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Old 06-01-2019, 03:59 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Water & Batteries... in front of wheel wells or behind?

Planning our conversion & trying to determine an ideal location for the heavy stuff.

At present, it looks like we should be able to put the batteries on one side of the bus, and our fresh/grey water tank on the other. Both will weigh close to the same (when full of water), so side-to-side weight distribution should be gtg.

If I placed these two items on either side, what would be the best lengthwise orientation... directly behind the rear wheel-wells, or directly in front of them? (those are the two options I think I'll have). And why?

FYI - dognose bus. 6 windows min to 8 windows max.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:40 PM   #2
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Glad to see you are considering weight distribution. To come up with the best arrangement you'll need to know the empty weight on both the left side, right side and front and rear axles. You will want to know max allowable weight on front and rear axles and not exceed them. Any weight you put behind the rear axle (or in front of the front axle) will be carried by those respective axles and will have a lever arm effect on the opposite axle--think sissy bars to help keep the front wheels of a dragster on the ground. With that info at hand you will be able to design and build a very practical and safe Skoolie.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:59 PM   #3
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Thanks so much, Trunt!


Do you (or anyone else) know if truck weigh stations will allow you to use their scales to determine these figures (aside from the max-weight specs which I already know).



I can do the math to figure out approximately how much weight will be carried by either axle depending on the fore-aft location of these components. But what I don't know is what a good weight distribution between front & rear axle would be. 50/50? 40/60? More? I'd think you'd want to bias the rear a bit for traction, but it's the actual amount I have no clue about.



Love your ride, BTW
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:13 AM   #4
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Look into truck fuel stations ... the QT's, Pilot's, Fuel City's, etc.


So far I have not found one that measures left and right just front and rear axles.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:09 AM   #5
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Personally I would not put them behind the wheel wells unless youíre planning on protecting them from road debris. Since youíll be continually transferring freshwater to gray water the weight distribution from side to side would be very tricky. If possible hanging them from the frame in the center of the bus between the axles would be ideal. 1 gallon of water weighs 8 pounds 100 gallons would be 800 pounds. With that kind of weight you would want it in the center of your bus which would also help with the way the bus rides down the road.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:17 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info, Native. We'll do that!

Solvo, our tentative plan is to house the fresh water tank inside, and the grey water tank directly below it outside. We won't have a black tank (compositing toilet), so the majority of our water weight, sans what's lost to drinking, will be in the same location. The batteries on the other side of the bus would be the balance.

Alternatively, I'm considering 2 fresh water tanks on opposite sides of the bus (inside), with a single greywater centered between the frame rails. In that case I need to balance the battery bank on its own.

I hadn't thought about road debris concerning the grey water tank, so good call there! I did plan on welding up a protective cage/mount, so I'll make sure it incorporates that protection if necessary.

Anticipating a short(er) bus, though not sure yet, so space is at a premium. So far, unfortunately, I've found it very difficult to find a place for fresh water forward of the rear axle. I'll keep looking. But if I do have to put it behind the rear wheel-wells, it will be right behind them, with tall tank rather than long & flat to keep the weight as close to the axle as possible.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:27 AM   #7
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THB, I've found all sorts of useful info at this site: GM UPFITTER - Body Builder Manuals. While it is specifically aimed at GM stuff, you'll find lots of transferable facts about weight distribution for medium duty (under 26,000#) trucks. Just choose a model year and search the General information table of contents for weights etc.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:55 AM   #8
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Sweet Jack. Muchas Gracias.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
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Don't know from whence it hailed; but the seller of my rig included a fresh-H2O tank, maybe 25-30 gallon, that is sized to fit snugly right up behind the start battery box...
Yet to install, so if yas need a snapshot, give with a holla.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:49 AM   #10
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Thanks so much, Matt. But won't be necessary. Think we've got things tentatively figured out (fingers crossed).

With a bit of concession regarding our target floor plan, it looks like we can get the bulk of the vehicle weight - discounting the powertrain & shell - evenly balanced in regards to the rear axle. In our new plan, I'm putting the battery bank directly over the rear axle, the water tanks directly behind it, and most of the other heavy items spread out in front of it. Taking into account just about every item besides the engine, powertrain, and shell, I've got 2/5 of the mass behind the rear axle, 2/5 in front of it, and 1/5 directly over it. And what is behind the axle - mostly the water - is something we have the option of reducing significantly during long over-the-road stints to either improve ride quality/traction/road-holding and/or improve mileage.

Plus - side-to-side - I've got us down to <50# difference. Pretty much took all weekend to figure this stuff out, but I'm feeling pretty good about our plan at the moment. We'll see how it translates to real life soon (lol).
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