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Old 01-09-2019, 05:30 PM   #1
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Hey Shorties: How Do You Carry Your Water?

I'm interested in how/where/in what people with short buses carry water, and how much they carry. Where are your tanks? If you're full-time in a cold climate, I'm assuming storing water outside the bus is not going to work, right? I imagine it will freeze.

I had a plan but it's all a mess because I underestimated the weight of water and how much space it takes up. I found a soft water "bladder" that, because it's soft, could more flexibly fit in a few different places, but the expensive ones seem ridiculous for what's essentially a bag, and the cheap ones don't come with nozzles and are not rated for potable. So I'm just exploring what options others have tried. I'm here to learn from your success and failures!
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:49 PM   #2
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don't have it yet, but

the plan in my short bus is 20 gallon maximum. I am think about those plastic water bottle you can fill at the grocery stores are are like ten gallons or so. Have three, one inside, two out side on a rear bumper rack.

the ones on the rear bumper will also act like a crash energy absorbers. I think the plastic bottles can deal with expansion during freezing, and if you are low, you can bring one in to heat.... but that would be like bringing in a giant ice cube to heat up and that would be even more you have to heat up.......hmmm another thing to ponder.

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Old 01-09-2019, 05:53 PM   #3
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Mine will be indoors. 30 gallons. Keeps it from getting too hot or freezing.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:02 PM   #4
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the plan in my short bus is 20 gallon maximum. I am think about those plastic water bottle you can fill at the grocery stores are are like ten gallons or so. Have three, one inside, two out side on a rear bumper rack.

the ones on the rear bumper will also act like a crash energy absorbers. I think the plastic bottles can deal with expansion during freezing, and if you are low, you can bring one in to heat.... but that would be like bringing in a giant ice cube to heat up and that would be even more you have to heat up.......hmmm another thing to ponder.

william
Hmmm..... Are you sure that they are not 5 gallons. a 10 gallon jug of water weighs 80lbs..... A bit unwieldy to carry out of the store.... 5 gallons is your standard water cooler bottle.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:02 PM   #5
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Indoor tank=40g. Getting ready for SP3 so I filled our 5g store bottle in case. We are staying 4 or 5 nights but water is easy in town. Shower every other day 2 ppl. Use about 10g per day.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:08 PM   #6
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Ours is a 35 gallon tank midshipped under the bed.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:21 PM   #7
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My "shortie" (22') has two, 30 gal fresh water tanks under the bed. a 40gal grey tank under the stove/oven and 27 gal black tank under the body at the rear of the bus. All of my water lines are inside the bus as is the on demand hot water heater. I'm rethinking things now after a near mishap over the Christmas holidays while we were camped near Death Valley. I'd figured I'd be OK with the water inside the bus staying above freezing but with a night down to 24 degrees F, and no heat in the bus, (wifey is afraid of propane heat) the water pipes showed 32.1 degrees in spite of being in the bus. Fortunately, nothing froze solid but I am looking at heat strips for the tanks and water lines. I wouldn't count on the plastic tanks saving you from freeze expansion.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:10 PM   #8
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My "shortie" (22') has two, 30 gal fresh water tanks under the bed. a 40gal grey tank under the stove/oven and 27 gal black tank under the body at the rear of the bus. All of my water lines are inside the bus as is the on demand hot water heater. [/QUOTE]

How big are these tanks? You bus is only 2 feet longer than mine, and unless it's a whole lot wider it's hard to picture how you fit 60 gallons under your bed, let alone the 40 gallon grey.

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I'm rethinking things now after a near mishap over the Christmas holidays while we were camped near Death Valley. I'd figured I'd be OK with the water inside the bus staying above freezing but with a night down to 24 degrees F, and no heat in the bus, (wifey is afraid of propane heat) the water pipes showed 32.1 degrees in spite of being in the bus. Fortunately, nothing froze solid but I am looking at heat strips for the tanks and water lines. I wouldn't count on the plastic tanks saving you from freeze expansion.
Jack
Check out our diesel heater thread, if you're going to do that cold camping thing maybe wifey would be cool with one of these. It vents outside, so no fumes.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f51/th...ead-25109.html
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
My "shortie" (22') has two, 30 gal fresh water tanks under the bed. a 40gal grey tank under the stove/oven and 27 gal black tank under the body at the rear of the bus. All of my water lines are inside the bus as is the on demand hot water heater. I'm rethinking things now after a near mishap over the Christmas holidays while we were camped near Death Valley. I'd figured I'd be OK with the water inside the bus staying above freezing but with a night down to 24 degrees F, and no heat in the bus, (wifey is afraid of propane heat) the water pipes showed 32.1 degrees in spite of being in the bus. Fortunately, nothing froze solid but I am looking at heat strips for the tanks and water lines. I wouldn't count on the plastic tanks saving you from freeze expansion.
Jack

Your post got me curious so I decided to do a test. I filled a 5 gal bucket with room temp water, covered it and set it out on the patio over night. Our low temp last night was 18 degrees and this morning there's only 1/8" of ice on the surface of the water. I'm going to leave the bucket outside for a few more days and see what happens. I'm particularly curious what happens to the bucket after the water freezes solid.

