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I designed and built a twin auto-changeover Aquaroll system on our last van over 20 years ago. That caravan was sold about 18 years ago and we only bought our next caravan in 2019 to return to the hobby/pastime.

Our new van is a 2019 Swift Elegance with all kinds of clever controls and water supply options so I assumed that building a new changeover system wouldn't be necessary.

On our first trip I changed my mind.

Yes we could fill the inboard tank and get an alert if it needed refilling, but I found the onboard pump noisy and I didn't warm to its pulsing delivery.

There was also the need to drain the inboard tank of surplus water before leaving site . The second option of drawing water direct from an aquaroll still used the same pump and limited the volume available.

 

I will post pictures if any interest, but my system is as follows:

2 Aquarolls with 2 Truma submersible pumps fitted to 2 Truma Compact inlets on the side of the caravan.

The Aquarolls have float switches fitted into them and low voltage electrical connectors/cables entering the van by the water inlets.

Function:

Fill both Aquarolls, fit both pumps and connect cables.

Inside van is a control panel which shows a Blue LED for each  Aquaroll to show if they have water in them.

Whichever Aquaroll is connected first also has a red LED showing it is selected.

Use the taps/shower as normal.

When the first Aquaroll is empty, the water supply is automatically switched to the other full one (if showering for example only a momentary splutter is felt during the changeover).

The control panel now shows the second Aquaroll is selected and the first Aquaroll's blue LED  goes out showing it needs filling.

The exterior pumps are nice and quiet in the van. Just keep refilling the identified empty Aquaroll at your leisure for a constant water supply.

If using a serviced pitch just connect the one Aquaroll  - it just never empties so is never switched out.

The original swift system is still selectable for Arctic trips and caravan warranty purposes.

 

As I indicated, will post pictures if any interest, otherwise will carry on with other mods (Eg: thermostatic shower, shower extractor fan, A/C install, new sound system, etc, etc).

 

 

 

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Very good idea would be great to see pics of what you done and how to do it

Regards Paul

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Would love to see any mods that you make , gadgets always float my boat

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I would of thought fitting a inboard tank would be the better option as it saves freezing barrels and pipes and the inboard tank allows some water for wild camping or stopping on route also security on the aquarolls and pumps .

 

Dave

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OK. When I get time I will set it up to take some pics to share - will try and add as an edit to the first post of this thread.

Commander Dave - are you suggesting I consider fitting a second inboard tank? 

Edited by Ukzero

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OK, I can't edit after 30 min so will have to put on pics in posts as I go along:

Inside view:

First pic shows OEM Swift onboard tank and pump between the front bunks/seats with my "system selector" switch centre right. I have also put instructions next to the Swift ones for completeness.

On the right is the control panel I made. Only "power" is lit as no aquarolls are connected.

Second pic also shows the side locker with the two valves to direct water to the system of choice and the extra pressure switch for the exterior pumps.

So I can select Swift onboard tank filled by external pump, or direct from aquaroll using onboard pump, or my twin aquarolls external pump system.

Pics of outside arrangement and aquarolls as and when I next use them.

(Please forgive the shoddy finish of the white "retainer" above the pressure switch - was a temporary safety addition during testing which never got tidied up).

20200223_092416.jpg

20200223_092615.jpg

Edited by Ukzero

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Hi ukzero, looks really good, you have put a lot of effort into that and its looking great

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So is making sure the wastemaster doesn't overflow a manual check?

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On 22/02/2020 at 16:50, Ukzero said:

 

When the first Aquaroll is empty, the water supply is automatically switched to the other full one (if showering for example only a momentary splutter is felt during the changeover).

 

As I indicated, will post pictures if any interest, otherwise will carry on with other mods (Eg: thermostatic shower, shower extractor fan, A/C install, new sound system, etc, etc).

Are you already using a thermostatic shower install in your van.

 

I too would like to see your installation(s) set-ups and 'how to' instructions.

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25 minutes ago, Sea&Sand said:

Are you already using a thermostatic shower install in your van.

 

I too would like to see your installation(s) set-ups and 'how to' instructions.

Just get a thermostatic shower valve that will physically fit your shower cubicle, job done.

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Hi AJG, I used the term 'thermostatic shower' as that was what Ukzero used.

 

I assumed Ukzero meant he had a system for supplying continuous hot water from his shower, with reference to his post I thought it unlikely he was referring to showering with cold water only regarding the water supply automatically switching over from one aquaroll to the other.

 

 

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12 hours ago, hp100425ev said:

So is making sure the wastemaster doesn't overflow a manual check?

Whether or not a tongue in cheek comment - actually a good point.

A float switch and LED indicator for that would be a very quick and simple mod compared to the changeover system. Will add it to my list :)

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I am running a thermostatic shower but the "in-cubicle" tap isn't involved other than flow rate.

The thermostatic part is behind an access cover beside the shower.

Hot and cold into thermostat (Bristan model - cheap copies often disappoint), single outlet T joint to supply both sides of mixer tap. Very simple DIY job IF you can sort pipe access. I did consider a domestic thermostatic mixer in the shower itself, but the shower cubicle was designed for quick assembly and not easy maintenance or access - and, given all my DIY additions the considerable weight of readily available domestic thermostatic shower mixers led me to the simple and relatively lightweight behind the scenes option.

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Outline "how to" instructions may be possible when I get time.

You would need to be proficient at soldering and wiring and following circuit diagrams (the control involves 2XDPDT relays and delay circuits). The aquarolls need modifying (which meant making some custom fittings by modifying some 15mm compression caps). Then there's the control panel to make (but this could be as simple as you like) and various alterations to pipework and adding a new inlet.

