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Old 01-09-2019, 05:43 PM   #1
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High Wall tent trailer toilet

I have a 2011 HW276 Rockwood tent trailer. My question is in regards to the toilet and plumbing. It would appear that this unit has 2 grey water tanks and a black tank that sits above the plywood and under the toilet. Mine is plumbed so that the two grey tanks is connected together and then to the 3" pipe that comes down directly under the black tank. I have one valve to release all tanks. I see no valve between the grey and black tanks. Being that the black tank sits above the plywood and seemingly connected to the gray tanks without a valve, how is it being used at all? Being that the black tank rides above the floor, wouldn't all the fluids flow to the grey tanks that are mounted underneath the floor? Is there a one-way valve somewhere? Can anyone explain how this system works? I've included a photo. TANKS for any help you can give...lol.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:11 PM   #2
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That doesn’t look stock. Looks like someone tried to fix the problem of having two different dump valves, and forgot what happens when the black tank gets filled. Anyone else have this setup? Mine is a 2014 HW and it looks completely different.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:31 PM   #3
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I am also thinking yours has been modified. my 2011 HW 277 had two separate outlets with valves to dump- one for the gray tanks and a separate one for the black. the gray valve/outlet was a smaller diameter that i could hook up a garden hose to and the black was the standard sewer valve/outlet. There were some discussions on here where people were modifying the two outlets in their high wall models to make it a single outlet so you only had one hookup for the dump station.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:50 PM   #4
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Assuming the owner before you wasn't a complete moron the grey and black tanks would never be interconnected. The 12gal black
water tank sits above the floor just under the toilet, the pipe comes through the floor and 90's into the gate valve. It's a 3" diameter pipe and there shouldn't be any other connections. The vent line is the grey corrugated flex pipe with runs through the tent material to the roof.
The 2- 6gal grey tanks, one for the sink and one for the shower are interconnected and discharged through the 1 1/2" gate valve. Both tanks have a vent line which you can't visually see underneath.
Once the grey tanks become full the first place they overflow to is the shower pan, as it is the low point in the grey water system. In the older highwall models it was the only way to tell that your grey water tanks were full; they have added the crappy and industry standard tank monitors with the pins in the tanks to the newer models.
Interconnecting the grey and black water tanks would serve no useful purpose in any combination because once the grey water tanks were filled anything from the black water tank would back-flow into the shower pan due to it's higher elevation above the floor.
I had a 2011 HW276 and I now own a HW296 and in both campers I've tied the grey and black water pipes together with isolation gate valves into a single discharge. Really for an extra couple of bucks Forest River should be doing this at the factory.
I agree with the others, your setup doesn't look stock.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:14 PM   #5
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Thank you guys. I was coming to the same conclusion. Looks like I am going to have to add a gate valve in between. I don't suspect that will be terribly difficult. As it is it appears as if the 2 6 gal gray tanks are actually black tanks now and I have 12 gals instead of 24 for the whole system. Any recommendations on adding a gate valve? Should be as easy as cutting the shared portion of the pipe, adding a flange on both sides of the cut out portion and install a gate valve...right?
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:29 PM   #6
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Assuming you have the proper pitch towards the discharge and everything drains completely, you can cut an 1 1/2 inch gate valve in as close to the 3" fitting as possible and it will solve your problem. If the valve is cumbersome to reach you can get one with a cable and mount the remote pull handle somewhere more convenient to reach. There is a problem with this arrangement though. Suppose you wanted to just empty the grey water tanks when you're doing some extended camping? It would be impossible without draining the black water tank first. The best solution is to add a 3" gate valve as well before it reaches the discharge point. You may have to do some replumbing to achieve this.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dtptrson View Post
Assuming you have the proper pitch towards the discharge and everything drains completely, you can cut an 1 1/2 inch gate valve in as close to the 3" fitting as possible and it will solve your problem. If the valve is cumbersome to reach you can get one with a cable and mount the remote pull handle somewhere more convenient to reach. There is a problem with this arrangement though. Suppose you wanted to just empty the grey water tanks when you're doing some extended camping? It would be impossible without draining the black water tank first. The best solution is to add a 3" gate valve as well before it reaches the discharge point. You may have to do some replumbing to achieve this.

