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Old 03-09-2018, 10:22 PM   #1
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To have water or not to have water, that is the question

We are considering not installing a water system in our 2018 Sprinter 2500 RB 4x4 with penthouse top. The vehicle is to have all the other bells and whistles that Sportsmobile provides, sans shower and stool. We will mostly use the van to run down the highway with our dog and cat. I plan on staying in the rig with them while the wife will stay in the motel where we will wash and breakfast.

We both spent our youth in cow camps and ranches without running water. So when boondocking a wash basin will service our needs.

Are we being short sighted?

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Old 03-09-2018, 11:12 PM   #2
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You can always add it later if you want to. If you think you might want it in the future, they could run the water lines, pump switch & wiring, etc. during your build. Just anticipate where the sink might go, and plan where the holding tank, grey water tank, and pump would be located. After that, the rest of the electrical is easy.

Having water would help with resale value when you get to that point.

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Old 03-10-2018, 12:40 AM   #3
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I agree, will certainly be a plus for resale. I would add it during build even if you don’t end up using it, which you will, it’s nice having water on board for wash up, esp when the weather is crap.
So I have to ask, and to each their own, but what’s the point of having this type of rig if you’re still getting hotel rooms for the wife to stay in while you sit out in the parking lot with the dog and cat?

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Old 03-10-2018, 07:23 AM   #4
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I'll start with, why the rig? A, good and pertinent question. We have a home and acres outside of Sandpoint, Idaho. We also have land that we lease to family for ranching back in the Flint Hills of Kansas. So, there is a yearly 2-3 week voyage back home to the ranch. Our major planned trip of the year. We write off the motel rooms as an expense. We also want to begin going back to the Southwest and shorter trips up into BC or over to the coast where we will stay in the van intermixed with motel stays when we need to shower. At 70 years old and retired my wife no longer will sleep in a tent on the ground. I will also note, that our trips are late fall trips after fire season. We always seem to run into snow storms. Four-by-four is needed to get to our land both here and in KS when there is snow.

We have a large dog and we have a cat that was abandoned and found starving out in our pasture. Any longer than overnight trips, the critters travel with us. Motels that will take the dog and especially the cat are hard to find and I don’t want to plan my trips around motels.

We started our Sportsmobile design with a standard plan, including water, with a couch. My wife is 6 foot tall and I am 6’2”, so the bed needed to be lengthened. Have now changed the plan to have a long dinette (74” + ends) which cramps the space for cabinets and large refrigerator. Long story, short, doing away with the water saves plenty of space in the RB van. As I originally said, a wash basin will do us good.

I do take both of the points about reselling with the van having water. I’m not worried about resell, but you are right that others would want the water system.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:32 AM   #5
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As part of the gutting and rebuild of my van...See the Traverse to Modern Surf posts...I pulled out the water system as part of the simplification of the van. We do have a sink, with a single rotopax delivering ambient temperature water to it. I can simply swap in another rotopax if I run outta water. I opted for Westy style pump faucet, so I wouldnt need the electric water pump. Pulling out the existing plumbing, that was found to be moldy, saved room, simplified my set up and still gives me water to the sink. Post surf rinse off comes from a Waterport installed on one of the rear Frontrunner slideouts as well as a rinse kit that is housed in the rear Aluminess box....Works for me.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:29 AM   #6
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Yes, a min of five gallons of water on board is a must.
Emergency situations alone, such as stuck on the road in the middle of nowhere. Washing an injury. Filling the radiator.
It's then handy for showers, washing dishes and drinking.
2001 E350 PSD w/ a bunch of stuff.
And had three other E350s...
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:53 AM   #7
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I like the idea of the old Westy style pump on a Rotopax. Maybe a small removable cabinet at the Sprinter's sliding door with a sink, hand pump, and a hatch on the outside to switch out fresh water packs and a grey water holding pack.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:03 PM   #8
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Still in the planning mode or have you ordered? As we piled on the accessories, we always thought a this point what is another little bit for what we want( a 1/10 more? or maybe a 1/20) of total cost?) Resale was always our go to justification phrase to say why not treat ourselves? Why not have everything you want or might 'need' (I use that needs term loosely)? You will have it for simple hand washing, coffee, for boiling water, shaving, toothbrush rinse, just a face wash before supper or up in the many reasons why you should just call up and say, add the water system... Can't wait to see your TRIP REPORTS!
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:35 PM   #9
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Here's my opinion.
First, how old are you? Past the age of 55, I'd add all the convenience I could. Under that age, I'd go ultra light.
I carry 4gal of fresh water for food/drink on a long weekend. I have a 6 gal solar heater for shower and washing. I fill it with creek water.
For myself and girlfriend, that combo works great. In about 15yrs, I'll probably want everything easy access.
The biggest factor in my decision making is cost vs return. If I can save money and be fine without, I go without. If I spend the money to add something, I make sure I will utilize it 100%.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:52 PM   #10
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We use jugs but did install a sink with no holding tank. More convenient than opening the door to throw out wastewater. A water tank is a pain to keep clean, and in the winter we would be using jugs anyhow. You can carry jugs to a water source, with a tank you have to find a fill station.

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