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Old 08-18-2002, 04:51 AM   #1
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grey water tank BIG question

Ok. We have finally found a trailer we're <<<<<<that close to being in love with!>>>>>> here's the kicker. We're told it has NO grey water tank, which I only just this moment came to understand means there's no teeth brushing, showering, washing dishes without being hooked up somewhere!!

I must admit I"m not a big "black-top, hook-it-up, campers world" kind of person....I like more natural settings and like to have that option but spoiled enough to want a hot bath along the way without having to be hooked up all the time.

What are the options here?

I did read a post about getting a blue tank but after a search on the net I can't even find a site that lists such a thing and have no clue how much they are and how difficult, or uncomfortable they would be to use. This is new territory for us. We're about to go full-time into this so I would LOVE some insight, advice, opinions, feelings...you name it I'm open!

Should we avoid purchasing this beautiful vintage trailer if it doesn't have a grey water tank? Any thoughts....
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:54 AM   #2
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OH! one more thing

This trailer squeezes under our vehicles towing capacity at 27' - well maybe a little than squeezes - it's acceptable....would adding a grey water tank be advisable?

Is it extremely difficult? expensive? Would it be worth getting the trailer without grey tank?

Thanks so much for any responses in advance
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Old 08-18-2002, 06:48 AM   #3
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Any of the rv stores will have the "blue" tanks (a wheeled sits on the ground version of the gray tank). Mobile mart has a pretty good price. If you don't intend to go to parks with hook-ups, you will have to get it to somewhere to dump it, a couple of smaller ones may be easier. You do learn to conserve water, for weekends and short trips this is very possible to do, I did it for years with 2 young girls.

All-rite is a source for custom tanks. It would be a lot of work to install one, but if you really love this trailer it is pretty good sized and would be a great addition.

John
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Old 08-18-2002, 01:51 PM   #4
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Can you explain ??

John, thanks for your post - what I still don't understand when you say you can conserve water without a grey tank...what do you mean? How can I conserve water if I can't even use anything but the toilet? There isn't anything to conserve.

Maybe I'm still confused here. Can the sink/dishes/shower/bathroom sink go into the black tank? If they can't then if the trailer isn't on hookups it appears you can't use those things in the trailer at all......am I correct in that?

Can you brush your teeth? Can you bird bath at least knowing it is going into the black tank or can you simply not use anything but the toilet?

I'm green with this - learning fast - but still green so please detail your answer.

So appreciated,
Andrea
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Old 08-18-2002, 02:50 PM   #5
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Everything but the toilet is gray water, so you do need a 'blue' tank for a bird bath, to brush your teeth, etc.

Clarification on conservation-

I was referring to having to dump the gray/blue tanks, refill the fresh. When you brush your teeth at home, you turn the water on, let it run. When camping get the brush damp, shut the water off. Same for showers, etc. The fresh water goes fast, just has to be dumped. You quickly learn to make it through with suprisingly little fresh water, won't have to go out in the middle of the weekend to refill and dump. The blue tanks are not that bad of a system; not as convenient as a gray tank, but if the trailer is in good shape and a good price I would not let this deter me. You just have a little more hassle with the gray water.


John
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Old 08-18-2002, 05:09 PM   #6
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How much to...

HOw much do you think it would cost to put a gray tank in this trailer? 27 ft. Overlander.

Do you think it would be worth it?
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Old 08-18-2002, 05:23 PM   #7
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Andrea,
My 71 Tradewind has an added on grey water tank. I have no clue how big it is, but it holds plenty of waste water to keep up with the black tank.
I am guessing it is 30 Gal or so.
It is mounted between the frame right behind the rear axle. The tanks are available in hundreds of sizes and shapes. Usually they are very flat, but long and wide, sort of like a small mattress. This way they go between the frame sections. I am sure that a competent RV Shop can install one for you, together with the necessary plumbing and dump valves etc. It all makes sense once you see it.
I have to tell you that we don't use it that much. Very many parks and campgrounds allow you to drain the grey water in the ground, because it is not a hazardous substance, and tent campers essentially do the same thing.
When you tent camp and wash your dishes, the waste water goes in a bush, right?
Anyways, I suggest taking the additional expense over letting an otherwise great trailer go to someone else. Good Luck.
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Old 08-18-2002, 06:05 PM   #8
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I agree with Uwe. If it is a good trailer grab it, get a blue tank to start. The only difference is loading it up before you leave. Later you can have a gray tank installed if the blue tank is too much hassle.

John
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:17 PM   #9
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I also have a 1971 25" Rear Bath model. It did not come with a grey water tank. We do mostly camping and NOT RV Parks, usually for at least a week or more at a time. At the rate my wife and kids use the water, it makes no sense for me to have a grey tank installed (I would fill it too fast). I have a 15 gallon blue rolling tank that I pretty much empty every day and a 10 gallon for a backup! The size (15 gallon) is about as big as I can go since it will weigh 130 lbs when full. We store them in the bathtub (or in the truck bed) when on the road. I've had the black water tank out and fitting a grey up in there would cost plenty with all the structure mods, plumbing changes and such. To me the blue tank is easy and relatively cheap, plus when it's full I don't have to pull up camp to empty it. Cheers!
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Old 08-21-2002, 07:24 PM   #10
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I'm confused. Are you telling me that Airstream made a 25' trailer with a bathroom but no Grey water tank? That seems odd to me. The tanks themselves aren't that expensive, just a matter of finding someone who can find a spot for it and run the drain to it. I don't think we're talking big bucks or an engineer to make it happen. I would prefer the tank over wheeling the blue tank around.....but than again I'm kind of a city-slicker.....

Ken
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Old 08-21-2002, 07:45 PM   #11
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Ken,

Most Airstream trailers before 74 had no grey tanks at all. I had a 74 Overlander that had a 10 gallon grey.

The reason for the lack of grey tanks was due to the fact that most people have always drained their grey water on the ground, not in a sewer. The EPA started requiring the capture of grey water starting in the mid 70's.
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Old 08-21-2002, 10:26 PM   #12
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kzener40 wrote:

Quote:
I'm confused. Are you telling me that Airstream made a 25' trailer with a bathroom but no Grey water tank?
The BLACK tank is for sewer (ie. toilet). I believe that since the early 60's (at least, maybe 50's) the trailers all had BLACK tanks for sewer. The GREY tank is for dishwater & showers, etc. and GREY water ran onto the ground or into "gopher holes". It wasn't until 73/74 that GREY tanks were added. Alot of the early trailers (pre-195-something?) they didn't have either BLACK or GREY tanks and "gopher holes" were utilized for both.

Hopefully this clears things up...if anybody knows more exact dates...please feel free to correct me ~

Shari
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Old 08-21-2002, 11:27 PM   #13
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kzener40 wrote:
Quote:
I don't think we're talking big bucks or an engineer to make it happen.
Actually I am an engineer! I've had my whole black system out so I know what's up there. It can be done, but to do it correctly and have all the plumbing work like the newer trailers (all into a single outlet), have suitable structure to hold the weight (water weighs 8.4 lbs/gal), and without destroying the integrity of the belly pan is not something for any shop. Cheers!
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Old 08-22-2002, 03:37 AM   #14
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Quote for grey tank so far

Glad to see you guys posting about this - it helps me put this in perspective.

I have called a few shops that say they can handle the job and are reputable shops here in Portland. I am being told that the tank will probably have to be custom made and will run about $300 and the install with plumbing and everything about $500 for a cost between 800 - 900.

That is what I've learned thus far. For the convenience of it I am thinking it is the way to go, even with the cost.

Anyone know any more than that I would love to hear it!

Andrea
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