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millvalleyca 01-26-2009 06:22 PM

Portable waste tanks
Anyone use a portable waste tank?
While camping at Casini Ranch here in California last season I saw people pulling waste tanks to the dump station.
Some of the more desirable campsites (with views of the Russian River) do not have full hookups...just water and electricity.
For a weeks stay rather than pulling the trailer to the dump station I was thinking about getting a PWT.

Any thoughts?
They come in 12, 18, 27, and 35 gallon tanks.
Are they too messy to deal with?
Too big to deal with? (35 gal)
How do you use them? From the pic in the CW catalog it looks like you "lift the front end" and poor into the dump station hole in the ground? (what's the hole called?)

Getting excited about spring camping.......:D


Lumatic 01-26-2009 06:35 PM

I use a generic 22 gal tank. It comes with a stainless handle you can hook to your hitch and tow the blue boy to the dump. 22 gal is big enough for me and my 3 grandkids for the weekend. I use it mainly for grey water as my 71 only has a black water tank. A full 22 gal tank is heavy enough (7#/gal x 22) I would not want to wrestle a bigger one.

higgy116 01-26-2009 07:22 PM

Great question, I am also thinking of getting a portable tote as my AS only has a black tank and as I hope to attend more of my units rallies which do not offer waste hookups. I was also wondering if anyone can suggest a good place to buy one as they seem to be quite expensive for what the are, a big plastic tank.

doorgunner 01-26-2009 07:35 PM

I spotted on of them fellers last year a hitched up to his blue boy. I supposin it was bout 30 gallons or so. I was on my mornin walk when I heard him a comin, wheels was a squeakin, cryin for lubrication. He done got past me, there was one wheel a wobblin somethin horrible.Then it happened-- Wheel went astray!! Clunk - tank just a draggin on the asphalt!! woulda been sparkin if twerent plastic. Well didn't take but 2 shakes and the bottom plumb wore off that blue tank bein as it was bein towed behind a vehicle that was a pumpin out some kinda dixie tunes. The sewage was a spillin all over the road and the feller pullin it just went down yonder a whilistin away. So they had ta call the haz-mat authorities and created some ruckus as the only road into the place was - well - it was sorta messy. yup them new folks need some learnin. I'm rememberin the early campin in the tent in the 50's when we had one them thar thunder jugs that the ole man mt ever mornin in the outhouse.

Sixty3TW4US 01-26-2009 08:58 PM

We use an 18 gal. blue boy (it's gray) it is a newer model, vary ez to use never had a prob. If we conserve at campsites with showers etc. my wife and i can get 3 nights, that is 4 days of camping. We only use it for gray water not black. Boondocking would require different methods for water use and disposal. I like the blue boy!!

Soyboy 01-26-2009 10:05 PM

We have a 32 Gal. 4 wheel Barker tank. It comes it handy as we dry camp a lot. It works great and I am very satisfied with it. You will find that a lot of folks modify the rear wheels on this model, switching from the standard solid wheels, to pneumatic wheels that you can purchase cheaply at Harbor Freight. It's quieter and rides better on these wheels and it is a quick and easy mod. Most folks leave the front steering wheels as is.

With low height drain pipes and camping on a flat surface, it can be a bit of a problem getting the trailer tanks to drain into the portable tank. When I am in this situation, I find that I can usually lift and finagle the hose to start a siphon action that works well.

I find the tank easy to pull by hand when full (this is subjective of course). I pull it in in the woods on leaves and such, or on the sand, depending on where I am camping and where I have to place the tank when draining the trailer tanks.

If you shop around on the net you can purchase these tanks at a pretty good savings.

Lumatic 01-26-2009 10:09 PM

One of the events at the RMVAC Rodeo last year was Blueboy lassoing (sp?)

