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Old 06-11-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
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'65 Caravel Tank Options

I have a thread in the Caravel section, but thought I would post my questions here about tanks so more people see it and can contribute.

I am contemplating black and grey water tanks for our Caravel. I have gotten some quotes for custom tanks and they are expensive. Also, almost as expensive is the only non-custom black tank option available at Inland RV. I was thinking about ordering this one from VTS and customizing it to fit my Caravel. Basically, it would require a corner to be cut and a new corner welded to match the shape of the old tank. Has anybody done ABS welding? Is this a feasible option? I would like to know because this tank looks basically the same without the cutout that is required to fit the corner of the caravel. Here is the original tank as I have drawn it...
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewel65 View Post
I have a thread in the Caravel section, but thought I would post my questions here about tanks so more people see it and can contribute.

I am contemplating black and grey water tanks for our Caravel. I have gotten some quotes for custom tanks and they are expensive. Also, almost as expensive is the only non-custom black tank option available at Inland RV. I was thinking about ordering this one from VTS and customizing it to fit my Caravel. Basically, it would require a corner to be cut and a new corner welded to match the shape of the old tank. Has anybody done ABS welding? Is this a feasible option? I would like to know because this tank looks basically the same without the cutout that is required to fit the corner of the caravel. Here is the original tank as I have drawn it...
If you have never done plastic weldng, then don't learn on a new plastic tank. If you slip, the tank is istory.

Fiberglass tanks can be modifed easier than working with mud pies.

No special tools needed for fiberglass work.

Andy
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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Yes, I have done ABS welding. In fact I built 3 tanks for Little Girl from scratch - two gray tanks and one black tank. You can get an idea of what I did in our thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185...-50967-12.html starting at post 168.

Be forewarned: cutting and welding ABS is a stinky job!! Good ventilation is a must.

If it were me, I'd build a new tank from scratch rather than try and cut off a corner and then try to weld the sloped sides back together. But then, that requires having a source for ABS sheets. The one drawback to how I did it is that I used 1/4" ABS for the tanks. With the size of the tanks I made, they need support under them or they would end up sagging under the weight of the water. But your tank would be much smaller, so it may not have the same issue with 1/4" ABS. You could use 3/8" or 1/2" ABS too.

If you decide to purchase the tank and cut the corner off, bevel the ends where you will weld them back together to form a "V". This will then let you lay down several layers of new ABS in the joint to ensure you get a good strong weld that doesn't leak.

I mixture of ABS melted with MEK is also a good thing to have handy. You can coat the entire weld with it and it will fill in any pinholes in the weld.

Feel free to PM me to ask questions if you want.

Chris
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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Chris you are a motivator and yes I have read your thread several times and have done research on welders and abs sources the hole nine yards! Someday I will play. I prefer fiberglass in the caravel only because of the tank location and size.
Cliff
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Jewel,

I documented a rebuild of a Caravel Black Tank on this thread. Basically, I used composite construction -- make the box out of plywood, then coat it with multiple layers of fiberglass. It's as strong as a boat.

You may also consider enlarging it. Ours was a little small for two. CJohnson enlarged his. Here's his thread that I bookmarked. If it's not here, he documented his source in another thread in that forum.

John
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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I needed a black tank for my 68 when I got it. Since I was not going to drop the belly pan and not add a grey tank, I opted for an OEM style tank from Inland. Why? First was the time factor, I had so many other chores to get the old girl back in camping ready condition I figured this one was money vs time and time won. Secondly, because of the way the grey water line runs into the outlet at the black tank I knew that it would be a real bear to figure out how to make it work with the original grey water line routing. If I was doing it over again and adding a grey tank (and I wish I had but VTS did not have the one that fit between the frame rails at the time) I would still just go ahead and get the tank I got from Inland. Yes, it was expensive. But, the quality is first rate, heavy duty fiberglass construction with good fit and finish. You have to fiberglass the fittings on the tank but that only took a few hours. Again, for me it was a time vs money thing plus I had so many other problems to solve as mine was in pretty bad shape when I got it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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That's the kind of input I was looking for! This forum is great! I really like your ABS methods Chris. Actually I was thinking of ordering two of these VTS tanks, one for black and one for grey. After seeing Chris' method I might just try to make the grey tank from scratch. It could be made a little bigger. Bruce, VTS still does not make a grey tank that fits well in my space. The one linked here will work, but is a little small. Therefore building one is a good option. I have seen John's wooden box method also, but that looks like a lot more work. I have also seen CJohnsons method and like it. If I was going to get one custom made I would definitely make it that size. A lot to consider here. Thanks for the input. I will let you know what I decide.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #8
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1965 17' Caravel
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New Black Tank for all Caravel Owners!

Okay, my problem is being solved! For all the folks with Caravels, and Globetrotters of this vintage, we will soon have another choice when it comes to black tanks. I have been working with Steve Hingtgen of Vintage Trailer Supply and we think we are getting close to finishing the design of a polyethylene tank that will fit above the floor in the original location, but will stick out into the closet a little more than the original. It will be much like C Johnsons idea here, so a lot of credit should go to him. The thing about this is Steve is going to be able to open a mold and produce these tanks in bulk, so the price should be much better than other choices currently available. I am excited to be involved in this and hope others can benefit from this option. More to come...
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #9
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As long as Steve doesn't come out with a custom tank for Overlanders before I'm done.... I went round and round trying to figure out what to do on mine, then started down the road of a custom tank myself. The other night, I was wondering if I shouldn't have ordered Steve's gray tanks and saw his new Caravel tank coming soon. I was then wondering if I jumped too soon. I've already been the victim of Steve's constant improvement. I'll buy something from him, and he'll have an improved product before I can get the old one on!

Here's some pics of my custom ABS tanks. They drain to the center, but you probably can't see it in the pic. I'm also making a video of the cutting and welding I'll probably put on youtube in the future.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:00 PM   #10
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Looks awesome has it passed the water test?
Cliff
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:40 PM   #11
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Not yet. Thanks. I don't expect a problem...
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #12
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Here is the drawing of the new Caravel, Globetrotter black tank offered by VTS. It is 5" tall with these dimensions and will hold about 11.5 gallons. Here is the link to VTS website where the tank is available for purchase. Expected production date is Jan 1, 2014.

Corner Black Tank
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:45 PM   #13
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1965 17' Caravel
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I posted some photos of this black tank being installed in my restoration thread if anybody reading this wants to see photos. It is thread #52
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:19 PM   #14
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Rob wok I like your shop much more organized than mine!
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