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Old 04-25-2016, 12:30 PM   #1
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Black Water Tank problem ... need help!

I have a 1995 Thomas Gensis bus. I have not finished the construction but I have the shower and toilet in the middle of the bus. Now that I am ready to install black and grey water tanks I have a problem. The middle of the bus under neath has 2 storage compartments. So I have to either remove the storage compartments or put the tanks at the back of the bus and run long pipes to them. Can anyone help me out here? Any and all suggestions or solutions are very welcome.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:35 PM   #2
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You can't put the tanks in the storage compartment?
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:38 PM   #3
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Even if you wanted to keep the storage compartments open and available for storage, I don't see the problem with running plumbing along the top of the compartment to reach your black water tanks in the rear of the bus. I sure wouldn't remove the storage compartments. They're the perfect place to put your tanks.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:26 PM   #4
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An RV toilet flush doesn't usually have as much water accompanying it as a residential toilet flush would, so one wouldn't want the black tank far from the toilet. Most often the toilet drops straight down into the black tank. No worries about slope or inadequate water flow failing to carry solids all the way to the tank that way!

I don't see any problem with locating the gray tanks remotely so long as pipe routing works out.

If the tanks are low profile and don't fit conveniently inside the storage compartment, perhaps a hole could be cut through the compartment wall so that the tank is partially in and partially out..?
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:15 PM   #5
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I can't recall ever seeing a professionally built, flushing RV toilet that did NOT drop directly into the black tank. As noted above, they use very little water. Getting the nasty stuff to travel more than a foot horizontally isn't gonna' happen without a LOT of water pushing it along. Gray? Yes. Being all fluids, it only needs a little slope to find it's way to the tank.

Which brings up that issue. I have indeed seen home-builts with very long plumbing runs for the gray. But...keep in mind that if you only build in the "standard" 1/4" drop per foot as specified for fixed domiciles...you will likely have issues. Remember, your skoolie is not "fixed" to a slab and is subject to being parked on fairly uneven terrain. In short, you need a lot more slope in your plumbing drains to compensate for any lumpy parking spots you will almost certainly encounter. Another argument for carrying lots of leveling blocks too, I might add.

Unless you install a pump...water rarely flows uphill.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:34 PM   #6
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They do make those masserator pumps for RVs. There's always a way to accomplish your goals, but like most of us you'll probably opt for the inconvenience of something that works simply and is effectively inexpensive.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:20 PM   #7
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A long piping run with enough grade to not be a constant problem will probably make your tank sit to low to be safe enough to keep from being a low rider in the back.
You are going to use a lot more grey water than you are Blackwater.
I have not dealt with to many Macerator pumps but they are mainly built to chop up solids kind of like a garbage disposal not pump mess up hill. The ones I have dealt with were 4",8" and 24" and they could chop something to pieces but after (depending on size) 1' to 3' they didn't move the water/macerated solids much after that.
If your set plan is to have your tanks there then find tanks that will fit in the storage compartments or cut them out and re-use the framing to support the tanks.
I salvaged tanks from an old coachmen that were 35 black and the exact same for grey tank and a 70-gal. For the fresh which equals both drain tanks .
My wife and I played with many ideas but for my bus the bath-in the back work best ?
At one time I had found a company that could make any size plastic tank you wanted.
They sent you there sketch sheet and you designed your tank size, in's out's and all and they weren't that bad on pricing.
That was a while ago so the only ones that come to my mind is a company called plastic oddities and I think any AGRI SUPPLY store can probably show you a tank catalog and then you have a company name to talk to without the big box store.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:07 PM   #8
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im putting mine in the compartments
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:38 PM   #9
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there is a nice macerator toilet from thedford. even has a bidet option!

http://www.thetford.com/product/tecma-silence-standard/
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slager55 View Post
I have a 1995 Thomas Gensis bus. I have not finished the construction but I have the shower and toilet in the middle of the bus. Now that I am ready to install black and grey water tanks I have a problem. The middle of the bus under neath has 2 storage compartments. So I have to either remove the storage compartments or put the tanks at the back of the bus and run long pipes to them. Can anyone help me out here? Any and all suggestions or solutions are very welcome.
You have a Thomas or a Genesis, but not both. AmTran and Genesis are the same company.

Next question. You installed the shower and toilet in the middle of the bus without planning where your tanks are going to be mounted? Where are you going to move storage to? This whole thing is confusing and is making my little brain hurt. I have read your post several times and I'm still confused.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:18 PM   #11
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Actually the masserators do pump up hill because they are being sold for basements so you don't have to tear out the floor for to install the plumbing. It goes upstairs to the regular sewer system in home.

I wasn't actually serious about using one in a bus, mostly because of the power concerns. I was just being fecesious, pun intended.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:50 AM   #12
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macerator just blasts the poop apart so its easier to pump or dump. they are most common on boats and RV's. and in rock pits to grind down ore.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:21 AM   #13
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Though it probably varies from model to model, jester and Robin are/could be both correct. I put a Flojet 18550000A in my bus. It is claimed here that this model will self-prime up to 4 feet above the liquid level in the tank, and the "head capacity table" shows flow rate for up to 25 feet of head (vertical lift). I've installed mine even with the bottom of the tanks and I don't anticipate ever using more than just a few feet of lift to empty the tanks, but it's nice to have the option.

Xylem, which owns the FloJet brand, also owns the Jabsco brand under which several "electric toilet" options are offered. I haven't studied them in any depth, but they appear to include waste and/or supply water pumps that could make a remote black tank feasible.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:25 AM   #14
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Interesting that someone asks a question and doesn't reply to any answers
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:25 PM   #15
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Maybe slager55 got busy. It happens to me sometimes.

With a long plumbing reach like was suggested it would be very important to park on very flat ground to prevent backflow.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:13 PM   #16
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Black Tank

Thank you for all the responses. The bus is 39 feet long and used to hold 79 passengers. Sorry for not replying sooner. It is a lot of information to think about and I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. I am at work during the week and do not see my bus until the weekend so I cannot measure or look at storage bins to see if cutting a black tank it will work or not.
Again Thank You for your help.
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:16 PM   #17
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Out of curiosity, do you have other intentions for your basement storage? Maybe you already have your tanks and they're the wrong size to go into the basement?
Honestly I'm scared to hang a tank in the back considering my bumpers occasionally dig gravel on my backroads. I'd be afraid of spreading out the contents of the black tank and I don't have enough paper towels to clean that up.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:20 PM   #18
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Black Tanks

On the passenger side I have two 50 gallon diesel tanks. They go almost all the way to the back tires. So I cannot put the tanks there. What I want to put in the basement is the batteries and inverter, then I need to put a generator somewhere.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:00 PM   #19
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there was no free space under my bus. battery box, genset, and spare tire carrier on the driver side. doorwells and fuel tanks on the passenger side.

i was able to install my waste tank underneath the fuel tank.

there is always room... you just have to make it.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:53 PM   #20
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You can get a black holding tank custom made as low a profile as 6". If you have 2 fuel tanks, I bet it would strap right underneath them and have no issues. Or, you could just go with a composting, sawdust, or kitty litter commode and not even worry about the black tank.

Quite a few members do those routes and work for them. I for one do not wish to have a black tank. It limits the places you can dump. Not all campsites have black connections.
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