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Old 02-02-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Replacing black/grey with a larger grey

Since I'm installing a composting toilet and have no further need for the black tank, I'm looking to replace the black and grey tanks in my '77 center bath Sovereign with a single 50 gallon grey tank.

A few questions:

- Would be easier or more efficient to just install a third valve that will let the water capacity of the existing black and grey tanks mingle? Has anyone done this?

- If I was to replace the old tanks with one big new one, anyone have any idea of the appropriate size/shape or where I could get it?

I have the '77 service manual so I have a good idea of how everything's laid out, but I'm still a little hesitant to just start tearing things out until I know whether or not a good replacement exists.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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I have seen, in the last few days, a thread dealing with a good source for tanks. There are also recent threads dealing with your first question. Try going to the Plumbing forum, and then the appropriate sub-forum, and looking for this info. Or, use the Search feature. Good luck with your remodel!
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
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Moved this over to the Plumbing from the LP section.

Rather than go to the expense and trouble of putting in one large tank I would just use a small transfer pump to balance out the liquid in the tanks, using a one way valve between the gray and black. Never know if you might have to switch back to a standard toilet.

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Old 02-02-2012, 11:11 AM   #4
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Uh I dont think it would be a good idea for you to "mingle" black and grey water, given the content. You could replace the old black tank and join the now new grey tanks togeather if thats what you mean. Is your old grey tank in working order?
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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Whoops! Sorry about the miscategorization. Thanks for moving.

Thanks Aaron! A one-way valve does seem like the less painful route.

marzboy, since I have a composting toilet, there is no "black water" or typical sewage... my toilet separates solids into a compost bin that, after it composts, gets thrown into a dumpster or onto nearby plants, and the liquids will be routed into the grey tank.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by whitney View Post
Whoops! Sorry about the miscategorization. Thanks for moving.

Thanks Aaron! A one-way valve does seem like the less painful route.

marzboy, since I have a composting toilet, there is no "black water" or typical sewage... my toilet separates solids into a compost bin that, after it composts, gets thrown into a dumpster or onto nearby plants, and the liquids will be routed into the grey tank.
Oh I thought you were going to convert an existing black tank to a second grey tank.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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So, after a bit of digging it seems that the original black/grey tank capacities are 23 and 13 gallons, respectively.

I'm on the cusp of unbolting the tanks from the frame but decided to first see what 50 gallon tanks were available. For those who are interested doing something similar, here's what I've found so far:

S-H2050 | 50 Gallon Rv Holding Tank < -- this is the widest 50 gallon tank I could find. 29" will, I think, be able to accommodate the two fittings from my current grey drain and toilet drain (since I want to divert the liquid from the Nature's Head toilet into the grey tank).

But the height is 11.75" and the existing tanks seem closer to 8" tall. Can anyone tell me the "standard height" of existing Airstream tanks and if installing a taller one is a bad idea?

If so, I might have to abandon my hopes for a 50/50 gal fresh/grey tank setup.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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The grey tank on my 80 Caravelle is only about 6" tall but it also only holds 15 gallons. I am planning on replacing it with one at least 30 gallons. I would like it to fit in the frame so I may end up linking two smaller tanks together. Let me know if you go straight from the Nature's head toilet into the grey tank. I've thought about that too but wonder if it would be better to leave it as is and haul buckets of pee around occasionally.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:17 AM   #9
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Whitney
I am redoing a 59 Airstream and have been thinking about a composting toilet also, have you decided which type you are going to use or the brand, size etc? I don't know much about them but havr done some reading and actually waiting to get some info in the mail I sent for but any advice from you I would love to hear about.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:10 AM   #10
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Roy,
My parents put a Nature's Head composting toilet in their cabin and really like it.
They used to have a SunMar but anytime they had guests, the compost would get too wet and it would start to smell. By separating the two components, it makes the materials a lot easier to handle. My plans are to get a Nature's Head, but I won't buy it until I actually have a solid floor to put it on!
Good luck with your Caravanner!
Tim
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:43 AM   #11
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Hey Roy,

I got a Nature's Head (with the spider handle, not the older crank handle). I haven't finished installing it yet but so far I'm pleased with the overall design, fit, and finish. It looks like it'll vent easily into the existing black tank vent in my center bath.

I'm not going to have time to finish the install for another month or so but will post observations when I can!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #12
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FINALLY started installing the thing. I've attached a photo of the Nature's Head with the Toto Washlet E200 mounted on top. I moved the spider handle to the opposite side. Stuffed the included vent flange down into the existing black tank flange, removed the jug on front (but kept it around for emergencies), and then fitted things together with that piece of clear piping. Haven't tried to install the vent yet... that's the next step. It's a tight fit in this center bath!
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