Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

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Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby methridge » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:49 pm

Anyone else have a sink, but no holding tank of any kind?

Was talking to an acquaintance about his teardrop camper, how I'm working on a design, etc. I mentioned I'd love a sink, but fitting in an equally-sized grey water tank is kinda a pain. He said his has a sink, but no holding tank. His sink just drains straight down below his trailer. He said in 6 years of having it, and dozens of campgrounds, nobody has ever even mentioned it.

Now I'm thinking I'll stick with my 11-gallon fresh water tank, but maybe just put in a 3 or 4 gallon holding tank. Have the sink drain into the holding tank, but then just leave the tank valve cracked open so at least the grey water just kinda trickles out.
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby troubleScottie » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:43 pm

Generally it is considered bad form to dump grey water on the ground in campground. It creates issues if you are staying some place for many days eg odor, attracts animals or insects, fouls nearby water, soap scum, runs out into your "living" space. It might get you thrown out in some cases.

Any sink needs to be drained. If just containers, you pick them up and take them away. A container mounted in a hole in counter could be removed. Once fixed, the sink needs a drain.

You could use the portal version of the grey water tanks like Camco Rhino Heavy Duty 28 Gallon Portable RV Waste Holding Tank OR Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport OR the like. You can dump them at the campground (down a toilet or at dump station) or take home. Some have towing capability ( 30 gallons is 240 pounds ) to make dragging around a campground easier.
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby DoctahDeane » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:01 am

I have a water tank, connected to sink with a small pump. Use this to rinse dishes in the sink, the sink drains to a 4 gallon Reliance water jug (i found a one foot long garden hose at eTrailer which runs off the sink grain to the water Reliance jug that simply sits on the ground) which is easily carried to a proper dumping spot. This set up is plenty big enough for a few meals worth of cleanup. For stubborn dishes, I can heat up some water on the stove right in the galley and use this cold water to rinse. Works great, very simple, cheap.
Last edited by DoctahDeane on Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby Squigie » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:19 pm

Bad form, and generally against the rules (if not health code) to drain onto the ground in a campground.
Illegal almost anywhere to drain it on the road.

Out in the sticks, do what you want.
...Mostly. Sort of. It is illegal to dump grey water in Federal wildlife preserves, recreation areas, national parks, and certain designated places even on BLM land (such as historical sites); and within 200 feet of natural water sources or bodies of water. And, many states mimic the Federal regulations for their own state parks, preserves, recreation areas, watersheds, etc. ...Which are the primary areas of interest for people camping.

If you go with no holding tank - which is what I would do - you need to plan to catch the effluent in a container and transport it to a suitable disposal site, when staying in a campground or prohibited area.

I know people love embracing the american standards of excess, even in teardrops, but you shouldn't need a large grey water container. I use 2.5 gallon jugs for water transport (always potable). My family of five can go about 9 days on one jug for hand and dish washing. That's just over a quart per day, average. That means we're also only having to dispose of about a quart per day.

Transporting a large container to a disposal location would be a pain, too. It's much better to dump even a gallon (or much less) once or twice a day, than to drag 40 lbs of water, or more, across a campground once a week.


For the record: I am tremendously biased. My wife and I used the sink in one of our trailers once, maybe twice. We used the fresh water tanks twice in that trailer, before they were removed for more storage space and less weight. Since then, it's been 2.5 gallon jugs for water, and a bowl for washing up (a heavy bowl, that can be left out and not blow away or blow over). The sink in subsequent trailers, including the current pop-up trailer, is usually used as a built-in 'bowl' to contain batteries, medication, and small items that might roll around.
The only reason why the current trailer still has a fresh water tank in it (even though it is bone dry and never used) is because I don't know how long we'll own it, and I don't want to hurt resale value ... yet.
(If the tank comes out, I am not going to hold on to it.)
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby GuitarPhotog » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:46 pm

I run my gray water into a bucket that I carry to the disposal site (sink, toilet, gray water drain, etc.) when I'm done washing up.

Not only is it illegal and unsanitary to run it out to the ground, I can't imagine standing in it after the second or third day of dishes and pasta water.


:beer:
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby tony.latham » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:59 pm

Who's got room for a sink?

Image

:thinking:

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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby methridge » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:52 pm

GuitarPhotog wrote:I run my gray water into a bucket that I carry to the disposal site (sink, toilet, gray water drain, etc.) when I'm done washing up.

Not only is it illegal and unsanitary to run it out to the ground, I can't imagine standing in it after the second or third day of dishes and pasta water.


:beer:
<Chas>


That was kinda my line of thinking. When I'm tent camping and we're washing dishes and what not, I always hike 50 yards out from camp and dump the water all around. This guy I was talking with made it sound like a non-issue to just drain right there at the campsite, but I can't quite picture the soggy ground with bits of food and grease just lingering under the trailer.
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby S. Heisley » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:03 pm

My sink is hooked to a hose connection on the side which then empties into a 3 gallon black plastic jug made for used oil. I got it at the auto parts store. I dump its contents in the toilet each night, if there is anything in it. Sometimes, I put a little ammonia in it after I empty it. If an animal gets a whiff of that, they usually run, thinking it's some big animal's territory, which it is (mine). Plus, it keeps the insides cleaner when you start mixing the next set of grey water in. Some people just let theirs drain into a 5 gallon bucket and dump that each night. Either way works.
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby dbhosttexas » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:52 am

My plan for my foamie truck camper build includes a sink, and a drain hose that runs out of the back of the truck, down into a 5 gallon reliance flexible water carrier. I have no intention of collecting shower water, just cooking cleanup stuff that has food bits in it as I don't want to attract wildlife to a campsite. I got the idea from the now defunct Eureka Campers (heck, if they were still in business, I'd have them build my camper!).

