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Old 05-25-2004, 06:10 PM   #15
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guestion?

What model year were the first grey water tanks used? just wondering, June
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
What model year were the first grey water tanks used?
They were introduced as an option in 1973 and became standard the next year.

Shari
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:51 PM   #17
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well...

>>Talk to someone about draining grey water on the ground, and it sounds really questionable. But draining wash water on the ground sounds totally benign. This is turning into a big issue in some places, and a simple change in vocabulary might make a difference in the long run.<<

Well, there are reasons that some find it objectionable, regardless of the terminology. Out here in the West we do not get rain for almost 6 months in the summer. It is no fun as a tent camper to be setting up in areas where others have been dumping wash water that is full of grease, soap and food particles, not to mention what else might be in there from the bathroom sink and shower. It tends to start accumulating, attracting flies, rodents, etc. And yes, tent campers can be bad about it too, but we should all do the best we can to minimize it.

As I mentioned in a prior post, out in the middle of nowhere I am not worried about it but in places where others are going to be camping or sleeping I try to capture it in some way.

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Old 05-26-2004, 08:03 AM   #18
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When you consider blue tank side figure full weight will be 8 pound per gallon. 10 gallon tank 80 pounds. 25 gallon tank 200 lbs. For the larger tanks the ones with all of the wheels on the ground look easier to deal move around.
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
They were introduced as an option in 1973 and became standard the next year.

Shari
I recently purchased a sevice manual for 1973, and there is absolutely no mention of a grey tank in there for any model. perhaps they added the option in the middle of the year.

another forum user e-mailed me some scans of the plumbing diagrams on 1975 models, and the "auxilliary" tanks, as they were called, were tiny. like "10 gallons". sort of like "why bother?"

psych: don't forget to add in the weight of the tank itself. they aren't exactly light weight. very ruggedly built. the shipping weight on my 25g 4-wheeler (pictured above) is 37lbs.
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
just about anywhere. its a standard item. most any rv place should have them.

there is an issue about "valterra" vs. "thedford"....I think most A/Ss have the valtera 2-prong bayonet fitting, while others have a 4-prong. There is an adapter available to go from one to the other.

http://www.mobile-mart.com/valswrcn4.htm
I think our outlet is 2 prong, and our hose adapter is for a 4 prong - no wonder it is so hard to attach it - the water intake line interfers with the 4th 'hook' on the adapter. You gotta gimme a break, we've only had the Safari out once, after all. Learn something new everyday.

Thanks for the link, I'll be bookmarking it, and that thundertank caravan shot is priceless! Talk about SOBs!
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
I think our outlet is 2 prong, and our hose adapter is for a 4 prong - no wonder it is so hard to attach it -
yeah, that'll be a problem. one other thing I've discovered is that these caps and hose adapters have a little gasket..."o-ring" thingy in them, that creates a tight seal. you want that tight seal when dumping. I learned about this when I was using the correct attachement, too...just didn't have it snapped in place completely. while it wasn't a catasrophe, there was "dribbling". good thing I had gloves. But anyway, the point is, with the wrong adapter, it may kinda-sorta attach...but you don't want to use it. make sure you have the right one. they have an adapter available...found it on the shelf at my local rv supply place, but you can mail order them, too. Check this page...down at the bottom. the "universal adapter". turns the 2 prong thingy into a 4-prong thingy. http://www.valterra.com/RV/term_assemblies.htm

(I bought this gizmo a while back called the "sewer solution"...tried to attach it, and found out it wouldn't fit, because it had the 4-prong thingy. so I got one of these adapters...).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
the water intake line interfers with the 4th 'hook' on the adapter.
what water intake line??


Quote:
Originally Posted by mtpalms
Thanks for the link, I'll be bookmarking it, and that thundertank caravan shot is priceless! Talk about SOBs!
What do you mean, "SOB"? that was at an official wally-club rally, actually. and there was another truck ahead of us...he took off too fast, and didn't make it into the picture.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:55 AM   #22
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From the Vintage Airstream Club's FAQ section...

Quote:
Gray Water
Quote:

Q: When did Gray Water tanks appear?
A: 1973 on Excella 500's, all models in 1974.

Q: If the Airstream didn't have a Gray Water Tank, where does it go? There is only one outlet on my trailer.
A: The drain lines from the shower and sinks are routed to just below the Black Water tank dump valve but before the sewer hose fitting. This allows you many options to handle both Gray and Black Water:

When traveling down the road, you have usually have the cap on the dump fitting outlet. You cannot run any water in the trailer in this condition, because the only Gray Water storage you have is the 1 1/2" drain piping from the dump fitting to the shower. The first indication that you've done wrong will be water in the shower, bubbling up through the drain.

In camp with sewer hookups, your dump valve is closed, trapping waste in the black tank, and the outside dump fitting has a hose going to the sewer connection in place of the cap. Gray water drains down into the sewer as you use water in the trailer. When the black tank is almost full, you add some more water and open the dump valve. After it's all drained, add a couple or 3 more gallons of water down the toilet to finish the job.

In camp with no sewer connection, you usually can't let the Gray Water run on the ground. Use your Blue Tank connected to the dump fitting with a short piece of garden hose with a female connection on each end. They sell these hoses, they're sometimes included with a new Blue Bomber, or you can one. If your dump fitting is low to the ground you can drain directly into the opening of the Blue Tank. You'll need to dump the Blue tank every few days, depending on its size and your water usage habits. Black Water is kept in the closed Black Water tank until you break camp and empty it at a Dump Station.

