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Old 09-15-2009, 11:07 AM   #1
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Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

So right now as we are in the midst of converting our school bus to a bus on wheels, we are hoping to build a rain water catchment system that collects rainwater from the roof from gutters and then using pvc pipe, empties into our rain barrel inside of the bus. We'll use the water for our rooftop garden as well as purify it for drinking and washing dishes and possibly for shower water.

Anybody have experience building a rain water catchment system for their bus? Or have any structurally-sound suggestions for attaching the gutters to the roof (especially since our bus will be ravaging the roads - at moderate speeds)?

Thanks ever so much for your help - even though we're all a bit crazy.

Bethel and the Waste-Not Wagoneers
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:24 PM   #2
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

What about flipping the roof? You could then have some sort of screen to prevent debris from settling in there. Just thinking out loud.

You may consider having the water tank mounted high in the cavity so you could pressurize your plumbing with gravity.
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

With a flipped roof, you could do away with the windshield washer resivoir! Just slam on the brakes and hit the wipers!!
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

Why not use normal "leaf-guard" gutters like those for a house? You'll need some way to keep debris out anyway... why try to reinvent the wheel? They are meant to be installed next to the house, so you'll have all the typical attachment hardware. Just a thought.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

I read a conversion log of a army truck conversion in australia where they did some rain water catchment. In their case, they only used it for showers and flushing, and kept drinking/cooking water quite separate.

Seems like a really good idea, especially for those considering long term boondocking. However, don't forget to factor in cold weather in your design (in case you find yourself in the snowy north).

Ah, found the link to the guy's conversion info... http://www.robgray.com/graynomad/wot...izat/index.php.

Very interesting reading, or at least I thought so. Lots of great ideas in there.

jim
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

I'd drink the water after running it through my Big Berkey.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:25 AM   #7
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

Quote:
mightybus wrote:
C00LR wrote:
Just slam on the brakes and hit the wipers!
You're just saying that because you got your brakes fixed.

Now that there was FUNNY!...I don't care why ya are
lmao!! I got a good chuckle....

I been thinkin about the gutters and I could see using it for flushing and maybe watering plants but I think that all the the stuff to make it drinkable would be an awfully big use of space? Of course I have no idea what it would take. but maybe what about a still of some sort? boiling the water, catching the steam and cooling it off and then let the condensation drip into another container and then that would be clean wouldnt it??? Or would it still need to be purified??
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:51 AM   #8
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

Quote:
Look (google) at solar distillers or 'shine stills, oops...sorry ... meant fuel distillation.
"Offish, Honest-er! Ish jest a li'l ol' jar of corn water!

Quote:
I think that all the the stuff to make it drinkable would be an awfully big use of space?
I would think you might want to at least run all your drinking water through the sediment and charcoal filters mentioned in ben2go's Texas manual. (Thanks, great reference!) Even if you are hooked up to campground water, you don't know where it's been. I intend to build in filtering, but on short trips to parks run by State Environmental agencies I trust the taps. After all, they set the standards that the municipal/private systems must meet.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:41 AM   #9
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

Another way to catch rainwater would be to install a roof deck with a "solid" surface -- corrugated metal comes to mind, with the valleys running the length of the bus -- then have a gutter at the lowest point (front, back, middle?) for collection.

I've not seen one, but I've read about a system in rainwater catchment setups where the first x gallons are diverted, because that is where most of the dirt, twigs, bugs, and bird poop will be. After some number of gallons, the flow is redirected to the main catch basin.

Using a 7.5' x 30' (32,400 square inches) surface as a catchment area, an inch of rain will yield 140 gallons Pretty nice.
Minus some for inefficiencies throughout the system.

PS: Can we move this to the Conversion Discussion forum? Great topic, would hate for it to be missed.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:59 PM   #10
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Re: Rain Barrel/Rain Water Catchment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
I've thought about splitting a piece of 2" PVC (lengthways) for gutter, and adding a fittig on te lower end to screw a garden hose to & run it to a 55 gal plastic barrel, either a barrel for each side, or both hoses into 1 barrel. . . .
Having a "portable" 12v pump would be handy for transfering water to a holding tank, unless you just used it on an as-needed basis. Be sure to update if you come-up with a method.

Smitty
we have just installed a pvc gutter with pvc piping into the bus. removed the last two windows on the backside of the bus to make sure there is a tight fitting. and then have pvc piping on the inside draining into a homemade rainwater barrel.

we are thinking of installing a manual handpump (as we try to toy around with alternative/appropriate technologies) that can be built by us and easily constructed with little to no money or scavenged - so thinking along those lines rather than a battery powered pump. we're planning on using the water for our garden (eventually on the rooftop) and possibly purifying it for drinking or washing dishes. or maybe for an outdoor shower (and then making a solar water heater).

hopefully we'll be posting pictures soon to show our mad farmer progress.

love, the waste-not wagoneers
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