Actually that's not a problem. There is a gate valve, if you zoom in on the picture, on the end of the pipe connecting the two gray tanks. It's like half way under the carriage but it can be pulled to allow fluids to exit there. I can attach a hose or make that valve easier to pull with a cable valve. If I add an additional valve as you said with that one closed and I crawl under to pull the existing one there, only the gray tanks will empty. I will have a little gray water in between valves, but that's negligible and can be emptied when the black tank is emptied.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:43 PM   #8
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Agreed, but maybe you should consider extending it to the edge of the camper where it was originally and forgo the crawling thing. It is nice to pull up to the dump station and be able to dump both tanks through the 3" line.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:02 PM   #9
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Agreed, but maybe you should consider extending it to the edge of the camper where it was originally and forgo the crawling thing. It is nice to pull up to the dump station and be able to dump both tanks through the 3" line.

I think that's a smart suggestion. The last aspect that I am considering is the installation of the gate valve. If the pipes are rigid in that I can't manipulate them a bit once I cut a section out, I'm gonna have to use some type of coupler that I can slide all the way over to one side, insert the section with the gate valve and slide it back half way. Similar to what you would do with your pipes for your sprinklers. Where would I find such a coupler as I can't seem to find one. I found this one but don't know if it would be adequate.

https://www.amazon.com/Qi-Motorsport...2+pipe+coupler

I rather have plastic but does it really matter?
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:28 AM   #10
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They are commonly called Fernco couplings, Home Depot usually carries them. You can also find them clad in metal which makes them more rigid. If you can find a 'slip' coupling, one without stop in the center that would be the best solution.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GalsofEscape View Post
I am also thinking yours has been modified. my 2011 HW 277 had two separate outlets with valves to dump- one for the gray tanks and a separate one for the black. the gray valve/outlet was a smaller diameter that i could hook up a garden hose to and the black was the standard sewer valve/outlet. There were some discussions on here where people were modifying the two outlets in their high wall models to make it a single outlet so you only had one hookup for the dump station.

So the standard setup was to have two separate dumps, one for gray the other for black. So did the gray run down what looks like solid 2" pipe all the way to the outer frame of the trailer? At which point it sounds like there was an adapter to attach a standard garden house to empty the gray water?
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tfamdad View Post
So the standard setup was to have two separate dumps, one for gray the other for black. So did the gray run down what looks like solid 2" pipe all the way to the outer frame of the trailer? At which point it sounds like there was an adapter to attach a standard garden house to empty the gray water?
Yes, two separate dumps. I had an adapter the screwed onto the pipe to attach a gray colored hose. The hose was the same size as a garden hose. Since I never used the black tank, the two dumps did not bother me.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:36 PM   #13
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Mine has two gray water drains. One under the kitchen sink one on the other side under the shower. No valves just a cap no tanks. The black water tank is a removable thank out the side of trailer.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Maxwell D Pratt View Post
Mine has two gray water drains. One under the kitchen sink one on the other side under the shower. No valves just a cap no tanks. The black water tank is a removable thank out the side of trailer.
That would be a regular wall popup set up. The OP has a highwall.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:43 PM   #15
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First, I'm going to X2 dtptrson's recommendation to use Fernco couplings. These will be very helpful, AND they absorb shock in the drain lines and prevent cracking.
I had a "Tee" go bad that connected my kitchen sink with my outdoor kitchen sink (HW-277), so I installed a Fernco Tee. The soft rubber flexes when the rig is towed over rough terrain and the frame is flexing and twisting.

Second, I'm going to suggest that, since you're doing this plumbing, you accommodate the fact that you have only 12 gallons of gray water capacity, and you'll need to dump gray water very frequently when boondocking. I typically have to dump between 5 and 10 gallons of gray water a day. Meanwhile my 12 gallon black tank will serve us (an adult couple) for about 5 days with no fears of overflowing.

