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Old 08-14-2019, 04:31 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
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Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Water weight

I'm looking into tanks for fresh water. Considering at least one, maybe two, 100 gallon tanks, mounted center frame, just behind the rear tires, one on top of the other. That would put me at 1,668 pounds of water.



For my bus, is this too much? I don't want to be maxed out in weight, and would rather be way below maxed out.


One thing, I have air bags, so the bus sags in the back when parked for a while, and then is fine when running.


PS
Looking at Recpro tanks.





My plan is to install the tanks with a heating element inside them, or heating tape at the bottom, and surrounded by rigid foam insulation, with that canned spray foam stuff for gaps.


I'm installing the tanks outside because inside there is really not much space for that, and there's a lot of space underneath the bus.



Will use a composting toilet.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:19 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Its probably not too much weight overall but putting it all behind the rear axle is going to change your road handling. Liquid is constantly in motion during transit and in volume can exert itself unexpectedly. First, behind the rear axle will cause the front steer tires to lose traction - probably not a noticeable amount but then you get onto a rough road and all that weight is bouncing the back end, with the rear axle as a fulcrum, and you start to realize you're not as in control as before. This is essentially why auto manufacturers stopped making the old style 15-passenger vans because a little weight parked becomes a lot of weight in motion and where its riding makes a difference in safe handling.

Second, where is all this fresh water going to end up? Gray and black water tanks are the other side of the equation and during a trip the weights are essentially shifted from fresh to gray until the gray is dumped and fresh replenished. Its a little bit easier if you stay between the frame rails but still there's 'load shift' involved. Even if you use a composting toilet, all the waste water from sink and shower atill has to go somewhere, right? That's my thinking anyways, maybe you have another idea.

Just my thinking too, but I might lean towards a fresh water tank under a cabinet or seat just to keep it inside. I know you say you plan to insulate and heat it but I'm just thinking there's still risk of freezing if you go into a colder climate and the wind chill as you drive overwhelms the heating capability. Just a thought.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:25 PM   #3
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That's like 16 students body weight. If your bus had 4 seats behind the axle, you won't exceed what was there originally.
I'd hate to have 1600lbs on the back end if that pendulum if the bus was empty
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:49 PM   #4
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That is a lot of water to carry, but not too much for the bus to handle.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:22 PM   #5
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I don't know if the tanks you're looking at have them or not, but someone on here once pointed out the need for baffles in large tanks to keep the water from moving too fast too far.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:23 PM   #6
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I don't know if the tanks you're talking about have them or not, but someone on here once pointed out the need for baffles on large tanks to keep the water from moving toofar too fast!
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:41 AM   #7
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As alway, its great to have so many different views pointing things out that may not be immediately evident-or that may have been bypassed by our dreamy minds...


Between the rear tires and the front tires, the center area has the drive shaft in the way and seems like much more of a problem, and has much less space. Still, Maybe I can use a few smaller tanks instead of a really big one for the fresh water.


I am considering the 200 gallons of water to have plenty for boondocking for extended periods if necessary. Maybe I could install a 100 gallon tank tucked into the frame in the back and use it only when I know I'll be boondocking for a long time, and the other towards the front.



Another option is to place the tanks, instead of the storage boxes, on the driver side area, between the rear and front tires, with a couple more wherever they fit in the center, and use the back to have all the storage.


The fuel tank is on the passenger side, which prevents another tank there.


I am thinking of adding an extra fuel tank eventually, so would need a spot for that.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:48 AM   #8
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I carried 200 gallons of fresh water on my first bus. It was great having that capacity. I could dry camping for three weeks. The bus handled the weight just fine but it was a little different bus..

I would be reluctant to put that much weight at either end of the bus. I would endeavor to get it as close to the center of the bus as you are able.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:37 AM   #9
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So maybe the best bet is to leave the rear for storage, and maybe the gray tank, and place the fresh water tanks between the rear and front tires.





I could make one hell of a spacious storage compartment back there that goes side to side.




The only issue now is that the water will possibly have to be on the driver side. I suppose I can counter this by having the appliances like the fridge and stove on the passenger side. Maybe I can get some of those tanks situated in the frame rails at center also.
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:17 PM   #10
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Most RVs have to contend with a driveshaft as well although I doubt most are built for 200 gallon capacity.
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