Bigfoot sewer and water - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-10-2016, 03:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
If there is water in your fresh tank as soon as you turn on the water pump it will fill your hot water tank from the water in the fresh tank or if your hooked up to City water the tank with automatically fill (assuming you have no bypass values stopping it from doing that).

If all your water supply is completely empty and your filling the hot water tank your best to go outside and open the relief valve in the outside hot water tank hatch. Once the water starts to flow fully out of the valve, the hot water tank is full. The danger of not doing that is that you run the risk of ending up with a hot water tank half full of air . With lots of air in the hot water tank, when you turn the tap on it will put a lot of pressure on the old inside plumping causing pipe/connections as it burps/spits out all the air.

I should have read this before heading out! Well, no big deal. Just means heading back into town a little sooner than I had planned.

So far, only very mild "rookie mistake" lessons.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:31 PM   #30
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On my 2002 Bigfoot there was plenty of room to add a second, 21 gal grey tank. So for longer boondocking trips I can carry a few 5 gal containers of fresh water to stretch things out.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:13 PM   #31
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Interesting, thanks Walt. I haven't even looked into the capacity of my grey and black holding tanks.

I don't drink the water out of my camper system anyways, so I'm limited in how much time I can spend out by the amount of separate drinking water containers I bring. I might get over that at some point...if I clean the tank and replace the lines. But it's just too much plastic for me. If I could afford the cost and weight of a stainless steel fresh water tank, I'd do it. Lines are still plastic but the water doesn't sit in them for as long as the tank.
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Old 04-12-2016, 01:00 PM   #32
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Well, I do drink from the fresh water tank. I do the annual bleach sanitation of the system and have never had any ill effects.

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Old 04-13-2016, 11:50 AM   #33
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I wouldn't expect that you would. It's the plastic I don't like. Ill effects would take years to manifest. It's not a sanitation issue for me (well, I guess it's that too), it's a toxin issue. There is no plastic yet, food-grade or BPA-free or otherwise, that has been shown to be free of toxins that get into your system.

Many people don't care or are unconvinced or whatever, but I like to be on the safe side. I drink out of plastic but as infrequently as possible.

When I get a chance to bleach my system out, I'll probably drink from it here and there.

I got back into town and re-filled my water tank (all the way this time ) and just took a shower. Great! Man that's nice. First ever shower in a camper. No more stealing showers from the local campground .

Next phase will be using the toilet, then dumping the tanks...I just can't wait.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:46 AM   #34
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Here is hopefully a useful bit - a simple way of monitoring the fresh water tank. In my Scamp it is under the dinette seat, accessed by lifting the cushion and a cover. I found a piece of 3/8 inch thick Lexan and replaced about 8 inches of the solid wood cover with this to make a window. Now I only need to lift the corner of the cushion, shine a flashlight into the hole and I clearly see how much water is there. Nobody needs to get up from the dinette bench to do this. Cheap fix!
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:40 AM   #35
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Thanks Paul. Unfortunately, that doesn't work on my Bigfoot. The water tank is under the couch, which is also a slide-out bed. So in travel and daytime mode, there are two layers of wood over the tank. The top layer slides out to make the bed, and there's another layer of wood under it, then the tank under that.

I have a monitor which tells me the level, but it's only so accurate. What I did the last time I filled up was just stick the hose in, then went inside, pulled up an access hatch a couple feet away from the tank and looked over at it with a flashlight. When it looked like it was about 98% full, I went back outside, let it run another 20 seconds or so, and called it good.

But luckily when I'm camping I can just use the monitor panel to get a ballpark idea of how my tanks and battery are doing. From what I hear I shouldn't trust the grey and black water tank levels, but I think it's probably accurate enough for battery and fresh water tank levels. The panel is probably standard these days, but in 91 it was an option which luckily the original owner wanted.

I've been out in the desert for 5 nights now and I love checking the monitor every evening and seeing my battery on FULL, with no generator. Solar is nice...