Mikethefixit 01-26-2009 10:40 PM

I purchased the largest tank Barker makes 42 gallon,thinking bigger is better. We used it several times last yr and were pleased with it. Its a little tough on soft ground,but the wife and I had no problem. It tends to be just a shade high, In fact almost level with the outlet of the trailer. I have created a short dump hose to eliminate the kinks and having to finagel(as someone said) the hose around to get it to flow. The short hose(3ft) is good at the dump station cause the tank is very close to the dump opening . Makes it alot easier that horsein around a 20 footer. The little short hose cleans easy and is easy stored in a large zipper bag. In transit the tank lays on its side in the truck an only takes up 12 in x 4ft across the floor,I hold it in place with a pickup loadlock. I bought direct from Baker eliminating the dealer profit. They do have a website. I did how ever order by phone.

Minnie's Mate 01-27-2009 12:46 AM

We have a 25 gallon tank and I wish Camping World had had a larger one when I bought mine. Our gray tank is 39 gallons and with two adults and one adolescent we can fill the gray tank every day. That means filling the blue tank twice a day sometimes. This can be a pain in a sandy site as the wheels will bog down in the sand. My tank has four wheels so I pull it behind my truck to the dump station. I only use it for the gray tank. Our black tank will last for about 5 days and we have never stayed more than three days without a sewer hook-up.

Get the largest one you feel you can handle. You will be glad you did.

Ed Keyes 01-27-2009 03:50 PM

My 22 gal fits in the back compartment of my 25' classic. I would however get the largest you feel confortable taking with you. If you empty even half of your black tank, you do not have much room in the tote to flush with some grey water. Another consideration is the height of the exit pipe and the tote tank. Gravity does not do the job of emptying. When I use the tote, I also use a macerator pump for this reason. Pain in the neck but better than pulling out trailer to dump station.

millvalleyca 01-27-2009 04:34 PM

Thanks for the info...

What sparked my interest was the add in Camping World's RV View. The Thetford Smartote PWT 209.99 for the 35 gallon tank.

If we decide to get one it will be to tow our gray water to the dump station....don't think I want to carry our poop around the campground waiting for an accident to happen (thanks doorgunner)

With two young boys and three dogs we easily fill our gray tank daily.

For now "full hookups" is probably the best for us.


Cracker 01-27-2009 06:30 PM

Gray water - tow blue tank to dump station! Black water - tow trailer to dump station!

azflycaster 01-27-2009 06:46 PM


Originally Posted by millvalleyca (Post 660776)
With two young boys and three dogs we easily fill our gray tank daily.

How often do the dogs shower?:lol:

byamcaravanner 01-28-2009 08:30 AM

I am ordering the 32gal Tote-N-Stor for $119 this week.

HERE is some more info on this brand of "Blue-Boy."

jimmini 02-09-2009 01:47 PM

Wast tank
:brows:For photos of my fresh and waste water systems.
:huh: Go to forums
:blush: Click on "BOONDOCKING."
:rolleyes: Click on "BOONDOCKING AND WASTE."
:blink: See POSTING #48, on PAGE 4.

goswick 06-27-2010 07:39 AM

I have a 1968 Airstream and it does not have a gray water tank. Folks say they use a blue tank for their gray water only - I don't know of a way to separate the black water from the gray water. What am I missing here? Do you only put gray water in the black water tank and use the facilities for human waste?

Soyboy 06-27-2010 07:45 AM

I have dumped my black water into my "blue boy". It's something I don't like to do, but it works out ok in a pinch. The biggest thing is cleaning/rinsing it out good when you are done. I use bleach mixed with water for that and it seems to work as it doesn't have any nasty, long term odors.

mimiandrews 06-27-2010 07:52 AM

If your '69 is like our '66, the gray water drain is plumbed in "downstream" of the dump valve for the black tank. Leave the dump valve closed, and connect the blue boy to the drain fitting. Gray water will drain into it, but the black waste will stay in the black tank until you open the dump valve (hopefully when sewer is available).

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