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MCI 102-C3 coach to RV - Water System

JNHEscher

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This thread is the water system offshoot of the original thread that migrated from Pirate4x4. As the subtitle implies, all things related to the water system will be here. The mother thread, which begins as the bus purchase and teardown, lies here - https://irate4x4.com/tow-rigs-and-tr...eral-floorplan

The second post of this thread starts off where we were stripping the OE fuel tank/battery/HVAC bay(s). This bay area is where we initially decided to place the water tanks and still is.
 
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JNHEscher

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..... Plenty to update with. Just rather busy with the bus and stuff at home, lately.

Pics of the passenger evaporator and heater core tray getting pulled after drilling rivets, pulling screws, and hammering all the miscellaneous panels out of the way to get to the tray. The batteries and cables have since been shuffled to or near the engine bay for temporary mock-up.

With the fuel tank out of the way, we can look over what's left of the divider panels to decide what to leave be and what to remove to make way for the new stuff. Today, I think we decided to remove all the fuel tank compartment dividers to open up more access to air lines and the plumbing and electrical that will go in.

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JNHEscher

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So I got this tank a couple months ago because I had an idea...

And thoughts are welcome. When going over the water holding tank build, I was wondering what to do about lukewarm water. Ya know, that temperature that just doesn't satisfy in the summer because the pipes hanging in your crawlspace have warmed up because it's only 113 degrees outside. I figure our holding tank will experience some heat soak in the summer months. Especially if we're over top of hot pavement a lot.

What if I mounted a small chiller tank within the refrigerator that I put together? A tank that would hold a nice amount of water to keep cold for just the kitchen and bathroom sinks. No need for such cold water in the shower or washing machine, as you're generally running tap water temperature or hotter and refrigerated water would just combat the energy the water heater uses. Cold drinking water is awesome and the volume that we would use wouldn't heat the tank up much as it refills.

Here be my thoughts on materials:
This polished stainless tank is for air suspension and certainly won't be 316. It is made in China (because it says so) and that's where most cheap products come from these days. I have a bore scope that I could poke around the inside with to see how nasty it might be.
We have a reverse osmosis filtration system for the bus (which I'm sure is also made in China) that we may or may not use. I was ditching the pressure tank from the system. It is aluminum (I'm not sure what grade), has only one small port and its girth is much more than I want to try to squeeze into a fridge.

No matter what metal I use, there's almost always some kind of mineral or acid in water that can degrade it over time, though our rain catchment system and filtration shouldn't be a bother. Buying a tank specifically for such purposes can be quite costly. I'd be down to braze a copper tank to fit my specs. My mind is still wandering on this.

Throw in your two cents because I feel like I'm missing something with this. The basics of the water system are to pump from the holding tank, branch with a manifold to the chiller tank, shower, washer, and water heater, then branch from the chiller tank to both sinks and from the water heater to the sinks, shower, and washer. I'm pretty sure the washer we're getting requires hot and cold hookup.

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JNHEscher

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enormiss said,

I get the drinking water but a small coil loop in fridge and dedicated tap is simple, however I'm not from a hot climate... I like reverse osmosis but it generates a ton of waste water, were you going to capture that for use? Edit... Love the bus
 

JNHEscher

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DE Jeeper said,

Seems overly complicated.i agree with above a simple copper coil inthe fridge leading to a stand alone water dispenser. I have a triple filter from the supply house hooked to ours and dont worry about the quality
 

JNHEscher

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True that. I third the coil. Probably didn't occur to me before because I was originally going to build a squarish fridge with drawers that would accommodate a tank very well. Switched up to a cylindrical fridge with rotary drawers which would be perfect for a copper coil.

RO water was the plan, but only produces about 8 gallons per day at something like 80psi on the membrane. And yes, a ton of waste. If we stick with RO, I'd like to run the waste through a couple free-flowing filters that drain back into the rain gutter piping to be recycled. However, the minerals that the RO system filters out will still make it back to the membrane and slow it down much sooner than it would with the typical waste water configuration. That and I have to pressurize the rain catchment tank and the whole thing was getting complicated.
 

