This week I got to cross another job off the list – I installed my water tanks!

I am using tanks from RV Tanks Australia

They are specifically made to fit under my model of Toyota Coaster and are designed to bolt straight up through the floor, so they don’t require any special brackets to be fitted to the chassis.

I have four tanks altogether – three for fresh water and one for grey waste water. I don’t need a black waste tank as my toilet is a composting waterless toilet.

Tanks are located on both sides of the bus underneath the floor. At the back, on either side of the spare tyre, behind the rear wheels, I have two 60L tanks – one is fresh water the other is the grey tank.

I have another 60L fresh water tank in front of the rear wheels, on the driver side between the AC unit and the exhaust outlet. And the third fresh water tank is a 50L one, in front of the rear wheels on the passenger side.

I’ll have 170L total for fresh water storage.

Before you install these kind of tanks, it’s important to remember to fit your breather hose outlets BEFORE installing the tank, if like mine, your breather outlet is at the very top of the tank. Otherwise, once the tank is hard up against the underneath of the floor, there is no way to thread the fitting on.

Using a wrench to install the breather hose outlet on the water tank
breather hose outlet fitted

The hardest part of this install was lifting and holding the tanks up to the correct position under the bus. I managed to do this by myself but it is definitely easier if you have a second person to help. I used a jack to help lift the tank into place.

using jack to lift water tank into position

Because there was no room to get the drill up the side of the tank to drill the holes for the bolts while the tank was in position, I drew a line around the edge of the tank to mark where it was, and also marked the position of the four holes. Then I had to drop the tank to get it out of the way while I drilled the holes before lifting it into position again.

Getting the bolts secured is a two person job. You need one person under the bus to hold the bolt while the other person is inside the bus tightening it.

I used M10 high tensile steel bolts, with lock nuts and contact washers to secure the tanks so they should not go anywhere.

I also used some 3mm thick aluminium plates above the floor to act as extra large washers and help to spread the load that will be placed on the bolts when the tanks are full of water.

Overall I’m very happy with how the tanks are fitted. The front tanks cannot be seen at all from outside the bus. The rear tanks hang a little below the body at the very back. I don’t think this will be enough to cause any issues, but I’ll obviously have to be careful if entering a steep driveway or loading onto a ferry.

The design of these tanks makes them very easy to install and with Dad’s help, we got all four tanks installed in just a few hours.

Now I just need to connect all the plumbing!