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Using a thrift store and other used items, I'm nearly finished with this phase of retro fitting my 'ark'. Adding 75 more gallons of capacity required about 3 days of work and $40 bucks in parts, yet I believe that that the ability to carry extra water into a campsite could prove not only convenient, but potentially a money saver and more. If one can stay out in the boonies without have to revisit a water source to tank up during their stay, at least one saves on fuel. Without 'jerry cans' and other containers, my total capacity is now up to 110 gallons. The system of auxiliary tanks was added to the measly 20 gallon tank that came with the coach. All 3 tanks are connected and filled from one inlet, but the electric pump must be used to move the water from one tank to the next. They can fortunately be filled directly and individually. One tank is an old war head container made of aluminum. This can be removed and used as a solar hot water heater or heated with propane or camp fire for showers or melting snow for water.

Given that the desert is where we may spend much our time, water takes on special meaning when there is a lack of it. I hope to 'tank up' just before leaving the Hwy or main county road, and head to a camp site with the ability to stay for up to 6 weeks. However, I can only guesstimate how much a boy and his dog might need for 40 days. Why 40 days and nights? Ebola is now proving to be a real threat. Therefore self-quarantine might be necessary.
pics we need pics. highdesertranger
what was the name of the dog?
The german shepard's name is Tinkerbell. And she lives up to that name!

(09-28-2014, 06:51 PM)ccbreder Wrote: [ -> ]what was the name of the dog?
Hi-ho HighDersertRanger,

Perhaps I shoulda just asked how much water myself and a medium sized dog might used per day out in the desert? I'll see about the pics, but really it is no big deal. Perhaps a brief description might be more helpful. The idea of carrying as much water as feasible is the part that might be the most interesting however. Parts were cheap as I'm an opportunist and find a way to use whatever within reason, or as it is made available. Happen to grab an old 55 gallon drum with a valve already installed, $15, painted it a pleasant green, made a wine barrel type rack to secure it, improved the plumbing on it, and stuffed it under an antique table that replaced part of the interior. That tank measures 24"x 36". The other tank (the used warhead container) was already in inventory and of practical dimensions, 12"x12"x48", 4 cubic feet, that can hold 25 gallons of water. That got a custom and elevated stand, plumbing, and lives in an out of the way space that would normally be under utilized. Used wood and hardware kept the cost down. Total cost was less than $40. The most expensive bit was a 1/2" drill bit that cost $8. Had this project been performed on the road, buying all parts new, perhaps $200. The plumbing is not rocket science, but should be carefully considered. Vents and over flow tubes are necessary. A difference in height between tanks allows gravity to help transfer from one tank to another and fed into the pump. Filling requires opening one valve and closing 2 others, then all three tanks can be filled simultaneously from outside either with a garden hose, or using the in-house pump to draw from a surface source. If the pump no longer works, all three tanks can easily be used separately or together, and filled by hand, or removed to be used elsewhere. Simplicity in design has it's virtues. KISS. Either or both tanks can be placed in another vehicle to go get more, stored on top of the MH for gravity fed hot/cold water, or simply supply water from outside the MH and freeing up space inside......

Once filled, the additional weight is considerable as 1 gallon weighs about 8 pounds. Add the weight of the tanks and hardware, maybe 150lbs, and the total for the additional 75 gallons could be 750 pounds. I would not travel with that kind of weight unless my brakes could handle the extra load, so it would be best to tank up near the destination. Many types of containers of various shapes can be converted into a water tanks with a little ingenuity and time. One or two 30 or (3) 20 gallon blue barrels might a good size for a van and make a good table top. I've also converted a heavy composite plastic utility box from Wallymart that might be a good size for a van. Unfortunately it was given away. I may use (2) 30 gallon barrels or other open top large containers that will be carried empty, and stuffed with items in the back of the Toyota that is towed, to run and get more water if necessary.

