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Old 10-23-2016, 02:17 PM   #1
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Fresh Gray Black tanks

So it looks like 24" wide tanks fit on the out side of the frame rails. Is there a place that every one gets there tanks from. I searched here for it and didn't come up with an answer.

Who to buy tanks from?

What is a standard tank sizes and I assume its based on people aboard?

Are tanks all the same material?

Are fresh water tanks black to keep things from growing in them?

I have no room inside so all my yanks will go under the bus. I have no intention of going any where cold and if i do I'll winterize by draining the system.
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:14 PM   #2
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You're gonna pay out the ass for tanks if you buy them new.... and you better count on paying a hefty shipping cost as well. Most places for a 100 gallon or better tank it's upwards of $400, then another $150-200 to ship it.

The cheapest place I've found for tanks is a place called RV & Van Surplus. They have a 100 gallon tank for 160 bucks, but you're still gonna pay well over 100 for shipping. If you live close to there (Elkhart IN) you can go to their warehouse and pick them up and save the shipping cost. That's what I'm gonna do when I get ready for my tanks.

The tanks have four fittings already in place: one 1 1/4" boss fitting for fill hose, and three 3/8" NPT female fittings for vent, drain and output. I will have to have one of them redone for a 1/2" fitting so I can install a 1/2 to 3/4 PEX adapter (the ID is almost identical); the 3/8" for drain and vent will be sufficient.

Be advised though that the 100 gallon tank has to be shipped in so they will need a 5 day lead time to get it. Don't know if the other tank sizes work the same as I was only inquiring about 100 gallon. One other thing, if you're doing local pickup you will need to PHONE in the order as the online cart automatically adds shipping.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:13 PM   #3
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Check Craigslist 2 to 3 times a day for people parting out RV's, That's where I got a 100gal. Fresh tank & two 24.5 gal propane tanks for under $200.00. For grey tank I'm using a 100gal fuel tank I got from a bus going to the crusher & black is another 100gal fuel tank I cut in half .
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:25 PM   #4
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See I don't manage to make finds like that.... I wish I could, seems no one around here has RVs they're parting out, that I can find.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:30 PM   #5
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See I don't manage to make finds like that.... I wish I could, seems no one around here has RVs they're parting out, that I can find.
You just have to constantly keep going back & checking, then one day bang it's there.
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Old 10-23-2016, 06:31 PM   #6
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That works, IF you have the time to wait for that deal to show up. When you need it RIGHT NOW, you have to get it where you can. I haven't worried about tanks up to now but very soon I'm gonna need them.... but other things I've had to order as new because I need them right now and I need them to work (my bus is my home, I've explained all of that in another thread so not gonna rehash it here).
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:33 AM   #7
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I never thought about used I may just buy a donor trailer. Has any one tried the plastic 55 gallon drums. I think there 24" across with two large bungs. Bolting a toilet flange to the side of one should be easy. I use them all the time they run ten or twenty dollars at the local car wash. There soap comes in them.
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:09 AM   #8
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The trick with the 55 gallon drums would be getting them hung from the bottom of the bus... since they're round rather than square, giving them adequate support could be an issue.

If someone has done this could you post pictures showing how you did it? And how well it's working out?
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:01 AM   #9
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I think I would just build a steel rectangular box that the barrel would slide into. Similar to if it were a standard water tank. Just add a couple pieces of steel across the bottom spaced a few inches apart to catch the barrel the side of the box frame should stop the barrel from side to side movement. Then Mabey it could be as simple as a couple ratchet straps around the barrrel and the two pieces of steel on the bottom holding the tank up. I can see a desiign here where the two steel runners are bolted in so the tank is easily removable or if there is enough room in front or behind the tank it would slide out of the mount. Even after write ing this I can see on my bus where I'm sure you could bolt to the frame holes and come over and attach to the steel coming down the outside of the bus with the steel sheeting. Looks like 3/4" square tube? Any how run a brace across to the frame at two places. Front and rear of barrel. Then you could weld in two runners 6" apart between them to let the barrel rest in like I said before. Then use ratchet straps to secure the tank. Nice even pull all around that round tank pulling evenly for the most part should very strong. The psi on the mount spread the length of the barrel will be very low. Then a full barrel weightbif say 500lvs means a mount at 4 points is only a 125lbs which is almost nothing.

