Water Tank Woes Solution in SIlverShadow

AlbertaSeanAlbertaSean Posts: 14Member
edited July 2015 in Conversions & Upgrades

Thanks to everyone for posting such great tips, tricks, and modifications on the forums.  I thought I would contribute back to the community and post one of my own:   I replaced the dealer installed 2.5 gallon water tank of my 5x8 Silver Shadow with a Reliance 2.5 gallon Aqua Pak.

By making this switch/modification, I’ve been able to accomplish several things:

  1. I can disconnect the Aqua Pak from the hand pump faucet and fill the tank directly from the water source.  Then I reconnect it and place it under the sink.  I no longer need to have a separate water container just to transfer the water from the water source only to have to pour into the gravity water inlet into the onboard water tank.  No more wasted water down the side of the trailer.
  2. Between camping trips, I just disconnect the tank, remove the white cap, and let it air dry.  No more stagnant water growing bacteria sitting at the bottom of the tank.  The Aqua Pak is also easy to clean by hand.  This also means I no longer have to winterize the tank.
  3. I can now buy a second tank so that I can always have water available.  I just disconnect the empty Aqua Pak and reconnect the full-one.
  4. If the tank breaks for whatever reason, I don’t have to go to a specialty RV parts store to replace it.
  5. With this set-up, I don't need a gravity water inlet tube, overflow drain, or petcock (the valve that helps to drain the water from the tank).  This has freed up some extra space under the sink for storage.  I can even remove the Aqua Pak for even more storage under the sink (when I don't need the water, of course).
  6. I’ve also toyed with the idea of placing a 7 gallon Aqua Pak on a shelf/ledge higher than the counter/faucet outside of the trailer.  I would then feed the tube from the hand pump faucet (from inside the trailer) through the gravity water inlet out to the 7 gallon Aqua Pak (outside of the trailer) and connect it.  I would then be able to use gravity to my advantage without having to pump the hand pump.  

These are the parts I bought from Canadian Tire:

  1. Reliance 2.5 gallon Aqua Pak
  2. Plumbshop ¾” MIP x ¾” male hose
  3. Plumbshop swivel adapter ¾” FIP x ¾” female hose
  4. PEX ¾” MIP x ½” adapter
  5. stainless steel gear clamp
  6. thread seal tape
  7. hose washer

This is how I connected it:

  1. Connect the ¾” MIP end of part 2 to the white cap of the Aqua Pak (part 1) with thread seal tape.
  2. Connect the ¾” male hose end of part 2 to 
  3. the ¾” female hose end of part 3.  Don’t forget to use a washer to prevent leaks.
  4. Connect the ¾” FIP end of part 1 to the ¾” MIP end of part 4 using thread seal tape.
  5. Connect the ½” adapter of part 4 to your tube leading to the faucet (mine was a ½" opening diameter but I think standard is ⅜”) and tighten using a stainless steel gear clamp.
I’m all about lower maintenance and efficiency when camping, I'm hoping the above set-up helps me to achieve that.  I'll let you know how it goes when I test it out on my next camping trip.  Cheers!




Comments

  • Ninjamini2Ninjamini2 Posts: 205Member
    Love it. I thought of the same thing and wondered why this was built in. Many reasons to have it disconnect. 
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike ✭✭✭✭✭ Posts: 8,776Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for taking the time to document and share your work and conversion Sean as this is a great mod, shows that things can be improved upon, made easier/more efficient and will help others down the road.  This is a great idea and simplifies the water system and maintenance therein.
  • rbtraryrbtrary Posts: 62Member
    Did you move or eliminate the electric pump?  How does it operate at the sink?
  • AlbertaSeanAlbertaSean Posts: 14Member
    I don't have an electric pump.  I have a Valterra Rocket hand pump.  I would imagine it would still work with an electric pump.
  • UtahCamperUtahCamper Posts: 1Member
    edited September 16
    Sean - I bought a 2011 Silver Shadow last week. The water system wasn't one of its attractions for me. I'm a tent camper at heart and pouring a kettle of warm water into a dish pan has always been good enough. Looking under the sink of my new trailer, I was amazed to find such a complex water setup. The transparent line from the tank to the pump was dark in places, hinting at nastiness that would probably also backflow into the tank. I suspected the sink drain of harboring grot of ages. I started googling "replace water tank", which was when I found your post.
    Well my solution is even simpler than yours, albeit very crude. 
    I bought 3 feet of new 3/8" clear tubing to run from pump to tank. I tested it with a gallon water jug - cut an X in the jug lid, pushed the tube through to the bottom of the upright jug, and made a vent hole using a corn on the cob pick. It worked! Removed the original tank, and instead of buying a new large container I decided to use the drinking water jugs. I found a plastic box that snugly fits two jugs and anchored it in place. Still a few things to do: I've ordered some carboy stoppers so I can make a more robust connection for water jugs, including a vent hole. I'll also make sure the jugs are secure when I take the trailer out, and I'll stop up the holes in the floor properly. 
    The water pump output is pretty weak, so I doubt I'll be using a lot of water, but if I find that I need more, of course I can buy a bigger container. Or I can refill the jugs, or carry more jugs. Lots of options. All I have to do in winter is remove the jugs.
    Then I unscrewed the sink's P trap and strainer, bleached and scrubbed them, and put them back together. With the ground cap in place I poured a bleach solution down the reassembled sink to clean the drain line. Seeing what came out when I released the ground cap, I was glad I'd done that. 
    I capped off the water inlet hose and saved everything I removed in case I ever sell the trailer to a purist. 
    Sean, you mentioned that you'd thought about a gravity feed water container. Good idea! My solar shower could sit on the roof heating water, with the shower head dangling to the sink when the hatch is open. Not elegant at all, but it will work.
    Wishing you happy and hygienic camping, and a really big THANK YOU for the inspiration. 


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