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Author Topic: Tank size questions  (Read 423 times)

slam308

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Tank size questions
« on: September 18, 2017, 06:44:06 PM »
Hello everyone, I was on a couple months ago asking some slide/floor plan questions.  I'm still in the research, consideration, debating mode.

I'm having a hard time with tank sizes. 

98% of the time it would be just me for a week long trip.  Once a year it would be a two week trip.  Figuring a complete shower every 3 days or so with a stinky parts mop up with a washcloth on the off days, (how else to explain this??) how much fresh water do I need?
At home with the water running full time, I'm in and out in 10 minutes.  I know I'll be shutting the water off while camping, just trying to give an idea of what's normal.

How much poop to fill a black tank in a week?

What exactly is grey water and how much do I need?

I'm not a very "spatial" thinker so I'm having a hard time trying to picture what I'd need.  Assume I won't be hooked up to any kind of outside faucet.  Also, if that's the case, are there places on the road where you can refill the fresh water tank?

Can/should you drink the water from the fresh water tank or should I also bring gallons/bottle for drinking and the dog?

Any help would be appreciated.
Slam
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 06:47:00 PM by slam308 »

Rene T

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 07:39:24 PM »
No reason not to use your fresh water tank. I would sanitize the entire fresh water system. Then fill your tank and move into the rig for a week in your driveway and use it like you would if you were on the road.
You asked about gray water, that's the water waste from your shower and sinks.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
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From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

RoadSchool

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 07:56:19 PM »
a stinky parts mop up with a washcloth on the off days, (how else to explain this??)
We always called this a "bird bath" in my family. If a person didn't know the idiom, I'd explain it as using a washcloth to just clean the essentials.

Rene T

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 08:03:01 PM »
We always called this a "bird bath" in my family. If a person didn't know the idiom, I'd explain it as using a washcloth to just clean the essentials.

Is it essentials or utensils?   ;D
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

UTTransplant

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 08:14:19 PM »
For comparison, here is the results for what my DH and I do. We have 80 gallon fresh plus another 10 in the hot water tank. We have two 40 gallon gray tanks and one 40 gallon black tank. We take navy showers every day. We cook real food on the propane stove, use real dishes, and wash those dishes in the sink. We use our on board toilet any time we are not away from the campsite sightseeing, shopping, etc. Using this approach we go a week before needing to dump. BTW, it is always the shower gray tank that fills first. If we start conserving water which means showers 2 out of 3 days, wash rag cleaning the other day, using minimal water for dishes, we can go 10 days but I don't like it. If we are liberal with water (aka longer showers) we go 5-6 days before the shower gray tank fills up.

Note we used to have a tiny Casita trailer so we are VERY good at Navy showers! You will get the nack after a while.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
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muskoka guy

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 08:50:55 PM »
We have traveled pretty extensively with four adults in a mh. 100 gallon fresh water tank would last us three, possibly four days with everyone showering mostly every day. We did dishes and used the washroom like at home. We would boondock for the most part, then when the tanks required, we would go to a rv campsite for a night to refill the water, dump the tanks, and use the laundry facilities. Also nice to have a long hot shower at the rv park. This is a class A with fairly large tanks. Lots of travel trailers have much smaller tanks.

JudyJB

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2017, 01:05:29 AM »
One of the REALLY big advantages to travel alone is water use!  I have a 32' Class C motorhome and am a full-timer. I take a hot shower every night which includes washing my hair.  I wet down, turn water off, shampoo hair, soap up rest of me, and rinse down.  And I feel just as clean as I used to with a much longer shower.

I also do dishes once a day and use as much water as I need to flush the toilet and wash hands, etc. 

I have a 60 gallon fresh water tank, which I keep sanitized, and I have been drinking the water from it for five years without getting sick!  I have a 35 gallon grey water (shower and dishes) tank and a 35 gallon black water (toilet only) tank.  I can easily go 4 days without filling up my grey tank, and maybe 6-7 without filling up the black tank.  And the 60 gallons of fresh water would last longer than four days, but the grey tank is my limiting factor. 

Since I have a motorhome instead of a trailer, all I have to do to dump my tanks is put my slides in, stuff everything on counters into the sink, and unhook my electric and water hose, if I have water and electric.  I drive to dump station and dump tanks.  That takes maybe 10 minutes unless I flush black tank a lot.  And nearly all campgrounds that do not have water hookups at sites will have a fresh water fill station either at the dump station or along one of the roadways.  I drive with only a quarter tank of fresh water because of the weight, so I fill up when I arrive at a campground if I do not have water at my site.  (Ask before you get parked.)

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 01:08:28 AM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

John From Detroit

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 08:01:37 AM »
The answer is "It varies"   And I will discuss some factors.

FIrst a description of my RV  37'7" class A, Bath and a half, 36 gallon tanks, One black (Toilets only) one gray (Kitchen sink and half bath lav) one Wash (Shower and full bath lavs (2).

Toilet in main bath is a Macerator type.. My wife used it exclusively
Toilet in half is a Sea-Land type (Gravity) which I used

We dumped 2x a week (wed and Sun)  when we were together

Now... It is just me.  And the half bath is down for repair so I use the macerator and practice water conservation... So I can USUALLY go over 2 weeks without dumping.. Though I filled it in 12 days last month.

Another factor is the water you drink/make coffee/tea with.

