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Old 05-03-2009, 09:32 AM   #113
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Tanks

Marc, thanks for the input on the Airstream article on Fiber glass tanks. My plan is to build negative patterns out of plywood to lay up the glass. My current thought is to put the first part of the plumbing fittings in during the initial grass layup. I'm also thinking of making one negative pattern for all three of the tanks. I would consider having a section on construction with pictures if there is enough interest in the process.
Don
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:30 PM   #114
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It is good to see that the 'Cloud project is about to get a kick start again.

As for tanks I thought about building my own but it came down to cost versus time. By spending some hours on the internet I was able to obtain gray and black ABS tanks and Poly fresh water tank for a total of $400. I placed the order on a Monday and had them laying in the back of the shop 10 days later. No mess to deal with, no issues with building bucks, and the only thing I did to keep the cost down was for the gray and black I took existing tanks that were close and made them work. The fresh water tank was also an off the shelf unit but I had the manufacturer do the inlet/outlet fittings spin weld in place. The ABS tanks were glue in. Of course that fact that I'm not particularly handy with fiberglass and find I can create more mess than any other five people combined was a deciding factor for me as well.

Looking forward to watching your updates. And next year I'll be smarter about watching for the Area 33 announcement when it comes up so we can hopefully attend and meet you folks.

Barry
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:16 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi View Post
Marc, thanks for the input on the Airstream article on Fiber glass tanks. My plan is to build negative patterns out of plywood to lay up the glass. My current thought is to put the first part of the plumbing fittings in during the initial grass layup. I'm also thinking of making one negative pattern for all three of the tanks. I would consider having a section on construction with pictures if there is enough interest in the process.
Don
Definitely interest in the process, would love to see whatever documentation you're willing to put together, thanks!

-Marcus
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:10 AM   #116
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Holding tanks & Plumbing design

Here is the Holding tank and plumbing design for out 55 Flying Cloud. The trailer layout is shown in a light transparent image to show the location of all the parts. Color coding; Black for black tank, Grey for Grey water, Blue for fresh water and cold water pipes, Red for hot water heater and Hot water pipes. Please feel free to comment on the pros and cons of this design.
Thanks Don
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:22 AM   #117
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I'm probably going to make my black tank out of fiberglass. I'd go a different direction for the fresh tank as there are maybe some health issues and certainly taste issues there. I'm using ABS gray and fresh.

My black will be in the original location on my Caravanner, rear curb corner and above the floor. I'll use a moldless composite technique called stitch and glue, making the core out of either foam or plywood wired together at seams. Then the inside will get glassed, the wire pulled out, and the outside then glassed. I've done a couple small boats and a few tanks this way and it works well. Pretty sure I'll use West System epoxy as I'm comfy using it.

cheers,
steve
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:19 AM   #118
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Don, Great design on the tanks, as I know nothing about how to place for weight ect. I do like that the water heater is under the sink and next to the shower. Great for keeping water useage to a min. when boondocking. I hate waiting for hot water and watching the cold water go down the drain or having to save it.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:25 AM   #119
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Blue Pearl, good point about having hot water heater as close to shower as possible to save water. I was trying to follow the concept of "wet wall" used in architecture to keep the cost of things down. I hadn't thought about the travel distance of hot water travel and conservation of water. Boondocking is on of our favorite things and this is an important item. I think I might play with the design a little more to see if I can make greater improvements. Thanks Don
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Don, Great design on the tanks, as I know nothing about how to place for weight ect. I do like that the water heater is under the sink and next to the shower. Great for keeping water useage to a min. when boondocking. I hate waiting for hot water and watching the cold water go down the drain or having to save it.
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:30 AM   #120
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pbearsailor, Stitch and glue sound interesting. I've not heard of that technique before. Can you give me an internet referrence to study on this technique? I Think I might try designing a modular approach to this technique so different sized tanks could be built from a set of standard mold pieces. The ability of taking the mold pieces appart also allows for good storage of the mold parts.
Thanks for the info
Don

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Originally Posted by pbearsailor View Post
I'm probably going to make my black tank out of fiberglass. I'd go a different direction for the fresh tank as there are maybe some health issues and certainly taste issues there. I'm using ABS gray and fresh.

