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wozzer

Onboard Water Tanks

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I am going to fit an on-board tank. We had them in our two Bailey Senators, and I fitted a fixed tank into the Unicorn we had later as the original fitment removable wheelie one was next to useless in capacity, and I was also not keen on lifting it when full.

We love the "on-hand" supply that the tank affords, I only have to carry one aquaroll (even if I do have to fill it twice upon arrival!).

For those that may ask: No, we have never travelled with any water in the onboard tank....

 

I intend to fit an electronically switched solenoid valve system this time, rather than the two manual change over valves that the Bailey system used, along with a Fiamma inboard diaphragm pump. (Their latest offering has a better flow rate than the Whale equivalent).

Our current van is a Coachman 575 VIP. The only reasonable place to fit a tank, pump and control valves is currently occupied by the motor mover and alarm boxes.

 

So, before I start shifting stuff, has anyone ever fitted an under-chassis tank?

They fit them on motor homes, so why not a caravan?

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Wouldn't be without the one in our Airstream  AND YES we do travel with water in it and have done for ten years now.

 

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I have the standard one in my Senator Wyoming and usually travel with it up to half full.

Just one point regarding solenoid valves, we have a normal port on the outside and simply connect a submersible pump to fill the onboard tank via a switch. Cheaper than solenoid valves and not consuming any power unless it's pumping.

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On board water tanks normally have a float inside it controlling the valve.  Surely if travelling with the tank half full with the water sloshing around probably quite violently could this damage the float?  We always empty ours which is a pain as you cannot flush the toilet if stopping in a lay bye.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, wozzer said:

So, before I start shifting stuff, has anyone ever fitted an under-chassis tank?

They fit them on motor homes, so why not a caravan?

Where would you secure it to? You cannot drill the chassis and the floor is not strong enough to take the weight , its only 3mm ply.

Motorhomes have a lot more places to secure a tank to.

 

 

8 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

On board water tanks normally have a float inside it controlling the valve

 

None of the tanks I have come across have a float inside the tank, they simply have an overflow .

Edited by Brecon

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10 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

On board water tanks normally have a float inside it controlling the valve.  Surely if travelling with the tank half full with the water sloshing around probably quite violently could this damage the float?  We always empty ours which is a pain as you cannot flush the toilet if stopping in a lay bye.

Most of the ones Ive seen dont have a float valve. The swift Conqueror had an underfloor tank. Level control is done electronically on my current van.

12 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

On board water tanks normally have a float inside it controlling the valve.  Surely if travelling with the tank half full with the water sloshing around probably quite violently could this damage the float?  We always empty ours which is a pain as you cannot flush the toilet if stopping in a lay bye.

Surely the toilet flush and the fresh water is separate?

5 minutes ago, Brecon said:

Where would you secure it to? You cannot drill the chassis and the floor is not strong enough to take the weight , its only 3mm ply.

3 mm ply? I dont thinks so.......

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I was thinking of clamping an alloy support frame to the chassis - I know I can't drill it.

Motor movers are clamp fitted, so same principle.

I can get an alloy frame made easily and cheaply locally.

With regards to the solenoid valves, they don't consume any power once they have either opened or closed.

The types I have are 3-port, with a control board, hence only 3 wire control (easy).

 

Interesting to find out that the Swift Conqueror had an underfloor tank - I didn't know any UK manufacturer had ever done this. - Anyone have one of these? and if you do, would you take a picture for me?

 

I understand that the  Aussie caravans have under-slung tanks, I would love to see some pictures of their installations too!

With regards to the Aussie type tanks, I would assume they are pretty big? 100 Litres or more maybe? - If they have a float in them, I assume it is because they can plug straight onto a tap and the system then works like our aquaroll float ones?

Not surprised if the same tank supplies flush water for the loo then....

 

I just wondered if anyone had actually done the job DIY before?

41WdgNGqo2L.jpg

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16 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

Most of the ones Ive seen dont have a float valve. The swift Conqueror had an underfloor tank. Level control is done electronically on my current van.

Surely the toilet flush and the fresh water is separate?

3 mm ply? I dont thinks so.......

One supply only where there is an electric flush  --  however the water can not be touched by the loo!

 

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36 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

Most of the ones Ive seen dont have a float valve. The swift Conqueror had an underfloor tank. Level control is done electronically on my current van.

 

Ours has a float valve so that when the onboard tank empties it switches automatically to the outside aquaroll giving you in essence 80 litres,

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1 hour ago, Durbanite said:

Ours has a float valve so that when the onboard tank empties it switches automatically to the outside aquaroll giving you in essence 80 litres,

I have a level sensor which starts the pump to top it up from the aquaroll

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I like both of those ideas, I already bought a level switch for the tank, as I planned an auto switch over.

Maybe I'll look at auto top up?

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5 hours ago, wozzer said:

I was thinking of clamping an alloy support frame to the chassis - I know I can't drill it.

Motor movers are clamp fitted, so same principle.

I can get an alloy frame made easily and cheaply locally.

With regards to the solenoid valves, they don't consume any power once they have either opened or closed.

The types I have are 3-port, with a control board, hence only 3 wire control (easy).

 

Interesting to find out that the Swift Conqueror had an underfloor tank - I didn't know any UK manufacturer had ever done this. - Anyone have one of these? and if you do, would you take a picture for me?

 

I understand that the  Aussie caravans have under-slung tanks, I would love to see some pictures of their installations too!

