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Old 10-24-2012, 03:57 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Eden , Texas
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Posts: 22
where are the holding tanks located?

I just drug an old Airstream in off of a deer lease. I have applied for a bonded title because the title is long lost. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out where everything is. There have been a few modifications to make it work on a deer lease. There is a big tank underneath between the second tires from the front, right under the bedroom. It hangs down too low and will drag everytime I hit a speed bump. If it's a fresh water tank, I'm going to take it off because the bluegrass festivals usually have water hookups so I wouldn't need it. I'm not even sure if my water pump works anyway. I would assume that the septic tank is right under the toilet. I am not sure where the gray water tank is located. I can't remove a septic tank or a gray water tank so I'm hoping that the large tank dragging the ground is a fresh water tank that I do not need. I actually have the owners manual, but it doesn't say where the tanks are located. A few pages are missing. Can anyone help? Thanks!

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Old 10-24-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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It depends...

I know that seems like smart-a## answer, but holding tank (I beleive that model only had 1..) will be under the toilet, which could be in the rear or center over axles.. Fresh water will be below the "Fill port" which has trap door or screw on cover for filling with a hose... Most of the sewer holding tanks had 4" stub pipe sticking out with sewer drain fitting cap (4 small "pins" sticking out and cap that fits over and turns 10 Degrees to lock.. If they rigged a sewer hose, it should have similar fittings.. Tanks held to frame with steel strapping, and if it was there a long time and thin metal straps rusted through, it could easily have dropped down and be dragging on highway... Cheap ugly fix is to tie with rope or strapping over trailer around belly to get it home. More elegant fix is to relocate back into position and replace strapping holding it there.. Driving with tank empty is good plan, to avoid "littering.." Older trailers, and some permanent hunting models often had sewer drain into hole in ground, as simple form of local surface septic tank, which probably helped mask smells of hunters...


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Old 10-24-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
Eden , Texas
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It has a place on it to hook up a water hose, but I didn't see a place to hook up a sewer drain 3" hose. It is under there is a metal brace around it, but the metal brace doesn't seem to be doing a lot of good. The tank is obviously replaced by one that is too big. I can't imagine why hunters would need a huge gray water tank when they can just drain it on the ground. I should've taken a picture.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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1974 25' Tradewind
1974 27' Overlander
Indiana , Pennsylvania
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And on another note...what banjo are you playing, what style are you playing, and what bluegrass festivals do you attend? We have a great one in Gettysburg, PA twice a year at Granite Hill.

Indiana, PA

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Old 10-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
Eden , Texas
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I play an early 70s Gibson RB 250. I love it. Has a great tone and it's all original. I pick all over west and central Texas. I'm in two bluegrass bands. I play three finger style, but I dabble with melodic and single string some. Keeps me very busy. Do you pick?
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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1973 27' Overlander
Eden , Texas
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The more I read, I don't think mine originally came with a gray water tank. I think one was added underneath and secured by an old rusted frame. It's way too big and low to the ground. So, how do I fix this? If I remove the gray water tank, where will the gray water go? Originally, the gray water bypassed the black water tank and went straight in the sewer drain if I understand correctly, but what if I'm camping and don't have a sewer drain? What can I do with the gray water? The tank is a nice idea, but it's just too big. Get a smaller tank? How big of a gray water tank would I need for three days and two people? (women who shower daily....)lol
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:03 AM   #7
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Houston , Texas
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Is the trailer you are talking about your '73 Overlander, or is it something else? If it is the '73, then it was not factory built with a grey water tank. The tank you are seeing is probably something cludged in by a previous owner. The factory installed fresh water tank in a '73 is mounted under the floor, inside the frame rails just in front of the fore-most axle. If this is where your troublesome tank is hanging down, then maybe they removed the original tank and installed some monstrosity in its place. The original tank was held in place by a 1" thick plywood panel. It could be that this panel has simply rotted through, and is allowing the tank to fall out onto the ground. Pictures would definitely help. The good news is that the original fresh water tanks can still be purchased, and you might be able to retro-fit an original tank back into your trailer without too much trouble. If the troublesome tank is somewhere else, especially behind the axles, then it is likely a grey water tank. I think I saw your other thread regarding grey tanks, and where the water goes if you don't have one, so I won't comment here.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #8
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1973 27' Overlander
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pics of the tank and some plumbing.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:34 PM   #9
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Dewey , Arizona
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Since your plumbing has been seriously modified, it is impossible to tell what would happen if the tank was removed. As you stated, the original configuration had the grey water flowing out of the drain pipe at the rear of the trailer.

Size of the tank for daily showers? Good question. We have a 10 gallon grey tank and my wife and I can get 2 showers each before the tank is full. These are quick showers and your results may be different. I know people with 35 gallon grey tanks that fill them in two days.


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Old 10-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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Sounds like if you want to travel with this trailer, it's time to either remove the belly pan and have a good look at what is going on under there, or cut one or more holes so that you can do that.

As stated by others, your trailer didn't come from the factory with a grey tank, only a black one. The grey water exited the same pipe the black one does. If you camp at a place that has sewage fittings at the sites, this won't be a problem, since you can just hook up, and open the grey tank for continuous drainage.

At such a place though, it's not recommended to do the same with the black tank. You should let the black tank fill before opening its drain, so you get a good amount of fluid in the black to to "encourage" the solids to move out when you drain.

I would get an owners manual or better yet, a Service Manual for your model. You will see all the details, and get instructions on removal and re-installation.

Failing that, get used to the search function here, and starting reading the longer threads on plumbing and sewage systems.

Good luck!

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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