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DIY van spec (opinions please)


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Posted (edited)

Update - Edited title to be "van spec" not "van setup" as there's no exciting photos here... yet

 

Hi all, I'm just getting set up having (I think) finally secured a van (Renault Trafic).

I've decided to go for a DIY setup for the van (delivery only), a) for cost, and b) because I'd like the ability to upgrade individual components as needed over time.

What I really want is something that will give me a little future proofing (have a mate with a commercial cleaning company so there will be possibility of commercial work further down the line), so I'd rather go bigger than needed capacity wise now to save me having to redo things further down the line (might be a mistake.. only time will tell!)

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this pretty simple setup..

The plan is to create a system that is "ready" to be converted to a 2 man system in the future (i.e the basic plumbing in place, but blanked off for now)

The current plan is to use the footprint of the tank frame (being a flat tank) to be able to mount most of the components above the tank itself to keep it all pretty self contained. I'm hoping we're going to be able to mount the hose reel in such a way that it can be "aimed" either straight out the back of the van or directly out of the side door depending on preference.

I think that's it (I've probably missed something off), I'll try and share a drawing of what I have in mind, and will share pics of it all coming together but if anyone more experienced than myself (everyone!) has any suggestions or improvements as to specific brands / products products, please do suggest!

 

Edited by matt1458
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Sounds pretty good to me but keep the pump/s as low as possible, I would get a bigger battery personally but some may not agree.

Good luck with it all.

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Agree with the comments. 6mm hose is so much easier to handle. You’ll need to mount the pumps as low as possible to prevent getting air locks between jobs unless you turn your pump off every time. The only other ‘downside’ to having a lay flat tank is you really have to think about where you park - I live in a very hilly area and lose quite a bit of my tanks capacity if I don’t park on the flat or on a kerb with the outlets on the ‘kerb’ side.  Doesn’t sound like a major thing but it gets quite annoying!!! Hence mine will be for sale soon!!!!

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Here’s mine in its current form. Two reels at the back. The passenger side reel is on a linear rail system with turntable. I have twin side doors so the reel can be pushed to the front of the van and rotated to operate from either side door. I’ve also converted the reel to remote control so it can be operated from either side too. As you can see my tank is quite low profile - hence the tip about parking!!!!

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Edited by AGlassAct
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Thanks guys that’s really helpful. Had read that 6mm hose was more manageable, are there any particular downsides to 6mm over 8? Cleaning warehouse site mentions 6mm puts more strain on hose so they recommend 8 (hence putting it in the spec) but I’m not sure how much that will really affect things in the real world.

6 minutes ago, AGlassAct said:

The only other ‘downside’ to having a lay flat tank is you really have to think about where you park

Good point, I hadn’t thought about that. Only really chose the flat tank due to clearance between tank a roof (I live near a pure water filling station which I may need to use from time to time due to potential issues filling outside the house) and also thinking lower centre of gravity would make it less likely to turn into a rocking horse when sat at traffic lights! But that’s a good point about capacity when parked on hills!

1 minute ago, AGlassAct said:

Here’s mine in its current form. Two reels at the back. The passenger side reel is on a linear rail system with turntable. I have twin side doors so the reel can be pushed to the front of the van and rotated to operate from either side door. I’ve also converted the reel to remote control so it can be operated from either side too. As you can see my tank is quite low profile - hence the top about parking!!!!

456B27BA-DB09-458E-ACD1-923B9365C9E5.jpeg

8BD672E4-402B-4A39-8BFC-3BC2DD3D9251.jpeg

9FD7C26F-94F0-4CB1-9D32-92A9D4AC302B.jpeg

Wow. This is next level compared to what I’d come up with haha! Is this a DIY build? Looks great

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Ive used 8mm (when I started) and now have 6 on all my reels. The difference is night and day for me. The 6mm is so much lighter, doesn’t snag as much and some reels you can get 100m of it on - whereas the 8mm your talking 70-80m. I have 3 houses (all bungalows!) that take exactly 100m if hose to get around!!! I use a trolley for these jobs now!!!. 
Yes the van is all DIY. The tank was second hand (from a lovely gent on here that had it custom made for a vivaro). All the rest is my own handy work. I like a good project!!!

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I reckon based on recommendations 6mm it is then!

@AGlassAct one (possibly dumb) question if I may, what sort of hose / piping did you opt for to connect between tank / pump / reel? Sorting out what’s the best option to connect everything up robustly enough is the last bit of the puzzle for me!

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19 minutes ago, matt1458 said:

I reckon based on recommendations 6mm it is then!

@AGlassAct one (possibly dumb) question if I may, what sort of hose / piping did you opt for to connect between tank / pump / reel? Sorting out what’s the best option to connect everything up robustly enough is the last bit of the puzzle for me!

