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Old 08-02-2020, 03:39 AM   #1
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Default Thoughts on freshwater tank size size

So my new Pleasureway Ascent purchase will come with a 20 gallon freshwater tank. Knowing me and my family, that feels like it's on the small side. To be honest, I have no idea what our usage will be, but I am curious to know what people think about the freshwater system. If you're camping without hookups, how quickly do you burn through fresh water? Are there solutions like extra holding tanks or something like that that people carry? Or am I overthinking this?
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:58 AM   #2
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20 gals is a little small, but the average is probably only the mid to high 20's for most class "b's". We have 28 gals. and I have to worry about my black tank long before I'm out of fresh water. But then, we generally shower when fully hooked up, so mainly use fresh for washing hands and toilet.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:55 AM   #3
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How many people are in your "family?" We have a 20 gal freshwater tank + 6 gal in the water heater. My wife and I probably use 12-15 gal or so per day (including 1 fast shower each). It would be nice to have a bigger tank but there is only so much space and 20 gal already takes up a lot of van space. Water is also heavy. 26 gal of water weighs about 220 lbs. Then there is the issue of the grey and black water tank sizes to store the used water. You will quickly learn how to be very stingy with water.

For us the solution was to figure out a system to refill the tank easily when needed. I rigged up a simple siphon system where I can quickly fill a 5 gal water jug when we are close to a water source. I simply carry the jug to the van, stick a siphon hose in, flip 2 valves, turn on the water pump and let the pump transfer the water from the jug to the freshwater tank. This required a simple aftermarket plumbing adjustment. For us, refilling the tank is a better alternative than sacrificing space for a bigger freshwater tank. If we really needed more water we would probably need a bigger RV.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:36 AM   #4
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You are overthinking this.

Because it's not until you get in your rig & LIVE IN IT will you really know what youn need versus what you want.

If you are hooking up every couole of days, you will be fine.

Ownership of an RV will cause you to reconsider everything you do, for the better.

Don't be concerned, you will find your way when the keys arrive & you look upon this time as lost energy.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:38 PM   #5
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We have a 40 gallon fresh tank and we average two weeks+ between re-fills after we dump our tanks, but fill up with one gallon jugs mostly for water for the coffee maker when convenient to do so. So my historic rule of thumb is 10 gallons per week per person. I wouldn't go that lean as a rule of thumb if you have children on board. It takes experience and discipline. We know how to take "Navy" showers in less than a sink bowl of water. My wife washes her hair every morning separately than when doing it while showering. We don't shy away from using public bathroom facilities when available and clean.

If you camp in a full hookup campsite you can hook up to water and sewer and run as much water through the van you want and when you depart have a full water tank and empty black and grey tanks. Then I don't bother to check out their public facilities.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:10 PM   #6
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At the low end of the range, the two of us use less than a gallon apiece per day, including a shower, but not including drinking.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:46 PM   #7
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We are typically limited by the size of our grey tank, not by our fresh water capacity. If have access to water/dump and washing 3 meals of dishes and conservatively showering, we will use about 3-5 gallons per person per day and have to dump every 3-4 days. In winter mode, we use ~1/2 gallon of antifreeze per day to flush toilet and ~1 gallon of water per day for consumption and hygiene (without showering).
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantonMac View Post
So my new Pleasureway Ascent purchase will come with a 20 gallon freshwater tank. Knowing me and my family, that feels like it's on the small side. To be honest, I have no idea what our usage will be, but I am curious to know what people think about the freshwater system. If you're camping without hookups, how quickly do you burn through fresh water? Are there solutions like extra holding tanks or something like that that people carry? Or am I overthinking this?
Everyone is different. I think you’ll have to try it out with the fam and see what happens. Stay at places where you can dump and fill fresh water daily - it’s easy to do with a B-van and you’ll get an idea of your consumption and how to plan for longer boondock trips.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:03 PM   #9
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Lots of good responses here. You will learn what your critical systems are. For us, like rowiebowie, black water is our most limiting capacity. You should however be discerning about your fresh water sources...get a good charcoal filter for any water you add from anywhere. Sanitize periodically. NEVER use the fresh water from the hose at a dump station. Have a dedicated fresh water hose that is not used for any other purpose and has caps when stowed.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:17 PM   #10
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In my homebrew sprinter, I have 7.5 gallons of fresh and 4 gallons of hot. No shower or flush toilet and that is more than enough for a few days for 2 people. Never had a problem in 48 states and 50k miles. Weight was the biggest issue in my decision to go light. If you have more, you'll use more. As stated before, you're overthinking this. Wait until you have a few trips under your belt before you decide. Where to put more water and weight as well as the capacities of your grey and black water tanks need to be considered. It's OK to skip showers.....you're camping!
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:15 PM   #11
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Maybe stay in a hotel and forget about owning a B
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:56 PM   #12
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Maybe stay in a hotel and forget about owning a B
Seriously? Is it not a reasonable question?
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:04 PM   #13
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In our van we have:
12 gal. fresh
4 gal. flush for cassette
4 gal. hot water (doesnít add to total volume)
No indoor shower.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:47 PM   #14
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2008 PW LEXOR, I think 22 gals of fresh? Somewhere close. My wife and I go 4 days between fill up and dump. We have stretched to 5 or more when needed but the black fills first.

We don't shower in van, sponge bath or Epic Wipes. As almost everyone has said, everyones lifestyle is different. We try to be very conservative with water and power but we spend most of the time outside or traveling to another spot.

You will learn quick how to conserve. Have fun.
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Old 08-10-2020, 08:20 PM   #15
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We have a 40 gal. fresh water tank and it last us almost two weeks. In our next van I think by necessity of available space in a 144 Sprinter it will be about 36 gal. I can live with that.
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:16 AM   #16
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We have a 40 gal. fresh water tank and it last us almost two weeks. In our next van I think by necessity of available space in a 144 Sprinter it will be about 36 gal. I can live with that.
What is your plan for black and grey tanks?
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:58 AM   #17
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I think we have a little less than 25 gal. Without a lot of showering the 3 of us go a little less than a week (with drinking water jugs we refill whenever convenient). Our 11 gal black water tank seems to be the first thing to cause us to need civilization, but we are always on the move anyway.
I agree that you may be overthinking it; it might be a consideration in your purchase, but definitely not a deal breaker...

Happy Trails!
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:18 PM   #18
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What is your plan for black and grey tanks?
We currently have in our extended van 26 gallon grey and 18 gallon black. I believe grey will be about the same I am told but ARV may have to devise a new tank for black because it is behind the back axle. ARV has since designed grey and black tanks different than mine so it is still kind of an unknown to me.

Liquids don't count in the up fitter turn over weight of 7400 lbs. for 2500 chassis as MB defines it for certification of master up fitter I am told but the van should still be under 9050 lbs GVWR.
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:10 AM   #19
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We have a 40 gallon fresh tank and we average two weeks+ between re-fills after we dump our tanks. So my historic rule of thumb is 10 gallons per week per person. We know how to take "Navy" showers in less than a sink bowl of water.
That is impressive water efficiency. Have you found a showerhead that works well for Class B water conservation? The RV oriented ones we've found either dribble water, have inefficient spray patterns, or don't have a good push trigger to get a quick burst of water and then shut back down completely.
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:16 AM   #20
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The RV oriented ones we've found either dribble water, have inefficient spray patterns, or don't have a good push trigger to get a quick burst of water and then shut back down completely.
On units that can be shut off at the shower head, the dribble is deliberate. It is a safety feature to avoid scalding when hot water is forced into the cold line when the shut-off is closed.
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