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On-Board Fresh Water & Hot Shower (in a Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited)

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8 hours ago, jgaz said:

Nice work Kris!


Your timing was perfect.  I was just looking for some adhesive heat shields material for a project I’m helping a friend with.

Thanks for the link


hope that works for ya! the adhesive seemed good, it's just not many things stick well to MDPE.

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i gotta thank @Number7 publicly for both teaching me some fabbin' skills and selling me his trusty 110v Lincoln welder all those years ago! so many projects would have never even been created if it weren't for him. BTW, the little fella is still going strong:




...and i still can't weld consistently pretty! ;) but, it's mainly just a lack of patience and steady hand.


some of my stuff cleans up without too many obvious issues...








but then some of my beads look like a 4 year-old drew them with one of those giant dull kid markers!




anyway, all the welding on the tank bracket is finished - yay!



after welding, i drilled a small hole towards each end of the square tubes to act as drain holes. i added a few in the main plate as well.




i ran over all the welds with a steel brush in an air grinder, then lightly sanded the whole enchilada and washed it with degreaser. i've got one heavy coat of primer drying already... we're getting much closer to running water!




Edited by theksmith
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Amazing write up, @theksmith!


And I agree that Heavy Metal Sled would be a perfect metal band name!!!



Edited by GRUNT
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Not sure what you’re cutting thru Kris but you may wish you had a side handle on your drill!😉

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57 minutes ago, jgaz said:

Not sure what you’re cutting thru Kris but you may wish you had a side handle on your drill!😉


oh, ya know - just your standard steel body panel, nothing major ;)


i did actually screw the side handle onto the ole trusty Ryobi for this one (just couldn't see it in that other photo)!




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ya gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette they say - however, the phrase "resale value" did cross my mind more than once before i finally committed to this.




i actually considered a bunch of places to put a water inlet. ultimately though it seemed the most functional yet factory-looking thing i could do would actually mean drilling a hole the size of Rhode Island right into the side of my rig...


i bought a standard RV gravity water inlet, plus another aftermarket JK fuel door just like the one i already had.


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i customized the fuel door with black bolts to match my existing one and modified it to open the opposite direction. then i married it to the water inlet with a little more hacking on them both. 






the inlet also has a convenient place to attach a tank vent hose.


i had removed the tail light to get access into this area and found a secondary wall a couple inches behind the exterior panel. i butchered that wall a bit as i only had the giant hole saw and a way smaller one... i should have just bought a 3" hole saw for that inside panel, but oh well - it's done and no-one will ever see that part again!




looking in from the tail light hole while test fitting:




the ginormous hole is 5-3/8" which was a wee bit too small for the fuel door in one place, so i needed to notch that part about 1/8". i *think* a 5-1/2" hole saw would be just right, but i didn't want to over-shoot so i went a little small.


i was still able to clip in the door bracket as designed, but added a few tiny screws to keep it from rotating. all the raw metal was painted to prevent rust.






so now the passenger side of the Jeep mirrors the driver side!




gas go here:




water go here:




the bottom of that hollow cavity just has some spray foam insulation and a black plastic panel. pushing the panel upwards will let you remove it.






i cut off the front corner of that panel with a jig-saw to make room for the 1.25" fill hose and the 3/8 vent line.


next, i learnt me something about flexible PVC hose... that regular spray paint won't fully cure on it - so now i have a sticky hose! :( 




i'm not sure if maybe vinyl upholstery paint would work, but The Google says rit-dye is a good way to color clear tubing.


if i wasn't happy about the look of that clear braided stuff, you know there was no way in hell i was going to let Gadget rock this minty fresh fill hose!




having failed at painting the clear tubing, i didn't even try with this one. instead, i used the rest of my black Gorilla tape to wrap it up!




the filler hose routes forward and then over to the tank, very similar to how the fuel filler tube runs on the other side.




i still need to run the vent hose to the water inlet - in the photo above i just have a short test piece of hose on for that (top right fitting).


shopping list for this part:



eager to test things, i went ahead a filled it up about 3/4 of the way - it did indeed hold water and the pump and sprayer worked just fine too.


thank god praise GIF


feeling optimistic, i took it Gadget out and did some aggressive desert driving and a few flex tests with the tank nearly full... nothing seemed to leak, rub, shift, hit, make weird noises, fall-off or catch fire (yet)! 


Fuck Yes GIF by memecandy


other than needing to still run that vent line, i want to better route the line that runs from the tank to the pump so i don't have to worry about it melting... it's laying against the t-case and transmission right now and i hadn't realized how hot those get during normal use.


i made a plumbing diagram and shopping list for adding the heat exchanger but it's going to be over $100. the "Jeep project" budget is shot right now, so i'll add that hot shower functionality a little later.




i may also add a "glide plate" between the t-case skid and the tank skid if i find that i'm getting hung up on the front of the tank bracket too easily.




that's about it for the fresh water part - hot shower and long term testing/tweaks still to come!



Edited by theksmith
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I love the use of the fuel door to cover the water fill cap. Genius!

No worry about resale.  Most will think it has duel tanks!🤣


I didn’t realize the brushless Ryobi Drill had a threaded insert to accept a side handle.  My old non brushless drill doesn’t have the ability to use a handle.  


if you’re ever in need of  a hole saw for one time use, and don’t want to buy it, hit me up if the needed size is below about 3 1/2”?  
I have a large assortment of various sizes that I’ll loan you.

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Holy crazy cutting dude Kbro you gone off your rocker this time.. I can’t wait to try it!dan marino holy shit GIF

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i picked up some of that vinyl & fabric spray paint i mentioned from Autozone and turns out that it does work for painting the PVC braided clear tubing! so i finished running the vent line and made some adjustments to the routing of all the hoses (you can never have too many zip ties 😋).

finally, i referenced this straightforward blog article on sanitizing an RV fresh water system - mine is currently soaking.




note: if you're a tin-foil-hat wearing hippy and overly concerned about bleach, you can find other guides that use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or baking soda instead! 😲


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