Jump to content

grey water recycling?


86rader
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well, I'm not even an official toyhouse owner yet and I am already coming up with hairbrained modification ideas.

"My" 86 sunrader has had the shower drain disconnected by a previous owner. The guy I am buying it from says he had no need for it either so just left it disconnected.

As for me, I like my hollywood showers and so does my daughter. The wife and son aren't so bad. Now, seeing as I don't plan on burdening that poor lil' 22RE with dragging around a hundred gallon tank fresh water and grey water tank, I said to myself, self, what if we build ourself a shower grey water recycling system? It wouldn't add much weight, complexity or expense (I hope).

It would be a sand filtering system. It would consist of a length of 4 inch abs pipe, a 12v sump pump, some Tees and piping and some sand.

You could mount it in the corner of the head, preferably directly below the roof vent. The pipe would be mounted vertically with screw on caps at each end. The top of the pipe would have a supply line coming from the grey tank mounted sump pump. The bottom end would go through the floor with a T just before the end. This T would drain into the shower supply water tank. 10 gallons would probably do. Various Tees could be added when shore water/sewer are available. I

As for the rest of the potable water system, I am not sure if I would just do away with it and use bottled water or keep a seperate potable system.

Every now and then, you could remove both end caps and flush out the old sand/whatever other nastiness is within. I would keep some sort of long plastic pipe cleaner inside to help loosen up the old sand.

Obviously liberal use of chlorox would be needed and shower pee-ers would be flogged severely.

Another idea I have is a composting toilet system to do away with the black tank as well. I'm thinking using all that free exhaust heat might do a pretty good job of boiling away all the liquid in it. Of course this might not be such a good idea as crap does have the ability to burn. I suppose just venting it properly would suffice.

I am certain somebody else here has had similar crazy ideas. Maybe some have even been brave/crazy/ingenious enough to try it. Any comments, tips, recommendations or ridiculing would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blink...blink...blink.. HooBoy !

I thought I had read just about everything, but nope. Son, I say Go For It. Ya never know what will work till you try it.

Just one thing, if we're ever in the same RV park, go a ways downwind till ya work the bugs otta that thing, ok ?

P. S.

Now I feel like I gotta take a shower.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I'm not even an official toyhouse owner yet and I am already coming up with hairbrained modification ideas.

"My" 86 sunrader has had the shower drain disconnected by a previous owner. The guy I am buying it from says he had no need for it either so just left it disconnected.

As for me, I like my hollywood showers and so does my daughter. The wife and son aren't so bad. Now, seeing as I don't plan on burdening that poor lil' 22RE with dragging around a hundred gallon tank fresh water and grey water tank, I said to myself, self, what if we build ourself a shower grey water recycling system? It wouldn't add much weight, complexity or expense (I hope).

It would be a sand filtering system. It would consist of a length of 4 inch abs pipe, a 12v sump pump, some Tees and piping and some sand.

You could mount it in the corner of the head, preferably directly below the roof vent. The pipe would be mounted vertically with screw on caps at each end. The top of the pipe would have a supply line coming from the grey tank mounted sump pump. The bottom end would go through the floor with a T just before the end. This T would drain into the shower supply water tank. 10 gallons would probably do. Various Tees could be added when shore water/sewer are available. I

As for the rest of the potable water system, I am not sure if I would just do away with it and use bottled water or keep a seperate potable system.

Every now and then, you could remove both end caps and flush out the old sand/whatever other nastiness is within. I would keep some sort of long plastic pipe cleaner inside to help loosen up the old sand.

Obviously liberal use of chlorox would be needed and shower pee-ers would be flogged severely.

Another idea I have is a composting toilet system to do away with the black tank as well. I'm thinking using all that free exhaust heat might do a pretty good job of boiling away all the liquid in it. Of course this might not be such a good idea as crap does have the ability to burn. I suppose just venting it properly would suffice.

