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Old 06-23-2011, 04:50 PM   #1
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New owner 2011 30ft int. Serenity

Hi folks, Just took my new 30 ft. Out for our first expedition. We were at wildwood state park on long island n.y. We had full hookup. Everything was going smoothe till the toilet overflowed into my brand new trailer.I was brushing my teeth with the water running freely as the gray water valve was wide open , so I had no concern. The black water valve was closed,as it should be. Much to my surprise I discovered airstream has the gray water from the bathroom sink going intO the black tank. I called customer service and they said that configuratiOn for the plumbing was fine. I told them they had to be kidding, gray water belongs in the gray water tank period. It is unacceptable to Me tO have it built this way. Can someone give me an opinion on this and if it is acceptable on a new unit thankyou
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:35 PM   #2
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Kinda odd - my 2011 30' Classic I assumed bathroom sink goes to grey.. I sure do use it that way...
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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How long did it take to brush your teeth? The black water tanks on these models are pretty big . . .
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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Acceptable? I'm not sure if I can answer THAT, but it seems to be a common setup in newer trailers, I've seen several references to it on the forums. (And a number of expressions of surprised from people who figured it out.) I know that one of the issues people sometimes have with the blackwater system is that there's not enough liquid for complete dumping, maybe this is a way to both extend gray capacity and assure there's enough liquid in the black system to liquefy all the solids.

The sink should have a P-trap in the drain, and the level of the toilet should be much lower than the sink bowl, so it wouldn't be an issue with a black backup into the sink. I don't see it as a big problem, just an "it's that way" sort of thing. Of course, I didn't get nasty water overflowing on to my trailer floor, I'm sure I'd be irritated about that part.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Conservation

When I boondock, one of my strategies is to pump water from the shower tray down the toilet so that my gray tank doesn't fill up becoming the first thing that forces me back to civilization.

Having the sink drain into the toilet is really a benefit in that insures that the solid waste CAN dissolve.

Now a word. Things are different in an RV. The water used to flush the toilet?... about 2 cups. In a home toilet 1.5 gallons is accepted for a water saving model. Letting the water run while brushing your teeth? We mostly all do it, but why? A 6 oz. cup will give you plenty to wet your brush, and rinse your mouth. If you start boondocking and let 2 to 3 cups run down the drain per day, with 2 people you'd be throwing away a gallon per day. (I recently completed a trip to Texas - 105 degree heat most days. I showered or at least rinsed off sometimes 4 times per day just so I didn't feel caked in dust-laden sweat.

I like people to see me before they smell me, and I would have been VERY unhappy if I'd run out of water on a few 300 mile strips where I didn't see a general store or a gas station! Also that white water could have been a life-saver if the vehicle had broken down or overheated. (dramatic and a bit overblown, I have On-Star after all.) Conservation is just a habit you'll want to develop in the Airstream... and eventually expand to the rest of your activities.

Congratulations on your new 30 ft trailer. ENJOY IT. The amount of water that goes from the sink to the black tank can be trivial. Your concern about segregating them so completely? Not to be gross but... you wash your "pink parts" in the shower, and I'll bet there is a tiny amount of stuff that ends up in the gray tank that is technically "black tank material". Oh, and once you dump it... it ends up in the same sewer.

Now for my next "oval office rant".
Why not have a built in bidet and dryer system so that toilet paper can be eliminated? In the tiny space, gymnastics are sometimes required to do complete and thorough "paperwork", and when my Sewer Solution clogs up, it's always the PAPER that does it, every thing else liquifies.
Paula
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:04 PM   #6
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My experience is the same with both an International and current Flying Cloud - bathroom sink water into black tank.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:56 PM   #7
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Is this something seen only in "Newer" AS units. We have an '85 Excella. I have never investigated just where the sink drain goes. Just assumed ( and we all know where that gets us ) that it goes into the grey tank. Wouldn't upset me to find it draining to the black tank but it would be nice to know.

Any ideas how to determine where it drains. That is ideas that don't require pulling up the floor.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:23 PM   #8
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Bidet in a RV, that is a new idea.
I have not seen that yet.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:01 PM   #9
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My 2002 ASCL 31' bathroom sink drain merges with the shower drain on it's way to the grey tank. I personally would not want my sink draining into the black tank because it just doesn't follow logically, as the OP has found out.

If I want extra water in my black tank, and sometimes I do, I just open ONLY the toliot water valve by partially depressing the pedal which doesn't open the sliding valve and thereby allows the toliot to compeletly fill to the brim at which time I then fully depress the pedal to "surge" flush any "tower" of solid waste that has accumulated.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by withidl View Post
My 2002 ASCL 31' bathroom sink drain merges with the shower drain on it's way to the grey tank. I personally would not want my sink draining into the black tank because it just doesn't follow logically, as the OP has found out.

If I want extra water in my black tank, and sometimes I do, I just open ONLY the toliot water valve by partially depressing the pedal which doesn't open the sliding valve and thereby allows the toliot to compeletly fill to the brim at which time I then fully depress the pedal to "surge" flush any "tower" of solid waste that has accumulated.
Thankyou for an appreciation of following logic . The engineer / designer who decided to shortcut the proper plumbing route obviously does not subscribe to our philosophy. The bathroom sink is on the opposite side of the shower in my trailer. Also ,just so everyone understands I love the look of my new as so much it's just a let-down to not have it as close to perfect as possible. Thanks,dave
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:02 AM   #11
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I'm a little surprised that they are doing this on a trailer of your size. Obviously if that is the design, then in my opinion it's a poor one. It sounds like this is a good question to ask prior to signing the sales contract.

To answer the question on how to find out if your trailer is like this, the answer is to open the grey water valve and remove the outside drain cap. Run water in each sink and shower. If it exits you know your particular sink or shower is draining to the grey tank, if not, you have my condolences.

Regarding the post about the black tank not getting as much water as your standard home toilet, I always dump the tank as full as possible. This means prior to dumping, adding additional water to the black tank by holding the toilet flush valve open. It may take a few minutes, but in 30 years of camping, I've never had a toilet clog. I take this into account when going to a site without fresh water hookups. If I have concerns about the water supply, I carry 3, 6 gallon plastic jerry cans that I can fill at the site or I have pre-filled to supply me with enough to use or fill the black tank with.

Jack
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Wrongwaydave View Post
Thankyou for an appreciation of following logic . The engineer / designer who decided to shortcut the proper plumbing route obviously does not subscribe to our philosophy. The bathroom sink is on the opposite side of the shower in my trailer. Also ,just so everyone understands I love the look of my new as so much it's just a let-down to not have it as close to perfect as possible. Thanks,dave
If I were to hazzard a guess I'd say the sink drain is probably physically closer to the black tank and that the engineer's rationale was/is it would be most expedient to just go directly to the black tank, saving plumbing weight, complexity and COST; logic be damned.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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Update 25 fb - 2006

Hey I "assumed" my bathroom sink was plumbed into my black tank - and was on a boondocking site. Lazily I hadn't pumped enough shower water into the toilet, so my gray filled up. I was planning to move the next morning so I took a sponge bath using the bathroom sink. When I drained it, I watched water rise in the SHOWER - so on the 25 it's definitely routed to the Gray tank.

Five gallon bucket, hooked up sewer solution, drained the gray thrice into the bucket, then flushed it. (If no one was looking would I have been tempted to water the woods? No not me. Little miss responsible. Damn, Gray water STINKS!

Paula
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:15 PM   #14
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Looks like he's decided to sell....

2011 30ft int. Serenity Used once - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Airstreams Trailers For Sale

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