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Old 07-22-2014, 12:33 PM   #1
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1983 31' Excella
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External freshwater tank...am I nuts?

Hey guys,

I hope this isn't too laughable. We are some newbies brainstorming about systems for our 83 Excella (just frame/floor/shell, everything else will be built form scratch).

We were wondering if it would be possible/viable to keep our freshwater tank externally...for a couple of reasons. One, we plan to live in the trailer full time, and when we're parked, we want to put in a rainwater collection/filtration system. Seems easier with external barrels/tanks. Two, we'd like the option to not have to move our entire trailer in order to fill the freshwater tank, if there wasn't a good water source where we end up staying. We could drive it, fill it cheaply, then come back to the trailer and hook back in. Ideally, we'd also be able to plug into city water when/if available.

Ok, can y'all imagine this working out at all? Any ideas, or big cons? Thanks for humoring me/any input you might have.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:08 PM   #2
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I would not recommend removing the in house FW tank. An Auxiliary tank in the TV to replenish the onboard tank is what I do. I have the Aux tank rigged up with a pump and simply plug it in to the trailer connector on the TV for power to run the pump.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:51 PM   #3
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Assuming you don't have a freshwater tank to remove, and are looking to start from scratch, you still need an onboard freshwater tank permanently connected to your demand water pump. Otherwise getting the pump primed and keeping it primed will be a perennial problem.

If your onboard supply isn't adequately large, you can refill the onboard tank from blue Jerry-cans without much trouble. And you can use your rainwater filtration system to fill the blue Jerry cans in the first place.

You'd still be able to hook into city water when available. Most RVs have a separate municipal water hookup that bypasses the water pump (and check valves to keep one system from back-feeding into the other).
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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You can buy water tanks that fit in the bed of a pickup. Fill these up and you might be able to gravity feed this into your AS on board tank. If not then an inexpensive pump can be used to fill the AS tank. You would need a lot of rain to fill buckets from the runoff from the AS roof. Jim
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:07 PM   #5
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I also think it's best to keep a permanant FW tank in the trailer.

Another issue; if there is a full water tank in the truck bed, in addition to the trailer's tongue load, it might exceed the truck's payload when towing. It's better to keep the weight of the water on the trailer's axles.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
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After the trailer us set up and you have used most of your water, then you go fill the truck bed tanks. Jim
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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Second what others have said about keeping internal fresh water tank. Additionally, you not only need to consider what happens as you get low on FRESH water, but what's happening to your gray and black water tanks. If you're not in a site with a sewer to dump into you're going to have to move gray/black water TO a dump site. There are external "blue boy" tanks... or you move your trailer! If you move the trailer, it can be an opportunity to refill the white tank too.

Paula

Oh, and the gray and/or black tank always fill up one day before you're planning to leave, Murphy's Law. Gray fills first - prolong your stay by manually dumping dishwater/shower water down the toilet, but watch out for stray forks in the dish pan!
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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One advantage to the fresh water tank is to lower the CG of the trailer. I have seen videos of an AS running a chicane and the difference is remarkable how much "roll" you get with an empty fresh water tank.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:53 AM   #9
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This has been really helpful folks- looks like refillable cans kept in the truck are the answer. In terms of weight, the trailer will not be connected to the truck most of the time, so the additional weight in the truck bed shouldn't be too much of a problem. I was just hoping to save some space in the trailer. Re: rainwater- we were going to build a shed-like structure to collect rainwater, I couldn't even begin to imagine getting anything off the smooth, rounded AS surface!
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:33 PM   #10
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Where is the fresh water tank in your trailer? Is is not under the floor like they were in the 70's?
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearBones View Post
I was just hoping to save some space in the trailer.
The space you'd be saving is under the floor...not really useful for much other than water tanks anyway.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:23 PM   #12
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In my '74 Argosy. The grey water tank is the only tank under the floor.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:38 PM   #13
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And, to be useful, the freshwater tank must be protected from freezing.

Some freshwater tanks are installed in the living space for this reason.

In other cases, the tanks are in a enclosed belly pan that has furnace heat directed into the space.


Regards,


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