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Old 05-27-2002, 01:45 PM   #1
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waste tanks...

did I read somewhere that older airstreams don't have both a gray-water and black-water tank? What year was it that they added a separate grey-water tank? any big disadvantage to only having one?
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Old 05-27-2002, 02:35 PM   #2
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During the timeframes that these one tank A/S were built it was quite acceptable to dump the water from sinks and showers onto the ground. Now we have zoning, EPA, and all the other comforts that modern society brings about, the practice in many places is no longer allowed.....thus the need for two tanks...or at least the need to buy a "blue external tank" to store the gray water into.

You really don't want gray water into your black water tank due to the potential for backflow into your sink or shower once the tank fills.

Jack
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Old 05-27-2002, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
What year was it that they added a separate grey-water tank?
Grey water tanks began in 1973.

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Old 05-27-2002, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re-plumbing, should I add a grey tank?

I have a 1961 Bambi, I currently have it gutted and will re-plumb the entire unit. Should I add a grey water tank? If so, where should I look to get one?

I have a 25 gallon white water tank, would it be ok to have a smaller grey tank? I don't think I can find the room for another 25 gallon tank.

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Old 05-27-2002, 03:51 PM   #5
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This is a classic example of something not running uphill.

If you look at the waste system, the Black water tank is sitting high in the waste system loop, under the step up in the bath area. A grey tank will have to be low in the waste loop so that the shower will drain from the P-trap and into the tank and not back up.

One novel solution that I have seen was built from 6-inch PVC pipe and U-fittings or 90deg ells close nippled together. It was connected in a close fitting series of loops in the space between the belly pan and the floor and the waste line was run to it. Still would need to be lower than the shower p-trap or the full capacity would not be utilized. Not sure what this would do to weight distribution though if pulled full of water. It would have to be supported from the frame as water weighs 6 pound per gallon.

I would just get a 25 gallon wheeled blue tank and stow it in the bath when under way and store it under the trailer when parked or hooked up to shore. A lot cheaper and no labor involved.

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Edited for the usual typo's, in a hurry, have 40 people over for a Memorial day BBQ (Honor our Fallen Freedom Fighters)
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Old 05-27-2002, 04:10 PM   #6
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Re: Re-plumbing, should I add a grey tank?

Quote:
Originally posted by Organic Hosting

I have a 25 gallon white water tank, would it be ok to have a smaller grey tank? I don't think I can find the room for another 25 gallon tank.

Thanks,

Andy
Andy,
You can probably get away with adding a tank if you are going to empty it before travel. Your Bambi wasn't designed for the weight load that an additional tank would add when traveling.

Personally I'd buy a portable blue tank. It's probably not worth the effort to try to add an onboard tank....especially if its small. At that point you would now be in a situation where you have a small full gray water tank. You will find that with the rolling tanks available, it's much easier to roll them to the dump station to empty than to deal with a small full gray water tank.

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Old 05-27-2002, 10:18 PM   #7
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Talking My reasoning

The way I see it, the trailer will not be adding much extra weight, only the actual weight of the grey tank. The water will simply be re-distributed.

My plan is to use the trailer most for short trips. Some may be down to the local river to fly fish or as base camp and lunch spot on a day of hiking. On those days I certainly want to be able to use the sink. So maybe putting a small grey tank (5-10 gallons) for sink water would suffice? When I go on longer trips and want to use the shower, then a portable blue tank could be used (if I was in an area that did not allow direct discard or the grey water).

Questions? Comments? Your input will keep me from having to make a mistake and learn the hard way! THANKS.
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Old 05-27-2002, 10:39 PM   #8
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Re: My reasoning

Quote:
Originally posted by Organic Hosting
The way I see it, the trailer will not be adding much extra weight, only the actual weight of the grey tank. The water will simply be re-distributed.
Andy,
You're right if 10 gallons out of your fresh water goes into the gray. In that instance it really then only becomes an issue of where you place the new tank. If it is in the same area of the fresh water tank then you haven't done much to affect the trailer. But if you place the tank in a different area, you technically are making an alteration that could affect handling. Also if you don't dump the new gray water tank and take on more fresh water, you then increase the load.....not an issue here if you can keep the trailer at or below the GVWR.

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Old 06-03-2002, 05:30 AM   #9
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another question on the subject....

The trailer I just looked at only has a single waste tank (73 safari), but the owner showed me how it hooks up to the sewer...there was only 1 connection under the trailer. So I can only assume that all the wastewater goes into the black water tank. I think this would be rather limiting at some of the places that I'd like to camp....(no sewer hookups...just a dump station). I guess these folks only like to go to places that have full sewer hookups, so its not a problem for them. But how much of a horror-show would it be to separate the system out so I could use one of those portable blue things?
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Old 06-03-2002, 06:01 AM   #10
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The grey pipes should just connect into the sewer pipe. The grey water would just be dumped on the ground in 1973. If I am right (someonone who KNOWS pipe up!) then both systems are seperate. You could attach a tote-tank to the sewer fittting and collect the grey water without modifying your trailer.
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Old 06-04-2002, 10:20 AM   #11
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But.....

I'm thinking that they must have re-plumbed this so that the grey water goes into the black-water tank. They only hook up a single slinky to the sewer, and there doesn't seem to be any other connection under the trailer for grey-water. The owner's told me that it all comes out that one pipe.

I did see a hole of some sort in the aft end of the trailer that I'm assuming was the original waste port for the grey water. It is located in the rear-curbside corner of the trailer, and is about 2 inches in diameter. doesn't look like anything has come out of there for a long time. I asked the owner what it was, and he didn't even know it was there!

What I'm wondering is how difficult will it be to re-configure so I can have a separate grey tank. (portable external, or otherwise). It doesn't look like its very easy to access the plumbing.....
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:31 PM   #12
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Chuck,

after re-reading your question and my reply I khink I may not have given you a full explanation.

All waste water will come out of the main outlet that the prior owners have been hooking up to a sewer fitting. This is the standard for ALL RV's even today. In the case of a trailer with no grey tank the grey water will just flow into the main outlet and flow down the sewer hose. When camping where you have no sewer but can drain grey water on the ground, most RV'ers connect an old piece of GREEN Garden hose (3-4 feet) to the small hose fitting on the sewer cap. If the cap you have is without fitting, you can get one at Camping World. This hose is then typically tossed under the trailer to allow the grey water to drain on the ground without passers by walking thru it. This is the way everyone at the international rallies have to drain grey water.

It you were to hook up a tote tank to the main serwer outlet then you could collect this grey water and "tote" it to an approiate dump location.

The 2 inch "Hole" you mentioned may be a prior owner modification to store the sewer drain hose.

You are correct in your statement that the plumbing would be difficult to get to, I would just get the tote tank if I were you.
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Old 06-04-2002, 02:48 PM   #13
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My 1971 also does not have a grey water tank. The grey water system connects to the sewer line just downstream of the dump valve for the black tank. In my opinion, it is easier to use a 15 gallon blue rolling tank for the grey water. Besides, at the rate my wife and kids use the water, I have to empty the 15 gallon tank every day (and I'm not going to pull up camp for that with a fixed tank!). Cheers!
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Old 06-04-2002, 02:54 PM   #14
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Ok, I think I've got it now....

You'll have to excuse my ignorance...never owned any kind of camper before....

So is it ok to just dump grey water onto the ground like that? I suppose it must depend on your location....

So the system must look something like this:
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