I am certain somebody else here has had similar crazy ideas. Maybe some have even been brave/crazy/ingenious enough to try it. Any comments, tips, recommendations or ridiculing would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Pete

Don't even think of it. First of all, it's not a good idea to drive with full holding tanks. They are not mounted to withstand the shock of being bounced while full. The tanks can handle it but the supports won't. I've seen some pretty shoddy tank supports especially among Winnebagos. The bouncing will also tear apart the piping fittings. I always beef up the supports and fittings in my motor homes.

A sand filter will not cut it. There are dissolved solids in the used water that can not be filtered by any mechanical filter no matter how good. As far as disinfection goes you first need sufficient contact time to get effective disinfection. An hour with good mixing is the norm. Then if you don't dechlorinate the residual will eat the materials it comes in contact wth including your bodies. Another issue is that chlorine forms carcinogenic compounds with the organic materials in waste water. That's why the federal and state laws require dechlorination in water/waste water facilities. There are leftover materials that will pick up the spores in the air and grow to become real nasty and unhealthy.

Not complex?? No way!! I know because I design these systems. In fact I make them less complex but they are still intricate.

Nice try, but that dog won't hunt. I'm sure that you mean well but don't endanger your health.

One way I have mitigated water use is to make fine spray nozzles for the shower and sinks. That really cut back usage a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tanks for pullin' my head outta my arse for me, futar. Too bad I don't have somebody around to do that more often. And thanks to you too, rat for the ridiculling I so richly deserve.

How's about the composting idea? It don't sound nearly as whacked and would probably actually work. The question is what to use to cook that brew? Running the ehhaust through or near the tank is reasonably simple, but, a possible fire hazard. I guess mounting a heater core inside and running coolant through would be a better idea. Do they make heater cores outta stuff that would survive the nastiness found inside a dry black tank?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Never degrade yourself or appologize for asking or thinking out of the box. You're a better person for trying.

If I remember right the GMC motor homes had a system that injected poo water in to the exhaust for disposal. I know some one did. I also remember seeing the systems for sale. I don't remember how well they work. Okay, I admit that I'm older than dirt and probably thinking of chariots.

I think it was our illustrious and all seeing federal regulators that put a stop to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little self degradation is good for ya. And I'll never apologize for thinking outside the box. Infact on pretty damn proud of my out of the box thinking abilities, my poor wife on the other hand probably wishes I'd get back in the box or atleast somewhere close to it.

Still waiting on some composting crapper feedback. Last summer I used a composting bathroom up in the white mountains and was very impressed. The tank's low are pressure keeps a constant flow of air going in to the toilet making it even better than a standard home water terlit at keeping odors at bay.

Could you transfer the existing black grey tank into one. Vent it using a low power fan. Possibly use a 2 speed fan. Low speed most of the time and high speed when you are adding to the compost heap.

Emptying it might be a PITA, but you'd have to do so a whole lot less than a regular black tank. From the reading I've done on it, all you need to do is add a bit of vegitation regularly to keep it brewing nicely. Heating it with engine coolant might also work to keep liquids from building up too much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some have taken out the toilet and put in a self contained toilet. Why do I bring that up? Our little 18 ft Sunrader dumps the shower water into the black water tank which is a peasley 8 gallons. I have heard some real nasty stories about filling the black tank to way to full while taking a shower. I have not done that yet. I removed the stock shower head and installed one of those kitchen sink dish rinser sprayers. Puts out just enough water at high velocity and shuts off instantly. At some point in time I plan to disconnect the shower drain from the black tank and re-route it to a small holding tank with a boat bilge pump and pump it over to the grey water tank. I might also install a valve so that I might do a grey water disposal into the woods when boon-docking. Anyhow the portable toilets sound like a good idea as you just dump them into the nearest toilet or even a waste station. Not to mention while boon-docking you could take it out in the woods, dig a hole and dump it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

86rader;

There are already restrictions against disposing of waste from chemical toilets and porta-a-potties in many locations, and more coming soon. Not sure of the rationale, but I believe it's about messes and liability.

