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Old 12-04-2011, 01:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bk Yd Safari View Post
My wife and I plan on spending time in south Florida this winter staying in state parks. Knowing that we would be spending up to 14 days in one place without a sewer connection we started looking for alternatives to moving the AS to the dump station. We just recently purchased the Thetford 35 gallon unit. The 28 gallon unit was only $10.00 less, so we chose the larger size. I would rather move a larger unit 1/2 to 3/4's full than a smaller unit completely full.
Sounds like a good choice. I was tempted with the 35 gal unit but was concerned about the size. I think we both will make it work. I got mine for use at Henderson Beach State Park in Florida.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:13 PM   #22
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Discharge Height

The only problem I often run into with the 35 gallon tank is that the discharge height of the Airstream sometimes creates a problem filling the 35 gallon tank. It gets tricky, "milking" the hose to fill the tank without spilling anything when you disconnect. I've never used the portable tank for anything other than the grey water and, in truth, I would prefer to take the trailer to the dump station than to do so. Towing a 35 gallon tank behind the crew-cab dually is just about the epitomy of "over-kill" - but, as for dumping it, there isn't any difference between the portable tank and the trailer - provided you're using a discharge hose. I would definitely be upset if I saw someone dumping a portable tank filled with black sewerage - if they didn't use a hose! Fact tis, even dumping the grey water without a hose would be objectionable in my opinion. One thing I've considered is a simple truck-mounted tank that could be filled using the commercially-available 12-volt macerator pump. It wouldn't take up any more space in the truck than the portable 35-gal portable tank does when we're travelling - and it would sure be a lot easier to deal with! Just open the tailgate, attach and position the discharge hose, and then open the valve. With this setup, and proper venting, you might even consider using the truck-mounted tank for black water???
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:13 PM   #23
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We have a Barker 30 gallon 2 wheel (Amazon.com: Barker Manufacturing Company 31342 30 Gal. Tote-Along Tank: Automotive) that we use if we're somewhere without hook ups for more than a day (we have a much smaller one for that). I can say that when it's full, it does take a bit of ummph to get it on the hitch to drag it -- we've had ours for 2 years now and haven't really had a problem with it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:14 PM   #24
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We were also concerned about towing the portable tank.

We decided to purchase a portable pump that plugs into 12v. We can plug it into the TV power point. This enables us to place secure the portable tank on the tailgate or in the bed and pump the black/grey tank contents into the tank then drive to the dump site to empty.

Avoids any heavy lifting, quickly empties the tank, and makes it easy and safe to transport the tank to the dump station.

We also had JC install a 12v plug under the bunk and accessible thru the rear cargo door to enable the tanks to be emptied into the portable faster in the event that the TV was gone, in shop for repairs, etc. Our solar and larger battery bank can accommodate this power drain.

FWIW

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Old 12-04-2011, 02:19 PM   #25
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We were also concerned about towing the portable tank.

We decided to purchase a portable pump that plugs into 12v. This enables us to place secure the portable tank on the tailgate or in the bed and pump the black/grey tank contents into the tank then drive to the dump site to empty.

Avoids any heavy lifting, quickly empties the tank, and makes it easy and safe to transport the tank to the dump station.

We also had JC install a 12v plug under the bunk and accessible thru the rear cargo door to enable the tanks to be emptied into the portable faster in the event that the TV was gone, in shop for repairs, etc. Our solar and larger battery bank can accommodate this power drain.

FWIW

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That's amusing!!! It looks like we were both typing at the same time and also thinking about the macerator pump setup. I was actually thinking about a dedicated tank - but the truth is, there's no reason why the portable 35 gallon tank wouldn't do the job sitting in the truck bed as you explained.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:52 PM   #26
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That's amusing!!! It looks like we were both typing at the same time and also thinking about the macerator pump setup. I was actually thinking about a dedicated tank - but the truth is, there's no reason why the portable 35 gallon tank wouldn't do the job sitting in the truck bed as you explained.
Great minds....

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Old 12-04-2011, 03:56 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker
... One thing I've considered is a simple truck-mounted tank that could be filled using the commercially-available 12-volt macerator pump.... With this setup, and proper venting, you might even consider using the truck-mounted tank for black water???
Saw an ad for just this thing in the past week. Mounted and looked similar to a pickup tool box. Had 2 tanks, one was dedicated for fresh water and used gravity or an optional water pump to refill trailer. Macerator pump was used to pump waste water from trailer to 2nd tank in unit. Looks like it required a hole in the floor of the pickup bed as an RV dump valve and exit connector was visible below the side of the pickup. The waste water tank was flushable. Each tank held 50 gallons. Not sure I'd want a hole in my pickup....
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:36 PM   #28
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Waste Tank

We have a 35 gallon Thetford SmartTote LX Portable Waste Tank that I ordered from camping world while they were running a sale a few months back. Ive used it several times. I dont have a problem with the size and its very durable so far. I did try ONCE to pull it by hand to the dump station while it was full of gray water and quickly aborted that misson and went for the truck.
Only issue I have is, while towing the tank with our crewcab dually I cant see the tank. Mrs.S is not fond of riding on the tailgate to the dump station to let me know the tank is ok.
One of my worst fears is towing it and the hose or cap pop and my waste water go running through the park.
So Ive been doing some research and have found that there are some raido/electronic stores that can install a switch so that when Im towing my waste tank I can flip the switch and my backup cam on the tailgate will come on even with the truck in drive so that I can watch the tank on the screen while on my way to dump.
Mrs. S then can sit at camp and not take the dumping parade ride.
I tried to get here to give the parade wave once, I got a dirty look.

