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Old 05-30-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
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Re: Plumbing questions

The best arguments I have found for having a Grey tank and a Black tank are:

1. You can flush the Black tank with Grey water after you dump the Black tank.
2. You can dump the Grey tank separately from the Black tank, as in the woods or front lawn or some such place that is not under restriction.
3. You can mount two smaller tanks easier (space constraints) then one large tank.

Arguments for a combination Grey/Black tank:

1. Mounting one tank considerably simplifies the plumbing installation.

2. More cost effective.

3. Nothing lost if you plan to use RV dump stations.

Another important consideration is that grey water will be much more plentiful then black water, thus a larger grey tank and smaller black tank can be considered. With your stated use for your bus (8 people) you will need some good size tanks.

I will soon be to the point where I will have to make theses decisions myself. As of now I am leaning towards a combination grey/black tank but I have different issues to consider then you do. My plans are to use our bus for short stays 2-5 days at a time often with just 2 people aboard. I am thinking it would be pretty easy to add an auxiliary drain valve/hose bib before the holding tank to drain off grey water as long as odor does not present itself to be much of an issue. A good venting solution should handle the odor properly and I am leaning towards using this product http://www.coilnwrap.com/more/Xtreme-Vents.htm rather then a conventional roof vent.

I plan to use conventional plumbing supplies from Lowe’s/Home Depot as much as possible to save costs. Black ABS pipe for drain lines and PVC (white) for supply lines. Copper tubing with soldered connections can also be used and is much stronger them PVC but is quite a bit more work. I am also considering running hose for all of my supply lines but I have not looked into that application as of yet.

Most Black tanks have a 3” dump fitting which is a standard size ABS that is readily available. Through the roof vents can be 1 1/2” either ABS or PVC whatever you happen to have on hand. And each tank should be vented. Your fresh water tank can easily be vented with a small hose and does not need to go through the roof. I plan to run a small ˝” or so diameter hose right along with my filler hose to an accessible exterior position. It will be fairly easy to find or fabricate some type of door to protect both the filler connection and vent termination and to make them readily accessible.

A sink trap or P-trap will likely be needed on your sink drain and shower drain to prevent odors from entering your living space. These are conventional fixtures that are used in all dwellings and are readily available. However another poster here has come up with an installation that has put a grey water tank directly under his shower drain. He then ran the pipe right thru the top of a grey tank by simply drilling a hole in the tank with no connections used. This allows the same hole in the top of the grey tank to act as a vent as well and it lets any excess grey water drain right over the top of the tank onto the ground. It is a pretty simple and inexpensive solution if you think it will fit your usage requirements. But if you are staying in restricted campgrounds this setup may cause difficulties.

Good information here:
http://www.phrannie.org/phredex.html

and here:
http://www.vonslatt.com/bus-main.shtml
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:18 PM   #2
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Re: Plumbing questions

I can't tell you how to plumb the bus, but can offer a few tid-bit's of infomation.

First of all, PVC piping is not the best route to take, you have to buy all kinds of fittings, elbows, glue & primer etc. You'd be far ahead of the game if you buy a couple of 25' coils of PEX tubing (get one clear for cold water and one red for hot water, sold at Lowes etc)... You'll still need wom elbows and fittings, but less of them and it'll be much easier to install as this stuff is far more flexible than PVC, which means you can make curves etc without cutting and glueing fittings, elbows will still be needed for sharp corners. A simple PEX crimp tool & crimp rings makes sealing them easy. Use 1/2 inch...

You really should use seperate tanks for black & gray. 2 reasons come to mine...first is back draft...if you wind up with a dry P-trap oders from the black tank can permeate into the cabin, this can be a really bad problem while you are driving down the road. The other is, many campgrounds will NOT let you in with one combined tank.

You can buy some very affordable tanks on ebay from a power seller called Tri-State Rock Your World they have 36 gal waste tanks for $45 each (I bought a pair of these from this seller), he also has fresh water tanks. Also on his site are Rubber Tank Grommets, and I highly recommend you get some of these. Use a hole saw to cut the hole in the top of the tank at desired location for pipes to go in, use these grommets to hold & seal the pipe entry. If you cut the right size hole, these things slip into place, then the pipe just slips into them. Each holding tank will need waste input (usually 3" for black tank and 1.5" for gray), you will also need 1.5" vent pipe to go up to the roof for proper tank ventilation (this vent pipe can be shared by 2 tanks though I recommend seperate vents), each of them will require a vent cap. These waste tanks I listed come with outlet fittings, so you just have to prime and glue the desired outlet fittings into the drain hole. They will need to pipe together to a common outlet, each controlled by seperate dump valves. LIKE THIS

Highly recommend you use appropriate RV type toilet, these have gated valves and stay closed...esepecially when on the road. House type toilets use too much water, and when moving the water in the trap can shift and go down the drain and then you'll get oders wafting in from the tank.

