My Bailey Autograph 79-6 has a grey waste outlet behind the drivers side rear wheel. As the chassis is very low on this model, operating the valve means kneeling by the rear wheel and reaching under. No hardship I know, but in the wet or close to well used grey waste drains I always end up with wet and muddy jeans. So, I decided to make a remote-controlled motorised valve that could be opened and closed using a key fob.
The existing pipe and valve assembly was simply push fitted into the elbow at the back of the grey waste tank and looks like this.
The piping is rigid 28mm which is used throughout the waste water system, and pushes directly into the female push-fit connecter on the tank elbow. Two-thirds of the way along the pipe (from the tank end) there is a 28mm bracket connected to the floor of the motorhome to keep the pipework steady. My aim is to build a motorised replacement that will fit through the existing bracket and push directly into the original pipework at the elbow. This way, if there is ever a problem with motorised valve, the remote or the power, then I can simply replace the old pipe and valve.
What components did I use to create my remote controlled grey waste valve for my Bailey Autograph?
- 28mm rigid pipe – Originally manufactured by DLS Plastics (https://www.dlsplastics.co.uk/) but available from many caravan supplies stores, I picked up a 3m length for £6 locally. I only needed a couple of feet but it only came in 3m lengths.
- 28mm to 1” BSP Male connector – These are a little bit harder to get a hold off. DLS Plastics manufacture them but they are not stocked by many caravan stores. I did find some at LeisureLines.net (here is the link 1″ BSP Connector) for £4.
- The motorised valve came direct from the manufacturers UK distributor, (US Solid) which was cheaper that either EBay or Amazon. Ideally I would have preferred the 1 1/4” unit which has a port of similar diameter to the 28mm pipe. But I couldn’t find a 28mm to 1 1/4 “ BSP pipe connector. The 1” BSP has a port diameter of 20mm which could mean that the tank will take longer to empty, but it already seems to take an age so a few more minutes wont hurt. The 1” motorised ball valve cost £35, and is a simple 2-wire control to 12v.
- The opposite side of the value will be at the same position as the original tap, so I am connecting a 1” BSP elbow I picked up from Amazon (1” BSP male Elbow).
- Finally, the remote control switch which I also picked up from Amazon ( 12v 1ch remote relay ) for £15.
Having done the research and sourced the appropriate components, I found the build of the remote controlled grey waste valve for my Bailey Autograph quite simple.
- Cut the 28mm pipe to length such that the motorised valve is as close to the bracket as possible.
- Glue on the push-fit 28mm to 1” BSP connector
- Screw the 1” BSP connector to one port of the motorised valve and the 1” BSP elbow to the other.
- Open the leisure battery compartment and mount the remote relay module to the wall of the compartment next to one of the batteries. Wire up the remote relay to the leisure battery directly so that it is always on (with an in-line fuse). Programme the fobs to pair with the remote.
- Run a cable from the remote relay (in the leisure battery compartment) to the rear of the waste tank and connect to the motorised valve.
The hardest element of the above I found to be the last step. The Bailey has a low chassis, so crawling underneath without ramps is not easy and there is not room to work once you are there. I used the air vent from the battery compartment to exit the wire (save drilling another hole), tie-wrapped the cable to the chassis until I reached a longitudinal outrigger and then tie-wrapped it to the existing wiring loom that ran inside the outrigger.
As I can’t guarantee the motorised valve is IP66 compliant, and because it sits behind the mud flap of the rear wheel, I also covered the valve housing with bubble wrap and polythene.
The remote valve works really well. Plenty of range, simple to operate and no more muddy, wet knees. And if the worst should happen I can swop back to the original in less that 10 minutes! What’s not to like.