Using my fresh water just for the bathroom, dishes and cooking, then bringing about 7 gallons of drinking water is just right for me and the dog for 6 nights. I'll need to go into town tomorrow (think I'm about ready to see some other humans anyways) to refill and...DUMP. So I'll let you know how that goes
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:21 AM   #36
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Zach, sounds like you're doing fine. One thing I might add is that we never leave the pump on when we're away from the trailer. If a water line should break your pump will run and run. Eventually the fresh water tank will run dry and you run the risk of burning out your pump. When we camp at a campground with a water hookup we also turn the water off at the spigot if we're going to be away from the trailer in case the hose springs a leak or something goes hay wire.

Another suggestion for helping with the dumping is to get a section of clear "hose" that goes between your trailer's dump valve connection and the rest of your sewer hose. It's not really hose, but clear plastic. This way, when you open a dump valve you can actually see when the contents of your grey or black tank have completely emptied. It sounds a little gross, but is really helpful. You can find these at any camping supply place.

And please, do wear plastic gloves when handling your sewer hose! I can't tell you how many people I see who don't and it makes me shudder! When you dump, it's not only the contents inside your hose that are full of nasties, but remember your hose lies on the ground at the dump station which, as I'm sure you will agree, is not the most sanitary place!
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:46 PM   #37
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Thanks! Good advice. Yes I've only been turning my pump on when I use water.

This first time, I'm just going to use what my camper has. I'm on a pretty tight budget until the first paycheck comes in (not till mid-May..! Yikes). But I plan to buy a RhinoFlex hose and I'll add that clear plastic section to my list. Rubber gloves I will spend the money on now

I've been keeping a running list of the things I'll be buying once I start making money. Luckily nothing crazy, but definitely a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff that will make life a lot easier.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:56 PM   #38
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I just picked up a box of disposable gloves at 8c per.
That's 16c per dump, hardly a reason to avoid. And that was without price shopping. Probably less at the dollar stores.

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Old 04-19-2016, 02:41 PM   #39
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Thanks Walt. I actually have half a box left of rubber gloves I use when I work on my truck, but they're built pretty tough and aren't meant for one quick use then disposal. They're meant to stand up to at least an oil change, and typically more involved car repairs. If I don't see a good deal on gloves at the RV place I'm going to dump at, I'll just use them for the time being. But they aren't really cost effective for a quick use at the dumping station then the trash.

But they said they had some. Hopefully not too pricey but however much they are, they won't blow my budget.

Looking back over this thread, I see one other thing: my drain valves share a common 3" opening. So either for some reason Bigfoot used to do this, then changed sometime between when mine and yours were made, then changed back...or someone already upgraded mine just like you did with yours.

Either way, nice to see I shouldn't have to do any work on that end of the camper right away...

I asked the woman at the place in Moab (it's a little livestock feed store/RV shop/propane supply) if someone there would be willing to walk me through the dump process, and she said yes. So if nothing else, so long as I have what I need (and I let her know I'd buy anything I didn't have but needed from her store), it should go pretty smooth with someone watching over my shoulder.

Do you use any of the seal-conditioning stuff in your black tank?
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Old 04-19-2016, 03:52 PM   #40
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No, I'm not even aware of the seal-conditioning stuff . What is it?
I'm sure your dump configuration is a mod of the PO. Lucky you, although it's not that tough a job if you're at all handy. I've done it on both my Casitas as well as the BF. My impression is that no RVs had that configuration in the early '90s.

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Old 04-19-2016, 04:46 PM   #41
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This.

I just know from experience that after 20-some years, seals can get dry and crack and shrink. It's probably too late if they've already started to do that, but...you know. Just curious if anyone else used this stuff.

I've been reading through all the info packets that came with the trailer, and the "RV sanitation system guide" (published by Thetford, of course) mentions the stuff.
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:54 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
This.

I just know from experience that after 20-some years, seals can get dry and crack and shrink. It's probably too late if they've already started to do that, but...you know. Just curious if anyone else used this stuff.

I've been reading through all the info packets that came with the trailer, and the "RV sanitation system guide" (published by Thetford, of course) mentions the stuff.
Certainly has good reviews. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks.
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