Use the Grey in the Black? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-14-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
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It seems all the rage these days to conserve water. The constant use of potable water for everything
is costly and not necessary. More and more houses are being converted to use the grey water to flush the toilet
and water the lawn. We boondock a lot and the portable water is precious. I usually do my business outdoors because
we are on gov't land in the mountains but my wife uses the trailer toilet. I wonder has anyone converted their water system in their trailer to use the grey water to flush the toilet?
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:17 PM   #2
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What some 'flat-spotting' boon-dockers do is drain some gray water into a container and use that to pour into the toilet to flush.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:30 PM   #3
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I have recycled the grey when boondocking. I keep a jug near the toilet and flush with water fr4om it instead of running the water pump. I fill it from the grey valve when needed.

I also use the jug when stopped for an overnite .. no need to fill the tanks for just a few hours trailer use.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
I wonder has anyone converted their water system in their trailer to use the grey water to flush the toilet?
Hmmm. I haven't heard of anyone doing all the plumbing necessary to accomplish that automatically. You would kind of have to assume that you'd be retaining some of the gray water in the tank at all times instead of dumping it all like I do before hitting the road. I prefer to tow with the 3 water tanks empty making the trailer lighter. You'd also need a separate pump with a switch in the bathroom. Easier to do the jug thing like Pete & Gina.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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Hmmm. I haven't heard of anyone doing all the plumbing necessary to accomplish that automatically. You would kind of have to assume that you'd be retaining some of the gray water in the tank at all times instead of dumping it all like I do before hitting the road. I prefer to tow with the 3 water tanks empty making the trailer lighter. You'd also need a separate pump with a switch in the bathroom. Easier to do the jug thing like Pete & Gina.

Yes I appreciate it would require a seperate dedicated pump however, it could still be connected to the potable water system with the proper directional flow valves in place so grey water didn't back up into the potable water. Cost might be prohibitive and it would also require a filter system to trap all the solids. But if you want to go green its the end product that counts!
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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What some 'flat-spotting' boon-dockers do is drain some gray water into a container and use that to pour into the toilet to flush.
Pete,

Too early in the morning for me. What do you mean by 'flat-spotting'?
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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Using gray water to flush the toilet is something that people who live off-grid have been doing for years as a way to reduce their water requirements as well as reducing their sewage output. Both things can be very important in desert environments where no only can water be scarce, but the itself may not be suited to absorbing a septic tank's effluent.

Off-griders who use gray water to flush do, however, separate their gray water sources into two different streams, with kitchen waste water going directly to the septic system because it often has contaminants that can gum up water pumps and other plumbing, and waste water from the clothes washer going to the reusable gray water tank for flushing the toilet. (Where other gray water from the shower, tub and bathroom sinks goes depends on the people who install the system.) One of the side benefits of using old clothes washing water is the toilets stay clean!

The reusable gray water tank generally also has a chlorination system (often something as simple as a bottle of chlorine bleach feeding a very, very slow drip tube) to keep the reusable gray water tank from ecoming a baterial breeding ground.

I can think of two really great reasons why I wouldn't want to set my trailer up to use water from the gray tank for flushing. The first is pretty obvious: food waste from my kitchen sink would damage the pump for the gray tank/toilet line. The second takes some thinking: What are you going to do when the gray tank is empty? Flush water down to fill the gray tank up, or have two water lines, one fresh water one gray water, connecting to the toilet? I don't know about you, but throwing watrer down the drain to the gray tank so I can pump it to the toilet does not sound like an efficient use of my resources, and interconnecting the gray waste water line to my fresh water plumbing would be a foolhardy health hazard.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #8
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hmmm. the green thing is cool but adding a pump that burns more electricity isn't really "green" . just go the simple way as stated above and use a jug. you could get a good micron screen and place it over the opening to prevent food stuff from entering the jug. then just keep the jug in the bathroom. I just don't think you will save much water. you only use the water in the potty for a #2 anyway right? thats what 2 times a day at most. with maybe 1/6Th gallon? i don't really see much water saving doing this. we also boondock. previously tenting. and we just added a water tank to the truck bed and watched our water consumption. a big water saver was dishes. we use paper plates now, i know its made from trees but it saved us a hell of a lot of water not having to wash as many dishes. i think in the long run it may be more of a cool addition to have but not really practical.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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We looked into grey=water recycling for our house remodel. The best sources to "pipe back" were laundry (non-existent in our little trailers) and shower water.... I'd add bathroom sink, as the biggest contaminant would be body dirt and toothpaste... Still, we needed filters & sanitizer to make it work in a stick house, as we would, actually, in a trailer. I'm still on the fence on the expense vs. gain. We may just look at double function flush toilets, instead. We're used to conserving water anyway....

I wouldn't want to deal with kitchen waste coming back thru the (normally) santiary pex pipe to the toilet... too many problems. You'd be looking at a lot of plumbing to isolate grey to the toilet, only, supplemented by fresh when needed. (see this link http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006...saver_tech.php ..designed for homes, which fills a tank from grey shower or sink, and adds unused fresh when needed only...)

Gina's drain it off into a jug method is easier, and more sanitary than trying to recycle all the grey.

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Old 04-15-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Why use any water? Composting toilet... I have been using this one full time for 6 months now...
great device. It cost about $900 delivered. http://www.natureshead.net/ Larry
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:22 PM   #11
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'Flat-spotting' is another name for dispersed camping, that is, find a flat spot and set up camp, usually in NF, BLM, etc.
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