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Old 09-26-2005, 12:26 AM   #1
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New Custom Tank for 1962 Ambassador

I am currently replacing the floor on my 1962 Ambassador. When I purchased the Airstream last year the prior owner had removed the waste tank and mounted the commode directly to the floor. Much of the floor needed to be replaced due to years of water damage. After much searching, for a replacement tank ( with no luck ) I decided to make a custom waste tank. I have calculated the capacity to around 20 gal. These are the photos of the tank. It fits like a glove in the corner just like the origional one. The design is slightly modified to allow for the tank to actually support the weight of the commode and whoever might be sitting on it. The tank has internal struts to support weight ( the origional tank was made of fiberglass and needed a frame around it). This one is much stronger and made of aircraft T6 aluminum.

If anyone is interested, I can give the specifics on how I made it and how much it cost. I plan on covering the tank with hard wood flooring so you wont see any of the aluminum tank when finished! It's kind of amazing what people will do to have a functional commode on the road!
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Old 09-26-2005, 12:58 AM   #2
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Why don't you post the specifics? I for one would like to see them as I'm sure others would too. Whay does this aluminum tank weigh? I'm interested because my tank sags when I sit on my toilet plus I have a leak in the tank. Not looking forward to fixing it but a new tank may be the answer.

Brad
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
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Tank Info

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Originally Posted by Lookinghard
I am currently replacing the floor on my 1962 Ambassador. When I purchased the Airstream last year the prior owner had removed the waste tank and mounted the commode directly to the floor. Much of the floor needed to be replaced due to years of water damage. After much searching, for a replacement tank ( with no luck ) I decided to make a custom waste tank. I have calculated the capacity to around 20 gal. These are the photos of the tank. It fits like a glove in the corner just like the origional one. The design is slightly modified to allow for the tank to actually support the weight of the commode and whoever might be sitting on it. The tank has internal struts to support weight ( the origional tank was made of fiberglass and needed a frame around it). This one is much stronger and made of aircraft T6 aluminum.

If anyone is interested, I can give the specifics on how I made it and how much it cost. I plan on covering the tank with hard wood flooring so you wont see any of the aluminum tank when finished! It's kind of amazing what people will do to have a functional commode on the road!

This is the tank info.

Material Used 1/8 inch T6 Aluminum. 1 4' x 8' sheet.
One T6 Bar Stock Aluminum 6"x4"
4" of 2" aluminum Pipe.
Total Cost for Material $165 at Industrial Valley Metal Supply in Sum Valley CA.

The tank measures 24" wide by aproximately 42" long and is 6.5" high. As you can see there is a round curve in one corner to allow for the curve in the airstream. When I purchased the material I had the shop sher the sections into squares so all I would have to cut is the curve.

I then took everything home and cut a template from wood to make a pattern for the curve. Once I had the curve I then cut the curve into the aluminum sheets using a 14" band saw. I then sanded the curve smoth with a 12" disk sander.

I then took all parts to a machine shop in Van Nuyes Ca (I dont have the phone number but I can get it if anyone wants it) to machine the bar stock into the fluch out on the bottom of the tank. The inside of the pipe was machined with a smoth curve to allow for a good flow rate while the outside will match up to a standard 3" ABS pipe. In addition, I had one extra vent pipe(two in total) put on the other side of the tank. I also had two 1/2" female pipe sockets made and welded into the tank. I plan on plumbing in a tank flush system to allow for quick and efficient cleaning. In addition, there were four 3/4" x 6.5" of bar stock used to support the tolit flange. This took all flex out of the tank since the bar stock supports the weight and is attached to the top and bottom part of the tank. It's hard to explane but I can get a few pictures in a few weeks.

After the machine part was finished the shop welded all parts together into the finished tank. The Labor was $320 for all machining and welding. This machine shop makes aircraft parts and their work quality is very good. If an airstream could fly, I am sure I could get this tank certified by the FAA.

Kevin
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:00 PM   #4
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Tank Corrosion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookinghard
This is the tank info.

Material Used 1/8 inch T6 Aluminum. 1 4' x 8' sheet.
One T6 Bar Stock Aluminum 6"x4"
4" of 2" aluminum Pipe.
Total Cost for Material $165 at Industrial Valley Metal Supply in Sum Valley CA.

The tank measures 24" wide by aproximately 42" long and is 6.5" high. As you can see there is a round curve in one corner to allow for the curve in the airstream. When I purchased the material I had the shop sher the sections into squares so all I would have to cut is the curve.

I then took everything home and cut a template from wood to make a pattern for the curve. Once I had the curve I then cut the curve into the aluminum sheets using a 14" band saw. I then sanded the curve smoth with a 12" disk sander.

I then took all parts to a machine shop in Van Nuyes Ca (I dont have the phone number but I can get it if anyone wants it) to machine the bar stock into the fluch out on the bottom of the tank. The inside of the pipe was machined with a smoth curve to allow for a good flow rate while the outside will match up to a standard 3" ABS pipe. In addition, I had one extra vent pipe(two in total) put on the other side of the tank. I also had two 1/2" female pipe sockets made and welded into the tank. I plan on plumbing in a tank flush system to allow for quick and efficient cleaning. In addition, there were four 3/4" x 6.5" of bar stock used to support the tolit flange. This took all flex out of the tank since the bar stock supports the weight and is attached to the top and bottom part of the tank. It's hard to explane but I can get a few pictures in a few weeks.

After the machine part was finished the shop welded all parts together into the finished tank. The Labor was $320 for all machining and welding. This machine shop makes aircraft parts and their work quality is very good. If an airstream could fly, I am sure I could get this tank certified by the FAA.

Kevin
One more point to consider before going down this road. Aluminum is not the best material to build waste tanks from due to the fact it will corrode. I also plan on coating the tank with an epoxy to avoide corrision. In addition, I also plan on flushing the tank after each trip. I made the flushing goal a bit easier by installing plumbing fixtures directly into the tank to allow for fresh water flushing from the outside. Hopefully, this strategy will minimize the corrosion and provide many years of use.

Kevin
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:25 PM   #5
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i wonder if a person were to have a tank fabricated out of stainless steel would be of comparable cost?

here in wisconsin ss fabricators are quite common due to the dairy industry.

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Old 09-26-2005, 09:41 PM   #6
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Stainless Steel Tank

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Originally Posted by john hd
i wonder if a person were to have a tank fabricated out of stainless steel would be of comparable cost?

here in wisconsin ss fabricators are quite common due to the dairy industry.

john
Stainless would hold up better than Aluminum but it also weighs more. Not sure how much it would cost?

Kevin
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Old 09-28-2005, 06:35 PM   #7
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I would think stainless to cost more. How easy is it to weld? It would definately be stronger.

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