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Old 05-18-2020, 08:01 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Water tank: inside or outside, and how large?

Working on my DIY build and the more I lug around water jugs on trips the more I think itíd be great to have some water storage built into the van. Looking to get some input from those who have water systems on their rigs.

Iím looking to cook, wash dishes, fill hydration packs and take a few showers out of one tank. I usually only go out for a few days, Iím thinking 20-30 gallon range.

For mounting, Iím leaning towards outside, on the frame/undercarriage. I live in Phoenix and it rarely gets below freezing here, I donít plan on doing any winter camping, just day trips up to the ski hill. Iím not opposed to mounting the tank inside if thereís a compelling reason to do so.

Iím thinking of mounting the fill and supply connections just inside the back door with a 12v pump, running fill and supply lines through the floor to the tank.

Any input would be much appreciated!

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Old 05-18-2020, 09:33 PM   #2
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The 15 gallon water tank on our EB is located between the differential and the spare tire crossmember. See post 91 on the build thread,

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Old 05-19-2020, 12:24 AM   #3
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Outside just behind the diff on the EB is a good space. About 30Ē wide by 14 front to rear and 14 deep. You can get about 15 to 20 gals in there. Find a space inside to add another 10 gals inside so you have cold weather capability by not using the outside tank. No need for one big tank. Break it up and put water in less like to be used spaces.

On the EB there is a space outboard of the frame aft of the rear tires. A 5.5 gal tank fits in there on each side. I use those as gray water holding tanks.

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Old 05-20-2020, 06:55 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Awesome, thanks for the replies. Iím thinking aft tank since Iíve got an EB van. The spare tire is still in the factory location, but Iíve been eyeballing an Aluminess tire carrier anyway.

For filling the tank, Iím wanting to just use the hose bib on the front of my house to fill the tank(s) before I head out. My water sucks and itís got me thinking about filtration. Are the in-line filter you can get off amazon worthwhile or is it better to invest in an installed cartridge style system? Also, any additives that should be put in the tank to prevent mold and bacteria buildup?
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:40 AM   #5
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You could use a hose filter - attached at the end of the hose prior to entering your tank (I always use this no matter where I get the water from). Many styles available - the link is just to give you an idea...
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:07 AM   #6
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A weak bleach solution will sterilize the tank, I do it once a season. With an extended van, placing a 20 gal tank behind the axle is adding a lot of weight and changing the front / rear balance. I don't know how much difference it will make, but full up, that tank will weigh in excess of 160lbs. Moving the spare back on an Aluminess bumper will further change the weight balance. I like Ray's idea of splitting the weight between two tanks to get some inside and forward.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:44 PM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2016
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We are probably unusual in that our tank is only 18 gallons and inside the van under our couch and bed. We also though have 6 gallons in the water heater which is used primarily for 1-2 shorter showers daily. I definitely didn't want to give up the undervan spare tire. I do have 2 Aluminess rear storage boxes which I often consider the best part of our van, especially when I bring our bikes mounted on top of the boxes. Of course, this also keeps our tanks in the heated interior space in colder weather.

Part of the reason the smaller tank works ok for us is that I rigged up a simple pump based siphon system to easily add water to the tank. I can fill a 5 gal water jug when I drive by a water source (often the tap at the campground), carry the jug to the back of the van, stick the siphon hose into the jug, flip a couple valves and turn on the water pump which quickly pumps it into the tank.

We have also learned to minimize water usage at least to some degree. I can shower with a gallon or less of water by just shutting off the water to soap up, etc.. We also carry bottled water for drinking which I would prefer cold in the refrigerator anyway. We always have 6 cold bottles of drinking water there. We really haven't found the need to haul around 30+ gallons of very heavy water that take up a lot of valuable space.

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