Winchcombe Leak?

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Post by AndyLouch on Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:40 am

Having just returned from our first night away in our 3 year old 'retirement adventure' we have noticed that the washroom carpet had become very damp. On lifting, we saw that the floor was wet in places and. despite a lot of searching, couldn't see the source of the leak. All windows and rooflights secured with no sign of moisture, no obvious leaks in supply or waste lines and after lifting the carpet and monitoring over the rest of the weekend, no sign of any more moisture on the floor.
The only thing I can think of was that I may well have overfilled the toilet flush tank in my eagerness to get on the road on Saturday. If this was the case, would ant excess be able to find its way inside he washroom?
Again, when  checked, no sign of any possible source.
Any help much appreciated.
Fantastic weekend by the way, roll on May when I retire!!
Andy
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Post by burlingtonboaby on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:10 am

Hi Andy
Don't know the layout of your van Andy, however happy retirement when it comes.
Hit the road, set the cruise control and go.
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Post by Organplayer on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:22 am

Hi Andy.  Like BurlingtonBoaby, I can"t offer any solution to your problem, but just to say "Welcome to the retirement layabout club" when you throw off the chains of office. So many places and countries to visit.

Best wishes
Ed
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:23 am

AndyLouch wrote:The only thing I can think of was that I may well have overfilled the toilet flush tank in my eagerness to get on the road on Saturday. If this was the case, would ant excess be able to find its way inside he washroom?

If its a Truma toilet the answer is yes. If its a Dometic unit, I don't know.

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Post by Guest on Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:32 pm

Just a thought, is the emptying spout tight on the waste tank, it could dribble through from the compartment?
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Post by AndyLouch on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:24 pm

Evening all, thanks for feedback. I'll check all of the above next time I fill up. I have drained all systems down again in case we get a cold snap! I'm not really sure how cold it has to get before there are freezing problems, but better to safe than sorry! Thanks
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Post by logburner on Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:39 pm

Just a thought..... scratch head ...I've had the same, and it was the shower tray plug hole, back flow from 3/4 full waste tank, whilst driving. hugegrins   Cured it with plug in drain hole, so no blowback.    shrugg
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Post by swingthru.nz on Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:36 am

Hi Andy, we had the same with our Winchcombe and discovered the Auto Sleeper book gives no instruction on the need to travel with very little water if any in the toilet flush tank.
The manufactures manual clearly points out to keep the level at a minimum while traveling. Seems silly to me that the flush tank is not sealed.

Geoff
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:31 am

We are on our 3rd van with the same Thetford toilet. The first two flush tanks didn't leak - this one did from new. It was resealed around the flush button several times but still leaked. I eventually relied on my knowledge that the pink tank additive I use solidifies if left to settle (clogs pumps up if not used regularly) would seal it and it did.

What's the point of travelling with a toilet if you can't use it!

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Post by Quilter on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:49 am

From bitter experience I'd go with the full waste tank leaking back up the shower and bathroom floor drains.

We didn't think it could happen as I keep the plugs in all the floor drains and they are quite tight to remove. Even when the floor was wet the plugs still felt very tight and we could not understand how water had got up from the ( full) waste tank. It had though.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:21 pm

The Thetford flush tank switch panel is held on with a non-setting mastic seal, so it can be pulled off for access to the switch and pump. Mine did leak at first but occasional pressure on the panel edge seems to have sealed it now. Thetford instructions say don't travel with full tank, but doesn't say empty.

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Post by Jaytee on Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:44 pm

Seems strange that the cassette compartment isn't sealed. On our caravan it is sealed at each end with copious amounts of silicone sealant.
On the MH it is open so any spills will leach under the compartment into the MH structure et al.
I have now sealed mine with white silicone sealant and hope should there be any leaks it will be contained.

We have on occasion had water in the shower tray and you have just confirmed from wher it came. It does remain in the tray (and in anything in the tray) and hasn't escaped to the carpet. Yet scratch head. I do now put the plugs in each drain hole and make sure something is holding them in, like a wellie or a bag of some sort.

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Post by AndyLouch on Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:53 pm

swingthru.nz wrote:Hi Andy, we had the same with our Winchcombe and discovered the Auto Sleeper book gives no instruction on the need to travel with very little water if any in the toilet flush tank.
The manufactures manual clearly points out to keep the level at a minimum while traveling. Seems silly to me that the flush tank is not sealed.

