We recently moved the Mother Ship to a new location that is closer to my parents. With the winter forecasts predicting a worse winter than last year, we felt it would be a good idea to be just up the street--just in case...
Before we moved Mother I had noticed that the ceramic tile around the loo was cracked and actually low in the middle and popping up around it.
This is not a good sign!
We also noticed that the loo moved when we sat on it and was downright shaky--like, sit lightly lest you fall through--or over! Yikes!
Having experience in the loo department with houses we have owned in the past, I knew they were NEVER as easy to repair as one might think and worried that I would get it out but not be able to reinstall, I chose to call in the big boys for this job...
I called a local company, 3 R RV, whom I had used in the past. They had a mobile service that would come to the site for repairs rather than taking Mother to them, which is essential since we LIVE in the camper and therefore cannot have it in a shop--where would we live?
3R RV lost their mobile unit guy and were currently looking for a new one. Darn! They had done a great job for me before! Darn and tarnation!
So, I tried another guy--RV Doctor--whose card I had snagged at the office last year when he left some after servicing a rig at the campground.
When I called him he told me that the cost would be upwards of $2,000 or more. Yikes!
When I questioned him he assured me that my insurance would just take care of it. I told him I had not planned to turn it in to insurance. I mean, with homeowners insurance you don't get your loo covered if it falls through the bathroom floor--why would RV insurance be any different?
He just kept saying that people just turn it into their insurance and just have to pay the deductible which is usually about $250 so that is all it would cost us. Ummmmm...
I just didn't have a good feeling.
So, I called Bob. Bob fixed the hole in the side of my camper left by the canoe when it hit it. You can read that story here--just in case you missed the flying canoe incident.
Bob said he sure would take a look but was certain they could be of help. He and his partner came over to take a peek and said Yep, we had a leak--actually a really BIG leak.
We put a towel behind the loo to catch the leak (fresh water folks! Thank goodness) and he and his helper would get most of the stuff to rip the china throne out to see exactly what else was needed and then I could be the parts runner.
Cool! I can do part runs!
Remember that we live in the middle of nowhere Missouri. Population 200. Closest town--population 1,600. Closest place with RV parts--Columbia, MO--50 miles away. Or Wentzville, MO--50 miles away--the opposite direction. Get the picture????
One of the sticking points in Bob's mind was matching the ceramic tile. You can see it in this picture which was taken to advertise the camper when we bought it because I did the cardinal sin of not snapping one before we started. Hey! You have done it too!
I quickly reassured him that I wasn't married to the tile--nor did I even LIKE the tile! I'm just NOT a teal kind of person, but I do LOVE the radiant heated floor on a frosty morning when I step onto that floor and really hadn't PLANNED to replace it.
OTOH, this was an opportunity I wasn't gonna pass up!
So, I headed the 50 miles to the closest Lowe's and Home Depot that night to get the new tile. I knew the tile I wanted because I had used it on my bathroom in our house when I remodeled it prior to selling it and was all set when the loo surgeons arrived.
The loo was extracted with quite a bit of grunting and such. Mine is china--not the plastic one.
After finding that the pressure relief valve was the culprit, I called around. I also needed a collar and connections since the floor had rotted.
I called Wentzville. Nothing. They have no parts for china toilets because they don't work on them very much.
I called Loveall's. What kind of toilet do you have?
Huh? A china one.
Well bring the part in and we will see if we can match it--we have a lot of parts now that our new building is up. (their old one had burned last December)
I arrived all happy and ready to take the part and run.
Nope--didn't have the collar.
Oh FART!!!! (Do pardon my french here!)
But, there is a store called Tyree that has everything Mobile Home and RV.
I wanted to hit myself in the forehead and say "I could have had a V8!" because I knew about Tyree! Duh!
So, off I headed further in to Columbia to Tyree--located by a Horse Vet, a "Gentleman's Club", and a motel with hourly rates. Surprisingly, none of these establishments has bars on the windows! Go Figure!
Tyree had a gal working who was very knowledgeable and helpful. I was able to deduce from their catalog of parts that I have a Sealand 510 and we found all of the parts.
I took my bag like a burglar scurrying away with the bank cash and got back before the guys left.
They looked at the parts and I had done a fine job!
The pressure relief valve was not the same as the one in my toidie! The one I brought back was right, but didn't have the 3rd connection on it for the sprayer.
I could have it installed without the sprayer or hit the road again for one WITH the sprayer. I was disinclined to live without the sprayer. The sprayer is like the one you probably have at the kitchen sink that you pull up and spray pans and spray the sink when you clean it. You know what I am talking about! It is SO GREAT for cleaning the loo and since there is no water in the bowl as there would be in a home model, it is wonderful for getting paper to go down the drain too!
So, off I went the 50 miles (one way--that's 100 miles round trip for those of you who are mathematically challenged--like me!) back to Tyree to return the part and find the right one.
I arrived and they didn't have it.
Not only that, but it wasn't in their catalog! Huh?
She was gonna have to do some investigation by calling the company, but it was too late. 5:00 pm. She would call first thing in the morning and let me know.
I called Loveall's once again and they surely did have the valve I required. They work on a LOT of campers with that brand of toilet. (I had found that most places don't stock the parts because this is an upgraded toilet and most people don't choose to spend the extra $$$$ on it) Come on over...
I scurried over as fast as the Durango would go without attracting bears (of the police kind) and pulled in just before closing.
The guy was about ready to leave. He had his coat on. It was a #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr coat! I was wearing MY #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr coat! He stayed to help me! Bless Him!
They had the one like I returned to Tyree. He went to the back to see if they had the one with the sprayer attachment.
Turned out that the one with the sprayer comes in a kit with a new sprayer hose and head. That's why we couldn't find them as just the valve.
Hah! So, now I knew the brand and model of my toilet AND that the sprayer comes only in a kit! How about that????
So, off I went after having a chat about Dale Jr and his chances this year. You know, all the good stuff that NASCAR fans discuss...
I arrived home to see a lovely new floor surrounding a pipe where the china throne should have perched. The guys were gone, of course, since it was now around 6:30 pm.
Good thing we have Little Blue. I had to run across to him to use the potty for the evening. As the weather was only brisk--I lived! ;-D
I also could use NO WATER in the Mother Ship because it would have sprayed out the supply pipe where the toilet should have been, so I used the bottled water for me and the pooches and washing hands and they just had to live with the fact that I didn't get a shower that morning. (Little Blue was not hooked up to water)
The guys came back the next morning and installed the part and put in the new flooring (which I LOVE!) and then installed the toilet and it WORKED!!!! It works like NEVER BEFORE since we have had the trailer! This must mean it has been leaking ever since we purchased it.
Anywho, the bathroom is now sporting a nice new floor and a level toilet which sits on 1/4" steel plating topped with marine grade plywood. You would NOT BELIEVE how bright the bathroom seems with the lighter floor! I was amazed and when Gman got home, HE was amazed! We LOVE IT!
Isn't it great when a plan comes together????