That's s lot of poo if it fits in there on my bus between the frame and skirt. Two water tanks hooked together. One gray one black? How many poo's to fill a 55 gallon drum?
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:03 AM   #10
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I never thought about used I may just buy a donor trailer. Has any one tried the plastic 55 gallon drums. I think there 24" across with two large bungs. Bolting a toilet flange to the side of one should be easy. I use them all the time they run ten or twenty dollars at the local car wash. There soap comes in them.


http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/sojourner-8810.html

Jump to page 17 to see how he hung the barrels.

A lot of really great stuff in that build.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:34 PM   #11
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Those brackets to the frame are perfect. I'm doing it that way. thanks for the visual. After seeing that i would never buy an expensive tank. And there is nothing as cheap as galvanizing when it comes to coatings and nothing as good. Ive done a lot of that for salt water applications and always happy.

Question?

Those you out boondocking for a couple weeks.

50 black
50 grey
200 fresh

Does this seem like a real number set. I don't plan on driving on full tanks but filling when i get very close to my location.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:35 PM   #12
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I think the rule of thumb is about 3:1 split grey vs black with total being at least equal to fresh water.

If you're in an RV park with sewer hookup then it doesn't matter, but when boondocking your waste capacity needs to be at least equal to your fresh water capacity... so if you're doing 200 fresh then up your grey to 150, your black is fine at 50... I think everyone would have to have major diarrhea the whole time to fill up a 50 gallon black tank in two weeks.

Something else you might think about.... something I was actually going to do until I decided to go with a composting toilet thus eliminating the black tank.... plumb a line from your grey tank into the top of your black tank at the end opposite the dump valve, with a pump inline... tap into the grey tank about 1/3 of the way up so you don't suck debris from top or bottom into your pump.

After you drain your black tank, close the valve then kick the pump on for a few min to partially refill the black tank from the grey tank, thus giving the black tank a rinse to flush out any poo that got left behind. 1/4 full should be more than sufficient for that purpose. Open the valve again to drain it and you should be golden.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:57 PM   #13
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And yes the way he hung the barrels is really good... but like in his build I would also have to strip off the exterior skin to get clearance to get the barrels in, and I don't have the tools or ability to do something like that so I'm gonna have to figure something else out... hope I find someone parting out an RV with long skinny tanks I can fit under the existing clearance, or else pony up the dough for new tanks that will clear. Not quite to that point yet, gonna have to get out there and take some measurements, see what I have to work with.
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Old 10-24-2016, 02:27 PM   #14
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And yes the way he hung the barrels is really good... but like in his build I would also have to strip off the exterior skin to get clearance to get the barrels in, and I don't have the tools or ability to do something like that so I'm gonna have to figure something else out... hope I find someone parting out an RV with long skinny tanks I can fit under the existing clearance, or else pony up the dough for new tanks that will clear. Not quite to that point yet, gonna have to get out there and take some measurements, see what I have to work with.
Have you thought about jacking the bus up, or driving it up on ramps to get the tanks under it?
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:38 PM   #15
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And yes the way he hung the barrels is really good... but like in his build I would also have to strip off the exterior skin to get clearance to get the barrels in, and I don't have the tools or ability to do something like that so I'm gonna have to figure something else out... hope I find someone parting out an RV with long skinny tanks I can fit under the existing clearance, or else pony up the dough for new tanks that will clear. Not quite to that point yet, gonna have to get out there and take some measurements, see what I have to work with.

you must have missed the measurements. they do clear and fit between the frame and skin. He took down the skirt to make it easier.

Really your building a RV out of a bus and you don't have a drill motor, bit index, rivets and rivet gun. There is no cutting? its drill out the rivet and set the sheet a side then re install.
the skirt removal is to gain access to do the plumbing is my guess. the tank mount can be lifted into place as is and bolted to the frame.

