Carrying water in your 4WD is a great idea, and there’s plenty of ways to go about it, starting with our post on 4WD water tanks. Ideally, an underbody water tank is the best option, but if you were chasing something easier, cheaper and quicker to knock up, you can make a PVC water tank and install it on your roof racks.
In actual fact, there’s a number of companies that make these as a proper 4WD accessory, and many of them are set up for showering out of with pre-heated water.
What do you need to build a PVC water tank?
Put simply, you need very little to build a PVC water tank. You need heavy duty PVC pipe, end caps, and potentially some tees or elbows depending on what shape you want to make it.
You’ll also need the PVC glue, a tap, and nipple or socket, and a way of attaching it. If you want the water to get warm, painting the PVC black is a good idea.
You can knock one of these up in a couple of hours at most, and have it ready to fill with water not long after.
Downsides of a PVC water tank on the roof racks
Like anything in life, there’s no free lunch. PVC water tanks are not really designed for drinking water, which means its only good for showers, washing dishes and general use water.
It also involves adding a fair bit of weight up high, which is not good for 4WDing applications, and can really affect your centre of gravity.
Beyond this, you need to be sure that your roof rack weight limit is not exceeded, and that the factory roof capacity is up to the additional stress.
If you are chasing more information on water storage for your 4WD, check this out – 4WD water tanks.
Pressurising your water tank
If you want to take it a step further, you can install a valve stem into the tank, and put a tiny amount of compressed air in. This will make the water come out at a faster rate, and makes it perfect for an off grid shower.
Mount it well
However you mount your PVC water tank, make sure its secure as. Even a small tank can weigh upwards of 20kg, and if you do one like the above it can be quite a bit more.
Screws and normal gutter fixing steel isn’t going to cut it; you need proper brackets that distribute the weight well, and that won’t break.