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Old 12-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTurnConn

Being in an AS for 8 days necessitates emptying gray at least a couple of times (wifey not real cautious with water use) and we like to use our own shower (that is what it is there for, right?). So rather than move a 31 ft unit to the dump station, the Smart Tote fills a need. Not the best solution, but A solution.
I forgot to mention above, I bought the Thetford SmartTote; very sturdy unit. We'll see how it performs and holds up.
What size SmartTote do you have?
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:06 PM   #16
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Mine must be a Barker, although much older and without the 4 wheels, side drain, etc. The molding and material looks similar. Mine is a 22 gallon. I used to use it for black as well as grey water. In the old sob there were 5 of us with a 17 gallon black tank, so we needed it for that.

Now, with just DW and I, I only need it for gray if we both shower in the AS and stay in one place for more than 4 nights. Depending on travel plans, I leave it at home sometimes and take it along sometimes.

I think we could easily go 2 weeks on the black tank in the AS....depending on how much beer I drink.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #17
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Waste storage.

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What size SmartTote do you have?
I bought the 27 gallon. The 18 would probably have worked. The 27 is large and fairly heavy on it's own. If you have an AS with the white waste line connector, you will need the adapter I referred to above.......Thetford to Valterrna adapter.....got mine at Vintage Trailer for $7.95
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:27 PM   #18
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...>snip<........... Some reason the dumping of the tubs is not frowned on as much as seeing someone open the tank valve from the grey tank on the ground.
While dumping wash water of any kind is usually not condoned in most of the campgrounds we have been to, one possible explanation it seems "more acceptable" to immediately dump a wash pan rather than the grey tank is that despite the fact that it's the same water when grey water sits in a grey water holding tank for any length of time bacteria has a chance to grow ... and after a few days it's full of bacteria and quite unpleasant to smell...
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:00 PM   #19
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Portable Waste Tank

My wife and I plan on spending time in south Florida this winter staying in state parks. Knowing that we would be spending up to 14 days in one place without a sewer connection we started looking for alternatives to moving the AS to the dump station. We just recently purchased the Thetford 35 gallon unit. The 28 gallon unit was only $10.00 less, so we chose the larger size. I would rather move a larger unit 1/2 to 3/4's full than a smaller unit completely full.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:05 PM   #20
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My wife and I plan on spending time in south Florida this winter staying in state parks. Knowing that we would be spending up to 14 days in one place without a sewer connection we started looking for alternatives to moving the AS to the dump station. We just recently purchased the Thetford 35 gallon unit. The 28 gallon unit was only $10.00 less, so we chose the larger size. I would rather move a larger unit 1/2 to 3/4's full than a smaller unit completely full.
Wow! 35 gals! That's larger than our on-board holding tanks! That will be great for you as long as you don't have to lift it when it's full!
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bk Yd Safari View Post
My wife and I plan on spending time in south Florida this winter staying in state parks. Knowing that we would be spending up to 14 days in one place without a sewer connection we started looking for alternatives to moving the AS to the dump station. We just recently purchased the Thetford 35 gallon unit. The 28 gallon unit was only $10.00 less, so we chose the larger size. I would rather move a larger unit 1/2 to 3/4's full than a smaller unit completely full.
Sounds like a good choice. I was tempted with the 35 gal unit but was concerned about the size. I think we both will make it work. I got mine for use at Henderson Beach State Park in Florida.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:13 PM   #22
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Discharge Height

The only problem I often run into with the 35 gallon tank is that the discharge height of the Airstream sometimes creates a problem filling the 35 gallon tank. It gets tricky, "milking" the hose to fill the tank without spilling anything when you disconnect. I've never used the portable tank for anything other than the grey water and, in truth, I would prefer to take the trailer to the dump station than to do so. Towing a 35 gallon tank behind the crew-cab dually is just about the epitomy of "over-kill" - but, as for dumping it, there isn't any difference between the portable tank and the trailer - provided you're using a discharge hose. I would definitely be upset if I saw someone dumping a portable tank filled with black sewerage - if they didn't use a hose! Fact tis, even dumping the grey water without a hose would be objectionable in my opinion. One thing I've considered is a simple truck-mounted tank that could be filled using the commercially-available 12-volt macerator pump. It wouldn't take up any more space in the truck than the portable 35-gal portable tank does when we're travelling - and it would sure be a lot easier to deal with! Just open the tailgate, attach and position the discharge hose, and then open the valve. With this setup, and proper venting, you might even consider using the truck-mounted tank for black water???
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:13 PM   #23
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We have a Barker 30 gallon 2 wheel (Amazon.com: Barker Manufacturing Company 31342 30 Gal. Tote-Along Tank: Automotive) that we use if we're somewhere without hook ups for more than a day (we have a much smaller one for that). I can say that when it's full, it does take a bit of ummph to get it on the hitch to drag it -- we've had ours for 2 years now and haven't really had a problem with it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:14 PM   #24
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We were also concerned about towing the portable tank.

