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Old 12-23-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Grey water in a '71 Sovereign?

Hi Guys,
The manual for my '71 Sovereign says:

"The waste water from the sink, the shower, bath and lavoratory. bypasses the holding tank, yet drains through the same outlet as the waste and you will therefore need to make one connection only when hooking up in a trailer park with sewer facilities."

So, forgive me for being dense, but I don't understand where the gray water goes when you are not hooked up in a park. Does the trailer have three tanks, one for water, one for gray water and one for black water?

Thanks in advance for your answers and Merry Christmas to all.
Bill
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:45 PM   #2
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There were no gray tanks in 1971. They came about in 1975, as I recall. In 1971 most campgrounds let you put gray water directly on the ground. You would have a special cap on the sewer connection that you would have 10 ft of garden hose on that put the gray water under your trailer. Now days you would likely have to carry along a blueboy to collect the gray water and then take it to the dump station. A few parks out west still let you put gray water on the ground.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
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The 71' Sovereign Has No Gray Water Tank

That year has a single, holding tank for black water.
In that era, travelers were allowed to drain gray water on the ground or into a "gopher hole," simply a hole in the ground with a lid into which you ran your gray water drain hose.

You also have a fresh water holding tank of course.
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:41 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
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Grey tank

We owe a 1971 31' which used to have just the grey water. It actually will go into your black tank when you have the 3" cover closed. so know that the black tank will fill up allot quicker. There is a "y" connector that allows it to backfill and then dump down into the black. with the inside "T" valve closed the black will stay in the tank so there is no worry unless it overflows has been our experience. When you take off the outside 3" cover the great will flow directly out, so if you let it back-fill be aware that that line will be full of grey water when you go to connect.

Five years ago we had a grey tank installed which was a similar Airstream black tank of 30 gallons, we placed it between the ribs, center coach. the dealer re-ran the plumbing placing another valve on the outside so we could have a place for the grey water. It was reasonable at $2200.00 as now the 31' has the luxury of the newest available holding systems, post 1971. ODM does a small tank in the rear as well for older Airstreams.
I actually had electric "auto drains" placed on the release outlets as well, so we can dump it all from the inside during bad weather, late nights or getting ready to leave it for a week. That has been well worth the investment.

It can be done and if your going to keep the coach or pass it down, well worth it. You can see them on the back of the coach.

Good Luck and a Merry Christmas to all.

SL4BLLT
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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As stated above there is only 1 holding tank for black water. Yes the grey water will back up into the black water tank if the drain cap is on and dump valve open. If the drain cap is on and the black tank dump valve closed it will back up into your tub.

Your other option is to get a "blue boy" portable tank. I like the 22 gal size. Smaller fills too quick and bigger too heavy. You can even tow it (slow) to the dump station and can be used for a dump of the black water at the dump station without bringing the whole trailer.

Don't tell anyone but I will also use the blue boy from time to time for a discreet but convenient watering of the flora with clean grey water when the authorities are not around.
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeloNC View Post
Hi Guys,
The manual for my '71 Sovereign says:

"The waste water from the sink, the shower, bath and lavoratory. bypasses the holding tank, yet drains through the same outlet as the waste and you will therefore need to make one connection only when hooking up in a trailer park with sewer facilities."

So, forgive me for being dense, but I don't understand where the gray water goes when you are not hooked up in a park. Does the trailer have three tanks, one for water, one for gray water and one for black water?

Thanks in advance for your answers and Merry Christmas to all.
Bill
Gray water tanks for Airstreams became a standard in the 1974 models.

Allowing the gray water to go into the black water tank, is an absolute HEALTH HAZARD.

Andy
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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CeloNC,

Andy is as always absolutely spot one with the Health Hazard of dealing with black water systems. The day the 1971 coach was designed things have changed with the laws obviously.

The blue boy is a great option, but again, keep in mind that there is residue in those lines when you dump the black, so when you connect the blue boy for grey be careful.

I always us disposal latex gloves, spray Clorox anytime I am working black or grey systems. even when I go to clean the system I will use a little Clorox in the sinks to mitigate any exposure to waste.

Good luck and be safe.

SL4BLLT
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SL4BLLT View Post
CeloNC,

Andy is as always absolutely spot one with the Health Hazard of dealing with black water systems. The day the 1971 coach was designed things have changed with the laws obviously.

The blue boy is a great option, but again, keep in mind that there is residue in those lines when you dump the black, so when you connect the blue boy for grey be careful.

I always us disposal latex gloves, spray Clorox anytime I am working black or grey systems. even when I go to clean the system I will use a little Clorox in the sinks to mitigate any exposure to waste.

Good luck and be safe.

SL4BLLT
Brand-new Airstreams as well as many other trailers dump black and grey water together into a single tank. These are usually the smaller unit such as the Sport 17'.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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Brand-new Airstreams as well as many other trailers dump black and grey water together into a single tank. These are usually the smaller unit such as the Sport 17'.
Until this "hazard" thing was pointed out by Andy I never thought of it. I think the hazard is the black water contaminating the grey water plumbing system in vintage units (including backing up and out of the tub or shower drain) and not the tank.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:04 PM   #10
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Until this "hazard" thing was pointed out by Andy I never thought of it. I think the hazard is the black water contaminating the grey water plumbing system in vintage units (including backing up and out of the tub or shower drain) and not the tank.
Absolutely correct.

Old systems are old systems.

The black water will back up into the gray water lines.

Bacteria doesn't care where it grows.

Cleaning out the gray water lines, after an episode of black water contamination, gets expensive "REAL QUICK".

And, if not done, a severe health hazard can quickly exist.

Andy
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:20 PM   #11
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Is there a possibility to convert the fresh water tank to grey water permanently if the fresh water tank is disconnected and not needed? I am concerned about not being able to dump grey water on the ground in a non-sewered campground. Not fond of the blue boy idea either and want to be safe. As you know most campgrounds have water supply but not all have sewer. Not planning on boondocking either.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Gray water tanks for Airstreams became a standard in the 1974 models.

Allowing the gray water to go into the black water tank, is an absolute HEALTH HAZARD.

Andy
Andy, were grey tanks an option in 68? I have one and it sure looks factory, but it could have been installed by the factory at a later date.

Kevin
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exsys View Post
Is there a possibility to convert the fresh water tank to grey water permanently if the fresh water tank is disconnected and not needed? I am concerned about not being able to dump grey water on the ground in a non-sewered campground. Not fond of the blue boy idea either and want to be safe. As you know most campgrounds have water supply but not all have sewer. Not planning on boondocking either.
Aside from a possible drop in resale value, and the work of re-routing the plumbing and installing an easily accessible drain valve and other inlet/outlet modifications, I see no reason why you could not do this. Anyone else on this forum done this?
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:49 PM   #14
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Andy, were grey tanks an option in 68? I have one and it sure looks factory, but it could have been installed by the factory at a later date.

Kevin
Kevin.

Gray tanks, in any form, were unheard of with Airstream trailers until the 1974 models, which then became standard.

Andy
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