A portable tote would be viable for a campground with a dump station -- not to be confused with pit toilets.

I haven't seen the undercarriage of the Sunraders yet but I bet you can get another tank under there of some amount and either gravity or pump to it as noted by others, then drain it separately. There are some nifty little shapes -- long, thin, short, squat, tapered -- that you can research.

In a true boondock situation, meaning a field or road to nowhere, the local disposal idea is workable because it won't have negative impacts on a site that'll soon be visited by others. Grey water is attractive to a range of plants and animals.

I'm hesitant to divulge my modified capacities because they're an embarrassment of riches and will sound absurd in this discussion: 45 gal. fresh, 35 grey, 25 black. Yes, I'm a tail-dragger in driveways and have skids to protect the drain and rearmost tank. This isn't meant to impress, but to illustrate that capacity upgrade can be targeted to the need. Obviously, mine was severe: my partner is a water-baby. She expects a bath every morning. I gave her everything I could and she travelled with me five seasons. The 26 gal. freshwater upgrade is about 220 lbs., and the coach seating capacity (separate from the cab) is about 450 lbs. Our only passenger when loaded has been our 50 lb. Border Collie / Chow.

The original 15 gal. tank went onto the roof where it can provide a decent shower from solar gain. It can be hosed directly to a sprayer outside or connected to the city fill and gravity down through the inside shower valve with head removed.

I added a Hot-Rod electrode (6 gal. kit) to the 4 gal. water heater to improve the recovery during the lady's immersion. It pains me to leave camp with 4 gals. of hotwater, but I agreed to never again turn the off the heater halfway through her procedure. I conducted only one efficiency experiment and it went bad, ending in shrieks and growls.

It sounds, rader, that your need is also sever, with 4 people on board, and that's up against some kind of limit. I think driveability issues will be more pressing for any kind of excursion. It looks to me like you've got to get the water heater combined for simultaneous gas/electric, train yourself and companions for a 2 gal wet/lather/rinse with the water off in between (push-button head), and stay in full hookup campgrounds.

Your thinking is entirely appropriate for our circumstances, and is in tune with a huge segment of the industry, notably the 19 - 23 foot class B world with exactly the same capacity issues. Ultimately someone will make a fortune with the solution.

Expanding on the tailpipe evaporation method of disposal, I like a combustion idea that burns wastewater and solids, a furnace that serves as water heater and space heater -- or powers the dual-fuel 22RE conversion of the future.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

86rader;

There are already restrictions against disposing of waste from chemical toilets and porta-a-potties in many locations, and more coming soon. Not sure of the rationale, but I believe it's about messes and liability.

A portable tote would be viable for a campground with a dump station -- not to be confused with pit toilets.

I haven't seen the undercarriage of the Sunraders yet but I bet you can get another tank under there of some amount and either gravity or pump to it as noted by others, then drain it separately. There are some nifty little shapes -- long, thin, short, squat, tapered -- that you can research.

In a true boondock situation, meaning a field or road to nowhere, the local disposal idea is workable because it won't have negative impacts on a site that'll soon be visited by others. Grey water is attractive to a range of plants and animals.

I'm hesitant to divulge my modified capacities because they're an embarrassment of riches and will sound absurd in this discussion: 45 gal. fresh, 35 grey, 25 black. Yes, I'm a tail-dragger in driveways and have skids to protect the drain and rearmost tank. This isn't meant to impress, but to illustrate that capacity upgrade can be targeted to the need. Obviously, mine was severe: my partner is a water-baby. She expects a bath every morning. I gave her everything I could and she travelled with me five seasons. The 26 gal. freshwater upgrade is about 220 lbs., and the coach seating capacity (separate from the cab) is about 450 lbs. Our only passenger when loaded has been our 50 lb. Border Collie / Chow.

The original 15 gal. tank went onto the roof where it can provide a decent shower from solar gain. It can be hosed directly to a sprayer outside or connected to the city fill and gravity down through the inside shower valve with head removed.

