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Old 07-23-2016, 05:07 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Inland Empire, CA
Posts: 21
Newbie question about tank sizes

Hi All,

Buying or first RV soon and have a newbie question...

Is there a way to determine how large the fresh/gray/black tanks should be, other than just 'get the biggest you can get'?

In other words, will an adult require X amount of fresh/gray/black water per day? Assuming dry camping with no place to fill or dump obviously.

Looking at a unit that has 43 gallon fresh, 32.5 gallon gray x2, and 32.5 black tanks. How long would this setup last dry camping with 2 adults and 3 small children? Wondering if that will work for a typical weekend (2 night) outing.


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Old 07-23-2016, 05:14 PM   #2
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Location: Way down here........FL
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You should be more than enough for a weekend, probably longer.
Obviously it depends on how much the toilet is used......

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Old 07-24-2016, 08:13 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Fulton, NY
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Really hard to say...Are you all showering in the camper? Do you do dishes or do you use paper/plastic?

My wife and I can go 5 days using our tanks. 80 fresh, 39 grey and black. We showered 5 times combined. (we don't shower every day unless we really work up a sweat). We use real dishes and cook every meal over a fire so we use lots of dishes eating and in prep. Cast iron gets rinsed and cleaned using the outside shower. The rest of the dishes are washed inside after breakfast and dinner, dumping the dish water down the toilet and rinse water goes to grey. We use the toilet all the time, brush teeth in camper, wash hands when inside etc, just like at home. After 4 days we had to add fresh water and after the 5th day the grey and black were showing full although the black still had a fair amount of room.

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Old 07-25-2016, 10:38 AM   #4
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Location: Portland
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by jasum View Post
You should be more than enough for a weekend, probably longer.
Obviously it depends on how much the toilet is used......
Agree, two nights is pretty easy, even with daily showers. We just came back from three nights of dry camping in our X213 (48 gallons freshwater, 30.5 black, 22.5 grey) and it went great. Came back 2/3 on both waste tanks and 1/3 on freshwater.

My tips...

1. Showers are the biggest consumer of water by far, so learn how to do a military style shower and you don't use much water at all. Or consider wet wipes (they make adult ones, too ;-)).

2. Wash dishes with bins of water just like you would tent camping.

We also bring bottled water for drinking, which probably doesn't make much of a difference but every little bit helps.

Battery power has been more of a concern for us than water & waste. We have two 12V 85Ah batteries and it's reliable for 2 nights, but 3 is pushing it especially if you have to run the furnace at all. I bring a 2000W generator just in case, and we did use it this weekend for a few hours on the third day to bring the batteries up a little.
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