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Old 01-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #1
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Holding Tanks

My wife asked me why the holding tanks are seperate and not just one big tank. I started to answer her and realized that I knew of no compelling reasons, some minor points but none substantial. I'm sure there must be some good reasons so please enlighten those of us that neeed educating.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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My wife asked me why the holding tanks are seperate and not just one big tank. I started to answer her and realized that I knew of no compelling reasons, some minor points but none substantial. I'm sure there must be some good reasons so please enlighten those of us that neeed educating.
I've wondered the same thing and all I can come up with is one tank for both would be too large and heavy. Also, the gray water "cleans" the stinky-slinky after dumping the black water. In my opinion, both tanks stink.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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Pretty simple..The black tank fluids and solid waste is full of coli and can make you very sick or kill you. You would not want to risk the sewage being able to come up into your kitchen and bathroom sinks..so, they are separated for safety.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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That's the main reason, but separate smaller tanks are also easier to place, easier to plumb, etc... we have four tanks including the fresh water
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:16 PM   #5
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Pretty simple..The black tank fluids and solid waste is full of coli and can make you very sick or kill you. You would not want to risk the sewage being able to come up into your kitchen and bathroom sinks..so, they are separated for safety.
I think you're right on the money! No doubt that's the main reason they are separated. Along that line, most people don't use any kind of chemical in their gray tank, so if they were combined you would have to use a LOT more chemical!

Another possible reason may be that if you had a single tank that large, and it was 1/2 to 3/4 full, there would be a lot of surge side-to-side when turning sharp curves, possibly rocking the RV depending on it's size.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:19 PM   #6
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You will hear lots of reasons and I doubt if any of them are compelling, but taken together they make a good argument for separate tanks, which is the most common design. By the way, some RVs have three or four tanks rather than just two (or one).

In addition to the excellent reasons stated above, I will add one that is largely historical. Back in the day, it was common practice to dump gray water on the ground when away from developed areas (and some people still do that, even though no longer politically correct). Most RVs always had two tanks, so the practice continues today.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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I sometimes wish there was a way to transfer some of the gray water to the black water tank as our gray water fills up much faster than the black tank.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
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I have a dump facility at home but I am on a septic system so like to limit the amount of effluent going into the septic tank all at once. So I flush after the black discharge and the rest of the grey water goes into my irrigation system. I collect rain water and that is also used for irrigation, in fact I hardly ever draw water from my well to water the grass. My sump pump output is also used to irrigate the lawns and gardens. (there is a high water table where my house is and my sump pump comes on about every 30 min during some wet periods). I also have the waste laundry water fed back through the sump pump so it is win win. It does not overload the septic system and waters the grass. Any grey or laundry water we have will not hurt the environment because we will not put anyhing in the tank that will hurt the environment.

I don't see any downside of putting environmentally friendly water to good use. All one needs to do is keep bad stuff from going into the sink and dump grey water wherever it will do the most good.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:31 PM   #9
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I sometimes wish there was a way to transfer some of the gray water to the black water tank as our gray water fills up much faster than the black tank.
My bathroom sink drains into my black tank. I like that because it helps to keep the tanks more even. Check to see if yours does that too. If it does you can dump more of your kitchen waste water, like from boiling sweet corn etc., down the bathroom sink drain and keep you tanks more evened out.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:56 PM   #10
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In the 3 rigs I had, the tanks were on opposite sides. With even weight distribution, you get a better ride, and also get even traction to the rear, to eliminate wheel hop when you lay a patch to leave a noisy little rat car in your dust.

But....having 150 gallons (~1000 lbs) in 1 tank may make your tail wag a bit.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:19 PM   #11
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I am trying to think of the pros and cons of having only one tank for black and grey water.

The list of pros is very short from my perspective. IMHO, two tanks just makes sense to me.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:26 PM   #12
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Pretty simple..The black tank fluids and solid waste is full of coli and can make you very sick or kill you. You would not want to risk the sewage being able to come up into your kitchen and bathroom sinks..so, they are separated for safety.
That certainly makes sense and I'm all for keeping black water as far away from my sink as possible. But, how does having a single RV holding tank differ from a septic tank arrangement in a stick house?

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:45 PM   #13
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My bathroom sink drains into my black tank. I like that because it helps to keep the tanks more even. Check to see if yours does that too. If it does you can dump more of your kitchen waste water, like from boiling sweet corn etc., down the bathroom sink drain and keep you tanks more evened out.
Mine is plumbed the same. I think it's designed that way to ensure enough water is going into the black tank.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:38 PM   #14
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That certainly makes sense and I'm all for keeping black water as far away from my sink as possible. But, how does having a single RV holding tank differ from a septic tank arrangement in a stick house?

Rick
An RV tank is a closed system (until opened to dump) with the only outlet back from whence it came. A septic system flows to a proper distance from the residence and is an open system in the sense that it continually evacuates through a drain field even further away. If properly plumbed it would be nearly impossible to back up unless there were outrageous circumstances.
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