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Old 07-26-2011, 04:31 PM   #1
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Ben in MT's Avatar
1966 24' Tradewind
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10
Recommendations for a grey water tote

Hello All, my wife and two children camp typically 2-3 nights in our '66 Tradewind. Naturally we don't have a grey water tank and I've considered installing a grey tank under the belly of the Tradewind. My only hesitation is the possibility of creating more stress or tail sag on a trailer that is older than I am (any insight there is more than welcome). So I'm left looking at totes and I'm a little uncertain what capacity or what brand, features would best fit our needs. Are there any totes to avoid... I read somewhere that a person had issues with plastic wheels falling apart easily... not sure if that's avoidable. Capacity, can 30 gallons even be lifted into the back of a truck... I have no idea. Any insight is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:17 PM   #2
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
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8 pounds per gallon.

You can lift maybe 100 pounds or 12 gallons but that is a risky endeavor for some of us.

A family of 4 could keep waste water use down to maybe 10 to 15 gallons per day, I think. Perhaps less depending upon the age of the kids.

You might consider 2 tanks and a pump. One tank to collect waste and another in the truck. Use the pump to do the lifting from one tank to the other. Use a macerator pump and you could handle black waste as well.

Some waste tanks are designed so they can be connected to the back of a truck to be towed a short distance in a campground to a dump station as another option.

If those kids are big enough, you could rig a sling so the entire family could assist with lifting a single tank. Some 'kids' - teenage boys - could handle a 30 gallon tank without assistance but the food supply for those sorts usually means a big fridge ;-)
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
Tucson , AZ
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I got the Thetford Smart Tote... it's handle rotates around and can be secured to your hitch to tow it to the dump station. Very happy with it - though seldom used.

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Old 07-26-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
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Generate less gray water.
Navy showers, paper plates or sponge dish washing.
Buy a new shower heads that has less flow or epoxy most of the holes of the old one.
make a temporary storage tank with a bilge pump to automaticiy pump it up to to larger tank in bed of PU or Teach the kids to roll the tank to the dump station, to the tune of "roll out the barrels" lol
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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Kingwood , Texas
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You can have mine. Biggest waste of money ever. Impractical to "tow" behind truck. Too heavy to lift into the truck. Spills all over the place.
Hey, its the only way to be sure!
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:02 PM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Since "a pint's a pound the world around" (another one of those Dad-isms that's true) 30 gallons weighs 240 lb. If you can lift that much weight into the back of your truck, we'd like to invite you to Minnesota to help us put the new axles under our trailer. We have one of those blue totes that is seldom used anymore but as soon as we leave it at home, we'll need it. They are handy in trailers without grey water tanks. I wouldn't mess with putting black water in them - yucky. Sounds like a good solution for you if you can get one that tows behind your vehicle.

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Old 07-26-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,564
I got a 16 gal. Thetford smart tote. We can go 3 -4 days before dumping. I like it. Rachel and I can lift it into the truck with no problem. I towed it to a dump once but you have to drive so slow I usually walk if the dump isn't far. The self storing hose is nice. It comes with Valterra fitting so if you have original Thetford VTS has an adaptor.
Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:32 PM   #8
Road Geezer
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2011 27' FB Flying Cloud
San Jose , California
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Auxilliary Tank

My wife and I find that we can comfortably go a couple days before our gray water tank starts getting too full. I bought a 42 gallon Barker tow behind tank. It's large, and even empty it's cumbersome. I'd never attempt to lift it into our Suburban with anything in it for obvious reasons. That said, I chose 42 gallon size because I didn't want to have to deal with it overflowing.

If you campground has a dump station, and you don't mind SLOWLY towing it full behind your vehicle, you'll probably be happy with it. I am; it's just a bit noisy, even full and you really don't want to tow it too far, or on a really rough road. It's well made, but not designed for abuse like deep potholes or exceeding about 5 mph.

On problem I found is that the Barker fill port is on the top, and if you're camping on level ground, you won't have any elevation drop between the valve on your AS and the tank. My solution in that case is to fill it through the tank's side port. You'll probably spill a little on the ground; but then the water's gray, not black.

Finally, make sure you put deodorant it it after rinsing just like you do in your holding tanks. It can get really ripe after a day in the sun...
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tote, gray water tank

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