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Old 10-25-2012, 06:07 AM   #1
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gray water

So, if I don't have a gray water tank and I don't have access to a sewer at my campsite, what do I do with my gray water?
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:24 AM   #2
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Get a "blue boy" - one of those external tanks that are usually blue. Be prepared to be floored by the cost - they're way more expensive than you'd think a piece of plastic should be. You can use that to move the gray water to a dump station nearby. If it isn't nearby, I'm not sure what you'd do.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:41 AM   #3
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Then your grey water should end up in your black tank. Which is same as having grey tank, you'll just have to dump more often.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:55 AM   #4
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how many gallons is the black tank? Is it big enough for two people to use for three days, showering, washing some dishes, using the potty.....
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:01 AM   #5
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I was looking at the portable blue boy tanks and I can get a 22 gallon tank for $150. It has a handle and wheels on one end. There was a bigger one for $250. I will probably take this camper somewhere about four times a year. The rest of the time, it will be behind the house and used as "mommy's getaway and bluegrass hangout." When it's hooked up at home, I can go straight into a cleanout and bypass all of the tanks.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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I was looking at the portable blue boy tanks and I can get a 22 gallon tank for $150. It has a handle and wheels on one end. There was a bigger one for $250. I will probably take this camper somewhere about four times a year. The rest of the time, it will be behind the house and used as "mommy's getaway and bluegrass hangout." When it's hooked up at home, I can go straight into a cleanout and bypass all of the tanks.
You don't need a bigger one if you plan to camp where dump stations are within easy walking distance while pulling your blue boy tank like it was a little red wagon. Clean water weighs around 8 pounds per gallon (dirty water may be heavier), and if you let it fill to 20 gallons before emptying, you're looking at a weight of 160 pounds, minimum. That's more than enough weight to tow to the dump station by hand, and too much to load into the back of a truck without risking injury.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:26 AM   #7
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This is such a great resource for people like me who start out knowing absolutely nothing. :-)
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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Be very cautious about recommendations regarding grey water going into your black tank. The way your '73 is plumbed, the dump valve sits below your black tank (which is probably above the subfloor), and your grey water is plumbed into that same valve assembly with a separate gate valve. There is a cap that you can put over the dump orifice, that in theory will allow you to open both valves for grey and black, and that way, grey water will push up into your black tank.

There are several problems with this, first is that your black tank is probably not very big (10-15 gallons), so by filling it up with grey water, you now have to drag the whole trailer over to the dump station, rather than just pulling a blue-boy. Second problem is that if your black tank sits above the floor, it is higher than your shower drain, so unless you securely plug your shower drain, you will end up with a nice mixture of black and grey water filling your shower. Third problem is that you will allow this black and grey water mix to contaminate your grey water plumbing, and all kinds of aesthetic and health-hazardous issues will result.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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Note that while the blue boys are handy, as noted earlier they can get heavy dependent upon their size and how much liquid is in it. At some campgrounds dependent upon the what your blue boy is sitting on, the wheels can dig right in. Happened to me at Henderson State Park in Destin. Sometimes bigger is not always better.

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Old 10-25-2012, 09:36 AM   #10
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Our 'black' tank is 11 gallons.....so I bought an 11 gallon capacity 'blue boy'. That way I am not in deep s**t when the black tank is full. 11 gallons of s**t IS heavy. However, the two of us manage our dry camping to fill the b-tank in a max of 5-6 days by using campground facilities and using the trailer facility just for nightime trips or 'emergencies'. Grey water usually finds it way to a gopher hole via hose or to the blue boy where grey ground dumping is prohibited. Eventually, I will install a grey water tank behind the axles.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:02 AM   #11
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I took pictures of the tank underneath, but I can't upload on here. It says "invalid file type." So, the way I understand it is I can buy a blue boy and run my gray water into that and let my black water go into my septic tank, or I can run my gray water into the black water tank and then into a blue boy tank and take it to the dump station when it's full. As long as I monitored the black water tank, there shouldn't be any problems. Right? Would it be better to keep the black and gray water separate? I would think that the gray water would help to flush out the black water tank. I sure wouldn't want any black water backing up into the bathtub or anywhere else. Also, I thought about hooking up the blue boy to the black water tank and leaving it open to fill up with black and gray water while I'm camping. That way, I could monitor how full the tank was getting and close off the black tank valve and dump as needed without having to worry about overflow or backing up.
Stacy
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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So, the way I understand it is I can buy a blue boy and run my gray water into that and let my black water go into my septic tank, or I can run my gray water into the black water tank and then into a blue boy tank and take it to the dump station when it's full. As long as I monitored the black water tank, there shouldn't be any problems.
Depends. All of your water-users (sinks, shower, toilet) drain by gravity into the tank. If you used to have a gray tank and it has been removed, you may not be able to route your gray water into your black tank. In that case, gray water to the blue boy, black water to the black tank. Fill the blue boy with gray water, dump it, come back and empty the black tank into the blue boy, dump it, rinse with water from the hose located at the dump station before going back to your site, start over.

On the other hand, if there only ever was one tank, a combined gray/black tank (some trailers were like that in the old days), then it's a moot point, because everything is already routed to that one tank. When the tank gets close to full, dump it into the blue boy, take the blue boy to the dump station, dump it, rinse with the provided hose.

When handling a blue boy, disposable surgical gloves are recommended. You can buy a box of 50 (or is it 100?), cheap, in the pharmacy department of Walmart.

Quote:
Would it be better to keep the black and gray water separate? I would think that the gray water would help to flush out the black water tank. I sure wouldn't want any black water backing up into the bathtub or anywhere else. Also, I thought about hooking up the blue boy to the black water tank and leaving it open to fill up with black and gray water while I'm camping. That way, I could monitor how full the tank was getting and close off the black tank valve and dump as needed without having to worry about overflow or backing up.
It's probably best to hold the effluent in the black tank until it gets full enough, then dump it all at once into the blue boy. You're more likely to get all the solids out of the tank that way. If you leave the valve open and all the water runs out as soon as it runs in, it may leave solids behind because ther'e not enough water at any one time to flush them out of the tank.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:46 AM   #13
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Pictures of that extra tank underneath and me with my bluegrass band. :-) Can anyone tell me anything about that tank?
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:06 AM   #14
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Here are some pics from the back access panel. The tub and sink plumbing and then the black tank plumbing and some knobs for something. An anyone tell me anything about this?
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