We decided to purchase a portable pump that plugs into 12v. We can plug it into the TV power point. This enables us to place secure the portable tank on the tailgate or in the bed and pump the black/grey tank contents into the tank then drive to the dump site to empty.

Avoids any heavy lifting, quickly empties the tank, and makes it easy and safe to transport the tank to the dump station.

We also had JC install a 12v plug under the bunk and accessible thru the rear cargo door to enable the tanks to be emptied into the portable faster in the event that the TV was gone, in shop for repairs, etc. Our solar and larger battery bank can accommodate this power drain.

FWIW

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Old 12-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #25
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We were also concerned about towing the portable tank.

We decided to purchase a portable pump that plugs into 12v. This enables us to place secure the portable tank on the tailgate or in the bed and pump the black/grey tank contents into the tank then drive to the dump site to empty.

Avoids any heavy lifting, quickly empties the tank, and makes it easy and safe to transport the tank to the dump station.

We also had JC install a 12v plug under the bunk and accessible thru the rear cargo door to enable the tanks to be emptied into the portable faster in the event that the TV was gone, in shop for repairs, etc. Our solar and larger battery bank can accommodate this power drain.

FWIW

Happy Trails,

'shaker
That's amusing!!! It looks like we were both typing at the same time and also thinking about the macerator pump setup. I was actually thinking about a dedicated tank - but the truth is, there's no reason why the portable 35 gallon tank wouldn't do the job sitting in the truck bed as you explained.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:52 PM   #26
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That's amusing!!! It looks like we were both typing at the same time and also thinking about the macerator pump setup. I was actually thinking about a dedicated tank - but the truth is, there's no reason why the portable 35 gallon tank wouldn't do the job sitting in the truck bed as you explained.
Great minds....

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Old 12-04-2011, 04:56 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker
... One thing I've considered is a simple truck-mounted tank that could be filled using the commercially-available 12-volt macerator pump.... With this setup, and proper venting, you might even consider using the truck-mounted tank for black water???
Saw an ad for just this thing in the past week. Mounted and looked similar to a pickup tool box. Had 2 tanks, one was dedicated for fresh water and used gravity or an optional water pump to refill trailer. Macerator pump was used to pump waste water from trailer to 2nd tank in unit. Looks like it required a hole in the floor of the pickup bed as an RV dump valve and exit connector was visible below the side of the pickup. The waste water tank was flushable. Each tank held 50 gallons. Not sure I'd want a hole in my pickup....
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:36 PM   #28
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Waste Tank

We have a 35 gallon Thetford SmartTote LX Portable Waste Tank that I ordered from camping world while they were running a sale a few months back. Ive used it several times. I dont have a problem with the size and its very durable so far. I did try ONCE to pull it by hand to the dump station while it was full of gray water and quickly aborted that misson and went for the truck.
Only issue I have is, while towing the tank with our crewcab dually I cant see the tank. Mrs.S is not fond of riding on the tailgate to the dump station to let me know the tank is ok.
One of my worst fears is towing it and the hose or cap pop and my waste water go running through the park.
So Ive been doing some research and have found that there are some raido/electronic stores that can install a switch so that when Im towing my waste tank I can flip the switch and my backup cam on the tailgate will come on even with the truck in drive so that I can watch the tank on the screen while on my way to dump.
Mrs. S then can sit at camp and not take the dumping parade ride.
I tried to get here to give the parade wave once, I got a dirty look.

All in all the Thetford SmartTote is very durable and I wouldnt hesitate in suggestion one to another camper.
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