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Old 01-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #1
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Newbie dumb question re sewer hookups

I am a newbie with a 2012 Sport 16. It has a combined black/gray tank. I understand the basics of dumping to a dump tank at a facility (rv campground, public dump station, etc.) And I note that "full hook-up" rv campgrounds include sewer hook-ups, right? OK, here's the dumb question I am asking because so far I haven't found a detained explanation in the ton of literature (including the newbie's guide to airstreaming) OR when I asked the mechanic who did the walk-around:

What is involved in hooking up to a sewer connection at your assigned rv pad? The mechanic said the only thing available is to dump your tank at a dump station. But reading conversations on the forum, and the listing of "sewer connections available" leads me to think that one can hook up their rv sewer outlet for continuous use while parked at a full hookup location. Is that true? And if it is (and I suspect it is) what are the details? For instance, do I run the flush hose continually while hooked up or what? Does waste go into my tank and then out into the connected sewer?? And is my 16' Sport even equipped for such a hookup? Maybe the mechanic is right and there is no such thing. But if there is I don't understand why I can't find details on how to do it. Lots of sources for just using the dump stations, however.

Thanks in advance.

-Rich
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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If you have only 1 tank for gray and black waste, you need to leave your dump valve closed until you depart the campground or when the tank gets full. You can hook up your sewer hose at the campsite but leave the dump valve closed at all times except to dump the full tank. If you leave the dump valve open continuously, you will have a buildup of solid waste in the tank that can harden and become difficult to remove. The solid waste needs to be liquefied in the tank to keep it operating properly.

Those of us with 2 separate tanks can hook up to the sewer outlet at the campsite and leave the gray tank drain valve open and the gray water will flow right to the sewer same as at home. But the black tank valve should never be open except to dump when full or before departing.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
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Aha!

OK, that makes sense now. I was told not to dump every time I use it, but to let it get at least 2/3 or 3/4 full to allow proper break down of the contents. So those hookups at each site are basically your own personal dumb station (plus a continual gray water dump for those with separate tanks)?

I stayed one night at an rv resort the day I bought my AS, mainly because it was late and I was almost 100 miles from home. I had my own sewer outlet, but they also had a camp dump station. Maybe they had other sites there without sewer hookup and it was for them.

Thanks for the info. This is something I would rather not learn the hard way!
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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I will echo what Doug said. Consider getting the book, "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming". Wish it was available when we got started. Lots of good information.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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I will echo what Doug said. Consider getting the book, "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming". Wish it was available when we got started. Lots of good information.

You didn't fully read my post. the newbie guide came with my AS but didn't specifically address sewer hookups as opposed to just dumping. It is a good read otherwise. I am devouring it.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rich of SCal View Post
OK, that makes sense now. I was told not to dump every time I use it, but to let it get at least 2/3 or 3/4 full to allow proper break down of the contents. So those hookups at each site are basically your own personal dumb station (plus a continual gray water dump for those with separate tanks)?

I stayed one night at an rv resort the day I bought my AS, mainly because it was late and I was almost 100 miles from home. I had my own sewer outlet, but they also had a camp dump station. Maybe they had other sites there without sewer hookup and it was for them.

Thanks for the info. This is something I would rather not learn the hard way!
By your reply, I can tell you understand the basic considerations.
Just buy the right sewer hose, connector, and elbow adapter, and you'll be set.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:55 AM   #7
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You may find one of these contraptions handy for those pesky times when too many solids settle at the bottom and clog the drain. You’ll recognize that event when you open your dump valve and nothing happens.

http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-F02-4100-45%C2%B0-RV-Hydroflush/dp/B0002UHVAA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326653034&sr=8-1

It may be less problematic with the combo gray/black since the situation typically arises for me when I try to be too thrifty on my water consumption on the black water side, and we’ve stayed in one spot for several days..

I’m assuming your dump is fitted with Thetford fittings, and if so, you’ll also need this adaptor.

http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T05-2285VP-Thetford-Universal-Adapter/dp/B0006N5S6C

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:06 PM   #8
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Careful on That Assumption...

My 2007 came with Valterra plumbing.
So, that's the first thing you should check. Do you have a Thetford dump valve or a Valterra?
If you have a Valterra dump valve, you need a Valterra sewer hose connector on one end of your sewer hose, and and a 4" elbow on the other end to thread into the sewer fitting.
If you have a Thetford dump valve, you need a Thetford hose connector.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:13 PM   #9
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Rich, I forgot to mention that on a short trip where your holding tank is not full, instead of not dumping it until it gets to at least 2/3, fill it up with water through the tub and toilet and then dump it. I was taught to always fill the black holding tank with water until full before dumping. Sometimes I have to do it twice depending on how much "digestion" has taken place in the tank. My trailer is old and because of the set up of the drain plumbing I can't get water into the tank any other way than through the toilet. Newer trailers have the pressure water inlets built in which is an advantage.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
My 2007 came with Valterra plumbing.
So, that's the first thing you should check. Do you have a Thetford dump valve or a Valterra?
If you have a Valterra dump valve, you need a Valterra sewer hose connector on one end of your sewer hose, and and a 4" elbow on the other end to thread into the sewer fitting.
If you have a Thetford dump valve, you need a Thetford hose connector.
It says Valtera and they gave me some cheap plastic parts, adapter, elbow, 10 foot slinky hose. So the elbow goes on the trailer end?
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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Rich, I forgot to mention that on a short trip where your holding tank is not full, instead of not dumping it until it gets to at least 2/3, fill it up with water through the tub and toilet and then dump it. I was taught to always fill the black holding tank with water until full before dumping. Sometimes I have to do it twice depending on how much "digestion" has taken place in the tank. My trailer is old and because of the set up of the drain plumbing I can't get water into the tank any other way than through the toilet. Newer trailers have the pressure water inlets built in which is an advantage.
Sounds like good advice. Shouldn't be too hard since I have the gray/black combo. I camped at home last night and used the shower this morning. So far, so good.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rich of SCal View Post
Sounds like good advice. Shouldn't be too hard since I have the gray/black combo. I camped at home last night and used the shower this morning. So far, so good.
Yay!
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:41 PM   #13
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The elbow goes on the dump station end. Most dump stations have a cover, usually brass with a lid that you step on to open. Open the lid, insert the elbow. The hose should be pretty much be laying on the ground. Unless you have a cam lock connection system, it will be a simple matter of twisting and locking the opposite end of the hose on the trailer end.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #14
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Hey Kamiak, thanks for the reference for the tank flush connection. I plan to order one for my trailer. Ours has the thetford connection. Do I need to order 2 adapters ????? One to attach the flusher to the trailer outlet and one to attach my hose to the flusher ??????? I guess if I needed a new hose I'd just get one for the proper connecton but in the meantime ????

