Black and Gray tank question - Dutchmen Owners
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen Camping & RVing > Boondocking - Dry Camping
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-19-2021, 07:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Danbury
Posts: 16
Black and Gray tank question

SO, How many day can I go without emptying the black and gray tanks on my Voltage 3015? I have 2 gray water tanks and 1 Black. It's just me.

Mattf301 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2021, 10:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
ATCguy's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Cody
Posts: 1,728
Originally Posted by Mattf301 View Post
SO, How many day can I go without emptying the black and gray tanks on my Voltage 3015? I have 2 gray water tanks and 1 Black. It's just me.
I'm taking a break this winter, but before that I've been a solo full timer in my Voltage for the past 5 or 6 years. These are my averages...

If I'm traveling a lot... that is, changing locations every week or so... I always dump the tanks before leaving, so duration isn't an issue. But when I'm staying long-term at a single location (2 weeks or more), my routine changes a bit.

I find that I can usually go at least 2-to-3 weeks before needing to empty the black tank. It really just depends how often you "go", and how much water you use when flushing. (NOTE: do NOT be stingy with the water after a bowel movement... as that can cause clogging issues)

As for the grey tanks, it all depends on how often you move, and how you use them. If you don't already know... the forward tank is for the bathroom sink & shower, and the rear tank is for the kitchen and washer-dryer hookups in the garage.

Your shower will fill the front one pretty regularly, but I'd say you can go about a week or so. As for the rear tank.. if you don't have a washer-dryer unit, the only thing accumulating in it is the kitchen sink water, so you should be good for a good 2 weeks or so there.

As for myself, I do have a washer-dryer combo back there, and I run it every 2nd or 3rd day... and that fills the rear tank pretty quick.

So my routine when I'm staying long term is to simply keep both grey tank valves open, and allow them to drain freely. About 2 or 3 days before I know I'm going to dump the black tank, I'll close the front grey tank valve and allow it to fill with shower water, so I can then use it to flush the sewer hose after dumping the black tank.

That said... beware, there is a risk leaving those valves open. I've read & heard of horror stories where the campground had a catastrophic sewer issue, and back-pressure caused sewage to run back up through the hoses, and into the rig. Whether that's true or not, I can't say... but in all my years of camping & RV'ing, I've never personally seen it, or know of any first hand knowledge where it happened to someone else. But the putting the information out there for ya.

That's my experience... your usage may vary.

2013 VOLTAGE 3200 (EPIC I & II)
2014 Ford F-450 PLATINUM
ATCguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2021, 02:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
dsol's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Calabasas
Posts: 665
Black and Gray tank question

And in case you are wondering each of those tanks is just under 40 gallons.
2018 Voltage 3305
dsol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2021, 12:24 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Milwaukie/Oak Grove
Posts: 83
Water Conservation

Scrape all table scraps from dishes, pots and pans into your refuse can so that your washing and rinsing are minimal. Use a tub in the kitchen sink in which to wash and rinse dishes, and avoid draining any water into your sink drains. Use that water to flush your toilet, or to prime your black water tank.

Don't let the shower run. Use a nozzle head that has a shut off. Take a similar tub (as in the kitchen) into the shower stall and collect as much bath and rinse water as you can while you are showering. If you have on outside shower, bonus-- You can use that to wash your hair. You don't really need to shower every day. In between showers, clean yourself with wash towels, and refresh those towels using your sink water.

Brush your teeth outside.

If in a campground, dispose of any excess water into the local collection station.

invest in one of those black/gray Portable Holding Tanks. If you are in a campground, these can save you from tearing down just to make a trip to the collection station. If not in a camp, you've given yourself another 24-36 gallons of black or gray water storage.

Use a waste outlet cap that has a garden hose port connection. You may be able to drain your gray water into the surroundings (and of course, not by using your fresh water hose). Always travel with several 5-gallon plastic pails. They can come in handy storing dish water.

Remember you will always want to start with 4-5 gallons of water in your black water tank. This could be dish water as well. Always travel with several 5-gallon plastic pails. They can come in handy storing dish water.

and .... most of these things will conserve any fresh water you may have in your tank, if you are dry camping.
Randy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2021, 04:45 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Chatham
Posts: 54
Sorry for the late post... our trailer has 1 black and 1 grey tank, both are 39 gallons.
I find that when we're camping (full hookups) our grey tank for sure is 2/3 full within 2-3 days, black maybe not as quick if there is a public facility nearby. We don't shower in the camper, just dishes, teeth, washing hands,etc.
Last summer, at about day 3, my wife called me to report that we had some water backing up into the tub, told her to go out and drain the grey tank and that fixed things, I just thought that we'd get much longer out of the waste water tanks. We want to hit some provincial campgrounds next summer, but I worry about space, and don't want to have to hook up to go to a dump station. I am going to get under the unit this week and measure the tank, do some clever math and see if our tanks actually are the size they say.
jmatteis is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2020 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.