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Old 03-24-2020, 03:07 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 52
Year: 1991
Chassis: Wayne Lifeguard
Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 23,600 lb
DIY Fuel Tank

Hi all,
Currently I have two fuel tanks, a 35 gallon and a 20 gallon with an electrical selector valve. The valve has not been reliable and it's annoying having to fill two tanks. I'd like to go to a single, 70-100 gallon tank.

I'd prefer to buy a used, professionally built tank, but I've found it hard to find a rectangular tank that fits my space efficiently. The space I have available under the floor is 58" long by 26" wide.

I have the facilities, tools, and skills to build my own tank but I'm wondering about the rules regulating tanks on RVs. Does anyone know what's allowed or have resources to how DIY tanks can be built?

Any ideas about DIY tanks or resources for commercially available tanks?

I'm in Arizona, if that makes a difference.
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:12 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: chevy
Engine: 3116 catapillar
Rated Cap: formerly 71 now 2 or 4
call your local dot and speak to a truck inspector i wont do anything like that
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:04 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Motor City
Posts: 125
I had a 1977 Ford based class C motorhome. It had a fabricated rectangular box for a fuel tank. So at least 40 years ago, manufacturers could do that.

That said, I think I'd be looking at a 55 gallon tank from a recent Ford cutaway, or a 75/80 gallon one from a Class A Ford motorhome. The Class A one is probably too big though, it's around 63.5" x 27" x 14". It has about 25 gallons of vapor space though, a bit more than the 10% DOT requires for diesel tanks. The 55 gallon one is smaller than the Class A. It's 36.25" x 31.75" x 16.75". Sure 26" is all you have? Going between the frame rails? Aren't they like 34" wide?
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:15 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 52
Year: 1991
Chassis: Wayne Lifeguard
Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 23,600 lb
Quote:
Originally Posted by ennonne View Post
I had a 1977 Ford based class C motorhome. It had a fabricated rectangular box for a fuel tank. So at least 40 years ago, manufacturers could do that.
That's what I was thinking, too. I've seen older RVs with straight up shop-made rectangular tanks, hence my consideration of building one myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ennonne View Post
Sure 26" is all you have? Going between the frame rails?
This will be going on the side of the frame rails between the rear wheels and the stairwell. The gross available space is 64" long by 30" wide with a maximum height of 22" (although I'd like to keep it under 16" tall for clearance and looks).

I can find plenty of truck fuel tanks that fit the length but they're typically cylindrical and are too big in diameter. Rectangular is what I need, for sure.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:42 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Location: mid Mo.
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Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
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most boats have rectangular tanks, find one!
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:20 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Might be worth a call to Arizona RV Salvage in Glendale/Phoenix. They might have something.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:22 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Year: 1991
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Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 23,600 lb
Thanks, all! I hope you're staying safe and sound out there.
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:57 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
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this one might do you

new,,,,,,here is a link

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...4191673273160/


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Old 04-08-2020, 04:55 PM   #9
Almost There
 
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AAA Bus Sales in Phoenix has all sorts of used bus parts. If he doesn't have one, I'm sure he can get you one.
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Old 04-08-2020, 08:54 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Chassis: Wayne Lifeguard
Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 23,600 lb
Thanks! I’ll give them a ring!
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Old 04-08-2020, 11:39 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Just put a crossover line. So that both tanks are connected at the lowest point. Secure the cross overline so it doesn’t get ripped off if you hit a pile
Of trash in the road.
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Old 04-09-2020, 02:00 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 52
Year: 1991
Chassis: Wayne Lifeguard
Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 23,600 lb
Interesting idea but the tanks are at different heights and a crossover line would end up overfilling the lower tank.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:52 AM   #13
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em bothh

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzironaZack View Post
Interesting idea but the tanks are at different heights and a crossover line would end up overfilling the lower tank.
Seal up or remove and seal up the lower tank's filler tube.


Put in the cross-over tube and draw fuel only from the lower tank.


Fill them both from the higher tank.
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Old 04-10-2020, 10:54 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 52
Year: 1991
Chassis: Wayne Lifeguard
Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 23,600 lb
Seems to me that a crossover system would introduce a couple of dangerous conditions. If you fill the lower tank from the upper how do you leave 10% headroom in the lower tank? When the lower gets to 100% full the fuel would start spilling out of the tank vent. Also, a small crossover tube would take ages for the lower tank to fill from the upper when fueling up, but a big one would be scary easy to dump all the fuel with in the event of damage. Lastly, hasnít gravity feed been against the rules for a long time?

A single tank is the simplest way to go, Iím thinking.

I appreciate the ideas! Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2020, 01:02 PM   #15
Almost There
 
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Single tank. Make it easy on yourself.
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Old 04-10-2020, 01:29 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
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Rated Cap: formerly 71 now 2 or 4
crossover lines along with bottom feed are no longer allowed. too many got hit and broke off so the fed dot outlawed them. suction tubes are your only choice as for fuel supply. if you want a second tank you must use a duel draw/return or install a pump to pump it to your feed tank. if you use a duel draw the tanks must be the same height
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:29 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 52
Year: 1991
Chassis: Wayne Lifeguard
Engine: 7.3L IDI
Rated Cap: 23,600 lb
So I found a couple suitable, factory made fuel tanks. One is 75 gallon and the other 100, so either one is a good upgrade.

One question remains: is it okay to put a side mount tank BEHIND the rear axle? The NFPA is explicit about the rules for propane tanks behind the rear axle but I’m having trouble finding definitive answers regarding a main engine fuel tank.
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