All prices are in Australian Dollar (AUD)
It was time to install the plumbing for the shower, toilet and hot water system. I went back to the supplier Camec to buy all the fittings, piping and random gear I needed for this job. However I sourced the shower mixer, 110L water tank and inline trap from other places.
My goal when living in the van is to be able to live completely off the grid. Obviously I will have to fill my fresh water tank up maybe 2-3 times per week, but the point is I will have enough supply to venture off for a few days anywhere I want.
I bought my 110L water tank from a company called Atlas Tanks in Moffats Head on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia. I also bought a 68L Grey water tank which will be installed in Part 2. They custom made these tanks to fit the dimensions of my Sprinter.
I designed the system to be able to connect to mains water supply via a hose. The mains inlet is actually a regulator which reduces the pressure from mains down to 50 PSI. I also installed a shutoff valve in parallel to the mains inlet line, to easily fill the water tank when need, instead of installing a seperate tank filler inlet.
The plumbing is nearly all JG (John Guest) style fittings, which is quick and easy to install. The cold and hot water pipes are all 1/2 inch sizes. The 12V Shurflo pump is a 4 chamber diaphram and is incredibly quiet, in general the more chambers the quieter the pump.
12V Shurflo Water Pump – AUD$176
110L Water Tank – AUD$344
Mains Water Inlet – AUD$62
12mm (1/2in) Plumbing Hose – AUD$21
HePvo Inline Trap – AUD$44
Firstly I had to draw up a plan off how I was going to install the plumbing. I drew up firstly a basic schematic to show what pipes were connected to what. Then I got under the van and figured out exactly what pieces I needed to achieve this plan in real life.
I drew up a 2nd plan which was more in depth with the actual parts I would need eg. elbows, T Joins, Y joines etc. The plans aren’t exactly what happened in real life but they’re close enough to illustrate the point.
I used Atlas Tanks pre made 110L Sprinter tank plan and added on this where I wanted the inlet, outlet and breather holes. I checked first to see if their plan would fit on my van, which it did.
I also measured up my custom 68L grey water tank and made my own plan for that, and also added where I wanted the holes to be made, this will be shown in Plumbing Part 2.
I will include my plans below, but make sure you measure your own vehicle before using these plans to check if everything will work.
I realised that some of the piping and tank will need to be protected from the hot exhaust temperatures, which I will be insulating in Part 2.
The tank breather will also be relocated and mesh will be secured to the end to protect from bugs crawling inside.
1. Firstly I held the tank in place, and marked the highest point where for where the tank gauge instrument can be.
2. Next I drilled out the side of the tank with a holesaw and thoroughly cleaned out the tank making sure no debri was inside. Then I fitted the tank guage instrument, making sure the tip of the gauge touched the bottom.
3. I fitted the breather hose 1/2 inch adapter, and prepped the metal strapping to hold the tank in place. Then I attached the breather hose with a hose clamp.
4. I secured the tank with a fair few metal tapping hex screws which held it very tightly.
5. Next I marked out and cut the hole with a 90mm holesaw for the mains inlet. I secured and sealed it with sikaflex and screws.
6. Once mounted, I ran the piping from the outlet side to a Y Join. On one side of the Y join I plumbed to a simple Open/Close valve to the inlet of the water tank.
I am using JG (John Guest) fittings, which you simply push in the end insert of the pipe, clip your fitting on then secure it on with the red clip.
7. Next I mounted the pump and plumbed it in from the tank outlet. I installed a water filter in between to protect the pump, I did this as an afterthought and modified the original plumbing.
8. I installed a one way valve after the pump outlet to prevent backflow when mains are plugged in. This then goes to another Y Join which junctions together with the mains.
9. I used a holesaw to drill through the timber wall bottom plate, and had to use an extension bit with a metal tapping screw to drill a reference hole to use the holesaw on the bottom.
10. I ran the piping from the Y join into a 2nd Y join. Then from there i ran up to a T join, then into the inlet of the hot water.
11. Next I ran from the outlet of the hotwater to to another T join, and also to underneath the van which will go to the kitchen sink.
12. I focused next on installing the shower mixer (which controls hot and cold) for the shower head. Normally they’re installed before the walls are sheeted.
