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Old 05-02-2016, 04:27 PM   #1
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Default Utilizing Gray Water

I think I already know the answer to my question, but ... I'm new to RV'ing, so just in case I'm missing something ...

So, my 2014 266KIRB has a 35 gallon black water tank and two 35 Gallon gray water tanks.

I've read a number of things online about using your gray water to flush your toilets. But I don't think my camper has any mechanism that would allow that.

Is there some sort of modification I'd have to do in order to utilize my gray water? Or am I missing something simple?

Thanks.

Tom
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Old 05-02-2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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The simplest is use a plastic bucket in the sink to catch that grey water and throw that water in the toilet. Also controversial and illegal in a lot of places but you could water the bushes with the captured grey water. Best done under cover of darkness.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:01 PM   #3
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Dumping gray water outside is illegal in most places (but not all). Be sure you know the rules -- the citation can be pretty hefty, especially in a national forest. (I do not know this from personal experience, but I have been told this is true.)

We sometimes dump gray water into the toilet with a bucket -- our gray tank is full after four or five nights of camping, and our black water tank is never full.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:46 PM   #4
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I hadn't heard about using grey water to flush the toilet ~ only to dump the black water tank first and then dump the grey water tank to flush out the sewer line...but then it could be ?
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:42 PM   #5
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Well, when we are boondocking, we try to save drinking water (of course) -- so we sometimes use the gray water to flush the toilet. Why use pure water for that task?

We don't do this all the time -- just when we are planning to be in the boonies with no hookups and no access to water for more than five days at a stretch. Not often.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by profdant139 View Post
Well, when we are boondocking, we try to save drinking water (of course) -- so we sometimes use the gray water to flush the toilet. Why use pure water for that task?

We don't do this all the time -- just when we are planning to be in the boonies with no hookups and no access to water for more than five days at a stretch. Not often.
I see where that makes sense.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:01 PM   #7
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I should add that we bought (at WalMart) four one-gallon screw-top containers wide mouth that are designed for holding used motor oil, when you change your own oil. These containers can easily be used for holding gray water -- we attach a bayonet mount spout to the gray water outlet, slide open the gate valve, and fill each container. Then we close them up with the screw tops. They are then easier to use for flushing the toilet -- smaller and easier to pour than a bucket.

But I admit -- this is a bit of a hassle, and we do not routinely do this.

It sure would be nice to have some sort of auxiliary pump that takes water from the gray tank and then routes it into the toilet flush valve. Probably too expensive for something that very few folks would really need.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:08 PM   #8
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Hmmm. . . never wanted to use my gray water to flush toilets. If the gray water tank is filling up to soon - I suggest: http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-T1020...sewer+hose+cap
I have used this and connected my gray water hose to it and drained into the faucet/drains that campers use to rinse dishes. Usually I'm close enough to make it work. Good at campgrounds without full hookups. And not illegal.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:26 PM   #9
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I sometimes just place a plastic dishpan in the sink for washing up, and then dump that into the commode. Especially if I have dishes with food particles on them. I figure get all that stuff in the black tank, because it's easier to flush out better with the external flush hookup.
The gray tank can sometimes get a funky sour smell to it, so I occasionally "clean" it by dropping some laundry detergent in it, with about five gallons water on the last day of driving home. then dump at home ( I have a sewer dump at home ).
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:51 PM   #10
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You have a sewer dump at home?? Oh, wow. I guess I have reached that stage in life where if a guy says he is married to a supermodel, and another guy says he has a sewer dump, I envy the sewer dump guy. That sounds so convenient and useful!

I looked into getting one installed at my house, and it would have cost several thousand dollars. No way.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:56 PM   #11
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You have a sewer dump at home?? Oh, wow. I guess I have reached that stage in life where if a guy says he is married to a supermodel, and another guy says he has a sewer dump, I envy the sewer dump guy. That sounds so convenient and useful!

I looked into getting one installed at my house, and it would have cost several thousand dollars. No way.
....yeah, Dan....at my age a super model would just laugh at me ! So a sewer dump is much more practical !!!
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:40 AM   #12
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Sewer Dump or Super Model, which relationship is likely to last longer and be more satisfying, especially at our age. Well at any age actually.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Aaron View Post
I think I already know the answer to my question, but ... I'm new to RV'ing, so just in case I'm missing something ...

So, my 2014 266KIRB has a 35 gallon black water tank and two 35 Gallon gray water tanks.

I've read a number of things online about using your gray water to flush your toilets. But I don't think my camper has any mechanism that would allow that.

Is there some sort of modification I'd have to do in order to utilize my gray water? Or am I missing something simple?

Thanks.

Tom

Hi Tom,
Just my 2 cents... Your trailer is much larger than mine (How large is your Fresh Water tank?).

I have an XT190 Toy Hauler; it is supposed to be equipped with 1 each-- A 35 gallon Fresh Water tank, A 40 gallon Gray Water tank, and a 25 gallon Black Water tank... I always carry extra drinking water (A couple 5 gallon jugs) and a case of bottled water) and have never needed to use anything but the trailer fresh water to flush the toilet. On extended trips, we try not to waste water taking long showers, using more dishwater than is necessary, or using the outside shower/sprayer to wash the ATV, etc. but... that's just me.

Be careful not to overfill your Black Water tank... It would not be a pleasant experience... Happy camping and enjoy the fantastic outdoors...
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:01 PM   #14
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Ok, since I'm a little bored this morning so I'll bring up this little hot potato. I spend the Summer in Santa Cruz Ca. There they "encourage" you to use your Grey Water to water your plants and grass (why we have to have so much Grass in this Country is a whole other discussion, what a tragic waste of water, I put in Fake and I LOVE it!!) As a group I think folks with small trailers tend to Boondock more. If you're Boondocking,, widely dispersed camping, in the Forest why not use Grey Water to water trees or bushes. Aside from the fact it's strictly illegal of course. I see Tent Campers do it, I see Van Dwellers do it. Speaking of Van Dwellers there is a really fascinating site called Cheap RV Living.com-Home we could learn a lot about minimal impact camping from these folks.

This ought to be good.

Notice I said WIDELY Dispersed Camping.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:47 AM   #15
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When you don't have much rainfall and you're in a drought cycle every drop of water is important. Tucson passed a grey water ordinance a few years back requiring all new construction be plumbed with the capability to use gray water. We don't have a lot of lawn though.

I think they don't do want the grey water discharge at NPS & FS service campgrounds because you really never know what people might put down their sinks. Stuff that could kill the vegetation maybe. Then of course trying to control it would be a nightmare!
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:54 AM   #16
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Haole, it is true that some cities permit the use of domestic gray water for landscaping. But it is illegal in the national forests, so that kind of ends the discussion for me. I'm one of those boring rule-follower people.
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