pressure systems, or micro switched
The main systems are Whale, and Truma. Reich is becoming more popular with the caravan manufacturers recently. It is not possible to say which system is used by which caravan manufacturer as this constantly changes. Handbooks generally give information to determine which system has been installed.
The type of system will determine which spares are required in the event of a fault.
As a guide if there is a slight click sound when a tap is turned on this would indicate that a micro switch system is installed.
Water will be pumped into the water system by either a submersible pump placed in a water barrel, or by an inline pump, the pumps come in various capacities it is wise to have a larger pump if you are intending to use showers.
There is generally a filter fitted in the system this can be at the point of entry or inline. They should be replaced according to the instructions generally at least once a year and in the case of carver/ truma cylindrical filters every 12 weeks.
The latest system is the Truma ultraflow which has a new filter system this is only in post 2006 vans.
Some of the modern vans will have an onboard tank which negates the need for a water barrel.
Regardless which type of system It is advisable to flush the whole system through at the start of each year with a steriliser (puriclean or pipe cleaner) it is recommended to repeat this as part of the winterising of the caravan at the end of the year. It is not advisable to use bleach based products as this does not remove residues.
There is a system available for use on super pitches with individual water connections which allow a constant top up of either a water barrel or onboard tank.
There is a whale system the ‘aquasource’ and a truma system ‘waterline’ which connect directly into the caravan.
There is a system produced by Hitchmans who make a automatic top up for the 40ltr aquaroll this will possibly also connect to the waterhog. Safer as failure of pressure switches / system does not involve a flooded van.
Generally faults fit into these catagories:
Pumps sometimes seize up for no reason. The larger pumps can be repaired, submersible need to be scrapped it is not necessary to dispose of the hose and connection as the pump alone in an assembly can be replaced, although people often prefer to.
Pressure switches and microswitches fail.
Filter housings crack, often not visible until the filter has been fitted. Caused by water freezing in a filter when laid up or the filter being screwed in too tightly.
Gaskets & O rings need replacement. Service kits are available.
Water systems in vans often use 12mm pipe we sell his by the metre otherwise it is the 15mm both use the snap fit connections. Waste pipe is sold per metre, in several sizes generally the newer the van the bigger the pipe!
Cassette toilets/ porta pottie
There are several types some have flush tanks, some take water from an on board tank.
The waste tank is removed to empty they are not troublesome but will require replacement seals in time use the exploded diagrams in the catalogue to determine the model and replacement piece required. If we do not have the part in stock they can be ordered. Domestic cleaners should not be used as they destroy the seals and break down the casings.
Washing up liquid is acceptable otherwise use the plastic / bathroom cleaner from thetford or the sanitising liquid from Wessex or FDS the latter kill bugs. It is advisable to use the special loo paper which breaks down and empties easily, domestic loo paper stays in lumps which are difficult to remove.
Thetford recommends their own products!!
All do the same job, blue or green goes in the bottom tank see dilution rates on the bottle, they are essential. Pink goes in the top (not essential).
Blue generally contains formaldehyde and basically pickles waste and prevents smells, it is not very environmentally friendly,
Green or bio products do the similar but digest the waste products and are environmentally friendly they are more economical because they need less to treat a tank although they are more expensive per litre. They can be used to treat septic tanks.
Pink rinses sanitise and perfume the toilet after use they are not essential and cannot be used when a cassette toilet takes rinses from the onboard tank. In this case a spray of dilute pink can be made up and used manually after use of the toilet. Wessex pink is developed to freshen and to remove black bits which appear frequently in chemical toilet rinse tanks.