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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Why not forget holding tanks and just use portable tanks?

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nicpaige

Ohio

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Posted: 08/09/19 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an all aluminum trailer that I am turning into a toy hauler. The floor framing is 12" on center and I beam construction. This only leaves 8-9" width to fit the tanks in between the rails. For any kind of volume the tank would have to be quite tall. I do not want my storage tanks 7" from the road for obvious reasons. So......
Is it just craziness to think about running the drains to the waste valves and straight into those portable tanks you can roll to the dump station? I realize I would need one for grey and one for the black tank.
What am I missing in this process? Or is it feasible and been done before?

Thanks,
Rick

the bear II

Torrance CA.

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Posted: 08/09/19 11:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That would work for most boondocking areas but most RV, National and state parks require RVs to meet RVIA standards which include holding tanks. You'll see park rules state "Must be fully self contained"

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)

Those blue portable tanks can be a hand full to dump depending on where you have to dump them. The smell can be deadly.

Holding tanks with a sealed sewer hose setup is the best way to go. Little or no smell or mess.

myredracer

Langley B.C.

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Posted: 08/09/19 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nicpaige wrote:

I have an all aluminum trailer that I am turning into a toy hauler. The floor framing is 12" on center and I beam construction. This only leaves 8-9" width to fit the tanks in between the rails. For any kind of volume the tank would have to be quite tall. I do not want my storage tanks 7" from the road for obvious reasons. So......
Is it just craziness to think about running the drains to the waste valves and straight into those portable tanks you can roll to the dump station? I realize I would need one for grey and one for the black tank.
What am I missing in this process? Or is it feasible and been done before?

Thanks,
Rick
Never heard of it before. Filling and dragging tote tanks to wherever the dump station is (and they can sometimes be far from your site) is a big PITA. And the larger the tote tank is, the more of a PITA to use. We have a smaller 18 gallon one that both DW and I can lift into the truck if needed. Not that they ever work well, or at all, but you obviously won't have sensors in a tote tank to tell how full the tank is.

I assume you've looked into what's available in standard RV holding tank dimensions like here for example? Narrowest is 11" wide but only up to 25 gallons. They have a 7.75" wide 32 gallon one but is 21.5" tall. [emoticon] Would it be possible to relocate the joists to gain more width? Possibly double up the joists on either side, providing the sub-floor is thick enough?

I would say 32 gallons is about as small as you want to go for holding tanks, for a black tank anyway so you're not running to the dump station every 2 or 3 days.

A macerator pump *might* be an option but would still need a holding tank for the pump to pump out of. Could maybe get away with a small holding tank that way?? Then pump into a tank in the back of your truck?? Maybe you could be the honey wagon service in a CG that way and make a few bucks! [emoticon]

Interesting comment above about RVIA requirement!


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folivier

Southeast Louisiana

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Posted: 08/09/19 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only issue I can see is when stopping for the night somewhere without hookups you would need to deploy the portable tanks then load them up again. Maybe have a small "day" tank that can handle a couple days, then when parked for longer, use the portable tanks. Maybe combine the 2 different waste sources into 1 valve?
Another option is to use a porta-potty toilet.

2oldman

New Mexico

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Posted: 08/09/19 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For all the reasons stated above, it would be a huge inconvenience. You'd stop taking showers and/or various other toiletries, you'd likely be seeking out public restrooms, dish washing would be restricted...

I wouldn't want to live like that.

BillyBob Jim

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Posted: 08/09/19 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the bear II wrote:

That would work for most boondocking areas but most RV, National and state parks require RVs to meet RVIA standards which include holding tanks. You'll see park rules state "Must be fully self contained"

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)

Those blue portable tanks can be a hand full to dump depending on where you have to dump them. The smell can be deadly.

Holding tanks with a sealed sewer hose setup is the best way to go. Little or no smell or mess.



That's simply opinion. I have never seen in the published rules for any State or Federal Campground I am familiar with, which is more than a few, anything that references RVIA standards or the RVIA at all. The RVIA is a voluntary organization, there are RV manufacturers that do not even belong to RVIA. Are tent campers required to be self contained also.

OP, I have used and dumped a tote tank often. It's not the nightmare folks claim on these boards. Get a 4 wheel tote with a side mounted dump valve. You would not need separate totes for black and gray to do what you describe, you'll be dumping it down the same hole. No one is going to give you any flack or toss you from a campground for having a tote tank connected 24/7.

wowens79

Georgia

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Posted: 08/09/19 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most pop ups don't have holding tanks. We had one for 9 years, and used a 5 gallon aqua-tainer to catch our gray water. Never had an issue in state parks. I think you might have some issues in some of the private campgrounds. I've seen many of those that don't allow converted trailers or buses, it has to be a factory built RV.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 08/09/19 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most popup trailers use a cassette toilet or porta-potty as a black tank. (if only restroom wife and I have 2 full days) Also they drain the sink and shower out thru a hose connector and into a jug or tank. I use laundry soap jug for the inside sink, and a 7 gallon jug for the outside sink where I do dishes. Last for 4 days unless it is Thanksgiving weekend.

NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 08/09/19 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is possible to design your interior so that all of your tanks are above the floor. You’ll have to give up some of your storage space to do it though. I’ve had truck campers that were built just like that.

Before TC’s started being built with basements, the standard location for the fresh water tank was above the floor, just below the cabover area inside because you needed a step up there anyway. The TC in my sig has a 30 gallon tank right there.

A previous TC of mine had the black tank sitting above the floor, directly below the toilet that was sitting in the wet bath shower pan, and was about 10 gallons IIRC. There was about a 6” step up into the shower. The grey water did NOT use that tank, and it would last about a week with one person using it, 4-5 days with two people. Our current TC has an 18 gallon black tank below the floor, and it will easily last a week with two people and have room to spare.

The grey water tanks may be more of a challenge if you want a shower in your trailer as well. There has to be a minimum amount of room below the pan for the drain and p-trap plumbing. You might think about using multiple 6” PVC pipes for your grey water tanks. They COULD be below the floor, and between the rails. They would be more durable than any standard RV holding tank as well.

[emoticon][emoticon]

* This post was edited 08/09/19 01:35pm by NRALIFR *


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patperry2766

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Posted: 08/09/19 01:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camco

Get the largest you can handle and if you've got the room, you might consider 2 of them. Spend the $$ on this one with the bigger wheels because it makes hauling to the dump station easier. It also has an adapter that fits on the front that hooks over the ball of the trailer and you can tow it.

If you do go this route, be aware of the height of the dump valve vs the inlet height of the tote. The only drawback to this particular model is that it is tall. On my trailer, the dump valves are lower than the inlet valve so if the campsite is level, it can be hard to get poop to flow uphill sometimes.

cassette toilet


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