I also recommend a GREAT Ebay power seller called TRI State Surplus as he has lots of good stuff and the best prices anywhwere. Book mark this guy and check back often, he changes/adds inventory daily!! I have bought from this particular seller over a dozen times now!
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: Plumbing questions

I am a week or two away from starting the plumbing on my bus. After taking a brief look around underneath the vehicle today it looks like I will be going with a Black and a Grey tank as well. If I went with one large tank for both I would have to relocate my exhaust. The tanks at the link Cliff provided above look like the best deal and with two of them offering more then enough capacity.

http://stores.ebay.com/TRI-STATE-ROCK-YOUR-WORLD-STORE

36 gallon tanks for $45.00 plus $60.00 dollars shipping is the best deal around (that I can find) I will soon be ordering a pair of them. The compact dimensions also offers an easy installation at 56 inches LONG, 20 INCHES WIDE, HEIGHT 8.78 AT THE DUMP AND 6.25 AT OTHER END. These are to good of a deal to pass up.



I have a used water pump laying around so I might as well go ahead and hook up the pump to flush the Grey water into the Black tank as well.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: Plumbing questions

Yeah Jim, I noticed the extra shipping cost and figured it was part of the guys profit margin. I don't really have a choice though, shipping to my home is the only address I have available.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:55 PM   #5
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Re: Plumbing questions

If I remember correctly, Tri-State Rock your world utilized USPS for shipping, and I remember paying a lot less than that. He also combined the shipping costs for two of them since I ordered a pair. UPS would be cheaper, not sure why he utilizes USPS instead. Perhaps UPS wants them boxed, the ones I got via USPS were not boxed, just taped together...

At any rate, the price was right so that is what I went with.
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You just might be a Redneck if...
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...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

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1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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Re: Plumbing questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneCamping
At any rate, the price was right so that is what I went with.
They are the best priced tanks I can find, even with the shipping added in. Thanks for the link Cliff.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:24 PM   #7
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Re: Plumbing questions

I also have a 47 gallon fresh water tank, which is just fine for me in capacity. However towards the bottom on one end are three openings. Two of the openings are threaded to take 3/4" fittings which is great. The third opening has a messed up fitting with no female threads present. All three of the holes are located near the bottom fold of the tank with maybe a "1/4 at most, between the corner fold and the hole. I am at a loss of how to make this tank usable with this third hole having no threads.



The hole on the left of the tank has a "3/4 plug in it. The center hole has some kind of glue smeared all around it but it appears stable enough (I will pressure test the tank before I install it). The hole on the right is the problem. Any ideas?
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:26 PM   #8
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Re: Plumbing questions

Here's something you can try:

Go to any shop that repairs generators (or riding lawnmowers) and ask them for a fuel tank cut-off valve grommet. Then you can get the fitting of your choice to use with it. Make sure the fitting is slightly larger than the grommet hole to make it seal by expansion.

If you need to enlarge the hole for the tank grommet to fit, make sure you drill it slightly smaller than the grommet diameter (you may need to cut down the ridge around the hole on the tank for the grommet to fit properly). Put the grommet in the tank first, followed by the lightly lubricated fitting (saliva works best because it will evaporate) and presto, usable port!

If it was me, I'd go ahead and get a brass fuel cutoff fitting (from the same shop) to fit the grommet and use that opening as the drain to empty the tank if/when needed.

If you need a few part #'s to reference, let me know & I'll pass a few on to you.

Hope this helps.

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Old 06-02-2008, 07:36 PM   #9
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Re: Plumbing questions

Very nice Griff! I like the idea of making that hole usable as a drain...inside diameter of the hole is 0.53 inch. Part numbers would sure make it easy.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:41 PM   #10
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Re: Plumbing questions

No worries, Abbott!

I'll get 'em at work tomorrow and post 'em here. Hopefully will have them posted by 10am depending on workload.

Glad to be of service.

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