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Old 07-30-2008, 07:32 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 28
etters , Pennsylvania
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Holding tank issue

This weekend, after everyones suggestions, we kept our valves closed. The problem we had was that all of a sudden this stinky water started coming up through our shower drain. Our toilet did not seem full. We do not take showers in our 72 Argosy. We do wash dishes, etc., and started to use the potty for both occasionally. What do you think the problem is? We don't have an owners manual. Thanks
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:48 AM   #2
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'73 was the start of transition to gray tanks that was complete in '74. Do you have a gray tank? Or rather -- does yours have the normal above-floor black tank that seems a consistent feature of Argosy trailers? This would appear to be a low profile toilet sitting on top of about 10-11" cabinet above floor level.

Stinky water coming up through the shower is the first sign of a full gray tank in my experience. Gray water is very stinky. A gray tank deodorizer helps only a little. Unfortunately these early gray tanks weren't very large. I forget ... 15 gallons? You might extend your ability with a portable blue boy tank. It's illegal in most places to dump gray water on the ground.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:50 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like the valve was NOT closed for the black tank, but the termination cap was on the sewer pipe, so black water backed up into the grey water lines, and since the shower pan is lower than the black tank, it fills with the nasty stuff.

either that, or the valve was "closed", but leaking. Not surprising, seeing as it hasn't been used regularly.

I'll see if I can dig up a picture or diagram. you know what they say: "worth a thousand words"...


(no grey tanks in 1973. if any factory-installed ones exists, they're very rare. no mention of it in either the owner's or service manual, on any model.).
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:53 AM   #4
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Do you have a grey tank??
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Oats View Post
What do you think the problem is? We don't have an owners manual. Thanks
The reason is You Used Too Much Water.

If your trailer has a 2 valve system you can leave the gray water valve open and take those 10 min. shower. It is not the gray water that warrants keeping the valve closed it is the black water tank that warrant this attention. The nature of the black water tank contents requires lots of water to completely empty the tank. Leaving the black water tank valve open will soon result in the construction of what is referred to as a Mound building up directly below the toilet. Not a fun thing to deal with.

If you trailer is of the single valve type you are advised to leave the valve closed and manage your water usage based on your length of stay.

I have a 2 valve system and still leave the valves closed. The reason being I use the gray water as an additional flush for the black water tank. I dump the black first, then lift the valve end of the hose above the tank level, open the gray water valve, let water back flow into the black tank for 10 or 15 seconds, closed the gray water valve, and drop the hose to allow this additional water to flow from the black water tank. Once the black water tank is empty close it's valve and drain the remaining gray water.

That extra water is for the paper work and you know you are not done till the paper work is done.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:20 AM   #6
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Here is a pic of my drain, just to illustrate the relative positioning of all the parts.



the black pipes coming in to the sides of this contraption are the grey water drains from the sinks and the shower. there is no grey tank; they just attach to the "exhaust pipe" below the black tank valve.
The black tank is on top...the camera view is from below the trailer, looking "up".
If the termination cap is left on, as it is in this picture, and the dump valve either leaks, or is left open, the contents of the black tank will fill that drain pipe, and back up the grey water drain lines, and back-fill your shower.
OR: this could have nothing to do with the black tank, if you left the cap on, and ran any water at all in the sink/shower. that water has to go somewhere...those drain pipes will only hold a couple of gallons, max.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:25 AM   #7
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Here's a drawing, that shows more of a "big picture" view of how a no-grey-tank system is put together. Things might be positioned differently in your particular trailer, but the concepts are the same.


if you cap that drain pipe, the grey water has no place to go. you have to use a portable "blue boy" to collect the grey water.
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