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Old 04-14-2006, 11:28 AM   #1
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1964 28' Ambassador
Natalia , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 20
Question Tank Capacities

It will be awhile before I get to the plumbing part of re-doing this A/S, but for planning purposes can anyone tell me the capacity of the water tank, and the black tank on a 1964 28ft Ambassador, made in Ohio. Also for extended use away from utilities is it better to have a grey and black tank or is it just as easy to have just the black tank?

Have a good week-end.


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Old 04-14-2006, 03:54 PM   #2
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1964 24' Tradewind
Cardiff , California
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Hi Wohtex!

I have a '64 Tradewind and I believe my manual states that all the '64 models, except the Bambi, have a 30 gallon fresh water tank capacity.
Sounds like so much... but my family of 4 can sure power through it quickly!!

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Old 04-14-2006, 07:34 PM   #3
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1964 28' Ambassador
Natalia , Texas
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Tank Capacities

Thanks for the info, seems like that should last at least several days for two old folks. Wonder why they didn't make a provision to direct your grey water into while on the road?

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Old 04-14-2006, 07:53 PM   #4
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We have a 63 Overlander and the black tank has about a ten gallon capacity, with the toilet sitting directly (more or less) on the black tank. I plumbed our galley sink to drain into the black tank. It works very well, although I have to dump it more often. Grey tanks came about in the 1970's, as people became more environmentally concious, and didn't want to dump their bath water on the ground under the trailer. In 1964, no one thought much about it, so no grey water holding tank was included.
If you want to include your kitchen wash water in your black tank, as I did, you can go here, and scroll to the bottom couple of posts in the thread:

If you want to hold the rest of your grey water, you can get one of those blue tote-a-long tanks to hold it, and transport it to a dump station. Unless you are a real he-man, I would not recommend getting anything larger than 20 gallons or so, as you may have to lift the tank when it is full, and 20 gallons of what you put in the tank will weigh over 150 pounds.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:44 PM   #5
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Tank Capacities

Greetings Bill!

Originally Posted by wohtex
Thanks for the info, seems like that should last at least several days for two old folks. Wonder why they didn't make a provision to direct your grey water into while on the road?

The '64 Airstream owner's manual provides a method of "backing" the wash water into the blackwater tank. It makes for a little extra "unpleaseantry" when dumping but it is an option. If you didn't receive a copy of the manual with your coach, it is possible to obtain copies from either Secretarial Services in Ohio or through Airstream's Web-based Store.

While I have tried the method in the manual on a few ocassions, I typically carry a tote tank. I have found the 10-gallon one to be most useful as it holds a little more than one day's use for me (I am a Free Wheeler), and is a breeze to empty. For long stays I have one of the large models with wheels that permit it to be towed (at very low speed) behind the tow vehicle to the dump station -- it, however, is almost more trouble than the extra capacity is worth.

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:32 AM   #6
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Grey water tanks were mandated by law Jan 1, '74. Some manufacturers began installing them earlier and some offered them as options earlier. Airstream holding tanks in the '60s and early '70s were very small compared to today's standards. Usually in the 10-15 gallon range. Fresh water tanks were 25-30 gallon until early '70s when the 45-50 gallon under-floor tanks were used. If you're re-plumbing the whole system in your restoration project, think about replacing the holding tank with a larger one or adding a grey tank. It may take some studying and careful research to find tanks that will fit and connect properly, but the convenience of not having to fool with the external tank will be worth it. On my '65 Tradewind, the original black tank (10 gal at most) was cracked. I replaced it with a 25 gallon tank and drain both grey and black water into it. Of course, I have to empty the tank at an approved dump station, not a grey-only drain. My fresh water tank is about 27 gallons. When the fresh water is low, the holding tank must be about full so it works out quite well. Since I use the trailer for short trips (2-3 days) only, there is never a problem of over-filling the holding tank. Darol
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:29 AM   #7
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1964 28' Ambassador
Natalia , Texas
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Talking Tank Capacities

Thanks to all for the information, I probably will end up redoing the entire plumbing system as I am toying with the idea of putting a queen bed in the rear and moving the bath midship. I thought of a grey tank that I could pump from to flush the toilet as a means of conserving water, could use a small auto windshield washer pump or something. Anyway that is down road so what ever I do if it works out will post details.


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