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Old 06-22-2013, 03:09 PM   #15
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When we got our new Interstate in 2005, the first thing I did (before ever using the holding tank) was to install a macerator pump. You can read about it here:

Airstream Interstate Macerator Installation

I carefully did it so that using the slinky was still an option, and I still carry it around, but it is still factory fresh--never been used. The macerator system is completely sealed (right up to the screw-on cap at the end of the 1" hose). Absolutely no mess or smell, ever. In almost 9 years, I have never had a failure or clog involving the dump system. To each his or her own, but honestly, I just can't imagine voluntarily doing a slinky dump.

To be even more controversial: The '05 has a single black/gray tank and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that I am in an extreme minority here, but IMHO, separate gray water tanks make no sense whatsoever. They are just one of the great many things that the RV industry does for no better reason than "that is the way it's always been done". Here is why I hold this blasphemous position:

1) Having a single tank leads to a higher percentage of liquid in the blackwater tank, reducing clogging and clumping problems and keeping things generally cleaner, especially on a vehicle that is driven regularly.
2) By pooling the tank capacity, it increases flexibility (with two tanks, you must dump when either tank is full--you can't use the extra capacity in the other tank).
3) Dumps are greatly simplified.
4) A single, larger, tank saves weight and there is less to go wrong, with fewer valves and fittings.
5) The larger volume of liquid in the tank produces higher drain pressures, leading to more complete evacuation of solids.
6) If you want a continuous drain and don't want your blackwater tank continuously connected, one can easily arrange a direct graywater drain that doesn't go through the tank at all.
7) Although two tanks may have made sense back when it was considered OK to drain graywater along the roadside, those days are long gone.

I fully expect to get slammed for these shocking ideas. Go to it!

Cheers,
--Pete
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by avanti View Post
When we got our new Interstate in 2005, the first thing I did (before ever using the holding tank) was to install a macerator pump. You can read about it here:

Airstream Interstate Macerator Installation

I carefully did it so that using the slinky was still an option, and I still carry it around, but it is still factory fresh--never been used. The macerator system is completely sealed (right up to the screw-on cap at the end of the 1" hose). Absolutely no mess or smell, ever. In almost 9 years, I have never had a failure or clog involving the dump system. To each his or her own, but honestly, I just can't imagine voluntarily doing a slinky dump.

To be even more controversial: The '05 has a single black/gray tank and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that I am in an extreme minority here, but IMHO, separate gray water tanks make no sense whatsoever. They are just one of the great many things that the RV industry does for no better reason than "that is the way it's always been done". Here is why I hold this blasphemous position:

1) Having a single tank leads to a higher percentage of liquid in the blackwater tank, reducing clogging and clumping problems and keeping things generally cleaner, especially on a vehicle that is driven regularly.
2) By pooling the tank capacity, it increases flexibility (with two tanks, you must dump when either tank is full--you can't use the extra capacity in the other tank).
3) Dumps are greatly simplified.
4) A single, larger, tank saves weight and there is less to go wrong, with fewer valves and fittings.
5) The larger volume of liquid in the tank produces higher drain pressures, leading to more complete evacuation of solids.
6) If you want a continuous drain and don't want your blackwater tank continuously connected, one can easily arrange a direct graywater drain that doesn't go through the tank at all.
7) Although two tanks may have made sense back when it was considered OK to drain graywater along the roadside, those days are long gone.

I fully expect to get slammed for these shocking ideas. Go to it!

Cheers,
--Pete
Makes sense to me, your install on the Macerator Pump looks great.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:37 PM   #17
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How does Pleasure Way do it? I recently parked next to an (almost) identical 2010 Pleasure Way. While the Airstream had many features he liked, we both agreed that his traditional drainage system was preferable.
We just sold our 2011 Sprinter Pleasure Way and it used a traditional stinky slinky with seperate valves for grey and blackwater. It worked great. Only complaint was the lack of a hose connector on the outside to flush out the blackwater tank. My better half would have to press on the commode flush valve to rinse the tank.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:32 PM   #18
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back when it was considered OK to drain graywater along the roadside, those days are long gone.
No slam here but I do have a question. Since we use our Interstate mostly around town and do a lot of hand washing (our little one is in diapers and we have a changing station set up on top of the stove which we never use), we fill the grey water tank about twice as often as we do the black. I always have a full grey tank when I am dumping the black, but I regularly dump my "extra" grey tank on my lawn. I know we live in an age of greenwashing, but what could anyone possibly find wrong with dumping soapy water on the ground?
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:44 PM   #19
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No slam here but I do have a question. Since we use our Interstate mostly around town and do a lot of hand washing (our little one is in diapers and we have a changing station set up on top of the stove which we never use), we fill the grey water tank about twice as often as we do the black. I always have a full grey tank when I am dumping the black, but I regularly dump my "extra" grey tank on my lawn. I know we live in an age of greenwashing, but what could anyone possibly find wrong with dumping soapy water on the ground?
Depends on the soap. Some soaps are not good for plants.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:08 PM   #20
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It astonishes me to read here that there are people who would consider switching out a macerator system - like the kind you find in million dollar plus entertainer’s coaches or in high-end Class A motor homes or yachts – for the same cheap, low-end plastic sewer system found in SOB trailers that cost 1/10 th what their Airstream cost them.

