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Old 12-04-2011, 07:15 AM   #1
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Portable waste tank

When camping for several days (at state parks in WI) we seem to fill our Gray tank and have to move our argosy to the dump station (draining gray water into the ground not allowed in WI state parks).

Does anyone use a portable waste tank with wheels like the Thetford SmartToteand and tow it like the picture shows?
Even though the speed limit is 15mph through the park Iím wondering how tough it is and how long it will last?
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:21 AM   #2
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I have Thetford SmartTote 18 gal. and am very happy with it. You don't want to pull in any faster than you can walk, NOT 15MPH. The manual states that faster than 5mph can damage the tank. Generally I will just pull it like a kids wagon. After a few days of camping I usually need the exercise (too much good food).
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:25 AM   #3
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Do some searches here, there have been many threads on these items. I have that same model in your picture. I have towed it but the thought of it going unsupervised in the campground behind my truck (I would cover my tag) is not the way I would do it. I have walked mine to the dump and it's not that big a deal. The walk of shame early in the am before anyone gets up at 0500. I just do not think the design will last (the cost is high per unit) towing it all the time. My opinion.

Better to learn water conservation and save that tank space. Use the campground shower. Use tubs to wash your plates outside. 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.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:28 AM   #4
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We got one early on and used it the way you have pictured. I agree that conserving water (using bottled and thier showers) is better than towing that container. But it does in a pinch.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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I've, had mine (forget brand for over 15 years....very durable. I tow behind car.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:52 AM   #6
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Waste storage

Mine just arrived this week. Plan to use it on my trip to Florida in February. Very sturdy unit. You need to get a Thetford to Valterra adapter however to make the connection; available many places for around $7. I may have gone overboard, bought the 27 gallon unit; that puppy will be heavy when even half full. CW had them on sale with free shipping (unit weighs 29# I think).
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #7
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We have a Thetford , it has a pull strap , not a hard handle , the first strap broke , the way it was designed you can never get it completely empty . Last July I was at the dump station and the hose from the tank came off and made one heck of a mess . We have had it for around 5 years and when we bought it I think it was in the low 200's . I will keep this one for a while but I m not real happy with it
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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We use this Barker 25 gal. tank from PPl. Tote Tanks - Portable Waste on Sale - PPL Motor Homes
We don't have a grey water tank in our 65 Safari. Very safe to pull to dump station. It does take up space in the bed of our pick up but much better than all the work adding a grey tank.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
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I only use my blue (Barker) tank for gray water and only need it once in a Blue Moon.
I got the small 5 gal. tank. It works great for those times when we use just a little too much water and don't want to move the trailer to dump it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkasten View Post
We use this Barker 25 gal. tank from PPl. Tote Tanks - Portable Waste on Sale - PPL Motor Homes
We don't have a grey water tank in our 65 Safari. Very safe to pull to dump station. It does take up space in the bed of our pick up but much better than all the work adding a grey tank.
I like the idea of four wheels for the portable tank. But with me being in a motorhome, with no plans for a toad, I'm wondering if purchasing one would even be worth it.
Gallon of water is over 8lbs, multiply that X25, whole lotta weight to move on your own, especially if you are in a campground with gravel instead of paved roads.
Just my opinion, lots of money for something that may or may not be that useful.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:04 AM   #11
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Your MH should have a big enough tank to make a portable one unnecessary. jim
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by crazeevw View Post
I like the idea of four wheels for the portable tank. But with me being in a motorhome, with no plans for a toad, I'm wondering if purchasing one would even be worth it.
Gallon of water is over 8lbs, multiply that X25, whole lotta weight to move on your own, especially if you are in a campground with gravel instead of paved roads.
Just my opinion, lots of money for something that may or may not be that useful.
Thanks, Derek
4 wheels makes it a breeze if towed by TV or pulled by me on hard surface. Gravel or sand would be out of the question to pull by hand.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:44 AM   #13
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Waste storage

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Your MH should have a big enough tank to make a portable one unnecessary. jim
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.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:49 AM   #14
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I read somewhere on this site that some people put part of their grey water in the black water tank to extend the time between dumps when boondocking. We tried this at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta a couple of years ago, and it helped; although this depends on the black and grey water tank capacities for different Airstream models. (I fill our black water tank before dumping to get a good powerful flush; and it is amazing how much extra water it takes to fill it, when it looks like it is already 1/2 to 3/4 full.)

In the shower, we used a "dishpan" to catch water from shampooing and dumped some dishwater into the black tank. Also, our grey water tank typically has several gallons of space left over after the fresh water runs out. We added 5+ gallons to the fresh water tank from a portable container after the fresh water ran dry. And, after using all of the fresh water, plus the 5+ gallons extra, the grey water tank still wasn't full. Please, note that the percentage of grey water to black water usage probably varies alot between travel trailer owners; and your results may be significantly different.
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