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Old 10-25-2021, 08:15 AM   #1
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Class B questions

We are considering changing from our Navion IQ to a Class B and trying to research the B world and have a few questions.
I know we will need to adjust to the smaller tank sizes and wet-bath but the black tank brings up a question. Do all recent years use a macerator pump and not gravity drain ? Is this because there is not enough head pressure in a small 10 or 12 gal tank to properly drain ? Do these pumps ever fail ?
In the used market how many miles would be considered high mileage to avoid?
Is the Dodge Promaster a good option ? Where we live finding anyone to do anything to a Sprinter can be challenging..

Thanks for any comments..
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:01 AM   #2
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Some of your questions may do better if you do the check yourself and I always like to check real sources over the internet any time I can!
In the case of the macerator pump. I would want to know far more sure than asking at random and Winnebago does a great job of giving us a good way to check.

It takes a bit to learn to "drive" this site but you can do a great job of checking the facts on the post 2010 models here:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/menu/Parts.htm

For plumbing on pre 2010, this will get you drawings but not as nice as the other site:
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File...m/Plumbing.htm

For that random opinion, that may not be totally correct? I do not think all B will have the pump and the use of it when I have checked seems to be more due to placement of the tanks and drain as some run the black tank drain up and over the back axle, requiring a pump to lift it and then connect to the large drain at teh same point as grey.
Not due to pressure but due to needing to lift to get over obstructions?

Person choice, I would try to avoid the pump as possible increased problems with draining and other maintenance. I have looked at the drawings on a few and was left wondering how to fully drain that pump for winter! Pumps tend to have chambers and areas where water does not run out if I don't tip and tilt them.

Since RV tend to get low miles if not used full time, I lean toward less the 50,000 and avoid the extra used interiors of full time users.

But there are bargains to be found in either and it depends on what you want and see using the Rv in your ownership. If you want to go coast to coast, mileage counts but if you want to drive it to a nearby lake and leave it for vacations, a high mileage may fit the purpose?
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:12 AM   #3
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Just as a question, I went to the parts catalog and did a look at the 2017 Era to see if it used a pump and it does not but i did spot something that I might want to avoid, besides the pump!

The parts catalog lets you turn the RV over and around to get really good look at what it has, so looking at the bottom of the unit and turning it around I spotted this long rod mechanism to open/ close the drain valves on the tanks. These tend to give trouble if I read the forum postings right as they come up somewhat more often then I would like? They seem to corrode and hang up in the tube the wire slides in?
I lean toward keeping the drains as short and simple as possible.

Maybe a small point to add to the search for the "perfect" one?
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:16 PM   #4
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Thanks Richard, I have used that site many times in the past but actually forgot about it as a source for that info. I do indeed want to avoid the pump, my hope is to minimize some common points of failure. Good point about that connecting rod..my Navion has a cable on the water tank and I make it a point to be careful with it for sure. I guess my question was more to weed out some of the models to shorten the list to research, the internet up here in the mountains is slow.
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:56 PM   #5
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Several years ago we visited the Winnebago plant with the intent to see where our Class C was "born". Turned out that line wasn't available for tours, so we went to the separate plant where the Class Bs were built. At the time Winnebago only made Travatos and Reveals.

I seem to remember the tour guide mentioning that at least one of those models used a cassette for emptying the waste tanks. Not sure how that system actually works, but it seems that practicality may be questionable.

Can someone educate me?
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akeagle View Post
I seem to remember the tour guide mentioning that at least one of those models used a cassette for emptying the waste tanks. Not sure how that system actually works, but it seems that practicality may be questionable.

Can someone educate me?
It was the Revel that uses a cassette toilet. These are toilet and black tank all in one. Super popular in Europe and Australia/New Zealand. But not too popular here. The new Winnebago Ekko uses one as well.

The "tank" is only 5-gals and dumping is by removing the cassette tank and taking it to a dump station to pour the contents into the dump.

That part is the biggest obstacle to it's adoption in smaller B vans but now there is an adapter available to be able to attach a standard 3" hose to the cassette for dumping without being so "intimate" with the contents.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:36 PM   #7
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Class B

We currently have a Travato 21 foot on a Ram chassis. I have no trouble dumping the black or grey tank. One word of caution. The back sink drains into my black tank as well as shower and toilet. Grey tank is only for front sink. Just have to plan ahead. My wife and I travel with a 47 pound Labradoodle and it is manageable. Two dogs would be a little tight. I have the Model 59K. Very happy with the unit. Bought it used (2017) last year with 25,000 miles. 18 mpg. Travato John.
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:11 PM   #8
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We have a 2018 Era 70M, and no macerator pump. Standard black and gray holding tanks, both dumping thru the same drain connection. Our van is 24 foot, so basically the same length as the Winnie class C van built on a Sprinter platform, it's just that ours isn't as large inside and the entire exterior is MB quality vs Winnie quality. We find it is fine for two people for several weeks at a time. Manuverability is a bit better than a C due to less width (important in places like Zion) but still not great. For us at least, a smaller van would probably be a camper for long weekends only, not for multi-week trips.

YMMV,

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Old 10-28-2021, 03:48 PM   #9
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That is a nice floorplan on the M and the black tank I think is larger than most. Thanks to all for the comments.
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Old 11-01-2021, 05:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVwithDogs View Post
Do all recent years use a macerator pump and not gravity drain ? Is this because there is not enough head pressure in a small 10 or 12 gal tank to properly drain ? Do these pumps ever fail ?


Thanks for any comments..
Your current 24V doesn't have a macerator for the gray tank? My 2019 YM does. At first, I wasn't too thrilled having to use the pump to dump my gray tank, but in honesty, I kinda appreciate it. It sorta gives that power flush to my dump line. The only inconvenience is the holding of the momentary power switch to energize the pump. I typically dump at 50% or more tank level which results in a long hold of that switch.
I did consider swapping out the switch for a standard rocker ON/OFF switch but knowing my habit of distraction, I would walk off leaving the switch ON and possibly burn up the pump or seal.

I did find an alternate low-point drain for my gray tank downstream of the gate valve that would allow me to plumb a gravity drain and sewer hose connection just in case the macerator ever did fail. Might be a similar option on certain Class B's.

Bobby
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Old 11-01-2021, 07:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bkg View Post
Your current 24V doesn't have a macerator for the gray tank? My 2019 YM does. At first, I wasn't too thrilled having to use the pump to dump my gray tank, but in honesty, I kinda appreciate it. It sorta gives that power flush to my dump line. The only inconvenience is the holding of the momentary power switch to energize the pump. I typically dump at 50% or more tank level which results in a long hold of that switch.
I did consider swapping out the switch for a standard rocker ON/OFF switch but knowing my habit of distraction, I would walk off leaving the switch ON and possibly burn up the pump or seal.

I did find an alternate low-point drain for my gray tank downstream of the gate valve that would allow me to plumb a gravity drain and sewer hose connection just in case the macerator ever did fail. Might be a similar option on certain Class B's.

Bobby
Re your comment about the macerator switch: My Minnie Winnie also has that arrangement and I too quickly grew tired of having to manually hold the switch down. My solution was a small metal cable clamp screwed loosely to the wall just above the switch do it could be rotated just enough to keep the switch depressed. I did have to open the clamp just a little with pliers to make it fit just right without damaging the switch. So far I've willed myself to staying in the immediate area to prevent letting the pump run dry for more than a few seconds. But it is certainly much easier on the button pushing finger!
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Old 11-01-2021, 09:17 AM   #12
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I also have a gray water macerator on my Via and like Morich stated it is to pump the gray water uphill over the axle, has nothing to do with tank size. There is plenty of opportunity to add a gravity drain or two which I did in order to not have to depend on the pump. I put a tee in the 3" line coming off the tank and installed a valve, camlock fitting and cap so I can drain it with a slinky and I also modified the low point drain (which is located after the 1.5" valve to the macerator) with a garden hose fitting and I can drain it that way as well with my dedicated gray water hose (which is also my black tank flushing hose). I still use the pump on a regular basis because it is easy at some sites and to keep it from locking up due to rust and non-use but I am no longer dependent on it. Also, the pump does not get all the gray water out, it leaves a gallon or so behind.

My 3" drain was probably overkill since the garden hose drain works fine but the 3" gives me a way to flush the tank, the gray tank can get pretty nasty.
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Old 11-06-2021, 12:45 PM   #13
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The shower in both the G and K and GL and KL drains to the gray water tank. You are correct that the bathroom sink drains to the black water tank.
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Old 11-06-2021, 01:08 PM   #14
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For those thinking of changing the switch, I might suggest looking at the wide range of spring wound timers as an alternate to putting the switch on and possibly forgetting it. There is a wide range of them out there at different pricing but if the time is always less than 15 minutes, something like this might fit to save the finger work and also avoid leaving it on to ruin the pump, etc.?
Many will be rated for 110 AC use but will work fine for low voltage Dc as well. Find how long one might expect it to take to fully drain and crank in that time?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/TORK-In-...s&locale=en-US
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:28 PM   #15
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My 2016 View has one sewer drain hose connection near the black tank. The gray tank uses a pump to pump its contents "uphill" to enter near that one, I guess because Marketing only wanted one hose connect fitting. It is very slow so I don't use it. Instead I manually hold the hose under an inline plug in the gray line and let gravity empty the gray tank 5x faster. Point is: check out the plumbing on your select model - you may not want to use that pump anyway
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:03 AM   #16
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Cdavego, marketing doesn’t make all the decisions on stuff like this it’s quite possible that there is another reason for the addition of the pump on the grey water. I don’t know if this is so, but wanted to suggest that you consider that possibility.
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:25 AM   #17
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Could be, thx - was just a guess, but somewhat based on my 42 years of product development experience. As a design engineer, I would have set one design criterion as "quick to empty" and made a separate hose connection directly from the gray tank & make good use of gravity force. As is, it's slow to empty while others await you to finish at the dump station. Just wanted to pass on an alternative technique for the buyer questioning macerator pump performance. By and large, though, I think my rig is well-designed.
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