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Old 12-04-2015, 02:49 AM   #1
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Burning Man

Wife and I will be attending Burning Man next year and I have a major concern. We will be boondocking for 7-8 days and I want to keep the fridge going the whole time. It is a Norcold with the freezer on top. We will be taking the occasional shower, Navy style, and doing some food on the stove as well. My concern is the amount of propane we will need. I have two 5 gallon tanks mounted and the ability to take 2 more. How much do you think we will need? Thanks in advance.
RichH
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:58 AM   #2
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If you're not running heater, then four tanks should do it . Depends on temp, hot water use,etc. What are you doing about electricity? Occasional generator? If so, heat water and run fridge on electricity when running. Also consider your three water tank capacities.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:05 PM   #3
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Which model fridge do you have? If you look in the specs it will tell you what the LP consumption is. Might have to convert from BTU's to pounds or gallons. Your water heater will be sucking it down too. What do you plan to do for electricity? You will need a constant 12 volt source to keep the fridge board powered up so it will run, even on LP. I would think that 4 tanks would be enough for a week on fridge. They are not a huge consumer. The furnace is the pig, then the water heater.

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Old 12-04-2015, 04:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys. I will be using a Champion 3100 watt inverter generator most days, for a few hours, to run AC and charge the battery. I am taking 15-20 gallons of stabilized gas for the generator. I would hope that my existing battery would run the fridge, and other small draws like the CO detector and smoke alarm for 24 hours between charges. Great suggestion for running the water heater off the generator, hadn't thought of that for some reason. Will take showers then. My understanding and observations have indicated that the fridge basically runs off of a "pilot" flame. Aaron, since you mentioned converting from BTU's to pounds or gallons, I found this example on the net https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...0230954AAQ2HVg It seems a bit optimistic to me, however, if it is even reasonably accurate I am encouraged. It seems to say that a cylinder will last over 18 days for a 1000 BTU/hour pilot light. Even if off by 50% that would be 9 days which is excellent for 1 cylinder. I really don't anticipate using the furnace much, if at all. That's what fleece layers and blankets are for.
One more issue if you guys have the time. Since this event has porta potties we will be using them as much as we can and only using our toilet for night visits. Based on this it is obvious the the gray tank will fill much faster than the black tank. I can carry 35 gal. of fresh water and both the gray and black hold 35 gal each. Would there be a problem with transferring some of the gray water to the black tank if necessary? Any issues that this might cause?
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
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This past summer I was out for 9 days, didn't use an entire tank, mine are 7 gal. So I would think a week, and you have two tanks without running a heater you should be fine.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:28 PM   #6
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Fridge board is low draw as is the LP detector. Watch out for things like amplifiers, stereos, sub-woofers, etc. Dutchmen has a bad habit of wiring them direct with no way to turn them off. The fridge is basically a pilot light sized flame and will not use much LP at all. Better check the amperage on you water heater to make the generator can handle it. Electric heating elements have a tendency to be power hogs. IF you don't have any excess draw on the battery you should be able to go a couple three days between charges. When I boon dock in non furnace weather I can get 3-4 days no problem on a Group 27. Will they have honey wagons making the rounds to pump tanks? Some events do. Thirty-five gallons of fresh water is going to require some careful planning so you don't use it all up. It is not a problem to transfer gray to black. I have done it before where there was a no dumping any water rule. I used a small hose adapter cover on the dump pipe, then just opened the gray to take off what I needed. If you use a bucket you can dump it into the black tank, 4-5 gallons at a time.

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Old 12-05-2015, 02:14 AM   #7
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I have seen a pretty neat device which taps into your gray tank, goes through a filter and it's own demand pump, and feeds the toilet flush. That way, you are not using fresh water to flush the toilet, and you are taking from the gray to go the black. As I recall, the device was about $200. Could be very useful.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MartyG View Post
I have seen a pretty neat device which taps into your gray tank, goes through a filter and it's own demand pump, and feeds the toilet flush. That way, you are not using fresh water to flush the toilet, and you are taking from the gray to go the black. As I recall, the device was about $200. Could be very useful.
Have you got a link?

I'd like to see some more info on it.
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Old 12-05-2015, 04:13 PM   #9
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Have you got a link?

I'd like to see some more info on it.
It took me a while to find it, but here it is: Recycle RV Grey Water kit - Valve switch assembled

Notice that the kit DOES NOT include a second demand pump, you have to supply that. The kit looks complicated, because the three-way valve offers you the option of flushing with gray or fresh water. (Say when you're hooked up to city water). The other caution I would think of is drilling into the gray tank.

