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DIY Water System

Back in the far off year of 1970, the designers of our Avion C11 saw it fit to outfit this gleaming silver adventuremobile with one white water tank and one black water tank. Times have changed, and while most modern truck campers divide their wastewater into a black water and grey water tanks, ours does not. After 50 years on the road, while the original tanks and water pump remained in place, they were worse for wear. We are giving this home on wheels a complete remodel, including a brand new water system.

The State of the Water System

Vintage water doesn't taste that good

I’m not sure what squirted into my mouth when the copper tubing connecting the bathroom sink to the water tank finally gave way.  I would have expected water, but my gag reflex made a very immediate and contrary assessment.  But rancid water is not a great concern at the moment. The corroded copper pipes, cracked tanks, and worn down pumps will all soon be evicted from our home on wheels to be replaced with a new system.  But, in the meantime, we might as well break down the water system’s current state.

While there are pieces, like the water pump, that do work, many components of the water system are cracked and leaking.  The water fill spot no longer connects to the water tank.  Brittle plastic connectors for the black water tank are falling apart.  And the propane water heater is not only outdated, in our new, fully electric system, any propane heater is also obsolete.  Everything will be replaced.

A New Direction

A New System

While the original water system was sufficient for conventional truck campers, our goal from the beginning of this remodel project has been to create a home capable of tackling technically challenging trails and sustaining remote living.  To live for two weeks in the wilderness without hookups, we’ll need big tanks, robust connections, and efficient systems.

As is our style, this means a lot of in-depth research and developing new skills. To get the most of every inch of our camper, we are building our own water thanks.  For more weather resilient piping, we’ll be converting all the piping to Pex.  And rather than wasting water on sewage, we are reworking our bathroom to have a waterless flush toilet and a recirculating shower.