Installing my Campers water tank ?

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Installing my Campers water tank ?

Postby mr_grumble » Fri May 04, 2007 8:20 am

I am in the middle of manufacturing my own camper and have come to fitting a water tank underneath.

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I'm having issues with the fitting in the respect that I'm not 100% sure of where to install it. I would have thought that directly over the axle would have been the most logical, but I don't have the room between the chassis and the axle to fit it in .

I'm now left with either placing it in front or behind the axle. Both have disadvantages as far as I can see but can't seem to avoid.

If I place the tank in front of the axle, I think the ball weight of the trailer will be excessive given that the spare wheel / stone guard / stroage box / battery will be on the drawbar.

If I install it behind the axle, the weight of it will be counteracted by the above bits and should result in a neutral balance, BUT these tanks are 180mm deep which will seriously intrude in ground clearance at the rear :( This and that I also will be left with bugger all room to fit the ALKO stabilisers !

Does anyone have any pics of their set-up, or general advice which may help inspire me to a decision ?
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Postby Scolers » Fri May 04, 2007 10:54 am

We went thru similar delimas (sp!) and ended up not putting a water tank on the CT. We probably wont do this at all because we now take an old home brew kit that has a tap at the bottom. It nicely fits into the fourbie and doesn't leak.

One thing we did do was to consider a metal tank inside the trailer section with tap outside. It was going to cost around $300 which is reasonable considering the price of plastic water tanks. It would also be custom fitted so you can play around with the size.

Hope this helps a tad.

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Postby Komodo » Fri May 04, 2007 12:21 pm

If your building the trailer your self set your axel back a bit and put the tank in front.

Dont ask me why but dad used to have our trailers made like this.

(structural steel fabricators we had a new trailer made every time the workshop got a little quiet LOL)
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Postby Troyk » Fri May 04, 2007 6:39 pm

G'day Mr Grumble (love the name).

The key is load symmetry. The reason is that most cars are only designed to handle no more than about 100kg vertical load on the towbar.

In essence you need to balance all you loads front of the axel with the loads behind the axle. You need to think of two people on a see saw of different weights, say 1 is 50kg and the other is 100kg. To balance out, the person who weighs 100kg needs to be half the distance from the pivot than the 50kg person.

To work this out you need to work out the weight of each item and then multiply its distance away from the axle, to their centre of gravity. You then add up that figure for all the items behind the axle, and then total the items in front of the axle. They should be equal as much as possible. You may need to move items from front to back etc (spare wheels etc) or adjust the distance from the axle, to get them equal.

The good bit is that you do not need to include the items whose centre of gravity is directly above the axle, ie the trailer box, tent, camping gear in the box if its evenly distributed.

The likely items to balance are kitchen box, gas cylinders, jerry cans (full), tool boxes, drawbar, spare wheels, bike racks, and of course the water tank (full, 1L =1kg) etc. Hopefully their weight is written on them.

You might need to consider how it balances if for example the water tank is empty as opposed to full.

I hope you are good with maths.
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Postby Scolers » Fri May 04, 2007 7:01 pm

You're an engineer ... I can tell ... ;)

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Postby Troyk » Fri May 04, 2007 7:10 pm

Yeah sorry. When you can visualise it, its not hard.
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Postby Scolers » Fri May 04, 2007 7:18 pm

No need to apologise ... I actually learnt something from your post ... and that doesn't happen too often!

:?#

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Re: Installing my Campers water tank ?

Postby Derek Bullock » Fri May 04, 2007 10:07 pm

mr_grumble wrote:I am in the middle of manufacturing my own camper and have come to fitting a water tank underneath.

Image

I'm having issues with the fitting in the respect that I'm not 100% sure of where to install it. I would have thought that directly over the axle would have been the most logical, but I don't have the room between the chassis and the axle to fit it in .

I'm now left with either placing it in front or behind the axle. Both have disadvantages as far as I can see but can't seem to avoid.

