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Old 12-08-2020, 09:47 AM   #1
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Portable Waste Tank - In or Out

Hi,
We have a Sport 22FB and will begin Full Timing in January. We're (relatively) experienced campers but new to full timing. We own a Thetford portable waste tank and it has its uses. But for full timing, we can't decide if the space it takes up in our Tundra bed is worth it.

The plan is to boondock both on the road (stopovers) and destination (remote camping up to 4 or 5 nights at times) as much as possible. We will also expect to be in state or National parks or other limited hook up campsites. We'll use full hookups less often to dump, do laundry, and relax. But, we know that we will need to conserve water in many ways when we boondock and having a way to remove just the grey water may not really be the limiting factor anyway (especially if there is no place to dump it responsibly).

Bottom line, I can see really wanting it at times but I am not sure if it's worth toting about the rest of the time.

Any input from FT'ers that camp in a similar way as we hope to?
Thanks
T&L
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Old 12-08-2020, 11:47 AM   #2
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We don’t have one but we are in a 30ft with 25 gal grey holding talk. We end up trying to catch as much grey water as we can before it goes down the sink and then water the plants around us. The grey tank basically ends up catching shower water and that gets dumped in a dump station.

We typically can go 4 or 5 days off hook ups before our grey tank fills but that depends on showers and how dirty we end up getting. Then we either go back onto hookups and refresh or we just dump and keep moving. We go onto full hookups when my wife ends up working (she’s a nurse). Beyond that, we do our best to stay off grid and in the wild.
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Old 12-08-2020, 01:03 PM   #3
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My though would be to leave it out. I know I would rather drop the trailer on the ball and pull it over to the dump station than to go through the Blue Boy routine. I have not camped where that was not near a dump station but for a few times. We do have a 25' with decent sized tanks and can usually go 5-7 days. Full timing I would expect to be near a dump and to have electricity most all the time. I do not own a Blue Boy and have no plans for one.
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Old 12-08-2020, 01:51 PM   #4
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It's unclear from your post whether or not you've already done it, and you probably already know this, but the number one thing you can do to conserve water (and thus reduce dumping frequency) is replace the regular toilet with a composting one. If you plumb the urine diverter to your gray tank, the experience is actually *much more pleasant* than dealing with a "regular" toilet (and a black tank). I love how long we can remain self contained (boondocking in the wilderness or a friend's driveway) without having to dump anything (definitely more than a week --though we don't do *full showers* in the Airstream).
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomPiper View Post
Hi,
We have a Sport 22FB and will begin Full Timing in January. We're (relatively) experienced campers but new to full timing. We own a Thetford portable waste tank and it has its uses. But for full timing, we can't decide if the space it takes up in our Tundra bed is worth it.
T&L
We have a 2019 Sport 22FB, and it seems like the sewer outlet is too low to use a portable tank unless you get the trailer up on blocks. Am I missing something?
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:20 AM   #6
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Yep, I feel your pain - our Black Tank is 18 gal and we usual go 14 day out at a time. We also have a Camco 39002 Rhino Heavy Duty 21 Gallon Portable RV Waste Holding Tank - yep it's big. The bottom line is if we don't carry it and need it the trip is basically done (as we are in the back country far from a dump station) so we would rather carry it and not need it. While I have thought about compost toilets - well, they also have their issues. I realize this doesn't completely answer you question as I think only you can do that.
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:34 AM   #7
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Great post despite it might seem most of the answers are obvious.. But I also have a couple questions I would love to hear from the forum regarding this topic.

First, just to confirm, people do use these for draining the black water tank and not just grey right? If so I would imagine there are some rules you would want to adhere to, like don't let the black water tank get near full before dumping it, and maybe add some water to the black water tank first so gravity doesn't have to work so hard..

Also, the biggest concern I have is this: can you attach these portable tanks to your trailer hitch and tow them to the nearest dump? I'm not talking just driving 5 miles per hour within the campground, but what if you had the trailer in your backyard and wanted to dump knowing you have to bring it 10 miles away to the nearest dumping station? Can these units hold up to travelling in tow at higher speeds? My guess is no, you can't, just looking at these things and the wheels that come with them is suspect that you could do this without terrible risks.. This is important for me because I will be towing w a jeep grand cherokee and the thought of having to pick up and put it in the back of the jeep is dreadful.
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSL View Post
We have a 2019 Sport 22FB, and it seems like the sewer outlet is too low to use a portable tank unless you get the trailer up on blocks. Am I missing something?

Yes this is a problem. My '89 and '96 have the same problem unless the backside needs to be raised to level the trailer.

