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Old 05-24-2020, 11:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 4
Plumbing set up - tanks or no tanks?

Has anyone opted to not have a freshwater tank/greywater tank? For my setup, I plan on having a composting toilet so no need for a black tank. However, installing a complete plumbing system on my bus seems extremely daunting - I have no experience with plumbing whatsoever and every video I find has a different setup based on that person’s needs. I am not very confident in my ability to make the entire system leak proof and can repurpose/reassign that space in my design for more storage/something that better fits my needs.

I am fortunate enough to have an immediate spot with a water line to park my bus once it’s done/livable - on my parents property. I also have the luxury of not needing to dump greywater somewhere - the property is big enough to run drainage lines different ways to drain straght into the ground or water some plants (I made the transition long ago and already use all biodegradable/eco friendly hygeine and cleaning products).

So I’m wondering, would it be foolish of me to not install fresh and gray water tanks? I should add, I don’t plan on traveling a lot in this and when I do, I don’t plan on going to extremely remote places where there isn’t at least a campsite or a gym around. Should I try with smaller tanks so I can at least cook/clean some dishes if I’m on the road? Or is there another way I can go that doesn’t involve running pipes all over the place? (I also have no welding experience/no access to anyone who does to mount tanks up under the bus. I am a bit of a loss and there’s so much information on so many different ways to do this. I am confident in the rest of my skills (designing/building out the interior, I can more than likely figure out a solar system as electrical is pretty straightforward from what I’ve seen).

Lastly, if I decide to go with no tanks, I would assume that I would need to route the shore water connection through to the water heater to have hot water, correct?

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Old 05-24-2020, 11:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
I've been using two 5-gallon water cans for the last year. It works decent enough - I can cook and wash dishes just fine. I can't bathe of course.

Tomorrow, I'm installing plumbing.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:34 AM   #3
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Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,307
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
I am planning on a similar setup (parking at a house from which I'll get water and electricity) but I'm still putting in a gray tank. I'm not sure if my spot will have a sewage outlet nearby, so the gray tank is if I have to drive somewhere to dump (I'll also have a DIY human-litter box so no black tank to worry about). I think the scenario of access to shore water but nowhere to dump it will be common enough that it's worth building in the capacity to handle it.

You could deal with it with a portable tank like one of these:

Initially I'm not going to put in a freshwater tank or pump, but I'll leave space to install that later.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:45 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: MONTANA
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: AMTRAM
Chassis: INT
Engine: DT466
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Being scared of installing plumbing is no valid reason not to have running water. Even more so if you have access to running water.

Plumbing is so very easy, it's a 1/2 tube and some push connections (shark bite) and maybe a few screw on fitting with some teflon tape. If you can run a saw/drill and build anything with wood you can handle plumbing.

Yes a tank would be a waste if you plan on living next to a water source all the time. Yes you would want to connect your water heater to the cold water line coming from shore water and then your hot starts at the out put of the heater.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bigskypc50 View Post
Being scared of installing plumbing is no valid reason not to have running water. Even more so if you have access to running water.
Agreed. Plumbing is not hard. If you are planning on having water hooked up to a water heater and a way to get the hot out of that heater, you will learn enough about running water lines to add full plumbing to the build. Watering plants is great, but if you get caught dumping anything from your bus to the ground or sewer drains like Cousin Eddy, you most definitely will be fined, even if it's in your own yard. Tree huggers don't take kindly to anyone but themselves polluting Mother Earth.
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