I added a Hot-Rod electrode (6 gal. kit) to the 4 gal. water heater to improve the recovery during the lady's immersion. It pains me to leave camp with 4 gals. of hotwater, but I agreed to never again turn the off the heater halfway through her procedure. I conducted only one efficiency experiment and it went bad, ending in shrieks and growls.

It sounds, rader, that your need is also sever, with 4 people on board, and that's up against some kind of limit. I think driveability issues will be more pressing for any kind of excursion. It looks to me like you've got to get the water heater combined for simultaneous gas/electric, train yourself and companions for a 2 gal wet/lather/rinse with the water off in between (push-button head), and stay in full hookup campgrounds.

Your thinking is entirely appropriate for our circumstances, and is in tune with a huge segment of the industry, notably the 19 - 23 foot class B world with exactly the same capacity issues. Ultimately someone will make a fortune with the solution.

Expanding on the tailpipe evaporation method of disposal, I like a combustion idea that burns wastewater and solids, a furnace that serves as water heater and space heater -- or powers the dual-fuel 22RE conversion of the future.....

kinda rig you got, wit? that's a bunch of weight. Are those custom made tanks?

I wouldn't consider a chemical porta potty. Too much smell and maintenance. I want a composting system because it needs very infrequent emptying and there is zero smell. I used a composting toilet at a rest stop in the white mountains last summer. I was amazed at the total abscence of odors. The negative air pressure caused by the vented exhaust fan means everything, solids, liquids and gases go down the toilet. I am half tempted to install such a system in my house.

My hope is to use the existing toilet and black tank. Just install a 12 v muffin fan and exhaust pipe. I would hope that such a system would need emptying once a year if used sparingly. Whenever home, I would feed it a few handfuls of stuff out of my other compost heap which is mostly oak leaves. This brew, left to perk until spring ought to be pretty tame. just remove the toilet, scoop it out and feed it to the tomatoe plants!!!

The biggest problem I see is shower drain plumbing. I may need to run it through the black tank or possibly shift the black tank forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a (Winnebago) Itasca 319RB. Same GVWR as all the chassis of the period.

41 of those gallons are in play, maximum, at any one time, distributed among the three tanks. Rare and brief exceptions.

You're ahead of the curve on the composting, but maybe not by much. Waste products are becoming a commodity. San Francisco generates income with its trash composting program (+/- 25% of the trash stream). Dairy farmers are forcing the utility to buy their methane-produced electricity.

Political fights are under way around RV street parking, numbers and sizes of rigs in parks, and now waste volume. Most states are shutting down their rest-stop dump stations, with Texas, I think, a notable exception. As the commercial side of the industry grows, resistance also grows. As leach fields clog and bulk tanks deteriorate, maybe we'll soon see collection points for an RV wing of the compost trade. Readers here might one day say, 'I was there when 86rader started the revolution.'

If you do proceed, I suggest a threaded cleanout on the side of the black tank for cleaning. It's not easy to get anything throught the neck at the floor.

My upgraded tanks are standard catalog-issue purchased over-the-counter (special order), carefully selected by dimension. Coast is the name of the wholesaler I referenced when researching. The online retailers will have the tanks, but I don't know about the specs. You might try www.bretzrv.com as their catalog closely paralleled Coast, although that was five years ago. Camping World can order their stuff and probably any RV repair facility.

Of interest to you, I think, would be one of the thin and tapered tanks that might fit outboard of the frame and rearward of the wheel well. I've no clue to the 'rader floor plans or outside configuration, but even if you have to pump it there it would improve the livability for a family of four. There was room between the frame rails (rearward of the differential) for an extra grey and larger black tank in my Itasca. I sacrificed the undermount spare tire carrier, which was no sacrifice at all.

If upgrading, you might consider a combined grey and black tank (there goes the composting) that increases total capacity. That's assuming the two tanks now are close together. It sounds like you've looked at shifting the black tank already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...