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Old 10-07-2020, 12:02 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 296
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Shuttle Bus Graywater Tank Design Ideas

My '99 Thor E450 graywater tank design is two 20 gallon graywater tanks mounted underfloor on the driver's side on the outboard side of the frame, aft of the driver's seat. As most people know, a shuttle bus is much lower to the ground than a school bus.

It was a huge challenge getting the forward tank in, really the worst job so far on the conversion project.

The tanks are 12x12x32, and will be connected together at the top and bottom so that graywater can equalize between them. I've installed the forward tank, and prepped the aft tank space, which is a little more spacious and won't be as difficult.

I probably should have asked this question earlier, but how have others solved their shuttlebus graywater storage challenge? I'm happy with my design but boy, what work. Is there a smarter way?

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Old 10-07-2020, 06:09 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: NorCal
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
I don't have a shuttle bus, but I did the same thing as you with both grey and fresh. The biggest thing I wish I would've done differently is made it easier to inspect/access/replace the nuts/washers holding it up on the inside. Otherwise it works great.
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:53 PM   #3
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Year: 1999
What made it difficult? Haven't put my tanks in yet.
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:07 PM   #4
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Year: 1999
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Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
What made it difficult? Haven't put my tanks in yet.
The fore tank is right next to the condensor, leaving basically no spare room to mount it. I hung it in a sheet metal frame supported by galvanized straps wrapping galvanized angle iron, bolted into square stock through the bus floor ribs.

I had to loosen and shift the condensor about a quarter inch to the outboard, and I relocated some of the condensor fan wiring so it didn't interfere with the sheet metal enclosure.

The whole bus has a little more than a foot of clearance from the ground so I was working in an incredibly tight and uncomfortable position for most of the installation.

There is six inches between the fore and aft tanks. I ended up cutting an access panel through the bus floor to complete the ABS plumbing between the tanks.

I'm just now finishing the enclosure for the aft tank so I can install it. I removed the skirt brace (it braces the the bottom edge of the fiberglass body) and removed the ground strap, then cut and ground down all bolts that penetrated into the space so they wouldn't abrade the plastic tank or dimple the sheet metal. The aft tank is clear of the condensor so there's a little more room to maneuver.

All this work is upside down with a constant shower of twenty years of road grime.

Like Argobus, I will dread having to remove them for any reason. That's why I'm trying to do the best possible install job.
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Old 10-07-2020, 10:26 PM   #5
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Ah, so you kept the condensors. My worst job so far has been removing the a/c hoses, because as you say, touch anything and it rains down road grime onto you.
I would have liked to pressure wash under there before messing around, but as its not mobile, I could not do it where it sits. Yours still runs, so might take it to car wash or something, or come by my shop and use my pressure washer in the parking lot.
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:12 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Wild Wild West
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins MD3060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Ah, so you kept the condensors. My worst job so far has been removing the a/c hoses, because as you say, touch anything and it rains down road grime onto you.
I would have liked to pressure wash under there before messing around, but as its not mobile, I could not do it where it sits. Yours still runs, so might take it to car wash or something, or come by my shop and use my pressure washer in the parking lot.
A trick I learned from an off road racing buddy of mine might work for you. Put a sprinkler underneath the area that needs cleaning. Leave it there over night, or longer if needed. It'll soak and loosen, then wash most of the crap out of the way. This works so well he built a little undercarriage wash station next to his shop. He leaves the sprinklers on the truck at least 24 hours after each race. Always has a nice clean undercarriage to work on.
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Old 10-09-2020, 07:59 AM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE WI
Posts: 72
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
Our gray water tank is mounted in the back, behind the fuel tank and between the frame rails. It is a 42 gallon tank. We mounted it centrally because we have shower on driver's side, and kitchen sink on passenger side. We did NOT have to route our drain pipes over or across the driveshaft or exhaust area. I welded up a frame for the tank, and it bolts to Uni-strut on the underside of the shuttle framing in the back.

Pics of the framing, tank mounted underneath, tank inlets on top, and the tank drain.

Steve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gray water tank frame 1.jpg (56.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg gray water tank frame 2.jpg (97.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Gray water tank mounted.jpg (253.5 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg gray tank inlets.jpg (143.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Gray water tank drain.jpg (201.5 KB, 5 views)
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:44 AM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
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Year: 1999
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that is a beautiful install. Is that in place of the spare?
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Old 10-09-2020, 04:26 PM   #9
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: 7.3
That's quite possible. There was never a spare on this bus anywhere.

Steve
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