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Old 10-05-2015, 10:30 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Custom water tanks?

So I think I know what I am doing here but I figured I'd ask? I would personally rather fit my water tanks to the bus than build around them. I am looking at raising the floor of my bus up to the seat rail to accommodate some things.
One of those things being keeping the water tanks inside the bus where they will be in the climate control. My first thought was to find plastic tanks. Nothing I have found either fits my needs or falls in my budget. My new thought is Plywood...
I did some research a while back on plywood fish tanks. Basically what you do is frame the outside like you would a wall, line the inside with plywood, then fiberglass the plywood to make them water tight.
Other than sacrificing a bit of real estate for wall thickness I think this may be the best option for my budget. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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Personally, wood tanks sound pretty scary. Fine in a house...that is sitting still...but buses flex and vibrate constantly. It may be possible to frame something up that could withstand traveling rough roads and the huge inertial forces water creates by simply starting & stopping...but...the potential consequences of even a relatively minor failure would steer me in a proven direction (welded metal or plastic).

Just my dos centavos pardner.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:36 PM   #3
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I don't know.. I guess it depends on the ratio of wood to fiberglass? Make the 'glass thick enough and it'll probably do just fine! But don't ask me what "thick enough" looks like; I've no idea..

Have you looked through the Inca Plastics catalog? You can tell they're in the business of making tanks, not web sites and sales materials, but if you can get past that they have quite a variety of options. I bought several tanks from them for my bus. It worked out particularly well because I "needed" to make a trip to the southern California area and they weren't too far out of the way to stop by their factory and pick up the tanks, saving the shipping cost.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:56 PM   #4
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I have thought about the strength while driving. My solution there would be to build the tank with baffles. there is also the option of a steel frame as structure with a wood/fiberglass lining. I'm leaning this route in effort to save money on materials where plastic is outside my abilities to do myself and assuming the metal option is stainless that is way outside my budget. I guess I like the steel frame idea too because I can do the frame a lower profile to gain more volume.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:38 PM   #5
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This topic comes up on this site a few times a year.

I would never use a plywood tank in a mobile vehicle.

Plastic tanks are made in every size and any size. They can also be custom ordered.

You won't build a plywood / fiberglass tank for what the plastic ones cost. Plastic will always win cost wise and durability.

Nat
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
This topic comes up on this site a few times a year.

I would never use a plywood tank in a mobile vehicle.

Plastic tanks are made in every size and any size. They can also be custom ordered.

You won't build a plywood / fiberglass tank for what the plastic ones cost. Plastic will always win cost wise and durability.

Nat
Mind sharing a source? Because the plastic tanks that I'm finding anywhere are not the right size and the ones in a similar volume are over $1k each...
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:01 PM   #7
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Well.. I guess you didn't really indicate any particular volume; I just assumed 40-50 gallons per tank. IIRC mine are 42 gallon and cost around US$180 each.

On a related note, it might be more fair to compare plastic to fiberglass and ignore the cost of the plywood. Ameri-Kart recommends their plastic fresh water tanks be boxed in with plywood for reinforcement. That might not be so different from the plywood box one would line with fiberglass.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioscience10 View Post
Mind sharing a source? Because the plastic tanks that I'm finding anywhere are not the right size and the ones in a similar volume are over $1k each...
I'm thinking I'll end up getting a tank from here. Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up from their shop and save on shipping. They've got nearly 350 standard RV potable tank sizes. The best values (in $/gal) are the 150 gallon and 60 gallon tanks. 40.25" x 32.5" x 28.5" and 32" x 23.75" x 20.5" respectively. 150 gallon is $360. 60 gallon is $153.

Take a look at their website and see if they've got a standard offering that'll fit. Even if it's not quite the dimensions you wanted, it'll be a lot easier and more durable than trying to build a water tank out of wood. Unless it's an outrageously large tank, I'd be willing to bet a custom size would be less than $1,000.

RV Water Tanks | RV Fresh Water Tanks | RV Potable Water Tanks
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #9
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I found these guys to have a large selection of tanks and better pricing
than Plastic Mart. It's Custom- Roto Molding Custom Rotational Molding Products Plastic RV Tanks, Water Storage Tanks, Marine Fuel Tanks Custom Plastic Molding and Repair - Custom Roto Molding
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:29 PM   #10
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Just for the record...Black ABS tanks don't make the water taste like plastic and are naturally anti mold/fungal. They can also be fitted or repaired more easily than the white poly which cannot be glued successfully. Harder to find but make a world of difference in the water quality on the fresh water side.

I've found the blackwater side tastes funny no matter what it is in.
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