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Old 08-28-2014, 08:02 PM   #1
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Replacing black water tank with grey water tank

We're new at this and can definitely use some advice! We are in the process of pulling everything out of the rear washroom in our "new" 1968 Sovereign because of bad rot under the rear window. We will be replacing the floor as well as replacing and adding some of the cross bar supports. We have come to the decision that we will be using a composting toilet (Nature's Head? SunMar Mobile?) instead of the standard toilet that was there. We have used a composting toilet in a Northwoods cabin for the last 11 years with no odors and no problems.

Therefore, we have also decided to replace the original black water tank with a grey water tank which will also give us some additional boondocking options. I would imagine others have done this, but we need some advice as to what and how.

The original BW tank measured approx 49.75"x24" on the wide end x 5.5" tall on the deep end. The galvanized box it sat in measures 51"x24.5"x7.5" deep. There were 1/2" styrofoam sheets on all sides - except the top - of the BW tank when it was in this galvanized box.

If we do not plan to winter camp, do we need to put styrofoam sheets or insulate the grey water tank on all sides? Could we actually get a larger grey water tank to fill the dimensions of the galvanized box (which we are also replacing)? Does anyone have any suggestions for a source for the grey water tank at a reasonable price?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:32 PM   #2
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We're new at this and can definitely use some advice! We are in the process of pulling everything out of the rear washroom in our "new" 1968 Sovereign because of bad rot under the rear window. We will be replacing the floor as well as replacing and adding some of the cross bar supports. We have come to the decision that we will be using a composting toilet (Nature's Head? SunMar Mobile?) instead of the standard toilet that was there. We have used a composting toilet in a Northwoods cabin for the last 11 years with no odors and no problems.

Therefore, we have also decided to replace the original black water tank with a grey water tank which will also give us some additional boondocking options. I would imagine others have done this, but we need some advice as to what and how.

The original BW tank measured approx 49.75"x24" on the wide end x 5.5" tall on the deep end. The galvanized box it sat in measures 51"x24.5"x7.5" deep. There were 1/2" styrofoam sheets on all sides - except the top - of the BW tank when it was in this galvanized box.

If we do not plan to winter camp, do we need to put styrofoam sheets or insulate the grey water tank on all sides? Could we actually get a larger grey water tank to fill the dimensions of the galvanized box (which we are also replacing)? Does anyone have any suggestions for a source for the grey water tank at a reasonable price?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
A black water tank should never be discarded so that a gray water tank can be used.

Andy
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:49 AM   #3
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Why not? It makes good sense to have more gray water storage.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:07 AM   #4
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To OP, you were not clear on one important point, what are you planning to do for your black water? Drive to the nearest gas station to use their facilities?
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:27 AM   #5
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Our reason to replace the black water tank with a grey water tank is that we are refinishing the bathroom with a composting toilet. Doing that, the only waste water we will have is grey water. Since the 1968 Sovereign did not originally come with a grey water tank, we are thinking replacing the BW tank with a grey water tank as we are replacing the floor makes sense at this time.

Andy, is there a reason you have for the "black water tank should never be discarded so that a gray water tank can be used" reply given our intent here? Are we missing something?
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:27 AM   #6
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Andy, is there a reason you have for the "black water tank should never be discarded so that a gray water tank can be used" reply given our intent here of using a composting toilet? Are we missing something?
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:36 AM   #7
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Yes, why not? He's said that he's installing a COMPOSTING toilet.

That maybe limits his resale to people who are interested in such but many people are not interested in resale. They are interested in having their trailer do what they want it to do for them now.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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The styrofoam in the metal box served two purposes:

Provided insulation to help keep the black tan from freezing.
Provided a sloped floor for the black tank to sit on inside the flat bottomed metal box.

When I built our tanks out of ABS, I enlarged the black tank to completely fill the metal box, but kept the sloped floor for drainage. I used new Styrofoam to create a new sloped floor for the tank to sit on, but no foam around the side. I also eliminated the heat tube from the furnace into the tank box as we never go cold weather camping.

If we ever decide to do cold weather camping in the future, we'll invest in heat mats for all 3 tanks.

For our gray tanks, I built them with a flat bottom and a bottom drain.

For your gray tank, if you want to keep the drain on the side where the current black tank drain is, then I think you should keep a slight slope to the bottom of the tank so it drains better. If you can do a bottom drain, I don't think the slope to the bottom of the tank is as important. Ours drain just fine.

You can find places on the web that will custom build a tank. Several folks in the forums have had that done. They tend to be pricy though.

Do a web search for RV Holding Tanks and you'll find a bunch of places that sell various sizes of tanks. Maybe you can find one the right size for your needs.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:40 AM   #9
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Andy, is there a reason you have for the "black water tank should never be discarded so that a gray water tank can be used" reply given our intent here of using a composting toilet? Are we missing something?
Sorry, but I do not understand how black water can be converted to gray water.

Bacteria, a plenty.

Andy
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:42 AM   #10
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Sorry, but I do not understand how black water can be converted to gray water.

Bacteria, a plenty.

Andy
Andy,

Composting toilets separate the urine from the solids. Solids go down into a chamber with peat moss or coconut husks. Urine is collected in the front in a plastic removable container that you can take to a bathroom and dump or if out boondocking dispose of where you might pee outside.
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cheetah1 View Post
Our reason to replace the black water tank with a grey water tank is that we are refinishing the bathroom with a composting toilet. Doing that, the only waste water we will have is grey water. Since the 1968 Sovereign did not originally come with a grey water tank, we are thinking replacing the BW tank with a grey water tank as we are replacing the floor makes sense at this time.

Andy, is there a reason you have for the "black water tank should never be discarded so that a gray water tank can be used" reply given our intent here? Are we missing something?
Cheeta1, I think that a lot of us missed the all important detail in your original post regarding your conversion to a composting toilet and that may have tainted many of the responses you received. With that clarification, your idea to remove the existing holding tank entirely and replacing it with a brand new tank to be used solely for grey water is sound. Good luck!

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Old 08-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #12
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Why not just route the gray water into the black tank and block the black water inlet from where the toilet was. Jim
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:39 PM   #13
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Andy,
Shes gonna REPLACE the black tank with a new Gray tank. And a composting toilet, All in all a good option.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:37 PM   #14
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Sergei, you are right on in your statement. Having used a composting toilet in a small cabin up in northern Wisconsin for the last 10+ years, we know they work well and work without odor. That experience is what is making us confident in doing this in an Airstream also. We've read one too many horror stories about a leaky black tank, etc while on the road!
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