Filling Water tanks. Any quicker ways /

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 08:30
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Hi guys. I had a search of previous topics, but could not find a solution.

We have a new Billabong Grove 18' van fitted with 2@ 95L plastic water tanks.
Does anyone have a solution to a quicker way to fill the water tanks from 20L portable plastic containers. I tried using the gravity method, and having the 20L container higher than the tank, but this is not always possible unless next to a fence.

Another method was to feed a 12v shower nozzle by removing the head and placing this into the tank opening, but that method is too slow to fill, and the pump gets too hot and needs to cool down. I just want an easier way to fill the tanks manually. Are there 12v water pumps on the market that can be used ?

Also when filling from a hose in caravan park, the water flows back out of the opening. I presume this is from air pressure being forced not having anywhere to escape. I think it could be a bad design fault. My solution is to crawl underneath and loosen one of the inlet hoses on the tank so that air escapes from there.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 08:51

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 08:51
If you have a gravity fed tap outside, click on to that to fill.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:26

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:26
If you don't have an outside tap, fit hoses, taps and click fittings to the tank drain ports and pressure fill from there, either from mains water or pressure pump.
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:08

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:08
Your tank should have an air return line on it. Normally there will be a smaller plastic pipe that exits from the top of the tank and runs up to the filler cap to vent the air from the tank as you fill it. I know some makers don't add this when installing but the last three vans I've owned all have it.

Talking of filling from 20 litre jerrycans, I just use the plastic nozzle supplied with the can and insert it into the fill pipe, good exercise. My tank will take water as fast as I can pour it in.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:10

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:10
Forgot to mention, I did have a mud wasp build his/her nest in the outlet hole once that blocked the air from exiting.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:39

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:39
Those bloody wasps...lol. Set everything in the CP we are in now, connected the sullage hose to the drain pipe. Hmmm...sink, wash basin won't drain properly. Pulled the hose off the van connection and out came the remnants of a paper nest wasp's nest.
Grrrrr...spent a few minutes with a screw driver hauling the rest of the nest out.
Gotta check everything like that if the van hasn't moved for a while.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:13

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:13
Suggest you use a 12v Shurflo pump or similar, like the one in your caravans water supply. Hook up to the car battery or other 12v supply. Fit the pump inlet and outlets with quick release (garden hose) type fittings, Have an inlet pipe about 1.5 - 2.0m drop this into the 20L container and hook your potable water hose between the pump and your water inlet fitting on the van.

Alternatively you could fit an extension pipe from the suction line from your caravan tanks, valve it, and run it out to your drawbar. To operate, open the valve on the new line, close off the valves to the other tanks, to prevent sucking air into the pump and then you will draw direct from your 20L container.

Hope this helps

John
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Reply By: Member - Heather L - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:17

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:17
Turn a tap slightly on as you fill, air will escape that way. I have outside tap on drawbar & keep an eye on spluttering.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:31

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:31
Heather,

The tanks on our Supreme fill from a hose or container to maybe 1/2 or more then have the same problem as Julie. I thought of the "tap on" idea but because the pump is between the tank and the taps didn't bother trying. Obviously works for you so next time I will give it a go.
Thanks mate.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:46

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 10:46
Hang on...just had a thought, doesn't happen that often, lol, the line to the pump is below the water level in the tank, while the problem is the air trapped above.
Hmmmm....now my head is starting to hurt..(:=((.
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Reply By: lizard - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:44

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 09:44
I place 20 litre jerry on top of spare tyre , and syphon water into tanks ..... Our vent was blocked - I blew whatever it was back into tanks using compressor and basketball nozzle .
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:03

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:03
Quote "Also when filling from a hose in caravan park, the water flows back out of the opening. I presume this is from air pressure being forced not having anywhere to escape. I think it could be a bad design fault."

If you just put the end of a hose (that has the normal click fitting on it) into the filler you will get water flowing into both the vent and filler hoses. I have a 450 mm length of hose with this fitting in one end.

That goes into the normal water hose and the free end is pushed 100 - 150 mm down the filler hose. The filling water then will build up enough pressure in the tank to blow the breather hose free of obstructing water. I have introduced this method to many friends and that has cured most of their filling problems.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:20

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:20
Excellent suggestion Peter, I'll give that a go as well.

Many thanks, Bruce.
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Reply By: auzinomad - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:08

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:08
I fitted a 3 way tap and a hose connection into a ''T'' on either tank's supply line to the pump.
To fill the tanks I open the filler caps, click the connecter to the supply and open either front or rear tap.
The water goes straight into the tank, back by where it usually come out from, vented at the filler.
I can fill either tank this way and have no trouble filling from a 20 ltr drum.For that I have a small length of hose with click fittings on both ends, fit a male click-on into where the tap usually fits in the 20ltr , stand it in a table / or the back of the ute , open the relevant tank filler and walk away and do something else for about 5 mins.
Too easy Ehh


Ron
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:17

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 12:17
Hi July,
While I have not tried this, I have read about it as it was posted by a responder here.

