Fifth Wheel Bathroom Upgrade: Any Excuse for a Potty!

By:  Emily Rohrer

30th Nov, 16

I'm sure other people are buying exciting new things like electronics, clothing, and airline tickets for the holiday gift-giving season.

Us? We bought a new toilet for our 2008 Heartland Bighorn.

But we'd finally had it with our old one, which was just not worth the hassle of yet another repair effort. Despite more than one round of disassembly and cleaning, plus replacement of critical parts, the flush ball mechanism would no longer seal correctly. And as anyone with recreational vehicle bathroom experience knows, that creates some unpleasant issues, none of which are appropriate for discussion!

Tim checked online reviews for newer models, and we settled on (no pun intended) the Dometic ceramic bowl gravity-flush toilet, model 320. Being a handy guy, he knew we could handle this job ourselves, and it took even less time than we thought: only one hour from opening the shipping box to the first successful "test drive."

Getting the toilet out of the box was an exercise in itself.

Some tips for anyone who decides to tackle this job:

1. You will need to turn off the water supply to your camping trailer while you're working. Prepare accordingly by filling a pitcher with clean water for drinking, using the old toilet one last time before you disconnect it, and putting some soapy water in a bucket for washing hands.

2. Choose a location — and time of year — for adequate ventilation. The floor opening to your RV's black tank will be exposed for a while, so you'll want windows open!

3. Tools and materials we used: socket wrench, screw driver, putty knife (for scraping deposits from floor flange), rags or paper towels, spray cleaner/disinfectant, plastic garbage bag, and rubber gloves. If your toilet model comes with a hand sprayer, you will also need a drill to install the mounting bracket on the wall.

4. We also recommend talking with your RV and/or toilet manufacturer before you even place your order, to make sure you purchase a model that will fit in your camper, along with any additional required parts. And if this type of project is new for you, you may also want to do the installation at a time when the manufacturer's customer service department is open, so that you can call for help if needed.

Of course the most important thing you will need is a sense of humor. Toilets and bathrooms are funny, and making as many crappy jokes as possible will help pass the time.

Emily Rohrer

Emily Rohrer

Own Less, Do More

Goodbye suburbia. Hello, 2008 Heartland Bighorn! Rolling by the seats of our pants, searching for home.