Geoff
Good day Geoff, Thanks for this information. I must admit to not spotting this in the manual. Since our 'flood' we have only topped up the flush tank as we go along keeping a 1l water bottle for this purpose. No further problems to report! As Peter notes, it seems rather silly not to have a system which doesn't overflow since use of the toilet on long journeys makes life far more comfortable!
Its so good to be able to get advice from this forum since as novices we have a lot to learn! Thanks again to you all for your help,
Andy
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:57 pm

Both the motorhomes we have owned (Innovation 1 and Adria Compact) had toilets flushed from the fresh water tank rather than a separate cistern tank. It made life that little bit simpler with just one tank to fill and drain.
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Post by Quilter on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:00 pm

Andy...you don't have to flush the loo either when in transit or conserving cassette space when using Aires.

An empty trigger topped  bottle filled with water and, if you wish, a few drops of something smelly ( aromatherapy oil or dettol for example) can be used to give a quick squirt to the bowl to freshen it after use. It uses a lot less water than a flush and seems to make no difference to the end result in the cassette othervthasn reducing the volume.
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Post by AndyLouch on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:18 pm

Quilter wrote:Andy...you don't have to flush the loo either when in transit or conserving cassette space when using Aires.

An empty trigger topped  bottle filled with water and, if you wish, a few drops of something smelly ( aromatherapy oil or dettol for example) can be used to give a quick squirt to the bowl to freshen it after use. It uses a lot less water than a flush and seems to make no difference to the end result in the cassette othervthasn reducing the volume.
Doh! why didn't I think of that?!! Much more sensible as you note. I will definitely do this in future!! Thanks, Andy
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Post by Quilter on Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:37 pm

Not strictly on topic but following from the  above. Another handy  tip we picked up over the years , when you want to use the loo for something more substantial, is to line the bowl with a one ply cheap paper napkin, the sort you get by the thousand.

That way, when you open the trap, your production folds itself neatly into the paper as it slides and leaves the bowl clean. Again, it seems not to affect the cassettes insides or make it harder to empty. Don't go for thicker, coloured napkins though !
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Post by pjkxpjkx on Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:25 am

see my post on
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maybe relevant?
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Post by AndyLouch on Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:31 am

pjkxpjkx wrote:see my post on
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
maybe relevant?
Good day, thanks for this update. OK, that's the project for the coming weekend! To get my head around the toilet flush system (not literally I hope!) It does sound crazy that simply topping up the tank an lead to a flood!! I'm just pleased that the water was coming from an identifiable source! Andy
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:30 am

There are small differences between Thetford models but most of the latest have water in a tank behind the toilet and the filler goes direct into it. Filling the tank 'til it overflows isn't ususlally a problem as the excess will flow out of the filler hole and there's some clearance above that inside, so it's unlikely to overtop whilst the van is stationary.

There are two things to look out for though.

The first is that the joint between filler orifice and van side isn't sealed properly and this can lead to water seeping down the inside of the van wall to the floor. This can occur whilst filling and if the tank is quite full whilst travelling and the water slops about in the tank.

The second, but probably rarer problem is water coming through the top of the tank. Under the sticky label there"s a microswitch and PCB. Wires are attached to the PCB that, along with a water pipe, go through a big rubber bung into the tank and end up at a pump that 'dangles' in the water. If the tank is full and the van is driven there's a possibility that water may get slopped up and breach the seals/bung. However because you may need to access the pump, it can fail or get stuck, you can't do much to add extra sealing, aside from checking that all is properly secure.

HTH
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Post by raymondo on Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:04 pm

had a similar problem in my Nuevo, after filling up with "pink" and driving down a bumpy road I found splashes of pink all over the washroom - if I remember correctly the Thetford book says not to travel with the flush tank full (whats the point of that then?)
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:36 pm

By full, they mean 'full'. as in 'to the brim'. 

Surely even the most frequent travelling toilet user surely doesn't need a full tanksworth? Just make sure it's not brimmed before you set off.
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Post by groundhog on Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:12 pm

I must have been very lucky then because I think nothing of keeping mine full and never had a problem yet!!
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Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:36 pm

Your post got me thinking Grounders, I've been assuming that we're talking about the 'standard' Thetford C250 and similar swivel Thetties. However a quick glance at the Winchcombe video shows they're fitted with a fixed bench Thetty.

Happily, or unhappily I've never had reason to take a bench Thetford apart, though I've owned both manual and electric flush versions in Eriba Touring's. As I understand it, the water in the bench type is tired in a tank around the bowl, rather than in a cistern looking tank behind the loo.

Other than that the basics are the same, though the flush button is on the bench, rather than on the cistern.

The design may mean it's less liable to lose water from the top of the tank but the more common issue of a bad seal between van side and filler spout can still give problems. Best to be safe and not sorry and only travel with a few squirts in the tank
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Post by groundhog on Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:00 pm

As opposed to just the squirt in the driving seat you mean.... think_smiley_46
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