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Old 09-02-2015, 03:37 PM   #1
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water consumption

Spouse and I are shopping for a trailer camper and I'm trying to get a handle on water consumption.

I know this is like asking how much toilet paper to bring but I've been unable to find a table of typical water consumption for "navy showers", washing dishes, or per adult daily water consumption.

Can anyone share their water consumption estimates or rules of thumb?

Basically I'm trying to figure out how long 36/30/30 or 45/45/45 (fresh/gray/black) lasts if we watch what we're doing.

Black tanks generally seem over-sized compared to the gray or fresh.

Seems easier to replenish fresh than dump a tank so gray water looks to me like the limiting capacity.

Anyway, thanks for any input!
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:52 PM   #2
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Best I can tell you is you'll "learn" what your consumption is over time.
Way to many variables.

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Old 09-02-2015, 03:53 PM   #3
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As far as dumping goes, yes the gray tank often fills before the black. Remember that the WH capacity is figured into the fresh capacity, so for me my fresh water tank is 50 and my WH is 6 giving me a total of 56 when everything if full. For me personally we can go 3 days on 56/75/40. Wy wife and I take 1 (ea) "army" shower and we give my 3 year old son a bath filling the tub approx 1/3 full. We use the toilet exclusively inside the camper and we are pretty liberal with flushing water. Doing this we use almost all of the water on the 3rd day. We bring an extra 10 gl in totes and have a 10 gal grey toto for emergency dumping/use.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:23 PM   #4
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The more you camp the better you will get on water consumption.
Our trailer is listed at 43 fresh/38 grey/38 black but I think FR fresh ratings include the HW tank as well so really we have 38 gal for each.

My wife and I can do a three night weekend, take a couple of showers each without running out of fresh water. My wife, youngest daughter and I did a week this summer without filling the black tank but had two six gallon jugs to add more fresh water every couple of days.

There are as many ways to conserve water as there are ways to waste it.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by boylan View Post
Spouse and I are shopping for a trailer camper and I'm trying to get a handle on water consumption.

I know this is like asking how much toilet paper to bring but I've been unable to find a table of typical water consumption for "navy showers", washing dishes, or per adult daily water consumption.

Can anyone share their water consumption estimates or rules of thumb?

Basically I'm trying to figure out how long 36/30/30 or 45/45/45 (fresh/gray/black) lasts if we watch what we're doing.

Black tanks generally seem over-sized compared to the gray or fresh.

Seems easier to replenish fresh than dump a tank so gray water looks to me like the limiting capacity.

Anyway, thanks for any input!
How long will you be boondocking at a stretch??
and what kind of trailer/amount of $$$ to spend??

I boondock 8 months out of the year on the edge of the Manistee National Forest in West Central Michigan.
I knew I was going to live like (boondocking for extensive periods) this before I bought my trailer so put a tremendous amount of research into it and ended up buying a Shockwave toyhauler - not because I 'haul toys' - I don't; but because of the many 'live long boondocking features:
100+ gal fresh water tank for one; but also 4000 watt cummins/onan gen with 40 gallon gas tank to power it;
160 watt solar panel to charge 2 12 volt deep cells.......

To your specific question re water consumption:
if you will be boondocking ALOT get a trailer with ALL above items;
also i use a 55 gallon blue plastic barrel to refill my fresh water tank at a campground that is about 5 miles away. I really am not concerned with fresh water usage perse' as its not hard to go to campground n refill. I'm usually there getting other stuff too anyway (essentials like GIN etc......)haha
I'm in west Michigan tho and don't know where you'll be boondocking....
Michigan is home to 25% of worlds fresh water supply so ain't to hard to find water around here.......other places??? ain't my problem.
also you'll want to invest in a 'blue boy' too.
also i know some peeps don't like 'hot water on demand' but i have it and LOVE it!! don't need a hot water tank so have room for a larger fresh water capacity.... just sayin.

Like others have said you'll "live & learn" but do your homework prior to purchase; think it thru and you'll be happy with what you buy - then you'll have the 'tools' with which to adapt to how & where you choose to 'boondock' good luck!

Thanx.........INTjohn
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:15 PM   #6
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Did not realize that fresh water capacity includes 6g in the water heater you essentially can't use but whatever.

Elsewhere I've seem estimates of roughly 2g/navy shower with an oxygenics shower head (not because they use less water but because the pressure is better) and 2g/dinner dishes which seems reasonable.

