Your waste water system is used for taking your caravan grey water, used in the galley, wash hand basin and shower to a disposal point on the campsite. Toilet wast, know as black water, is similarly remove to it’s disposal point using a separate system.
Grey Water Systems
Motor-homes tend to have a built-in grey water tank which can be used over a period of time and then emptied before the vehicle is driven off the site on to the public roadway. The tank is often situated towards the rear of the motor-home, usually over the rear axle, so therefore it is good practice to empty it for the sake of stability while driving. This is usually done before leaving the site by driving the van over a dedicated grey water drain situated at ground level.
Caravans tend not to have an on-board grey water facility, even though there seems to be a tendency now for some owners to retrofit them. I have no direct experience of these aftermarket tanks, but on balance I tend to think that perhaps they are not a great idea. Unless you hang it from underneath the van there is nowhere else to put it and there is a possibility that this may cause instability when towing, even when empty.
I’t strikes me that it is more inconvenient to maneuver a caravan into position over a ground drain, in order to empty an on board grey water tank, than it is to do with a motor home. The thought of taking the caravan to the drainage point once a week or so if you are on a slightly more extended holiday really doesn’t appeal to me.
If you are thinking about fitting one of these then do contact your dealer or the manufacturer of your caravan and have a proper discussion with them about the advisability of doing so.
As with all things of which I am skeptical, I am very much open to persuasion and would really like to hear your thoughts on the subject, especially if you have fitted one.
The basic, standard tried and trusted caravan grey water system consists simply of, usually two outlets, underneath the opposite side of the van from the door. Connect the purpose made flexible plastic hosing to these outlets and put the other ends into the little openings provided on top of your Wastemaster. Nothing could be simpler. The Wastemaster of course is the purpose made grey water transportation vessel that most people use to take the grey water from the caravan to the disposal point. It is designed to sit neatly beside or underneath your caravan and had detachable wheels to to make it easier to store during transportation. It’s design also ensures that you can easily place your toilet cassette on top and make one journey to the the site services area rather than two. Just remember that you will almost always find separate places for emptying your toilet and your grey water container
To add to the efficiency of this system you can buy pieces that allow you to join two or more lengths of waste water piping to one single piece. This makes up a tidier drain that takes the grey water from your two or more outlets and directs it via one single pipe to your Wastemaster. This is usually a Y shaped fitting, however there are other types available including the Drain Away from Care-Avan.
If you’re on a super-pitch, otherwise called a fully serviced pitch you will have access to your own potable water and to your own grey water emptying point. To take full advantage of the greywater point on these pitches you need to carry a sufficient length of hose to attach to your outlets or adapter in order to reach the grating. Usually a length of between 4 and 7 meters is sufficient for this but do have a good look at the super pitches in the areas you visit before buying.
You are not confined of course to using the Wastemaster and many other types of wheeled containres exist to help you transport your caravan and camping waste water. I’ve seen people use Camping Water Containers, Plastic Camping Jerry cans and even a Bucket or two. You should never try to carry relatively larges volumes of liquid so always chose a wheeled container. Buckets are also very useful around the campsite, I never travel without at least one, but these being open containers they are unsuitable, unsightly and unhygienic for collecting grey-water.
Where do you empty your Grey Water?
Where you take your grey water container to empty it is constantly a cause for discussion. Once you are pitched up you will often be asked this question by people who have just arrived.
On most of the sites we visit the greywater disposal points are clearly identified, and this is always where it should be taken. On some sites however it is far from clear where you should trundle it in order to dispose of it properly. I have seen people put it into the chemical toilet disposal area, down the grating underneath the freshwater tap and into the hedgerow. We have even arrived on a freshly vacated pitch to discover that the previous occupant had discharged their grey water straight onto the pitch leaving a mini swamp behind. This was on our ideal spot for erecting the awning. This tends to impact on the next users enjoyment of the pitch and is best avoided.
The best answer to this question that I have arrived at through experience is to ask the management and to do as directed. If you have a pitch that is near a hedgerow you can specifically ask if you can discharge into that. The site owners may be very happy for you to deliver some much needed moisture to their planting to their hedge.
- Un-stow grey-water container.
- Check that it is free of evil smells & if such do exist clean it using the usual products such a sterilising solution, dishwasher tablet or a method recomended by the manufacturer.
- Remove the top covers ensuring that any cover on the side which exists to facilitate emptying is securely in place.
- Place it neatly beside or underneath your van adjacent to the grey water outlet.
- Attach your hose or your hose assembly and place the outfall end in the container.
- Run a tap or taps inside the van to check that all hoses are draining freely into the container.
- Check regularly, I do it twice a day, and empty before it fills up.
- When it’s time to leave empty the container and wash it thoroughly to remove all traces of food waste. You don’t want unwelcome visitors to your van while it is in storage.
- Stow it for travel leaving all covers off to avoid buildup of bacteria resulting in aforementioned evil smells.
Let me know if there is anything I add to this page to help you and others enjoy your caravan, RV or camping trip.
Water Hog By: Widds