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Old 07-26-2006, 09:25 PM   #1
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Grey water tank question?

I read an article in the Blue Berret that got me thinking. The authur said to take navy showers when you are boondocking or when you don't have sewer hook ups to save on gray tank capacity. Well we do this always. I mean it didn't occur to me to take a "regular" shower when we had sewer hook up and leave the gray tank valve open.

When our dealer was demonstrating all of the systems, he said that you hold the tanks and dump them once each day, dumping the black tank first and use the gray tank to flush the hose. This is what we have been doing but on two occasions we have filled our gray tank and had it back up into the shower and I was wondering, if you have a sewer hook up how many people leave the gray tank valve open all the time and hold the black tank only. I can see doing this up to the last night and holding the gray tank then to flush the sewer hose then. But, on the other hand, our '06 LS package included a flush system for rinsing the black tank and I do that for 5-10 minutes while I take everything else down to leave anyway.

I guess my question is am I holding the gray tank needlessly when we have full hookups? Are we taking navy showers when we don't have to? Hot water capacity not withstanding.
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
... and I was wondering, if you have a sewer hook up how many people leave the gray tank valve open all the time and hold the black tank only. I can see doing this up to the last night and holding the gray tank then to flush the sewer hose then.
That's what we do.

We (actually, me ... Petunia won't get near a sewer hose ) also use a Flush King once in a while ... much better than the stock rinse system ... which I use every time I dump the black tank.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:06 AM   #3
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It would be nice if more dealers or particularly their salespeople would actually go camping in the trailers they sell. I asked this question at an RV show to several salespeople and got the common answer- No I am too busy here. Some would say my parents used to camp when I was younger.
By all means open your grey water tank valve and let her run that is how it is designed to work. Hold on the the black stuff and use the flush feature and be glad you have one. We Classic owners have to drag hoses and use after market devices.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:47 AM   #4
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When the ship is in port and hooked up to shore water the shower will change from a Navy shower to a Hotel Shower ues all the water you want. I myself use the open gray water tank valve and close the last day method.

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Old 07-27-2006, 09:02 AM   #5
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Gray Water Procedure

We also use the "gray water open until the last morning routine". We then also do a complete flush of the black tank.

On the shower issue, when we're hooked up, we shower just like home. We have also found that the water heater recycles very quickly. We both have showered back to back and have been unable to run the hot water out. We have also found that we only have to turn the water heater on ten minutes before we want to use it. We make it a practice to leave the water heater off until we need it.

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Old 07-27-2006, 09:04 AM   #6
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I would/do leave the gray tank closed even if we are at full hook ups. Maybe it's just me, but I like to have the volume of gray water in there just so that the force of the dump may (or maybe not) push out any solid "pieces" from cooking, washing dishes, etc. Before departure, we also pur a bunch of clean water down all drains to clean the traps to prevent them from getting to smelly during storage. We also use drain stoppers to slow the evaporation of those traps as well.

As for the black tank, it has been noted that the closer to maximumn capacity you can get, the better your dump will be be for the same reason as above.

Jonathan
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:06 AM   #7
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"Tanks" everyone. This will improve our camping experience when we have full hook-ups. We will be less roughing it to not have to take navy showers. Now to find state parks with full hook-ups and figure out how to get a bigger hot water heater...but that's another thread.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
.... Before departure, we also pur a bunch of clean water down all drains to clean the traps to prevent them from getting to smelly during storage. We also use drain stoppers to slow the evaporation of those traps as well.
Good idea with the drain stoppers!
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
...but I like to have the volume of gray water in there just so that the force of the dump may (or maybe not) push out any solid "pieces" from cooking, washing dishes, etc. ...
Jonathan
I was reading an article on some web sitethe other day...can't remember where or what the circumstances were, but I think it was a tank or rv manufacturers site...they said the same thing: its best to get the big "whoosh" effect, even w/ the grey tanks. that's how they get smelly. little bits of left-over solids do get stuck in there. They also said that 3" dump pipes should be used instead of the common 1 1/2".
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
I was reading an article on some web sitethe other day...can't remember where or what the circumstances were, but I think it was a tank or rv manufacturers site...they said the same thing: its best to get the big "whoosh" effect, even w/ the grey tanks. that's how they get smelly. little bits of left-over solids do get stuck in there. They also said that 3" dump pipes should be used instead of the common 1 1/2".
Never seen a 1-1/2" sewer hose?
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
Never seen a 1-1/2" sewer hose?
the drain pipes coming out of many (if not most) grey tanks are 1 1/2"...they typically connect to a 3" pipe from the black tank or some joint often referred to as a "collector", to which the standard 3" sewer hose connects.

but now that you mention it...I actually have a 3/4" sewer hose that I'd be happy to show you:


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Old 07-27-2006, 11:49 AM   #12
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I have been told that vectors have used an open line to gain access to the tank....Yikes!

Rats, bugs and things, Oh My!!
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
the drain pipes coming out of many (if not most) grey tanks are 1 1/2"...they typically connect to a 3" pipe from the black tank or some joint often referred to as a "collector", to which the standard 3" sewer hose connects.

but now that you mention it...I actually have a 3/4" sewer hose that I'd be happy to show you:


Seems that would be too easy to get confused with the fresh water supply when hooking up in the dark when pulling into a campsite late at night....eueeeew!
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Old 08-19-2006, 08:20 PM   #14
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I am glad to hear that some of you folks keep the gray tank valve open all the time while at full hookups. I am very new to RVing and was advised by a veteran RVer to keep it closed until ready to drain as 'sewer gas' (Christmas Vacation?) would backup from the campground sewer system and come in the trailer.

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Old 08-19-2006, 09:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickleton
I am glad to hear that some of you folks keep the gray tank valve open all the time while at full hookups. I am very new to RVing and was advised by a veteran RVer to keep it closed until ready to drain as 'sewer gas' (Christmas Vacation?) would backup from the campground sewer system and come in the trailer.

Larry
Larry,
The traps under the sinks hold water and block any gases from backing into the trailer. That's why it is a good idea to run water into both sinks and the shower when you hook up. This will fill those traps. It works the same in your house also.
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:05 PM   #16
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OK, thanks for the info. Will make my next camping experience easier.

Larry
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:00 PM   #17
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you can also make an extra p-trap out of your slinky, if you use one of those slinky support thingies...just leave a little slack between the sewer connection and the support, so the slinky sits on the ground, and then raises up to the support, then continues down hill to the sewer.

I think this is what the old-timer was cautioning against; you shouldn't get sewer gas inside the trailer, due to the p-traps on the fixtures. however, your vent system will be venting the campground's sewer system, and that could produce some unpleasantness in the general vicinity outside your trailer. So either making your own make-shift trap out of the slinky, or keeping the grey tank valve closed will prevent that.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:05 PM   #18
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Thanks Chuck for the tip, will do on next trip.

Larry
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:24 PM   #19
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Hi ,
I have a new problem in my 2005 22' Safari. Grey water, I'm guessing from the trap is splashing up oto my toilet/shower combo when I'm towing. I'm thinking the trap since it just happened twice when the grey tank was not even half full! Am I doing something wrong? Previously, I only had water when I forgot to empty the flush water out of the toilet. This is definitely not clean and just as definitely not black water.
Suggestions would be appreciated,
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:31 PM   #20
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We always close all the drains and put the plug in the shower drain before towing. That would prevent water splashing out of your sink trap.

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