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Old 12-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #1
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Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Hi Everyone!

I'm new to skoolie.net. The RV Escapees folks told me to take my conversion crap over to this forum and leave them alone. Bunch of curmudgeons.

But really, the info here looks really awesome and I look forward to absorbing the great knowledge!

My wife and I just bought a 1973 Chevy Step Van. It's about 19 feet long and we're in the process of converting it over. Ran in to an issue yesterday with our plans - we have no place for a grey/black combo tank under the vehicle. The space I found that fits between the rear hitch assembly, side wall, and tailpipe that still gives me good road clearance is about 9.5" x 20" x 10". Not a lot of space, especially for a combo tank (6 gallons, I think, will fit). Right now it'll be for toilet and a sink only. Probably will never put a shower inside, just have it outside and put up a curtain. Cold days will make me question this decision, but whatever.

Here's the question: is it legit to keep the black tank inside the vehicle? I can't cut up the floor at all, but I have space in the rear to fit a 20 gallon tank that drains out the bottom of the vehicle between two of the floor ribs. I was thinking I could build a little pedestal for the toilet to go over top. Am I opening myself up to something really disgusting and problematic, or is this ok?

Thank you!
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:00 PM   #2
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Yes, you can put the tanks inside..... Just elevate the commode above the tank. The grey tank will be more of a problem... not so much for the kitchen sink, or bath room sink but for the shower.....
but then you could use a small tub instead.....elevated above the tank.. cut hole in floor and run your drain lines out to the drain valves....
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_inevitable
Hi Everyone!

I'm new to skoolie.net. The RV Escapees folks told me to take my conversion crap over to this forum and leave them alone. Bunch of curmudgeons. !
Excuse me, but I'm the one who told you to come here. You will get very little encouragement or good info over on Escapees for the type of questions you were asking. They are a very good site for campground related problems. I have pointed a lot of folks here over to that site to educate them on campgrounds & RV parks. But they suck big time when it comes to building an RV on a different platform. It's a different mindset. They can only point you towards RV stores. They do not understand nor are they inclined to either think out of the box or to do things "frugally".

After weekending in campgrounds for about 25 years (tents to pop-up), fulltiming in a popup for about 18 months, then fulltiming again in a Class C from 2006 thru 2011, moved into the bus as a "metal tent" in Dec 2011, I've pretty much seen or experienced all they have to offer. I get far more DIY info here. We will eventually join Escapees again for their mail forwarding ( & TX domicile) as they are one of the best and I've already had one mail forwarding service go belly up on me (not fun when your tax papers are being returned to sender!).

You will find that the skoolie folks are a tad ... different. We will squabble amongst ourselves but don't "dis" our buses! We also tend to "build it" before we "buy it".

Right now David & I are trying to see how cheap we can convert our bus and still have what we want and have it look good.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Depending on use, a portipotty might work better for you.
This may sound weird but.....use a portipotty for..ugh..waste removal and when you wipe, fold paper over and place in a zip lok "snack" bag and toss in a can.
You can then dispose of the bottom "removable" part in a toilet or dump station
We've done that.

Oh....and post some pics in the ...well I guess short bus section or conversion section...we like pictures of projects.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #5
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Howdy TI...and welcome to the madhouse! --- Hard to imagine there is not more room under a step van but then I've never really crawled around under one. My "Shorty" bus is about as cramped as it gets and I managed to stuff a 44 gallon combination black/gray in one of its' few available slots. But, that said, another option you might consider in order to keep the toilet and/or shower down to a workable level would be to make a through space in the floor so that part of the tank is inside and the rest below deck. Might save a few precious inches of height that way. Nowadays it isn't all that involved to get a custom shaped tank made so you could build one that is big, wide and low above the floor and tapers down to fill the available area outside. Also, you can arrange multiple tanks linked together as long as you use large diameter tubing and maintain enough drop to keep the nasty stuff flowing downhill to the final tank in the series. But whatever route you go, the one hard,fast rule is that the toilet needs to drop directly down into the holding tank regardless of any other considerations.

Looking forward to some pix and expect that there will be responses from the folks here who have also converted step vans.

Best of luck and don't hesitate to ask about anything here. This forum is ripe with very knowledgeable and experienced folks who have taken on some pretty impressive builds.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:05 PM   #6
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Hey TI, Tango is right most of us are WAY ripe . Since most of us can't reed or whight, pics are nearly mandatory. Share your build plans and ideas with the rest of us and I'm sure you'll get lots of feed back. Ol Trunt
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Depending on use, a portipotty might work better for you.
This may sound weird but.....use a portipotty for..ugh..waste removal and when you wipe, fold paper over and place in a zip lok "snack" bag and toss in a can.
You can then dispose of the bottom "removable" part in a toilet or dump station
We've done that.

Oh....and post some pics in the ...well I guess short bus section or conversion section...we like pictures of projects.
Pics of the van.......yea

somethings are better not seen....
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #8
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

We went with a porta-potti and a small grey tank for the shower and sink drains.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

Hi Everyone,

I HAVE been trying to respond, but I keep getting disapproved posts for linking to illegal software..... ???

Thank you for the input and verification. As crazy luck would have it, we found a shape that worked really well underneath the van, although it puts us uncomfortably close to the tailpipe. There will be insulation.

To lornaschinske, thanks for pointing me here! I was gently poking fun at the Escapees forum, but yes, you're right about the type of input you get. Skoolie has some mind-blowingly cool builds going on and I'm excited to be here!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:33 PM   #10
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Re: Chevy Step Van (not a bus, exactly) Black Water Problem

your posts were probably in the middle of a whole bunch of spam posts that were bulk deleted... in that case its moderator error which occasionally happens.
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