I'm using only one.2 water sources this summer..

My pattern: I spend two weeks in one campground, then two in another.. In one of them I will "Tank up" with fresh water (80 gallons) and at the other I use only the tanked water so for the most part I'm drinking the same water all the time. However coffee in the family center is always "Local" water.

When you move from one area to another it takes a while for your body to "Get used" to the new water. During that time...... You tend to fill the black tank faster.. MUCH faster.

Now that is not why I am only using tanked water here (Water quality is an issue here they need to re-do the wells and I'm aclimated to both water systems) but for many... It  is a consideration.

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 08:23:19 AM »
If you run that shower full blast it will use 1-2 gallons per minute (gpm), so that 10 minutes shower is gonna empty the tank quickly. You probably have various wasteful water habits you don't even realize, like letting the faucet run while brushing teeth or doing the dishes. With water conservation measures, my wife and I can go a week on 100 gallons of fresh water, but without being careful it's only about 3 days.

The black (poop) tank should last a week easily enough - an RV toilet doesn't use much water to flush unless you do so repeatedly.  The gray waste tank, however, has to catch all the rest of the water you use, i.e. it drains the sinks and shower. It will fill as fast as the fresh tank empties.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Rene T

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 08:30:01 AM »
The black (poop) tank should last a week easily enough - an RV toilet doesn't use much water to flush unless you do so repeatedly. 

Just keep in mind to use enough water while flushing so you don't end up with a poo pyramid. Trial and error will be the best way to find out.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

kjansen

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 08:53:42 AM »
I have a 60 gal fresh water tank and 3 38 gal waste tanks.  If it is just me, I can can go 2 weeks without dumping.  I do carry 6 gal of RO water to make coffee every morning.  Can go for 1 week if my wife comes along.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

JudyJB

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 04:55:28 PM »
One thing I did to use less water in the shower was to replace the old fixture with an Oxygenics one.  http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/bodyspa-rv-shower-kit-white/68324.  It adds air to the spray and makes it feel like a lot more water. 

In addition, I adjust the flow on the shower wand to about half of normal capacity.  It still feels like a good shower, but conserves water.  I have never run out of hot water, even though my hot water tank only holds 6 gallons.

Another trick is to use a plastic dishpan and dump the water into the toilet rather than down the kitchen sink when you are done.  Most people take longer to fill the black tank than the grey one, and a little extra soapy water will help keep your blank tank working better.
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

Isaac-1

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 05:26:54 PM »
As mentioned above it is all relative, I was speaking to a guy last month that solo travels in a Class A diesel pusher, he has 120 gallons of fresh water tanks, and told me the longest he has ever went boondocking was a month in Arizona without refilling taking a quick shower every third or fourth day.

Personally I don't try to push it nearly that far, I have 80 gallons of fresh water tanks, (40 gallon black, 40 gray) and for planning purposes work around a figure of 10 gallons per day per person and find the gray tank always fills up long before the black tank.

As to your question about black vs gray, the black tank is from the toilet, the gray tank is generally everything else, although on my coach (as well as many others) the bathroom sink also connects to the black tank.  This is to increase the solids to liquid ratio and help avoiding things getting clogged up.

There are many ways to cut down on water use, many people try to limit liquids going down the toilet (if its yellow, let it mellow, etc.)  however this increases the chance of clogs and adds to smells in the RV.   Limiting showers also adds to smells.  For me to try to conserve, but don't go to extreme measures, I don't let the water run in the sink while shaving, but do turn it on to rinse the blade on my razor, I flush after using the toilet, but only put a little water back in, if more water is needed I add it before using the toilet later.     For the shower I have a cut off button on my Oxygenics shower wand, and turn off water flow while lathering up with soap, washing my hair, etc.  this allows for a 3-5 minute total shower time, which I feel is enough to get clean, and to take a few seconds enjoying the hot water.  Showers and doing dishes are the two biggest consumers of water.  A 5 minute continuous shower with an Oxygenics shower head will consume 8 gallons of water assuming a 40 psi water pump.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

slam308

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 06:02:52 PM »
Road School, love the Bird Bath.  I'm going to steal that from you!

Gary, that helps a lot.  Thinking in gallons per minute makes more sense to me.

JudyJB, I like that dish pan idea.  Why not repurpose. 

So you guys brought up the thing about flushing the toilet.  I'm trying to think back to when I was a kid and we'd go camping (TT) all the time.  Somehow I just pictured a regular toilet that every flush takes xx gallons.  But, what, it only flushes as long as you step on the lever?  I've noticed some pictures show one lever, some show two levers.  What's the difference?

(I ought to really conserve...line the bowl with a plastic bag and toss it along with the dog's!)

Isaac-1

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 06:57:02 PM »
It depends on the toilet, on mine there are 2 pedals, one inner one is linked to the outer one so it pushes both down.  The outer pedal just adds water, the inner pedal opens the big dump valve in the bottom of the toilet as well as adds flushing water.  Some RV toilets use a double acting single pedal, lift to add water, stomp to flush, yet others use an electrically operated  flush button, which generally add a fixed amount of water back into the bowl.

p.s. it is good to keep the seal at the bottom of the bowl under water to keep odors out.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

slam308

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Re: Tank size questions
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 07:08:59 PM »
Isaac, that explains things, thanks.  The manufacturer I've been looking at (Jayco) just has the one pedal.

 

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