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Old 09-17-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
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Clean Out Hatch

I remember reading here about a clean-out hatch available for fresh water tanks.

I can't find it on these threads.

Can anyone help direct me to the posting or to a commercial website?

Sergei



http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...tml#post628818
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:22 PM   #2
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Boat supply stores have various type of hatches that will work nicely. I have put them in tanks in the past. One company makes a 6" hatch with a screw in cover that works great. It has a large o ring that seals it nicely. If you can't find information send me a note!
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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I got one from this place and it works great. They will rent you a hole saw to make the install easy - well worth it

PJB Company-Aqua Saver Clean RV Water Tanks for better drinking water
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:56 PM   #4
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Thanks Bob. That’s the horribly written web site I remembered but his product obviously works. Thanks to mhilley too for offering to help.

Bob’s hatch would have cost me $150 by the time currency translation and shipping were factored in so I was lucky to find a hatch for a KAYAK locally. Works perfectly. $42.00.

Incidentally, I occasionally read people on these forums poo pooing the notion that they need to clean the fresh water tank. They don’t drink it, etc.

I wouldn’t even take a shower in the yuk that was in my tank:

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Here’s the ring before I screwed it down. Look at all that sweet smelling scuzz fermenting in there!

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We used a wet/dry Shop Vac to get in out, then sanitized with bleach.

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Just look at that turgid witches brew!

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The hatch came complete with a 5 1/2” O-ring and a screw in lid. The tank is located under the front sofa.

Sergei
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:10 PM   #5
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Update

I see that the Aqua Saver site has lowered their price to around $105. plus shipping.

This is absolutely crazy. It turns out that my $40 kayak hatch, and even Indy Ann's $33 one, are over priced.

I saw perfect for the job DECK HATCHES at a WEST MARINE store in Lafayette, Louisiana this week - regularly priced between $12 and $22. !!!!!


Sergei
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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The clean-out hatch works but I think I am going to re-install it on a new tank that Iíll have built this spring
The claimed 30-gallon capacity on the Argosy original is bogus. I would say that the capacity is cut back 25% to 30% by the molded-in-place baffles.

Aluminum will be easier, and I think maybe cheaper too, than ordering a custom built plastic tank. I can ask the Wiltsie shop to do it out of 5052 aluminum sheet, which I read on the internet has good corrosion resistance.

Making a new tank will also allow me to drain it completely, from the bottom, and fill up every inch of available space. The original doesnít do that.

When I read on these forums about people boondocking for 4 or 5 days on a tank of water I canít figure how they do it.

I like to layover on shopping center lots or university campuses or other non-traditional spots en-route to somewhere and my present set up lasts basically one day, no matter how sparsely I use water for dishes and a shower.

Sergei
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:02 PM   #7
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Like you, I also see a need for scrubbin the inside of a water tank from time to time...

All of our local marine stores have gone bye-bye, my quest for a deck hatch has gone unfullfilled...so I found a pipe plug...$7 if I remember correctly?

I'm gonna give it a try...
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:29 AM   #8
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Hi HO,

That itsy-bitsy plug doesnít look any bigger than your wine glass. Better you should use a real deck plate/ hatch cover from the marine industry or kayaking:

BECKSON MARINE Screw-In ABS Deck Plates at West Marine

Hatch Covers from Kayakproshop.com

Opt for the biggest one you can buy/fit. Mine was an 8Ē I believe but the 10 1/8Ē shown above would have been better, from my experience.

Sergei
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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The claimed 30-gallon capacity on the Argosy original is bogus. I would say that the capacity is cut back 25% to 30% by the molded-in-place baffles.

A thought on SmokelessJoe's comment:

"Aluminum will be easier, and I think maybe cheaper too, than ordering a custom built plastic tank. I can ask the Wiltsie shop to do it out of 5052 aluminum sheet, which I read on the internet has good corrosion resistance.

Making a new tank will also allow me to drain it completely, from the bottom, and fill up every inch of available space. The original doesn’t do that."

