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Old 02-26-2019, 12:32 AM   #1
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IBC Totes for Holding Tanks?

As I continue to push forward with work on the Prevost, I am becoming more and more familiar with the bus. I've told many people here that it was never my plan to buy a Prevost. My goal was a Blue Bird but this Prevost just happened and so, I went with it.

As is the case with coaches of this level, I've got four huge under floor bays to use for my holding tanks, genset, golf cart, Lamborghini, etc. I've been pricing holding tanks that will fit one bay and OMG, they're expensive. I just don't have those kinds of coins right now.

I've also been reading about BLM land out west which is similar to what we have here at Land Between the Lakes. We can boondock as much as we want and can stay up to 14 days in a row before we have to change sites. At LBL, we do need to buy a camping permit that's good for one year, but other than that, it's about the same. To take advantage of that, I would need to carry in as much water as I could hold and then carry it back out again as I plan to do a LOT of dry camping. (My coach will not have a black water tank because I've already decided in favor of a composting system.)

Rather than estimate how much water I would need to stay for a given length of time, I decided to measure how much space I have in one bay and then see what I could get to fit. All my bays are the same size and there are four of them that extend the entire width of the bus. They are 48" x 48" x 96". This is a whopping 128 cubic feet per bay. Of course, I would have to divide this at about the halfway mark so that I could use the same bay for both fresh water storage and grey water holding. I'm thinking in terms of two IBC totes side by side. So, here are my questions:

When the sellers of these things on C'list advertise them, they give the measurements. It will be a really tight fit. But I'm wondering if the measurments include those cages that the totes come in? Does anyone know?

I've already found an adaptor on Amazon that will allow me to easily fill the fresh water tank. But I have not yet figured how to dump the grey tank properly. Any ideas or anyone with experience?

The IBC totes claim that they hold a huge 225 gallons of liquids. That should allow me to spend several weeks at LBL or a couple of days at Burning Man. LOL
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:48 AM   #2
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I believe the measurements do include the pallet cage. This 330ga. Tote is 48x40x53. If you subtract the 4" pallet and the 1" tube on top it should slide right into you bay.
https://www.uline.com/BL_173/IBC-Tan...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:51 AM   #3
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Yes, I think you're right. If I could take the tank out of the pallet cage altogether, I would only need to worry about how to plumb it in. ...well that and to keep it from sliding around.

Thank you for that link, btw.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:53 AM   #4
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The tank is not strong enough on it's own, so it does need the cage or some other support. The common size around here is 275 gallon. I will measure one of mine later today.

Most have an 1.5 inch valve on the side at the bottom for empting. Some are cam lock and some are pipe thread.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:12 AM   #5
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Howdy WoodenYouKnowIt,

Everything is more expensive with a coach - embrace it!!!

If you go with the totes for your tanks, be aware that there is a "food grade" tote available (for your fresh water tank) so you don't have to worry too much about what crazy chemicals you might be leaching into your body.

I have 150 gallons fresh water. As a solo guy, I can get a maximum of six weeks of boondocking on it. Yeah, that takes some conservation/effort.

I don't know what ratio the RV manufacturers use (as a rule of thumb) for fresh to grey tank size but it is somewhat interesting to me that my 150 gallons of fresh will fit into a 105 gallon combined black/grey tank. I drink/cook with water from my fresh tank (which means I make efforts to keep that water clean).
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
The tank is not strong enough on it's own, so it does need the cage or some other support.
I thought of that. But I was thinking that the tightness of the fit in the bay would mean that the bus's framework could compensate for the lack of the frame. Or maybe I could cut the frame down and use just a part of it.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodenYouKnowIt View Post
I thought of that. But I was thinking that the tightness of the fit in the bay would mean that the bus's framework could compensate for the lack of the frame. Or maybe I could cut the frame down and use just a part of it.
I was going to say, cut the bottom pallet off and the top bar if it is in the way. Or fab a cage around the tank inside the space. Plumb everything through the side.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:07 PM   #8
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I used IBC totes for water and waste when I lived out in the woods and had no utility hook ups.

They worked fine. My fresh water tank came from a commercial bakery. It had some kind of food product in it. Still gave it a thorough cleaning.


Keep in mind that a 275 gallons of water weighs 2200 pounds.

