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Old 02-26-2006, 08:20 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by 66Overlander
One more consideration for your gray and black tanks is that they need a vent that goes out thru the roof of the trailer somewhere. I couldn't tell from your sketch if you had included provisions for them or not.
For the gray tank, there's an existing vent that I'll be using. It runs up through the "utility wall" that also holds the plumbing for the shower. The black tank I think I'll vent up through one of the closets.
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:44 AM   #102
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Ankonuta, I've been reading your thread for over a week and finally finished it. A couple of things.

I recently sand-blasted and painted my frame, as well. I used the POR-15 (Black) product on portions of the frame that would not be exposed to sunlight. I used the Eastwoods (silver) on the parts that would be exposed. Both were easy to work with, but the black a bit easier than the silver. The Silver seemed "thicker", a little harder to brush. The POR was purchased locally from an automotive paint store. I ordered the Eastwoods on line and got it in about 3 days.

Concerning your fresh water tank, where did you buy it? Mine is mounted b/w the rails just forward of the axles, kinda like you described above. I've wanted to replace it, but I'm having a heck-of-a-time finding anything affordable (around $500). Part of the problem is that it can be no more than 5" tall and those are hard to find.

The way they were mounted in the 1973 Overlander is a bit different than described above. There is a frame made of angle steel that is welded to the bottom of the rails. The water tank is pushed up into place and then a 1" piece of plywood slides in underneath and rests on that steel frame. Surrounding the water tank are several pieces of 1" ply standing upright to keep the tank from moving around too much.

Good luck with it.

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Old 03-01-2006, 10:10 PM   #103
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I've heard of that approach for mounting the water tanks... but I'm confused as to why the tank would have to be only 5" tall... it doesn't need to fit between the frame rails. I figure I can extend the tanks down several inches below the frame rails, depending on their relation to the axles.

In regards to the water tanks, I'm ordering from a local RV Supply shop, here in Phoenix.
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Old 03-02-2006, 07:56 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
I've heard of that approach for mounting the water tanks... but I'm confused as to why the tank would have to be only 5" tall... it doesn't need to fit between the frame rails. I figure I can extend the tanks down several inches below the frame rails, depending on their relation to the axles.

In regards to the water tanks, I'm ordering from a local RV Supply shop, here in Phoenix.
Shallow tanks do not impede aerodynamics of the trailer. A solid installation of shallow tanks that do not stick down too much also preserves the look and overall vibe of a vintage Airstream.
There's plenty of room for really big tanks that are completely invisible. I was able to do 50gal+ of both fresh and grey with all the necessary welding and reinforcements, and all you can see is a frame that looks just like the frame on a 70's trailer, as Jim had pointed out.
I personally do not like the tank installs on newer airstreams, as they protrude way too much for a clean look. Too much like an SOB, in my opinion.
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:00 PM   #105
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Argh! You make good points Uwe. However, I can't seem to find tanks that will fit between the frame rails. I called All-rite about making some custom tanks and they quoted me about $720 each! I think I'd rather have tanks portrude than spend $1400 on custom tanks. Plus, the floor heater that my trailer came from the factory with in 1958 stuck down 10" below the frame rails...
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Old 03-02-2006, 01:41 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
Argh! You make good points Uwe. However, I can't seem to find tanks that will fit between the frame rails. I called All-rite about making some custom tanks and they quoted me about $720 each! I think I'd rather have tanks portrude than spend $1400 on custom tanks. Plus, the floor heater that my trailer came from the factory with in 1958 stuck down 10" below the frame rails...
Alright then, try El Monte Tanks. They can make a Roto Molded tank that can be held up with 4 straps, for you. Less money, easy to mount. The added grey tank in my 71 TradeWind had one of those - no problems.
I went with All Rite because they could make me "exactly" what I wanted. Curved black tank and all. It wasn't cheap, I know.
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Old 03-03-2006, 09:13 AM   #107
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Alright then, try El Monte Tanks. They can make a Roto Molded tank that can be held up with 4 straps, for you. Less money, easy to mount. The added grey tank in my 71 TradeWind had one of those - no problems.
I went with All Rite because they could make me "exactly" what I wanted. Curved black tank and all. It wasn't cheap, I know.
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Thanks again for your support Uwe! I have no intentions of ruining this beautiful trailer, I guess I got a little caught up in the "saving money" mode. I called El Monte and they had some tanks in dimensions that would work for me, but they're a little smaller in terms of volume than I wanted to go. But then again, why do I need 50 gallons of fresh water? I have to admit, I picked that number somewhat arbitrarily.

So maybe I need to go back to the drawing board a bit. What am I going to use this water for?