I do think two inch square tube 1/4 inch thick is waist full in over kill as much as in weight not to mention it costs twice as much at half the thickness it could be made from. Could be that is just what he had around the shop. (trailer hitch material)
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Old 10-24-2016, 04:04 PM   #16
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you must have missed the measurements. they do clear and fit between the frame and skin. He took down the skirt to make it easier.

<snip>
I thought he meant there wasn't enough clearance between the bottom of the skirts and the ground to get the barrels under the bus.

On the build thread I linked to, he dropped all of the skirts in order to fabricate a bunch of access doors for storage, a generator, central a/c, a drawer for propane tanks, etc.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:20 PM   #17
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And yes the way he hung the barrels is really good... but like in his build I would also have to strip off the exterior skin to get clearance to get the barrels in, and I don't have the tools or ability to do something like that so I'm gonna have to figure something else out... hope I find someone parting out an RV with long skinny tanks I can fit under the existing clearance, or else pony up the dough for new tanks that will clear. Not quite to that point yet, gonna have to get out there and take some measurements, see what I have to work with.
NO, no, no! You don't strip the bus skin to put things in place underneath! You just jack up the bus so you can slide the tanks under the bodyside, lower the bus back down, then lift the tanks up into place and secure them. It ain't rocket surgery, just a lot of grunt work and crap falling down into your eyes! I put in my four tanks this way, and they're as secure as if they came from the factory that way.

Talking of factory, find a rotomolder near you and have them make your tanks from 3/8" or 5/16" polyethylene. If they are their stock sizes they shouldn't cost more than about $2.50 per gallon, including spin-welding in all the fittings you want where you want them. With luck you should be able to get exactly the right sizes of tanks to minimize wasted space. Buying ready-made RV tanks often means lots of wasted space around them because they're designed for RVs that are configured differently than buses.

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Old 10-24-2016, 05:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AlleyCat67 View Post
I think the rule of thumb is about 3:1 split grey vs black with total being at least equal to fresh water.

If you're in an RV park with sewer hookup then it doesn't matter, but when boondocking your waste capacity needs to be at least equal to your fresh water capacity... so if you're doing 200 fresh then up your grey to 150, your black is fine at 50... I think everyone would have to have major diarrhea the whole time to fill up a 50 gallon black tank in two weeks.

Something else you might think about.... something I was actually going to do until I decided to go with a composting toilet thus eliminating the black tank.... plumb a line from your grey tank into the top of your black tank at the end opposite the dump valve, with a pump inline... tap into the grey tank about 1/3 of the way up so you don't suck debris from top or bottom into your pump.
.
Pretty much what I did, My grey tank is about 20 ft fwd of the black tank mounted between the fram rails, black tank is mounted rear of bus behind Rt wheels where muffler used to be, I have a 1in line from grey to black which which will also have Macerating toilet Y ed into with check valve preventing feed back into grey tank, Plan is pump out black tank first then pump grey into black to flush it out, can also maybe once a day turn on grey pump for couple of seconds to flush out line after daily business.Only the pump from grey has 1 1/2 in inlet so I'm pumping from bottom.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:49 PM   #19
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I thought he meant there wasn't enough clearance between the bottom of the skirts and the ground to get the barrels under the bus.
This is exactly what I meant. Being a rear engine bus I have the full width of the body to work with... the space is definitely there, it's just GETTING them underneath that's gonna be the trick.

I don't have a rivet gun/rivets but I do have drills and bits, sawzall, angle grinder, various saws and pad sander for wood, and other things that may be useful for conversion. With the possible exception of a rivet gun and a bottle jack rated for the bus weight I shouldn't have to buy any more tools.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:32 PM   #20
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You know, it is fairly easy to get a vehicle an extra ten or twelve inches off the ground safely. Buy a couple of 2 X 12s, cut them up in suitable lengths to make a two step ramps and you can raise one end or one side in minutes. Or buy four 4 ton jacks at Harbor Freight (they are cheap at times). 16 tons of lift will pick up just about any bus out there. Of course you will still need something to support the bus after it is up.
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