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  View original topic: DIY - gray water drain enhancement
climberjohn Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:28 pm

Today I made a very simple modification/enhancement to the gray water drain in the underside of the van. I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this, but I did a search and did not find anything.

When I pull into a campsite, I regularly forget the “setup the camp” chore of unscrewing the gray water drain plug. The sink gets used for a minute or so, and then the water backs up into the sink. “Oh, fiddlesticks,” I say, and then go outside to hunker down and unscrew the drain plug . . . and receive a gush of skanky water running from my wrist to my elbow, no matter how deftly you try to remove the plug.

This was getting very tiresome. Because the threads on the drain water plug on the same as a common garden hose, I hit the hose accessory section of the local hardware store for solution. I bought a simple female fitting with an on/off valve that just threads onto the existing drain plug. Now, no more skunk water runs down your arm, because you open the valve 90° and drain out your water, as opposed to unthreading the cap. Best of all, the existing drain plug cap screws on the other end of the new fitting, protecting the threads from road grime.

If you are camping in a popular area, good etiquette is to catch your gray water in a bucket/tub of some sort and properly dispose of it. Or, if you wanted to attach a short hose and run it off into the bushes, this fitting should accommodate that too. This project was just a few dollars and about 30 seconds installation time, and I think it's well worth it.

The fitting you need looks something like this:


In place, it looks like this (sorry about the lame image from my lousy camera)

GWTWTLW Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:36 pm

That's awesome John! I think we actually have a couple of those lying around. I can try it out this weekend!

j8 Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:38 pm

thanks for that tip, climberjohn!

Vanagon Nut Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:26 pm

neat fix man!

Personally I've never put the cap on. (it may even be missing.... I can't recall)

Anyone know of issues with just leaving the drain uncapped all the time?

Mice?

Neil.

hiram6 Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:46 pm

Vanagon Nut wrote: neat fix man!

Personally I've never put the cap on. (it may even be missing.... I can't recall)

Anyone know of issues with just leaving the drain uncapped all the time?

Mice?

Neil.

more likely a spider highway. Or cock-a-roaches!

Vanagon Nut Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:54 pm

Well so far so good. But all I need to do is some long term camping and maybe I'll get some unwanted passengers coming up the drain.

Ack!

Neil.

Wolfie Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:36 am

Fantastic! Thanks for the tip!

candyman Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:08 am

Vanagon Nut wrote: neat fix man!

Personally I've never put the cap on. (it may even be missing.... I can't recall)

Anyone know of issues with just leaving the drain uncapped all the time?

Mice?

Neil.
i have never capped mine in ten years. no problems. mice and spiders will find easier ways to get in, trust me! can't say about the cockroaches though, we dont have them here in montana, hobo spiders on the other hand...

MootPoint Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:52 am

I actually took it one step further and added a short hose extension from Lowes or HD that's designed, I guess, to make attaching a hose to a residential hose bib a little easier. Then I put the little valve on the bottom, thus:


It makes it easier to reach and since it flexes, it will only bend if you smack it on a rock. I did use the metal valve piece instead of the plastic for that same smack-a-rock reason.

It's been on for a couple of years now and still works great.

climberjohn Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:56 am

A note on unwanted critter entry . . .
Most all the time, the little valve is closed. Thus, no way for microfauna to enter the van. You only open it when you are using the sink.

If you are doing long term camping, the cap is likely off anyway so your sink can drain normally, so having this little fitting won't have an affect one way or another.

(Maybe some screen door material and a rubberband to block off the bottom of the hose fitting?)

madspaniard Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:14 am

this is what I use for the same purpose

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=2554&category_id=128&category_parent_id=

iiigoiii Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:41 pm

a note on critters - the westy that i bought had been in use by a student in santa cruz for a couple of years, probably using the sink pretty often and (i'm guessing) leaving it parked in or near other student housing...where we all know that cockroaches hang out.

there were dead cockroaches in the sink and the drain (also some in and under the cabinets where the sink faucet was leaking - cockroaches follow moisture).

i decided that i'd keep my drain capped.

sbclayton Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:29 pm

Quote: this is what I use for the same purpose

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=2554&category_id=128&category_parent_id=

I guess I don't need to mention that if you get this thing, buy two - one to drain the grey water and one to fill the fresh. As an RV'er, I can't count the times I've seen somebody using his sewer/grey water rinsing hose to fill the fresh water tank. Gross! Seems like typhus was invented for just such folks as that.

Keep them critters separate!

1621 Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:04 pm

John, that's brilliant! And I mod I haven't done...yet! Let's see if I can get my act together by this weekend!

j_dirge Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:46 pm

sbclayton wrote: Quote: this is what I use for the same purpose

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=2554&category_id=128&category_parent_id=

I guess I don't need to mention that if you get this thing, buy two - one to drain the grey water and one to fill the fresh. As an RV'er, I can't count the times I've seen somebody using his sewer/grey water rinsing hose to fill the fresh water tank. Gross! Seems like typhus was invented for just such folks as that.

Keep them critters separate!
Oh but I think you do need to mention it.. Thanks!
in fact I'll say it again

BUY TWO! And mark them very clearly... or paint the gray water one primer gray.

The Gowesty site shows how nifty it is that you can use the same fitting for filling your water tank! :shock:
eek!

madspaniard Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:41 pm

j_dirge wrote: sbclayton wrote: Quote: this is what I use for the same purpose

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=2554&category_id=128&category_parent_id=

I guess I don't need to mention that if you get this thing, buy two - one to drain the grey water and one to fill the fresh. As an RV'er, I can't count the times I've seen somebody using his sewer/grey water rinsing hose to fill the fresh water tank. Gross! Seems like typhus was invented for just such folks as that.

Keep them critters separate!
Oh but I think you do need to mention it.. Thanks!
in fact I'll say it again

BUY TWO! And mark them very clearly... or paint the gray water one primer gray.

The Gowesty site shows how nifty it is that you can use the same fitting for filling your water tank! :shock:
eek!


c'mon, you have to be stoned to use the same thing for both purposes....

climberjohn Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:28 pm

MootPoint wrote: I actually took it one step further and added a short hose extension from Lowes or HD that's designed, I guess, to make attaching a hose to a residential hose bib a little easier. Then I put the little valve on the bottom, thus:


It makes it easier to reach and since it flexes, it will only bend if you smack it on a rock. I did use the metal valve piece instead of the plastic for that same smack-a-rock reason.

It's been on for a couple of years now and still works great.

Mootpoint,

I like your idea a bunch, thanks for posting.
And you have a very clear photo, too!

j_dirge Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:57 pm

madspaniard wrote: j_dirge wrote:
The Gowesty site shows how nifty it is that you can use the same fitting for filling your water tank! :shock:
eek!


c'mon, you have to be stoned to use the same thing for both purposes....
:D
You mean..
"Spill scalding McDonald's coffee in your lap" stoned?
or
"Objects may be closer than they appear" stoned?

GWTWTLW Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:06 pm

Or drive away with your top up stoned...

madspaniard Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:22 pm

GWTWTLW wrote: Or drive away with your top up stoned...

:lol: I think I know who you are talking about



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