Sufficient fresh water and fuel are the two most critical requirements for an expedition camper. My previous camper only had a 12 gallon water supply which severely limited my ability to camp self contained for extended periods. My Safari Vehicles camper has a 36 gallon fresh water supply, and when I install the hot water tank, I will have an additional 6 gallons for a total water capacity of 42 gallons.
Two 18 gallon polyethylene water tanks are mounted behind the seats, inside the insulated and heated camper where they won't freeze up in cold weather. Having one tank on each side evenly distributes the 256 pound combined weight of the filled tanks. The tank fill is accessed on the passenger side of the camper and has a locking cap. The two tanks are connected by a hose, and if either tank develops a leak, it would be relatively easy to temporarily plumb in only the remaining good tank.
The right hand tank has a 4 level monitor system installed, so I can easily monitor my water level.
A water pump draws water out of the tank and through a water strainer. The pump automatically stops when the faucet is closed and pressure develops.
Safari Vehicles provided a 1 1/2 gallon electric water heater, but I found it to be inadequate. The tank is not designed to hold pressure and requires a zero pressure faucet. It also consumes a large amount of electricity to heat the water and has a very small capacity.
I will be replacing the electric water heater with a hot water heater that is heated with engine hot water. Water (actually engine coolant) lines will be run from the diesel engine to the water heater. Whenever the engine is running, heat developed by the engine will be used to heat the water in the water heater. I will either install the 200 watt 12 volt element from my existing heater, or use a 750 watt 110 volt AC heating element to maintain the water temperature above 149 degrees farenheit when I go long periods without running the engine. Maintaining a water temperature above 149 degrees farenheit will prevent the growth of bacteria in the hot water tank.
The faucet can be used as a standard sink faucet, or by pulling the spray head out it is converted to a hand held shower sprayer for taking showers. It also has a on/off button integrated into the handle to conserve water during showers.
A double bowl stainless steel sink helps conserve water when washing dishes since one side can be for washing and the other side for rinsing eliminating the need to keep the water running.
It would be a waste of space to have a dedicated shower in a camper this size since it is only used for a few minutes each day. The shower takes up no living space when not in use since it is located under a trap door in the floor. To use the shower, the trap door in the floor is opened to reveal a shower pan recessed in the floor, and the shower curtain is snapped to the ceiling.
Grey Water Holding Tank
A 12 gallon grey water tank mounted under the camper and a holding tank alert system completes the water system.