Around-Oz: Living the Dream!

Full Details and Photos of the New Dometic
VT 2500 Vacuum Cassette Without Chemicals

Make no mistake, this product represents the turning point in toilets for RVs. Thetford have had this market virtually to themselves for years and this is possibly why we have seen so little design innovation. Anyone who has the regular "duty" of cleaning the toilet knows about all the hard to clean nooks and crannies. The Dometic VT 2500 gives a fresh new approach. No chemicals whatsoever are needed, extra water tanks are not needed, it flushes using vacuum, the cassette can be up to 8 metres away, you can have a fixed tank with electric pump out, an easy clean vitreous china lined bowl and very good looks. This product ends once and for all odour smells in the bathroom, as it just can't happen. There is even a carbon filter fitted into the bottom of the cassette base with a small vent hose so you don't annoy the neighbours. We were rather intrigued by the 40 mm hose size and there is no macerator in the normal sense. You could easily retrofit this unit for instance into any Winnebago with the new bathroom (swivel toilet). Flushing uses a miserly 0.4 litres taken from your vehicles standard water tank. Zero chemicals need to be added making this the safest RV toilet currently available from the environmental viewpoint. The bowl design is absolutely brilliant. The inner liner is beautiful easy to clean white porcelain and the outer case is white very smooth plastic. There are ZERO hard to clean spots - a "cleaners" dream!!!!


You can have a measured .4 litre flush simply by lifting the flush lever with your toe. The pipe work is also interesting as it uses a flexible O ring joint. We feel this will be fantastic on corrugated roads as it will prevent breakages. The cassette can be positioned 800 mm above or below the toilet bowl. Rather amazing stuff. The black plastic cassette is a beautiful piece of engineering. The capacity is 14 litres - easy to carry. It plugs into what Dometic call a "cassette base". This can be located just about anywhere. Each piece weighs 3 kg with the bowl assembly coming in at 6.5 kg. It is rather ingenious the clever way the vacuum connects up to the cassette - double sealed. The unit only requires 1.5 amps at 12 volts for up to 70 seconds after flushing. The waste is broken down because of the high velocity vacuum flushing action. The only drawbacks appear to be an increased price over Thetford (there are lots more "bits"!) and a minor weight penalty. The photos below are the USA Website shots. All other photos were taken at the only unit we could find in Brisbane - at the superb accessory shop of Northcoach Equipment - 07 5564 9990.


The photo below shows the "control" panel. It has three lights. If the top one is "on" then it's safe to use the loo. If the middle one is "on", then your tank is nearly full or your voltage is too low to operate the pump. The bottom light indicates "flushing". You must NOT flush if the two bottom lights are on as the vacuum pump is working.


Now the component that has given us the most grief over the years with Thetford is the blade valve as this assembly is installed BEFORE they weld the two halves together. There is no blade in the Dometic - see photo above right. It does have a seal similar to the Thetford, but it uses a modified ball valve mechanism. This gives a positive wiping action as it is spherical. This means that toilet paper cannot clog it or cause jamming as happens with Thetford.


The photo below left shows the valve in the closed position. Note the beautiful clean lines even with both lids raised. It is extremely easy to clean and simply looks as modern as tomorrow!! The photo above right shows the flushing mechanism. Now, just like aircraft you should be standing when you flush. You may remember the lass in the plane who got "vacuumed" to the seat!


The photo above left shows the business end of the cassette base. The pump is far smaller than we expected. It looks like it drives a diaphragm very much like a fuel pump. How the valving works is hard to fathom from the outside. There is a fair bit of electronics, but it is well shielded.


The photos above show in close up just how the base and cassette mate together. The photo below shows the outlet pipe. Yes its that small! Underneath that is a standard 1/2" BSP male nipple for easy connection of the fresh water supply. The cassette is emptied via a Dometic outside access door - 375 X 305 exactly the same as Thetford. Rather oddly A'van have their access door under the bed - you open the rear access doors to open the door. Hygiene wise the inner porcelain bowl addresses the cleaning problems associated with plastic. It is simply a delight to use and clean.

With the Oz model you do need to mount the "throne" on a raised plinth to cover up all the "works". Yes there are a couple of compromises. There is a slight noise when flushing and if your battery goes flat you can't operate it at all! We were most impressed with this unit and can't wait to shoe horn one into our own RV, as we absolutely detest toilet smells. We feel you could "read away" all day with this one in pure bliss! We will be featuring a DIY article shortly as Garry Dryden is fitting one into his latest trailer homes.

In our view this is simply the best toilet to suit the motorhome or caravan lifestyle you can buy - regardless of price.
It is set to revolutionise toilets in RV's.
Nothing else comes close!!!


UPDATE 20 May 2005

We saw one in action at the CMCA 2005 Horsham Rally installed on the magnificent new A'van on a Ducati. A slight problem here worth remembering. Best not to put the cassette under your bed as the pump runs for 40 seconds after flushing (to bring the vacuum back up). This is of zero importance during the day BUT at night it can be a disaster if your partner is a light sleeper. Dometic also had an excellent display stand (a bit rough though!) so you could have a go at flushing and removing the cassette.


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