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Old 06-14-2012, 10:33 AM   #511
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Re: Hal The Van

Kitchen Cabinet, Post #20

Create another brace for the other end of the tank. Since the tank is so snug in it's location this will just be a simple brace. I'm attaching it to the frame beam at a hole that is already drilled. I did have to enlarge it slightly for the 5/16" bolt.


This is the first version. I ended up modifying it twice before I was happy with it.


Need to redo the shield for the Webasto fuel pump. Take the old shield and cut off the bits I don't need.


Test fit and mark it's location on the tank.




Bolt a couple pieces of angle iron to the side of the tank that will support the modified shield.




Drill a hole for but don't yet add a high level indicator.


On the front of the tank add a bolt for the Webasto fuel line.


Drill another hole for the overflow pipe. Make the hole slight larger than it need be.


continued -
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:01 PM   #512
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Re: Hal The Van

Kitchen Cabinet, Post #21

Time to talk about the greywater tank dump valve. The way I usually camp is 2 - 3 days at one spot while I hike or bike then drive to someplace different and set up again. With a running water system I'd need a greywater tank to hold the effluent from the sink till I was ready to move on. Then after leaving the campground either dump the greywater tank in the road, if gravel road, or off on the berm if asphalt. That way I'm not burning extra gas hauling around a load of greywater. Of course this would be easy if I had a motorized dump valve and didn't have to get out of the van or even slow down.

If you price out a motorized valves you'll find them pretty much restricted to industrial use and very expensive. Time for some DIY. Went to Lowe's and wandered through the plumbing section looking for valves. Settled on a 1-1/2" PVC valve for around $11.00. It was either it or the 1" valve but decided on the 1-1/2" because it will dump faster and being as large as the drain size might help prevent clogging.

Got the valve so how to open and close it? I shopped around for a long while until I found a 12 volt automotive seat motor at American Science & Surplus for $14.95. Ordered the motor to check it out.

Here's the motor and the PVC valve.


The reason I picked this particular motor is because of the threaded rod that extends from the gearbox at a 90 degree angle to the motor. Hadn't yet figured out how this was going to work but the gearbox would allow it to be more compact. According to the motor description the rod is a non-standard thread so I won't be able to just bolt something on to it.

How to join the motor to the valve? It's not like I could glue them together. After some more thinking I swung by Advance Auto and bought pair of 2-1/2" muffler clamps. They are around $3 each.




OK that gives me a way of joining something with the PVC valve. Now how to turn the valve? I'll make a cradle that slips over the top of the handle.






Could I weld the cradle to the threaded rod? Disassemble the gearbox to see what kind of gear is on the threaded rod.


It's a plastic gear on the rod so if I'm going to weld I'll have to be careful to not let it get too hot. Shorten the threaded rod with my band saw but wrap the gear in plastic first to prevent any metal shavings from clinging to it.


Create a couple of right angle metal "wings" that I can use to help connect the threaded rod to the cradle. Here I'm using the cut off piece of rod to check the gap between the wings.


With the wings welded to the cradle check the fit of the shortened threaded rod. Before welding I have to try to get the alignment as perfect as I can so the cradle doesn't want to shift on the PVC handle as it turns.


I'm going to welding directly on the threaded rod but can't let it get too hot. Got around this by instead of drawing a long bead using a series of almost like tack welds then allowing everything to cool down after each single weld. Tedious and time consuming but it worked.


If the PVC handle is going to have room to turn I'll have to move the muffler clamps farther away from the center. Another trip to Lowe's to buy the threaded adapters that screw into each end of the valve.


Start welding a framework onto the muffler clamps that will support the turning motor.


I would take the framework off the PVC before welding on it so not to melt anything.


One of the reasons this motor was such a good find for this project is this mounting point on the gearbox.


It's a perfect fit for the inside of a 1" square metal tube.


Typing this up makes me think I should order a couple more to have on hand since it is so easy to mount. Bet I'll find something else to make with them.


1/4" bolt fits the mounting hole.




How it will look when together.


continued -
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:12 AM   #513
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Re: Hal The Van

Kitchen Cabinet, Post #22

It's hard to tell in this photo but the two uprights are offset from each other.


It's to allow the cradle to turn the valve completely closed then go no farther.


The PVC valve is made to only turn 90 degrees. The motor will spin it 360 degrees and snap off the handle unless I prevent it. When viewed from above, the valve handle turns 90 degrees clockwise to close. The limit switch in the the picture will be part of the electronics for the motor that I'll add later. There are two holes in the uprights for it's mounting.

In the next two pics you can see that I've added a short length of angle iron with an upright that stops the cradle after it has rotated the PVC handle 90 degrees counterclockwise to the open position. The upright section with the two holes is for the mounting of a limit switch.




Place the motorized valve against the side of the greywater tank and figure out the best place for the tank outlet. The motorized valve has to fit in the available space.


I've marked on the side of the tank where to mount the outlet pipe.


The outlet pipe will be 1-1/2" PVC. It has a OD of 1-7/8".


I made a 2" hole for the outlet pipe in the side of the tank. Like the hole for the overflow I'm purposely making the hole larger that it needs be. The lid for the tank has been screwed down using pre-drilled pilot holes.


Take the tank and mount it under the van. Use the positioning bolt to fix it in place. Drill a hole through the shield and the angle iron support. Do this for both of the supports.


Then use sheet metal screws to hold the shield in place.


Now going to drill a hole through the floor and into the top of the greywater tank. Use the bolt that goes through the cabinet frame as a measuring point.








Double check there is no conflict with the freshwater tank. I better get this right the first time.


