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Old 07-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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indelicate boondocking question

Not yet a noob, yet not without questions:

I will be getting #9 Escape 21 - likely January 2014. I will be ordering solar panels etc. with the intention of being able to boondock.

My questions are,
1 - where/how does one dispose of gray and black water while boondocking?
2 - any good strategies to maximize the intervals before requiring disposal?
3 - Suggestions for solar hookups (which panels, inverters, controllers, batteries, etc)

Thanks for your help,
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:03 PM   #2
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1 - If your tanks fill and need draining, you either have to pull your trailer to a place to dispose of the waste, or buy a portable tank you dump into where the trailer sits, then haul the tank away.
2 - We tend to wash dishes outside in a wash basin, then toss the dish water into the bushes. You can do the same with face washing. Obviously not using the shower helps this out too, and sponge bathing with a friend can be a fun way to get clean. We have rarely used our shower when boondocking. For black water, try to use the toilet as little as possible. If there is an outhouse, you can use that. If you are a guy, use the bushes (girls too can do this). For #2 try to use as little flush water as you can get away with if you must use your toilet.
3 - Can't help here, though we boondock most of the time, we have only done 5 days in a row so far, so the batteries did not need topping. We did just buy a 50W portable solar panel to use if we extend our stay longer.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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I keep an empty four litre anti-freeze container in the john for middle of the night excursions and then dump it in the outhouse. No help for the women though.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Here is what the ladies use in aircraft for the long runs...
Amazon.com: Female "Lady GoPilot" Portable Urinal (Go Pilot) travel toilet for females, women & girls of all ages!: Health & Personal Care
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
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We have an older 17B and as such, according to it's literature, it only has a 7.5 gallon black tank (oh how we wish we had a newer one!). We've done 3 night trips and could probably go 5 nights with it, if we go light on flush water aka turn the pump off before you flush if it's just #1 &, to be even more indelicate, leave the #1 in there to help flush your #2 (I've learned that having liquid in the toilet before solids helps flush the solids easily).

The grey tank in ours is I believe 19 gallons, and since getting this faucet on our latest trip we didn't come close to filling the grey tank even with lots of dish washing. We grabbed this portable tank, which will let us fully empty the black or empty just over half the grey to extend trips in the future. If we can go 3-5 nights with the tiny black tank and 2 people, I imagine you could go for 2 weeks with the larger (19gal iirc) black tank easily, and even longer if you buy one of the portable tanks. The portable tanks come in many sizes, but at ~8lbs/gallon I didn't want to go too crazy, since we'd have to get it into our Sienna to take it somewhere to dump, so I only opted for the 11 gallon model.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:56 PM   #6
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With 30 gal fresh/30 gal grey/22 black in the 21' you should be able to go about 5 days with 2 occupants with no showers. With showers maybe 2 days. Some cg allow grey water dumping, black always has to be put into a portable container if no hookups and disposed of properly.
Your solar will keep your battery charged by lunchtime everyday.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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Solar Solution

I have recently constructed a solar unit based on a design of Mike Magee from the fiberglassrv forum. It is a portable unit that takes minimal electrical skills and costs only $159. When I ordered my 19, Escape did not yet have a solar option; I considered a roof top installation but did not like the idea of a non factory install, a hole in the roof and at least $800.

This portable solution has fit our needs well, for one I find we do not need solar all that often, probably one out of six days. It seems there might be a long travel day that recharges everything, a camp with electrical or little usage to drain the batteries. But when you do need it this unit will give you the charge you need.

To link to Mike’s design go to fiberglassrv.com and do a search using the Google option inside that website. Search for “Mike Magee solar hookup”. I could not get the link to work properly.

If I were to do it over I would substitute a 60 watt panel, the smaller size would allow it to fit in my 19 wardrobe closet. Or use two 45 watt panels on a common hinge to make the unit easier to store.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
With 30 gal fresh/30 gal grey/22 black in the 21' you should be able to go about 5 days with 2 occupants with no showers. With showers maybe 2 days.
I'm positive he can go longer than that with some conservation! Our 3 night trips boondocking trips have all included at least one shower, lots of dishes, and normal bodily functions for two adults, and we didn't have any problems with tanks being full before we were ready to leave (they were full our first trip out, but we don't know how much hardened sludge was in the tanks, by the second trip out we'd done and ice cube cleaning and the geo method). He's got 3 times the black tank we have, so I'd expect a 9 day trip to be no problem, but if you can get past the need to flush every time I'd bet he can go for 2 weeks straight.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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What are the ice cube and geo methods?
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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Ice cube method is one I read about on either this forum or Fiberglass RV and it's basically you start with a little water and bleach in the black tank and add a couple bags of ice, then drive for a while. We did it on our trip down to Portland recently, left home with the ice loaded and dumped at the last station in WA on I-5, so about 95 miles down the road. Definitely got the old sludge out!
This is the geo method, it's basically an alternative to RV chemicals which are artificially scented and can be chemically nasty (hard for some asthmatics like me). It uses water softener, laundry detergent and bleach to keep the tanks slick and clean and not smelly.
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