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Old 11-22-2021, 10:16 AM   #1
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1991 34' Excella
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 43
Replacing toilet but what is going on here?

I have a '91 Excella Classic 1000 34ft trailer.

I am replacing the Thetford Galaxy Starlite toilet with a Dometic 320. In my attempt to do this, I removed the factory carpet from the bathroom because I am planning to get rid of all that, and carpet near a toilet is just plain ridiculous. There is no platform for the toilet, it just sits on the floor.

To my questions and concerns:
The Thetford mounting bolts are at 11 and 5 o'clock on the closet flange. I supposed I could unscrew it from the wood floor and twist it around to get that aligned for the Dometic 9 and 3 positions.

I am not sure if the flange is glued down though, but it seems like some solutions people have posted here should that be the case is to use a multi-tool and grind in slots in lieu of unscrew/rotate. Anyone have an opinion?

My main concern though is the way the flange is situated. There is no "funnel" part of the flange to direct the flow into the black tank. The plywood is totally exposed as I see it. I did notice the old toilet has a smaller opening at the bottom which seems like the same size as the current opening. However, the Dometic opening is definitely larger, enough to obviously splash the flow on the way down.

*What is going on here? Was there some replacement to a different flange in this trailer's past? The flanges I see to purchase for Airstreams show either a funnel or a threads to screw into the black tank.

* The plywood looks like OSB and not marine plywood. Is this the way the wood should look like in this location? The carpet to me is the original carpet because I had to cut it out so replacing the wood would have required some work on that to have effected a change.

*Can someone help me understand if there is a flange I should be using instead of the current one and/or should I be concerned at all and just bolt the new toilet and flush on? My gut tells me that hole size is too small to leave it that way. Here is what I think I should have installed as it provides a funnel action into the black tank and protects the wood from exposure of the incoming.
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More Pics:
pic 1 - This is the current situation with markings showing the Thetford and Dometic alignments. It also shows the flange and the hole through the plywood.
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pic 2 - This shows more detail of flange and the hole to the black tank. Seems like there is a 1/4" plywood on top of the base marine plywood that looks 7/8" to 1" thick.
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pic 3 & 4 - This is a close up view of the flange with measurements.
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pic 5 - These are measurements of the Dometic toilet.
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pic 6 & 7 - These are the measurements of the Thetford toilet.
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Old 11-22-2021, 10:43 AM   #2
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1994 25' Excella
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Are you sure that the white-ish ring inside the flange isn't part of the flange and not the sub flooring showing through? Almost looks like they built that flange by bonding an inner ring of white plastic to the black plastic outer flange.
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Old 11-22-2021, 11:02 AM   #3
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1988 32' Excella
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Airstream switched to OSB in the 80's and then back to plywood in the 90's. I don't know the exact years, probably varied by model. My flange is threaded and is screwed into the tank plus the screws around it into the OSB, no glue.
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Old 11-22-2021, 11:32 AM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
Houston , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Are you sure that the white-ish ring inside the flange isn't part of the flange and not the sub flooring showing through? Almost looks like they built that flange by bonding an inner ring of white plastic to the black plastic outer flange.
That light colored part looks like wood and the hole is off-centered from the black flange. If it were part of it, it wouldn't be so obviously misaligned in my opinion. I plan to remove the black flange and see about realigning it for the Dometic pattern. I will definitely know by that point how it is configured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
Airstream switched to OSB in the 80's and then back to plywood in the 90's. I don't know the exact years, probably varied by model. My flange is threaded and is screwed into the tank plus the screws around it into the OSB, no glue.
That explains the OSB as my friend's 2000 34ft Excella is marine board covered in linoleum, but I don't have the opportunity to remove their toilet for a peek at the flange situation. Seems odd that mine is not either screwed in or funneled down in some sort of slip joint into the black tank.

