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I am making / installing an automatic on-board water tank filling system to my 2009 Bailey Senator Arizona.  I made one of these for my Lunar Delta about 20 years ago.  Now I have another Caravan with an onboard tank I find it annoying how complicated Bailey have made it to fill the on-board tank.  I have to remove the cushions from the rear locker, lift the rack, "set" two change-over valves, (correct combination, depending if I am using external, internal or filling internal from external).  Then switch the electric pump to "fill", wait until it's filled, and then switch the valves as required for "operation".

 

I looked on the market – there is NOTHING, nothing on Ebay, Nothing on “The Web”, nothing on YouTube, nothing in the Forums on how to do this… No gadgets, no advice, no discussion – maybe I’m the only one that wants this ????

 

I have added an Carver / Truma Crystal filter inlet into the side of the caravan directly next to the on-board tank.  I will use my old Truma external pump to fit this fitting.  This will fill the tank directly.  I am fitting a relay (in a small plastic box to be neat) along with an "audible" alarm to warn me the external pump is operating.  As my tank already has a "low level" sensor and a "high level sensor" (to stop the on-board [in fill mode] pump when full) it will be an easy job to do.  I am fitting 2 switches - 1) Off/Fill to High Level 2) Fill to low level only (reserve level).

 

If anyone is interested, I am going to document this fully with Photos on my Blog as it will be too detailed (and the photos) for here: 

 

https://tony-sparks.co.uk/blog/2019/09/13/automatic-on-board-water-tank-fill-system-tracker/

 

You will need to cut a hole in the side of your van to fit a Truma (or pump interface of your choice). You will need to be "capable" with 12v Electrics, and able to wire a 12v relay and a couple of switches.  I *may* consider making the "control" boxes when I have finished mine - if there is any demand- but I may not!

 

BTW:  While you are about it (Bailey Senator Only) - I will tell you how to change the "ancient" battery on your (Secret Location) Tracker / Alarm system (mine was 10 years old and bulging - and was down to 2.2v!).  Replacement battery - £14.50 delivered from Ebay!

 

Any Comments ?

Edited by Electric Warrior
slight word change

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There is a kit on the market see here.

http://www.capricorn-controls.com/products.php?cat=15&pid=Water Wizard

Very impressed with a fiends van that has fitted it.  Very tempted (If we keep the van) to fit this winter.

Will be interested in what you come up with.

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47 minutes ago, Alan Stanley said:

There is a kit on the market see here.

http://www.capricorn-controls.com/products.php?cat=15&pid=Water Wizard

Very impressed with a fiends van that has fitted it.  Very tempted (If we keep the van) to fit this winter.

Will be interested in what you come up with.

 

Thanks for that Alan.  I looked everywhere for a commercial solution.  Their solution looks "comprehensive", but costs nearly £300 (and that doesn't include a pump or hole cutting, but I see they using the original pump) and more to go wrong...  On my Bailey my storage tank is mounted at the front of the van... but the existing pump / water system is at the rear.  Bailey used a single reversible flow pipe (controlled by the valves) between the water system (pump etc.) and the front tank.  The Water Wizard is shown mounted at the tank end but that wouldn't work for my Bailey.  However, rear end mounted, I can see how it would work, but I don't like those 5.4W solenoid valves.  I think depending on the mode, some valves would need to be held continually closed - not good if running on battery only.

 

My solution costs around £120 for parts (Truma filter inlet, Truma external pump, short pipe, plastic box, relay, 2 switches and a sounder [optional!] ) and does not draw any power unless the external pump is running.  High/low fill could also be optional and the original water system will function as before.  The current "fill" system will not work after unless I fit another "low power" relay to retain full original functionality (easy to move the float wires back though if *really* needed).  The trouble is this "low power relay" will draw 24 mA on "standby"... but you could fill the tank and then switch off until you hit reserve.  I could probably add an audible to the low level for this condition...

 

However, I can't see the need to complicate it like this.  So, I am just going to reroute the existing level sensor wires to my new interface.  To fully restore original operation would just need 4 wires (from existing float switches) on spade connectors refitting, but I would only need this if my "relay" or the "outboard" pump failed.  But I could always use the original "off-board" system anyway (once I have changed those pesky valves around!).

 

One major benefit I anticipate is not having to bleed the air out of the system every time we move site.  We have just come back from 4 weeks in France - but we always tour - so we had to connect our barrel  (and flush the air), at least 9 times - not counting when we occasional forgot to switch external aqua-rolls before the water ran out!  Even more annoying when those "thin" Whale connector O-rings leak air! (I replaced them last December, but they failed again in France (and I could't find my spares! - Gas PTFE tape to the rescue! - Its thicker than the cheaper water stuff).

 

I was hoping to complete this work over this weekend - but as my car has been in Garage all week and I am Self-Employed (Electrician), I will be working all this weekend - unless I don't get my car back today either !

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Just a suggestion why can't you fit a ballcock type valve in your tank. About £10

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On 13/09/2019 at 19:50, CraigP2005 said:

Just a suggestion why can't you fit a ballcock type valve in your tank. About £10

 

Craig, sorry I didn't respond earlier - I have been very busy with work.  In fact I was working all last weekend playing "catch up" after my car was stuck in the Garage for a few days...

