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Old 05-18-2015, 12:08 PM   #1
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Black tank removal

Anyone done this? The manual says remove the belly pan sheet metal but on mine it goes from the back all the way to the axels. I guess I'll do both tanks at the same time if I have to remove that huge piece of aluminum.

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:56 AM   #2
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I got it out. I was able to pull the belly pan aluminum just forward of the galvanized box, remove the support bolts from the cross supports and drop the tank.

So now that it's out, I'm wondering if anyone has replaced the single black tank with a smaller black and grey tank that will fit in the same location? A 21 gallon black tank seems like a lot of waste if it's only for the toilet. It seems like a 7 gallon black tank and a 14 gallon grey tank is a better option.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:48 AM   #3
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Hi Craig. Yep, 21 gallons is a lot of waste! Some folks, me included, drain the bath sink into the black tank. There, I've just started a big controversy! The thinking is the sink and shower traps open up during travel and storage. The RV toilets have a sealing valve and never open up. Gray tanks smell less than black tanks. Gray water is a good slinky hose rinse after dumping the black tank. There are other arguments too.

But I normally use my tanks while camped, and then drain them and rinse them before we leave. I have never had an odor problem in my Airstream. By draining some gray into the black, I better utilize the space, just like you were thinking.

Some new, smaller Airstream now come with a single tank for both black and gray water.

It is likely your 71 doesn't have a gray tank. You have gray water from the kitchen, bath, and shower drains. 21 gallon tanks would be full in a day. It is not good to leave the dump valve open on a black tank. Solids will accumulate in the slinky hose.

Some folks use a portable tank for the gray water in old Airstreams. That is an option.

Maybe you have a big project going since you have removed your black tank. For $500 and a whole lot of work, you could add a gray tank to your trailer along side of your black tank.

David
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCA View Post
I got it out. I was able to pull the belly pan aluminum just forward of the galvanized box, remove the support bolts from the cross supports and drop the tank.

So now that it's out, I'm wondering if anyone has replaced the single black tank with a smaller black and grey tank that will fit in the same location? A 21 gallon black tank seems like a lot of waste if it's only for the toilet. It seems like a 7 gallon black tank and a 14 gallon grey tank is a better option.

21 Gal is not that much. especially when you are booney camping.
I added a 25 Gal. gray to my 64 safari when I replaced the fresh 60 Gal and black 25 Gal tanks.
I used Inca Plastics, they are in Ontario, CA.

-Dennis
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:39 PM   #5
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The toilet connection on my black tank came unglued so Inca is repairing it. They closed the Ontario plant and they are in Adelanto, CA now. Only about 1.5 hours from me. While I'm there I'm getting a new fresh water tank because mice chewed some of it. I wouldn't drink out of a 40+ year old tank anyway.

My plan is to take the AS to Burning Man in September. Our camp has an outdoor shower and there are porta-potties so I'm not concerned with filling the black tank in 10 days. If I do there is always a disposal service, if you can find them.

So I noticed the grey water empties after the valve. So capping the outlet and opening the valve and all the water would go into the black tank, right? Won't that makes a big poo mess when I go to empty the tank? I know I would close the valve and remove the cap but whatever is in-between will go all over.

Now for the new valve. I've heard people like Valtera, they're cheaper and now the standard, but I've also read that people have leaks with them. Getting the tank out was a chore so I don't want to do it again.

Isn't there also something odd about the hose connection and the Thetford? I seem to remember reading something.
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:55 PM   #6
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I just have a black tank…no grey tank

It can be configured so that the black tank, can function as both black AND grey tanks. But is actually more of a design flaw , than a design feature. ( I think )

You run the risk of getting raw sewage coming up into the shower. if you overflow the tank. And also dumping is tricky

My fresh water tank is bigger than my waste tank, so…showers would fill it up. Plus everything that you have consumed will end up in the waste tank.
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:38 PM   #7
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Has anyone moved the dump valve further away from the tank and changed the grey water line so that it empties behind the valve into the tank instead of after it?

I know there is a risk of the grey/black mixture backing into the shower but I don't see that will easily happen. I'm used to 1-2 gallon boondocking bag showers.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:20 PM   #8
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I got it out. I was able to pull the belly pan aluminum just forward of the galvanized box, remove the support bolts from the cross supports and drop the tank.

So now that it's out, I'm wondering if anyone has replaced the single black tank with a smaller black and grey tank that will fit in the same location? A 21 gallon black tank seems like a lot of waste if it's only for the toilet. It seems like a 7 gallon black tank and a 14 gallon grey tank is a better option.
Did you document the removal??
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:41 PM   #9
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I did take a few pictures.
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