Typically you would start with an empty waste tank and a full fresh tank. Then as you draw the fresh water down you fill the waste. But..... When I was on the road full time I found myself in the circumstance where my waste tank was empty and waste tank was full and I had access to water to fill the fresh but no place to dump. I wound up with both tanks near full until I found a dump.

It looks like the totes will fit. We know that they stand up to being trucked, full, cross country. I don't see any reason not to use them as long as you mind the weight.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Or fab a cage around the tank inside the space. Plumb everything through the side.
That's what I was thinking. The Prevost, afterall, already has a bridge truss like chassis. It is absolutely as strong as it can be!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Keep in mind that a 275 gallons of water weighs 2200 pounds.
I thought of that too. I got to thinking that I should probably put one tank in the third bay from the back and the other tank in the fourth bay. Keeping both tanks on the Prevost's centerline should mean that the handling of the bus will not be upset the way it might if I were to put the two tanks side by side.

Steve, that getting caught with both tanks full is exactly the sort of problem that would happen to me. LOL Funny stuff.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:28 PM   #10
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Sounds like you have a good plan.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:55 PM   #11
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Here is what my 275 gallon totes measure 46" tall, 39" x 48" width and length

This included cage and pallet
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:43 PM   #12
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Cut the cage off the tank. Figure out your extra room and slide a piece of foam board insulation under the tank for insulation and rubbing.
After plumbing in? (Look into BULKHEAD FITTINGS) use ridgid board insulation down the sides and top to make a tight fit for extra tank structure,insulation on cold days,nights and to keep the plastic from rubbing.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:49 AM   #13
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Problem with these tanks is sloshing while underway. You will notice it while driving and it will stress the tanks over time. You really need baffles when going over a 100 gallons even less if its a smaller bus. I wasn't happy with what I found in the market so I fabbed my own. Biggest issue with totes is the Poly they use is not weldable so you cannot add baffles to them. Also with whatever you get I suggest using armorflex sheets to insulate. Bit pricey but it works better than board insulation and glues right to the tank. I decked that luggage area with 3/4 ply to spread the loads on the structure.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:29 AM   #14
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For the greywater tank you dont need food grade.. might save you $100
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:36 AM   #15
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How much ground clearance does your Provost have? They look a bit lower to the ground - might be an issue with your boondocking?
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:04 PM   #16
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One of the coolest features of my Prevost - actually ANY Prevost - is that it has a switch on the air panel labeled "High Buoy." If I flip that switch, the entire bus raises up 4". This is supposed to help me with those curbs and bumps that would otherwise get hung up.

By the same token, I have another switch labeled "Low Buoy" which allows me to lower the bus by 4". This let's me skinny in under a bridge or overpass that is just enough too low that I couldn't get under otherwise.

Then there is the "Kneel" switch which only lowers the front of the bus so that disabled passengers can more easily get on board. My 87 year old mom LOVES that feature.

The final switch on that panel raises and lowers the tag axle. By raising the tag axle, I can make much tighter turns on parking lots and such and I don't scrub the tread sideways

This is a fantastic bus.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
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For the greywater tank you dont need food grade.. might save you $100
Actually, I've decided to build my own tanks from fiberglass. I've got excellent fabrication skills and enough experience with fiberglass that I can build one that will be strong and will fit perfectly. I've got it figured for my fresh water tank to hold around 400 gallons and my grey water to hold 200 to 300 gallons. That should let me boondock for a couple of months. LOL One thing that is really important to me right now is that I want to be able to take long, hot showers without worry of running out. It's just a luxury that I want badly.

I figure a 400 gallon fresh tank that is full will weigh around 3200lbs. That's doable. I can build my own baffles into it as I go and that will cure the sloshing probs. I don't think i will really need more than 200 gallons in the grey tank because a lot of my fresh water will go to the outside shower as well as for cooking and drinking. Plus, a grey tank is easy to empty.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:44 PM   #18
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I've relabeled my low/high ride switches (also 4" each direction) to "Bonneville" and "Rock Crawling" modes.

In 'crawling mode, these coaches will go over some pretty impressive terrain. Of course, keeping height, turn radius, and weight in mind is important. As is an understanding of the problems that the tag can cause in that environment.
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