On the other hand, we also have an original thinker like Pittsburgh Pete who takes an older Interstate without a macerator and installs one.

Pete, however, is trying to rationalize the fact that he has only one waste tank by making that something preferable when it’s not.

With two tanks you simply have more storage capacity and MORE flexibility.

Since the grey always fills before the black you can move some of the grey into the black on occasion. That also helps with discharging the solids. Or you can use the same technique to “back wash” the black tank with soapy water after pumping.

One of the great advantages of the macerator - aside from the push button simple, no fuss no muss sanitary operation - is FLEXIBILITY.

With a macerator you are no longer tied to dump stations. UKDUDE’s salesman was correct; you can use the clean out stack at home. Or at anybody’s building that will help you by allowing it. Same thing with a toilet.

Protagonist says that you can do this with a stinky slinky as well. I doubt he really would if he didn’t have his current, simple, clean method: 1/2 turn twist of the discharge wand on the end of the 1” hose into the clean out- push the button.

Contemplating doing this with a stinky slinky - running over your shoes, sidewalk or through your rose bushes - is much less likely.

You can discharge a little bit of grey water down a gopher hole or behind some rose bushes or lots of other places without harming anyone when you have a macerator.

Like Pete fears, these words may get some reaction from the sanctimonious or Politically Correct among us. (Nothing we say here will change those minds).

The question of the Grey Water Fairy arises here from time to time. Here’s one example:


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f163...ter-90337.html


Good, common sense contributions there by Rick Davis (see #21) and particularly by TG Twinkle (#6, #22). Of course, TG is from Nebraska, were you’d expect that kind of every-day-wisdom to come from.


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Old 06-24-2013, 06:05 AM   #21
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my..my..... aren't we cranky
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:24 AM   #22
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Cranky, but correct. Jim
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:00 AM   #23
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my..my..... aren't we cranky
Yeah. But I expected worse. The grumpiness doesn't bother me. But the dismissal of logical argument with the term "rationalization" does. I tried hard to simply lay out a careful, rational argument. Of my 7 points, all but one was either ignored or contradicted with a just-so statement:

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With two tanks you simply have more storage capacity and MORE flexibility.
This is just not true. It is obvious that for a given volume of under-vehicle space, a single tank will have greater capacity than two tanks. Nobody is saying that less storage is better than more. But all else being equal, you get more total storage in a single tank than in two.

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Since the grey always fills before the black you can move some of the grey into the black on occasion.
Yes. And if you had only one large tank, the grey water would have been there to begin with and you wouldn't have had to bother. Think this through. The argument is nonsense.

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That also helps with discharging the solids..
As it would if it were there in the first place. Plus, it would be constantly sloshing around as you drive, helping keep the solids from clumping.


Which leave us with the "its ok to dump gray water down a gopher hole" argument. Fine. I will not enter that argument. If you agree with this statement, and are willing to (in most cases) ignore the law, AND if you believe that this one point trumps all the others, then I concede the point.

Cheers,
--Pete
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:09 AM   #24
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Of my 7 points, all but one was either ignored or contradicted with a just-so statement:

This is just not true. It is obvious that for a given volume of under-vehicle space, a single take will have greater capacity than two tanks. Nobody is saying that less storage is better than more. But all else being equal, you get more total storage in a single tank than in two.
Back when Interstates were first introduced, they had one holding tank and a slinky, according to the 2004 Interstate owner's manual I downloaded from the Airstream website. I don't know what size the holding tank was, but I doubt it was 52 gallons.

Late-model Interstates have two holding tanks of 26 gallons each, for a total capacity of 52 gallons.

So, as long as we're limiting the discussion to actual Interstates, and not some theoretical generic motorhome, the dual tanks probably do have more capacity.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:20 AM   #25
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So, as long as we're limiting the discussion to actual Interstates, and not some theoretical generic motorhome, the dual tanks probably do have more capacity.
I completely agree. But this thread was about modifications (real or hypothetical), therefore I though that theoretical discussions were in bounds. Sorry if I wasn't clear. My comments were intended to address how (IMO) motorhomes should be designed.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:27 AM   #26
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BTW: For the record, my 2005 Interstate has a 30 gal fresh water tank and a 31 gal combined waste tank, which made sense. Remember: this vehicle was based on a Sprinter 2500, with only two rear wheels, so in general we are talking about a smaller, lower-capacity vehicle as compared to the later Interstates.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:33 AM   #27
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I completely agree. But this thread was about modifications (real or hypothetical), therefore I though that theoretical discussions were in bounds. Sorry if I wasn't clear. My comments were intended to address how (IMO) motorhomes should be designed.
Glad we cleared that up. I— and maybe some others on the thread— thought we were discussing modifying the wastewater system of an Interstate rather than discussing the theory of wastewater system design. No wonder there was a disagreement!
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #28
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Sorry guys, I didn't intend to precipitate a heated argument on this topic. If you look at my opening post, you can clearly blame my wife for taking too long in the bathroom!!
I'll try to love my macerator in future.
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