JNHEscher

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60 foot coil of 3/4" holds 3.65 gallons. Hot damn. My stainless tank is only 3 gallons. The inside diameter of the refrigerator I'm working on is 35.25". The copper coil is 35" overall in its coiled form at the full 60 feet. I'll go with the 3/4" coil so that it's an easy connection to the 3/4" PEX feeding it and it'll have plenty of flow to supply both sinks without restriction. I could probably run some solder beads between coils to stabilize it since I won't really have room to mount the coils in retainers.

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JNHEscher

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[486] said,

the fridges that have the icemaker in the front only have like 20' of plastic 1/4" coiled up in the back for the water dispenser

I don't get why you'd plumb chilled water to the cold taps on the sink, just seems like it's asking for the fridge to constantly be 70 degrees or more.
 

JNHEscher

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Everybody's water usage is a little different, I'd imagine. The majority of our cold water usage from either sink is for drinking and to get cold water takes a few gallons to purge the warm water. I filter one to two gallons of water a day that I store in the fridge to keep cold for the kids and I to drink. The holding tank water will already be filtered and probably filtered after the pump. Having cold water at the tap would be nice. Floorplans are still in the works, but the fridge will be as close to the sinks as possible to minimize waste. Same with the water heater. It's getting placed to make the shortest runs to the kitchen sink and shower that I can get.

There's still kinks to work out. I'll post my materials list as I go to see if there's improvements to be made. And since the refrigerators with water outlets use plastic line, I would probably be fine by continuing the coil with PEX. I'll think on that.
 

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aczlan said,
JNHEscher said:
Everybody's water usage is a little different, I'd imagine. The majority of our cold water usage from either sink is for drinking and to get cold water takes a few gallons to purge the warm water. I filter one to two gallons of water a day that I store in the fridge to keep cold for the kids and I to drink. The holding tank water will already be filtered and probably filtered after the pump. Having cold water at the tap would be nice. Floorplans are still in the works, but the fridge will be as close to the sinks as possible to minimize waste. Same with the water heater. It's getting placed to make the shortest runs to the kitchen sink and shower that I can get.

There's still kinks to work out. I'll post my materials list as I go to see if there's improvements to be made. And since the refrigerators with water outlets use plastic line, I would probably be fine by continuing the coil with PEX. I'll think on that.​
What if you used a 1/4" "drinking water faucet" with 1/4" plastic line going to the fridge coil? Something like: https://www.amazon.com/Aissimio-Drin...dp/B0791GSYBP/
61nK5X9jyDL._SL500_.jpg

That way you aren't cooling all the water you use in the kitchen sink.

Aaron Z
 

JNHEscher

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That's a possibility. May not be needed though. I think it's something we won't decide on with certainty until the kitchen counter build is starting. I'm running 3/8" PEX for all the branch lines. 1/4" is almost obnoxiously slow. As far as cooling all of the water in the sinks, there isn't much we use beyond filling a glass to drink. Considering the amount of space a gallon jug and water filter pitcher are taking up in our fridge, the tank idea was kind of an upgrade lol.

The tank that was included with the RO system is also right around 3 gallons. That volume must be optimal for the occasional filling of a drinking cup. The similar RO systems I've seen in houses have the same tank.

I've been eyeing our changes in water usage over the past few months, and for the most part, we're well on our way to conscious and habitual water conservation for full-time RV living. I trickle straight hot water to wash dishes and use around one gallon to wash a load. Switched the showerhead to a Niagra Conservation unit that is switchable between, 1.5, 1 and 0.5 gpm. I go between the 1 and 0.5 settings. We are going with a washing machine for the convenience. A Kenmore 41003 combo. Water consumption is a bit less than the dedicated unit we have now.
 

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87manche said,

I would do the 1/4 faucet for your cold water.

If you want to fill a pot or something, you don't want to use all your cold water to do it. Filling a glass or some such doesn't really take any longer from the 1/4 inch one because it has no aerator or flow restriction device.
 

JNHEscher

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[486] said,

and you only gotta run about a quarter cup worth of water to get the cold out to the faucet rather than a quart or so with 5/8" ID 3/4 nominal pex
 

JNHEscher

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The 3/4" PEX stops in the coil and then would drop to 3/8" to go to the sinks. But anyway, for the last four years, we've done stuff in the kitchen simultaneously and pots get filled with hot water since it's already hot at the tap and it gets to boiling quicker. This makes me think, though, that if somebody else were visiting and filled a pot, they would be more likely to go with the cold water. This bus is being built for us and us alone, but I do need to consider visitors.