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:57 PM   #10
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It took me a while to find it, but here it is: Recycle RV Grey Water kit - Valve switch assembled

Notice that the kit DOES NOT include a second demand pump, you have to supply that. The kit looks complicated, because the three-way valve offers you the option of flushing with gray or fresh water. (Say when you're hooked up to city water). The other caution I would think of is drilling into the gray tank.

Good luck!
That looks pretty overpriced and complicated. I would go with a bucket and the sewer cap.

It ain't rocket science. I am willing to bet you could hook a pump up to the grey and put a valve on the toilet line and call it good. A inline filter might not be a bad idea, but you don't need a fancy pants carbon micron one. Just something to keep the big stuff out of the lines.

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Old 12-05-2015, 10:37 PM   #11
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Thanks for all of the great advice and suggestions. I really appreciate it.
RichH
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:03 AM   #12
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That looks pretty overpriced and complicated. I would go with a bucket and the sewer cap.

It ain't rocket science. I am willing to bet you could hook a pump up to the grey and put a valve on the toilet line and call it good. A inline filter might not be a bad idea, but you don't need a fancy pants carbon micron one. Just something to keep the big stuff out of the lines.

Aaron
Thanks for the link MartyG.

I have to agree with Aaron, looks too complicated to me. It looks to me like something that would be a factory thing VS a retrofit.

If I was going to do something like that I would just run a pex straight up to the toilet and put a good old shower sprayer in. A switch on the wall to power the pump and we are back in the old Airstream.

In the long run it's just easier to keep doing what we always have. We do to dishes in a pan then dump it and any other grey water we create during the day in to a bucket. Looks after all our flushing needs for the day.

The plus I'll have $274.29 to spend on something else, maybe some adult beverages.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:11 AM   #13
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Thanks for the link MartyG.

I have to agree with Aaron, looks too complicated to me. It looks to me like something that would be a factory thing VS a retrofit.

If I was going to do something like that I would just run a pex straight up to the toilet and put a good old shower sprayer in. A switch on the wall to power the pump and we are back in the old Airstream.

In the long run it's just easier to keep doing what we always have. We do to dishes in a pan then dump it and any other grey water we create during the day in to a bucket. Looks after all our flushing needs for the day.

The plus I'll have $274.29 to spend on something else, maybe some adult beverages.
I'm not in the business of selling these, and it does appear at first glance to be complicated. But, to their credit, they incorporate a three-way valve to offer the option of fresh water flush, and another three-way valve to allow for "pink" winterizing. All of that, plus appropriate check valves, and what appears to be plenty of both straight and right-angle connectors. On the electrical side, there is wiring and at least one fuse.
If you wanted to go "top shelf" on such a system, I think this would be a good start.
We don't boondock/dry camp enough to make this worth it. Still, I think it is interesting.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:48 AM   #14
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I'm not in the business of selling these, and it does appear at first glance to be complicated. But, to their credit, they incorporate a three-way valve to offer the option of fresh water flush, and another three-way valve to allow for "pink" winterizing. All of that, plus appropriate check valves, and what appears to be plenty of both straight and right-angle connectors. On the electrical side, there is wiring and at least one fuse.
If you wanted to go "top shelf" on such a system, I think this would be a good start.
We don't boondock/dry camp enough to make this worth it. Still, I think it is interesting.
Interesting yes, something that makes life easier not so sure.

I agree that such a system would offer a a degree of convenience in managing your waste water. I just have a problem with bringing waste water back into the equation when your dealing with fresh water. Three way valves can fail, then you got a problem in your fresh water system.

I just don't like to add things to a simple system, that is going to complicate them. More stuff to fail and more stuff to maintain.

To me this is one of those things that was over thought from the hey I've got an idea to the production line. Just a simple pump to a seperate flushing system would be something that would interest me. But then I have the ability to create that on my own.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:24 PM   #15
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Thought I would post an update with my findings after our recent outing. Got the trailer out of storage on a Monday and immediately cranked up the fridge on propane. BTW, discovered my cylinders are only 4 gallon. Ran the fridge on propane the full time until Sunday. Also used the furnace more than I thought I would along with a small amount of stove use. Went to get the cylinders refilled and only needed 3 gallons total. I was amazed! Looks like we will have no problem if we are lucky enough to get Burning Man tickets. Thanks to all for the great information and suggestions.
RichH
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