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Old 12-27-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
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I'm learning please bear with me. Tanks.

What is a gray and black tank?
I know one is for Poop and sewer stuff.
Is the other one,gray> I'm assuming for like old dish water and shower water?

All I know is that on my 76 Argosy, I have one rod that I pull to empty some tank that I has a coupler attached and I put on a hose to drain it. Its has about 5" opening thats located on the back left of the trailer. Am I suppose to emptying another one?

I know there is a fresh water fill in the front and thats easy. So what I'm getting at is Do I have 3 tanks instead of the 2 that I thought.

Thanks;

Shane
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
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Not sure about Argosys but Airstreams before 74 (I think) only had a black water tank. Later ones also had a grey water tank.

The 73 owners manual had instructions for digging a gopher hole to dump sewage. Now, of course, politically incorrect. This was about the time of the advent of the new wilderness ethic "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints"
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to airforums.com, Shane!

Your trailer should have two waste tanks: the one you describe (black) and the gray one, too. Of course, the third tank is the fresh water.

The waste tanks both have a rod to pull that opens them to drain.

Lots of folks seem to leave the gray one open all the time, so perhaps the rod is hidden to you?

Both valves open into the same large black plastic pipe and from there into the hose that you connect to whatever drainage system you use.

Your description of the differences in function between the black and gray tanks is correct, by the way.

Suggest you look around for an Owner's Manual. They are full of great information.
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:12 PM   #4
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Shane,
We own a '78 Argosy (27'). We went online and purchased a copy of the owners manual for our year trailer and it has much good information like how many tanks does the trailer have in it. jjairstream@gmail.com
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:02 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

You've got it pretty well pegged as to the tanks. The black tank is the toilet holding tank. The gray tank is for all of the other waste water, kitchen and bathroom sinks and the shower. These have separate dump valve releases, but both empty through the same pipe that your sewer flex hose gets hooked to.

The is a separate tank for on-board fresh water. The are a total of three tanks.

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Old 12-28-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
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So in other words, there is a valve that opens up so both tanks will drain from the same flex hose. For all I know it could be opened already, or closed.....correct?

Shane
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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Each of the waste tanks has one valve, yes. It should not be hard to find them. In my trailer, they are both easy to find when you open the hatch on the rear of the trailer above the license plate.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:37 AM   #8
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Each of the waste tanks has one valve, yes. It should not be hard to find them. In my trailer, they are both easy to find when you open the hatch on the rear of the trailer above the license plate.
Hatch on the rear of the trailer.....??? I don't have one, honestly! I just have a rod that that pull, next to the dump opening.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:08 AM   #9
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See? Told you: you need a manual!
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:16 AM   #10
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There is usually an aluminum cover between the rear bumper and the body of the trailer. The cover is secured with two catches that are cam locks (twist and align the catch with the slot in the cover). Inside of the compartment under the cover is the storage for the sewer hose and, maybe, a pull handle or two for the dump valves. These dump handles can also be on the side of the trailer above the dump opening. If the handle you are pulling is in the pipe directly before the attachment point for the dump hose then the arrangement has been 'modified'. If there is only one handle you have effectively one waste tank, consider it black for toilet waste. If the set up is 'modified' and you have both a grey and a black tank, too much grey will make the system overflow into your shower giving you an opportunity to go fishing for brown floaties in the shower. Not good. Leaving the handle to the valve closed, run some water through the sink or lavatory drain and see if it comes out the dump opening. If it does, either you don't have a grey water tank or the valve for the tank is open. If nothing comes out then grey water and black water will mix. Another tip is that the valves are often labeled with a small aluminum label.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:28 AM   #11
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See? Told you: you need a manual!
I just ordered one.

Thanks guys/Gals.

Shane
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:38 AM   #12
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There is usually an aluminum cover between the rear bumper and the body of the trailer. The cover is secured with two catches that are cam locks (twist and align the catch with the slot in the cover). Inside of the compartment under the cover is the storage for the sewer hose and, maybe, a pull handle or two for the dump valves. These dump handles can also be on the side of the trailer above the dump opening. If the handle you are pulling is in the pipe directly before the attachment point for the dump hose then the arrangement has been 'modified'. If there is only one handle you have effectively one waste tank, consider it black for toilet waste. If the set up is 'modified' and you have both a grey and a black tank, too much grey will make the system overflow into your shower giving you an opportunity to go fishing for brown floaties in the shower. Not good. Leaving the handle to the valve closed, run some water through the sink or lavatory drain and see if it comes out the dump opening. If it does, either you don't have a grey water tank or the valve for the tank is open. If nothing comes out then grey water and black water will mix. Another tip is that the valves are often labeled with a small aluminum label.
Found the other pull handle inside the box!!! Woo hoo...Thank-you. I assume thats the grey tank???? The one on the outside near the main drain is black?

So it's ok to leave the one inside the box open at all times? Whats the purpose of the on off inside the box? Why would you need that option?

Shane
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:04 PM   #13
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Hi,

I'm not sure if it's the same set up as my '77 but my black tank is the handle on the inside of the bumper and the grey is the one on the outside. My grey tank valve is broken in the "open" position... so it's open. It does drip from the drain so I currently have a temporary fix. It's my next project.

~ 2Alaska
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:01 PM   #14
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I think I would run a little experiment to see if there are two tanks. IF the valve on the side is not on the discharge pipe, then close both valves and pour water into the toilet tank (use a gallon jug so you don't spoil any winterizing). Open the valve on the outside leaving the inside the compartment one closed. If water flows out, that is the toilet drain. This works if the valve on the other handle is in reasonable condition. Close the outside valve, pour water into the lavatory drain, and open the valve in the back compartment. If water flows out, you have two tanks. If you have to open the outside valve to drain the lavatory water after you have opened the compartment handle valve, then there is likely one tank and the PO left the one valve open for his convenience. If there are two tanks, I personally would not leave the grey water valve open for reasons given earlier. You do what you think is best. It is not particularly difficult to replace the valves if one or both are shot, so don't get discouraged if you find a broken or non-sealing valve. Your manual should tell how many tanks you have.
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