Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-03-2020, 07:49 PM   #1
New Member
1970 31' Sovereign
Mansfield , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 1
Stationary black water tank?

Big question? We will probably camp with friends in spring and fall but this will be a POOL HOUSE in the summer. Wondering if anyone has used a large black water tank for when your airstream is stationary. I would like to use a 250 gallon tank for summer.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? (Have already re-weatherstripped the windows and cleaned those up.) Starting with a shell! CAN'T WAIT to renovate our 1970 sovereign!

CarrieL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 08:16 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
1967 17' Caravel
Pocatello , Idaho
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 172
That's a huge black tank! Will it actually be an in-ground septic tank or an above-ground tank that will need to be emptied? Can't imagine trying to drag around and empty a 250gal tank of sewage. Or will you have a tanker truck come and pump it out? That's a thought, but depending on where you are located might be terribly expensive if the truck has to drive a long distance to get to you.

Sounds like a good idea if you can work out the logistics. Although the Airstream is a travel trailer, not a park trailer, so seems a shame in a way to park it for so long.

Well, good luck! Someone on this site is bound to have good ideas for you!


Cerberus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 08:26 PM   #3
Rivet Master
2018 28' International
Fayetteville , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 642
Well that’s gonna stink...
2018 International Serenity
Cute wife...
brick1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 08:45 PM   #4
Rivet Master
SteveSueMac's Avatar

2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 7,402
Is there a septic clean out at the house? If so, and within less than 100í you may be able to use an electric macerator pump or a water based Sewer Solution. Canít imagine a 250 gallon temporary tank for this would it be emptied?
SteveSueMac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 09:10 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 458
Yeah SteveSueMac's suggestion of a poo pump to quickly move it to its designated destination is a much much nicer plan.

A large holding tank is really just a mini cesspool/septic tank and to avoid the attendant foul odors you would need to aerate it with a little air pump so you may as well just get some 3/4 or 1 inch pvc and an electric macerator or the "Sewer Solution" water jet pump if the sewer clean out is less than 2 or 3 feet in elevation higher. I use the Sewer Solution as my everyday disposal method and I like it a lot. It's effective, and the water flush keeps everything relatively clean and sanitary.

You can run the pump whenever you have 10 or more gallons to dispose of.
BayouBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 12:45 PM   #6
dropped rivet in grass
2019 23' Flying Cloud
Tarzan , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 49
If they were in West Texas. they could just call one of a hundred or so contracting services to come by and empty it weekly with one of their purpose-built trucks. Those blackwater tanks are commonly used in pipeliner trailer camps and drill sites.
Tall Grass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 04:19 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
bibbs's Avatar
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1973 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
Vista , California
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 401
When it comes to sewer tanks, they fill up a lot faster than you would think. Go with the macerater pump, of if possible run a 3” pipe.
bibbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 04:20 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Foiled Again's Avatar
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6,952
For goodness sake (literally) please check with the local health department/zoning commission and put in a legal septic system.
Friends of mine bought a house with an added office and pool cabana, and a cobbled together homemade and uninspected tank and field. The bad work was carefully concealed and they paid top dollar. The home inspector missed the illegal "system" which was draining into a creek that led to a river...
The main house's system was barely adequate for the house, let alone the additions. Once found (it breached when the tank rusted through) they had to immediately cease using half their property and had 45 days to get truckloads of dirty soil removed, a new proper drain system installed and a legal tank installed. The county also required them to enlarge the original house's drain field. The cost was close to $20,000... and they had to fight against paying fines for the prior owner's acts. They may never recoup any of the money from the inspection service or the original owners.

Had the original owners done it right in the first place it would have cost around $6,000 or less.
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 04:23 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 458
3 inch pipe if the run is downhill, 3/4 or one if uphill.
BayouBiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 06:50 PM   #10
nvestysly's Avatar

1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,993
Hello CarrieL,

Looks like you're new to Air Forums... Welcome!

As others have said, there are lots of things to consider.

Some sort of connection to a sewer cleanout connected to the house makes sense. That may permit you dump your tank via a macerator pump or some sort of semi-permanently installed hard-line PVC.

Consider using a cassette toilet in the trailer - they're good for several "flushes" and can easily be dumped into the toilet in the house to empty the contents.

Your question regarding a large tank is not as crazy as it might seem to some. Oil-field camping sites and other temporary to semi-permanent RV camping arrangements use these types of tanks. The local sewer guy can dig a hole and install a large plastic tank underground. It has a "trap" in the dump inlet so it doesn't allow sewer gasses to escape and it has a separate clean-out port so the "honey wagon" can come by periodically to siphon the waste out. In many ways it's like a port-a-john, just below ground, and has a much large capacity. Local code may dictate what's allowable but it's all contained in the tank so there's no leach field or any waste escaping to the ground. This kind of arrangement may be more common than some might think.
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
nvestysly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 10:24 PM   #11
Rivet Master
1969 18' Caravel
Greenville , whereEverIroam
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 684
Images: 5
A portable composting toilet may also work. Some members here swear by them and have even replaced their black tank system with them.

This may well be much cheaper, and it has the added benefit of being "greener" for the environment and generating good soil if it's done right, but it involves worms, bacteria (the good kind) and requires some ongoing effort to stir the compost and remove it.
skyguyscott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 11:45 AM   #12
Rivet Master
2018 30' Classic
Jacksonville , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 598
Is this a temporary system or long term thing?

I spent the better part of 30 years working out of an office trailer on a construction site. The office trailer(s) had regular residential tank flushing toilets, sinks, and kitchen sinks. The toilets flushed their 1.1 gallon of water down with the waste to a holding tank. The holding tanks were pumped out weekly by a contractor that serviced the port-o-lets on the project. The tank vented through the vent on the trailer.

Your Airstream Trailer doesn't work that way. (typically) You keep the black tank valve closed and fill up the tank. Then dump the liquid containing the disolved solids from the tank. The office trailer didn't have a on-board holding tank. It dumped down a pipe straight to the ground tank. You do not want to keep the travel trailer dump valve on the black water tank open all the time. It causes build up of solids where you don't want them. Should you do the storage tank it will likley need a separate vent system.

I don't remember the charge for the "service" to the tank. But I do remember $178 for some reason. It all depended upon how many units on the site were to be serviced. But a one system at one location will not be a bargain.

Most municipalities had no problem with our temp office trailer on a permited site. They sat on blocks, were tied down and had tires under them. Once you start skirting in, setting on blocks, and removing tires/axels it becomes a different story.
Overstreet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2020, 10:26 AM   #13
1 Rivet Member
2020 27' Globetrotter
STAMFORD , Connecticut
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 11
Why would you ever want to deal with ANY sewage let alone that much?
Swap out your toilet in your RV for a urine diverting, composting toilet.
Have the option to divert urine into a container or into the black/grey tank(s).
Either way, you don't get sewage (liquid + solid).
It was one of the first things I did when I got my Airstream.
My black tank has never seen sewage, not once.
Check out

Justinfinity is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Heaters For Stationary Airstreams rfield54 Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 3 10-03-2017 10:41 PM
Black Tank, Grey Tank, New Tank, Old Tank Bunkroom Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 3 07-22-2014 08:35 PM
Black water holding tank changes for using trailer as stationary home/external septic bol-gordon All Argosy Trailers 3 05-20-2009 07:34 AM
Fulltiming: stationary or mobile? (Poll) clecogirl Full-Timing 11 02-24-2007 03:31 PM
If Airstreams were stationary... at_wanderer Off Topic Forum 15 11-14-2006 11:09 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.