Sort of thinking that we can manage to 30g gray water tank limit for a weekend, maybe even a 3 day weekend, with 2-3 people.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:33 PM   #7
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I wouldn't get to 'hung up' on the size of the fresh water tank, we have a 45 gal. collapsible tank from CW, it works just great for us. You'll be amazed what shows up on Google, http://www.amazon.ca/Basement-Preval...s=water+sensor
The black tank is well oversized which is a good thing (45 gal. tank lasts for about 2 weeks for the 2 of us) and for the gray tank you could always use a portable transfer tank.
Having said that, if you're planning to stay on full hookups then nothing of this matters anyway.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:09 PM   #8
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I have 30/30/30...My wife and I can go about 4 days before we have to empty the black and grey tank. I carry 3 ea. 7 gallon water jugs with a shaker syphon to top off the fresh water tanks. That being said, my wife has a love affair with toilet paper and the toilet, yup she is a princess! If we extend our stay boondocking I just run and dump a load and head back to camp.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:15 PM   #9
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If I was boon docking I would not bring dishes that needed washing.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:43 PM   #10
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If we're careful we can get by on 30 gals of fresh water per day and that's two daily showers and using paper plates. The black tank accumulates about 6 gals per day and the gray tank about 16 gals per day.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:52 PM   #11
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For us it's probably more important to cook more simply so we don't dirty so many pans but the paper plate point is important.

Really interesting that everyone hits the gray tank limit first. Strong argument that gray tank should run a little larger than the black. Multiple people have pointed out that it's a lot easier/quicker to top off your water than empty tanks.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:16 PM   #12
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We have 100-40-40 and fill 2 gw to 1 bw.We can go 2 weeks on the black, and we dont use any other bathrooms. 4 gal showers and limited dishwashing (mostly dog dishes) will fill the grey in 5 -6 days.We dont have a tote,weve been luckey enough to be able to always borrow one,but next season I want my own.I have never had to add fresh water to make it two weeks.I always haul a full fw tank from home,it makes no difference in how the trailer pulls or reacts and I think its because the goosenck design is very forgiveing of wieght shifts (We learned that from pulling LQ horse trailers for a while,they dont care how you load or dont load them). I never use the city water connection,just the on board tank and pump.We generally use throw away plates,but real flatware, so that must be washed.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:33 PM   #13
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If we're careful we can get by on 30 gals of fresh water per day and that's two daily showers and using paper plates. The black tank accumulates about 6 gals per day and the gray tank about 16 gals per day.
So where do the other 8 gallons go?
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:40 AM   #14
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If we're careful we can get by on 30 gals of fresh water per day and that's two daily showers and using paper plates. The black tank accumulates about 6 gals per day and the gray tank about 16 gals per day.

Wow,those must be long hot showers!
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:09 AM   #15
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I always thought it weird that the toilet gets water from the fresh tank rather than from the grey tank. Does anyone turn the water off to the toilet and pour grey water from gallon jugs to flush the toilet?
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:06 AM   #16
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The only reason I can think off why the toilet is plumbed into the fresh water system is cost.
There are so many ways to save water, my wife and I can go on 10 g/day incl. showers - and no we don't stink.
- Oxygenics Shower head.
- Take Navy shower.
- Save cold water when first turning on shower or tab in bucket to flush the toilet or rinse the dishes after washing.
- Do the dishes once a day, we put them in the sink damp and cover with a sink cover shaped from a UHMW cutting board (we don't use paper or plastic dishes) - doesn't work for a large family obviously.
- Only open the tab just enough when washing hands, etc.
- Draining water from the gray tank to use in the toilet would be an option, but we're not that desperate. Having said that, you do need a certain amount of water for the toilet to avoid that proverbial mountain of ...
- Buy a Porta Potty, they're not as fancy but they do work - or a composting toilet for $1,000

There are probably many more ways to save water that I'm not aware off.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:11 AM   #17
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I've heard of folks draining some gray into a basis of washing in the Basin then flushing with the gray that way. My guess, even thought it is gray water there is still food parts and other nasties that could be in it and would plug up the plumbing. Even a filter would get clocked and need changing.. Yum.

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Old 11-18-2015, 11:51 AM   #18
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water consumption

If you ever smell grey water tank when emptying I would not want that smell in camper.
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:37 PM   #19
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I always thought it weird that the toilet gets water from the fresh tank rather than from the grey tank. Does anyone turn the water off to the toilet and pour grey water from gallon jugs to flush the toilet?
We wash our dishes in a dishpan and put that water in the toilet.
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:02 PM   #20
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We wash our dishes in a dishpan and put that water in the toilet.

X2. Helps add more soapy water to the BW tank and helps prolong the capacity of get GW tank.
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