Onboard water: LC or trailer?

Discussion in 'Trailer Tech' started by Exiled, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Exiled

    Exiled

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    OK, folks, I'm getting ready to button up the trailer project (got time now while the Cruiser is gone). Got the propane situation figured out, now I'm going to tackle the fresh water supply.

    I'm thinking a 15-12 gallon water tank (not too big, I don't want it *too* heavy) mounted low under the tub. Trailer is SOA, so I have space for it.

    I'm looking for your opinions on the following questions:

    1. Plastic or steel tank? I had originally planned on going with a plastic tank. Bought one, had it in the garage for a while, decided it wasn't going to work. I like the idea of using a tank designed to carry fresh water in an RV, but the shape tends to be akward for my application and I can't figure out a way to mount it. Straps? Padded straps? some form of skidplate mount? Sources or suggestions for tanks?

    2. Pump. Do I mount it on the Cruiser or the trailer? I'm thinking on the truck since I have a heat exchanger for an onboard shower setup, I could design the trailer tank with a connection for the shower. Pros? Cons? I don't have a good place to mount a pump on the trailer, and I *don't* want to run a battery on the trailer.

    3. Filler/drain/nozzle. Years ago I had a chance to see Mike Bennet's modified M416 in Moab, he had a steel fresh water tank under it that filled through a hose that ran up the side of the trailer to one of the tub's corner handles. Very clean and simple system, but that might not work with mine. Any ideas/suggestions? Also, where do I get the hardware for this project? Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks, people, my goal is to have the trailer finished by the time the truck is done. This means getting the propane tanks mounted (decided against the permanent tank that I'd bought for various reasons) and secured, getting mounts fabricated for the badass airplane wheel chocks my wife got me for Father's Day, getting the water tank resolved, finishing the rewiring, mounting the new fully-enclosed light brackets I got and then sanding and painting the little fawker to match the Cruiser's new scheme. Oh, and I still need to paint the rims to match the Cruisers, too....this never ends! :)
     
  2. Mike S

    Mike S

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    EXiled...

    I added a water tank to my trailer - between the frame rails under the box. This is a cutome built 3/8" thick poly tank, and shielded by an 1/8" thick full skid plate that bolts to a cross member at the front end, and to the rear trailer frame at the back, under the tail gate. It is about 7" deep, 32" wide, and about 35" front to back. Holds 38 gallons. I built to fill tube from 1-1/8" stainless to come up the PS rear corner , and stoppered by a boat drain plug (easily replaceable).

    There is a gravity feed spigot at the rear under the TG for 'dog water', and a 1.6 GPM Aquaflow pump mounted in the tongue box with an external spigot. A switch controls the pump.

    Here is a photo of the filler tube...

    [​IMG]

    Pm with any questions, dimensions, etc...

    Mike S
     
  3. desertdude

    desertdude SILVER Star

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  4. Mike S

    Mike S

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  5. Exiled

    Exiled

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    Thanks for the help, guys, I appreciate it! Mike, did you custom bend the SS tube for the filler neck? Is your tank vented? How does it mount? Any chance I can get you to take some pictures for me in the near future?

    Thanks again, love your trailer setup, BTW, it's an inspiration.
     
  6. Mike S

    Mike S

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    Thanks. The trailer and cruiser were borrowed my my son for the week, but when he gets back, I'll try to take some pics and post them.

    The tank is vented (1/4" ID poly elbows) on all four sides with 1/4" silcone tubing running up past the frame on the sides. You must vent the tank.

    The filler tube was bent to fit the application, and there is a FW certified flex hose from the bottom elbow to the tank fill fitting. Stainless clamps allow the tank to be de-mounted.

    The tank is retained by a couple of angles welded to the top side of the skid plate. The skid plate is powder coated so that rust is more or less prevented.

    I should add that the tank is entirely rear of the axle, which is intended to balance the spare and dual batteries / tongue box that are mounted on the trailer tongue.

    The trailer is SOA, so there is plenty of clearance - 21" from the ground to the bottom of the frame. With the OME 2-1/2" lift and frame mounted hitch and reciever, the trailer rides level both empty and fully loaded.

    I should also mention that, with a full load of gear, 30+ gallons of water, and 20 gallons of fuel on board, the FJ60 will do 70 on the level, but does not speed up steep hills. I estimate that the loaded weight of the trailer is about 1200 lbs. That's one reason I'm thinking 1HD-T diesel power may be coming soon.

    M

    PS: I thought ypu were selling your 60? I hope you didn't.

    EDIT --- Here's a diagram of the trailer with measurements. The slanted end faces rear, and the face of it tucks up against the inside to the 2" X 2" trailer frame at the back, and the skid plate bolts to the bottom of the frame. The groove that runs across the tank accomodates the rear cross brace. I ended up swapping the filler tube to the PS (same side as the fuel fill on the FJ), and added some vents on the other side. This is a pretty simple design, and allows me to go into the desert for 7 to 10 days without any additional water. The pump is on-board in the tongue box, and an RV hand shower and hose attach for a quick rinse.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Rich

    Rich

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    Would it not be advantageous to mount the tank centered over the axle so that as water is consumed the trailer weight distribution does not change?

    On my boat I use a 1.5 inch diameter water fill. Allows a garden hose to be inserted for filling. The cap requires a two pronged key for opening. Provides some limited protection against somebody adding a "surprise" to the water supply. The cap is o ring sealed so it can be exposed to weather. Does require a bit of room for mounting. The one I used is made of chrome plated brass. 1.5 inch water filler hose runs from filler to tank. Also have a chrome plated brass vent. End is screened to keep out bugs. Don't recall size of vent line, maybe 5/8 inch.
     
  8. Rich

    Rich

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    Mike, trailer looks good. How much time to build it?
     
  9. Mike S

    Mike S

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    Rich

    I designed the trailer, and Wayne Percival of Dixon, CA fabbed it. I don't have the equipment (or skills?) to do this type of work. Wayne's a great guy, super fab guy, and he is really easy to work with.

    Took a couple of months of part time work, ordering parts, trying stuff, etc. I am very happy with the result, except if I did it again, I would move the axle about 3" forward. Mounting the spare on the front made it a bit tongue heavy, but it tracks perfectly.
     
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