The RO system came with one of those 1/4" faucets. I'll have to dig it out because I bet it has all the necessary pieces to run the water as suggested. One less expense for us.
 

JNHEscher

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Same with the RO system we have. I would just need to adapt it to the coil which will be simple. We talked it over a bit and both agreed that we have no need for a dedicated faucet, but if someone else or either of the kids comes along an runs the coil out, then there goes the chilled water for however long it takes to cool off the contents of the coil. So, since we have the parts, I'll make it happen.
 

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I apparently typed something incorrectly last night. A 60 foot coil of 3/4" ID pipe would only be 1.38 gallons.
 

JNHEscher

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Throwing in another topic. Along with getting all conduits and the first layer of floor sheeting down within the next couple months, I would like to put on some guttering to stop the window leaks. Wouldn't be much fun to get the floor steel down and have creeks running across it any time it rains or snows. Anyone that knows these buses knows that the windows are notorious for taking on water that trickles past the drip rails.

I have the fancy camera battery charging up, so I should be able to post pictures of the current rails by tomorrow. I've removed one section for inspection and idea forming. I am wanting to replace it with some wider material to catch all the rainwater we can and leave room for awning rolls. The factory rails are double row aluminum with rubber end caps. I think the intent was for the rails to direct water to either end away from the windows. A quick walk down the either side of the bus and you can see all the streaks where water ran behind the rails and onto the window frames.

The first material choice was something like alu h-beams. A brief look into those made me realize that the cost of that would end up being roughly $2K. These don't need to be structural, per se, but they do add some rigidity and they clamp down the sides of the aluminum roof skins. The next choice would be some thick PVC pipe. This would be very light and super easy to fab up and road repairs would be just a hardware store away. With the entry pipe being PVC, attachment to the downspout would be too easy. I'm just rather hesitant to use PVC for something exterior such as this. I would definitely build it to be stout, but still, I question it.

Got any other suggestions? I'll sketch a cutaway of the PVC gutter I have in mind. I'm shooting for relatively light since it's up high and stout enough to withstand highway wind and vibration. I have about 35 feet to run on each side. I did consider cutting the OE rail and widening. That's a pretty long stretch of aluminum to weld though.
 

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bigun said:
Old RVs had a call it an eyebrow the jutted out over the window to help keep the rain off of it is that what you are talking about?​
Nope, but good to know. I'm basically going for oversized drip rails to be gutters. We're setting up rainwater catchment with some hefty filtration. Any precipitation that lands on our roof will get collected and a hose hook-up will be there for supplemental filling in dry spells. It's one of our many plans to try making this build highly sustainable rather than relying on municipal sources.
 

JNHEscher

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Kinda cheesy example but it'll work. I'd add in plenty of reinforcement. There's just something that bothers me about fastening PVC to the outside of our bus. Plastics in the sun expand like a mofo and that stuff gets annoyingly squeaky.

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JNHEscher

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Ya. I'll be painting it to help alleviate most of the UV damage to occur. It'll still get nice and toasty though. I joked to the wife about copper gutters. Bet that'd disappear the first night we stop near a truck stop. Aluminum is probably the best option. Widening the drip rail will likely be the cheapest route. I'm pretty sure it's an extrusion. Camera battery is ready to go so I'll get a few views of it in the daylight.
 

JNHEscher

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Working to kill both birds at once. Amazon page doesn't look to show what the material is. Being 3 pounds and 8 feet long, I'm guessing vinyl. I'd like to go 3-4 inches wide. The factory rail is 3/4".
 

JNHEscher

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I searched a little and came across that one last night. Looks like it's worth considering. I'd like to find some pictures or video of how it typically mounts and what mounts to it. The listed dimensions on some of those had me wondering how a canopy mounted.
 

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bigun said,
JNHEscher said:
I searched a little and came across that one last night. Looks like it's worth considering. I'd like to find some pictures or video of how it typically mounts and what mounts to it. The listed dimensions on some of those had me wondering how a canopy mounted.​
They have a rod inserted in the fabric that is then threaded though the open circle section

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LzmqPcpIPk
 
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