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Old 09-27-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
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Where do I get a Thetford cassette toilet?

After gutting my '73 Sovereign 31', removing the bathroom floor, welding the frame etc. I'm leaning toward eliminating the blackwater tank & toilet, perhaps convert the tank to graywater.
Still need a crapper though and a port-a-pottie is a last choice.
Thetford makes a built in "cassette" style toilet, access to the waste tank through an exterior hatch.
I'm interested but can't find one.
Ever try calling Thetford/Norcold? I'd like someday to meet the clown that invented the whole automated-can't talk to a person-voicemail system.
Does anybody have any knowledge or experience with this item?
Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:19 PM   #2
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Like this one at Camping World?

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Old 09-27-2006, 06:35 PM   #3
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Not TOO Bad...

I saw a neighbor in my campground with one of those cassette toilets. All in all it isn't too bad, but you are getting up close and personal with some fermented poo when you dump the cassette.

If I had a really small Airstream, I'd consider eliminating the black tank (weight & space) but on a 31 footer, the weight isn't that big a savings, and I presume you have several people using the facilities. One question I've never heard anyone answer is how those cassettes work in frozen weather. I have a mental picture of a huge brown ice cube... melting slowly over the dump station. Water weighs about 8 lbs a gallon, and I'm sure black water isn't less. If that cassette holds 5 gallons, do you really want to haul 40 lbs around? I'd hate to tell the doctor how I got a hernia hauling sh** around!

Just random thoughts.... Paula
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:39 PM   #4
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Jeff:

This is excerpted from one of my posts last year:

I dropped the cassette idea for the reason that it appears only Thetford has them in North America and they are not consumer friendly. I called both their head office in Ann Arbor, Michigan and their Canadian office in Mississauga. They want to talk to trailer manufacturers, not end-users.

They have no show room and they give out conflicting advice. Their web site says ďavailable for retrofitĒ but their local distributor said the exact opposite.

I took Aaronís advice (Wahoonc) and finally saw one at a Fleetwood dealer and found them plastic looking and unattractive.

I think I will get the new CONCERTO toilet by SeaLand.
Itís an expensive but very elegant all ceramic unit with a standard flush handle, like in your home.

Thetford makes a similar model called ARIA but SeaLand are customer friendly. They have already emailed me an ownerís manual and complete schematics for installation.

While in the end I didnít like the look of the unit for my purposes I think the cassette idea is very sensible. Itís the way they do it in Europe. In America, itís a specialty item seen primarily in some pop up trailers.

Go to this site: http://www.earthroamer.com/index.html

They use the cassette toilet in their very interesting vehicles. Maybe the owners there will help you get one.

Sergei





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Old 09-27-2006, 09:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
E]One question I've never heard anyone answer is how those cassettes work in frozen weather. I have a mental picture of a huge brown ice cube... melting slowly over the dump station.
Paula,
No worse than a regular holding tank in freezing weather. FWIW I was camping in VA Beach back during the big freeze right after Christmas of '04 and the cassette potty did just fine...it was the exposed waterlines that ended up freezing when the campground power went out They aren't any worse to dump than a regular tank. They have a nice little self contained spout and release valve that you pull for a nice controlled flow

Quote:
Water weighs about 8 lbs a gallon, and I'm sure black water isn't less. If that cassette holds 5 gallons, do you really want to haul 40 lbs around? I'd hate to tell the doctor how I got a hernia hauling sh** around!

Just random thoughts.... Paula
Never thought about that, but to me 40#'s is pretty light after jacking around 100#+ rollls of roofing materials all day I like the concept of the cassette toilet but it does have a few limitations compared to say a 30+ gallon black tank.

Aaron
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:33 PM   #6
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Hi, Jeff,

I don't understand this at all. The 31' has a tank in front of the axles, one in-between, and one right behind. Of all the variations seen on Airstream trailers over the years, isn't this about as good it gets?

I mean, they are on the centerline, as low as possible, and sort of balanced, too. Well, I really mean that the fresh water tank is big, and the other two about half of that size. That seems pretty reasonable as the variance on the nose weight is minimized and the change that happens when the water moves from one tank to the other has little effect on the trailer stance or balance.

Why not put it back together the way it is supposed to work?

Forgive me, but my other trailer is an Argosy with a front fresh water tank and the grey and black tanks *stacked* at the opposite end of the trailer. It's sort of, in my opinion, a primer on how NOT to design a trailer. On the other hand, I find the 31's layout to be very practical.

Lamar
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:34 PM   #7
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Hey Lamar,

To date I've gutted her and removed the floor over the rear bath.
From what I can see of the original pvc drain and vent pipe, the gray water from the kitchen sink and the shower go to the black water tank.
Leading me to believe that there is no gray water tank.(?)
Is this possible?
Mine's a '73 Sovereign, these units were prone to frame separation or frame sag, partially due to all that water weight so far aft of the rear axle.
My motivation to remove the tank is to reduce that weight. (I'll also be installing a tankless water heater.)
While the cassette capacity is obviously limited, it's portable, which does allow the opportunity to flush the waste into a toilet, too.
All seems moot though, Thetford has been impossible to contact or deal with.
Perhaps I'll take a ride by their facility and crap on the lawn!
Jeff
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:25 PM   #8
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Dovetail,
The 73's don't have a grey tank, the sink and shower water went straight out the back. An old trick was to cap the sewer pipe and back a small amount of grey water up in it, but you had to be careful not to back it up too far

Aaron
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:27 PM   #9
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Lamar,
The rear bath models had a fresh water tank over the axles and the holding tanks were at the extreme rear of the trailer...one of the known issues.

Aaron
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