Water tank access PortI had seen this project 1st on Netboys site a few years back (linked on home page). Using a deck lid, primarily used on boats, You cut a hole in the top of your water tank, install deck lid for access inside. For cleaning-just to see, but what finally got me going-using the port to fill the tanks when using jugs!.
These things are designed to be water tight, the lid unscrews easily for access. Yes this came up again in a discussion on RV.net last night. Fella had a fill hose adapter blow off into his tank-"How do I get it out. or does it matter?" Consensus was, Well since the hose is inert shouldnít hurt to stay in there but the "if you had an access port..." came up. One guy says he'd like to put one in to check his level. Then another fella mentioned he mostly used his port when using jugs to fill the tank.
DOHP! in the all the years I've thought of this project, camping & making 20 trips with a gallon jug, holding a funnel trying to refill the tank -just never occurred to me. Ya know if we had a tank port we could just dump it in. Could also use the Britta or similar to filter the water before dumping.
Any way I looked on line, deck lids range (for the same brand $10-30) then I saw you could get them with clear lids. Hmm that would be kinda nice. Anyway on my home tonight I stopped by the local RV/Marine shop. I said I was kinda thinking of adding an access port to my water tank, folks are using "deck lids". He walks over to the shelf. "this is all I have, just came in, a 6" deck lid with a clear lens. $16". I said "sold". Went to the hardware, picked up (12) 1" 8-32 phillips CS Stainless screws 5/8x #8 fender washer & nylok nuts, and tube of silicon (food grade or aquarium sealant). I Highly recommend getting socket head countersunk screws, as silicone on the phillips impossible to drive. I didn't, stripped/spun the head on several....
To insure alignment I placed the 2 small blocks in the lid recess, applied wood glue, put the cross piece (handle ) and lightly clamped. Removed after couple of hours and used 3 nails each side. Sanded and sprayed some clear on . Also drilled for lanyard to tie off in water tank area.
Here you can see the profile I needed to match.
Lastly modify the box top for getting access to the new water tank access port
Nice would be a simple piano hinge. But part of the board is under slide, so id need to cut-hmm I just re carpeted, there's no structure to the box (it relies on the top being screwed down for integrity) and there's no room to add anything to support the hinge side or reinforce the outer box wall to the camper wall. He hawed around for a while then decided all I needed was to duplicate the original top, put a false top on the box , then it wouldn't need the carpeted board for integrity. I could make the top board just slide in. I used a piece of plastic cause that's what I had laying in the shop. Works well but Iíll probably at some point add a piece of flat bar with cross flanges welded so I can secure the outer box wall back to the camper wall. Piece of 1/8-1/4 ply would also work for the false top.
I used 2 simple hook & eyes to hold the board front on.
I also added 2 small angles at back edge of board to insure it doesn't tilt up. Board slides in pretty tight. Because Ill be pouring thru 2 holes Iím going to find a plastic bowl that will reach into the tank, cut the bottom out & install screen. Or a large funnel. It'll act as a splash guard when refilling with jugs (juggin) and catch any large objects that are not supposed to be submerged in our drinking water.
Couldnít find a funnel or bowl that was short and also big enough around, so made one. Iím sure thereís something out there. Used some scrap poly sheet I had. Formed approx. 11 1/2 od X 3 id X 5" cone. Silicone the lap and used #8 x 1/2"screws& nuts. I was going to get some screen and happed to see this old tube bumper cap on the bench. Wow-perfect fit, just plain luck, got a lip so canít push thru, extends the reach. Drilled it full of holes. If the water chokes Ill completely remove center of cap and put coarse screen on it. It just slips in didnít seal
As Iíll be pouring thru 2 holes when using jugs-this will work great. Screen (Cap) also extends the reach into tank.
Final note: Another reason for adding the tank access port.
Back to Ourelkhorn Camper Modifications page