I had to get around this by rigging it up to where it will sit, then hold the timber to the mixer and pull it off then secure it with screws.
13. Next I used the draw wire to pull the pipe through to the toilet. I then finished the plumbing to the mixer.
14. Next I siliconed and finished the shower mixer install.
15. I cut the hole for the drain in the shower. The tank was taking up most the room underneath the shower so I could only cut it off to the side.
Once cut I siliconed the inside of the hole, and used 2 holesaws on 1 arbor to allow the drain fitting to recess. I then used PVC glue and tape to secure the drain hose, and wet area silicone to seal the drain.
16. I installed the trap next, glueing all the couplings together and connected it to the drain.
17. I used a chopping board as a base and to slightly raise the toilet. I installed the supplied wall clip which the toilet secures to tightly.
The base is secured with sikaflex, and sealed around the edges with wet area silicone.
18. Once all the plumbing was completed, I secured the pipes by sikaflexing where they penetrated though each nog or stud.
This will keep them firmly in place and stop vibration damage when travelling.
19. I connected a hose to the mains inlet and tested every part of the installation for leaks. I did have to fix one leak, which was caused from a scratch in the end of a pipe which was bypassing an O ring seal on the T junction.
I tested the tank fill valve, and filled the tank until it overflows out the breather line.
20. Next I dummy wired up the water pump to test it. I used my thumb to allow and stop flow to check the pumps pressure switch was operating correctly.
21. The toilet swivels to allow for easy use.
Some of these prices are discounted either from bulk buy or trade price. All prices are in AUD$
|Plumbing Part 1|
|25mm Grey water hose 10M||1||32||32|
|Red 1/2″ Piping 10M||1||18.5||18.5|
|Blue 1/2″ Piping 10M||1||18.5||18.5|
|White 1/2″ hose flex 10M||1||18||18|
|68L grey water tank||1||495||495|
|Shurflo 12V water pump||1||140||140|
|Shurflo Mains Inlet Regulator||1||53||53|
|Water level Prove w/ 7.5M cable||1||37||37|
|Dual water reader gauge||1||35||35|
|Shower Mixer (Surrey Brand)||1||38.3||38.3|
|Oxygenics Fury RV Showerhead||1||93||93|
|Hepvo Inline Trap||1||48||48|
|JG 1/2″ male adapter BSP||6||6.16||36.96|
|JG 1/2″ female adapter BSP||7||7.8||54.6|
|JG 3/8″ female adapter BSP||2||6.16||12.32|
|Hose clamp 20-32mm||1||2.7||2.7|
|Hose clamp 12-22mm||4||1.9||7.6|
|1/2″ Shut off valve||1||15.2||15.2|
|JG 1/2″ Barb – Hose||1||13.56||13.56|
|Brass Adapter (for Mains inlet)||1||9.3||9.3|
|JG 1/2″ One way valve||1||24.6||24.6|
|1″ Male BSP – barb||2||2.76||5.52|
|1/2″ Male BSP – barb||3||2.76||8.28|
|JG 1/2″ 90 Elbow||15||6||90|
|JG 1/2″ Y Junction||4||10.16||40.64|
|JG 1/2″ Red Clip Lock||68||0.85||57.8|
|JG 1/2″ Support insert||68||0.85||57.8|
|JG 1/2″ T Junction||3||9.31||27.93|
|1/2″ Hose clamp/saddle||27||0.8||21.6|
|1″ Hose clamp/saddle||10||1.11||11.1|
|25mm drain kit||1||17.8||17.8|
|Metal strapping 30x1mm (6metres)||2||10.45||20.9|
|Shower brass elbow mount||1||8.8||8.8|
|Swivel elbow brass male BSP||2||16||32|
|20mm PVC pipe 1 Meter||1||3.15||3.15|
|20mm 45 Elbow||1||1.45||1.45|
|20mm T join||1||1.9||1.9|
|25 to 20mm reducer||1||1.1||1.1|
|40mm to 25mm reducer||2||3.49||6.98|
|40mm male connector||1||5.92||5.92|
|40mm PVC pipe 1 meter||1||4.5||4.5|
|JG 12mm Red Plug||2||2.6||5.2|
|1/2 In Shurflo Swivel elbow||1||4.2||4.2|
|Pump Inline Filter||1||15||15|