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Old 09-12-2020, 12:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by DouglasReid View Post
<<snip>>
Just keep in mind, you still should leave ur black tan, valve closed until the tank is 2/3-3/4 full, then dump it and flush it with water from your grey tank.

<<SNIP>>:
I don't know for sure on every rig, but to my knowledge, the grey tank does NOT dump into the black tank to flush the tank. Grey and black are parallel systems, and the only thing grey water can "flush" is the stinky slinky.

If grey were to dump into black, an accidental opening of the grey tank dump with the black tank dump closed could over-fill the black tank and cause a gusher out of the black tank vent pipe...on the roof.

Flushing the black tank only happens with a black tank flush or a back-flush adapter on the dump port...or a hose/wand down the toilet.

It's good advice to let the black fill to 2/3 full or so before dumping, because the outward rush will help carry away solids. But a stationary black tank will be prone to having solids NOT get emulsified by the motion of the rig on the way to a dump station. So "pressure" washing the black tank is an important part of the plan for stationary occupancy over the long term...unless one bypasses the black tank and runs a sewer pipe directly from the toilet(s) to the more permanent holding tank that gets pumped by the septic service.
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Old 09-12-2020, 06:46 AM   #22
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My Brother and I have a Private site in PA for RV's.
I put in a privy. It's a 1000 gallon square concrete tank.

Built a shed on top of it and built a 1 hole seat on one side (to please the inspector).

Inspector said "I don't want to find you buried pipe from that rv to this tank", so I don't. I use a masarator pump with hose on top of ground than put hose away.
On outside of tank put a 4" pipe with threaded end to dump the blue portable tank or drop my masarator hose in.
I have a 4" vent pipe on one side going as high as roof. I put a cheap radon fan in that pipe. First time using seat inside privy I realized I needed a ceiling fan speed control (dimmer switch) on radon fan.


We pay maybe $100 to pump it once per year. With 2 RVs on site for 9 months it can go 2 years between pumpings but tank will start to get too full to use privy seat (splash back)
Also we tried everything for oder control and found blue stuff works great.

And shed gives us a place to store stuff like rakes, shovels. Plus trash at night if bears are around


But keep in mind other improvements you want. We do not have a well, no way they would have let me have a permit for a Privy if we had a well.
Also I recall needing to prove how long we owned the property to be grandfathered in some sewer rule that came out after we bought the property.


BUT another option is to call a local sewer pumper and ask him what he can do. I recall the guy that pumps mine said he could put in a remote tank for me, but if I installed it the permit guy would be all over me.
I went with the privy tank solution because sometimes there is 4 RV's on site during summer. (room for friends to camp).


The pumper guy also has a truck (different truck) to delver fresh water into storage tanks. much cheaper than a well, and on our mountain the well water needs a couple thousand worth of treatment so its not worth it. We truck our own water but having it delivered is a choice we have.
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:05 AM   #23
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I would imagine it would take some some thought to bypass the RV holding tanks...especially the black tank. It may be a challenge getting the slope of the drain lines correct within the confines of the RV. And then devising a way to flush about a gallon of water to clear the pipes after a solids "deposit".

If only I had the money I think I should be accustomed. I'd have a well and septic installed and be done with it!
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:04 PM   #24
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a few years i was in the same situation, so i planed out where i would build a house if i ever do,,not yet I have a two bed room 2 bath puma 43 feet long so why build a house ?right any way we put in a septic tank for a 5 bed room 3 bath home, 100 amp power reduced it to 50 amp for the trailer and dug a well.
for the last 3 years we live in it for 3 to 5 months a year . the septic tank has now paid for all the utilities, the amount we were having our spare tanks pumped out. so now i have no septic cost ,no water bill, and my elect. bill is 50 a month,,,i should stay here year around.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:59 PM   #25
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Isnít the whole idea and name of Ďsepticí tanks is the concept of maintaining a bacterial colony to digest the solids and the liquids flow into the drain field? If the system is properly designed and built, the need for pumping the septic tank should be the exception. 100 gallons of waste water doesnít all stay in the tank. A holding tank would pretty much maintain whatever is put into it until it is removed.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:12 PM   #26
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The problem is a holding take (if you can install one) might be $3k. A sand mound for a septic system is $20k.
Since our property is above the chesapeake water shed it would be a sand mound.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:37 PM   #27
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The problem is a holding take (if you can install one) might be $3k. A sand mound for a septic system is $20k.
Since our property is above the chesapeake water shed it would be a sand mound.
TowPro just nailed it. A residential septic on our rocky/hilly property could be upwards of $30k. (Tank, mound, pump...)

