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Old 08-23-2018, 08:05 AM   #1
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Sink Drains to Black Tank

After camping this weekend without sewer hookup, I realized that the sink in the bathroom of my Ď18 Serenity 28 RQB drains to the black tank, not to the grey tank. Did not expect that...
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:54 AM   #2
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I don't doubt it. Since the largest consumer of water is the galley sink and the shower, AS probably thought there was no harm in routing the head sink to the black tank. They may actually have done you a favor, because a full grey tank is just as bad, it backs up into the shower.

The manual should show the plumbing. It might require you to locate all the pipes in your mind in 3-D so it makes sense.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:05 AM   #3
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I think there are two camps here, those who like the bathroom sink draining into the black tank and those who do not. I am not sure but believe the individual AS models vary on this by model & year.

I have had both and prefer it draining into the black tank as it allows us to fill the tanks more even for our usage.

It seems the extended dry campers like it draining into grey as they can handle grey water but the black tank still needs to be properly dumped.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ArkFortyCal View Post
I think there are two camps here, those who like the bathroom sink draining into the black tank and those who do not. I am not sure but believe the individual AS models vary on this by model & year.

I have had both and prefer it draining into the black tank as it allows us to fill the tanks more even for our usage.

It seems the extended dry campers like it draining into grey as they can handle grey water but the black tank still needs to be properly dumped.
We do a lot of dry camping (25' FB) and I think I'd prefer the bathroom skin to drain to the black tank. When dry camping, our limiting factor has always been the gray water tank (no matter how we ration our water usage). The volume of water generated by our lavatory sink is pretty small. Some hand washing, brushing teeth and occasional shaving is about all that happens in there.

There is always the option of placing a small basin in the sink to catch the water in the basin and the you could place it down the drain (black or gray) that was most advantageous to you in that situation.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:22 AM   #5
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You will find many other instances of this in these recent threads:

https://www.google.com/search?q=sink...=airforums.com

The new Google-powered search function above, in the blue box, works great!

FYI
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
You will find many other instances of this in these recent threads:

https://www.google.com/search?q=sink...=airforums.com

The new Google-powered search function above, in the blue box, works great!

FYI

Thanks for the tip. The old search function was terrible.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:36 AM   #7
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Yup!

This Google search opens your results in a new window, with the search term "site:airforums.com" added automatically to whatever you had entered. You can stay in this new window and adjust the search terms easily, without having to go Back here. Nice!

So . . . in a general search on the Internet, you can also add a new search term for any site I think by doing the same thing for that site. Very handy to learn/know this trick!

Peter
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:19 AM   #8
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I had a trailer once where the bathroom sink drained into the blackwater tank, and with 2 adults and 3 kids I needed all of the BW tank for Black water. Got a plastic bowl that fit into the sink and then emptied it down the shower drain. Not perfect but it worked.
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:35 AM   #9
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Hi

I think the reason some sinks do one thing and other sinks do the other thing is simply the ease with which it can be implemented. On one trailer it's easy to hit the gray tank on another trailer it's way easier to hit the black tank.

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Old 08-24-2018, 09:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by brick1 View Post
After camping this weekend without sewer hookup, I realized that the sink in the bathroom of my Ď18 Serenity 28 RQB drains to the black tank, not to the grey tank. Did not expect that...
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It is not crystal clear in the manual, but pretty obvious.

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Old 08-24-2018, 11:59 AM   #11
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It’s really not a problem - I just didn’t realize it. My strategy will be to use the bathroom sink when on full hook up - more water to help flush out the black tank. And more use of the kitchen sink when no sewer hookup. Grey I can easily handle with a portable tote.
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:34 PM   #12
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The diagram is crystal clear, now that I look at it. This actually allows me to use either bathroom or kitchen sink, depending on the situation, to manage tank levels.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:30 PM   #13
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drains

I agree
Knowing what water goes where allows me to control
which I want to fill up first.
Also if I want to dump black and it is only 1/2 full, I can let
the bathroom sink run to fill it and not stand in the bathroom
with my foot on the toilet pedal.
All the while watching the water level of course.
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:06 PM   #14
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I've replumbed two vintage Airstreams. In both cases, it was easier to drain the bath sink into the black tank. And I liked the idea of keeping the black tank wet as most of us do.