I guess being realistic, a blow by blow full instruction manual for DIY beginners may not be feasible.

 

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Sounds as if some one is trying re-invent the wheel as there are simpler and cheaper methods involving just a plastic pipe.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Sounds as if some one is trying re-invent the wheel as there are simpler and cheaper methods involving just a plastic pipe.

 

Fair point.

I have not done this to try and market something or to try and answer a question nobody else is answering.

I have done this as part of my hobby - for fun with a useful (for me) outcome. I carry a second pump anyway as a backup and the electrical stuff I had lying around. The money went on a second inlet and some plumbing bits. About £50.

Just thought I'd post the project for interest.

I take my hat off to whoever came up with a simpler method to achieve auto-changeover.  A simple solution that achieves the same outcome is always better.

 

For those who are interested I hope to post external pics of the system later today.

Edited by Ukzero

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Posted (edited)

More pics.

First: The Swift Elegance has a non-pumped inlet, a pumped inlet and a shower outlet. I added a second pumped inlet (but for aesthetics that meant moving not just adding). 

Second: The modified aquaroll. The float switch is near the bottom of the tank on an extension piece, hence the robust fittings.

Third: All hooked up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

water1.jpg

water2.jpg

water3.jpg

Edited by Ukzero

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5 hours ago, Ukzero said:

I am running a thermostatic shower but the "in-cubicle" tap isn't involved other than flow rate.

The thermostatic part is behind an access cover beside the shower.

Hot and cold into thermostat (Bristan model - cheap copies often disappoint), single outlet T joint to supply both sides of mixer tap. Very simple DIY job IF you can sort pipe access. I did consider a domestic thermostatic mixer in the shower itself, but the shower cubicle was designed for quick assembly and not easy maintenance or access - and, given all my DIY additions the considerable weight of readily available domestic thermostatic shower mixers led me to the simple and relatively lightweight behind the scenes option.

So you cant readily adjust the temperature of the shower?

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1 hour ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

So you cant readily adjust the temperature of the shower?

 

The thermostatic valve I use (regularly used in care and health applications) is both accurate and consistent.

It comes with a factory preset temperature and this is a good starting point.

When you turn on the shower the hot side is wide open and the cold side closed. As soon as the hot side reaches the set temp it blends with the cold side to maintain the set temperature and it will do this as long as there is sufficient hot water in the system. The tap in the shower cubicle is only adjusting flow rate and on/off. This is infinitely better than the scald/freeze cycle we are all used to.

The thermostat does have an adjuster. You alter this until the flow temperature is ideal for you. Then you leave it alone, so, it doesn't have to be easily accessible - just accessible. I have set up ours so it sits behind a dummy vent, so I can tweak it whenever necessary - which is either never or perhaps slightly warmer for Winter months and cooler for Summer.

Again in my case I had to liaise with my wife to find a temp we were both OK with.

 

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9 hours ago, Ukzero said:

Whether or not a tongue in cheek comment - actually a good point.

A float switch and LED indicator for that would be a very quick and simple mod compared to the changeover system. Will add it to my list :)

 

It was a genuine concern.

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2 hours ago, Ukzero said:

 

The thermostatic valve I use (regularly used in care and health applications) is both accurate and consistent.

It comes with a factory preset temperature and this is a good starting point.

When you turn on the shower the hot side is wide open and the cold side closed. As soon as the hot side reaches the set temp it blends with the cold side to maintain the set temperature and it will do this as long as there is sufficient hot water in the system. The tap in the shower cubicle is only adjusting flow rate and on/off. This is infinitely better than the scald/freeze cycle we are all used to.

The thermostat does have an adjuster. You alter this until the flow temperature is ideal for you. Then you leave it alone, so, it doesn't have to be easily accessible - just accessible. I have set up ours so it sits behind a dummy vent, so I can tweak it whenever necessary - which is either never or perhaps slightly warmer for Winter months and cooler for Summer.

Again in my case I had to liaise with my wife to find a temp we were both OK with.

 

For me I'd want to be able to select the temperature of the shower at the time, sometimes I like it really hot, other times a little cooler. Not relevant for me any more, I've sold my caravan.

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1 hour ago, hp100425ev said:

 

It was a genuine concern.

Design underway. Permanently wired stainless float switch which will hook into top next to waste pipe and stow in underslung box when not in use. Red flashing LED will alert us to wastemaster being nearly full.

Cost: Approx £10 all in.

Mind you I'll miss the excuse to keep popping outside and "attend to the services" :)

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On 02/03/2020 at 09:44, Durbanite said:

Sounds as if some one is trying re-invent the wheel as there are simpler and cheaper methods involving just a plastic pipe.

 

OK - I have tried to think of a way to achieve aquaroll auto changeover with just a plastic pipe.

I could probably link two ARs together with a pipe to up the water volume, but doesn't achieve the same thing; other than that I've drawn a blank.

So I give up - how is it done? Thanks.

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28 minutes ago, Ukzero said:

 

OK - I have tried to think of a way to achieve aquaroll auto changeover with just a plastic pipe.

I could probably link two ARs together with a pipe to up the water volume, but doesn't achieve the same thing; other than that I've drawn a blank.

So I give up - how is it done? Thanks.

If I remember correctly you have one barrel slightly higher than the other one and with a pipe inbetween.  Pump goes into the lower one.  The pipe going from the one to the other goes to the bottom of the one that is slightly higher and right to the bottom of the other barrel so you have a syphon effect.  TBH easier just to switch barrels.

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I am a gadget freak and i like the idea of flicking a switch to change barrels. Not necessary perhaps but a great feature to have for little cost and the enjoyment from creating the feature.

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