All in all the Thetford SmartTote is very durable and I wouldnt hesitate in suggestion one to another camper.
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:40 PM   #29
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What we all do for our poo.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:11 PM   #30
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Waste storage

The disadvantage of having a Suburban TV like I have is there is no way to mount a tank in the back (at least no way that my wife would let me.....her Suburban). On the other hand, I have a nice rear view camera that allows me to see the tank directly behind me. Like all things in life, there are trade offs.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:11 PM   #31
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Where do you think the guy in the tent or pop up next to you is draining / dumping their wash water? Most likely on the ground. After all, it is just soap, water, maybe a few food particles. Been done that way for decades. Airstream pioneers used a "gopher hole." Then the goverment had to step in, show us a better way.
Chap me if you want, but I drain off a few gallons of wash water in the cloak of darkness, using a 10' black hose so I can direct it towards some thirsty bush or ditch. I am country, where slinging stuff out the back door is a way of life.
I've had a blue boy for 25 years, never used it. If you have one by all means use it if you want to, it's a good thing. A little wash water on the ground is not a bad thing. BTW, it was a veteran Airstreamer that turned me own to the covert method.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:27 PM   #32
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I've done it! We use all earth friendly products but even if we didn't I'm sure the poor plants enjoyed their water during this last heat wave.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:30 PM   #33
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Where do you think the guy in the tent or pop up next to you is draining / dumping their wash water? Most likely on the ground. After all, it is just soap, water, maybe a few food particles. Been done that way for decades. Airstream pioneers used a "gopher hole." Then the goverment had to step in, show us a better way.
Chap me if you want, but I drain off a few gallons of wash water in the cloak of darkness, using a 10' black hose so I can direct it towards some thirsty bush or ditch. I am country, where slinging stuff out the back door is a way of life.
I've had a blue boy for 25 years, never used it. If you have one by all means use it if you want to, it's a good thing. A little wash water on the ground is not a bad thing. BTW, it was a veteran Airstreamer that turned me own to the covert method.

Shhhhhh....the Feds and State boys monitor this forum. Don't be givin' away the SECRET. They'll be stopping by at all the silver trailers now!

I must confess, if I'm leaving in the morning and I'm just a little too full to make it, I put on the camo, face paint, and sneak a little out....
There, I feel better!

In all seriousness, my brother will be retiring in 2 weeks after 32 years as a Forest Service Asst. Ranger. He sees no problem in gray water dumping in remote or sparsely used sites. It IS A PROBLEM in heavily used and densely populated grounds. Be smart about it, please.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:41 PM   #34
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Just get it ready before the sun goes down.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:49 PM   #35
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Yup

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Just get it ready before the sun goes down.

Yup I have that same cover!
Ive noticed a few times when we went to bed the grey water indicater showed full and when we woke up in the morning it showed empty.

Ah, electronics! You cant never trust them!
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:54 PM   #36
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Your MH should have a big enough tank to make a portable one unnecessary. jim
80 gallon fresh water, 43 gallon black water, 45 gallon gray water. Really no need to worry, but I do plan on camping in State Parks for the most part. 2 weeks with no way to empty the tanks without breaking camp can be a bit of a hassle. Of course, IF I do buy one of these things, I've got to figure out where I'm going to store it. Sure as heck don't want it inside......
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #37
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I don't do GI showers

It takes almost a gallon of water to get hot water to the shower, and I really hate taking GI Showers. I am a bit more conservative when I'm in a no-hookups or water only site, but I used to regularly fill my gray tank in 4 to 5 days.

I went through a phase where I plugged the shower drain, then used a small pump to pump the water down the toilet. That turned out to be overkill: more work than it was worht. Now, I take a used gallon milk jug and cut the top off, leaving the handle intact, and simply transfer as much water from the shower to the toilet as is easily gotten into the jug. The rest goes down the drain to the gray tank. I use paper plates whenever practical, and if I do a lot of dishes, carry some of that water to the toilet too.

I've gone 8 days without totally filling both tanks. I've wished I had a blue boy a couple of times, but for the most part, it wouldn't be needed. I've talked to people who camp in dry areas of the country, and one or two have mentioned using an evaporation tray for gray water. Sounds like a good idea in dryer climates.

Paula
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #38
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Now, don't we all feel better, getting this wash water thing off our chest?
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:40 PM   #39
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When we first started RVing I obsessed a lot about whether we should get a tote for the extra waste and/or grey water. We never got around to getting one and now I don't think we would. We can go a week on the black tank (two of us) and we sensibly release some of the grey water when we can...if it can't be drained slowly to water a bush or tree, we can always take a bucket or container to the dump station and get rid of it. I don't think I'd want to use a tote for black water.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:54 PM   #40
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When we first started RVing I obsessed a lot about whether we should get a tote for the extra waste and/or grey water. We never got around to getting one and now I don't think we would. We can go a week on the black tank (two of us) and we sensibly release some of the grey water when we can...if it can't be drained slowly to water a bush or tree, we can always take a bucket or container to the dump station and get rid of it. I don't think I'd want to use a tote for black water.
The macerator pump makes using the portable a nonissue as it turns the contents into a slurry. It is easily emptied from this portable after being pumped out. The remaining residue is rinsed quite easily. We put some water and chemical in for a final freshening. I would not want to use it for the black tank without the macerator.

It works well for longterm boondocking. Easier and faster than hooking up the unit. The pump also empties the tanks more effectively than gravity.

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