If I place the tank in front of the axle, I think the ball weight of the trailer will be excessive given that the spare wheel / stone guard / stroage box / battery will be on the drawbar.

If I install it behind the axle, the weight of it will be counteracted by the above bits and should result in a neutral balance, BUT these tanks are 180mm deep which will seriously intrude in ground clearance at the rear :( This and that I also will be left with bugger all room to fit the ALKO stabilisers !

Does anyone have any pics of their set-up, or general advice which may help inspire me to a decision ?


That's a photo from the Camel website. I have that same water tank on mine and it's fitted just rear of the axle.

Here is another photo.

Image


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Postby Derek Bullock » Fri May 04, 2007 10:12 pm

Here is another one.


Derek

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Postby Cruzin » Sun May 06, 2007 10:11 am

Mr Grumble
I am up to that particular point in the construction of my CT as well

We loaded up the trailer last weekend to determine load weight and item placements etc. (much to heavy at the front)

I purchased 4x 20L water "jerry" cans (light blue) from Supercheap @ $12 ea yesterday (they're on sale).
They won't go astray after I figure out how to install the Camel water tank, but in the meantime they give me a counter balance (all placed on the rear quarter steps) and I have the added bonus of multiple containers if one decides to leak.

I am also considering the placement of the spare on the rear swingout tailgate - depends after further weight experimentation today.

BTW last night I made a easy pump delivery system for the "jerry cans" which means not having to fit and use the plastic tap at the bottom of the can. As it is located at the top of the can, no more sore back whether the can is on the ground or on the trailer. It can be also transferred to which ever can in use. (maybe more than one pump is the go)
It's a Trojan caravan handpump $30 and I fitted it to a spare "jerry" can cap with a length of Drink quality hose - 400mm. I used a 1.25" flat spade drill bit to make a hole in the cap. The pump is removed while travelling, this also will be tested today.

I am sure I'll be able to use the pumps later (plumbed intothe system)

My final attempt at adjusting the load distribution would be the re-location of the 150 mm Pole holder from the front to the rear rack. (we'll see how we go)

Good luck with your project. If you need any clarification of the above..
JustCruzin AT Optusnet_dot_com_dot_ au

rgds Shane T
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Postby mr_grumble » Mon May 07, 2007 8:55 am

Thank yoyu one and all for your input, I eventually got the camp top onto the trailer over the weekend and can now get serious about weights and where they'll go.

Yes, with the camp top installed everything's pretty neutral. I added the stone guard (DIY job designed to withstand a nueclear blast), the storage box (heavy duty plastic jobby I picked up along the way), the camp top poles ( in 2x 90mm pipe) and spare tire onto the drawbar. Was about a 50kg lift.

Not installed yet, but the kitchen and storage box are 80% the length of the trailer box and will sit to the rear giving a slight counteraction to the rear, the 65l tank will sit just behind the axle, another significant counteraction and other bits like jerrycan, gas bottle and AKLO stalilisation legs will also help, I added my 75kg nephew to the rear of the trailer and it all seemed to balance out quite well, so I'm confident it'll all work in the end :armsup

Cruzin,

I am still considering the placement of the spare wheel, currently it will be going under the trailer, just foward of the axle. I have too much on the drawbar currently, the storage box is quite big plus it won't have as much of an effect on ball weight under thew trailer.
I considered mounting the wheel to the rear of the tailgate but am not convinced as yet on how to do it. I would imagine a hub would have to be welded to the tailgate but welding it to the sheet metal of the tailgate wouldn't be all that bright so a foundation would have to be fitted.
Had any ideas ???