If filling from a town pressured supply, house tap or similar in other words, take the fittings of the end of the hose and jam it down the van inlet pipe as far as you can and you should be able to fill under pressure. Well, so I have been led to believe.

Most of us have the same problem as you're having and the only real cure I think is to re plumb the vent lines with larger piping and eliminate as much as possible any low points or sags in the vent line. Not really all that achievable from what I can see under most vans given that the vent lines has to dive down under each cross member then back up to the underside of the floor to a saddle or clip thereby creating water traps in the line which obstructs the vent.

Ideally the vent lines should rise away from the tank in a continuous climb to the outside but the siting of the tanks makes this very difficult indeed.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: landseka - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 17:53

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 17:53
Yes Bruce, in most cases this solves the problem.

I have a 400mm hose fitted with click-on connector, I join that to my hose, push the end into the tank then crank the hose up.

I also have a 100L bladder that we use when free camping, fill it when required and gravity feed it into the tank.

I have seen some people make up a pump using similar to a van pump for around $20 online, plumb it up to the bladder (or 20L drum) and pump the water into the tank.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:27

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:27
I made this up in case I get near a suitable body of water I can fill the tanks virtually anywhere. I have tried it out and it works puurrfectly.



Note that there are 3 filters all up.
I have several lengths of 3/4 poly pipe stored in the hollow sections of the chassis so that I can join several together to get right out into the water with the pickup.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:42

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 18:42
Bruce,

3 filters?

I am assuming there is a pre filter then the 1st blue filter is a sediment filter followed by a charcoal filter?

I am looking to setting something similar up so would like some more details if possible :)


Cheers Kev


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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:02

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:02
Hi Kev,
Here is the other photo of the complete setup in the case.



You are correct there are in fact 4 filters Kev.
The first is the larger particulate strainer which is fitted directly to the pump and stops any debri getting into the pump, then after the pump there are the 2 big blue filters, one of which has a charcoal canister the other has fine particulate canister or whatever it is and the last filter is the taste and odour removal filter, the long white plastic one.

This last filter is fitted at the end of the hose just as it goes into the tank filler. This is probably belt and braces but you cannot be too careful when it comes to drinking water.

I have run dam water out of Wuruma dam in QLD into a bucket and the taste was like tank water after all 4 filters. I was very pleased to say the least. As you are aware, water is the biggest issue when camping especially if you have a shower on board. That is what prompted me to think about it and come up with this.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:18

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:18
Thanks Bruce,

I think I will be doing a very similar set up to yours, as having it portable is very handy :)


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:33

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:33
Kev I use rural poly pipe on the suction side of the setup and merely add as many lengths as I need to to get out to the water away from the bank (deeper water) and use a strainer on the pickup and as the pipe wants to float I put a weight on it to keep the pickup just below the surface.

These pumps are very good at self priming and need virtually no help in picking up the water.

The suit case is fitted with 3/4" Philmac Fittings on the inlet and a 3/4" BSP thread on the outlet. I connect my "Flat Out" lay flat hose to the 3/4" brass fitting (1/2" hose cock size) and the other end of the hose to the final filter by means of brass fittings.



The final filter posed the biggest problem as the tapped threads either end are much smaller than is usual. Not sure what size they are but look a bit like 1/8" gas or something. However I was able to get some suitable fittings to bring it up to 3/4 on the inlet to connect the lay flat hose and at the outlet end is fitted with a 1/2" fitting so that the bent copper tube can be fitted to the filter. The tube is bent so that it goes well into the filler pipe and I just set it going and walk away and come back when the water is overflowing.
"Game set and match" as I usually say.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:43

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:43
Kev the beauty of it being portable is that if you are camping with several others, everybody gets a go, where as if you have it as a permanent fixture then you are limited with the possibilities.

You will note that I have used an anderson plug on the outside of the case. I also have a long lead of 6mm cable acquired from Dereck Bester with an anderson plug on each end. This gives me an anderson extension lead which I can use for many jobs.

I have even converted a 12 volt Makita battery drill. You may recall from one of my earlier posts that I converted a dead makita battery pack by fitting an anderson plug into the dead case and I use it when on the road that way. Never run out of battery power that way and I can plug it into the back of the car as well.

The possibilities are endless and we are only limited by our imagination.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ossiejs (Qld) - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:02

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:02
Hi all. I never ceased to be impressed with the sheer ingenuity of many on this Forum. You should give yourselves a pat on the back!

Have been experimenting with ways to convert turgid water to potable water for longer camps in the outback. Although not really addressing Julie M's topic, some of the responses have given me meaningful ideas. I thought I'd add my fundamentalist (survival) attempts to convert often turgid water into potable water to supplement the limited tank supplied with the Jayco Penguin.

