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Author Topic: Making Fresh Tank Last a Month  (Read 2932 times)
Scott Bennett
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« on: February 03, 2013, 06:19:05 AM »

I've been poking around the forum and trying to find some references to a fresh tank water reclamation system that I thought Sean (odyssey) was using in his Neoplan. We have 100 gallon tanks on board and since I'm recording this week here at the studio and we've been parked in our coach in their production truck ramp for what will be 12 days. We've had no problem making 100 gal of freshwater last us even with house faucets and shower head (navy showers) but I'd love for us to get a month out of our freshwater. I already know we easily have a month of holding tank, but our fresh runs out. Besides being more of a miser or running larger tanks, can anyone fill me in on a water filtering/reclamation system that can be practically used on the coach and will extend the use of our fresh water?


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 06:25:41 AM »

There have been busnuts who rigged up the toilet to flush with gray water in order to not use fresh water for this purpose.

This has increased maintenance potential as others have reported that the contents of the gray water, soap and whatever residues, fouling lines/valves and/or seals.

If money is no object, NASA will have some lovely, proven equipment...

happy coaching!
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 06:47:29 AM »

The Romans used silver I have read where this generation uses colloidal silver I remember my Grandmother always kept a silver spoon in the well bucket I never knew why or cared it may work or may not I have no idea.
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 06:52:13 AM »

Cliff, I have no idea what to think Smiley I am wary about reusing grey water for toilet unless its filtered. The charcoal filters we used when going overseas basically insinuated we could stick the pickup tube into some really brackish water and as long as iodine was added or chlorine tablets, we could drink it. A larger version of this might work!?


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 06:57:26 AM »

No I just am talking about keeping the fresh water from growing and killing the bacteria used water is not my thing lol
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 06:59:36 AM »

Oh. Haha! Ok. I get it. No I'm wanting to know if I there were a commercially sized water filtration system that could be practically installed on a coach to reuse grey water.


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Scott & Heather
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http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 07:05:09 AM »

Found it. Yep. NASA has it. Yep, it probably costs more than a house. Nevermind. I'm giving up my 3 GPM shower head.


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Scott & Heather
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http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 07:05:40 AM »

They do it in Vegas for the golf courses I don't know it works I just see the signs "Don't Lick Your Balls"
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 07:24:51 AM »

Why cant he just run the hose thats setting by them prevos and fill his tanks, got to be water there close,
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 07:44:32 AM »

The low desert here, Palm Springs, etc, recycle gray water for golf coursed and landscapping.  There would only appear to be three ways to extend your water fill time: get more water, recycle, use less. We have a five gallon water jug that I wheel over to a tap, fill, and pour into our tank when we dry camp.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2013, 08:34:15 AM »

What Sean has is a smaller (I think 20gal) water tank just for drinking water with a separate faucet. He does not recycle the gray water. I don't think it is a good idea to recycle the gray water into the toilet. Can make for quite a stinky mess. Good Luck, TomC
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2013, 11:06:14 AM »

Interesting info on ceramic filters: http://greywateraction.org/content/ceramic-drinking-water-filter.

But yes, I mistakenly thought this existed in a practical package for a bus. I guess 250 gallon fresh tanks are in our future.
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2013, 12:16:57 PM »

The only thing I know Sean does is he recirculates cold "hot" water in the shower back to the freshwater tank until he gets actual hot water.
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2013, 01:27:44 PM »

Oh...yeah. You're right. That's what I was confusing with a reclamation system. Duh.  Undecided
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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 05:45:32 PM »


 I guess 250 gallon fresh tanks are in our future.

If you were to upgrade to 250, what size back and grey would you use?
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2013, 07:25:59 PM »

We only run a black/grey combo tank. We have valves on every drain that lead to the ground in the places that allow us to dump our grey out. Those are getting fewer and far between. If we go 250 it won't be until we have a truck conversion. We are in the midst of laying out the floor plan and I'm keeping my eye on freightliner cabover chassis.


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2013, 08:41:04 PM »

Hi Scott, I have a 5 gallon disstilled water bottle for my radiator misting, with a 12volt pump, back were the airconditioner compressor was, couldn't you put some plumbing in place with a diverter at the toilet water inlet that you could tap a tank like my mister tank either in the engine compartment or add a tank, with that tap,  in the bay when needed, lvmci...
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2013, 09:06:52 AM »

On my truck conversion, I'm using 2-98gal fresh water tanks plumbed together to make 196gal fresh, a 115gal gray water tank, 69gal black water tank, 2-10gal water heaters. The fresh water tanks, black and 2 water heaters are mounted just forward of the tandems. The gray water is right over the tandems. One of the many advantages of using a truck chassis. I'm just tired of the crampness of working on the bus. REALLY looking forward to the ease of maintenance, workability and driveability of the truck. The only drawback-there is no real forward vision when in the back. I'm going to setup a high def camera outside with a flat screen TV on the front wall for a virtual window. It will second as a security camera.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2013, 09:29:46 AM »

Tom, what about a periscope?
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 09:35:52 AM »

I've known a couple people that have used gray water for flushing, and used no filter whatsoever.  The only method they used to prevent solid particulate from being introduced was to place the gray water tap about six inches or so off the bottom of the tank.

