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Old 07-08-2015, 09:53 AM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
Brentwood , Tennessee
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Removing black and gray tanks to install permanent plumbing

I am trying to find out information if I should remove the black and gray tanks or just bypass them? I am planning on updating my Excella II and using as a lake getaway. I have water/septic and electric there and after I put the trailer in its spot, it will be stationary for a long, long time like permanently. Since I wont be traveling, I would not really have use for the tanks, right? Any advice would appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:02 AM   #2
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1964 17' Bambi II
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
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Suggest you keep them and just bypass for now. The next owner may want to use them...
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:06 AM   #3
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I would try to bypass them to preserve the full usefulness of the trailer down the line as Bambi points out.

However, with that said I am not sure bypassing the black tank will be possible. Doesn't the toilet close couple to the tank? Meaning there is very little room between the bottom of the toilet and the tank. I am afraid that the physical layout of the connection means that you will have to remove the tank.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:52 AM   #4
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The gray water can just flow through the gray water tank if the valve is left open, so there really is no need to bypass it at all in my mind.

With the black water tank, are you planning on putting a home type toilet in place of the RV one? Your current RV toilet really does not flush enough water each time to directly connect it to a sewer drain and so would plug up the line most likely. A big and bulky home type toilet would take up a lot of space in most Airstream bathroom layouts.

I would leave things as they are and simply use the original black water tank and RV type toilet, emptying the tank as needed. It will work well that way and should be of very minimal inconvenience to use.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:07 PM   #5
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1994 30' Excella
Kiefer , Oklahoma
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An Airstream as a permanent living structure may not comply with you local building codes. You may have to do allot more than just remove holding tanks or bypass them. Please, check your building code for your land.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:30 PM   #6
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1968 26' Overlander
Portland , Oregon
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We use our trailer as an in-law sweet in our backyard and rent it on Airbnb when family is not in town. I use a "Sewer Solution" connected to 1" PVC which connects to our home sewer. The tanks still gets used, but I empty it via the Sewer Solution after guests leave. 68' Overlander does not have a Grey tank so this drains into the 1" pvc continuously.

Our Airstream on Airbnb
Sewer Solutions

So far after a 1 month regular use, no problems. Very happy for the $200 "all in" investment.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:36 PM   #7
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1968 26' Overlander
Portland , Oregon
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We use our trailer as an in-law sweet in our backyard and rent it on Airbnb when family is not in town. I use a "Sewer Solution" connected to 1" PVC which connects to our home sewer. The tanks still gets used, but I empty it via the Sewer Solution after guests leave. 68' Overlander does not have a Grey tank so this drains into the 1" pvc continuously.

Our Airstream on Airbnb
Sewer Solutions

So far after a 1 month regular use, no problems. Very happy for the $200 "all in" investment.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
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I live in a stationary Airstream 3 months of the year and it stays on site year round. I leave the trailer connected through a solid PVC line to the sewer connection. Have a rubber slip fitting so that I can take it loose if I want to. I keep the black tank valve closed and dump every 5 days. I use a de-odizer. I installed a new ceramic lined RV toilet on a riser. I also keep the gray water valve closed and use the gray water to flush the lines after dumping the black. Some people leave the gray valve open all the time because they use a lot of water.

The issue with just leaving the blackwater tank open is that the tank will fill with solids as the water drains out with each flush. An issue with removing the tank is that the toilet flange is part of the tank .

The tanks are valuable, hard to remove or install, and the trailer has little value without them.
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:47 PM   #9
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No, way I would remove either tank unless I was 100% certain the trailer would never move again. Pulling the black water valve once a week is no big deal.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:16 AM   #10
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1981 31' Excella II
Brentwood , Tennessee
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So not removing seems to be the vibe that I am getting. I don't think that I am going to run into any codes issues where I will be but keeping the integrity of the trailer is something that I did not want to mess with either. Since I have not even checked to see if I have issues with the tanks hopefully they are in decent shape. I appreciate all your input. I plan on posting pics of my trailer as I progress. Hopefully I can gain knowledge to pass down like I have received from the members of this great site.
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