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Old 01-07-2020, 12:18 PM   #1
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Any way to bypass the black water tank without changing toilet?

Hi folks, I'm a new member here and have little knowledge of airstreams in general. In the last two days I've been searching for ways to bypass the blackwater tank, but haven't come up with a workable solution.

Here's the situation: We'll be renting the Airstream as an AirBnB. It will be 8 hours away from us, so not practical for us to do maintenance on it. We'll have property managers taking care of things. Emptying a blackwater tank may be more than they are willing to do.

What we'd like to do: Bypass the black water tank entirely, and plumb into the septic so there's no maintenance there.

What we understand about it so far: All I've read is that to bypass the blackwater tank, you'd have install a 'regular' toilet as the flange is part of the tank. This toilet would be too large for the space, and ultimately, we don't want to modify it to the point that is loses value over time. Additionally I've read that there isn't enough water usage with the OEM toilet to be able to successfully flush straight into a septic; that the design relies on the holding tank.

So, has anyone ever been able successfully figure out a way to plumb to the septic without using the blackwater holding tank? We don't want the property managers to have to clean that out each week. Additionally, it looks like a bit of a water hog and we're in the desert on rainwater collection, so using water conservatively is a big concern of ours.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:05 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like you’re trying to play both ends against the middle.

One end, you don’t want to use the existing toilet/black tank, which if used correctly, uses very little water. Yet on the other hand, if using a standard house toilet, you have to have certain amount of water to keep the “product” moving through the pipes to the septic tank (1.6 gallons per-flush) which uses much more water. Not including the long hot showers the renters will be taking.

You could always put the trailer over the clean-out cap on the septic-tank, remove the black-tank from the trailer and connect a pipe directly from the toilet to the tank, continuing to use the trailer style toilet. When you flush, it would drop directly into the tank. Just know, it might not be the best smelling flush, but it would work and do what you're trying to do.

Or, build an outhouse and take the toilet out.

It might be best in the end to forget the idea of the AirBnB, use the trailer as it was made yourself, especially being 8 hours away. If it was on your property next to your house, that's one thing, 8 hours away, that's another.

Not sure I would have purchased an Airstream to make into an AirBnB 8 hours away from my house, but to each his own.

Good Luck,

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Old 01-07-2020, 01:18 PM   #3
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Look in to RV electric macerator toilets. They don’t need to connect directly to the black tank and can push the waste a good distance. The size will likely fit the Airstream as they are used in some AS models.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:40 PM   #4
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Macerator toilets are used on boats 120VAC or 12VDC.
If you go with one use a rotating timer on the flush instead of the flush handle, twist the dial for 1 to 15 seconds.


Search Google but expect to spend $1000 or more.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:39 PM   #5
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I understand the need for what you want to do. But I do not think it is easy to do. Looks to me like you would have it remove the black water tank to plumb straight through from the existing toilet location. So I would be looking at the alternatives. You might check to see what arrangement the park model trailers have for the toilet. You may need the water trap to be legal for a solid hookup? My daughter had a macerating toilet installed in her basement and it works fine.

Actually the tank and gravity flush toilet arrangement is pretty efficient in water usage. A water flush uses a lot more water.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:52 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum.

At the risk of raining on your parade before it starts . . . your proposed plan has too many pitfalls to warrant a serious reply IMO.

Are you 100% certain that the Air BnB use complies with all zoning etc. laws/regs, including nosy neighbors accepting this use?

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- The search function above in the blue box [desktop version of this site -- not the App] works great:
-- "rent out Airstream Air BnB" -- https://www.google.com/search?q=rent...com&gws_rd=ssl
-- "zoning issues" -- https://www.google.com/search?q=zoni...=airforums.com
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Adventure.AS View Post
Look in to RV electric macerator toilets. They don’t need to connect directly to the black tank and can push the waste a good distance. The size will likely fit the Airstream as they are used in some AS models.
Thank you for your helpful reply. I'll take a look at these!
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I understand the need for what you want to do. But I do not think it is easy to do. Looks to me like you would have it remove the black water tank to plumb straight through from the existing toilet location. So I would be looking at the alternatives. You might check to see what arrangement the park model trailers have for the toilet. You may need the water trap to be legal for a solid hookup? My daughter had a macerating toilet installed in her basement and it works fine.

Actually the tank and gravity flush toilet arrangement is pretty efficient in water usage. A water flush uses a lot more water.
Yes the water usage is efficient but getting someone to clean the blackwater tank regularly is something I'd like to avoid if possible. Trying to lighten the load on our already overburdened property managers.

I'll seek out the macerator toilet info online. May end up just having to remove the blackwater tank (would prefer to avoid that though) and use PVC to connect to the septic.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:50 PM   #9
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A self-contained toilet might also be an option. Much easier to deal with than emptying a blackwater tank. If it wasn't for renting Id' suggest a composting toilet
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:37 PM   #10
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if you are using it for income property you will be deprecating the value of the trailer, so if you modify it, to make that income, you will loose “camper” value. But you can still be making money. So do you want rental property or a camper?
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:32 PM   #11
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If you can direct a black tank slinky to a sewage dump that is very near the trailer and leave it permanently connected ... you can leave the grey water valve open all the time, so long showers would be OK and the grey tank will not overflow (as long as the hot water lasts) ... and the black tank valve you leave closed until it's time to dump. "Cleaning it out" would simply amount to opening the black tank valve about every 4 days (timing would depend on usage, which might be kinda tricky unless you monitor your guests' potty habits) to drain the black water...then closing it again. I personally don't think that's asking too much of someone being paid to manage the property. As long as everything is working the way it's supposed to there should be no mess ... just the way it is with a regular rental house or apartment with a regular toilet. Plumbing issues are always a potential issue no matter what. Oh, and make sure you tell renters not to put ANYTHING down the toolet except #1 & #2... there are no #3 (everything else) when using a trailer.

All this said, to be frank, I think anyone wishing to to rent an Airstream to stay in, should also be willing to do it right and learn how to use the facilities as they were intended. It's not brain surgery and it's part of trailer life. But that's me.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:52 AM   #12
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No you can't do it. Typically what is done is you fill the septic tank with the valve closed and when it gets full you open the valve into the septic line. If you leave the valve open, you are going to have to hose the tank down periodically. A nozzle on a water hose will wash the mountain of TP out the tank outlet in most cases. This is done through the toilet valve. Yes it can be a pain but it is the way it is.



A macerator pump works well if you have a dump source nearby. All you need is a garden hose and a car battery.



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