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Old 08-31-2009, 10:31 PM   #1
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Accessing H2O after 12V pump fails?

I am adding a second 9 gallon water tank to our new(used) SMB, and I got to thinking, how do you access the water when the pump or battery fails? (not if, when)

Do you have to crawl under the van and fill up jugs from the little drain?

We almost always camp without campgrounds or hookups of any kind, and we camp in the desert and on the ocean a lot without a source of fresh water other than what we bring

My old cab-over camper had the 12V pump AND a hand pump on the sink.

Has anyone added a hand pump system to their water system?

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Old 09-01-2009, 06:00 AM   #2
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Re: Accessing H2O after 12V pump fails?

As part of a general remodel, I'm going to get rid of the electric pump and replace with a Whale bilge pump that I've decided not to put in my boat. I forget the rating but it is pretty high volume and should handle the job admirably.

I have also picked up a couple of the fist sized orange water drill pumps from Northern Tool and later at Harbor Freight. The reviews say they really deliver a bunch of water (with an adequately sized cordless drill). I may hook one of these up as well either with the cordless drill on board or pick up a spare 12v motor and mount the whole affair to a 1x4.


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Old 09-01-2009, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: Accessing H2O after 12V pump fails?

With the stock SMB, the only way I know of to get the water out (with a bad pump) is to drain from underneath. You could always add a hand pump as a backup, but me thinks it would be easier to just buy, and carry, an extra electric pump. It's not tough to switch the stock one out when it fails and the spare could be stuck in one of those really hard to get "storage" areas.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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Re: Accessing H2O after 12V pump fails?

If your pump goes out and you really need water that badly you could just insert a small tube and siphon (not that I carry such) or drain from under the van. I think carrying an extra pump against failure is excessive- if you really, truly need water taking a shower isn't going to matter, and getting drinking water from the drain spigot will hardly be an issue.

I've had my pressure system fail twice- not the pump but the system wouldn't hold pressure at the grey fill knob. It was annoying, but only in the sense that water in the sink is a convenience, not a necessity, the shower doubly so. During one of those failures the pump ran for over two hours recycling water through the system without my knowledge. When it was over the pump itself was as hot as a muffler but did not suffer any damage and still works like a champ nearly a year later.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: Accessing H2O after 12V pump fails?

Never thought about it. We have two pumps. Maybe we should name our van after a Saturn V rocket. Ours is an unpressurized water system and one pump is located under the restroom sink and the second is in a closet and supplies water to our side door kitchen area.

If both failed I could use a siphon hose and use some of the water to rinse out my mouth after washing my mouth out with soap.
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:12 AM   #6
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Re: Accessing H2O after 12V pump fails?

I recommend using a SuperSiphon.

I bought it to fill my water tank. I don't see a reason you couldn't use it to get water out of the tank too. It is small, so easy to use and you could therefore use it both directions.

I have another one to get fuel from my jerry-cans directly into the gastank. Just used it on my last trip to get fuel from the jerry can to my boat tank. Worked like a charm.

I bought them from Expedition Exchange along with 2 extension hoses. Couldn't be more satisfied with the product and service from EE.


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