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Old 01-27-2016, 12:35 PM   #1
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Possible to eliminate waste tanks?

Ive read through a bunch of threads so far but can't find anything that seems to match what I'm thinking of doing. I've got a 31' rear bath and am doing a complete renovation right now.
I've taken out the black tank and gotten rid of it due to big cracks and corrosion throughout. I thought this wouldnt be a problem as I am going with a composting toilet but my black tanks doubles as my grey also.
I plan to do a fair amount of boondocking but also stay with full hookups also. I've seen where many people use the towable totes to drain their tanks then haul to dump but was wondering if anyone has gotten rid of grey and black tanks altogether and drained grey water in areas that it is acceptable or just drained straight into the tote until time to dump?
Not sure if this is a crazy idea or if it has downsides. Please chime in with some thoughts. Thanks
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Old 01-27-2016, 12:48 PM   #2
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I know you are looking for others in this boat. In the days of old, many campers and trailers used totes because they did not have a grey water tank.

Since you have the plumbing for the grey water, it is likely nearly the same amount of effort to install a new grey water only tank or bypass the tank. I would think a trailer with a grey water tank would be more valuable. Similar to folks who remove the 12V system, there is a certain mind set that will come into play.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:21 PM   #3
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Not having a waste tank might be a reasonable idea for a smaller trailer but why not when you have the ability and the space to put one in?

Its all in how the trailer will be utilized.. you said boondocking? Well a tote will only tote it to.... yea you've got to dump it somewhere before you leave. Where as a tank can hold contents safely and securely until access to a dump station. In other word is if were boondocking it would be a MUST, and while you have the chance you can upgrade to a larger boondocking size tank.
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Old 01-27-2016, 03:04 PM   #4
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There are few places in the east where dumping gray on the ground is legal. Keep that in mind.
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:21 PM   #5
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Without tanks it would be just like a "park model" of old. Those trailers are dependent on full hook-up sites. Many don't go anywhere - they just stay put. Also, back before the '70's it was okay to dump grey on the ground...nowadays, not so much. Very few places allow dumping (even grey) on the ground.

Our '56 started off as a park model trailer - we had NO tanks. You either had to have hook-ups, use a tote for all waste or use a "gopher hole" which hard to believe, but it was acceptable back in the 50's.

We added both black & grey tanks during our restoration and have never regretted it. Our first Airstream didn't have grey tanks and we used a tote, but it sure is nice having them built in.This gives us the freedom to stop anywhere and use our trailer however we want with or without hook-ups - more flexibility. If you had to drag out a tote every time you wanted to make a "potty-stop" that would be a PITA and then you have to figure out where to dump...or carry around your semi-full tote until you find a place to dump. Even grey water stinks after awhile.

The problem with blue-totes is the "up close & personal" element on dealing with your waste. The tanks tend to be on the smaller side so they are manageable to lift & carry which means that you will be toting your waste quite frequently.

A composting toilet would help...but I can't think of a good reason to forego built-in grey tanks - in doing a restoration. As mentioned earlier, it helps with flexibility & resale as many will not have the same mindset.

Grey tanks are not much more (if at all) expensive than blue-totes and are not that difficult to install and they add a huge "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" aspect to taking your trailer out. You just pull the valve when dumping - no heave-ho off to the dump we go.

Shari
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
Without tanks it would be just like a "park model" of old. Those trailers are dependent on full hook-up sites. Many don't go anywhere - they just stay put. Also, back before the '70's it was okay to dump grey on the ground...nowadays, not so much. Very few places allow dumping (even grey) on the ground.

Our '56 started off as a park model trailer - we had NO tanks. You either had to have hook-ups, use a tote for all waste or use a "gopher hole" which hard to believe, but it was acceptable back in the 50's.

We added both black & grey tanks during our restoration and have never regretted it. Our first Airstream didn't have grey tanks and we used a tote, but it sure is nice having them built in.This gives us the freedom to stop anywhere and use our trailer however we want with or without hook-ups - more flexibility. If you had to drag out a tote every time you wanted to make a "potty-stop" that would be a PITA and then you have to figure out where to dump...or carry around your semi-full tote until you find a place to dump. Even grey water stinks after awhile.

The problem with blue-totes is the "up close & personal" element on dealing with your waste. The tanks tend to be on the smaller side so they are manageable to lift & carry which means that you will be toting your waste quite frequently.

A composting toilet would help...but I can't think of a good reason to forego built-in grey tanks - in doing a restoration. As mentioned earlier, it helps with flexibility & resale as many will not have the same mindset.

Grey tanks are not much more (if at all) expensive than blue-totes and are not that difficult to install and they add a huge "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" aspect to taking your trailer out. You just pull the valve when dumping - no heave-ho off to the dump we go.

Shari

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Old 01-28-2016, 03:29 PM   #7
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Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
Without tanks it would be just like a "park model" of old. Those trailers are dependent on full hook-up sites. Many don't go anywhere - they just stay put. Also, back before the '70's it was okay to dump grey on the ground...nowadays, not so much. Very few places allow dumping (even grey) on the ground.

Our '56 started off as a park model trailer - we had NO tanks. You either had to have hook-ups, use a tote for all waste or use a "gopher hole" which hard to believe, but it was acceptable back in the 50's.

We added both black & grey tanks during our restoration and have never regretted it. Our first Airstream didn't have grey tanks and we used a tote, but it sure is nice having them built in.This gives us the freedom to stop anywhere and use our trailer however we want with or without hook-ups - more flexibility. If you had to drag out a tote every time you wanted to make a "potty-stop" that would be a PITA and then you have to figure out where to dump...or carry around your semi-full tote until you find a place to dump. Even grey water stinks after awhile.

The problem with blue-totes is the "up close & personal" element on dealing with your waste. The tanks tend to be on the smaller side so they are manageable to lift & carry which means that you will be toting your waste quite frequently.

A composting toilet would help...but I can't think of a good reason to forego built-in grey tanks - in doing a restoration. As mentioned earlier, it helps with flexibility & resale as many will not have the same mindset.

Grey tanks are not much more (if at all) expensive than blue-totes and are not that difficult to install and they add a huge "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" aspect to taking your trailer out. You just pull the valve when dumping - no heave-ho off to the dump we go.

Shari
My 55 was also a park model when I got it. I added fresh, black and gray water tanks and never regretted it. If you travel with your trailer you will want tanks.
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:02 PM   #8
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I agree with the others, keep the gray tank. We boondock on our 5 acres in the Colorado mountains a lot so we installed an AirHead composting toilet two years ago. It works great, no smell, very little fuss if you keep it clean. I installed it in place of the water toilet, so it sits on top of the black tank. We cut into the black tank vent pipe for the AirHead that needs a constant muffin fan running. Our solar panel keeps the batteries charged and the fan running all year. The AirHead is a couple of inches too high for comfortable use because it sits on top of the "remains" of the black tank (had to cut the neck off that supported the water toilet). Now I'm considering removing the black tank altogether and keeping the gray. Not sure how best to do that, but I'm researching.
Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgschwend View Post
In the days of old, many campers and trailers used totes because they did not have a grey water tank.
I resemble that remark. "In the days of old" grey water was drained right on the ground and the blue boys were for the black tank. Owners manuals of that era also describe digging a hole and running your sewer hose in the hole and then filling it in. You can hook the larger totes to your trailer hitch and tow the tote to the dump station. Personally speaking this can lead to some embarrassment when the cover pops off while towing to the dump station leaving a brown, wet trail. I still have and use my blue boy on my 71.
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