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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Camper Waste Water System

Four Wheel Campers (FWC) do not come with a waste water storage system.  Their sinks drain out the side of the camper and you apply a right angle garden hose adapter and run a garden hose to a pail or storage container on the ground, or just on the ground.

The problem with this is that I park in parking lots and streetside and I would not want to have water from washing hands draining on the ground in these places.  I also don’t want a tank I have to store and pick up each time I move.

Therefore my sink needed to drain into a tank.  I would normally use a commercial tank but not having the time I chose a 4 gallon water tank and drain into that when I’m not in a place to drain on the ground.

One good thing with these Reliance tanks is that the screw cover has a spigot That is a standard pipe thread to make what you want.

The first picture above shows the tank and the strap to hold it in place under the sink.  

I first chose a rubber hose as shown above in stead of a garden hose as it was more flexible when removing the tank.  I wanted to be able to leave the hose connected as I lowered the tank so any residual water in the hose would drain before disconnecting and dumping.

The rubber hose worked but it was large and bulky so I redesigned.  I actually redesign a lot of things.  I start with one design and find a better way and redo it.

The other problem with this first design is that I have no method of draining waste water on the ground.

Enter my redesign.  

From the bottom the sink i still have an elbow, but now I go to a garden hose thread.  Then to a garden hose wye with shut offs.  

One side of wye - I then have one side go to the wastewater tank through a barb hose and back to garden hose adapter to a garden hose quick connector from Home Depot (above) to make removing the wastewater tank easier to remove for dumping.

The other side of wye - The second side of wye also is a barbed tube but this tube goes through the base of the cabinet into the space between the camper and truck bed.  The Tacoma has a poly bed and has a storage compartment in the rear on both sides.  Inside this storage compartment are drain holes.  You’ve got it.  The barbed hose fits through the drain hole so the drain from the sink exits under the truck.  I didn’t have to put the drain through the side of the camper.

This design allows me to drain into tank when needed and then switch to draining in the ground when appropriate.

One issue I ran into on the road was good particles from washing dishes clogged the smaller diameter barbed hose.  I found a a small drain screen (like one in Amazon picture above) at one of the tent vendors in Quartzsite while at the RTR and this solved my problem

I switched to camping soap this year to be environmentally friendly with my waste water.  Above is the picture from Amazon on what I bought.  It works as well as other soaps for washing hands and dishes.



  1. Are you having as much fun this year as you had last year in your Prius?

    1. Happy Runner,

      Thanks for the question.

      Yes. I am having as much fun as last year in the Prius. Last night, for example, I drove up a wash where ATV’s normally travel and found a great spot to camp with both TV and LTE service.

      On cold nights and mornings I run the Wave 3 heater and I’m comfortable inside my camper. I do close the roof on cold nights as I do not run the heater at night, but come morning I lift the back end of the roof and run the heater with the roof vent open.

      It’s a whole new experience not having to be careful if bottoming out, but boy do I miss the MPG of the Prius.