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Old 02-22-2013, 04:21 PM   #1
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Sorry for the dumb question (I am a newbie)

Hello All
Been Lurking here for a few months. Just purchased a '66 overlander in good condition for its age. Polishing it now and trying to get it ready for our maiden voyage in the Spring. It was plumbed with a house toilet- into a septic system. (They actually did a pretty decent job installing the toilet) and P.O removed all of the holding tanks. (Black tank was originally behind axles under rear bath toilet)
I want to eventually get an RV toilet and Black tank Blue tank etc. but I really want to go use the Airstream now and see how we like it rather than tear into and rebuild the entire trailer. My Question is this:
Can I still go to most campgrounds without a black tank or Blue Tank? I am not familiar with campground arrangements. I assume they can differ greatly. but if I have the 3" or 4" flex pipe coming off of the discharge line under rear bumper.
- That is what is there now with a slide valve. Will that be sufficient for most camp areas?
I noticed a lot of portable blue tanks at one RV camping area that we checked out. Not sure why so many people had the wheeled blue water tanks regardless of their RV size?
What amenities do I look for online when I am searching for campgrounds as far as sewer and drinking water are concerned
We want to camp at smaller campgrounds on the beach. I dont mind buying portable tanks now if I need to.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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I don't know if its still true, but the original toilet in our '64 used the same kind of flange that a residential toilet uses so it may be an easy mate-up for a new RV toilet. I think the residential toilet you have with a tank of water will be a problem unless you drain it when you travel, forgive me if I'm stating the obvious. Also, if it's a two piece toilet (tank bolted to the base/bowl piece) you may be looking at a shattered toilet after not too many miles. They're not made for the vibration and jolts of an RV and the torsion on the bolts through the bowl might be too much. Otherwise, I would imagine you can use the blue, wheeled tanks, it's not like the existing tanks treated anything, so it seems that external or internal, a tank is a tank. Personally, I didn't like the black tank thing and put a composting toilet in ours and use the existing black tank for gray water.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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Those wheeled blue tanks are waste tanks, not water tanks. At a campground where there's no sewer hookup, only a dump station, it's a royal pain to disconnect the trailer and move it to the dump site to empty the holding tanks, then back to the campsite and set up again. So, the holding tanks are emptied into the blue wheeled tanks, which are then transported to the dump station.

Those wheeled tanks are not really a substitute for proper holding tanks, but you might be able to make do with one for a short trip. With the setup you've got, you should probably make sure you only stay at campgrounds that have FULL hookups, i.e. electric, freshwater, and sewer, so that you can discharge directly to a sewer and get by without the holding tanks. At least until you can restore the trailer to its original wastewater plumbing system.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
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Looks like you started this thread a year ago- I guess you figured out how to manage your plumbing system. Enjoy your Overlander!
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:15 PM   #5
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The residential toilet in a stationary setting where you are not on the road works fine because you can flush the toilet directly to the residential sewer line. But as already mentioned the residential toilet was not designed for traveling down the highway especially in the rear where you have more bounce. The RV style toilet is designed to be used with a holding tank even when you are parked a a campsite with full hook up. The flushing cycle is designed to discharge to the holding tank and then you dump periodically when the tank is at least half full. The residential toilet if it has a means of connecting to the camp site dump with a flexible hose would work but the problem is still getting there without it coming loose on the road.

The 66 Airstream did not have a grey tank only a black tank. Grey water was discharged to the ground (not to many places let you do that today) or directly through the flexible hose to the camp site dump.

Stay where you have full hookups for sure until you can install the black tank. You don't want to mess with the blue tank.

