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Old 04-04-2010, 04:30 AM   #1
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Default How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Since we are new to Roadtreks and the macerator pump. The hose was shot and we took it Camping world to have it replaced. We got it home and been getting familiar with everything, and discovered the pump was not working (so back to CW to fix it). How do you manually dump if the macerator pump is not working: We don't see any way to hook up a 3" hose as back up. We were told it was installed by a dealer. Also, there are 3 handles in the compartment. We know what 2 are for, what is the 3rd one for?
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

You might not be able to. I don't think you can with the factory installed units or the kits from Roadtrek. The third handle is most probably a manual crank to turn the macerator impeller if the pump gets clogged or jammed. A blown fuse would be the first thing I'd check for if the pump isn't working.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

I have similar concerns. I bought the full macerator kit for my RT but it is sitting on my workbench while I contemplate the solution to a non-operating pump with me underneath endeavoring to dump the tank!

Thus far the existing system, with its shortcomings, is looking to be the best solution!
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Thank you for your responses. We took it back to CW and they said the pump is shot and they'll have to order a new one. GRRRR. I asked about adding a back up 3" hose and they said there just isn't enough room underneath for it. I know not all RT have the macerator pump, so some how they did it. I'll give RT a call and find out I guess. They said the 3rd lever could be for the pump if something gets stuck. Are all conversion van's FORD'S...fix or repair daily?
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

The pump should last a long time.

I added a macerator to my '04 190P at the end of the standard sewer hose. I could remove the pump with just a flat screwdriver if it became necessary and dump the regular way. I was concerned about pump failure if I was a long way from home.

Here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=39&p=5102

I don't think you really have that option now as much of the original system would have been removed. A second "backup" macerator pump installed might be the best way to go.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

The old RTs like mine (97) have a 3" hose that retracts inside of a black tube underneath. It actually is a very clean system IMO. I have never minded dumping the tanks this way. I know they say there are advantages to macerators like being able to pump uphill and into toilets etc, but given the extra complexity and the trouble you are dealing with, I wouldn't want one. We have never had trouble finding and using dump stations.

I am sorry you are having so many quirks to deal with on the new rig. I am sure eventually you will get them all sorted out and really start to enjoy the experience! I had a number of little things I had to do with mine right after I bought it too, but I was expecting them and for the price I paid, it just wasn't an issue.

Maybe there is a solution to replace the macerator system with a simple dump hose out there on someone's blog or website. You just never know! B owners tend to be pretty creative souls!

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Old 04-07-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Thanks for the suggestions & info. It's kinda funny with the FORD situation because when we bought it from the previous owner, they had replaced a few things themselves and figured all the bugs were worked out. My thoughts were will this thing nickel and dime us. We prefer buying things new for reasons such as this, but the cost of new or newer RT's was not in our budget. We just sold our new 2009 TT, and we are still very excited about using our "Roada". We're hoping the advantages of a RT, even with all the little quirks, out weigh the hassle's of pulling a TT and more worry free.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

FYI...I contacted Roadtrek's service department about re-installing the 3" pipe for backup when the macerator pump is out of commission. This is what I got back:

That particular vehicle did not have the macerator pump waste disposal when it left the factory here, it will have had the gravity waste disposal system. The previous owner may have had a macerator kit installed by a Roadtrek dealer, or may have had something put together by another RV servicer or by himself to add the macerator. Replacing the macerator assembly with the gravity waste assembly that has the 3" hose is not a quick or easy operation and will involve purchase of a new, complete gravity waste assembly from the valves out plus the extended rods for the waste valves. I have inserted some drawings of the waste assembly below. This assembly can be ordered through a Roadtrek dealer.

At this time we are just having the pump replaced. If in the future we have this problem again, we may consider going back to the original 3" pipe and using a portable macerator pump. It only makes sense to have some kind of backup system when using a macerator pump.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
The pump should last a long time.

I added a macerator to my '04 190P at the end of the standard sewer hose. I could remove the pump with just a flat screwdriver if it became necessary and dump the regular way. I was concerned about pump failure if I was a long way from home.

Here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=39&p=5102

I don't think you really have that option now as much of the original system would have been removed. A second "backup" macerator pump installed might be the best way to go.
Maybe you bought markopolo's '04 190P ?
Seriously, if the pumps should last a long time, and you have to replace it, I'd be looking
into how to increase the longevity of the new one, by finding out what causes them to fail.
Is it dry running? Corrosive tank chems? Not flushing the tanks thoroughly after use?
There may be additonal mods available to prevent future pump failures, like auto-shut offs or
the remote control system markopolo added to his setup. It often happens that if you add
more complex technology to the system, the effect of a failure can be more complex to deal with.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Thanks for your response. I still have a problem believing that CW didn't do something to cause it to blow fuses. They did a meter reading thru the fuse connection and it was reading 55 amps running thru it. My son-in-law works with electrical wiring and his first thought was someone messed up the wiring to cause the fuses to blow like that. It was working before they replaced the macerator hose. They insist they did not disconnect anything. So how do you prove anything? CW claimed the pump is exposed to the elements because of where it is located, so it is not very protected. We are at their mercy, since we don't have the equipment to check it ourself.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