Cheers,

Steve
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Postby Cruzin » Tue May 08, 2007 8:47 am

Hi Steve,
I played around a bit yetserday,
Added only 2x water Jerry cans to each rear quarter - still too heavy on the tow-ball.
Then relocated the 150mm pole holder together with poles and spreaded bars etc, to the rear rack and it became much lighter, (I have ordered another 150mmx2060mm pole holder from my plumber to allow for future re-distribution when required - mates rates)

Re the spare wheel positioning
I have a few options:
Under the trailer behind axel (till the water tank is purchased and installed)
Permanently under the trailer fwd of axel (adds weight to the tow-ball)
Permanently to swingout tail gate (details below on how to affix)
Permanently vertically on the draw bar (adds weight to tow-ball)
Permanently attached to roof rack of vehicle.

For the attachment to the swingout tailgate With a a few modifications the bracket below from ebay could be made to suit. It is originally designed to be attached to one side of the draw bar.

Image

My plan was to make up a cross or a triangle in 40mm sq tube that could be bolted or welded to the exterior of the gate and with the ebay bracket (or similar) mounted to it.

It would fit inside the frame of the tail gate and I may not have to remove the tie down rail at all. eg
Image

The hinges should be able to carry it. If not then another way would be to use a separate swing away spare carrier as used on 4WDs

BTW where did you get your tent top from? I'd be interested to know the dimensions, layout and also the height from ground to top of trailer etc.

rgds Shane T
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Postby mr_grumble » Tue May 08, 2007 2:05 pm

Hey Cruzin,

Thanks for the info in the spare wheel placement, I looked at the option for fitting onto the tailgate but feel a little un-easy adding that much weight to the hinges :(

Our camp top, we decided to purchase was one of three Oztrail manufacture (Camper 6, Camper 9 and Camper 12). There has been some comment (factual or just bias I dunno :? ) on the quality of these packages. Materials are exactly the same as 99% of the others (12oz canvas), the quality of the workmanship I really can't fault and there every bit roomy (possibly more so than others I have seen). The only floor I have found is within the mounting hardware. Both hinges and latches are the common garden variety, nothin wrong with them but the brakets that are provided are generic which ends up looking ugly (If you want I'll get pics of them). I ended up turfing the brackets and manufacturing my own out of 100mm channel and giving them to the guys that made my trailer to weld on prior to going off to get Gal'd. This way it's very neet and very secure.
The only other gripe I could come up with is the whole thing is mounted on ply which seems quite strong but because there is an overhang either side of the box section (approx 200mm), someone of good size who sits on the edge of the matress platform may put a wee bit too much force on the ply ::() . Easily fixed with some removable turnbuckle arrangements that extend between the ply base and the side platforms / guard of the trailer when errected.

We opted for the Camper 12 which is approx 2.1m wide by 12 ft long. There is a removable divider which is great to create two seperate rooms (both with their own external door / windows). and an awning which is part of the whole shebang that extends out to the rear of the trailer another 2-3m. We also opted for the canvas walls which turns the awning into yet another room, great for the kitchen space :)

Overall, we're happy with it. Not been camping as yet in it but have errected it a couple of times out the back for various fittings.

The Camper 12 retails in Kangeroo Tent City stores for almost $1,200 bucks more than you can pick it up on ebay at the moment ::() and the canvas sun-room is also $300 cheaper too !
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All up our 7x4 trailer, gal'd, brakes, HD axle, outback springs, water tank, DRIFTA kitchen & camptop, etc has only set us back $6k and we think we have pretty well as much as some of the other $$$ brands out there.
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Postby Cruzin » Tue May 08, 2007 11:30 pm

Hi Steve,
Yeah, I like the OzTrail 12 camper but my tailgate swings out to passenger side.
I have enquired with Oztrail supplier but he states they only come suitable for a trailer with a drop down tailgate or one that swings to driver's side.

I have seen an Oztrail on a trailer similar to mine, just gotta get my head around the pros and cons of outlaying dollars for a "reverse unfolding tent top"

What brake set-up did you go for?

rgds Shane T
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Postby Komodo@home » Wed May 09, 2007 12:00 am

Shane just out of interest did ou trailer have to be double dipped? ie was it to big to fit in the galv bath all at once?
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