22Aug2017 - In my original thread entry, I indicated the CARADO Axion had a THETFORD Sani-Con Turbo, waste system. I spotted another Axion today and got to examine it closely. I crawled under the vehicle in fairly good clothes on a weed covered dirt lot to get the straight, ahh, poop.
To be perfectly honest, I am not sure CARADO used THETFORD product. However, I know exactly how this system in the Axion works now. So far this is not documented online so here is my explanation of the waste management system. The owners manual for an Axion may very well have details in it but a PDF of this has not been posted online, at least as of yesterday. I checked with a very nice rep at GOHYMER yesterday about this. First time I actually got a live person at HYMER so now I am happy they have at least this guy named Jason and he did an outstanding job.
Ok so the setup in the Axion is simple. 22 gallon combined grey/black tank. 3 inch elbow exits the tank into a common hand operated gate valve used on conventional gravity waste system black or grey waste lines. This valve has a long cable with T handle as we would expect, on the drivers side of the van.
Next after the elbow and gate valve is the macerator pump/motor unit. The exhaust port of the macerator pump points straight up and a 1.5 inch semi-flexible hose is connected between this exhaust (outlet) port, over and into a lockable panel on the driver side. Inside this glove-box size lockable panel the is an expandable length hose between the aforementioned semi-flexible line connects to a THETFORD, or THETFORD like expandale length hose with dump station handle equipped fitting for the typical 3 & 4 inch dump thread receptacle or friction fit. This fitting has a capped & threaded garden hose fitment so you can actually attach a garden hose for waste disposal if you are some distance from a waste receptacle. Such as a clean out port outside your house waste line. Depending on who makes this system in the Axion, we should be able to add a 150 foot long, 3/4 inch diameter garden hose to this equipment to make it easy to dump the waste into the homes outside clean out port.
I admit no prior knowledge of how well a macerator system works over months and years. This system is setup different than others I am aware of where the macerator passes either grey water or black water separately depending on which gate valve has been opened. There is no reason why this system with one common waste tank and single gate valve should not work well PROVIDED users only flush human waste and RV type toilet paper. Anything else will clog the pump and you have a dirty job to fix it. Replacement pumps are not cheap either.
What the system in the Axion does not appear to have is a backup path for waste if the macerator pump is not working. ideally you could revert to a gravity flow solution with an alternate waste path into a conventional 3 inch line. You know RV dealers rarely have the part you need on hand so count on the waste system being un-useable for at least a couple of weeks if your macerator pump is dead, just so you are prepared for a bit of a wait.
On the other hand you can do what I will do if we decide to get an Axion over a WB Travato; I will buy a spare macerator pump. They are not cheap but if your system is downl your going to have the only moving part (besides the cable operated gate valve) necessary to fix it on the road. As long as the gate valve shutter can be moved by hand if the cable broke, you could actually crawl under the Axion to pull or push that gate open or close.
I personally would like to have a 3 inch Y fitting between the gate valve and the macerator so that the other tube of the Y could be capped in normal use, and uncapped to add a slinky hose or other 3 inch plumbing for waste to exit in a pinch. Without putting the Axion up on a lift, it is my impression while laying on my back in the dirt that there is not enough physical room to do this alteration. But since the macerator pump looks to be easily unbolted, clearing the impellers or simply replacing the macerator assembly with another one would work just fine. I vote for have a spare macerator and fuses on board since this would be the least messiest thing to do versus trying to clean up the jammed macerator impellers only to find maybe the pumps motor is less than par too, or just plan flat bad.
Impressive lower end Class B it is. My wife have to discuss now if the bed arrangement in particular is a show stopper for the pair of us. Misc other details and differences from other Class B vans but then there will always be that. All things considered, it is an impressive package. If you want more, you have to shell out some more dough, simple as that.
Originally Posted by Storysrvwego
Without a CAMPING WORLD Sunshine Van One (aka V1) anywhere near to take a look at, the following is based on the very limited amount of information to date, found online. Information about the CARADO Axion is also amazingly hard to find online but I have seen, and am considering the purchase of one of these entry level vans that I can customize as I see fit. Or stick with a higher end purchase which can provide exactly what I want for quality and feature set, driveability, reliability, etc.
Stinky stuff handling -
At first glance, the Axion and Sunshine V1 appear to be clones of each other. But there are distinct differences. Ram 1500 on one, Ram 2500 chassis on the other. Focusing on the stinky stuff handling, both of these RV's have a single but decent sized tank for grey and black. This is where the cloning appears to end for the path & handling of our human number 1 and number 2 stuff.
The Sunshine Van One (V1 for short) appears from what little I can glean from the Internet, to use a macerator in the toilet plumbing into the tank (needs to be verified!). Then the outlet of the tank is a conventional gravity pipe although in at least a couple of cases, not properly hung. Perhaps those two cases were pre production prototypes. Clearly those two vans were missing a clamp where there are a pair of threaded studs shown in the video. But why are these clamps missing? And on both vans?
Examining what rear facing pictures I can find online so far, the hanging of the pipe has improved. Now if we only knew if gravity flow really works here and what the heck is the shiny bright bracket-thingy you can almost see at the end of the black pipe? And while we are in question mode, where the heck do you store the stinky slinky connection pipe between coach and dump station? You would think by now a factory or dealer video somewhere would clarify this. If I missed that video or CW web site info page, please turn us all onto that.
Ok so far it looks like a conventional approach on the V1 with a macerator and awkward, supposedly gravity (per the brochure) piping solution. Axion takes a completely different approach to the entire stinky-stuff plumbing.
Crawling under an Axion, CARADO clearly did some nicer engineering in the still-budget minded and compact-space solution. They have a macerator pump in the outlet pipe of the grey & black water tank with a 1.5 inch (not verified size) hose-pile traveling over to the middle of the driver side of the van. A locking covered small cabinet contains the tail end of a 1.5 inch expandable hose with dump station attachment. CLEVER SOLUTION! This is in fact a THETFORD Sani-Con Turbo product. If it actually works, and will work for at least five years without repair or (very spendy I think) pump replacement with proper use, then CARADO gets points for this setup. I think the trick here is that the users have to put just the #1 and #2 "items" for "processing" into the receptacle (toilet). And then follow the instructions under for dehairing before using the sink and shower. Ok no such instructions exist. How about common sense and put the fear of the stink god into your kids if they drop dolls, Hot Wheels, Army men or cell phones into the receptacle of doom.
The point is I think with decent use and care that the plumbig approach in the Axion might actually work great. Your pooper mileage may vary.