Send some pictures of your current setup that would hep. Good luck
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Looks like you started this thread a year ago- I guess you figured out how to manage your plumbing system. Enjoy your Overlander!
The 1st post says today 4:21pm from summerj
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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Sorry for the dumb question I am a newbie

Greetings Summerj!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Overlander ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by summerj View Post
Hello All
Been Lurking here for a few months. Just purchased a '66 overlander in good condition for its age. Polishing it now and trying to get it ready for our maiden voyage in the Spring. It was plumbed with a house toilet- into a septic system. (They actually did a pretty decent job installing the toilet) and P.O removed all of the holding tanks. (Black tank was originally behind axles under rear bath toilet)
I want to eventually get an RV toilet and Black tank Blue tank etc. but I really want to go use the Airstream now and see how we like it rather than tear into and rebuild the entire trailer. My Question is this:
Can I still go to most campgrounds without a black tank or Blue Tank? I am not familiar with campground arrangements. I assume they can differ greatly. but if I have the 3" or 4" flex pipe coming off of the discharge line under rear bumper.
- That is what is there now with a slide valve. Will that be sufficient for most camp areas?
There may not be as much "rebuilding" as you think to return your coach's bathroom to "typcial" RV operation. Unless things have changed very recently, the replacement for the original black water tank is still available . . . I purchased a new black water tank for my '64 Overlander from Inland RV not too very long ago. RV toilets that will fit a mid-1960s Airstream are also readily available from most any RV parts dealer. It would be ill-advised (IMHO) to travel with a home-type china toilet in the coach as the weight at the rear of the coach could exacerbate any rear end separation or frame issues that might be present.

Whether you might encounter any problems camping in a commercial campground with a non-functional bath/plumbing setup is a question for which a definitive answer may not be possible. There are a number of variables involved. Some campgrounds have RV Age rules and won't provide spaces to owners of RVs that are beyond a certain age . . . these campgrounds aren't necessarily common, but there are a few out there. If your coach is currently setup so that the sewer empties vial a gate valve with either Valtera or Thetford RV fitting, you shouldn't encounter any problems hooking up to the sewer connections provided in most full-service RV parks (the only problem that Vintage Airstreams encounter is that the park sewer connection is sometimes higher than the coach's outlet in parks where the design was driven by modern Fifth Wheels and other high ground clearance RVs) . . . . you will almost certainly need to support the flexible RV sewer hose to keep it from posing problems from the force of the effluent emptying if you choose to utilize the home-type toilet in your Overlander.

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I noticed a lot of portable blue tanks at one RV camping area that we checked out. Not sure why so many people had the wheeled blue water tanks regardless of their RV size?
As an earlier poster noted, the wheeled blue tanks are for non-potable use. For those of us with Vintage (pre-1974) Airstreams a "blue tank" is a near must unless we have upgraded our coaches to include a gray water tank . . . I even must have one for my Minuet since its gray water tank doesn't collect waste water from the shower. These tanks vary in size from 5-gallons to in excess of 50-gallons - - I have found my ten gallon "blue tank" to be the most versatile, but have a twenty gallon tank for trips when I know that emptying may be a bigger chore. The "blue tanks" can be used for black water, but most whom I know prefer to transport their coach's to empty the black water tank rather than utilizing a "blue tank" for that purpose.

Your Overlander's fresh water tank was (is?) likely located under the streetside bed if its a twin. Most of our Vintage Airstreams have a fresh water tank of 30 to 40 gallons. This is another instance where the replacement tank is a rectangular tank that is still available new.

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Originally Posted by summerj View Post
What amenities do I look for online when I am searching for campgrounds as far as sewer and drinking water are concerned
We want to camp at smaller campgrounds on the beach. I dont mind buying portable tanks now if I need to.
The campgrounds that will provide you with full connections (sometimes referred to as 3-point) include: potable (city) water, 30 or 50-AMP electric, and sewer connections. Some destination-type campgrounds may include WiFi Internet and TV Cable connections in addition to three-point utilities. Something to keep in mind if you are considering using the home-type toilet and portable tanks . . . each flush of that toilet will include close to 3-gallons of waste per flush depending upon its efficiency rating. I suspect that you may find it advisable to seek out campground with full bath houses on site.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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While remodeling think of your camper as a "silver tent" on wheels. Act like a tent camper until you have all of your systems checked out and brought up to standard.

