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Old 07-24-2020, 07:00 PM   #1
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Has your fresh water tank grown a belly?

I've noticed that my Fresh Water tank has grown a belly. Some parts of the tank bottom have sagged below the support braces. Not in danger of falling out as the supports are still holding the tank up well, just a sag between brackets which only run from front to rear. Bulging on the curb side and street side.

For several months I've been considering some form of bracing/support that would cure this and have seen several other approaches. I didn't want to weld anything to the frame and wasn't real excited about drilling holes in the lower flange of the frame as it's already lightened considerably and holes could lead to weakened points.

It then dawned on my what would work. Something that would be clamped to the frame flange, be fairly quick to install and even remove if necessary for future service. Taking a tip from an old Electrician friend I turned to "Kindorf" which is sold at Home Depot under the Super Strut name.



To attach it to the frame a pair of channel to beam strut clamps:



Edges of tank are supported by factory cross members and they are 27" apart. I installed two pieces of Superstrut from frame to frame, 9" apart and centered. This means that the bottom of the tank is supported essentially by a "grid" of supports 9" X 18".

Sag is now negligible across the bottom of the tank. I should be able to draw almost all of the water from the tank now.

Here are a coupld pics after about an hour's work (most of which was cutting the strut to length. I extended the strut beyond the frame rails as I now have places to hang things. Things I'll think of later








BTW, the channel only hangs down 1-5/8" from frame level.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:23 PM   #2
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great write up and pics... thanks
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:41 PM   #3
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Nice job ! I know the material as Unistrut, its the erector set for men!
Again Nice job !
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:53 PM   #4
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Nice job ! I know the material as Unistrut, its the erector set for men!
Again Nice job !
What's funny is that I saw this stuff used for decades. Had an electrician friend who used it for just about everything.

Never thought of using it as I did until earlier this week.

I used the 12 ga stuff and it is STOUT.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:01 PM   #5
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I've been "working" on this...thinking of using angles + drilling a few holes, but didn't like for the same reasons you mention. Your shared solution is just the ticket that'll work very well and without major renovation. Thanks!!
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:21 PM   #6
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Most excellent write up!
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:37 PM   #7
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Nicely done, great solution! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:25 PM   #8
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Adding, for thost that are weight conscious, I looked up weights of materials and all told it came out to 27 pounds.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:16 AM   #9
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Superstrut, Unistrut, or whatever name its marketed under is VERY versatile stuff. Ive used it for all kinds of garage functions from a Jeep hard top hoist to ladder racks. I used It to mount my marine battery box on the trailer tongue and also for attaching my JT Stongarm kit.
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:18 AM   #10
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Great write up and great idea. Unistrut is also available in a shorter version. Somewhere around 7/8 if height is an issue.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:12 PM   #11
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Love this and will be doing it. My FW tank grows quite a belly when filled with 60 gallons of water. Excellent job and thank you very much for sharing!
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:52 PM   #12
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All my tanks sit on plywood flooring.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:13 PM   #13
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Thank you. I was just getting ready to purchase some angle iron to have welded on. I'm going to try your solution first.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:19 PM   #14
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Great write up and great idea. Unistrut is also available in a shorter version. Somewhere around 7/8 if height is an issue.

I looked at the smaller stuff but I was concerned that it would sag more over a 6' span (distance between outer edges of frame flange).

The larger stuff doesn't even come down to the lower edge of the side panels so clearance isn't an issue.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:40 PM   #15
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Thank's for sharing. That stuff is ridged too in it's U channel shape.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:54 PM   #16
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That looks great. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:52 PM   #17
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Great Idea!

I had just come in from crawling around and checking out our water tank belly. It looks like a great idea (minimally invasive...). I made our belly way worse by compounding a mistake with a confounding modification. To prevent the siphon back out a half a tank of water issue, I added a cap. Then I pulled in to a campground hooked up, turned on water thinking I was on City Water, but I was filling. Twenty minutes later we were hearing very... strange noises. I checked for damage, but it is mainly a HUGE BELLY. Sometimes I disappoint myself.

Thanks again. I think you provided the solution to my dilemma
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Old 07-25-2020, 03:49 PM   #18
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Excellent use of materials! If I may offer a suggestion, add an additional nut and tighten to the top of the existing nuts to insure that it will not loosen up from all the bouncing and vibration that happens on the road. In the pictures it appears that your clamps have the room to add them.
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:03 PM   #19
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Excellent use of materials! If I may offer a suggestion, add an additional nut and tighten to the top of the existing nuts to insure that it will not loosen up from all the bouncing and vibration that happens on the road. In the pictures it appears that your clamps have the room to add them.
Thanks for the good suggestion. I probably will add nuts but for now I just plan on making sure the nuts are nice and snug when I get set up for the night. Take up any slack that may have worked it's way into the system. Right now they are as tight as I can get them with a standard 9/16" combination wrench, pulling on it as hard as I can without a piece of pipe over the end of the wrench.
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:11 PM   #20
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Great idea. I noticed that I also have a water tank bulge. Ill use your solution to solve my problem.
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