Welcome to Manins' truck camper project

Fresh Water Supply

Water Usage

The Touch Screen shows fresh water level (percentage of 185 litres) and grey water level (percentage of 50 litres). Fresh water is provided at the washbasin and sink, including at the filtered water faucet. It is also available at a rear tap and external shower.

A typical conservative shower takes:

  • Peter (no hair): 13% of 50 litres = 6.5 litres
  • Jannette (hair): 19% of 50 litres = 9.5 litres
                       or 6% of 185 litres = 11 litres
seagull_iv.jpg

Filtered Water

A drinking water faucet at the sink uses a high quality Seagull X-IF cartridge filter located next to the water pump. Replacement cartridges are available from Purifiers Australia.

Apr.2017: A replacement Seagull IV cartridge was priced at $205 delivered from Purifiers Australia. Instead, I bought two Neo-Pure NP-1SG Replacement water Cartridges off eBay for $189.26 + $56.84 postage from USA. These claim a slightly slower flow rate to ensure optimal contamination reduction.


Water Reticulation

Photo30-12-2014_104612.jpg

The 185 litre grey fresh water tank is located between the chassis rails.

IMG_5974.JPG

Left valve: water pumped from tank or external source. Right valve: water pumped to the camper services or to the tank.

Fresh water is pumped from a 185 litre tank that is located between the chassis rails towards the rear of the truck. Alternatively, water can be pumped from a bucket or stream by changing a couple of diverter valves and connecting a hose to a point below the external shower behind the driver's door.

shurflow_pump_and_strainer.jpg

The pump is a SHURflo 4009-101-A87, rated at 11.3 litres/minute free flow. It can run dry without damage. In the setup of TT30 it delivers (after the mods discussed below) 5.0 litres/minute at the kitchen sink. The pump is fitted with a SHURflo Twist Filter, a stainless steel mesh screen filter, at its inlet. The ports are 1/2"-14 NPSM-Male thread.

Plumbing Schematic

Courtesy of TravelTrucks (with corrections), this is the schematic for the fresh water management in TT30.

TT30_WATER.gif

Plumbing

CDC_PAT(3).jpg CDC_PC_6.jpg

The plumbing is executed in John Guest 12 mm semi-rigid tubing and lots of push-on stem elbow connectors, along with CDC Pneumatics 10 mm thread to push-on connectors for the two Diverter Valves, and a CDC Triple Branch 6-port Connector to distribute the pump output to the different lines.

Some photos of the supplied installation:

IMG_5955.JPG

Plumbing around the water pump. Pump output at bottom centre - two elbows to blue tube, two more elbows to diverter valve (see next photo). Pump input via strainer under heater air intake, two elbows to diverter valve (see next photo).

IMG_5957.JPG

Diverter valves. Left, the output of the pump goes to the elbow and centre connector. Right, the input to the pump comes from centre connector and elbow. (Red hot-water plumbing in background.)

IMG_5958.JPG

Looking down onto the triple branch 6-port connector. The output from the right diverter valve goes into the end of the connector under the strainer. There is evidence of a lot of swarf in the strainer.


The lines to the Triple Branch 6-port Connector are:

water_distributor.jpg

Improvements

The number of elbows that were used is really surprising. And the way the pump was plumbed in was bound to lead to poor performance. The SHURflo installation instructions note that flexible hose should be used on the pump inlet and outlet, and emphasise that restrictions on the inlet and outlet should be minimised. Yet the outlet of the pump immediately went to a 180° turn in two rigid elbows. The inlet was little better, being supplied via two elbows before a length of semi-rigid tubing.

Replacing the lines around the pump with reinforced flexible food-grade hose greatly improves the flow and so pump performance. The increased diameter of the hose gives a 40% increase in cross-section and eliminating 11 elbows reduces restrictions as much as possible. To do better would require replacing the diverter valves and triple-branch distribution port with models that accept larger diameter tube.

IMG_5968.JPG

The supplied lines between the diverter valves and the pump. Eight elbows were eliminated by replacing these lines with reinforced flexible hose!

IMG_5970.JPG

Flexible food-grade reinforced 12 mm ID hose connected to the pump inlet and outlet using barbed connectors and up to the diverter valves. The hose is inline with the pump ports for substantial lengths to minimise flow irregularities.

IMG_5972.JPG

The flexible hoses now go straight into the diverter valves using barbed connectors. The tubing to the tops of the diverters has been replaced with longer lengths, allowing the elimination of three elbows!


IMG_5961.JPG

White plastic swarf and black plastic particles trapped in the pump strainer.

Removing Blockage

Before these changes were made, there had been a notable but unappreciated fall-off of performance of the system such that the flow rate measured at the sink was an unacceptable 2 litres/minute. The changes described in fact had little impact on this performance. At first I thought the rubbish I had found in the pump strainer was the explanation. It looks like plastic swarf from cutting the threads in the sockets in the tank wall. However this explained none of the performance drop.


IMG_5963.JPG

Plastic swarf blocked the tube from the tank and elbow below the camper floor.

By a process of eliminating different parts of the water intake path, I established that:

  1. the input diverter valve made little difference to the performance of the system,
  2. the big performance hit was due to the hose/elbow below the floor of the camper.

Pulling the joint apart, I found that the elbow and the end of the pipe to it were jammed full of white plastic swarf. Clearing this out doubled the flow performance!


20170430_150903.jpg

Apr.2017: While replacing the filtered water cassette I looked in the pump strainer. I was shocked to see that it was again full of white plastic swarf. I hope that's the last of it!


Main Water Filler

IMG_6012_2.JPG

Filling the water tank with a hose. A hose bag is used for storage.

IMG_5667.JPG

Water filling point with the cap holder on the door.

The main filling point for the 185 Litre water tank is in a hatch on the camper wall behind the passenger seat. The water entry cap was kept in place with a chain. This meant that a hose nossle could not be firmly inserted to fill under pressure. The chain has been removed and a cap holder fashioned for the hatch door.

The filling point is rather low and was connected to the entry point at the back of the tank using 25 mm dia. suction hose. Inadequate care to ensure the hose has a downward fall means that it was difficult to fill the tank from that point. A second snap-lock hose connector is set at the back of the vehicle and this can be used to fill the tank under pressure.

The original prototype Camper used 38 mm dia. hose, a far better idea. Even better would have been to connect the hose to the front of the tank, not the back!

As much as possible, I have replaced the filling hose with 38 mm dia suction hose taking care to ensure a fall for the full length. There is a 38 mm threaded entry at the back of the tank that was not being used. The only issue is the set of 25 mm dia elbows that take the hose through the Camper floor.

The changes work well — the tank can be filled successfully from the filling point using a garden hose.

IMG_5737.JPG

Behind the filling point. 38 mm dia. suction hose ...

IMG_5735.JPG

... snakes its way to the 25 mm dia. elbow through the floor.

IMG_5539.JPG

Another 25 mm dia. elbow and a long length of 38 mm dia hose.

IMG_5541.JPG

Hose over the chassis rail near the back wheel — a downward slope all the way.

IMG_5748.JPG

At the rear, barbed elbows to the tank filler point.

IMG_5747.JPG

At the 38 mm dia entry to the tank, slip joiners are required since there is no room to do up a threaded elbow.

IMG_5751.JPG

Tank Drain

A convenient drain cock for the tank is handy. I replaced the 25 mm dia. bung in the bottom of the tank with an elbow and tap, protected by the rear axle.


LINKS