I'm drilling a 1-1/2" hole which is the OD of the drain pipe.


Looks like a hole. Success!


Drain pipe will fit down through the floor into the greywater tank.


Remove the tank from under the van and check the fit of the drain pipe. Probably should have given myself a larger margin of error in the hole drilling but it's fine.


Now that I have all the extra holes that are needed in the tank, next job is to epoxy the inside.

continued -
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:30 PM   #514
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Re: Hal The Van

dude
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:36 PM   #515
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Re: Hal The Van

ive had my my eye on this electric waste valve in the 1 1/2" size for quite some time. curious to see how your version works out to see if its something i should try rather than dropping the $$ on this one...

http://www.barkermfg.com/autodrain.html

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Old 06-16-2012, 06:34 PM   #516
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Re: Hal The Van

WVvan,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm impressed with your ingenuity. I notice you don't get a lot of feedback, but I suspect there are quite a few following this thread. Keep up the great work.

Cheers,
Brent
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:44 PM   #517
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Re: Hal The Van

Thanks for the encouragement guys. I do appreciate it.

@cygvan
I had looked at maybe modifying a RV style valve. It has the advantage of being a thinner gate valve over the PVC ball valve but I wasn't sure that I could get the plumbing parts I would need to attach to it at Lowe's. There's no RV stores within a reasonable distance.

This weekend's work:
Finally got around to replacing the old stock radio


With something newer.


While I was at it, added a few extra features.


A question to other vanners who have their radio switched so they can run it off the house battery. The radio I bought has two power leads. An AUX lead and a BATTERY lead. The AUX lead tells the radio when to come on but it's powered all the time from the BATTERY lead. If I put a switch on BATTERY lead to swap it's power from either the starting or house batteries won't the radio lose it's settings in the split second it takes the switch to operate?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #518
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Re: Hal The Van

Kitchen Cabinet, Post #23

Ready to epoxy the inside of the greywater tank. I'm a little better prepared than last time.


I've removed all the hardware from the box. From what I've read the trick is to get the epoxy to soak into all the wood surfaces including the sides of holes that have been drilled. That's why I made all the holes for pipes slightly larger than needed. That's so there is room for several layers of epoxy to built up on the hole surfaces but still have room for the pipes that pass through. Anyway that's the plan. Will also be epoxying the lid but not installing it on the tank until later.


The electronic scale worked really well the first time. It allows me to mix up just however much epoxy I want to work with at a time and get the ratios spot on.


Just like the first time I've started epoxying in the morning of a day off so I can work on this uninterrupted until it's done and not worry about adding addition layers after it's cured.


Kept brushing on another epoxy layer after the previous one started setting up.


After so many layers it started dripping off the inside when I rotated the tank.


At that point I stopped adding epoxy and kept rotating the tank until it set up some more.






Now at this point it was a horrible gooey mess so seemed the right time to reinstall all the hardware and start on the pipes.


Cut the fiberglass cloth into a bunch of inch wide strips. I majorly underestimated how many of these I'd need and kept cutting up more and more. I started this project with 2 yards of fiberglass cloth thinking that would be plenty. I almost ran out.


Added the strips one at a time and then painted on more epoxy with a chip brush. The overflow pipe didn't look this messy by the time I was done. As the epoxy starts to set up it will hold shape better.


I've coated the threads of the exposed screws on the outside with vaseline so the epoxy won't stick. On the inside of the tank all the hardware was painted over with epoxy several times. Next up is the drain pipe.


To give the drain pipe some extra hold I've cemented a coupling to the pipe. The coupling is larger than the drain hole so it can be pressed up against the inside tank wall. Then epoxy it all in place.


After the inside of the tank had setup to the point that it wouldn't get fouled I added the high level indicator.


Next was to screw the lid in place and epoxy in place. At the same time I'm adding a section of 1-1/2" PVC pipe to the top of the lid. This is placed so it's directly above the drain hole and will act as a guide to the drain pipe that is slide through the floor into the top of the tank.


I'm worried about the hole in the top of the tank lining up with the through-the-floor drain pipe. There isn't much leeway if they don't line up. That's the purpose of the positioning bolt on the front of the tank. Thought that I could always bevel the inside top edge of the PVC to help if need be. Ends up I didn't have to.

Here's what it looked like when I was finished.


Two days later. Trim off the excess fiberglass threads and smooth off the outside of the drain pipe where there was some epoxy buildup.


Here's the tank ready to go. The flexible rubber coupling on the end was what I was planning on using to join the tank to the dump valve. I ended up using a different coupling.


continued -
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Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:50 PM   #519
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Re: Hal The Van

We used flexible bladders for fuel and water on sailboats.they fit into any space.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:16 PM   #520
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Re: Hal The Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I do appreciate it.

@cygvan
I had looked at maybe modifying a RV style valve. It has the advantage of being a thinner gate valve over the PVC ball valve but I wasn't sure that I could get the plumbing parts I would need to attach to it at Lowe's. There's no RV stores within a reasonable distance.

This weekend's work:
Finally got around to replacing the old stock radio


With something newer.


While I was at it, added a few extra features.


A question to other vanners who have their radio switched so they can run it off the house battery. The radio I bought has two power leads. An AUX lead and a BATTERY lead. The AUX lead tells the radio when to come on but it's powered all the time from the BATTERY lead. If I put a switch on BATTERY lead to swap it's power from either the starting or house batteries won't the radio lose it's settings in the split second it takes the switch to operate?

Thanks,
Dave

LOL awesome dash mod....where are you putting the replicator?
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