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Old 12-29-2017, 10:08 AM   #1
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London , Arizona
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Moving rear bathroom to side - no black water tank

Hello,

Have used the search function here, and found that quite a few people have been interested in this - but not a lot have done it.

We have bought a 1980's Silver Streak, and it has the twin bed configuration with bathroom in the rear.
We want to create a shower room on the side, and move the bedroom into the rear.

The main issue that seems to come up is the black water tank, however we will be removing ours, as we are using a composting toilet (Natures Head), with a small pipe that vents out the side.

Does anyone foresee any issues ?
We will be gutting the whole thing, rewiring and replumbing anyway, so thought we would at least try and create the dream lay out.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:09 AM   #2
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For anyone not familiar with the Natures Head toilet, here is a good video
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:26 PM   #3
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The rear bedroom and mid bath is a much more popular layout. A composting toilet will be a turn off to many folks and may make your trailer harder to sell. You still have to maintain the composting toilet, which may be harder than simply dumping the black tank at a dump station. I've cleaned out too many kitty litter boxes in my life.

Why not install a new black tank since you plan on extensive renovations anyway. You might even consider a larger gray tank while you're at it. Airstream builds several models where the shower room is on one side, and the vanity and toilet are on the other side of the aisle. It is an efficient way to get enough room for both areas.

David
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
The rear bedroom and mid bath is a much more popular layout. A composting toilet will be a turn off to many folks and may make your trailer harder to sell. You still have to maintain the composting toilet, which may be harder than simply dumping the black tank at a dump station. I've cleaned out too many kitty litter boxes in my life.

Why not install a new black tank since you plan on extensive renovations anyway. You might even consider a larger gray tank while you're at it. Airstream builds several models where the shower room is on one side, and the vanity and toilet are on the other side of the aisle. It is an efficient way to get enough room for both areas.

David
Hi David,

I understand what you are saying about the resale.
We used a composting toilet when we stayed in a 31foot 1976 airstream on vacation, and it was not the 'hole in a bucket' experience we expected.
Seems they have come on leaps and bounds.

We are in the UK, and none of the sites we will be staying on have dumping stations - the most popular toilet system for trailers here is the cassette toilet.
The amount of chemicals involved in this, and the fact that you have to empty it manually anyway is what decided us on the composting one.

Great suggestion about larger grey tank, will consider this.

It's a massive project, and one that I have seen others run out of steam on.
So we are flexible on plans and have drawn and redrawn a few time already, but keep coming back to the side bathroom configuration.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:01 PM   #5
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Yep, renovating these vintage Airstreams is a big project. I figured I had about 1200 hours in the 66 Trade Wind. And I will have more than that in my current 75 Overlander.

Keeps a retired guy out of trouble for the most part.

David
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:05 PM   #6
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search the thread by Millertime. He bought a long-ish trailer, it ended up needing a frame-off gut job. He did a nice job with the bath
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:39 AM   #7
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Boynton Beach , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitterbug View Post
The main issue that seems to come up is the black water tank, however we will be removing ours, as we are using a composting toilet (Natures Head), with a small pipe that vents out the side.

Does anyone foresee any issues ?
We will be gutting the whole thing, rewiring and replumbing anyway, so thought we would at least try and create the dream lay out.
I did the deed with my 29' '72 Ambassador. Seeing as how I had no gray tank, I left the black tank in place and started using it as a gray. Unless you're doing a full frame-off job, why not leave it in place? It drops out from underneath if you want to remove it later.

As to your plumbing, you'll find things happily easier than re-piping a standard toilet. I used all PEX on the incoming side, and 1" flexible clear vinyl tubing for waste. The bathroom I built is a wet head, there is a shower handle that comes off the faucet. So the whole room can get wet... We have a tendency to use campground showers. Our use is primarily long weekends, so ongoing sanitation is minimized. We also installed a cold water shower (from a boat, a transom shower) in a small compartment out by the door. It's great for a quick bit of refreshment to get the salt water off you, or to clean muddy feet. Both of these are problems in Florida! Mine is right next to my secondary A/C exhaust, so I can even get a blow-dry after my shower! Now, if I only had enough hair to blow-dry...

