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Old 09-29-2018, 11:07 PM   #1
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Eliminate Grey Water Tank

We are designing our layout for a Sprinter 4x4. The layout is the low roof RB 150s. Has anyone eliminated the sink and grey water tank, but kept the external shower and freshwater tank? We do not plan on having hot water. Seems it would simplify the water system, free up space, and give more road clearance. We plan on doing all our cooking and cleanup outside of the van. All thoughts will be appreciated.
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:40 AM   #2
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No hot water? Yeesh...
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:56 AM   #3
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I believe that some campgrounds require a gray water tank in certain circumstances, though I never found this restriction.

FWIW, I never had built-in hot water, and I never had a built-in gray water tank. My setup had a drain extending through the bottom of the van to which I connected a short leader hose extending into a bucket.


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Old 09-30-2018, 08:56 AM   #4
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Eliminate Grey Water Tank

I would reconsider including at least a sink and a small gray water holding tank. Those items alone donít really complicate the water system all that much, certainly not as much as adding a water heater and thereís plenty of room to tuck a 6 or 7 gal. gray tank and a shureflo pump in the cab under a small sink.

Just for reference, we havenít had a hot water heater and were just fine heating water in a pot for cleaning up for the last 12 years or used solar showers to rinse off. As you may have seen, I just gutted our van and sold the SMB interior and even eliminated the propane system altogether. Iím also not adding a plumbed in water heater in my new buildout, instead I plan to incorporate my eco-temp tankless unit in the back door with a quick connect to the fresh water, Iíll just have to mount a small 5lb propane tank.

That being said, having at least a sink inside the van is a necessity. Dish cleanup, brushing teeth, washing hands and general cleanup when camping in crappy weather or when you find yourself in an area or situation that doing all those things outside is just not possible. There are countless times we have just had to pull off to the side of the road so that one of us could use the porta-poti, with a quick hand wash up at the sink weíre off without having to get out of the rig. After all, being fully self contained is why we have these rigs in the first place, at least for us.

It goes without saying, if youíve got a sink, youíll need a place to store the gray water. There are many places we just open up the valve and let our water dump out, after all, itís just water and we use biodegradable soaps. There are other times when this is just not possible, National parks, organized campgrounds, in a parking lot, camped outside your buddyís house, etc. There are lots of places it is simply frowned upon, others it will lead to a hefty fine if youíre found dumping your water on the ground. This includes your method of just washing dishes outside in a bin or bucket, and what will you do when youíre in camping in bear country? Canít wash up outside unless youíre looking for a close encounter at the very least.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:01 PM   #5
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100% agree with REF.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:15 PM   #6
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I've experienced 2 campgrounds that required a grey tank. One place allowed an external tank but it needed to have sealed/threaded connections (no drain hose into a bucket). The other required a grey water tank built into the rig.

As mentioned above, having a sink just to wash hands and brush your teeth is worth it. If you don't ever plan on camping in developed campgrounds, it may not be an issue. But if you will be camping at these types of places, I would go with a sink and grey water tank.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north40 View Post
We are designing our layout for a Sprinter 4x4.... give more road clearance.
Ditto REF’s comments above. And regarding the clearance issue, on my 2016 4wd Sprinter the grey water tank is inside in the back of the sink cabinet where it won’t freeze. I did re-plumb the drain below for additional clearance, easily done.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:34 PM   #8
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Gotta agree. If you have onboard H2O, then you really need a sink. Greywater tank is optional. I have one but usually let it drain to the ground, since I use a minimum of water and biodegradable camp suds. Why have a van if you're going to live like you're in a tent?
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:43 PM   #9
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I agree with having a very small sink (airplane bathroom sized) and at least a 1-2 gal grey tank. You can empty it almost anywhere as long as you don't contaminate it by cutting raw chicken then rinsing your knives, or something like that. Agree with Fitz that you can do a small tank inside. I have heard of some people installing a slow drip from the grey tank to the top of the exhaust to evaporate the water and kill any germs. Of course, it only flows when the exhaust is hot.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:58 PM   #10
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I have heard of some people installing a slow drip from the grey tank to the top of the exhaust to evaporate the water and kill any germs. Of course, it only flows when the exhaust is hot.
A guy once tried to sell me a sewage treatment system for a small ship and claimed zero overboard discharge. It turned out his device injected said raw sewage in the the main engine exhaust where it was incinerated. I could only imagine the smell as the guests sat down for dinner.........
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