The IDEAL scenario is:
  • The ability to dump gray water "cleanly" upstream of the black-tank dump.
  • Most gray water plumbing is 1 1/2". My rig has a 1 1/2" gray water dump valve that terminates separately from the black tank dump.
  • So install a gray water dump valve, a Tee in the line that enables connecting a "garden hose" to dump gray water into a bucket or other container, and also goes on to join into the black tank dump to help flush out the black water drain hose.
  • But DO NOT use the black tank dump to dump gray water into a bucket, because the black tank fittings are contaminated with sewage, and the gray water that passes thru the black tank dump will also become contaminated. There's no reason to introduce fecal matter into gray water that's not going into a dump station.

The idea is to have both a "sanitary" gray water dump to enable emptying the gray tank(s) regularly (perhaps watering a tree when boondocking, or carrying to a pit toilet in a primitive campground), AND to be able to route gray water to the black tank dump when at a dump station.

Since the rig is plumbed with simple, household ABS, all you need is a few specialty fittings such as the 1 1/2" dump valve. This stuff is cheap and readily available...Amazon has most of it.

You can make your rig better than new by making sure your black and gray water holding tanks and dump plumbing are separate until the bitter end of the lines where the two can join to use gray water to flush the black tank dump....as needed, but not all the time.

Good luck. I'm not really clear what I was seeing under your rig, but it was, shall we say, "creative."
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:48 PM   #16
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
First, I'm going to X2 dtptrson's recommendation to use Fernco couplings. These will be very helpful, AND they absorb shock in the drain lines and prevent cracking.
I had a "Tee" go bad that connected my kitchen sink with my outdoor kitchen sink (HW-277), so I installed a Fernco Tee. The soft rubber flexes when the rig is towed over rough terrain and the frame is flexing and twisting.

Second, I'm going to suggest that, since you're doing this plumbing, you accommodate the fact that you have only 12 gallons of gray water capacity, and you'll need to dump gray water very frequently when boondocking. I typically have to dump between 5 and 10 gallons of gray water a day. Meanwhile my 12 gallon black tank will serve us (an adult couple) for about 5 days with no fears of overflowing.

The IDEAL scenario is:
  • The ability to dump gray water "cleanly" upstream of the black-tank dump.
  • Most gray water plumbing is 1 1/2". My rig has a 1 1/2" gray water dump valve that terminates separately from the black tank dump.
  • So install a gray water dump valve, a Tee in the line that enables connecting a "garden hose" to dump gray water into a bucket or other container, and also goes on to join into the black tank dump to help flush out the black water drain hose.
  • But DO NOT use the black tank dump to dump gray water into a bucket, because the black tank fittings are contaminated with sewage, and the gray water that passes thru the black tank dump will also become contaminated. There's no reason to introduce fecal matter into gray water that's not going into a dump station.

The idea is to have both a "sanitary" gray water dump to enable emptying the gray tank(s) regularly (perhaps watering a tree when boondocking, or carrying to a pit toilet in a primitive campground), AND to be able to route gray water to the black tank dump when at a dump station.

Since the rig is plumbed with simple, household ABS, all you need is a few specialty fittings such as the 1 1/2" dump valve. This stuff is cheap and readily available...Amazon has most of it.

You can make your rig better than new by making sure your black and gray water holding tanks and dump plumbing are separate until the bitter end of the lines where the two can join to use gray water to flush the black tank dump....as needed, but not all the time.

Good luck. I'm not really clear what I was seeing under your rig, but it was, shall we say, "creative."

Thank you, good suggestions. I'm happy to hear that the Fernco couplings works as well as you suggest. Others have confirm its use for my application but I was thinking anything less then a solid rigid coupler would degrade the resilience of the system. To give it some stress relief is not something I considered. It seems to be the easiest option and to now hear that it may be the best option...that makes my day.
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