I like my Nature's Head just fine (wife hates it), but there's also a new player- C-Head.

I built in a custom epoxy cloth floor that drains to a sump. It wraps up the walls a few inches so that any water that hits the walls drains.

Let me know if you have any questions!
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:56 PM   #8
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I did the same in my small 1962 19' Globetrotter. Moving the bath from the back allowed me to put in a nice comfy, queen sized, memory foam mattress in back. I have a Nature's head that I love. So glad not to have to deal with black water tank and stopping at dump stations. I created a wet bath with telescoping walls, and the Nature's Head, with a trapdoor over a shower pan that drains into a grey water tank. Usually, since I use biodegradable soaps & shampoo, I have no qualms about draining, with a hose, into a tree well in most rustic campgrounds. The pic is facing to rear with bed. Wet bath is behind striped fabric "door". The shower pan is under trap door below small rug. The white wall to right is 1 of the pair of walls that telescope out.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Yep, renovating these vintage Airstreams is a big project. I figured I had about 1200 hours in the 66 Trade Wind. And I will have more than that in my current 75 Overlander.

Keeps a retired guy out of trouble for the most part.

David
Well that's the main thing that you are not out causing mischief
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
search the thread by Millertime. He bought a long-ish trailer, it ended up needing a frame-off gut job. He did a nice job with the bath
Will check it out now, thanks
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyHomemakr View Post
I did the deed with my 29' '72 Ambassador. Seeing as how I had no gray tank, I left the black tank in place and started using it as a gray. Unless you're doing a full frame-off job, why not leave it in place? It drops out from underneath if you want to remove it later.

As to your plumbing, you'll find things happily easier than re-piping a standard toilet. I used all PEX on the incoming side, and 1" flexible clear vinyl tubing for waste. The bathroom I built is a wet head, there is a shower handle that comes off the faucet. So the whole room can get wet... We have a tendency to use campground showers. Our use is primarily long weekends, so ongoing sanitation is minimized. We also installed a cold water shower (from a boat, a transom shower) in a small compartment out by the door. It's great for a quick bit of refreshment to get the salt water off you, or to clean muddy feet. Both of these are problems in Florida! Mine is right next to my secondary A/C exhaust, so I can even get a blow-dry after my shower! Now, if I only had enough hair to blow-dry...

I like my Nature's Head just fine (wife hates it), but there's also a new player- C-Head.

I built in a custom epoxy cloth floor that drains to a sump. It wraps up the walls a few inches so that any water that hits the walls drains.

Let me know if you have any questions!
Would love to see some pictures, do you have any posted up ?

Am I right in thinking that the C Head drains into the grey tank (liquids)
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adobehome View Post
I did the same in my small 1962 19' Globetrotter. Moving the bath from the back allowed me to put in a nice comfy, queen sized, memory foam mattress in back. I have a Nature's head that I love. So glad not to have to deal with black water tank and stopping at dump stations. I created a wet bath with telescoping walls, and the Nature's Head, with a trapdoor over a shower pan that drains into a grey water tank. Usually, since I use biodegradable soaps & shampoo, I have no qualms about draining, with a hose, into a tree well in most rustic campgrounds. The pic is facing to rear with bed. Wet bath is behind striped fabric "door". The shower pan is under trap door below small rug. The white wall to right is 1 of the pair of walls that telescope out.
Couldn't see your picture

That is what we want too, a rear bedroom with a nice comfy bed that is always out.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:03 AM   #13
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Would love to see some pictures, do you have any posted up ?

Am I right in thinking that the C Head drains into the grey tank (liquids)
Here's the pics...

I believe that the C-Head uses old milk jugs for collection of "liquids". This could be a great thing, in that dumping the pee can be horrifically smelly in a small bathroom. I like to use the septic pipe in fancy campsites, as this is outside, and I can turn the Nature's Head jug upside down over it and run away. The two of us can almost fill up a Nature's Head jug after a long weekend, but then camping can be quite the thirsty affair!
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