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External Water Tank
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SurfaceRust
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:49 pm    Post subject: External Water Tank Reply with quote

I'm upgrading to solar power and decided the best spot to put most of my electrical equipment is where the water tank is. I still want to have water, so I decided to install a external water tank ( http://www.eurocampers.com/Vanagon-45L-Grey-or-Fresh-Water-Tank_p_443.html ) This one is close to the stock size at just under 12 gallons.

First step was to get the old water tank out. This involves removing the sink/ stove as well.

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Once that was out, I test fit the tank under the sliding door, between the frame rails. It was very tight, but fit. I went to home depot, got some L brackets, some 1/2 threaded rods (12" long) a piece of aluminum and some nuts and washers. I then measured everything and drilled some holes in the frame rails. On the passenger side, I had to drill extra holes to get the nut in behind.

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I installed all the L brackets and threaded rods. I then popped the water tank in. It was a very tight fit. The slots on the tank are about 1/2" so it doesn't slide easily up. I had to use a floor jack to force it up.

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I then used a 3/4" through hole ratchet to tighten the nuts (and wasers underneath the water tank, holding it up there. I used two nuts on the bottom of the threaded rod to ensure it didn't spin. Once it was in snug, I decided to use the the piece of aluminum to provide more support. I cut (2) 12" pieces and drilled 1/2" holes 1/2" in from the ends. I slid put on more nuts and washers, then put on the new aluminum braces. I made sure they pull the threaded rods in to keep everything tight.

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Finally I took an angle grinder and removed the extra portion of the threaded rod

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I don't give up much in terns of clearance. Maybe an inch. My only concern is the threaded rod spinning out. I used lots of lock tight, and those nuts should hold it in place, but you never know.

Next I have to drill holes in the tank and put in the bulkheads. Then I can run lines up to the sink. I will replace the pump to one that is a bit stronger due to the extra distance the water now has to travel. I also want to plug the extra holes I drilled to get the nuts in. After that, its time to build the electrical cabinet.[/img]
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Paulbeard
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

Nice work and a useful tip for overlanders or fulltimers who might need more water. The stock water tank takes up a of room and unlike yours, is a bugger to clean properly.

Now, how complex is your solar rig going to be that you needed that much space? Shocked
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Currently -> Frida: 87 Tizian Red (mostly) Vanagon GL Westfalia w/ 2.0L ABA conversion
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vegpedlr
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

Good work. Something similar could also be used to set up a gray water tank for those that want to be self contained.

In my tin top, I went the opposite route. I decided on smaller and easier to remove. I put a 4 gal container under the sink, and a 1 gal for gray. Behind the driverís seat I stood two 1.25 gal thin water containers designed for a fridge. I also switched to a hand pump faucet.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

I recently deleted my propane tank and this is exactly what I had in mind. Great job.
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SurfaceRust
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:46 am    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

Paulbeard wrote:
Nice work and a useful tip for overlanders or fulltimers who might need more water. The stock water tank takes up a of room and unlike yours, is a bugger to clean properly.

Now, how complex is your solar rig going to be that you needed that much space? Shocked


Iíll probably do have that space storage and half for solar. Iíll put the batteries under the bench seat to keep weight centered. The cabinet will have the charge controller, a built in battery charger hooked up to the side outlet, fuse block, switch panel, lots of wire, possibly an inverter.

Another benefit of moving the water tank is weight distribution. With a full water tank, the COG is now lower and more even being on the passenger side
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E1
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

Edit: Sorry to OT a little but hopefully you'll think it on topic. Very Happy

Beautifully done!

Moving batteries to under the bench *definitely helps*, our 210aH is about 140 lbs. -- and held down with two seat belts.

You've gone another step rightwards and lower and that's awesome! CoG is really important, hence partly why we omitted our cargo box. Thanks for demonstrating that here.

Our inverters on both vans have gone into the little cabinet rear of fridge, this one screwed to back of left fridge wall so occupying the near-useless space behind the table mount. A hair inconvenient to power on and off, but out of the way, and rear of cabinet baaaarely fits two jack stands. Front half is empty, used for temporary items only.

I mention this as I can think of a lot of bulkier gear to go into the left "desk" cabinet you're deepening... we would love having that!

If there's one thing I've learned it's that traveling compact makes some things harder to get to, but still "better" in the end. We try to bury stuff we rarely use but the primary goal is balancing left to right -- and always rearwards, too. Side-to-side balance is much-bigger issue with a Westy than I think is realized often enough -- or at least respected as a safety flaw.

I find these vans to be more challenged in the front over the rear, mostly in bias but perhaps in engineering, too. VW set a front-rear bias on the plackard that shows the front should have about 17% less weight than the rear, but though we have no excess weight in the front our vans run about 10% lighter in the front and this one only maybe 5%.

For whatever reason in frame design, the cabinet weight has a higher effect on the front than it seems it should when studying where the weight is in the van. So right and rear and low for me.

Great job, keep up the conscious path. Form with Function is a multi-year progression, at least it's been for us.
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iulian
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:51 pm    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

Nice work, I have the same tank installed under the slider. Here is where I put the connections for water pump, water fill, drainage, level and vent and a few details on each, maybe can help a little

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Water pump specs: 10 l/min, 0,5 bar, it does the job, I have connected a primitive shower system to the sink faucet and it works fine.

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Vent: 3/4 L nipple. On the outside, with the help of a piece of hose, I fitted one of those tap plastic mesh to keep dirt and insects away from the tank. Easy removable for cleaning

In order to prevent water loss through the vent due to sloshing, on the tank ceiling, diagonally, I fitted a corrugated garden hose, one end is connected to the vent nipple, the other is open, below a sketch. I had to drill few holes on top of the tank and used some automotive zip tie holders.

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Fill: I used this level control fill for those times when I am on camp site and want be connected to the water supply. Found it in a RV shop, branded Killian.
On that nipple I have permanently fitted a hose with a 1/2 garden hose nipple. The hose is tucked under the van easy accessible, protected on a sealed plastic bag

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Level: I went low cost and fitted that vertical little hose, for that price I have to kneel to look at the level.

Drainage, there are many choices, I went cheap with a generic ball valve from the hardware store, I think it is a 3/4

Cheers
Iulian
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Paulbeard
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

SurfaceRust wrote:


Another benefit of moving the water tank is weight distribution. With a full water tank, the COG is now lower and more even being on the passenger side


Nice. This seems like a great option for tintop conversions as well. Given the choice between the stock Westy tank and this, I would take this.
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Currently -> Frida: 87 Tizian Red (mostly) Vanagon GL Westfalia w/ 2.0L ABA conversion
Formerly -> Steward of a 73 Super Beetle (Beater) and 67 Beetle 1300 (Little Max) both names by POs

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ó dhaavers
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rmcd
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

Cool project.
Any inclination how these tanks hold up to freeze?
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iulian
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

Canít tell, Iíve never risked using it in cold weather, I drain it just before winter.
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VeeDubDaySpa
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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: External Water Tank Reply with quote

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We have had water in ours in some cold winters, and no issues. I wouldn't recommend it, but mistakes happen. On a build we are doing right now, we have insulated this tank and going to play with that. Trying for winter camping with hot water...

ill follow up as we figure things out.
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