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Old 09-23-2018, 07:41 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1973 Argosy 22
Norwalk , IA
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 17
Need help understanding water in my Argosy

Hey there everyone! Great news, we just got back from our first "dry run" camp out at my parent's farm with our "new" Argosy. We've had it for a couple of months, but it sat on blocks for awhile while I did some work on the undercarriage.

The electrical works, so that's exciting. We did not, however, test the water system. I am confused by the entire setup.

When I purchased the Argosy, I noticed a big blue plastic tank on wheels and asked what it was. The previous owner responded "the gray water tank". I know what a gray water tank is, but I guess my confusion is based around the fact that it seems like a modification he made to the system. So how is it supposed to work? Is the black water tank also the gray water tank? Does the Argosy have a black water tank? Not sure how the system works, so if anyone has pointers, I'm all ears.

Also, this thing has sat empty for years. I feel like it needs a good flush. I bought a filter for it ( but that filter is applied before the water hits the tank. What is your advice on filtration and preparing the Argosy for drinkable water? I would love to be able to tell my wife that the plumbing is good to go, but I think figuring out the potable water system is going to take a minute or two.

We are going camping near Omaha next weekend, so it's our maiden voyage! Wish us luck, any advice you can provide regarding plumbing ahead of time would be much appreciated!
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:06 AM   #2
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TG Twinkie's Avatar
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,996
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Your coach has a small black water tank directly under the toilet.
It has 1 dump valve for black water.
Unless modified by a PO there is no grey water tank. Thus the blue tank. Without the terminating cap on the sewer outlet the grey water will run out on the ground. Unless you use the blue tank. Known as a "Tote"
I don't have a 22' but have a 26' Argosy. I think your fresh water tank is across the front of the coach. You fill it thru a small hatch on the front left side.
A pump is used to distribute the water to the devices in the coach. Galley sink, bath sink, shower and toilet. Also to the water heater.
There is a "city water" connection. Use it when you have well or city water available. No need for the pump in this case.
If like mine. The pump is located on the inside front left corner. Not sure where your pump switch is located. Mine is above and behind the galley sink.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:30 AM   #3
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DryFly's Avatar
1972 Argosy 20
Snoqualmie , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 496
Your waste valve should have a cap on it that looks like this

A short hose with a female fitting on each end attaches to the cap on one end and to the blue tote on the other. the gray water flows continuously into the blue tote until it's full (be sure the valve to the black water tank is shut!). Keep an eye on the blue tote as they tend to fill up fast if you're not used to using one.

As far as clearing out the lines, you can try the bleach purification thing. I did when I first got our Argosy. It too had sat for a few years. Once I got the lines flushed out the water tasted ok. That was when I discovered the leaks and I replaced all the water lines with PEX
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:44 PM   #4
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,791
In 1973, AS was not yet installing grey water tanks in all of their trailers. So what your trailer likely has is a black tank immediately below the toilet with a single dump valve immediately below that. The grey water (from the sinks and shower) are plumbed into that dump valve as well, but there very likely isn't a grey water gate valve.

It sounds like in your current setup, you have the mobile tank sitting on the ground with a hose going to the dump valve assembly. As you run water down your sink drain, it will go through the plumbing, and straight into the blue tank. If the blue tank were not there, and you weren't connected to a sewer drain, the grey water would just pour out on the ground.

So, when you are at an RV park with full connections, you would just connect your dump valve to the sewer and leave the blue tank out of the mix.

Fresh water wise, you have two options for the water that comes out of your kitchen tap. If you are not connected to "shore water", then you are pumping water out of your fresh water tank, in which case you would want your filter between the tank and the sink (and the one you purchased isn't going to be very helpful). However, if you are connected to a shore water supply, the water coming into your trailer will bypass the fresh water tank and go straight to your kitchen faucet. In this case the filter you bought will serve its purpose.

good luck!
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:26 PM   #5
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2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 16,091
You might call the previous owner and ask him some of these questions, particularly if he made modifications and how those work.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:41 PM   #6
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 14,378
May I suggest that you get all systems working correctly before you make any promises or timetables you might not be able to keep?

Domestic tranquility trumps all . . .

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