Before I went to a tank without baffles, I'd consider the effect that might have on handling if the tank was only partially full. The baffles would serve to reduce the force of the water sloshing forward on hard braking or, possibly worse, sloshing to the side in an abrupt turn and creating a very unstable situation. I believe those baffles are in the tank to reduce the hazard of that instability. I know the tank is low but I prefer to minimize my risks.

Steve
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
The clean-out hatch works but I think I am going to re-install it on a new tank that I’ll have built this spring
The claimed 30-gallon capacity on the Argosy original is bogus. I would say that the capacity is cut back 25% to 30% by the molded-in-place baffles.

Aluminum will be easier, and I think maybe cheaper too, than ordering a custom built plastic tank. I can ask the Wiltsie shop to do it out of 5052 aluminum sheet, which I read on the internet has good corrosion resistance.

Making a new tank will also allow me to drain it completely, from the bottom, and fill up every inch of available space. The original doesn’t do that.

When I read on these forums about people boondocking for 4 or 5 days on a tank of water I can’t figure how they do it.

I like to layover on shopping center lots or university campuses or other non-traditional spots en-route to somewhere and my present set up lasts basically one day, no matter how sparsely I use water for dishes and a shower.

Sergei
Good to see you are back. Always enjoy reading about your Argosy. I am assuming the tank you are referring to is the fresh water tank that sits across the front of the trailer.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:51 PM   #11
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Steve, it will have baffles. I know that any liquid containing tank on a moving vehicle, fuel or otherwise, needs to be baffled.

The plastic ones being used are blow molded and the built-in baffles prevent the last 20 to 30% of the water from reaching the pump.

If I use welded in place baffle plates, with openings along the bottom, I should have 100% usage of the fresh water with no loss of safety.

Twinkie, good to hear from you. This will add some to my hitch weight but I would rather do that than go without a shower.

Sergei
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe View Post
When I read on these forums about people boondocking for 4 or 5 days on a tank of water I canít figure how they do it.

I like to layover on shopping center lots or university campuses or other non-traditional spots en-route to somewhere and my present set up lasts basically one day, no matter how sparsely I use water for dishes and a shower.

Sergei
I've often wondered the same thing myself...and here's what I've come up with (which doesn't work for us):
  1. Camp showers or no showers
  2. Paper plates and other disposable items
  3. Takeout or microwavable food?
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:15 PM   #13
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One thing I discovered about the original 30 gallon tank. Because of the way the fill pipe enters the tank it is possible to have air trapped when filling and it will over flow before it is really full. You shut the water off because it is overflowing. By slowing the flow from the hose when filling, the tank will fill completely. I discovered this on a trip when we ran out of water on the second day. I knew we hadn't used all 30 gallons because the grey water tank (12 gallons) was not full.
When we run out and are in a campground without hook ups, I make two trips with the 14 gallon tank and it won't fill the tank completely. I'm considering getting a second 14 gallon portable tank to save me from making 2 trips. Which is only a minor inconvenience. It saves moving the trailer to fill the tank.
As to water usage. When my wife and I travel, we use the 30 gallons up in about 2 days. Each have 2 showers, about 5 gallons each time we shower (20 gal). Doing dishes and using the toilet consumes the remaining 10 gallons.
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:45 PM   #14
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I can understand how the fill pipe might develop an air lock and back flow but I've never used the outside filler spout. My retrofit included a valve inside that allows me to fill the water tank while hooked up to city water. And the hatch allows me to monitor the water so that I know when its filled right to the very top.

The molded-in baffles in the original tank leave between 2 and 3 inches of water standing at the bottom, captured between the baffles. You never have the full use of the advertised 30 gallons. As well, the drain is at the side, not the bottom: another inch of water that you can never get out without a vac. And the present tank is not as big as it could be in the space available.

I think a new custom built aluminum tank can cure all of this: have more capacity, be 100% usable and will drain completely.

Sergei
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