A 500 gallon (or less) pump out is just under $300.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:20 AM   #28
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"Back in the good ol days" it was fairly common to shoot a bunch of holes in a old 55 gal steel drum and cut a hole in the top that would accommodate a 4" riser pipe with a screw on lid, dig a 4-5' round hole about 4' deep, fill in around the barrel with drain rock, cover the drain rock with paper or hay and spread enough dirt to cover everything but the 4" screw on lid on that riser and poof, a useable septic system. I have also "heard" that people would get 20+ years of use without pumping or doing anything to the system. I am not suggesting anyone do this, but it did work fairly well. JH
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:51 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
I don't know for sure on every rig, but to my knowledge, the grey tank does NOT dump into the black tank to flush the tank. Grey and black are parallel systems, and the only thing grey water can "flush" is the stinky slinky.

If grey were to dump into black, an accidental opening of the grey tank dump with the black tank dump closed could over-fill the black tank and cause a gusher out of the black tank vent pipe...on the roof.

Flushing the black tank only happens with a black tank flush or a back-flush adapter on the dump port...or a hose/wand down the toilet.

It's good advice to let the black fill to 2/3 full or so before dumping, because the outward rush will help carry away solids. But a stationary black tank will be prone to having solids NOT get emulsified by the motion of the rig on the way to a dump station. So "pressure" washing the black tank is an important part of the plan for stationary occupancy over the long term...unless one bypasses the black tank and runs a sewer pipe directly from the toilet(s) to the more permanent holding tank that gets pumped by the septic service.

P.S. On this. If the plan is to
a) dump the black;
b) close off the dump pipe with an add-on shutter valve or cap;
c) then allow the grey water to transfer from the grey tank to the black tank;
d) then open the black tank dump again...allowing grey water to flood into the black tank then get dumped;

I'd say, well...maybe. If the black and grey tanks are equal size, and if the black tank is dumped fairly completely, this might work. But if the black tank doesn't dump fully, or if the grey tank is significantly larger than the black tank (often the case), the contents of the grey tank could overfill the black tank and geyser out the black tank vent pipe and maybe the toilet flush valve.

Personally, I would not do this. Knowing from experience that being stationary for any length of time can lead to a buildup of solids in the black tank, and that this can lead to a partial dump at best, the risk of overfilling the black tank with grey water is too high. A proper clean-water flush is far safer.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:29 PM   #30
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Water seeks its own level

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
P.S. On this. If the plan is to
a) dump the black;
b) close off the dump pipe with an add-on shutter valve or cap;
c) then allow the grey water to transfer from the grey tank to the black tank;
d) then open the black tank dump again...allowing grey water to flood into the black tank then get dumped;

I'd say, well...maybe. If the black and grey tanks are equal size, and if the black tank is dumped fairly completely, this might work. But if the black tank doesn't dump fully, or if the grey tank is significantly larger than the black tank (often the case), the contents of the grey tank could overfill the black tank and geyser out the black tank vent pipe and maybe the toilet flush valve.

Personally, I would not do this. Knowing from experience that being stationary for any length of time can lead to a buildup of solids in the black tank, and that this can lead to a partial dump at best, the risk of overfilling the black tank with grey water is too high. A proper clean-water flush is far safer.
I'm confused here.

Water seeks its own level, right?

