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Old 07-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
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Onboard Air & Water

Time has finally come for onboard air and water, not wanting to take up interior space I started looking under the van for options. I didn't like outside the frame rails at the back since there is so much dirt and stones thrown up from the tires in there, my drivers side has batteries so that only left the rear area. Just behind the axle I have reserved for a 2nd diesel tank so that only left the spare tire area. This was really the last location I wanted to use as it's a lot of weight to hang behind the axle, but it was the only area available.
So after cutting out the spare tire chassis member, (that was a job all on it's own) I set about designing a way to hold Air tank/ 2 compressors / Water tank & water pump. Initially I wanted to use UJoint skidplate kit, but I really didn't want to cut out the remaining chassis member and weld in a new one, so that kind-a ruled out that kit.
So in the end I decided to make my own from stock I could get locally and tools I had available. If I had access to a decent bending machine, my design would have been different, but I don't.

I use 2"x3" steel box section as frame rail extensions, and 3/4" box section for the support braces. The 2x3 were notched so the 3/4 box section actually goes inside the 2x3's, and they are also welded inside. (just for extra strength as I guess all the parts will be ~250). Once the cross member were welded, I capped the 3x2's to stop and crap getting inside.



There is some kind-a reason to the vertical cross braces, they hold the tank and compressor.



All mounted up. I new I could fit a bigger tank, but I decided to pick a 2.5gal 200psi tank as it gave me more volume that a 3 or 3.5tank at 150psi, and the compressors are rated for 200psi.



Now I have the exact size, I can order up the water tank, I can make a 16gal fit easily with a pump, and just make a 20gal fit with pump, but think pluming will be a real pain with the 20gal. I would have preferred to mount the water tank further forward wherethe compressors & air tank are, but there is a body cross-member there that limits the height, you can just see it in the above picture.

Since the water tank will be ~150lbs I decided to brace the extension that's not really supported. Below you can see some angle I bolted to the tow hitch to brace it.


Now I'm just waiting for the tank and pump to come so I can mount them up. After that, there will be an aluminum skid plate bolted to the whole frame so protect it all from debris. In the very first pic you will see some tabs welded to the frame, they will be drilled and tapped to hold the skidplate in place.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

That's the way to OBA...



Looks great.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

Thanks Jage

Made some more progress over the weekend.
Added water tank, pump and all wiring.



All mounted up



For the fill, I couldn't bring myself to cut holes in the body and didn't want a fill inside the van, so I decided in placing a boat fresh water deck fill on the bumper.


And a side shot, the whole system doesn't hang as low as the spare tire did, which is good as I've managed to scrape that up a few times.


Still need to add the skid plate, but my local metal suppler shut up shop during this, so that will have to wait.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:25 AM   #4
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

Very nicely done.

I wouldn't wait too long for the skid plate, since it looks like your rear tires could easily kick some rocks up into your watertank, possible cracking or puncturing it.

Or you could add some mudflaps behind your tires to minimize the danger.


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Old 10-30-2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

The gravity water fill I did iabove, can be a bit of a pain if not parked perfectly since it's only a few inches higher than the tank.
After messing around, I decided I wanted a different kind of fill, one that I could connect directly to a hose. Picked up a "city water fill" valve from an RV store and set about making it fit in the rear door jam. Really only had to trim one side off to make it fit in the jam. Since I pulled the rear door speakers there was no need for the rubber accordion thing that holds wire and fit's between the door and the jam, so I pulled that and re-used the hole it once fit it. So now I have a water fill hidden in the rear door jam and I didn't even need to drill a hole. BTW, removing the rear light gives you all the access you need to the other side of this for all the pluming.

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Old 12-10-2011, 10:03 AM   #6
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

Great write up sheepshagger. I think i might consider doing something like this for my build.
thanks!
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:45 AM   #7
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

To bump an old thread, it looks like the initial install of the deck fill in the bumper led to a similar problem that I just ran into. If the hose has to go over a frame rail, then the rear bumper really isn't quite high enough to act as a gravity fill point.

I just put a setup like this together, and am close enough to a trip where I'll want to use it as a gravity fill, that I'll probably just extend it upward inside a pipe header for now. However that's clearly not the really right solution. -- Neither is, at least for me, the vertical mount in the doors. Hmm...
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:43 AM   #8
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

This does seem to be an older thread but its nice to see it even now---very nice design and execution too!

I wonder how the water tank is vented when filling?

And after in use these past few years how's it all holding up---any re-designs in the future?
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:53 AM   #9
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Re: Onboard Air & Water

Yes, very timely resurrection of this thread....
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:34 PM   #10
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SheepShagger,
How is you Viair system working? Which model compressor did you go with? Did you end up buying the whole fancy kit? And how long does it take to fill your tires from say 30 to 65 or 80 psi?
Thanks
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