One caveat is that this is Michigan water which may be more resistant to freezing.


I could easily fit another 35 gal tank under our bed.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:16 AM   #10
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Your post got me curious so I decided to do a test. I filled a 5 gal bucket with room temp water, covered it and set it out on the patio over night. Our low temp last night was 18 degrees and this morning there's only 1/8" of ice on the surface of the water. I'm going to leave the bucket outside for a few more days and see what happens. I'm particularly curious what happens to the bucket after the water freezes solid.

One caveat is that this is Michigan water which may be more resistant to freezing.
I have a plastic bucket in my driveway full of water that's frozen solid. It's been out there for like a month. So far the bucket looks pretty normal.

LOL that Michigan water is special, I'm sure!
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:36 AM   #11
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I tested PEX pipe a few years back. Made a continuous loop of 3/4" pex and assembled it under water so there would be no air in the loop. After being out in well below freezing temps all night there was no damage to the PEX at all even though the water was frozen solid.

I read somewhere that what breaks copper pipe isn't the ice itself but the air pressure that builds up when the water expands as it turns into ice. I've read recommendations about letting faucets drip in a house that's in danger of freezing so the pressure can bleed off. I may test that theory out too (it's winter and I'm bored).

I suspect that ice damage in a flexible containment system may not be what we fear it to be, but I'll still drain my system each fall.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:45 AM   #12
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We're just getting our demo wrapped up, so I haven't done the installation yet, but our plan is to mount the tanks under the bus. Our plans don't involve spending much time in freezing weather, but I'll still be building in a drain so I can dump the whole system, if necessary. With the way our bus is structured, I think I should be able to get two 50 Gallon fresh water tanks shoved up between the cross members, above the frame rails and probably 30 Gallons for grey water. No black tank on our build, since we're going with a composting toilet.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:58 AM   #13
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We're just getting our demo wrapped up, so I haven't done the installation yet, but our plan is to mount the tanks under the bus. Our plans don't involve spending much time in freezing weather, but I'll still be building in a drain so I can dump the whole system, if necessary. With the way our bus is structured, I think I should be able to get two 50 Gallon fresh water tanks shoved up between the cross members, above the frame rails and probably 30 Gallons for grey water. No black tank on our build, since we're going with a composting toilet.
Do you have a plan drawn out? if so, would you mind posting it? Or if not, will you post photos once you do the install?
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:19 PM   #14
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I've read recommendations about letting faucets drip in a house that's in danger of freezing so the pressure can bleed off.
It's not a matter of pressure, i'ts the water moving slowly, preventing ice crystals from anchoring to the pipe walls. If it gets cold enough, even a drip won't be sufficient.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:37 PM   #15
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Firebuild, here's how.

.

The two tanks are connected to form an "L" which allows for some under bed storage (queen bed, slide out extended).


.

The stove is fastened to the top of the frame for the grey water tank.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:43 PM   #16
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Firebuild, here's how.

The two tanks are connected to form an "L" which allows for some under bed storage (queen bed, slide out extended).

The stove is fastened to the top of the frame for the grey water tank.
Jack
I see! What a great old bus. Unfortunately not a set up that would work for me with my murphy bed, but very cool.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:59 PM   #17
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Do you have a plan drawn out? if so, would you mind posting it? Or if not, will you post photos once you do the install?
I don't have any "plans" but I do have a schematic that I drew up. The hot water heater will be installed inside the bus and the 12V pump will be underneath the bus, with the feed panel on the drivers side of the bus.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:42 PM   #18
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Regarding PEX and freezing....

I plumbed my last bus with PEX and spent way to much time in freezing weather.

I had PEX pipes freeze many times and only had it burst and flood the bus once.... PEX is much more tolerant to freezing than copper but not bulletproof.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:03 PM   #19
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I don't have any "plans" but I do have a schematic that I drew up. The hot water heater will be installed inside the bus and the 12V pump will be underneath the bus, with the feed panel on the drivers side of the bus.
Thanks for this! I'm still trying to figure things out.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:04 PM   #20
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Regarding PEX and freezing....

I plumbed my last bus with PEX and spent way to much time in freezing weather.

I had PEX pipes freeze many times and only had it burst and flood the bus once.... PEX is much more tolerant to freezing than copper but not bulletproof.
Good to know. I guess nothing is completely impervious to freezing.
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