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Old 03-21-2017, 04:25 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Collecting Rainwater

Hey There

I was thinking about the idea of collecting rainwater on a bus. It would be an interesting concept to be more sustainable and off grid. I was wondering if anyone has done this or knows of any projects that use this.

I just started musing about it, and I know it probably wouldn't come close to fulfilling all water needs, but it could probably help a decent chunk. And hey, any little bit helps! I don't think a separate water tank would be needed for that as rainwater is actually quite pure and safe to drink, and I'm sure I'd have a filter on my water tank anyways. Obviously the roofs get quite dirty, but there must be a relatively simple way to clean the water.

I know there are some legal issues when it comes to collecting rainwater, but I'm sure it could be done very discreetly. But lets not focus too much of the legality for this thread, just brainstorming Perhaps have some piping running around the edge of the roof (like gutters) to collect whatever would roll off and route it to the tank would be an efficient way to do this. Nothing else really comes to mind at the moment.

What are your thoughts and ideas on this?
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by freunin101941 View Post
Hey There

I was thinking about the idea of collecting rainwater on a bus. It would be an interesting concept to be more sustainable and off grid. I was wondering if anyone has done this or knows of any projects that use this.

I just started musing about it, and I know it probably wouldn't come close to fulfilling all water needs, but it could probably help a decent chunk. And hey, any little bit helps! I don't think a separate water tank would be needed for that as rainwater is actually quite pure and safe to drink, and I'm sure I'd have a filter on my water tank anyways.

I know there are some legal issues when it comes to collecting rainwater, but I'm sure it could be done very discreetly. But lets not focus too much of the legality for this thread, just brainstorming Perhaps have some piping running around the edge of the roof (like gutters) to collect whatever would roll off and route it to the tank would be an efficient way to do this. Nothing else really comes to mind at the moment.

What are your thoughts and ideas on this?
Youtube it... There's some pretty cool ideas out there where they've made flaps/levers that flip after a certain amount of time to divert the dirt, debris, & Byrd shyte
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:41 AM   #3
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Kflowers plans to collect rainwater. I am considering it. I am also considering a pump for gathering water from rivers and creeks.

According to a number of rainwater collection calculators, the maximum amount of water one can realistically expect to collect from the surface area provided by a bus of ~40 feet in length is 100 gallons per inch of rain.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:46 AM   #4
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The only thing I'll say about this is be very conscious of local laws regarding rainwater collection... In many places it is still illegal, punishable by a steep fine. Up till the end of last year it was still illegal in Colorado with fines starting at 500 bucks. Their (silly) rational is that you're stealing water from farmers and owners to legal water rights by not allowing it to soak into the ground and not paying your water bill you dirty hippy...

That said, I will be harvesting rainwater to some extent myself...
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:57 AM   #5
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it is doable, in my thomas it even has a drip rail above the windows that would actually help this process. ive seen multiple youtube videos of it done. kinda crazy they make collecting rainwater illegal in places. they make it illegal to catch your own fish even in mn without a "license" thats some kinda bs...

now they wont let us eat or drink on our own....dont let the man keep you down. collect that water!
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:21 AM   #6
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My rain barrel is filling as we speak.

I rely on rainwater collection for my domestic water supply. Unfortunately I do not have a big enough tank or enough collection area to provide 100% and I still wind up hauling water sometimes during the Summer.

I am working on a larger collection area (roof) and larger tanks to see me through dry periods. If I could I would make it rain more

I only have an 800 gallon tank and about 500sq. ft. of roof for collection. Also, it only rains about 39 inches annually here.

While rainwater is generally safe for consumption critters can leave "presents" on your roof that will wind up in your water. I filter down to 0.5 micron in 3 stages then treat with UV.

Here in Washington it was illegal to collect ANY rainwater until they revised the law about 6-7 years ago. Now, within limits, residential collection is now allowed. Here is info on other states: Rainwater harvesting regulations state by state | Rain water harvesting and slow sand water filters

In a bus you are unlikely to have enough collection area to supply all of your water but you could certainly stretch the time between tank fills. Keep in mind that water that comes out of your fresh water tank may wind up in your grey tank and make accommodation for that.

If you are planning on drinking it plan on filtering it appropriately. Take a look at Motor Home RV Ultraviolet Water Filters And Purifiers

Good luck!!
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:22 AM   #7
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The govt wants you all to be drinking that flouride and chlorine as you pay your water bill.
Considering air pollution I'm wondering how clean the rain water is. I also wonder how difficult it would be to level your bus to get the gutters to drain where you want them to.
I live in Oregon and I'd get plenty of rain to fill water tanks easily. The weather almost constantly blows in from the ocean which should mean the rain is fairly clean for consumption. Even at that, there has been detectable radiation from Japan.
I'm for cool mountain spring water and I'm hoping to see lots of those roadside springs during my travels where I can collect water.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:56 AM   #8
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If you are planning on drinking it plan on filtering it appropriately.
This got me wondering how many people distill their drinking water instead of filtering it.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:27 AM   #9
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This got me wondering how many people distill their drinking water instead of filtering it.
I have never seen anyone distill collected rainwater. I have found mechanical filtration to be very adequate when dealing with rainwater.

If in the case of an emergency I had to pump water out of the creek I would treat it with calcium hypochlorite (pool shock) first and give it 24 hrs before use. See: How To Disinfect Water With Pool Shock | Drinking Water Solutions
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