I think years ago when Airstream and others instructed us to drain wash water in the bushes somewhere. Separating black from gray water made since back then. Now days, Airstreamers wouldn't think of draining any "dirty" water anywhere except into a sewer or septic tank.

David
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:22 PM   #15
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. . .
Now days, Airstreamers wouldn't think of draining any "dirty" water anywhere except into a sewer or septic tank.
Seems a bit over-broad IMO. Most 1-2 day old grey water waste is fine to put on permeable ground in limited quantities, with permission of the landowner, IMO. Most of us have left human #1 liquid waste someplace once in a while. Ditto for many outdoor showers at remote cabins and so forth.

Never say never.

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Old 08-24-2018, 11:34 PM   #16
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2017 28 Serenity here. I think itís a good thing. Hard to imagine you would reach your black tank limit with just the toilet at the same time your grey tank tops off. My experience is even with the bathroom sink draining into the black tank, my limiting factor is my grey tank..
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:54 AM   #17
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2017 28 Serenity here. I think itís a good thing. Hard to imagine you would reach your black tank limit with just the toilet at the same time your grey tank tops off. My experience is even with the bathroom sink draining into the black tank, my limiting factor is my grey tank..
Hi

It depends a *lot* on how stingy you are with gray water ....showers indoors / showers outdoors / showers in the bath house .... paper plates / plates you wash ... aluminum foil cooking on the grill .... lots of variables and lots of ways to impact gray water.

Bob
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:40 AM   #18
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Seems a bit over-broad IMO. Most 1-2 day old grey water waste is fine to put on permeable ground in limited quantities, with permission of the landowner, IMO. Most of us have left human #1 liquid waste someplace once in a while. Ditto for many outdoor showers at remote cabins and so forth.

Never say never.

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I agree. If you are really boondocking, as in the desert or forest or someoneís field you can do GW small black hose under the coach, or use a Blue Boy wheeled tank if there is a place to dump it. Obviously be sensitive to your location, and use common sense; if you are sitting on concrete or an impermeable service use the Blue Boy.

In the 1970s we frequently oondocked for a month at a time off the road among the trees in the Big Horn National forest in WY. We used a tank in my pickup to bring fresh water 40gallon at a time to my trailer, used a small black hose for GW, and dug a modestly deep hole in the ground once for.....well for other reasons. The gummit has probably made more rules though in the last 40 years. 2 adults, 3 kids and a St Bernard dog back then. But times change...
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Old 04-01-2020, 12:30 PM   #19
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Bathroom Sink to Black tank during CoVid-19

After owning our AS for 3 years we learned that the bathroom sink drains to the black tank, not the gray tank. This had never occurred to me since, well, the black tank is for the toilet. This explained why I couldnít understand why the black tank was filling at such varying rates given what appeared to be similar circumstances. This has been an issue when boon-docking filling the black tank faster than anticipated.

Enter excessive (or in this case, appropriate) hand washing. We have always generally used the bathroom sink for hand washing to avoid the kitchen sink getting funky germs in the place we prepare food. So our bathroom sink is getting much more of a workout. Included in that is antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer on occasion, including alcohol. Both of these items have a negative efficacy on the black tank treatment. This is explaining why the second day after dumping and cleaning the tank we are having odor problems. (Additionally, some folks could have problems with clogs.) Since we are at full hookups this means draining and cleaning the tank with much greater frequency. No biggie for us, just more time than usual playing with poop and a bit more expense with treating the tank.
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:37 AM   #20
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I have personally plumbing the bath sink to the black tank when refurbishing vintage Airstreams. I prefer a wet black tank, and a typical toilet flush does not always put enough water in the black tank. Residential toilets flush with about a gallon and a half of water, much more than a RV gravity toilet. Besides, adding wash water to the black tank better manages our limited wastewater holding systems. Heck, our home septic tank gets all dirty water effluent from the house. It has been that way for decades.

My friend did not want his bath sink plumbed to the black tank just for your reason. Other Airstreams don't like the bath sink to the black tank either. Me, I prefer it that way as water is a good thing in a black tank.

Travel trailers are a pain sometimes. You are wise to let your black tank reach about 75% full before dumping it, and then follow with a nice full grey tank to rinse the hose. Good management of your "sewer system" will help avoid clogs and other problems.

David
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