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Old 07-14-2015, 04:35 AM   #1
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Longport , New Jersey
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In the Berkshires - with grey water issue

We are staying at a campground with electric and water only. We have an older 64 28' land yacht.

The grey water keeps entering the shower pan, so I assume it's not backing up and entering the black tank.

Is this because I'm not level?

Thanks for any help. It's been a super frustrating trip so far.

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Old 07-14-2015, 04:51 AM   #2
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The gray water may not be plumbed to enter the black tank. My old AS the gray water was plumbed directly outside through a valve, not to any tank.

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Old 07-14-2015, 05:07 AM   #3

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Question You have a grey tank?

Our 63 Safari did not have a grey tank, with the cap on, the shower pan got the grey water. You could use a roll-around 'blue tank'.

We used the modified 'honey hole method" Scoop out an appropriate sized hole, place a plastic dish pan with 6, 1/2" holes in the bottom and a layer of cheese cloth over them to catch the kah-kah.
Some will say that hh's are a no no, but it's better than throwing your dish water into the bushes, still see that a lot today even with grey tanks.

.......or do the 'rite' thing and install a tank.

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Old 07-14-2015, 05:15 AM   #4
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Bob, good idea but be careful you don't get caught. Some places frown upon such practices. Having said that, I have done similar.
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:45 AM   #5
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So just figured out what was going on. As mentioned before, I'm at a campground without sewer hookups.

I have a 64' land yacht with a small black tank only.

At the moment the sewer cap is on and my backwater valve is shut. So my grey water was just backing up into the shower pan. Unpleasant, but I can deal with that.

Just read a few posts explaining that "catching" my grey water in the black tank (by keeping my cap on and opening my black water valve isn't ideal, but I'm camping now and don't have a blue boy.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:06 AM   #6
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You only have two options as I see it. 1. Stop letting gray water run down the drain. Use a pot in the sink to catch water and either dump it outside (this could be a no no where you are) or down the toilet. Do not use the interior shower. Shower outside using a hose or us the campground showers. 2. Find out where the closest RV store is and go buy a Blue Boy. In any case buy one one before your next trip, just in case you end up at another park with no sewer dump.
Careful of advice here that possibly could cause you legal problems.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:25 AM   #7
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If there is a cap on the dump which has a small hose fitting. open that hose fitting cap and the water will drain out. It is made for the water to drain thru a hose to a selected dump site....the blue boy, the ground or a dump tank.....You can dump directly to bucket too. I suggest the bucket in your present Camp location unless they allow the hose to ground. This will get you going till you figure it out. Don't use the shower pan plan. Gray water stinks.
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:58 AM   #8
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Thanks all. I'm grateful for the help. The vintage airstream learning curve has been steep, and most of my time using the airstream has been stressful so far (Fixing and troubleshooting)

Like trying to learn how to surf as an adult -- most don't get past the initial frustration.

So many times I've wanted to drive this thing straight into the ocean, then I get a glimpse of what this is all about and then I gain the strength to endure more airstream torture.

I figure I have two options at this point (assuming I'm going to hang in there):

Spend a little more money and outfit the plumbing situation or sell my unit and pony up the money for a newer unit with less gremlins. However, I'm sure the stress of trying to keep a new unit clean and nice has its own baggage. We have kids and a big dog, so control over everything isn't totally realistic.

Thanks again. You folks have been great to me.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:17 AM   #9
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Before the 70s it was standard operating procedure to just dump the grey water. My 73 argosy has no grey water tank either. With the drain cap on, the grey water accumulates until it fills the bath tub/shower. A portable tank, in my case a blue boy, solved the issue. This is an easy solution, <$100, compared to installing an on board grey water tank.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:22 AM   #10
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On the issue you are having with grey water, you can get your grey water to circulate up into your black tank using your cap-and-open-black-valve method, but if your black tank sits on the floor inside your trailer, and your shower pan sits on the floor as well, you are going to get a combination of black and grey water backing up into the shower pan, which is mucho-nasty. You could go to a hardware store and get a rubber plug, the type which has a bolt going through it, so that as you tighten a wing nut on the top, the plug expands, you might plug the drain on your shower and keep all grey/black water out.

There are still some short-comings to this operation, primarily that your black tank is not very large, so even doing minimal dish washing and teeth brushing, you may fill it up pretty quick, and that your grey water plumbing is going to fill up with a mix of a few quarts of grey/black water. When you get ready to drain your black tank at the end of the trip, you will close your black valve, but get ready when you remove that cap, because all of the stored funky water in your grey water pipes is going to come flooding out. Best be ready with some kind of bucket or basin.

Yes, the vintage trailers are going to have 40+ years worth of age and design related problems. It is best to manage your expectations. As they say, "hope for the best and prepare for the worst." Even newer trailers will suffer quality control issues, and leaks (which can lead to floor rot and and all those troubles usually associated with vintage units). For your purposes, a Blue boy is a relatively cheap and easy solution to grey water at parks without sewer connections. Your trailer can be retrofitted with grey tanks--people do it all the time. It takes some time and effort, or some cash to have someone do it, but it isn't like a floor replacement.

good luck!

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