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Old 08-10-2015, 10:24 PM   #1
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1968 17' Caravel
Regina , Saskatchewan
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'68 Caravel Grey Water Capacity

Hi Everyone,

First Post…new to this old Airstream. I have been reading through some of the posts regarding these old trailers with no grey water tanks, and the idea of letting the grey water backup into the black water tank. From what I understand you need to cap the outflow and open the dump valve, is this correct? If anyone out there is doing this on a regular basis how much of the already small tank is usable before your start having problems (shower backup etc.) To me it doesn't seem like the bottom of the shower is any higher than the bottom of the tank so can't see getting much grey in the tank before having problems, or am I missing something?

Thanks
Trevor
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:21 PM   #2
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I believe you have it just right. On trailers with the black tank mounted above the floor, like ours, you cannot back grey water into the black tank, it will seep into the shower first. We have (too many times) forgotten to open the vent on the external tank and messed up the shower when water backs into it. But that is what you will need, a 'blue boy' external tank (they come in grey too). You run a hose from the sewer outlet to the tank and the grey water will run into it. Then you dump the tank at the dump station when you empty the black tank.

You can get away with a couple handwashes when you are traveling, and the water will back up in the pipes just fine, but any more than that and it will show up in the shower.

BTW, congrats on snagging a Caravel - I am biased, but I think they are the best small trailer out there, with the best layout. We love ours!
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:25 AM   #3
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1968 17' Caravel
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Thanks for the quick reply. It must be a different model with the black tank under the floor that the backup method works. Funny, the PO told me just cap the outlet and it will backup into the tank, guess he wasn't a big grey water user either lol.

I like the Caravel too. Right now it is cozy (kids 5 & 8) but can see it getting small real quick. I can't imagine using the bunks and sleeping 6 in there, but guess 4 kids was the norm in 1968.

Thanks again, it all makes a little more sense now.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:38 AM   #4
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If the black tank is on top of the floor, capping the line and opening the dump valve could lead to some interesting results, none of them good.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubleup View Post
I like the Caravel too. Right now it is cozy (kids 5 & 8) but can see it getting small real quick. I can't imagine using the bunks and sleeping 6 in there, but guess 4 kids was the norm in 1968.
I can't imagine how you could fit six in there, but I've seen the old ads touting just that! Luckily we are a family of four - two people and two dogs! And that feels a bit cramped at times. But my husband is happy with how easy it is to park and get out of tight spots, so I don't think we will go any bigger until we move up to a motorhome someday. And inside it is very comfy and cozy for two.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:46 PM   #6
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Even if the operation you describe above as to how to deal with grey water was practical, know that black tanks were tiny in those days.

So, two problems:
  1. You won't get too many "hand washings" before you fill the tank with six on board
  2. there is no warning as to when you have filled the system, other than nasty items floating in your shower.
Steph's recommendation to buy a "blue boy" is the simplest way to deal with it, and won't cost a lot. Short of that you would need to buy and plumb in an 'inboard' grey tank. Not easy,requires some skills.

I see you have a pick-up as a tow vehicle to store the blue boy in, so that looks good for you.
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