Yank the house toilet. It will shatter and/or worsen any rear end separation. Get a get a porta-potty as a short term solution. Many tent campers use them. There is a "cassette" model that is designed to be very hands-off when dumping at any dump station or into any shower house's toilet.

Campgrounds vary a lot. Many have shower houses - the tent campers use those for all of the obvious cleanup chores. With no tanks at all, even doing dishes will be limited. Get a couple of plastic dishpans and a drying rack that fits inside one. Wash dishes with minimum water, put dishes in second pan with a drying rack inside, then using a teakettle of hot water, rinse. Scald everything, pull the rack out of the 2nd tub and let it air dry. Dump the dishpans in the shower house (or if no one is looking and it's been really dry, water a tree!) Evergreens LOVE acid soil so if you need to dump a cup of Joe, or even some grounds, their roots will thank you.

Do make sure your brakes, lights, wheel bearings, hitch lock, emergency cutaway brake, etc. are in good shape... and look for frame damage and rear end separation before you travel. Get stuff stabilized, then go.

OH - and dumb questions? NOT so dumb after all. It's a wise person who isn't afraid to do a "reality check" and avoid unforeseen problems. WELCOME!

Paula (a rivet master... sure, but a dumb as a rock rookie not all that long ago!)
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:37 AM   #9
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Thanks for all of the helpful information. Now you all have me scared that the china toilet is going to shatter while traveling down the road- which perhaps is possible. At the very least the toilet tank bolts could loosen and I would ruin my nice custom wood floors as soon as I fill the tank on site.

Question... I have located a new black tank at Vintage Trailer Supply and nice RV Toilet- How does that Tank Bolt under the trailer? I am assuming there are straps? There is no tank no so I am like a detective at a crime scene putting this all together. LOL.

I am also having a hard time booking an Ocean side campsite. or any Nice Campground 30-60 even 90 days out. All of the snowbirds are down here till March. Boondocking somewhere nice is a stretch in Florida.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:27 AM   #10
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Thanks for all of the helpful information. Now you all have me scared that the china toilet is going to shatter while traveling down the road- which perhaps is possible. At the very least the toilet tank bolts could loosen and I would ruin my nice custom wood floors as soon as I fill the tank on site.
As long as the tank is empty, and the tank lid is laid on the floor, it's probably not as bad as all that. Mobile homes are transported down the road all the time with a home-style toilet installed. But that's below the speed limit on good roads. Avoid potholes and ruts, and there shouldn't be a jolt strong enough to shatter vitreous china.

Quote:
I am also having a hard time booking an Ocean side campsite. or any Nice Campground 30-60 even 90 days out. All of the snowbirds are down here till March. Boondocking somewhere nice is a stretch in Florida.
Try recreation.gov, for State parks and Corps of Engineers campgrounds. Many snowbirds camp for months on end, and tend to avoid campgrounds where they are limited to two weeks at a time before they have to move on. But even then don't insist on ocean-side. The State Parks and CoE campgrounds tend to be more lake-side rather than ocean-side, but that's fine as long as you're not going for the surfing or marlin fishing.

Anyway, if you want boondocking (with no holding tanks?) you would be looking for "primitive" campsites, which usually aren't reservable anyway. Primitive sites are usually first-come-first-served.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:28 PM   #11
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House type comode in As

It sounds like your PO just changed your AS to a park model. We use park model travel trailers in our work. They all have house type porcelain comodes probably just like the PO put in your house. After many miles of pulling them over extremely rough oilfield roads I have never saw one break or shatter. We usually empty the tank (to keep the water from splashing out) and remove the lid if we are going very far. Occasionally we will park one of the trailers in an RV park, we just hook up the flex sewer hose directly to the sewer line and we're good to go. If I had your hook up in my AS I would just get on with using it until I was ready to convert it back to the holding tanks.
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