It should be noted, this is also something I do with overly dressed up / group tent camping as I have an old Cabelas camp kitchen with a sink. The sink drain goes to the flexible reliance water carrier.

Typically my gray water fills twice as fast as my black water, another 5 gallon container. I use one of those folding dollies to haul the tanks to the bathroom and dump. So I typically dump 2.5 gallons (a little less) of black, and a little under 5 gallons of gray. Pouring the gray water into the black tank to act as rinse water to keep stink down...
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby ArtMini » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:23 pm

I run a tube from my sink into a bucket. Then dump it later.
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby Homebrewer25 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:37 am

It seems that most folks without a gray water tank collect the gray water in a container and dispose of it properly.

But how do those of you who have an outdoor shower collect and dispose of the water?
It's 5 o'clock somewhere ... time for a :beer:

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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby RJ Howell » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:30 am

S. Heisley wrote:My sink is hooked to a hose connection on the side which then empties into a 3 gallon black plastic jug made for used oil. I got it at the auto parts store. I dump its contents in the toilet each night, if there is anything in it. Sometimes, I put a little ammonia in it after I empty it. If an animal gets a whiff of that, they usually run, thinking it's some big animal's territory, which it is (mine). Plus, it keeps the insides cleaner when you start mixing the next set of grey water in. Some people just let theirs drain into a 5 gallon bucket and dump that each night. Either way works.


Same here, only went for the 4 gallon one!
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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby tony.latham » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:54 am

But how do those of you who have an outdoor shower collect and dispose of the water?


Steve:

Good question. We boondock where other folks have camped. There is no vegetation because of infrequent use.

Image

The tiny amount of soap we use is dispersed and is biologically degradable. At least that thought allow's me to sleep at night. :thinking:

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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby Tom&Shelly » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:17 am

Homebrewer25 wrote:It seems that most folks without a gray water tank collect the gray water in a container and dispose of it properly.

But how do those of you who have an outdoor shower collect and dispose of the water?


Speaking strictly as a New Mexican, PLEASE, bring all the out-of-state water here that you can carry! (When the state opens up for camping again.) We're in perpetual drought and every little bit helps! :D The critters will appreciate any bits of food mixed in, and the plant roots don't mind a little biological material.

I appreciate the problem at developed campsites, but, really folks, wash water is not hazardous waste! It's perfectly natural to get rid of it on the ground. Of course, you don't want to attract bears or nuisance animals, but that's not an ecological consideration (unless you are opposed to being eaten by a bear purely on ecological grounds).

Soap is composed of chemicals that were concentrated by humans in the manufacturing process. The most "natural" way to dispose of soap is to disperse the chemicals, something that happens automatically when it is dissolved in water and spread across the ground. The amount of detergent we use, as individuals, or as a family, is not enough to cause serious issues in most environments.

Ecologically, there really shouldn't be a problem with shower water, water from hand washing, or pee for that matter, disposed of on the ground. The only problem, ecologically, with dish washing water is that the food isn't a "natural" food for the rodents, ants, and other animals in the area. So, once in awhile, they get a treat. Only becomes an issue (ecologically) if they get so much they lose their taste for their natural food.

The real problem is keeping a nice campsite(s) for you and others. Obviously, you don't want to leave bad odors, or begging animals who are unafraid of humans. If you are dispersed camping, or camping at less frequently used sites, there really shouldn't be a problem spreading the waste water across the ground suitably far from the site. If you doubt the wisdom, consider where the water goes in any other solution...

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Re: Sink, but no grey water holding tank?

Postby rjgimp » Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:49 am

Thank you, Tom! I was beginning to get a bit skeered of commenting with all of the naysayers.... :shock:

Unless you're doing an engine rebuild or some such at your campsite and your hands are black and greasy up to your elbows, there is really never going to be anything environmentally harmful in the typical greywater created in a camper washbasin. Guys, have none of you peed on the ground? Written your name in the snow??? :lol:

I'm an Eagle Scout. I've spent hundreds of nights primitive camping in a tent. Grew up near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. This area is absolutely pristine. No motors of any kind allowed on boats. You paddle in and haul every ounce of gear between lakes on your back. The typical M. O. is getting all water that you use out of the lake. You want to carry 50 pounds of water in? I sure don't. I'm absolutely not hauling it out! The water you would ingest by drinking or cooking is purified chemically or by boiling and greywater that is created gets carried at most 10 yards out into the trees and dispersed.

Of course no one should be foolish enough to just dump it on the ground at your campsite because it will make a mess and the kids and pets will walk in it and track it into your camper. For those occasions where it is illegal :roll: or not allowed for some reason to dispose of it at the point of production then sure, collect it in a grey tank and dispose of it elsewhere. Otherwise, reduce your sink outlet to 1/2" or 3/8" and carry a 50' length of tubing to slip on that outlet and divert it directly to the weeds. If you have debris, food or otherwise, in your greywater too large for tubing that small you're doing it wrong. It's not a garbage disposal. Plates should be scraped clean before washing. Also after traveling that far through a tube if your water still shows much evidence of suds you're doing that wrong too. You don't need to add a quarter cup of Dawn to the typical sink full of dishes. Tone it down a bit.

All that said... however you leave a campsite, whether dispersed or in a fancy RV resort, consider if you would like to be arriving as the next camper in the site you are just leaving. Is the picnic table a mess? Is there paper and food debris of all sorts in the fire pit? Is the only flat spot that you would park your camper a sloppy wet mudhole? If you're the jerk that just pulled out of that site, you're doing all that wrong too.
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just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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