With regards to the Aussie type tanks, I would assume they are pretty big? 100 Litres or more maybe? - If they have a float in them, I assume it is because they can plug straight onto a tap and the system then works like our aquaroll float ones?

Not surprised if the same tank supplies flush water for the loo then....

 

I just wondered if anyone had actually done the job DIY before?

41WdgNGqo2L.jpg

Solenoid valves DO use power when theyre in operation. What you have pictured above is a motorised valve which will only use power when changing position.

 

For the chassis stuff look up unistrut used a lot for installation work but all sorts of fixings and clamps in the system, it would be ideal for installing a water tank underneath onto a galvanised chassis.

 

The system I use has two levels for switching the submersible pump outside and a max run timer / alarm.  Starting with a full tank the display shows full. At 50% the pump and timer are started, at 100% or 2 minutes the pump is stopped. If the timer stopped it I get an alarm sounding so I know the aquaroll is empty.

 

I have a series of electrodes in the tank so I know how full / empty it is.

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Unistrut is very heavy, ideally you want aluminium to keep the weight down

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2 hours ago, matelodave said:

Unistrut is very heavy, ideally you want aluminium to keep the weight down

It wouldnt need to be the real hefty stuff, the smaller items would be fine, aluminium and galvanised steel may react too?

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On 04/07/2019 at 14:58, wozzer said:

I am going to fit an on-board tank. We had them in our two Bailey Senators, and I fitted a fixed tank into the Unicorn we had later as the original fitment removable wheelie one was next to useless in capacity, and I was also not keen on lifting it when full.

We love the "on-hand" supply that the tank affords, I only have to carry one aquaroll (even if I do have to fill it twice upon arrival!).

For those that may ask: No, we have never travelled with any water in the onboard tank....

 

I intend to fit an electronically switched solenoid valve system this time, rather than the two manual change over valves that the Bailey system used, along with a Fiamma inboard diaphragm pump. (Their latest offering has a better flow rate than the Whale equivalent).

Our current van is a Coachman 575 VIP. The only reasonable place to fit a tank, pump and control valves is currently occupied by the motor mover and alarm boxes.

 

So, before I start shifting stuff, has anyone ever fitted an under-chassis tank?

They fit them on motor homes, so why not a caravan?

 

If you don't travel with water onboard, whats the point of an onboard water tank?

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14 hours ago, wozzer said:

Interesting to find out that the Swift Conqueror had an underfloor tank - I didn't know any UK manufacturer had ever done this. - Anyone have one of these? and if you do, would you take a picture for me?

We have a 2011 Swift Conqueror 530 and it has an on-board fresh water tank, it is under the offside front lounge/bed seat. You can see it  through the seat slats (just about) in the attached photograph. It is not under the chassis.

 

We have not used it often, but have done so when camping in temperatures below freezing. When camping and it is frosty then we also use a fitted cover on the Aquarol.

 

The on-board tank empties easily by opening a drain tap.

 

BH

Tank.jpg

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1 hour ago, Blackhart said:

We have a 2011 Swift Conqueror 530 and it has an on-board fresh water tank, it is under the offside front lounge/bed seat. You can see it  through the seat slats (just about) in the attached photograph. It is not under the chassis.

 

We have not used it often, but have done so when camping in temperatures below freezing. When camping and it is frosty then we also use a fitted cover on the Aquarol.

 

The on-board tank empties easily by opening a drain tap.

 

BH

Tank.jpg

Mine was a much older Conqueror 1996 or thereabouts I think. On the control panel external or internal pump could be selected .

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19 hours ago, Brecon said:

........the floor is not strong enough to take the weight , its only 3mm ply.

 

3mm ply?

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12 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

 

If you don't travel with water onboard, whats the point of an onboard water tank?

There are no baffles in the tank.  If there were baffles it should be a problem.

 

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12 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

 

If you don't travel with water onboard, whats the point of an onboard water tank?

 

Winter use when sub zero outside.

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Motorised valves are exactly what the picture shows. I know them commonly as MOV'S. Finding them by their correct name on the Web is nigh on impossible, unless you are looking at the major manufacturers, and I'm not paying their prices.

Most sellers refer to them (incorrectly) as solenoid valves.

Why an on-board tank?

We caravan from January to December, so inboard tanks do not freeze. In addition, I only need carry one aquaroll.

Yep, I have built and installed electronic level sensing gear, my friend in Cornwall uses one I built him for his house tank which is filled from a borehole pump automatically.

I am very familiar with unistut, both galve and stainless.

I would opt for alloy though.

To prevent electrocatalytic corrosion of the galve chassis it is only necessary to place a nylon or ptfe sheet material between the mating surfaces, exactly as we always did when fixing galve to alloy or mild steel when offshore in the North Sea.

The tanks I had in the Senator Vermonts were indeed under the front seats or the chest of drawers. Thanks for the photos gents.

The Coachman I have now doesn't have that much space.

I was just wondering if anyone had actually fitted an underslung tank to a caravan. 

 

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On 06/07/2019 at 09:15, Griff said:

 

Winter use when sub zero outside.

 

I can see the point when significantly below zero - a few degrees below doesn't cause much problem with an insulated aquaroll.

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Won't an underslung tank be just as prone to freezing as an aqua roll?

Our tank is under the bed.

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I have an on-board water tank (55 litres I think), I always travel with it full, it's in the rear corner so it makes an excellent counter-balance to keep my noseweight down. I have a separate toilet flush tank, I travel with that full too.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Steve05 said:

Our tank is under the bed.

 

Same as ours.

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