Black water system replacement

My black water system has been giving me grief – a leaky gate valve under the tank, an improperly sealed inlet on the top, and a relatively small capacity all combined to force me to come up with a replacement.

I’m not a fan of the current setup (even if it was working well) for a few reasons:

  • The capacity is too small. For a family of four, three days without dumping is pushing our luck. We often camp for three days and would prefer not to get nervous on the last day!
  • The dump handle is inside the back doors. This is good for security, as it prevents accidental or malicious dumping, but it’s a pain to reach under the open back door and pull the handle while also holding the dump hose in place.
  • The dump hose is too short. I have to back in to dump stations at crazy angles and get the corner of the van within a foot or two in order to get the hose in place.
  • Tank level reporting is vague. The 4-LED display panel gives a rough idea, but I’d prefer to have an accurate readout of my tank level.
  • Servicing is close to impossible. To replace the gate valve, you need to remove all of the Sikaflex sealant from the coupling below the van. To remove the inlet tube, you need a saw!

I plan on replacing the tank with a larger, custom-shaped tank. I have a request-for-quote in to George’s Custom Plastics in Tacoma, WA. A standard rectangular tank could be used, but not efficiently – the hole in the floor for the drain is forward of the back edge of the wheel well, so a rectangular tank would waste a lot of space. I’ve posted my planned shape with the pictures below.

More as the project progresses…

This entry was posted in how-to, photos. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *