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Old 03-17-2018, 08:06 PM   #1
mtlakejim
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HC 381 sewage tank valves and drains

FYI for HC 380/381 owners (maybe others I don't know):

I was confused by how Keystone setup the drain lines for gray and black tanks but now I have it figured out.

For some crazy reason Keystone thought it would be a good idea to put the rear gray tank remote lever beside the black tank remote lever just behind the rear axle and next to the black tank drain.

The other gray tank remote lever is over 8' away and right next to the gray tank drain.

Now with that setup you would THINK that the rear gray tank would drain out the black tank drain line which would allow you to use the gray tank water to flush the line after the black tank was emptied (my old trailer was setup that way and many of my friends SOBs are setup that way). NOPE, the rear gray tank actually empties out the same line with the other gray tank!!! The only way to flush the black tank is using the black tank flush line (the water hose connection). If you don't have a water hose at the dump station or have setup to use your 12volt water pump you won't be flushing the black tank!!

Why Keystone thought it was a good idea to put the remote valve handle for the rear gray tank way back by the black tank line is beyond me. There is plenty of cable to put it up by the other gray tank handle..... For that matter why they thought it was a good idea to have separate drains to begin with is a bit of a mystery. I don't think there is any regulations forcing them to do so and it means you will have to run an extra hose with a "T" while camping! And to make matters worse why on earth would you put the handles right behind the rear tire? If you have a blowout those handles are history....makes no sense at all to me maybe one of you has a good reason for it?
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:09 AM   #2
jeffba
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James in the the 379RD the second gray tank valve is just in front of the wheel and behind the leveling jack. It was not covered in the PDI and oh BTW they left it open. When I took the cap off to hook the portable tote I got a gray bath.

I would raise the issue with Keystone. it won't fix yours, but it may get them to make a design change.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jeffba View Post
James in the the 379RD the second gray tank valve is just in front of the wheel and behind the leveling jack. It was not covered in the PDI and oh BTW they left it open. When I took the cap off to hook the portable tote I got a gray bath.

I would raise the issue with Keystone. it won't fix yours, but it may get them to make a design change.
Same here. Not covered and left open

I agree with suggestion to Keystone but you have to talk to the right people and they need to be willing to listen
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:15 AM   #4
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It is a toy hauler and that means things are done different than a standard fifth wheel design. Your grey handle is just another toy hauler artifact, along with having an on board gas tank, and other design changes needed to handle a rear door, kitchen design more suited to the weekend camping crowd, etc. However, since you wanted a toy hauler, you can now do the plumbing changes to make it function the way you want. Nothing is impossible, they are just opportunities.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jcurtis934 View Post
It is a toy hauler and that means things are done different than a standard fifth wheel design. Your grey handle is just another toy hauler artifact, along with having an on board gas tank, and other design changes needed to handle a rear door, kitchen design more suited to the weekend camping crowd, etc. However, since you wanted a toy hauler, you can now do the plumbing changes to make it function the way you want. Nothing is impossible, they are just opportunities.

Respectfully, I don't think you understand that the HC 380/381 is NOT a conventional toy hauler.





We looked at a lot of toy haulers and simply did not like them for much the same reasons that you describe (living rooms in the kitchen layout more for weekenders or young active families and very utility looking garages). Before we found the HC 381 we were resigned to simply buy a front living room unit. The 381 allows us to still have a front living room layout and full use of a 42' living area but also have a garage. So you understand the garage is UNDER the rear bedroom.

HOWEVER, the HC 380/381 are HYBRID toyhaulers. They do NOT have gas tanks or a rear door on the side going into the BASEMENT garage (access to garage is via rear ramp only). I would say the Kitchen is very conventional and compares to any other mid kitchen/front living room design we looked at. And with a massive living room area plus residential fridge, I would buy this exact same floor plan for full time use!!! In fact the basement garage is a great option for full timers as you have a place to store your out of season clothes and other items that you don't use often but still need to carry with you when full timing!

I am fairly familiar with engineering and construction. There is NO reason, I can think of, for them to have placed the valve handles where they did other than poor design and engineering! FYI: All of the tanks and valves are in front of the garage area on this unit! They simply did not think the design out in detail and the guys building these things as fast as they can in the shop just put the valves where it was handy and quick for them. Nobody considered the owners or where the best location for those valves would be.
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:06 PM   #6
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James how tall is the below floor garage?
Is the bottom of the garage still above the frame in the back or attached at the bottom of the frame?
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:23 PM   #7
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James how tall is the below floor garage?
Is the bottom of the garage still above the frame in the back or attached at the bottom of the frame?

We are getting way off my original subject and I hope the Forum Police will recognize I am just answering questions that arose from the original subject:

First you have to understand that the master bed raises up to give additional height. With your sleeping bed all the way down the garage is about 5' tall. From there the bed raises several feet which gives you enough height to put a golf cart in the garage! If you can crawl up into it you can sleep in the bed at any height. Granted it would be a chore with it at full height but if you only need a couple inches for say a motorcycle windshield then no big deal....

The garage is 10' deep but only 60" wide. That width is the most limiting thing about the design. I could see them adding a second slide in the bedroom to increase the width but it would take some engineering....

The garage floor is currently above the frame as best as I can tell. They could gain some additional height by dropping the garage floor below the frame but I suspect that would add considerable weight to the empty trailer and decrease the strength of the overall design as well.

It isn't a perfect design by any means but it is a far cry better than not having any choice at all!

We can put our Jet ski in the unit if we put a swing away hitch on the trailer. Our motorcycle and kayaks can fit in it at the same time (our main use as we use the motorcycle to ferry us back to our floating starting point after kayaking a river). You can fit a small UTV like the Can Am Maverick Trail in there but most others are too wide.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:05 PM   #8
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Okay the reason for the questions is I have not seem your floor plan live. sounds like your basement is as deep as the 3790/1RD You may want to "drop the bottom" and look to see how the tanks are laid out and how the plumbing and valve guides are routed. I need to see if I can extend and reroute mine about 5-6 feet forward.
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:04 PM   #9
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Someone had already cut the corplast and laid/screwed/glued a piece larger than the hole under mine. I took that loose and felt around on the remote valve actuator cables. That's why I know for sure there is a LOT of slack and they could have moved both to a better location. At some point I will most likely relocate them myself but that will be a bit of a project.......Just a shame they can't design these units better to begin with this one seems so obvious. For certain the folks building these things have never camped in them and they have very little concern for getting the details right!!!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:43 AM   #10
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Jim, if your trailer is handy, are you able to measure approximately how far apart the 2 drains are? I'm ordering sewer hoses and the wye fitting and am wondering if one 5 foot sewer tube is good enough on each side of the wye.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:17 AM   #11
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OP: At this point, you only have two choices that I can see: either trade it in on something else, or (since you are "fairly familiar with construction and engineering"), re-engineer it and construct something that works for you. I've had to do this on previous TTs and will have to do some things on my present one. Unfortunately, poor engineering and poor quality control are the norm in the industry today.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by OutlawPilot View Post
Jim, if your trailer is handy, are you able to measure approximately how far apart the 2 drains are? I'm ordering sewer hoses and the wye fitting and am wondering if one 5 foot sewer tube is good enough on each side of the wye.
Hey outlaw,
Hope all is well with you and yours.

I haven’t put a tape on it but the two outlets are about 9’ apart. Two 10’ hoses and a “T” should do it plus the hose leading away!
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bad Moon View Post
OP: At this point, you only have two choices that I can see: either trade it in on something else, or (since you are "fairly familiar with construction and engineering"), re-engineer it and construct something that works for you. I've had to do this on previous TTs and will have to do some things on my present one. Unfortunately, poor engineering and poor quality control are the norm in the industry today.
Since this is the ONLY model with the floor plan we like trading in won’t help! I will simply put up with the inconvenience or move the valves and maybe the piping myself
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:31 AM   #14
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Hey outlaw,
Hope all is well with you and yours.

I haven’t put a tape on it but the two outlets are about 9’ apart. Two 10’ hoses and a “T” should do it plus the hose leading away!
Hmm, if it's about 9 feet, do you think 2 FIVE foot hoses would work?
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:39 AM   #15
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On second thought, Since 5+5 may or may not fit (or be too close for comfort) maybe a 5 foot coming out of the rear drain and a 10 foot coming from the forward drain into the wye. This way the black tank has a straighter path outbound through the wye.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by OutlawPilot View Post
On second thought, Since 5+5 may or may not fit (or be too close for comfort) maybe a 5 foot coming out of the rear drain and a 10 foot coming from the forward drain into the wye. This way the black tank has a straighter path outbound through the wye.
If your full timing with it I would look real hard at figuring out a way to hard pipe the gray tanks back to the black tank dump and put a “T” directly into it so no hoses involved
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:22 PM   #17
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Eesh. It seems like the best way to go but I don't want to start messing with the OEM side of it. This IS the right time to do it though, since it's still in for some pre-delivery work. Argh, decisions!
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