Pipe Dreams – The van dwelling water system.

It’s been a long time coming.

First, it was just getting a water pump. I ordered one from Amazon, it supposedly shipped from China, but it never arrived. They claimed to ship another one, but they could never show proof they sent either. So I made them give me my money back. Total rip offs. I wasted over a month on that ordeal, and I guarantee they never shipped anything.

That’s alright though. I found one on ebay that was cheaper, and it was already in the country. Unfortunately, by the time I got the pump, I was pretty broke. So I didn’t get to do much work on the water system because I needed to buy plumbing parts. But that finally worked itself out. Here is the pump I used. Runs off of 12 volts at 3.5 volts for a total of 42 watts. I added a backwards diode across the leads to keep it from messing up the solar charging circuit.


shower7 shower6

I decided to go with vinyl tubing for the most part. For one thing, I had to buy a whole roll, so I might as well use as much as I could. I used it to span any distance. It was also easier to make corners. I didn’t like any of the valves for the vinyl hoses, so I went with a PVC half inch ball valve. That also meant more hardware to transition from vinyl to the PVC pipe. I did want to make my own shower head anyway. I wanted it as flat as I could get it, to save head room. So the sink and shower nozzles are half inch PVC pipe with ball valves. I used contrasting copper flanges to mount the plumbing. To give it that mad scientist, slash, mobile meth lab look.

Sink shower3 shower4 shower1

I reused the switch that came with the fan for the pump. This is all in the kitchen section. I also added in an extra valve for future projects. At some point I want to build a solar water heater, and this source will feed it. The water will drain back to into the tank and circulate. When the kitchen gets a stove. I will also be able to use this system to heat water on the stove and let it drain back into the tank. If I let the system run for a bit until the water is heated, I will then be able to take a hot shower.

shower5I also added a few new things as well. I replaced the fan. The one I had was old and it just got to be too noisey. It was vibrating and clanging and about to drive me nuts. I ended up ordering one from the Walmart website and went and picked it up. It literally took less than six hours to get it. I guess they have trucks moving all the time. I ordered it early in the morning, and it was there later on in the day. Pretty crazy. Any way, installing this fan is what made me realize that they needed a backwards diode to keep it from messing up the charging circuit. I don’t really know if the pump needs one, but it can’t hurt, and I added one.

I also added 12 volt plug outlets. I bought that device on ebay for less than $4, and that included shipping. It’s pretty cheaply made, but it will work good enough for the amount of use I am going to give it. It has a USB outlet as well, but so does the AC inverter next to it.

outlet fan switchDiode

Well that’s a wrap for this blog, but you want to see the shower in action don’t you. Well, as of right now, I don’t have a shower curtain. The water splashes everywhere, but here it goes.