Dear RV Shrink:
I guess we live in a throwaway society. My motorhome is only five years old and the toilet slide valve stopped closing completely. I tried to disassemble it and found that it does not come apart completely. Why would they build a unit that cannot be disassembled? I discovered that the problem was a buildup of calcium on the slide blade and gasket. There was also a lot of buildup inside the housing itself. Even though I was advised not to use Lime-A-Way, I did anyway. I had to keep spraying inside the housing and flushing it out because I couldn’t get a brush in very far. I am a retired engineer and have had RVs my whole life. This Thetford Aqua Magic V is definitely not Shadetree Mechanic friendly. I am writing to you to vent. It makes me feel so much better. Thanks for listening. —Another plumber, but not Ralph
Dear Not Ralph:
I agree. That is a popular unit that many manufacturers install. I have replaced one because the slide blade was stained brown (don’t know why that would happen). There is no way to replace the slide blade so the only option is a new $150 toilet. Maybe it was designed to sell more toilets. My only suggestion would be to vote with your dollars and buy another brand that does disassemble.
RV toilets do need regular maintenance to keep them functioning properly. It helps when you can work on them easily and replace parts. I have always used Lime-A-Way and have never had a problem with it doing damage to the seals. In your case you can replace both seals (slide and floor flange) pretty easily. I also use WD-40 silicone spray to keep everything slippin’ and slidin’. Thomas Lynch said, “The flush toilet, more than any single invention, has ‘civilized’ us in a way that religion and law could never accomplish.” So don’t get all upset. Just sit on the toilet and contemplate your next move. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink
The RV Shrink is not really a psychologist (or professional RV technician). But he does knows a lot.