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Old 06-02-2010, 08:42 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1971 23' Safari
Valley Grande , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 91
Question about gray tank

Since we have a AS that doesn't have a gray tank, we are looking at doing the following and would like to hear some advice about it:

We want to buy a composting toilet (nature's head most likely) and then route all the drains and sinks to the black tank.

Does anyone think this is crazy or will it work?

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Old 06-02-2010, 08:53 PM   #2
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1960 24' Tradewind
Riverside , California
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 189
The black tank is only about 15 gallons, not much if you take a shower or wash the dishes, a Tote tank is a better solution, available up to 35 gallons, Barker and Thetford both make these tanks.

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Old 06-02-2010, 09:03 PM   #3
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1971 23' Safari
Valley Grande , Alabama
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Posts: 91
for real the BLACK tank is only 15 gallons? Wow! That IS small. I didn't know that was the size. Is there a chart somewhere that would have told us this? Doesn't sound feasible now with this knowledge. Thanks for the quick reply!
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:07 PM   #4
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1960 24' Tradewind
Riverside , California
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 189
I have access to most of the older tank dimesions, but quickly......Length x width x height (in inches) divided by 231 (cubic inches in a gallon) will give rough gallonage.
1960 Tradewind
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:13 PM   #5
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
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Our '66 black tank is 11 gallons. We adapt....but then we dry camp in State Parks and Forest camps etc. When there are no 'facilities' we can go 4 days....Really.

Oh, yeah we cheat with a blue boy.
Neil and Lynn Holman
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
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The tank in my 75 TW is 12 gallons. That is about 4 days for 2 people.

One of the issues you would have converting the black tank would be it's location. On many of the 70's the black tank sits on the floor directly below the toilet. That means your existing toilet is low profile. If you put the composting toilet on top of the platform, it would be very high. Also, if your black tank is above the floor the shower would not be able to drain into the tank since it is at the same level or lower.


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Old 06-03-2010, 04:26 AM   #7
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1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
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The black tank on our 61 tradewind is about 10 gal. based on pouring jugs in it till full. We have a grid of pipe under the trailer which we plumbed the gray into which is also about 10 gallons.
We can stretch the black tank up to 6 days with care.
Hardly seems worth going the composting toilet route for a gallon per day per person or less.
We will use a 10 gallon blue tank to transport "waste" when a dump station is available. A 5 gallon works well at 2 day intervals when dumped in a pit toilet.
The small tanks can be lifted and carried on the tail gate. The big tanks have to be towed to a dump station. Not always practical where we camp.
The above the floor black tank will not work well for gray water, of course if you leave the plug out of the bathtub drain that will fill before the tank increasing your capacity
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:13 AM   #8
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
Bend , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 370
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We removed the above floor black tank in our 62 Flying Cloud, replaced it with a Nature's Head toilet and plumbed in a 23 Gal gray tank under the floor between the frame members just back of the axle. It does hang below the belly skin, but not as low as the axle. We have never had a problem with clearance. You can see more about the installation here:

1962 Flying Cloud Gray Tank Installation - Airstream Forums

Also, Steve at Vintage Trailer just got in a new tank that holds 16 gal and fits in the same spot as ours but does not hang below the skin. Check it out here:

Gray Water Tank

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Old 06-03-2010, 07:41 PM   #9
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1971 23' Safari
Valley Grande , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 91

Thanks everyone for your quick answers. You make this forum so great!
I really like what flyncld has done. If I only had a Flying Cloud! Yes, the current toilet sits upon the black tank that is raised from the floor. And what makes it worse, is that the toilet we have now (PO) is a high rise. I feel like I am a performing acrobat everytime I try to use it.

thanks again guys and gals!

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