I had some "experts" work on my RT 190P beginning of March, because they were listed as
RT approved service agents.
That was when a pair of issues occurred on my van with the battery isolator, and my genset.
I had them install a new battery isolator and do an oil change on the genset. When they were
done, I had a dead genset, wouldn't crank at all, and the next day my vehicle battery was drained.
My first thought was what the heck did they do ???
At first I was convinced they had somehow caused the problems, but by the time the issues had been
resolved, it appeared it was coincidental, and likely they had nothing to do with either problem.
The battery was caused by the new alarm/starter not triggering the alternator circuit correctly, and
the genset was a wire corroded inside the casing, not really near the oil changing area of the genset.
However, I won't go back there ever again, as their overall attitude was less than professional on at
least one level. I've since found another place that I feel completely comfortable with, which is
about 60 KM farther to get to one way, but the extra gas is worth the superior service and work.

So, I know what you mean when you say you can't be sure if the CW people may have messed up,
and you'll likely never know unless you discover some evidence of negligence or incompetence.
You are at their mercy, and some seem to flaunt that. I also don't like "secret" workshops, where
I can't watch what they're doing to my van. I figure if they have nothing to hide, let me watch, even
if it's just through a waiting area window facing into the shop.

Just keep looking, maybe you'll find a better service center a bit farther away.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Thanks Mike for your take on this issue. I'm sure you're more right then we are, we'll never know the truth. We felt very comfortable going to CW the first time, and they are a 45 minute drive for us. There is a local RV dealer, but has limited experience with any motorhomes, they work mostly on travel trailers, so we are hesitant to go there for any work that needs to be done under the belly of the RT. We were told when we bought the RT to make sure to go to someone who has the proper equipment (lifts) to work on the under belly of the RT. The next closest is a 2 hour drive and they are very expensive on the labor cost. We'll give CW another try or two and see how things go. Hopefully, all the bugs are worked out and it won't be necessary for a long time. About the only thing we might take the RT there would be a spring or fall check up. They recommend both. What's your feeling on that. They check all equipment and lines for leaks, and a bunch of other stuff too.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

The place I use now for RV related service issues, lifted the van via stepped ramps.
They have neither a pit/bay nor a 4 post lift to raise it. However, they've clearly been
doing it for sometime, and appear to be very good at it. On the issue of service, they allowed
me into the work area to show me what they'd found. So, I'm not too worried about the "how" as
much as the final results, which were great. They are a "trailer" service based on their name,
but they do most RV related stuff like winterizing and spring startups, too.
If the van needs anything chassis related, I take it to my local Chev dealer for all things GM.
They do have a 4 post hoist that can lift my RT easily, and they've kept it mechanically healthy.
I would probably use specialists for things like tires (another of my threads describes
my research and finally getting a set 3 weeks ago in Texas) and body work, if necessary.
So I don't use a one-stop approach to service for my Roadtrek. The need determines where I go.
Does that help?
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Mike, I guess when I said "under belly" I meant anything related to the camper/trailer side of it. As far as the chassis or engine, we would take it to a GM dealer or someone who specializes in the type of work needed. I appreciate all your input, as the RT is new to us. We've own pop-ups and TT and never had any problems with them. Although the two TT's we owned had been less then a year old when we sold them... . And as far as vehicles, we usually buy new or newer and have them maintained faithfully. This is the first time we bought something 6 years old. We are not disappointed or regret our purchase. We are loving it more and more as we take it for drives and get it modified to our needs. We're just not use to having things broken and need to be fixed . We can't wait to have the macerator fixed and take it for a few day trip to try it all out.
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

We bought our '02 in '08, six years old too, but it only had 59,000 kms on it.
I haven't seen any stats but I have a feeling that class B RVs tend to hold their value
better than some of the other sizes abd shapes. I've seen some fairly old models for
sale for what seemed like a high price. But they sell, so I guess there's a demand.
Well cared for, anything will retain more value than something that's been neglected. IMO.

Sorry, I shouldn't have assumed you'd take it to CW for chassis work, it's just that
I've seen that some folks prefer to get it ALL done at their CW or RV dealer. Simpler
maybe? One stop shopping?
Once you get the hang of the plumbing system you'll probably not really need a spring
or fall checkup. There are lots of threads on here (try the search facility top right corner
of most pages) about "how to" do various things, and winterizing is a common topic for
most folks. Me included. I prefer the "extremely thorough draining" method of winterizing.
However, I always get a once over at GM before any long trip, and do whatever they suggest.

The spring/fall checkup might be a good idea if they're looking for safety (propane?) issues.
It's probably a good idea to have it checked once in a while for propane leaks, but I've never seen
that specifically advertized at any RV place that I've been to. I've read that there are 3 or so tests, all
involving pressure testing your system, and looking for pressure drops to determine if there are
any possible leaks.
There's always a chance you may not want to mothball your van completely before winter,
just in case you decide to take off south in January, in search of warmer weather.
Just don't go when we do, we just got back and the weather wasn't as good as expected.
It happens.

