- Internal Water tank and lines
- Self-Contained Toilet
- Inside Shower
- Kitchen Sink
For all our water tanks, I used ClassACustoms.com; they seemed to have the best selection and very reasonable prices. I wanted the water tank and all the lines to be within the insulated van, so it would be more usable in the winter. The drain lines and drain tanks are beneath the van, but we can add RV Antifreeze to those tanks and they should be functional below freezing. We ended up with a 33 gallon water tank within the van, mounted just over the rear tire on the right side. When full, this tank is around 275 pounds, not an insignificant number at all! Because the water tank is mounted reasonably high, the water fill had to be even higher. It ended up being just below the rear bunk window. This was an unfortunate consequence to the location of my water tank, but I still believe I would do it this same way again given the opportunity.
Leaving the tank, the water goes through a sediment filter, and into a SeaFlow 33 pump. The pump pushes 3.3 gallons per minute at 45 PSI, and is very quiet. After the pump, I added a SeaFlow accumulator tank to smooth out the water pressure, and then a large whole house water filter. After the filter, the water hose Tee's, with one line splitting into the cold water lines, and the other going into the water heater. Up to this point all of the water lines are 1/2" braided vinyl tubing. After the splits, I used 3/8" PEX tubing to run to the shower and sink. I wanted to use as small of lines as possible to the devices themselves, to conserve water, and allow hot water to arrive quicker. The 3/8" PEX still allows for plenty of pressue, yet holds about half as much water, resulting in hot water arriving in half the time.
I purchased a Foruee propane instant water heater for my setup. It is more or less an off-brand of the more common CampLux or Thermomate, but has great reviews, plenty of safe-guards built in, and had the spec's I was looking for. I wanted the smallest water heater I could buy, both to be more efficient (with water and propane) but also to be as safe as possible installed within the van. The unit is made to be used outside, so for now, we are opening the rear door when using it for any longer duration. I plan to install a permanent vent and fan for it in the rear door before winter (when it will get more use). I have installed a CO detector very near the unit just in case.
I do not think the propane instant water heater is the best option available, but I do think it's the best value, and worked out the best for us at this time. I love the IsoTemp Spa water heaters which have a tank, heat exchanger, and electric element. They're still not flawless but they use engine coolant to heat up the water tank, effectively giving you "free" hot water just by driving. The problem is your hot water supply is limited (unless plugged into a 120v outlet), and the unit costs about 5x more than a propane instant water heater.
I read quite a bit about different types of toilets, and ended up with the Thetford Porta Potti Curve. The unit looks and feels like a standard toilet, but is completely self contained and quick release.
...more to come...