When draining the tank they provided for flushing water in some gallon jugs with water from the gray water tank, or one just saved urine for flushing till water in the tank was up sufficiently.

They did tell me that they did not allow bleach, or other bacteria inhibiting things into their gray water so as to not introduce it into the blank tank, which tends to smell up the process.

Ed
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 05:55:10 AM »

Lvmci, actually we have plenty of space to add various tanks like you said. Freshwater could be several tanks tied together like TomC has. But of course, black really needs to just be one main tank if possible. It's interesting how full timing for 20 months opens your eyes. We are always parked at a full hookup...or thought we would be. But this past summer we were parked in a school parking lot for two months without hookup. Dumping into a 30 gallon roller tote was a nasty experience and I intend to never have to again. We know without a doubt that if we are water misers we can go a full 16 days on 100 gallons of capacity with no hookup at all...and that's with a 2.5 GPM shower head. Now, if we can merely get a hose connection which is much easier to find than a sewer connection at some of the places we stay, we can drop our grey water sometimes using our diverter valves at every drain (we use organic soaps a lot) then we literally can go for a solid two months or more without dumping the black tank if we had 200 gal capacity. I wish there were some sort of transportable tank that you could slide onto a hitch platform on our truck and take the black tank away to dump and the fresh tank to fill without having to move the coach.


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 07:26:05 AM »

Scott, when we re-did our shower last winter we put in a Kohler K8543CP 2 GPM hand held shower head. Not cheap, about $70 without the hose, but worth it to us. It has good flow and in addition to being 2 GPM I think the head design allows a quicker rinse. We like it and it works so well, we later put one in our home shower too.

Good luck, Sam
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 08:24:52 AM »

I have an old fashioned style shower faucet with the two handles for hot and cold.  This allows one to also adjust the water flow.  The single handle shower faucets these days only have one water flow setting.
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2013, 02:53:49 PM »

Brian,

Some single handle shower valves don't control the flow, but the Moen L4625 that we used does. You pull out the handle to adjust the flow and turn the handle to adjust the temperature.  The only local place we could get the 36"X36" Maax neo-round shower stall, with sliding doors, that I wanted, and the fixtures my wife wanted, was at the wholesale plumbing supply store. We had a very knowledgeable sales lady/interior decorator help us pick out the products that best met our needs. It took 3 weeks to get the items, but they were delivered to my shop when they came in. You don't get that service and quality at the big box stores. You do pay for the service and quality, but the finished project was worth it to us. I wish I knew how to post pictures because I think the project turned out very well.

Scott, sorry I got off topic.

Good luck, Sam
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2013, 09:03:33 PM »

Actually this is delightfully on topic. I'm intrigued by the kohler shower head. Ours is leaking and being dumb. We need a new one. As for flow control, we do have it at the shower valve handle. We also have an on and off navy shower type lever/valve at the shower head.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2013, 04:42:01 PM »

We're fans of Oxygenics Body Spa showerhead, which can be had for under $40 on Amazon. It significantly reduces water usage, while giving a lot of pressure.  The one we just got in was marked being rated for a max of 2 GPM.

My cold water reclamation system isn't as fancy as Sean's, but I simply collect the cold water in a bucket that we then use for flushing the toilet or even washing dishes. When we were living in the Virgin Island during a draught off a rapidly depleting cistern, we even resorted to placing pots and pans in the shower stall to collect water to do dishes with. 

Other tips for saving water:

- Go no-poo (no shampoo). I've not used shampoo in over 5 years, which can be a major water saver - and my hair is healthier - and we save lots of money on shampoo. Here's my article on the topic: http://www.technomadia.com/2012/01/four-years-shampoo-free/

- Pre-rinse dishes with a squirt bottle with diluted dish soap (instead of running water over them.).  Let them soak, then scrub.. then rinse with as little water as you can. I also recommend washing in a basin, or closing the drain - this way you're very aware of how much water you've used. And if grey tank space is an issue, you can then easily dump or evaporate the dish water by placing the basin out in the sun.

On our previous RV that we full timed in, we had 38G of fresh water that we could make last for nearly 2 weeks when needed.  Now with 100G on board, we're darn right abundant, and feel we could easily make it last a month if we really needed to.

We also modified our water pump so it could suck in fresh water from a container, which makes it easier to refill if a hose isn't handy.

 - Cherie





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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2013, 06:19:14 PM »

Lots of great info on this topic! We just bought a 0.5gpm low flow shower head. A bit pricy but was the lowest flow I could find.  Here is a link to some details on it.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/bricor-05-gpm-ultra-lowflow-sh-110946

I didn't buy it from this site....forgot where I got it from.

Have not had the chance to use it yet, will let you all know how we like it in April!
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 08:55:47 PM »

Definitely want to know how you like that shower head! Cherie, a month on 100 gallons!? I can't hold a candle to your water miserness!!! Wow!


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2013, 06:02:38 AM »

Scott - We've used the Oxygenics since we got our bus. We just replaced it because the plastic holder broke, and well - we wanted it in brushed nickel instead of white Smiley

We love it tremendously.
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