Dump tank plumbing

I’m working on building the frames to hold the dump tanks, and their placement.  Tonight I tried to figure out where, exactly to mount them down.  I know the general area, but an inch or two here or there can cause various complications.

One of the goals of the trailer is to be a true 4-season rig.  This means the holding tanks need to be inside of the heated and insulated area.  Most RVs have the tanks hanging out to the outside since they’re not thinking anyone would be silly enough to intentionally camp in cold weather.

I also want to have the ability to have the shower drain directly to the outside when I’m in areas where it wouldn’t be a problem.  This saves a lot of space in the grey tank and gives me additional flexibility for tank management.  I may add an additional fresh water tank if I have the ability to do a direct shower drain like this.  Of course, if I also want to be able to have the shower dump into the grey tank like it’s supposed to, then that’s more plumbing.

I also want the dump valves inside the heated area as well so I don’t have to be concerned about having those freeze.  The only part of the system that will be exposed to the outside is a typically-dry output pipe.  (The only time it’s wet is when the system is actively dumping or I’m using it as a shower drain.)

The featured image above shows the basic bits and pieces of the inside plumbing for the dump tanks and the shower dump into the system.  A larger version of it is here.  It’s surprising the number of pieces are needed to make everything work.

Tomorrow I’ll probably make another Home Depot trip and pick up as many of these as possible and start laying them out to make sure I didn’t forget something.  It’ll also give me a reality check to make sure it’ll all reasonably fit in the space I’m allocating for it.

This is just one small part of getting the tanks mounted.  I figured out when dry fitting the black tank and its frame (which I had to create) that it would be extremely close to the wall.  So close in fact that it made sense to prepare the wall and go ahead and mount the tank frame right to the wall.  That meant doing the 1″ of insulation, installing the original wood paneling, getting the window frame back in and screwed into place, creating the 2″ spacers, and then finally re-dry-fitting the tank in place.  Oh, and another run to home depot to pick up 2.625″ self-tapping screws specifically for the 2″ spacers.  Sometimes a very simple task (place tank in trailer) can turn into a week-long project with 6 steps backwards before 1 step forward.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all, in fact, I’m rather enjoying the build out process.  I’m just somewhat surprised at how complicated it can be to create a 100% custom trailer.  Of course if I phrase it that way, then I guess it makes sense that it would take as much (if not more) design work as construction work.

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