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Old 06-20-2008, 08:02 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1965 22' Safari
memphis , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 47
after market tanks & heat to black tank question

i hope i'm not posting too much and driving folks crazy, but i feel like i have tons of questions! i am wondering whether to replace my black tank w/ an aftermarket or pay the extra $$ for a replica. has anyone out there used aftermarket tanks and if so do you have any advice or suggestions? i found a tank that is aftermarket, rectangular in shape, and 18 gal. the footprint is slightly smaller and is 6" deep so i think it would fit. maybe this is a good idea?

secondly, i tore out the original suburban heater and didn't plan on replacing it except w/ a catalytic heater. this would mean i wouldn't have heat to the black tank box and i didn't know how big of a deal this would be? i live in tennessee and don't plan on using the trailer in extreme conditions. in fact this trailer probably wont get tons of use by me...probably 6 times a year...mostly in summer or fall w/ the occasional trip over christmas break. can anyone comment on what they have done to heat the tank or if it is necessary?

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Old 06-20-2008, 09:10 AM   #2
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1973 23' Safari
1977 23' Safari
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I've taken all the suburban heaters out of my Airstreams and I often camp in cold weather. The holding tanks are large and it takes significant time to freeze them (make sure the existing insulation is in reasonable shape). If they are partially full, a soft freeze won't hurt them. So far I've had no damage, but the days have always been above freezing, even if the nights were 20 degrees. This past winter I spent 5 days continuously below 10 degrees. The black tank was fine (small deposits), but I forgot to dump a little anti-freeze in the gray drains, so the traps froze. This was a huge problem to thaw, since you can't apply heat directly to the shower trap.

As far as replacing your tank with after market product, it depends on how handy you are in making the pipes fit and adjusting the supports/insulation. Most members seem to use the after market tanks for replacement. The after market tanks are reliable.

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