There are many examples of buses beautifully converted into motorhomes. Essentially the front half of this MH was removed and radically remodeled in an attempt to make it much more functional for 2 occupants (dog included). Even the nice front passenger seat was scrapped for an elevated doggy bed and storage compartment. She rides 'shotgun'. In an older motorhome, this attempt did not hurt it's value much and may in fact improved it some. The wood stove part certainly did for this part of the county. There was little to loose and much in utility to gain.
rogue, I was just curious as to what you did for your water storage. I agree the more water you can carry the longer you can stay out. when it's hot out or your dog has been active they will drink a lot of water. I plan on a gallon a day just for my dog this gives me some leeway. what I like to do also is use spring water. no matter how dry of a desert you are in there is always a spring. I use this water for washing clothes and dishes and panning out samples of gold. if it's cloudy I filter it though a towel first. for dishes I boil the water with the dishes. I would like to get a large gravity filter in the future like the one being discussed on another thread. right now I have 2 of the smaller hand pump filters for emergency use. highdesertranger
Perhaps photos would help, yet it is actually hard to see in a photo how it all fits into place and how it is connected, so I figured a description would do a better job. It's good to know that springs can be found out in the desert, apparently they are not too difficult to find? If your dog will go through about a gallon/day, then mine would probably do about the same. Folks need a minimum of 2 gallons, and perhaps one can get by with another 2 gallons for washing up? Water is so important to me that I've tried to do my best in that department. I can highly recommend the Berkey filters. I've used them for years and the water tastes fantastic. To save money, simply buy 2 of the white colored Berkey filters, drill a hole in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and install the filters. Get another 5 gallon bucket, carve or drill a hole in the lid of the second bucket. Stack the first bucket with the filter on top of the second bucket. Pour water in the top bucket and collect the filtered water from the bucket on the bottom. A third bucket with window screen and cotton fabric can also be used on top of the filter bucket to catch the big debris that might be in the water. If you can get the nice 4 filter Berkey in stainless steel, or the smaller one, you'll be very happy and for years. The big one will process about 6,000 to 12,000 gallons depending on the condition of the water used. I'm still using one purchased in 2008.

I also have a Katedyne (sp?) a hand pump filter, a super light weight filter straw that can also be used in a drip system, whole house filters down to 5 mircrons, and some very serious filters that take out chemicals and even radiation. These are very fine, 0.5 microns. I'm hopefully able to use just about any water source if need be. Using a pressure cooker, one can distill water, yet chemicals can still be present. And I can make my own sand /charcoal filter in an emergency. I'll also carry sodium hypochlorite (pool shock), a powdered form of bleach. Bleach looses half of it's strength after about one year, the powdered form last indefinately. One pound of calcium hypochlorite, or one gallon of bleach will kill bacteria and cysts in several thousands of gallons. Use 8 drops of bleach for each gallon of water and wait for 30 min. If the water is still cloudy, use another 8 drops and wait 30 min again. For the backpack, I'll also carry in addition to a light weight filter, a 1oz bottle of Tincture of Iodine 2% or bleach. 8 drops per gallon, but is tastes like iodine or bleach.... All that, but the easiest, cheapest and best way to sanitize water and get out a virus if it is present in an area, is to boil. But boiling still won't take out chemicals. If the nastiest water, from 'gray' water to biohazard level must be used, boil it then pass it through these high tech submicron filters. But mostly I'll use the Berkey for everyday drinking.

Hope the link works. The largest container I'm using is one of those 55 blue plastic drums. There are many sizes and shapes. The 20 gallon ones can be moved by hand when full. These can be laid on it's side and many come with 1/2 inch pipe thread in the bungs. It is easy to install a standard house hold facet. I don't like the blue so I use plain old latex house paint.
roguerv2 sounds like you will do fine. just out of curiosity are you by the rogue river in Oregon, beautiful country. what desert are you plan on heading to. not specifically just generally. for finding springs in the desert the usgs maps are your friend. I have traveled the high deserts of nv, ca, or, id, and ut. for along time. if you need any tips I be glad to help. highdesertranger
Just gotta add; everyone's talking about those Berkeys but you really ought to check out Sawyers also (
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