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richard5933

Custom Holding Tanks

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Anyone know of a good source for custom holding tanks?

The two tanks on our coach are rectangular (43"L x 19.75"W x 25.75"H) and are starting to have issues. So far I've been able to take care of the problems, but the long-term solution is new tanks. In order to maintain the maximum capacity and still use our current plumbing setup, I'm interested in finding a place that can make new tanks to replace our current one. Our current tanks were fabricated from 3/8" thick poly sheeting.

I'm looking for a tank to be built to a custom size - not just a stock size tank with custom fitting placement. Most of what I've seen following links on the forum and online were for places selling a selection of stock tanks where they could place the fittings where ever needed.

So far I've found one place in PA (we're in Wisconsin) that can fabricate the two tanks for about $730/ea plus shipping. Seems high, but I have no real point of comparison yet.

Any help would be greatly appreciated finding a source.

Thanks.

 

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Richard 

I watched them weld some plastic holding tanks out of plastic in Las Vegas about 30 years ago.  I was doing a bus conversion and needed 4 tanks.  I thought the price was a little high at about $400 each so I went with production blow molded tanks at about $200 each from a company in Los Angeles.  I think your price is about right.

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Sounds like you got some good options. My neighbor manages a company that makes Stainless tanks for all sorts of applications in Delaware. A bit too heavy for an RV and out of your way.

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I appreciate all the suggestions and information on pricing. Seems like for a truly custom tank the price I was quoted isn't outrageous. Right now I'm leaning towards getting the tank made like we want, but with the price being what it is it's going to have to wait till the end of the season.

So, for now I'm going to be enrolling in an on-the-job training program and teach myself to weld the polyethylene to fix the tank that we've already got. I found a welding kit for only $75, and then I went Midland Plastics here in town to get some cut-offs from their bin to practice with. (They sell scrap by the pound to hobbyists) Apparently the technique isn't complicated, but it does take some practice to avoid ruining the tank by melting it instead of welding it. The process is pretty cool actually - a highly focused heat gun blowing into a hollow shoe, and a slot in the shoe to feed the poly 'welding rod'. The heat melts the edges of the pieces being welded, and the shoe helps to guide the welding rod into place as it melts into the works.

The problem I'm dealing with is about a 6" long section of one of the top seams that looks to never have been properly bonded. There are two rows of welding rod laid down, but the two panels look like they just didn't bond properly. At first I thought I did the damage when I repaired a leaking flange seal, but there is a buildup of dirt in the open seam that looks to have been there quite a while. I'll have to carefully scrap out the dirt and then run a couple of rows of welding rod into the seam.

Easy peazy. I will post photos win or lose once it's done.

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12 hours ago, richard5933 said:

I appreciate all the suggestions and information on pricing. Seems like for a truly custom tank the price I was quoted isn't outrageous. Right now I'm leaning towards getting the tank made like we want, but with the price being what it is it's going to have to wait till the end of the season.

So, for now I'm going to be enrolling in an on-the-job training program and teach myself to weld the polyethylene to fix the tank that we've already got. I found a welding kit for only $75, and then I went Midland Plastics here in town to get some cut-offs from their bin to practice with. (They sell scrap by the pound to hobbyists) Apparently the technique isn't complicated, but it does take some practice to avoid ruining the tank by melting it instead of welding it. The process is pretty cool actually - a highly focused heat gun blowing into a hollow shoe, and a slot in the shoe to feed the poly 'welding rod'. The heat melts the edges of the pieces being welded, and the shoe helps to guide the welding rod into place as it melts into the works.

The problem I'm dealing with is about a 6" long section of one of the top seams that looks to never have been properly bonded. There are two rows of welding rod laid down, but the two panels look like they just didn't bond properly. At first I thought I did the damage when I repaired a leaking flange seal, but there is a buildup of dirt in the open seam that looks to have been there quite a while. I'll have to carefully scrap out the dirt and then run a couple of rows of welding rod into the seam.

Easy peazy. I will post photos win or lose once it's done.

After I watched a plastic shop do it I said to myself I can do it.  I bought the plastic welder and tried but its not as easy as it looks. About like trying to weld sheet lead with stick lead.  I have done some repairs but nothing major.  I have cut down a top of a water tank but had a couple of pin leaks, fortunately since it was on the top it was not a problem.

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On 5/3/2018 at 10:10 AM, desertdeals69 said:

After I watched a plastic shop do it I said to myself I can do it.  I bought the plastic welder and tried but its not as easy as it looks. About like trying to weld sheet lead with stick lead.  I have done some repairs but nothing major.  I have cut down a top of a water tank but had a couple of pin leaks, fortunately since it was on the top it was not a problem.

The trick might be to warm / heat the area of the tank that you want to apply the plastic weld. plastic welders extrude it, but the tank surface is cold and the beads cool as quickly as the material is applied.

Rich.

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Prior to attempting to weld a plastic tank it must be determined what the material is, as the same plastic "welding rod" material must be used. The process is not unlike oxy/acetylene welding, except the heat source is an electric heat gun instead of a flame.

My black tank began leaking, Camping World welded the split in the tank bottom and it's been fine ever since. The hard part, according to the tech, was gaining access to the tank bottom. He said welding the split took about 15-20 minutes, but gaining access then reassembling everything took nearly 4 hours.

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8 hours ago, manholt said:

Labor vs. Replacement....was it worth it?

I don't think it would be quicker or easier to replace the tank. So far, I've invested about 2 hours total to the tank repairs, and it looks like things will hold for now. I used the welding kit to close up the opened seam, and then added a wood brace to help take the side-ward pressure off the seam as we roll down the road. I wouldn't trust things to last for years, but they should be fine till the end of this season. Total investment in the plastic welding kit was about $75.

To order tanks that will mate to the existing plumbing will take some careful measuring, and then I'll have to supply the company with detailed drawings. It's been more than a few days since my high school drafting class so that might take a few minutes longer than I'd like. Then I'll have to disconnect all the connections, reconnect, etc. etc. etc. I figure I'll spend about 3 hours prepping to place the order, and then another 3-4 hours installing them when they arrive. More if any of the black tank connections don't cooperate once they are opened.

In the end I will get the tanks replaced, but given the cash flow getting all the other updates done this spring to the electronics bay I really need to let the budget rest for a while if I don't want to be traveling alone in the coach. It will be upwards of $1900 total for the tanks and expected plumbing parts.

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Was it worth it?

Was not referring to you.  RayIn was my target.  His is available via Winnebago or after market.

Your situation is unique!  Not many coaches around anymore, from early 1974...Custom Bus and GMC is about it.

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14 hours ago, manholt said:

Was not referring to you.  RayIn was my target.  His is available via Winnebago or after market.

Your situation is unique!  Not many coaches around anymore, from early 1974...Custom Bus and GMC is about it.

Yes. My cost was $50 deductible + the cost of treating all  rusting metal surrounding the tank with POR 15(that was my choice). The ESC covered everything over that.  I didn't want to endure the ridiculous wait time from CW either.

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