 

The "Ballcock" idea only works if you have "pressurised" water connection into the tank (with no leaks) and you have room and access to fit a "ballcock" system.  I already have the option of this arrangement with a "Ballcock with Hoselock" connector that screws into the "half-way" cap on my "Aqua-roll" (I always wondered why they fitted that hole half-way up).

 

This is fine if I want to use a "never emptying" offboard water supply (Aquaroll), but this also needs a "Serviced" pitch.  I probably count the number of times I have a used a "serviced pitch" - most of my UK camping is in CL's and most of my French camping is in "Municipals" (Council Sites) or cheap Two Star (sometimes 3!), sites that don't usually provide serviced pitches.

 

But for someone who regularly goes on serviced pitches and is happy to use an external supply (or has no on-board tank), the ballcock that screws into the Aquaroll is fine.  But - you need a Good Quality Food Grade Hose.  One that can handle continuous high pressure when the Aquaroll is not filling... I bought my Aquaroll-Ball cock from Ebay about 10 years ago.

 

Don't be tempted to use cheap flat cassette hoses - they burst at the joints.

Don't be tempted to use cheap "non-food-grade" hosepipe - otherwise like I experienced 6 months ago when I replaced my leaking cheap flat hose - you can get bad tasting water.  I tried flushing the hose and soaking overnight in bleach - in then end, I ended up using it in the Garden and bought some decent "food grade" hose.  That doesn't affect the water taste.

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Updated Circuit Diagram and final install.

spacer.pngspacer.png

A few minor changes - and this is the final circuit - as installed and working today.  High Fill or Low Fill options.  Retains original functionality other than no "auto-stop" if filling the tank using the Original Bailey System (why would you ?)  

No Autofill - Use the Bailey Pump switch position 1, Autofill - use the Bailey Pump switch position 2.  I have fitted a Diode to allow me send the "original" Low Water Alert to the Bailey LED (I had already fitted a "warbler" alarm onto it some time ago (with a "silence" switch!))  Total cost around £100 to include an External Truma Pump and Truma filter / inlet panel.  (I already had these, so only cost me around £20)

 

Note: There is a mistake on the Circuit Diagram below.   The diode shown on the Connections Chart, should go to Connection 13, not 12.  But you don't need this connection anyway.   I only needed it to connect to my warble alarm fitted last year.

 

20190921_182123.jpg

Auto-fill Circuit-2.pdf

Edited by Electric Warrior
Correction text for Circuit Connections chart in PDF

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On 13/09/2019 at 10:32, Electric Warrior said:

Now I have another Caravan with an onboard tank I find it annoying how complicated Bailey have made it to fill the on-board tank.  I have to remove the cushions from the rear locker, lift the rack, "set" two change-over valves, (correct combination, depending if I am using external, internal or filling internal from external).  Then switch the electric pump to "fill", wait until it's filled, and then switch the valves as required for "operation".

Any Comments ?

image.png

If it's of any interest, this is a system that I have fitted to a number of caravans.

It provides an onboard water supply with a manual fill option from an external tank (Aquaroll). I used onboard diaphragm pumps for the external fill option but and externally mounted submersible pump would also work if supplied with a switchable 12V feed.

Initially I fitted a water level gauge to the internal tank so I knew when it was filled but on later versions this was omitted as water could be heard running from the overflow beneath the caravan when the onboard tank was full.

Both pump isolator switches were mounted for easy access without the need to rearrange any furniture.

I found this arrangement preferable to an automatic fill, as there is a limited volume of onboard water so should limit any water damage if a leak occurs.

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On 24/09/2019 at 10:13, Gordon said:

image.png

If it's of any interest, this is a system that I have fitted to a number of caravans.

It provides an onboard water supply with a manual fill option from an external tank (Aquaroll). I used onboard diaphragm pumps for the external fill option but and externally mounted submersible pump would also work if supplied with a switchable 12V feed.

Initially I fitted a water level gauge to the internal tank so I knew when it was filled but on later versions this was omitted as water could be heard running from the overflow beneath the caravan when the onboard tank was full.

Both pump isolator switches were mounted for easy access without the need to rearrange any furniture.

I found this arrangement preferable to an automatic fill, as there is a limited volume of onboard water so should limit any water damage if a leak occurs.

Gordon, what you have done is along the same lines as my upgrade, but manual not automatic (and hence simpler for someone without experience to make / install). I did consider this option at first, but I decided as Bailey had already provided both High and Low level switches it would be shame not to use them!

 

I tested my system to good effect this weekend, at first using my "High fill" option (so we had plenty water for showers in the morning) and then towards the end, I switched to "Low Fill" option so that I didn't leave site with a full tank of water (Auto filled just to the reserve level).  I have fitted a sounder on the external pump output, so I can know when it runs - and if it takes too long - I can switch off as the external barrel must be empty.  However, I put the sounder inside my relay box, which in turn is at the bottom of the locker... it was TOO QUIET!  I have ordered another sounder from Ebay which I shall mount somewhere suitable.

 

However it's done - Manual or Automatic - it's a great improvement on the "cheapskate" Bailey option.  Would it really of cost Bailey all that much to fit a better filling system - for want of a pump and "water" interface ?  They already supplied the expensive tank and level switches!

 

I am slowly documenting my installation on my Website with photos...

 

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