Thanks again.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:25 PM   #15
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Those of us with 2 separate tanks can hook up to the sewer outlet at the campsite and leave the gray tank drain valve open and the gray water will flow right to the sewer same as at home. But the black tank valve should never be open except to dump when full or before departing.
Or, leave them both closed. When one or both is nearly full or you're leaving, dump the black tank first, then the gray tank last. That way you flush the slinky hose with soapy gray water from the shower before putting it way.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:44 PM   #16
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I'm definitely thinking of getting a Flush King. I was also looking at the Sewer Solution. It seems to me that it's kind of this way:

Sewer Solution: need a water source to be able to dump, have to carry both sewer hose AND the hoses for the SS in case you have no water source when dumping, but no stinky slinky when you do have a water source.

Flush King: Needs a water source, but uses your own stinky slinky, so if you have no water source, you can just dump, er, traditionally, no extra hoses, and when you use it, you end up with a clean(ish) slinky. (Cleaner than just the grey water rinse method, I mean.)

So if you only ever camp with full hookups, a Sewer Solution will work great for you. If you sometimes boondock or camp with partial hookups or sometimes use dumps with no water source, the Flush King will be better. Is this a good conclusion?

And of course, I have a tank flushing wand as well, so I'm told that I'm able to get along well without either. I'm going to try the wand for flushing the tanks first and see if that all works before spending the money on the Flush King, of course.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:46 PM   #17
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Hey Kamiak, thanks for the reference for the tank flush connection. I plan to order one for my trailer. Ours has the thetford connection. Do I need to order 2 adapters ????? One to attach the flusher to the trailer outlet and one to attach my hose to the flusher ??????? I guess if I needed a new hose I'd just get one for the proper connecton but in the meantime ????

Thanks again.
You do need one adapter that converts from Thetford to Valterra at the coach, then connect the hydroflush contraption to that (watch that rubber O-ring...it likes to fall out, and if it does, it doesn't seal worth sh*t). I don't use the flush everytime, so I haven't converted my hoses to Valterra. My trailer's not stored at home, so I can't take a quick look , but my recollection is that you can't flip the adapter around to convert Valterra back to Thetford...the sexes are "off". It's important to have the first adapter at the trailer in place, as that seems to be the pressure point. After the hydroflush, it seems less critical, and I end up attaching a Thetford hose to the hydroflush, it "kinda" fits, and so far, so good. The other option, as I suggested earlier, would be to convert your hose(s) to Valterra, then you would always need to use the Thetford-Valterra adapter attaching to the coach, or permanently convert the coach to Valterra. Otherwise, the hydroflush works great, and has bailed me out of a couple of jams that no amount of rocking the coach would solve. If you find the adapter works both ways...let me know.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:08 PM   #18
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You Guys Are Making Teardrop Trailers Sound Good

I don't have a trailer yet, so that puts me one step below newbie. Maybe this is a dumb question, but from looking at the many posts concerning toilet issues it seems to me that the minute that you put a toilet in a trailer you increase the maintenance issues about threefold. If your plan is to live in the trailer for weeks/months at a time it's worth it, but if you're only going to use the trailer a week at a time a few times per year it seems like you'd be better off just using the bathroom at the campground and not having to deal with having a toilet in the trailer.
AND - given that many owners may never camp in a location that doesn't have a sewer hook-up it seems like the standard trailer toilet set-up is backwards. Instead of having the toilet empty directly into the holding tank it should be connected to a pipe that leads to a Y-valve (like on a boat). Turn the valve one way and the sewage would flow to the black water tank, turn it the other way and it would flow directly out the pipe and into the campground sewer system, just like your toilet at home does. To my unschooled mind it looks like the current system is a holdover from when campgrounds didn't have sewers.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #19
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Maybe someone should invent a camper with an incinerating black tank. Or, hey, you could invent something that would turn it into free energy!

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Old 01-16-2012, 02:41 PM   #20
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from looking at the many posts concerning toilet issues it seems to me that the minute that you put a toilet in a trailer you increase the maintenance issues about threefold.
Somehow this has been made out to be way more complicated than it is. You want a fully functioning bathroom, really, you do. Not that hard to keep a functioning bathroom working correctly.
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