If you don't have a Blue Tank, but can't drain into the ground, install a cap on your dump fitting and open the dump valve. The Gray Water will 'back up' into the Black Tank, which will now serve dual purpose (and fill MUCH faster!). You must close the dump valve before removing the cap to attach the sewer hose to drain the contents. You'll get a quart or 2 of (mostly) Gray water as the end of the lines drain out. If you forget to close the dump valve, you're gonna have a helluva mess (brown trout, too) all over the place.

Lastly, in camp in a rustic setting where it is allowed, the dump valve is closed and the Gray Water runs onto the ground. The usual connection is a piece of garden hose that's several feet long, connected to an adapter on your dump fitting; this makes it clear to anyone walking by that you're not dumping black water. Some folks use a bucket under the outlet, usually with a hole in the bottom (Leaky Bucket". You must go to a dump station to empty the Black Tank, or use a Blue Tank to transport the contents to the dump station periodically.
Shari
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:18 PM   #23
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Just out of interest I have heard many times people relating to water backing up into the shower pan. We have a 69 model and our black tank is above the shower pan. However we also have a screw in rubber stopper that when placed correctly it is water tight and nothing can get back in. Is it that everyone is missing this type of stopper - or that their drain did not have a screw type installed?? If not this might be a good replacement project to save any misshaps.

We are considering installing a gray water tank but have a problem with the shower pan - as the drain sticks below the level of the frame. The shower is a an all in one fiberglass unit so without ripping the whole thing out and replacing with a new one - custom made - big bucks our idea is to rig up some kind of "bilge" pump that would sit in the shower drain and pump up to the gray water tank.

However in the interim we will be investing in a Blue Tote-along - we think we should be able to get away with a 15 gallon tank as per a forum members recommendation of half the size of our fresh water tank.

What size tanks do others use - just the two of us with 2 dogs????

When we had a water softener in our home it gave us our average water use per day - with all the conveniences of home and daily showers it stated 2.75 gallons per day - this should give us a minimum of 12 days on our fresh water tank.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
...
what water intake line??
.....
Where the white water hose attaches to the city water connection. On our Safari, the water connection runs underneath the belly pan and sticks out back between trailer body and the bumper where it connects to the white hose, and the water line runs toward the water heater. The sewer outlet is so close to it, that there is barely enough room to connect the sewer hose - providing it has the correct bayonet connector. One of the extra 2 prongs on the 'wrong' connector hits the water line, making it impossible to turn it enough to make a satisfactory seal. We didn't have any dribbles on our first time out, but I knew that the connection wasn't right, somehow.

Judging by your picture, your plumbing is configured differently. Better, actually. Even though it is sealed, having the clean water and the waste water going in and out at such close proximity (like 6 inches, maybe), gives one pause. But since '71 Safari owners aren't dropping dead from cholera or any nasty bugs, I guess it's okay the way it is.

Thanks for the Valterra link, too.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:40 PM   #25
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2.75 gallons a day???

2.75 gallons a day???

I think there's a mistake in there somewhere.

??

Connie
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:58 PM   #26
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hmm...2.75 gallons does sound a bit low. that's only 5 flushes.

mtpalms: hmmm....(lots of "hmmm...ming" today) your trailer is a 23'? and the sewer outlet isn't in the middle of the trailer? its in the street-side corner? does it come through the bumper compartment? (I thought they didn't add that 'till later...). I know a guy that has a 71 23', and I'll be seeing him in a couple of weeks...I'll have to check it out. The only difference that I noticed between his trailer and mine, is the location of the water heater. they moved it up front some time between 71 and 73. But I thought everything else was the same. Oh, well...could be a "retrofit".

I was thinking about re-arranging my plumbing to add a grey tank, moving the sewer outlet to the streetside corner and so forth, and was thinking the same thing about the fresh water connection. "would that be too close?" gotta think these things through....
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Old 05-26-2004, 02:27 PM   #27
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On my 71 Safari the sewer outlet is on the driver's side rear corner, right in front of the fresh water inlet, same as Mt Palms.
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Old 05-26-2004, 02:36 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
mtpalms: hmmm....(lots of "hmmm...ming" today) your trailer is a 23'? and the sewer outlet isn't in the middle of the trailer? its in the street-side corner?
Yes
Quote:
does it come through the bumper compartment?
No

Quote:
I was thinking about re-arranging my plumbing to add a grey tank, moving the sewer outlet to the streetside corner and so forth, and was thinking the same thing about the fresh water connection. "would that be too close?" gotta think these things through....
I'll try to get a picture tonight when I get home. According to the serial number it's definitely a '71, but it seems to have things that belong on other model years, like square ceiling lights instead of rectangular - things that would leave scars if they were add ons or retrofits - but don't. And the stuff in the owners manual that came with it matches what's on the trailer. Unless it was made with a combination of parts left over from the year before and the year it was made - I have heard of that. I'm not familiar enough with Airstreams in general to know what is stock and what isn't for any given year. One of the reasons too, that I am anxious to get to a rally, so I can see what everyone else's looks like.

Re: 2.75 gallons. I think that's the amount per flush for most residential toilets nowadays, isn't it? My owner's manual (not at hand, naturally) for my trailer goes into detail about how to use the sprayer to conserve water and black tank space, and gives an approximate amount of times one can use the loo before needing to empty the tank. It works out to about 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon - about 40 flushes into a 27 gallon tank (the size of the black tank on my trailer) when using the sprayer; instead of filling the bowl, using the bowl, then flushing it.
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