I only take the portable when I know it will be easier to dump into the tank than hook up and go to the Dump station. Usually when we are camping for a week in Provincial Parks. (and from my experience in State Parks) where backing in is tricky and thus hook-up and disconnect are more difficult than using the portable tote.
You also have to deal with carrying a spare ball and shank if you are using a Hensley or Pro-pride.
Not going to comment on dumping grey water out in the boondocks!
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Old 12-09-2020, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgottleib View Post
Also, the biggest concern I have is this: can you attach these portable tanks to your trailer hitch and tow them to the nearest dump? I'm not talking just driving 5 miles per hour within the campground, but what if you had the trailer in your backyard and wanted to dump knowing you have to bring it 10 miles away to the nearest dumping station? Can these units hold up to travelling in tow at higher speeds? My guess is no, you can't, just looking at these things and the wheels that come with them is suspect that you could do this without terrible risks.. This is important for me because I will be towing w a jeep grand cherokee and the thought of having to pick up and put it in the back of the jeep is dreadful.

You are not going to pick up 20 or 30 gallons of waste and put it in the back of your vehicle... not to mention the smell. Unless you and your partner can lift 100 lbs each and get a firm grip on a round edged tank.

The instructions that come with the tank state the plastic wheels can only be run at or under 5 mph....walking speed. Even then I worry about the rough roads in some campgrounds. If the dump is sometimes a mile or more away then it becomes a bit more of an issue as 5 MPH will back up the routine traffic in the campground.

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Old 12-09-2020, 11:22 AM   #10
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portable sewage tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgottleib View Post
Great post despite it might seem most of the answers are obvious.. But I also have a couple questions I would love to hear from the forum regarding this topic.

First, just to confirm, people do use these for draining the black water tank and not just grey right? If so I would imagine there are some rules you would want to adhere to, like don't let the black water tank get near full before dumping it, and maybe add some water to the black water tank first so gravity doesn't have to work so hard..

Also, the biggest concern I have is this: can you attach these portable tanks to your trailer hitch and tow them to the nearest dump? I'm not talking just driving 5 miles per hour within the campground, but what if you had the trailer in your backyard and wanted to dump knowing you have to bring it 10 miles away to the nearest dumping station? Can these units hold up to travelling in tow at higher speeds? My guess is no, you can't, just looking at these things and the wheels that come with them is suspect that you could do this without terrible risks.. This is important for me because I will be towing w a jeep grand cherokee and the thought of having to pick up and put it in the back of the jeep is dreadful.
Responding to the above, we have never used our portable tank for black water. I prefer to limit use to grey water. In our FB27, that allows us to go a couple of weeks of dry camping as long as we have a nearby dump station for the grey water.

Regarding towing, I use a large carabiner to attach our tank to the trailer hitch. I would not consider towing this anywhere other than dump station within the campground.
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:16 PM   #11
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I should probably refrain from comment, but I can't help myself

I personally don't have a concern, and I'm not busting on tent campers, but I've seen on many occasions, brushing teeth, doing dishes, etc. outside, with literally no concern for the fact the grey water is going on the ground right on the spot. Nobody ever says a word.

Not to mention, my airstream has an outside shower. I wonder if I can use it, you know, soap, shampoo, water, standing there outside my trailer?

Funny how that grey water suddenly becomes an environmental issue when it goes in to an onboard tank.

Anyway, I'm not in your shoes, but I think I'd take it along. Find a place to strap it down. Better to have it and not need it, than need it, and not have it

Anybody ever take a leak outside?

Sorry, I'll stop. Please don't flame me too bad
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:50 PM   #12
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A few years ago Trailer Life (?) did a story on grey water. They had a lab analyze some samples from a grey water tank and they determined that it was almost but not quite as bad as black water when it came to microorganisms.

Probably because few people put any kind of tank treatment in the grey tank and I don’t know of any trailers with a rinse-aid for the grey. Obviously a different story for an outdoor shower or washing dishes in a bucket.

I will use my portable to drain the black tank but I am very careful to avoid getting it even close to full to avoid spills and to keep the weight manageable. It is rare that I need to as we can stretch the black tank (37 gallons) at least a week.
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:53 PM   #13
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Carry a 5 Gallon Plastic Hedpack for offloading our GRAY water in between full dumps

We carry 1 (sometimes 2) 5 Gallon Plastic Hedpack for offloading our GRAY water in between full dumps.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They have a small foot print, are easy to carry, relatively cheap, and are easy to take and drain at the campground restroom toilets or the dump station without moving the entire rig.

