Multi-tank Fresh Water System Feedback Request - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 04:06:PM Thread Starter
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Multi-tank Fresh Water System Feedback Request

To maximize the amount of fresh water we can carry and given the constraints of the rest of our build we will need two tanks:



Bill of Materials:
Questions:

Is this the best way to connect 2 tanks together at different elevations?

Is one line between the tanks enough for water flow and a vent?

Am I missing any important valves?

Would PEX and the push-to-connect style connectors work well in a van?

2016 350 HD SRW Transit HR Van 148″, 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine, 3.31 Limited Slip Axle, QuadVan 4×4, SYNC 3, Pewter power 10 way seats, Reverse, parking alert, Lane keeping alert, Dual batteries, Trailer tow package, PATS, Anti-Theft, Upfitter switches, Running Board, Privacy Glass

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 08:26:PM
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Morey,

I can't tell you if that is the best configuration for a two tank setup, but I have used the push-on connectors ("Shark-bite" from Home Depot) and they have worked great. Especially since I've changed my configuration several times and they just push-on, pull-off, reuse. Considerably easier than glue or soldering.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 08:48:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morey View Post
To maximize the amount of fresh water we can carry and given the constraints of the rest of our build we will need two tanks:



Bill of Materials:
Questions:

Is this the best way to connect 2 tanks together at different elevations?

Is one line between the tanks enough for water flow and a vent?

Am I missing any important valves?

Would PEX and the push-to-connect style connectors work well in a van?
We've been using PEX and push connectors, so far with no problem (once I had them firmly seated).
I have a question or two:
How do you provide air venting for your lower tank, especially when filling?
When the upper tank is emptied to below the level of the lower tank's inlet, how will you get more water out of the upper? Are you depending on a a pump generated vacuum pressure to help? If so, can the upper handle the negative pressure?
I also think this will be problematic if you do add a vent to the lower tank for filling purposes.

We're only using one (41 gal) tank with a different fill and use scheme, so I don't know how well your system will work otherwise. I hope the wall can support your 80+ pound 10 gal tank, and that its bottom is either supported if it is only partially sitting on the wheel well, or can handle the H2O weight.

13 Feb 15 ordered: EL HR 350 SRW w. 3.5L, 3.31LS, MFT, and a bunch of other stuff.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 09:04:PM
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You will need to raise the upper tank above the lower or you'll never use it all and you'll need to add a vent to the lower tank. The additional vent can extend up to and tie in to upper tanks vent with a Y connector not a T. Water seeks it's own level so as long as you use a Y the vent will not vapor lock.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 10:14:PM
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I think you'll need to vent the lower tank, as well. You won't have to raise the upper tank if you run your connecting line down to a tee in the line running to your drain valve and if you put a valve between the tee and the larger tank, you'll be able to drain either/or.

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Last edited by bicyclist; 01-03-2017 at 10:34:PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 10:58:PM
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I used barbed fittings and clear vinyl reinforced hose in my conversion. The vinyl adds a little insulation to help prevent freezing, it is a little flexible and acts like an expansion tank in reducing cycling of the pump and I found it to be more flexible than PVC or PEX so I used fewer connectors. You can also see what is in the hose which is kind of handy for the grey and black tanks.

You should think about weight distribution. I ended up moving my tanks to the front to offset the weight of bikes and gear in the back. Trying to get almost equal weight on all tires with slightly more in the back.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 12:05:AM
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I wouldn't use anything but PEX, it's really easy to work with and made to never leak. The slip on "Sharkbite" connectors work great, just make sure to insert the pipe fully. Cover as much of the pipe as you can with foam pipe insulation to prevent buzzing against the vehicle body, and to protect from freezing.

I would recommend an accumulator if you are using a fixed-speed on-demand pump to reduce cycling. If you have the $$$ use a variable speed pump.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 12:11:AM
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Agree with location concerns. Your water weight will be varying so offsetting the full tanks weight with something on the other side is not going to work. You may find yourself installing air bags. Also, I use Pex after the pump but vinyl from the pump to the tank. It stops the cycling and vibration. You need to shock your first tank of water to get rid of the vinyl taste.

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Last edited by sschefer; 01-04-2017 at 12:14:AM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 08:57:AM
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You could have one tank in less space if you had one custom made either out of plastic or 14 ga. SS. I will have about 24 gallons in the same location with a SS tank that is one tank under my back bench seat. Tank is full height fits in front of the wheel well and then half height over the top of the wheel well. The fill tube will be accessible from the open slider, the outlet will be at bottom front to feed a pump located at back of slider step. The vent tube goes up the back frame for the slider door and terminates with a plastic pneumatic valve exhaust muffler.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 10:25:AM
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The other thing that I see as problematic is the side fills. You're going to slosh out water and you won't be able to fill them completely. I had that problem so I moved the side fill and vent to the top and added a deck plate and installed baffles.

2016 T250, MR, LWB, 3.5L EB, 3.73 LS, Sync, Tow Package.
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