So you devise two tanks, black and gray, both roughly at the same level. (They're flush to the bottom of the RV and the RV is reasonably level, right?)

And the gray and black tanks are both nearly full, right?

And you cap the dump outlet, right?

And then you open both the black and gray valves, right?

And almost no water flows between them.

Even if the gray tank is bigger, no water flows. Why?
  • The tops of the two tanks (hence the water levels, if full) are at the same height, flush to the bottom of the RV floor.
  • If the gray tank is bigger, either:
    • It's the deeper, i.e., the bottom is lower but top (water level) is at the same height, or
    • It's longer or wider, hence more surface area, but top (water level) is the same height.

This visualization is tricky--DW would get it wrong--and I can understand how you got there, Jim.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:36 PM   #31
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Just so I'm following correctly too, you wouldn't want to open your grey tank to fill the black tank after emptying the black as a flush? I would think you'd be susceptible to black tank waste entering your grey tank..or cross contamination at the very least.

Why not use the black tank flush port to do the same thing?
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:53 PM   #32
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Older trailers

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Just so I'm following correctly too, you wouldn't want to open your grey tank to fill the black tank after emptying the black as a flush? I would think you'd be susceptible to black tank waste entering your grey tank..or cross contamination at the very least.

Why not use the black tank flush port to do the same thing?
Some older travel trailers do not have a black-tank flush port. Neither our 2007 or 2002 trailers do, for example.

That said, we do never flush the tanks and do not seem to have issues--other than the gauges which rarely read correctly.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:55 PM   #33
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Been there done that... another option

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Originally Posted by willie1280 View Post
We purchased some land and plan to put our 5th wheel on it. It's vacant land in the middle of the woods.

I'm trying to come up with solutions for handling our septic waste. I've seen others get those black poly tanks that sit under or near their camper and then they just pull their plugs and let the waste go into those which they have pumped out at some point.

Curious if anyone has done this with an IBC tote either sitting above ground but lower than the camper or actually buried the tote into the ground?

For the IBC tote idea or those black poly tanks, do they vent these at all with a stack or anything? Just curious if having a tank nearby is going to smell, especially when it gets hot in the summer.
I purchased 60 acres a long time ago in the middle of nowhere. No neighbors for at least a mile. We camped initially. I temporarily installed a small in-ground septic system using 55 gal containers and a shovel. Some PVC and drain-field poly pipe.

Build it like you would an ordinary septic system (google it). Depending on how many are in your family using this will determine the number of drums you will need to "t" into one another before you set up the drain field. You can google size of septic needed. For me, it was 55 drums teed together with 4 inch pvc tees. Then a 1000 sq. feet of drain field. I buried the whole system by hand and shovel. If your soil 'perks' well, the drain field will disperse the fluid as it's suppose to and you can have someone pump out your homemade solids tank/s as needed. Again, a short term solution.

Beware, some states and counties may not allow self installed septic. It worked for me in Texas. OF course I built a home and put in a real septic system 6 months later.

If I had the big containers you speak of, I wouldn't have to have worried about pumping out the solids often. Poor man/Red neck livin'.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:11 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
I'm confused here.

Water seeks its own level, right?

So you devise two tanks, black and gray, both roughly at the same level. (They're flush to the bottom of the RV and the RV is reasonably level, right?)

And the gray and black tanks are both nearly full, right?

And you cap the dump outlet, right?

And then you open both the black and gray valves, right?

And almost no water flows between them.

Even if the gray tank is bigger, no water flows. Why?
  • The tops of the two tanks (hence the water levels, if full) are at the same height, flush to the bottom of the RV floor.
  • If the gray tank is bigger, either:
    • It's the deeper, i.e., the bottom is lower but top (water level) is at the same height, or
    • It's longer or wider, hence more surface area, but top (water level) is the same height.

This visualization is tricky--DW would get it wrong--and I can understand how you got there, Jim.
Larry
I'm so embarrassed! You are right, of course. I was good in high-school physics, but over 50 years later, my mind is going to mush.
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