Here is what I see I can possibly buy for my need. The hub G version looks like what I might need but looks like there is some fabrication of the flooring involved, something I would rather not do unless absolutely necessary.
https://vintagetrailersupply.com/toi...lange-vts-736/
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Old 11-22-2021, 12:22 PM   #5
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
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It looks to me like you have part of the old Tetford toilet broken off in the flange. Been a while since I replaced mine but the pipe on the bottom of the toilet is supposed to extend through the flange.
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Old 11-22-2021, 12:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
It looks to me like you have part of the old Tetford toilet broken off in the flange. Been a while since I replaced mine but the pipe on the bottom of the toilet is supposed to extend through the flange.
This, or perhaps it's some other type of PVC fitting someone used in a past toilet swap to try and solve some leaking/sealing problem. Looks much more like rotting PVC than wood.
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Old 11-22-2021, 12:34 PM   #7
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1991 34' Excella
Houston , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
It looks to me like you have part of the old Tetford toilet broken off in the flange. Been a while since I replaced mine but the pipe on the bottom of the toilet is supposed to extend through the flange.
Refer to the last two pics of the bottom of the Thetford toilet in my post. There is nothing broken off the toilet. The only thing I removed from the toilet before i took a pic is the seal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
This, or perhaps it's some other type of PVC fitting someone used in a past toilet swap to try and solve some leaking/sealing problem. Looks much more like rotting PVC than wood.
Thanks for the feedback. I have not seen rotting PVC before, but I will be removing the black flange to get a better look at the floor. From inspecting the hole I see a 1/4" layer of OSB, then about 3/4 to 7/8 of marine plywood. My 2nd pic shows the layers. I didn't want to poke at it just yet, but will be doing a more extensive analysis of the material.
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:35 AM   #8
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1988 32' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokila View Post
Here is what I see I can possibly buy for my need. The hub G version looks like what I might need but looks like there is some fabrication of the flooring involved, something I would rather not do unless absolutely necessary.
https://vintagetrailersupply.com/toi...lange-vts-736/
Mine looks like version B in that link.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:07 AM   #9
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From the factory the subfloor is OSB about 5/8” thick. There is no marine plywood or other flooring. There may be pieces of styrofoam above and below that he tank as a spacer.
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Old 11-23-2021, 12:47 PM   #10
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That does look odd. I've had our floor/toilet in a similar situation and the flange is screwed into the tank and then secured to the floor. It almost looks like whatever that material is inside the flange, it's been inserted and glued in. I would try unscrewing the flange and twisting it out and see what you get.


Edit: I wouldn't leave it like it is, especially with the size difference between the toilet outlet and whatever is inserted into the flange. You'll be asking for solids to get stuck and a blockage to happen.
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Old 11-23-2021, 03:55 PM   #11
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Be sure and clean off the ring where the flange to floor screws are located. I missed one and that causes anguish and frustration. Then use an oscillating tool to cut slots on each side of the flange and insert a piece of steel and turn with an adjustable wrench. Easy peasy if you impact the make do spanner wrench toward the tightening direction first. Airstream use sealant on my threads and that complicates the process some.
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Old 12-08-2021, 11:56 AM   #12
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1991 34' Excella
Houston , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Are you sure that the white-ish ring inside the flange isn't part of the flange and not the sub flooring showing through? Almost looks like they built that flange by bonding an inner ring of white plastic to the black plastic outer flange.
Follow up on this. You were on to it.

What was going on is the flange was was covered in some sediment that resembled the floor. I have not used the toilet since I have owned the trailer so it's whatever was dried up from the PO's time with it. Also, the flange's downpipe looked a bit off-center (which it wasn't after all) which led to me assuming it was the floor. I took a wire brush and found the sediment came off enough to show the flange goes into the black tank.

I removed the screws and easily turned it using the toilet mounting bolts as the holding part. I moved it about 15 degrees or so and was able to make the slots line up at the 9 and 3 positions. The mounting holes for old position worked for 4 of the bolts and i drilled pilot holes for the rest. I made sure I did not go through the plywood with the drill to avoid drilling into the black tank.

Good to go.
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Old 12-08-2021, 12:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokila View Post
Follow up on this. You were on to it.

What was going on is the flange was was covered in some sediment that resembled the floor. I have not used the toilet since I have owned the trailer so it's whatever was dried up from the PO's time with it. Also, the flange's downpipe looked a bit off-center (which it wasn't after all) which led to me assuming it was the floor. I took a wire brush and found the sediment came off enough to show the flange goes into the black tank.

I removed the screws and easily turned it using the toilet mounting bolts as the holding part. I moved it about 15 degrees or so and was able to make the slots line up at the 9 and 3 positions. The mounting holes for old position worked for 4 of the bolts and i drilled pilot holes for the rest. I made sure I did not go through the plywood with the drill to avoid drilling into the black tank.

Good to go.


Yay! So happy it worked out so easily for you.
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