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Old 05-15-2011, 01:53 PM   #1
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gray water holding tanks

We are filling our gray water tanks after one day. I think our motorhome has 100 gal. fresh and 50 gal. each for black and gray.
It's just my wife and me ,we can fill the gray tank fast. one shower each a day. Is this Normal? I understand that 50 gals. is 50 gals. we must be using 50 gal. just wondering what everybody else are doing.

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Old 05-15-2011, 02:00 PM   #2
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If you are standing in the shower for 1/2 hr, you are probably using that much water. If you turn on shower, wet down, shut off the water until you are soaped and cleaned then rince off you won't use so much water.


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Old 05-15-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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We're pretty heavy water users too but I don't think we're quite at 50 gal/day. Our tank is 67 gal and a couple of days will fill it. We never boondock so it's not been a problem for us.

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Old 05-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
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We have always showered the way Cliff describes in his post above from the time we got our first RV over 40 years ago. It's called a Navy shower.

We still take Navy showers out of habit even though we usually camp where we have full hookups. For those occasions when we don't have full hookups, we can easily go 8 days on our gray tank without even trying. If we are real conscientious, we can go 10 days. Our gray tank is 54 gallons. If we're only staying 3 or 4 days without sewer hookup, we can even do a load of wash.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
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I have two gray tanks (one for shower and rear bath lav, the other kitchen and front bath lav) and a black, all are 36 gallons, and 80 gallon fresh water.

Now, shower, I think is 1 to 1.5 GPM at 45 PSI. You can do the math. A long shower does indeed fill the tank very quickly.

Things that will help:

First: The dealer told me the shower had a cut off valve this slows the flow of water to, depending on the age, either zero (Older units) or a slow dribble) newer ones, this helps prevent a sudden blast of either hot or cold when you re-open the valve) if you don't have one, any hardware store can sell you one, they are standard size (1/2 inch IPT), As I said, salesman said it had one.. And now, (that I've added it) it does.

Two, Oxygenics shower head,, More shower per gallon, or so I'm told (Do not have one)
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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Just came back from a Thurs-Sun campout. With 2 showers/day, doing dishes, etc (no laundry) the gray tank was filled Saturday evening. We had full hookups, so I dumped; no problem. The black tank was barely 1/3 full.

We have 90 gal fresh water; 54 gal black, 47 gray (why more black than gray??).

When we know we need to stretch the gray tank, we use a dish pan to collect dish washing water, and then dump it in the black tank (toilet). We then can go 6-7 days with conserving water - Navy showers, etc. (Make sure to check there's no silverware in dish water before dumping into black tank -- don't ask why I know this....)
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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Showering with a friend saves water also and you got someone to wash your back. HEHEHEHEHEH.. just a thought.....

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Old 05-15-2011, 05:37 PM   #8
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Mark1505 - is it possible your tank sensors are misreading the levels? If they have an accumulation of soap residue and/or grease buildup they may be giving false readings. A good rinsing or application of a degreasing agent might help.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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Doing what has been previously posted a 65 gallon grey water tank will last 8 days with two people.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:53 PM   #10
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Our previous RV, a Newmar Kountry Star, had a 65 gallon tank and we could go 3 full days with 6 showers and light dishwashing and handwashing and the tank would just start showing full at the end of the 3rd day.

Practice "Navy" showers and pretty soon you will see how long you can stretch that grey tank capacity.

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Old 05-16-2011, 08:39 AM   #11
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we use alot of water, on our trip i left the valve open on the gray tank let it run through the sewer hose full time and before i unhooked i would run ten or fifteen gallons into the tank to flush the sewer hose after draining the black tank.
it worked out fine and the wife and i didn't have to scrimp on our showers but that only will work if hooked up
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:41 AM   #12
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Conserve, conserve, conserve. You are not hooked to a city sewer. Play the "See how little water we can use" game. After a while it becomes a habit.

Using the water normal for me while boondocking I can go a week on my 70 gallons of fresh water. If I really get serious, I can go two weeks. My black and gray are also 70 gal. Black tank at least 3 weeks. Gray tank at least 2 weeks. I do not use paper products for plates etc.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:30 PM   #13
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What the others said...navy showers, conserve on washing, use minimal for flushing and brushing etc. We have a 60 gallon grey tank and easily last a week on that, going to 2 weeks with a tad more conservation and more if we really need to.

If you're interested I actually wrote a post on this some time ago here https://wheelingit.wordpress.com/201...r-on-the-road/
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #14
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Leave it to CJ to find the most conservative method.

I thought our old Alpine, with 80 gal. Gray and 80 gallon Black (as a Submariner and NSWU, I like long hot showers) would be a problem. Not so.

With "Navy" showers, our Phoenix with only 23 gallons of Gray capacity, is good for a few days.

If you're on City water, I'd check for leaks between the City water and Gray tank.

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