Oh, Right, I Have a Grey Tank!

I found a little bit of water in the bottom of the shower this afternoon and couldn’t understand it for a long second. Oh, right. Silly gal. Your grey tank is FULL!

I’ve been able to leave my grey valve open where I’ve been parked in the last long while, so I haven’t had to manage my grey tank at all. I haven’t emptied it since Hampton Roads and had a couple of long showers here.

Like most places, you cannot dump grey water on the ground here, so I did an old trick. I grabbed a big bucket and filled it from the grey tank, then emptied it in the black through the toilet. I did this four times and got my grey tank down to a third full. This barely nudged up the level in the black and will actually make it easier to empty when I go dump next week.

I’m really hoping the weather will cooperate and let me complete my solid four weeks of boondocking experiment when I get to Texas. If so, then I will need to find a better way to manage grey water dumping I will run out of space in the black tank after so many weeks. My writing partner Will has some seemingly more manageable alternatives to Blue Boys, described in our ebook, and I am going to explore them.

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  • I just assumed that all RV’s were the same as mine and combined the gray and black tanks at the dump valve. Always something new to learn!

    What a silly rule about no dumping of gray water on the ground! Afterall, it is just sink and shower water.

  • You mean, you pull one valve and you get BOTH black and grey coming out at the same time?!

    I don’t know if my setup is the way the RV came out of the factory or not. The previous owners didn’t do much to Miranda, but there is an entry in their blog about changing the dump valves.

    My black and grey terminate in the same black pipe to which I connect the sewer hose, but they each have their own gate valve. So this way, I dump the black first and then rinse with the grey.

    There is organic matter in the water, so in some areas it could attract bears. That I get. But in a swampy campground like this, I don’t see how directing water off your pad and into the murky waters makes much of a difference.

  • OK, they are the same as mine. The part I missed is that you are not connected to a dump.

    The area beside our pad at home where you dumped your gray water for months is thriving! No damage or residual effects at all. No bears either.

  • No sewer hookup here, which probably explains the $18 a night thing.

    Funny thing is that at your place, I only dumped when it was pouring rain out so the water would get diluted and washed away. Good to know I didn’t kill anything! 🙂

  • My black taink tends to fill as quick or quicker than my grey thank, so I don’t have that problem. Some people have rigged a pump from the grey thank with a sprayer so they can use it to flush the toilet.

    I need to find a dump station about every 3 weeks, freinds of mine in a class C need it every 10-12 days. We both mainly boondock.

  • If I can leave my grey valve open somewhere, I can last months without dumping. But if the grey valve is closed, I reach my limit in just a few weeks.

  • Some RVs are configured so the shower drains into the black tank. That would make it difficult to go very long at all.

    With our black tank, it is usually the odor that drives us to dump long before the tank is full. In the 80+ weather here in Mexico that means about a week, although the tank is only 1/3 full.

    We use no chemicals unless we are in a situation where we simply cannot dump.

  • I find that if there’s enough water in the tank, there are few odours. Maybe it helps that I end up dumping soapy water in there?

    Donna (Life On Our Ark) has a rig where the shower dumps into the black tank.

  • Maybe that is the trick, add some dirty dish water to the tank every day. It would also give it more volume for a better dump.

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