- Hand washing: Variable = 2 gal/day
- Cooking: Variable = = 2 gal/day
- Drinking: May bring bottled water too... = 2 gal/day
- Showers: 2.5gpm. Avg 5 minutes, daily = 12 gal/day
- Shaving: About .5 gal of water a day = .5 gal/day
- Toilet Flushing: About .25 gal per flush = 1 gal/day
----------------
19.5 gal/day

And if I shower less while camping... that water could go a lot further! I imagine that if I'm far away from a water hookup, that means I'm probably far away from other people and I could skip the showering. So maybe a 40 gallon tank would suit my needs.

This weekend I'm going to the RV salvage yard to see if there are any tanks there that might work for what I'm trying to do, too.

I still think I may go with the steel-box approach to holding the tanks in place. It just seems a little more sturdy to me than using the plywood.

Oh, and one question though; how shallow is shallow enough? I don't think an 8" deep tank would really show at all (the frame rails are approx 5" tall) unless you got down next to the trailer and looked under it. But standing up, I don't think it would be noticeable... do you?
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:22 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankornuta
- Hand washing: Variable = 2 gal/day
- Cooking: Variable = = 2 gal/day
- Drinking: May bring bottled water too... = 2 gal/day
- Showers: 2.5gpm. Avg 5 minutes, daily = 12 gal/day
- Shaving: About .5 gal of water a day = .5 gal/day
- Toilet Flushing: About .25 gal per flush = 1 gal/day
----------------
19.5 gal/day
I think you went high on your water estimates. We have a 45 gallon tank in our TT and can go 2 days with 2 people and 3 dogs (they drink a bunch of water) and still have alot left over. OK, we shower every other day and I stopped shaving 2 months ago. We don't use alot of water for cooking, mostly grilled food. I can shower with about 5 gallons of water (the on / off valve on the spray head saves you alot). We bring bottled water and most flushes (#1) use very water. Unless you are Howard Hughes, 2 gallons for washing hands is very high.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:47 AM   #109
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I think you went high on your water estimates. We have a 45 gallon tank in our TT and can go 2 days with 2 people and 3 dogs (they drink a bunch of water) and still have alot left over. OK, we shower every other day and I stopped shaving 2 months ago. We don't use alot of water for cooking, mostly grilled food. I can shower with about 5 gallons of water (the on / off valve on the spray head saves you alot). We bring bottled water and most flushes (#1) use very water. Unless you are Howard Hughes, 2 gallons for washing hands is very high.
LOL... well, I am a little compulsive about hand-washing. And I sure do love those kleenex boxes on my feet

Thanks for the input... I have very little experience with RV camping. I sort of just "dove right in" with the purchase of this '58, so it's info like this that is very helpful in making practical decisions.

But you did mention that you have a 45 gallon fresh water tank and that it basically lasts you two days (maybe three). I suppose I could always get a big water tank for the truck if I wanted to carry more fresh water.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:48 AM   #110
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......Oh, and one question though; how shallow is shallow enough? I don't think an 8" deep tank would really show at all (the frame rails are approx 5" tall) unless you got down next to the trailer and looked under it. But standing up, I don't think it would be noticeable... do you?
As you suggest, because of where and how it's going to be mounted, I don't think anybody will even notice. The way they were mounted on the '73 Overlander, it extends below the rest of the belly pan a couple of inches because of the mounting rails and so on. Unless you're looking for it, you don't see it. FWIW, my original tanks is 33 gallons.

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Old 03-03-2006, 11:22 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
As you suggest, because of where and how it's going to be mounted, I don't think anybody will even notice. The way they were mounted on the '73 Overlander, it extends below the rest of the belly pan a couple of inches because of the mounting rails and so on. Unless you're looking for it, you don't see it. FWIW, my original tanks is 33 gallons.

Jim
So... the million dollar question; how deep is TOO deep? 9", 10"?
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:22 AM   #112
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I also have a 33 gallon tank, not original. It lasts several days for 2 people using it sparingly. I also carry a 5 gallon jug in the truck if I'm going to be boondocking for awhile. Sort of like the reserve fuel tank on a motorcycle. When I dump it in the fresh water tank, its time to go home soon or find more water. I'll usually run across a fresh water fill somewhere if I'm out running around away from basecamp where I can refill the 5 gallon jug. I also like to use those clear 2.5 gallon prefilled water jugs from the grocery store for drinking water. You know the ones where you need to stab an airhole for the valve to work properly.

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Old 03-03-2006, 02:49 PM   #113
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I wonder how the heck Wally Byam expected people to use a bathtub with only an 18 gallon water tank?!
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:02 PM   #114
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Only once I'd say.

