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Old 06-08-2011, 11:32 AM   #1
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One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

Okay, I have to admit that I got into the skoolie conversion via Jake Von Slatt, and in revisiting it, I noted that he only used one tank for black and grey water.

Now, I understand that for long-term use, having a thriving bacterial culture in your black tank keeps smells down, and that lots cleansers in the grey water would kill the cultures, but what would the benefits/drawbacks be to going that route for sporadic short-term (say a week or less) use?
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:08 PM   #2
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

Short term use... so you will never long term?

Up side to dedicated grey/back tanks... if boondocking in an area where you can dump grey water on the ground (out west mostly... don't attempt int he South east), having separate tanks will allow you to drain your grey water out and lengthen your stay. In a weeks time, two people would most likely go thru 25 or 30 gallons black and at least double that for grey. Many folks use the grey tank to "rinse out" their sewer hoses (dump black first, then grey). Fulltimers will keep the black tank closed until needing to dump and leave the grey open to drain in the sewer drain hose (this is what we do). Black tank is nothing more than a holding tank. Forget all the hoopla about bacteria, etc. Just don't use formaldehyde based tank treatments. Most fulltimers/long timers will not use any tank treatment (we don't) and have no problems with smell. Just use plenty of water when flushing.

You do realize that if the tank fills up and "backs up" into the usual place... the shower, you will have poo (and chemicals if you use a tank treatment) in the shower. I've had the grey tank fill up into the shower when we first got the Class C. That was bad enough. With separate tanks, the toilet will just "burp" at you when it fills up to the bottom of the toilet drop pipe.

I know you think you will save a few bucks and perhaps gain some storage space and/or there's no real "need" to have separate tanks but go with separate tanks. At some point it will fill up and back up into the shower. And someone will most likely be taking a shower when it happens.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

Hmmm ...

Well, I would guess grey water coming back into the shower, while nasty, would be a whole lot nicer than grey -and- black water coming up.

Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:48 PM   #4
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

I agree, I think haveing 2 tanks is the way to, you really dont need black water backing up on you, being able to bleed off grey water is also a benifit.

I have 2 tanks faceing each other , I have the vents tied to gether in a tee its 1 1\2 clean out, i have 1\2 pex line going up into the floor then out the side of the of the bus close to the roof, it works great, both tanks drain fast and no smell. if i need more vent size to drain the tank I just have to open the clean out valve, but I wont have to. and best of all no holes in the roof. as soon as I can, Ill post pics. I just refuse to cut holes in roofs.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:54 PM   #5
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

Thanks! It sounds like your set-up is basically what I was thinking of (100 gal freshwater and more than that for grey/black).

Do you get any problems with stuff 'sloshing' around and making a mess, or issues with being parked where things aren't level (burping or backups as Lorna mentioned?).
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

i use one tank,,most of the time iam in a camp....but when iam not,, i use bleach in the tank and the rv stuff....works ok
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:10 AM   #7
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

Cool. Thanks for the info!

I definitely want to find some HepVo traps now ...
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

being a full timer, of course my TT was made with both tanks. I have had the grey back up into the shower when in it (just rinse my feet off after lol) and then go dump it after. now if it was black and grey in one tank that would been nasty(er) stuff come up for sure! And yes, use LOTS of water in the black tank. nothing worse then the "Mat of doom" building up just under the toilet.

I had a small one last winter build up. I now use "RV Digest IT" and it works great! pretty much once you get a good culture going you dont need to add more unless you rinse out the tank. now adding water when dumping to get more solids out is okay but like filling and dumping, filling and dumping over and over to wash out the tank will take the bacteria with it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

Quote:
Originally Posted by richlindquist
Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
In a weeks time, two people would most likely go thru 25 or 30 gallons black and at least double that for grey. .
People may fill up a tank that much if they act like they are still in a house ...
Don't forget, trees and bushes need watering now and then too.

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We live fulltime in the RV so it IS our "house". In the Southeast, if you dump waste water (either grey or black) in a public campground/forest unless you are specifically told to do so by a park ranger, then they will boot your fanny out, fine you for dumping "hazardous waste" and (in Georgia) put your name on a list and you aren't allowed to rent a site from them anymore. Campgrounds in the Southeast enjoy a long, heavy use, camping season. We also are always on full hookups unless we are traveling. We do not use tank chems, only H2O and plenty of it.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:26 AM   #10
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Re: One Tank or Two? (Grey/Black)

I think he may have been referring to directly "watering" the trees and bushes, rather than dumping.
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