Installing the water system

April 17, 2019

The water system of my previous van was pretty simple: a 40 liters tank with a submersible pump and a small sink. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the water drinkable without some chemical additives. I didn’t like the idea of drinking a chemical cocktail, so I only used the water to wash my body and the dishes. I didn’t like buying portable water in jerrycans, either. Based on my negative experience, I decided to install a professional water filter system that would allow me to treat water, even when obtained from questionable sources.

Installing the fresh water tank

I placed a 90 liters water tank under the raised floor holding the table of the seating area.

Tank below the raised floor

I’ll have to regularly clean the tank to avoid contamination. The construction holding the tank can be unlocked and tipped up to easily remove the tank for such maintenance tasks.

Unlocked tank

I connected the tank with a 38mm hose to a closable nozzle in the very back of the van.

Nozzle to fill the water tank

The tank can be easily filled by pouring water into the nozzle.

Installing the wastewater tank

I picked an old 60 Liter tank to collect the wastewater.

Waste water tank

There was plenty of space in front of the right back wheel to install the tank without losing chassis clearance.

Installed wastewater tank in front of the back wheel

I connected the wastewater tank with flexible hoses to the drains of the shower and the sinks inside the van.

Wastewater hoses

Installing the pump and the filters

I placed the pump next to the fresh water tank inside the van.

Water pump

The pump sucks the water out of the tank through a little pre-filter and pushes it into the main filter system that consists of two filter pairs.

Water filter

The two filter pairs are connected in parallel to increase the throughput. Each pair consists of a ceramic filter cartridge and an activated carbon filter cartridge. The 0,2 micron ceramic filter removes all bugs, bacteria and parasites. The activated carbon filter removes unpleasant tastes, chlorine odors and hazardous chemicals.

Based on the water quality, the filters need to be cleaned and eventually replaced. I installed a little sink below the filter terminal to support these maintenance tasks.

Sink below the filter terminal

The sink is connected to the wastewater system and allows me to remove the filters without flooding my van.

Installing the boiler

A proper shower requires hot water, does it? After doing some research, I found a German manufacturer building small-sized 12 Volt boilers that can heat up 6 liters to 80 degrees Celsius. The boiler nicely fits under the sink next to the shower.

Sink below the filter terminal

The (really) hot water can be mixed with cold water to get enough warm water for a pleasant shower.

According to the boiler’s specifications, it was supposed to support a pressure of up to 3bar which seemed to align well with the specifications of the pump. Unfortunately, the safety valve of the boiler opened right before the pump would automatically stop pumping. I installed a pressure regulator in front of the boiler which solved the problem. :pray:

Pressure regulator in front of the boiler

I was finally able to enjoy hot and cold portable water right out of the tap. :tada:

Pressure regulator in front of the boiler