1. Collect water from available source (river, billabong, dam, bore, etc.) in canvas shower bucket.

2. Set up home made "filter" - e.g. 1.25L soft drink bottle with base cut out. Upend bottle (cap removed but saved); into bottle, insert a couple of pieces of chux cloth squares approx. 40mm x 40mm; pack in (i.e. slightly compress) to 1/3 with ground 100% natural charcoal (from camping stores, etc.); add a couple more bigger squares of chux cloth; add a layer of fine (Simpson Desert) sand (to remove bigger particles); and add a couple more bigger squares of chuk. (CHUK WILL STOP WATER WHEN ADDED FROM DISTURBING SAND AND CHARCOAL LAYERS WHEN ADDED).

3. Finally, I use a "Taste & Odour Removal" Filter (with normal hose fillings).

4. Suspend shower bucket above the "filter" bottle; turn shower on slowly to drip into bottle. Can be adjusted as required once water seeps through. First use will result in minute pieces of charcoal dust. I discard or recycle these. May need to filter the captured water more than once for clear water.

5. Place a clean container (e.g. bucket) below the "filter" to catch the filtered water. Use anything to raise the "filter" out of the captured water.

6. Always advisable to boil the filtered water (10mins) before use. As Bruce C said above, you cannot be too careful when it comes to drinking water.

7. Discard sand, and remove and dry the charcoal for the next batch.

I'm impressed with the solutions I've read above, and if Bruce C hasn't patented his improvisation ;-))), together with inline pump suggested by Phil 23, I may just extend my budget! This should give me more time on the tracks, and more regular showers!

Sorry for taking over from your query Julie M. My solution (me with a 59L water tank in the Penguin) and two 20L water containers, is to use as I do, a "jiggler" syphon from the container/s to the water tank. Just need to sit the container high enough. I've found them more reliable, durable, and with greater flow than the cheap pump syphons available. I have two: the second one of for diesel if I'm ever running dangerously low. Just don't mix them up!

Going back to my special place now, to plan my next trip.

Cheers all.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 18:17

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 18:17
Hi Ossiejs,

Thanks for the compliment mate but I reckon there is nothing new under the sun, someone somewhere has done this before so I am not taking credit for it. It is just a solution to a problem I saw, for me. Happy to share it though.

I think we have probably covered Julie M's problem and a few others besides. Nothing succeeds like success. LOL.
Ive even picked up a pointer or two myself off this topic.

That is what it is about isn't it, sharing.

Cheers mate,
Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 19:44

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 19:44
Bruce,

You have got me going now LOL

Just found this set up on ebay- 5 stage filter system

Looks like it needs a few additional parts but may end up similar to your system :)


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 19:57

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 19:57
Now common Kev, that looks like something off the space shuttle, besides it is not in a nice suit casy thingy. LOL

I can't work out what the rocket boosters on top are for though, any suggestions???? LOL

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 21:40

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 21:40
But Bruce,

Once I find a box big enough to house the filters plus the pump, I will only need another trailer to carry it hehehe


Cheers Kev


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Reply By: Slow one - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 19:09

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 19:09
One the pressure filling side of things. The Billabongs tanks are in parallel. One hose large feeds both and one hose removes the expelled air.

If you crawl under the van you will see the one breather hose coming off the two tanks and returning to the filler pipe.

The only way you can change this is to run 2 breather lines to the rear of the van behind the spare wheel and fit non return valve/valves, or fuel tank breathers available at marine outlets, that will stop anything going back down the lines.

On the jerrycan side of things you can sit them the top of something. Vehicle or whatever is available and have a tap and hose in the bottom of the 20l drum. As said the sure flow pump will work well.




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Reply By: Member - flashcher - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:57

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 20:57
Hubby purchased a small pump that fits onto a cordless drill on the weekend so that he can re-fill our tank from a container. Haven't tried it yet, the packaging states it will move 15 litres a minute.
Guess we had better go away somewhere to try it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 18:10

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 18:10
Sound like a very sound plan there Flashcher, get out and try it, too bloomin right mate.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Phil 23 - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 08:06

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 08:06
Looked for a quick simple solution recently & found an inline Rule pump hanging at the Auto electricians.

Came pre wired with alligator clips & pumps a 25 litre drum empty in about 2 minutes.

Cheers

http://www.biasboating.com.au/RULE_500GPH_PORTABLE_MULTI_PURPOSE_PUMP_p/2204.htm
AnswerID: 526777

Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 15:18

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 15:18
Simple Whale inline pump could also be used.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/331127419928?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=107

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Reply By: Member - Julie M - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 21:38

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 21:38
Wow, thanks everybody for suggestions, Hubby was going to enquire about a pump from Boat accessories place, but now has lots of reading to do.
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