We only use for GRAY water. Our black tank on our 2017 25' FC lasts over a week so it is not inconvenient hook up and do a full dump every 7-8 days.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:58 AM   #14
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"Anybody ever take a leak outside?"

Getting up 4x a night because I drank too much beer sums up that question, its one of the primary reasons I'm waiting on delivery of a new basecamp Who in the hell walks to the bathroom 100 yards away 4x per night? Nobody...

I do use biodegradable soap when camping, love Pure Castle peppermint and now citrus is available, just don't get it in your eyes Looking forward to many outdoor showers this coming summer..

Another point to substantiate your statement pertains to the draining of swimming pools for backwashing and winter closing.. nobody ever says anything about that. Although its typically done on your own property we all know how aquifers work..
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Old 12-10-2020, 09:25 AM   #15
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If you are boon docking where are you going to dump the portable tank? You already have one in your AS, use it wisely and dump it at waste stations,
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:26 AM   #16
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As hard as we try we can't get the Trash Panda's, Bears and White Tails to use the outhouse. They just don't realize what they are doing to OUR environment.
We tried the 'blu-tank' with our '63 Safari.(no grey tank) Wasn't worth the effort.
Careful conservation methods pay off.

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Old 12-10-2020, 05:04 PM   #17
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Funny how that grey water suddenly becomes an environmental issue when it goes in to an onboard tank.
Actually someone posted a couple years ago that in California if you have a concrete pad and the water runs off it's fine, BUT if there is a drain in the middle of that concrete pad and the water runs through a pipe (to get to the same spot) it is an environmental violation.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:38 AM   #18
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Lots of things to consider.

1-22 has really small tanks. They are a limiting factor over larger airstreams. Definitely managing your water will be a major challenge.

2-water is heavy. What size is your current tote? Can you lift it into your truck when full? Water is a little over 8 pounds a gallon. We have a "small" 12 gallon tote. With an extra strap around it to give something to grab onto, with 2 adults we can lift it from the ground to the truck bed. We usually try to not fill all the way up to save weight. We use our tote when we stay at national parks to manage gray. We don't use for black tank. We manage usage so we can last until we are at a dump station.

3-Do you have this?https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It was a game-changer in getting contents from the trailer to the tote without spills. Highly recommend. It can be hard to find this without knowing what to "google".

4-Do you camp where you can off load gray water properly? For example a latrine or dishwashing sink would be appropriate for gray water. Would a set up with a smaller 5 gallon bucket or tank like mentioned in the post above, and use this cap and garden hose to cleanly drain gray into a 5 gallon container and dump to the latrine or dish washing sink?https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T102...876798&sr=8-15
Also you can use a dish pan and catch sink water and shower water that way and just walk it over to the dishwashing sink or latrine.

5-Minimize usage. There are lots of ways to manage toilet usage to not fill the black tank.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f38...nt-140119.html. We use the trash bag and toddler diaper method for #2 and dispose in the trash. With #1 only in the tank it lasts longer. Others use a double bag and similar ideas. Is there a bit of ick factor? Sure, but 45 seconds later and you are onto other parts of your day. Better than breaking camp to dump. Also works on the way home if you have already dumped.

So to get back to your question, I would maybe want a 12 gallon size with me but not anything much bigger. I would only use for daily gray water when it's fresh and not sat and gotten funky. I would manage the black tank using other methods.
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:24 AM   #19
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External Waste Tank

Not a full timer but 3 -5 months a year boondocking.
We use a 10 gallon blue boy that I can lift onto the bed if the truck.
I painted it silver and it fits behind the propane cover when empty.
We usually take it to a dump station or outhouse every other day.
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:21 PM   #20
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Smile Someone Had to Say It

Quote:
Originally Posted by majorairhead View Post
I should probably refrain from comment, but I can't help myself

I personally don't have a concern, and I'm not busting on tent campers, but I've seen on many occasions, brushing teeth, doing dishes, etc. outside, with literally no concern for the fact the grey water is going on the ground right on the spot. Nobody ever says a word.

Not to mention, my airstream has an outside shower. I wonder if I can use it, you know, soap, shampoo, water, standing there outside my trailer?

Funny how that grey water suddenly becomes an environmental issue when it goes in to an onboard tank.

Anyway, I'm not in your shoes, but I think I'd take it along. Find a place to strap it down. Better to have it and not need it, than need it, and not have it

Anybody ever take a leak outside?

Sorry, I'll stop. Please don't flame me too bad
I'm glad you said it because I was thinking it.

Only thing I don't like is when someone dumps their entire gray tank, especially in tight quarters. It stinks and it's kind of icky so that's my personal limit. Dishwater and outside showers, absolutely. Midnight pees, of course.
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