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Old 03-03-2006, 09:19 PM   #115
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Does this help? This is from the roadside looking in, forward of the wheels.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:16 PM   #116
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Thanks for the picture! It does help. I also went out to Apache Junction this weekend where the Airstream dealership is. I took my tape measure and notebook I crawled down under every trailer similar in length to mine and measured where the tanks were (from what I could tell based on the portrusions) and how far down they extended. I did this to the new trailers as well as some from as far back as '71. I got some strange looks... I also went over to an RV Parts store to get some feedback from a very helpful lady who works there.

So basically, I think my re-design is along these lines:
- 8" (Max depth) approx 35 gal gray tank over the rear axle, extending behind it.
- 8" (max depth) approx 14 gal black tank between the two axles

Okay... and here's the major design change, I'm not going to put the fresh water tank under the floor anymore. I'll be putting a larger tank in the previous location of the original 18 gallon tank. I've been told that it's a good place for this weight. I can fit 35+ gallons in this location pretty easily, along with the new pump.

So I'm going to finalize all the details and place my order this week, install everything next week. Any words of warning?
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:54 PM   #117
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Depending on where the original location of the fresh tank was, it might not be advisable to increase the volume of the tank by much. If it is way in the front, then the variation tongue weight will throw off your hitch adjustment big time.
35gal water weigh about 280lbs or so. Having that much variable weight can't be a good thing, in my opinion.
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Old 03-06-2006, 12:25 PM   #118
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Depending on where the original location of the fresh tank was, it might not be advisable to increase the volume of the tank by much. If it is way in the front, then the variation tongue weight will throw off your hitch adjustment big time.
35gal water weigh about 280lbs or so. Having that much variable weight can't be a good thing, in my opinion.
The original water tank was inside the trailer, at the very front. It was about 18 gallons contained in an aluminum cylinder. That would be approx 148 pounds, full. Initially I wasn't even considering putting the water tank back in that location, but the lady at the RV store - and a few other people I spoke to this weekend - told me that is the preferred location for fresh water storage on travel trailers; inside the trailer (as opposed to under it) and as far forward as possible. It seemed counterintuitive to me, but then I considered that is also where Wally Byam had originally designated its location to be as well...

I need to figure out how to calculate my tongue weight based on the location of water tanks and whether they're full or not. Anyone know the formula for this?
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:52 PM   #119
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More musings on weights and distribution

This is a great article on calculating weight distribution when using a weight distributing hitch: http://www.trailerlife.com/cforum/in...d/14265335.cfm

I also found an interesting article regarding loading military aircraft and determining the cargo center of balance which can be applied to loading a trailer as well. Of course, I think the main difference is that with a trailer, you don't necessarily want it to be "balanced" but instead want a about 15% of the weight leaning on the ball. http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...m/55-9/ch5.htm

Okay, so I found my formulae that I needed:
Gray Tank weight X Distance from rear axle = Rear moment weight (inch-pounds)
Black Tank weight X Distance from rear axle
+
Fresh Tank weight X Distance from rear axle = Front moment weight (inch-pounds)

The difference between these numbers should be 15%, with the greater being the front moment weight. I'll probably also consider the moment-weight of the batteries on the hitch and the A/C in the rear. In regards to the rest of the items in the trailer (like furniture, etc) I will assume it was balanced well enough when it was built at the factory... I only want to know if my additions are going to screw up my hitch weight.

Also, using the weight distribution formulae, I can determine what my in-tow weight on my vehicle axles and trailer axles will be with these new additions (assuming that the trailer weighed approx 3500 lbs before the additions).
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:34 PM   #120
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Moving Forward

Okay.... I've done my calculations and stopped futzing around with different designs.

I've finally ORDERED the tanks (instead of endlessly reviewing catalogs), got all the metal for the welding, bought the POR-15, etc, etc.

The gray and black tanks are going just behind the rear axle. The freshwater tank is going in front of the front axle. Two batteries (and maybe a spare) are going up on the hitch with the propane tanks. The A/C is going under the bed. This distribution of weight gives me a nice balance, no matter what's loaded; gray full fresh empty, fresh full gray empty, etc, etc.

The black tank that I ordered is approx 14 gallons. The gray is 38. The freshwater tank is just over 40 gallons. The fresh tank will not be portruding below the frame rails, but the gray and black tanks will, by just under 7". I decided to do it this way because it won't really be noticeable, I think it works better for the drains and vents, and it won't interfere with my angle of approach for the rear end.

So anyhow, thanks to everyone for helping me get through my holding tank planning woes... and wish me luck!
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