I used John guest plastic tubing and fittings (BSP fittings). I use hot water - on this Van build I have had NO LEAKS at all. More expensive and a bit more complicated to order the bits in one go but since I converted my water purification system (stand alone) its the only option I would consider now. Gardiner is the cheapest place.

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2 hours ago, matt1458 said:

Thanks guys that’s really helpful. Had read that 6mm hose was more manageable, are there any particular downsides to 6mm over 8? Cleaning warehouse site mentions 6mm puts more strain on hose so they recommend 8 (hence putting it in the spec) but I’m not sure how much that will really affect things in the real world.

Good point, I hadn’t thought about that. Only really chose the flat tank due to clearance between tank a roof (I live near a pure water filling station which I may need to use from time to time due to potential issues filling outside the house) and also thinking lower centre of gravity would make it less likely to turn into a rocking horse when sat at traffic lights! But that’s a good point about capacity when parked on hills!

Wow. This is next level compared to what I’d come up with haha! Is this a DIY build? Looks great

I have 6 mm hose and the pumps have done  over 12000 hours run time and no problems I think what they have said is an old wife’s tail , I have run 6 mm of over 15 years and found the pumps last at least 7 years . 

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11 hours ago, matt1458 said:

Only really chose the flat tank due to clearance between tank a roof

The issue with a flat tank is it takes up all your van floor space and anything else will have to chucked on top, this will be a future issue if you go down the gutter vac route etc, to late now if you have bought and started an order for a flat tank frame you are going to have to be smart with storage for items toolbox and everything else as for your battery choice @spruce knows his stuff about batteries I have this one https://www.tayna.co.uk/leisure-batteries/numax/xv31mf/

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56 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:

The issue with a flat tank is it takes up all your van floor space and anything else will have to chucked on top, this will be a future issue if you go down the gutter vac route etc, to late now if you have bought and started an order for a flat tank frame you are going to have to be smart with storage for items toolbox and everything else as for your battery choice @spruce knows his stuff about batteries I have this one https://www.tayna.co.uk/leisure-batteries/numax/xv31mf/

As Iron Giant says, I would never recommend a flat tank.

This is one of the best battery choices in my experience. Numax are a good quality battery. You have to maintain them correctly by recharging them asap after use and they will last. This battery isn't the perfect solution. Its not a leisure battery and its not a starter battery as they are both designed differently for different jobs. It sits somewhere in the middle. So it will handle the output voltages of using electric reels as well as supply the needs of low current draw with the pump running.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of our business Numax and other manufacturers will not honour warranty claims made by window cleaners. So each time we make a battery purchase we take it for granted that we take on the warranty risk.

The other thing about purchasing batteries over the internet means that even if you have a justifiable claim the odds are against you making a claim. You have to pay return carriage and as you can't speak to someone face to face directly you have to take their word for it that their findings are correct. You can't get the battery sent elsewhere for a second opinion. There is no such thing as a battery ombudsman. 😂

You also need a good quality intelligent battery charger to keep that battery fully charged.

 

 

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13 hours ago, AGlassAct said:

Here’s mine in its current form. Two reels at the back. The passenger side reel is on a linear rail system with turntable. I have twin side doors so the reel can be pushed to the front of the van and rotated to operate from either side door. I’ve also converted the reel to remote control so it can be operated from either side too. As you can see my tank is quite low profile - hence the tip about parking!!!!

456B27BA-DB09-458E-ACD1-923B9365C9E5.jpeg

8BD672E4-402B-4A39-8BFC-3BC2DD3D9251.jpeg

9FD7C26F-94F0-4CB1-9D32-92A9D4AC302B.jpeg

I need to fit a couple of steps like you have at the rear. It should delay the need for me to get a stair lift fitted.😂

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6 hours ago, spruce said:

There is no such thing as a battery ombudsman. 😂

You might come pretty close if anyone needed one 

6 hours ago, spruce said:

I need to fit a couple of steps like you have at the rear. It should delay the need for me to get a stair lift fitted. 😂

Just get your son to get on his hands and knees you've done plenty for him over the years 😅

  • Haha 2
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23 minutes ago, Iron Giant said:

Just get your son to get on his hands and knees you've done plenty for him over the years 😅

Now that does sound so wrong 😱

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/06/2020 at 20:03, AGlassAct said:

Here’s mine in its current form. Two reels at the back. The passenger side reel is on a linear rail system with turntable. I have twin side doors so the reel can be pushed to the front of the van and rotated to operate from either side door. I’ve also converted the reel to remote control so it can be operated from either side too. As you can see my tank is quite low profile - hence the tip about parking!!!!

456B27BA-DB09-458E-ACD1-923B9365C9E5.jpeg

8BD672E4-402B-4A39-8BFC-3BC2DD3D9251.jpeg

9FD7C26F-94F0-4CB1-9D32-92A9D4AC302B.jpeg

Mate.. that really is the business - it's incredible! A railway in a van lol.. totally awesome.

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