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Old 10-13-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Need help with plumbing.

We are going to live in our camper. There was no toilet in it when we bought it. It looks like it had a house toilet in it. The PO also lived in it for like two years. It was then sold to another gentleman who started gutting it but changed his mind and sold to us. Today we dropped the belly pan under the rear bath. Someone please tell us the best way to plumb this for stationary live in. We are only feet away from the septic. Can we just hook up a pipe to the outlet and leave the drain valves open. Please help.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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You can not leave the valve open. The liquids will drain out of the tank, but the solids will not. It will cause a most unpleasant condition know as the "Black Hills". You should wait until the tank is around 3/4 full or more and then dump.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
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You can not leave the valve open. The liquids will drain out of the tank, but the solids will not. It will cause a most unpleasant condition know as the "Black Hills". You should wait until the tank is around 3/4 full or more and then dump.
Can we just get rid of the tank and run plumbing like in a house? And what about the tank next to it (under Sink next to the black tank?) Venting?
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:31 PM   #4
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I suppose you could plumb it up like a house with a home toilet after you remove the black tank. You will have to make considerations for the tank vent which is often shared by both tanks. Leaving the Grey tank open should not be an issue.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:41 PM   #5
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Any ideas on how to do the vent? Also how to best run the pipe? I guess the gray tank would feed into the line. As long as the external line from the toilet is low and in the septic it should drain ok?
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:42 PM   #6
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I am so glad we have MODERATORS!
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:03 AM   #7
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If you have the tanks, I would guess that the easiest way to do this would be to leave them in place, and hook up an appropriate RV toilet. As has been mentioned, gray water can be allowed to run free at all times, the black tank only dumped as needed.

With such a set up dumping the tank is about a 5 minute or less job, and perhaps not as frequent as you would think.

In addition to likely being an easier set up I imagine that an RV toilet will fit better than a residential one, and it might better preserve value in the trailer.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:36 PM   #8
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If we put a house toilet in wouldnt it flush the solids out with each flush since they use more water? What about winter? If we leave the tanks will they freeze up or will it be ok if the valves are open. Is there anyone out there who would talk to me in person? If yes I can pm my # to you. The po lived in this trailer. They had a house toilet in it. I do not know how they worked the sewer part. They let many pipes burst. I have lots of questions. But no answers.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #9
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Look at this in a little different way. The holding tank (black tank) acts a a miniture septic tank. A septic tank works by having liquids and enzymes that beak down the solids so that they flow out with the liquids. The septic tank is designed to maintain a certain depth of liquid before it reaches the discharge pipes to the leaching field.

This is why your holding tank has to be kept closed. Putting a residential toilet in could possibly pump too much water into the tank (assuming the dump valve is closed) and could theoritically slow down the breakdown of the solids. (I am not an expert on trailer tanks, but know a little bit about septic tanks). The only way I would personally use a residential toilet was if I did not have a holding tank and could run a 3" pvc line to the toilet flange, then it would dump straight into your septic tank. Not knowing the amount of space you have for a toilet, I would doubt that you could get one in because a residential toilet usually requires the flange to be approx. 12" off of the wall, although they do make more expensive toilets that can fit closer.

Another point of information is that when a residential toilet is attached to a drain pipe, the solids are channeled directly into the pipe with the water carrying the waste. If the toilet is attached to the holding tank, there is no way to channel the water and solids together to the tank drain. Instead, the solids could dispurse different directions as the fluids head straight for the exit point. A pipe forces the water to stay within a 3" diameter space and is designed to force the water to carry the solids.
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