Sunday, July 16, 2017

Black Valve Handle Fiasco

Honey, I broke the van!

While travelling up to Iowa to visit with other Travato's and join the Winnebago "B" Factory tour, I dumped our tanks along the way.  But I had a surprising thing happen to me -- the black handle pulled out a little farther than it normally does.  Actually a lot further.  I was able to stuff it back in the hole after it finished dumping and it pushed closed, but it then didn't open up again.  Oops.

Bago parts to the rescue!

On our way out of Forest City, we stopped off at the facility near 9 and picked up a replacement valve.  I realized while travelling back south that it should just bolt in, making it unnecessary to break the glued piping joints and reconnect.  But, there was of course the problem of the stuff in the tank.

Macerator Must-have

One of the other Travatoans that I hung out with in Iowa pointed out how easy it was for him to use a macerator pump to dump at home - through a hose into the toilet.  So I grabbed one at Camping World, so I could go ahead and empty the tank and affect the repair, while parked in a convenient driveway with a hardware store down the street.

Opening the valve

Of course the big problem was how to open the valve on the existing one prior to unbolting it to reduce the messiness of this operation.  I came across a solution in the form of a 1/4-20 x 5 inch long threaded bolt of the same diameter as the metal rod actuator, and was able to screw it into the worn plastic hole and pull the valve.

Dumps away

The macerator worked well to deal with the contents of the tank, which were transferred safely to septic system in the back yard.  I then was able to complete the repair with only a minor smelly mess, which was of course caught completely on video.

Video evidence

Warning: This installation video includes leakage of contaminated water.  Viewer discretion advised.
Note: I own the driveway I'm doing this on, so it's really not a serious problem.

Replacing the toilet seal

As many have experienced, or rather smelled, the toilet seal on the Thetford toilet can sometimes not work as well as it should, and leak fl...