There are also many websites with additional ways of doing stuff, and googling them is
always an option when you have questions. Or just ask on here, if you can't find an answer,
or you find multiple fixes, and just want someone else's opinion. Someone will almost always
have an idea or thought about your question.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

Around here the RT's hold their value pretty good. In fact, used ones are hard to come by. We were told by dealers, the two we have in Wisconsin, they rarely get used ones because the owners sell them themselves or drive them into the ground, or until the owner goes into the ground.... We felt fate was with us when two became available here in Wisconsin, and our '04 had another offer on it, but the buyer couldn't get financing. The '05 we looked at looked tired and worn, and the owners did not believe in maintaining it unless something was broken. They only had oil changes done, so we walked away.

As time goes by I'm sure we'll have lots more questions and we'll be looking for ideas and mods people have done to their RT's. I haven't found a site yet with modifications and pictures that people have listed, but I keep searching. I belong to one forum and we all listed pictures and instructions how we did our mods. It was very helpful and everyone liked looking through all the different ideas to make their TT meet their own needs. If you know of one please send me the site.

The CW here does have the spring/fall check up and it includes the pressure testing and checking all the equipment. It's something we'll have done eventually. We won't be storing our RT for the winter months, we are using it as a second vehicle. We love to take day drives and the RT was one reason why we chose it over all the other ones. We'll also use it during the winter months when we visit my daughter and family. They don't have an extra bed and I hate staying in hotels....yuck (just did that this past winter $$$), so we'll be camping out in their driveway. We'll be carrying a gallon of "pink" with us
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:57 AM   #17
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

"As time goes by I'm sure we'll have lots more questions and we'll be looking for ideas and mods people have done to their RT's. I haven't found a site yet with modifications and pictures that people have listed, but I keep searching. I belong to one forum and we all listed pictures and instructions how we did our mods. It was very helpful and everyone liked looking through all the different ideas to make their TT meet their own needs. If you know of one please send me the site."

You're on it.

This site has several sub-categories which include the personal mods of forum members.
Tweaks, Mods, and Projects, The Gear, The Parts, The Tools, etc. to name a few.
If you have a specific item you're looking for ideas on, just use the search window, top of page,
and in the right corner, put in your keyword(s) and hit the "search" button. If someone on here
has done something with it and posted it, it'll find it. They sometimes include pictures as well.
Or, just browse the sub-categories, just like you'd browse this one (General).
Many are Roadtrek specific, including some innovative ideas on storage, energy conservation,
solar energy, and stuff that makes travel easier for some.

Good luck and safe travels always.
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

YIPPPIEE our Roada can now go to the bathroom...LOL We asked the technician how things looked underneath and he said it looked typical for the age. The pump was pretty rusty and corroded from the salt on the roads. Then add the fact that the pump is close to the ground and semi exposed to debris flying up at it, makes it vulnerable to a shorter life. I just read on another post how to use your own water sprinklers to flush the under body of your RV. It was really simple and something we'll be doing on a regular bases. Now to figure out where we want to spend our first night in Roada to try her out.
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #19
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

That's good to hear. I had the same problem with my genset. Just because of where it's
located, it tends to get splattered with salt (although we really try not to use it when the
roads are snowy/salted) and just water, and corrosion somewhere is always the result.

National Parks/RecAreas/Seashores etc. are inexpensive ways to go if you have the Annual
Pass, and don't want hookups (boondocking or primitive camping). Not sure what's near you
but I'm sure there's lots of places for an overnighter, just to try it out. We went up to
Owen Sound/Wiarton/Tobermory in 2008 as our first test run, and it was an eye opener to
2 non-campers. We hadn't really camped anywhere since the '70s, and some of the challenges
were interesting. Good idea to have RV ERS coverage of some sort prior to hitting the road,
but you probably have it from your TT days.

Good luck/safe travels.
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: How does one manually dump if macerator is not working

I usually do my own work on our RT except when it comes to anything underneath. I use ramps to lift it for oil changes and also when I changed the rear diff fluid and 02 sensor, but other stuff I have left up to the local RV repair place in Sequim, Eric's RV. They are a dedicated RV and truck repair that has the necessary lifts as well as guys that specialize in tranny work, coach work, etc. They have been very good for things we have used them for over the years. If you can find a shop like that and develop a relationship of sorts with them, it is a great thing.

I had heard great things about our local transmission shop and they were closer to me so I had them do the fluid/filter/adjustment service on it and change my Ujoints. I figured them being a tranny shop, they would have a 4 post lift or a pit or something, but nope. They used floor jacks! Surprised the heck out of me! I have to say though, they were excellent and it was still a good choice. Just don't think I would want to work like that myself.

I hope you are able to get the macerator fixed and enjoy that nice RT soon


-Mike & Heidi
97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"
http://www.vantramps.com
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