even if you do not decide to add a strongback under the toilet the hold down screws can be removed from the existing flange and the outer flange rotated to line up to the requirements of a new toilet should such a realignment be necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
You shouldn't need to worry about the flange at any rate unless you have some floor rot to deal with or are changing toilets and the new one has a different bolt position preference.


The problem with the 30+ year old airstreams is that the original ” to 5/8” floor was just barely adequate when it was new. With time and use the floor has probably sagged to the point that a lot of weight is now being supported by the black water tank itself, via the toilet gasket compression into the white area in the example above. This weight has probably also caused the top of the black water tank to be deformed downward.

In addition to a sagging floor you may well have found that Airstream cut an unnecessarily large hole in the area of the black water tank inlet pipe (I did). This further acerbates the problem of an aging, possibly rotting floor not being strong enough to properly support a new toilet.

To ensure against floor sag and the toilet putting undue pressure on the throat of the black water tank inlet I added the above mentioned plywood. The added height was just right to bring the foot valve to full action where I had added the Oak Parquet on the floor. The overall “sitting” height was just right with the “high” Thetford seat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Pay attention to the arrangement of slots where the bolts can be installed. Thetford has an installation guide that gives you some pointers on which toilets are drop in replacements and which toilets require re-arranging the toilet flange.


As above, the flange can be rotated by removing the hold down screws. Once the toilet is removed these screws are readily accessible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Also check the space requirements. Depending on the height of the toilet, seat style etc. the toilet may not fit your rig.
The rear bath IS extremely “tight” your options may be limited.



Silverslug75:

Now that you have pulled yours could you please post some pics of the demolition and the exposed flange - and close-ups of any floor rot or degradation.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:41 PM   #9
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:46 PM   #10
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:17 PM   #11
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good stuff, thanks Dennis. I haven't seen one of those blue ringed rotatable flanges you described - yet. but my experience is limited to a sample of only 3 so far, thank goodness.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:51 AM   #12
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Picture

Quote:
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... I haven't seen one of those blue ringed rotatable flanges you described - yet...


I loaded this pic numerous times yesterday - never could get the Forums to pick it up.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:19 AM   #13
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Thank you all...Now the "dirty" work begins.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:39 AM   #14
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Nasty jobs -

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Originally Posted by WILDRTEXAS View Post
Thank you all...Now the "dirty" work begins.
For what it's worth....

I have had to "get into" an Airstream Black Tank system for or five times now - what I do is to make sure the black tank is entirely empty, "rock" fluid from the grey tank into the black tank as often as possible, letting it drain entirely between surges. I then run at least 5 or 6 gallons of fresh water into the toilet, just letting it drain directly to the sewer hose. After that the black tank is filled about half way and a half gallon or so of Chlorox or similar chemical is dumped into the tank for the ride home. I let that slosh around and then dump it at the closest Flying J en route to the house, leaving the valve open and the valve cap off for the rest of the trip home - I have found this method removes all of the residiual solids and, in most cases ALL of the "smells" when I have to remove a toilet or work on the dump valves or the interconnect dump piping. Certainly it does not make working on the sewerage tank systems an enjoyable job, but it does make it more tolerable when you can eliminate the odors.
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