Vanagon – Westy fresh water pump experiment 

Bought a cheap water pump from banggood, this one. The original Westy in tank water pump had bit the dust a few years ago and I have been getting by using a small bilge pump similar to this.


It works ok I guess, had to adap the outlet to match the Westy plumbing. But it didn’t push as much water as I had hoped. For years I have been using a Eurovan Westy extendable faucet and I had dreams of being able to pull the faucet out through the sliding window and get a refreshing blast of cooling water on a hot summer day. Especially because the faucet has a spray setting. With the bilge pump, and the stock Westy pump before, the promised spray wasn’t that impressive.

I know that many sailboats and RVs use a pressurized water system with a pressure activated pump and an accumulator. Tempting to try this I thought.

So I buy the banggood pump, and arrived the other week. Supposed to produce 100 psi ( well that’s the switch cut off setting) and 4 L/m volume. I rushed out and did a quick install just to see if it will make my shower dreams come true. I simply plumbed it inline and connected its power lead to the switched side of the Eurovan faucet wiring. So the pump comes on when the faucet switch closes. Not a pressurized system and no accumulator. 

Note that I did mount the pump at a slight angle to ease stress on the tubing.  It had nothing to do with the awkward position I had to assume to get in there and screw. Nothing at all. I might find a better spot for the pump.


Does it improve things? Hell yeah. 


Shot of the extension of the faucet. Has to be stored like this to allow the lid to close.  It’s too tall when in its mounting hole.


It is noisier than the in tank pump alone. Yes, to be clear, the in tank pump is still connected and runs in tandem. I’ll pull it out of the tank later. 

  1. #1 by Denny on July 7, 2016 - 10:40 am

    OK…so did it give you the required shower capability…inquiring minds need to understand the results man…so I can duplicate them…LOL…my lady wants to shower every day, camping or not…

    • #2 by albell on July 7, 2016 - 11:13 pm

      Hey Denny,

      Yup, tried the pump out on trip last weekend. It works well but…
      I said in the post that I quickly installed the thing, and I might have suggested that I could have found a better location. Well i think I should find a better location. It’s noisy, not super loud and really for all the time you use it it’s not bad. But I think if I put it back nearer the tank it wouldn’t sound as loud.

      The other thing is to do with how I wired the pump and how the eurovan faucet works. The faucet is like the vanagon faucet in that it has a switch in the handle to power the in tank pump. I wired the new pump to that switch so both pumps come on when switch closed. But the eurovan faucet also has a flow control in it. Two position with an off position between. The switch is still closed in both positions and at the inbetween position. So in the inbetween position the water flow is blocked but the pump(s) still powered. The new pump has a built in switch that shuts the pump off at some predetermined pressure. States that it is 100 psi but I doubt that. Anyway, the pump shuts off but the in tank pump still runs.

      Not a problem just an interesting thing. It’s the way most RV and marine systems work, pump always powered, internal pressure switch determines if pump gets activated ( with pressure drop ie faucet turned on).

      All in all it is much better than the stick pump.

      I haven’t decided to go for the pressure regulated set up. If I did I would have a master switch to cut power to the pump when tank is empty or even when driving.

      Cheers

      Alistair

  2. #3 by Jena malone on June 19, 2017 - 11:18 pm

    This is an awesome set up!!! I’m interested in doing homework a similar thing in my set up.

    I wonder where did you get that faucet head and do you know how far it extends. ? Thanks! Jena

    • #4 by albell on June 20, 2017 - 9:32 am

      Hi Jena,

      Yup, the pump works pretty good, bi is slightly noisier than the stock in tank pump. At the risk of telling you something that you know full well already, the pump is designed to be always on. That is, switched on power to it. The pump activates when the pressure at the faucet end drops, ie you open the tap.

      But I chickened out and wired the pump power to the switch in the faucet. That way the tubing from the pump is not constantly pressurized. I may try it the other way but I will put in a separate switch to power off the pump, for example during travelling and also when the tank is empty.

      The faucet is from a T4 (called Eurovan here in North America) westy. Found at a wreckers yard and the switch knob was missing. Made a replacement, the brown part. It extends about 3 ft, good enough to pull out through the sliding window and give yourself a wash down.

      Cheers

      Alistair

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