My black will be in the original location on my Caravanner, rear curb corner and above the floor. I'll use a moldless composite technique called stitch and glue, making the core out of either foam or plywood wired together at seams. Then the inside will get glassed, the wire pulled out, and the outside then glassed. I've done a couple small boats and a few tanks this way and it works well. Pretty sure I'll use West System epoxy as I'm comfy using it.

cheers,
steve
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:41 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi View Post
Here is the Holding tank and plumbing design for out 55 Flying Cloud. The trailer layout is shown in a light transparent image to show the location of all the parts. Color coding; Black for black tank, Grey for Grey water, Blue for fresh water and cold water pipes, Red for hot water heater and Hot water pipes. Please feel free to comment on the pros and cons of this design.
Thanks Don
Don, I think it looks great, other than that stranger who is walking around in your trailer...

I'm so glad you're moving forward on this project, I enjoy watching your work and am excited you have a second trailer so the rest of us can observe!

-Marcus
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:11 AM   #122
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pbearsailor, Stitch and glue sound interesting. I've not heard of that technique before. Can you give me an internet referrence to study on this technique? I Think I might try designing a modular approach to this technique so different sized tanks could be built from a set of standard mold pieces. The ability of taking the mold pieces appart also allows for good storage of the mold parts.
Thanks for the info
Don
Don, for me, the beauty of building this way is that there is no mold at all. You basically cut out plywood or perhaps foam pieces that make up the shape of your tank, wire all of them except the top together, radius the inside corners with epoxy fill, add a few layers of fiberglass cloth, so the same for the outside, and finally, bond the top on.

I've done tanks for our boat in the past and they worked fine. Most of the reference material online seems to be boat related, but the idea transfers easily enough to what we're doing in tanks. Here's a wiki article: Stitch and glue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and this one is a kayak building blog that shows the process well: Building the Pygmy Coho Kayak

For me, it's perfect for my black tank set in that back rounded corner. I can make it this way exactly the shape and size I want and make my fittings go where I want and install them as part of the building process.

Foam core has a lot of appeal to me for the weight. Many different densities of foam available at Aircraft Spruce Foam from Aircraft Spruce for composite aircraft stuff. Thin plywood works fine too.

cheers,
steve
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:34 PM   #123
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What is so neat about these threads is what we learn in the process. Don's design ideas, Steve's stitch system etc. are all things we can take away for use on our own trailers and other non-Airstream related projects. Invaluable and the sharing of these ideas and techniques expands the practical knowledge of all who participate.

Thanks again folks for making the time to share your knowledge, your experiences, and the pictures that aid in my understanding of what it is you are so competently accomplishing.

Barry
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:52 PM   #124
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Utee94, We are taking the strange to a couple of Airstream rallies so he can put on some weight!
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Don, I think it looks great, other than that stranger who is walking around in your trailer...

I'm so glad you're moving forward on this project, I enjoy watching your work and am excited you have a second trailer so the rest of us can observe!

-Marcus
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:55 PM   #125
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Safari57, These threads are neat. They were the greatest of help when I restored our 63 Bambi. I sure they be as useful with the Flying Cloud. They allready have!

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What is so neat about these threads is what we learn in the process. Don's design ideas, Steve's stitch system etc. are all things we can take away for use on our own trailers and other non-Airstream related projects. Invaluable and the sharing of these ideas and techniques expands the practical knowledge of all who participate.

Thanks again folks for making the time to share your knowledge, your experiences, and the pictures that aid in my understanding of what it is you are so competently accomplishing.

Barry
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:20 AM   #126
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Thumbs up stich and glue

Yes that is some great info if you have any more questions about this system go to this site and look at the message board. Shine is one cool guy that knows more about epoxys and the like than anyone I know!
www.bateau2.com I have another project that I'm working on also. 1973 Aquasport 19-6, but thats another story. You can register on this site and post your questions and get answers really quick! And talk about some cool boats, check out the XF-20 and look how skinny that boat will go!
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