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Old 10-02-2010, 09:55 AM   #1
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1971 18' Caravel
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Grey/Black Combo??

71 Caravele I'm getting the feeling I don't have a grey water tank. When I run water in the sink it goes straight out the dump drain no matter what position the slide valve is in, open or closed. The valve is good because it seals all fluids entering the toilet till dump time.

Can both grey and black water go into the same tank until dump time?
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:59 AM   #2
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Airstreams didn't have gray tanks until about 1974. The gray water drains right out unless a tank has been added later. There is usually no provision for the gray water to go into the blackwater tank.

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Old 10-02-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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You can get one of those portable blue waste tanks and hook up to your drain valve for grey water. I wouldn't want to use it for black water but it works well otherwise. When full, you can then tow or walk it to a dump area to drain. Most states don't allow grey water to be drained directly on the ground.

Kay
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:22 AM   #4
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When I re-did my '72, I put a butterfly valve into the sink drain line so I could divert it into the black tank. I find this to be a good compromise between having no grey tank, and the trouble of installing one. PM me if you want more specific info on this modification. -tim
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:06 PM   #5
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Actually (for emergencies) you can cap the outlet and actually open the valve and keep it open -- this will allow the grey water to backflow into the blackwater tank -- but it will fill up fast, so be careful (but it's good for an overnight boondock on the way to a more permeant location). We do this all the time in our '71, and it's actually highlighted in our original owners manual for a short-term solution.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
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Actually (for emergencies) you can cap the outlet and actually open the valve and keep it open -- this will allow the grey water to backflow into the blackwater tank -- but it will fill up fast, so be careful (but it's good for an overnight boondock on the way to a more permeant location). We do this all the time in our '71, and it's actually highlighted in our original owners manual for a short-term solution.
Never tried that, but keep in mind if the dump valve is not open the grey water will quickly back up and start and come out of the tub or shower drain.

Depending on what the gray water contains and where I am camping I don't have any compunctions about draining the grey water on the ground. In places where this would be an issue, like where you could get a ticket, I pull out my blueboy.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tphan View Post
When I re-did my '72, I put a butterfly valve into the sink drain line so I could divert it into the black tank. I find this to be a good compromise between having no grey tank, and the trouble of installing one. PM me if you want more specific info on this modification. -tim
I always thought that draining the grey water into the black water tank was a no-no. Does it work ok that way? Sure would make life cheaper and easier if I could do that and not have to buy and install a grey tank in addition to a new black tank. Maybe I can just get a larger black and it won't fill up so fast?
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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I always thought that draining the grey water into the black water tank was a no-no. Does it work ok that way?
It's fine to drain a gray tank into a black tank to help clean it out, but then the water is no longer considered gray. It's never okay to go the other way - black into gray.

A combination tank is only a no-no in the sense of ever being able to drain your grey on the ground if you are boondocking in an area that allows it. It makes all your waste water "black". Even if "that trip" you don't use the combo-tank for black - just gray, it's contaminated enough that your gray is no longer "just soapy water" and it shouldn't be drained w/o hook-ups or at a dump station.

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Old 10-11-2010, 07:10 AM   #9
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My bumper needs replacing so in the near future it will be a 6 foot square steel tank that will hold water. I'll feed my 2 inch water line into it and walah, Grey Tank/Bumper Combo!
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:14 AM   #10
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My bumper needs replacing so in the near future it will be a 6 foot square steel tank that will hold water. I'll feed my 2 inch water line into it and walah, Grey Tank/Bumper Combo!
Seriously? I'd be leery of putting that much weight that far back on an early 70's airstream. If you decide to go through with it, empty the tank before you hit the road. My 2 cents.

Assuming that the tank is the height of the main frame (5"), a 6 square foot tank would hold ~18 3/4 gals ((6x144x5)/231), which is about 149 lbs (8 lbs per gal). That's a lot of weight to put that far back on that frame.

Chris
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
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My bumper needs replacing so in the near future it will be a 6 foot square steel tank that will hold water. I'll feed my 2 inch water line into it and walah, Grey Tank/Bumper Combo!
I'll be looking forward to seeing the results of this plan, if you go through with it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:30 AM   #12
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Seriously? I'd be leery of putting that much weight that far back on an early 70's airstream. If you decide to go through with it, empty the tank before you hit the road. My 2 cents.

Assuming that the tank is the height of the main frame (5"), a 6 square foot tank would hold ~18 3/4 gals ((6x144x5)/231), which is about 149 lbs (8 lbs per gal). That's a lot of weight to put that far back on that frame.

Chris
Then multiply the 149 pounds by the number of feet the bumper is from the axle.

As an example, if that dimension is 6 feet, then the 149 pounds becomes 894 pounds, because of the moment arm.

And that's not really the end of it.

When the trailer hits a bump, that 894 pounds multipies, 2, 3, 4 or even 5 times.

As you can see, now you can very easily get into 2000 to over 4000 pounds.

The rear end of the Airstream, was not built to take that weight.

Andy
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:47 PM   #13
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Great information to consider. Thank you one and all.

When I purchased the AS there was a home made rack to hold the spare tire and another rack to hold a grill then an add on tube for the flexible dump hose to ride in. Those items have been removed to lighten & clean up the exterior appearance.

I'm thinking that removing the existing bumper and replacing with square steel will be an increase of 50lbs at most, and that won't be a negative effect.

Gray water will consist of what it takes for me to brush my teeth, wash my hands and rinse the coffee pot so in between opportunities to drain the gray water tank it will never get to 18 gallons or 150lbs.

I plan to drain the gray tank in a socially acceptable manner such as after dark when no one is watching.

Hypothetically? If I were to pull out of my driveway and my neighbors 150lb kid jumped on my AS bumper would I feel it? No!

If he hung on from coast to coast would that extra 150lbs do any damage? I doubt it.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:36 PM   #14
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what i did with my 71 31ft solv was to remove the old black and buy and install a new 24gal black and 24gal grey new pipes dump now towards axels instead of at rear bumper built new bottom cover and it looks great and the up gread like a new trailer got my tanks from PPL for $99.00 each great price and they are durable 6 months in and no issues yet
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