1 Gallon RTIC Hydration System

Dr. Tiki

Premier Member
#1
My current hydration system was a 1/2 gallon Igloo mounted to the clutch side passenger floor board. I usually mount it when doing longer trips and on my IBA rides. Overtime, I came to dislike a few things about it…

• It was becoming a pain to install and remove all the time.
• The process to install/remove was a pain in itself as I had to remove the mount from the floorboard, then remove the floorboard from the bike.
• It required the passenger floorboard to be down and found that I frequently hit my heel on it at stops (I am not accustomed to carrying passengers)
• I don't like to go inside the store when stopped for gas just to refill. I like to refill at the end of the day. 1/2 gallon wasn't enough water.
• Igloo wasn't well insulated and the ice didn't last long



I mounted the system to the clutch side of the bike as I figured that if I mounted it to the right side, heat would rise up from the engine and onto the Igloo when parked. Also if mounted on the clutch side, the bike would have more of a chance to cast some kind of shade onto the container when parked.

Mocking up a card board template of the new mount:


Testing template on the bike, holes are at a slight angle so water will accumulate to one side when low


Satisfied with the template and after lots of measuring, re-measuring and measuring again. I took the template down to a custom metal fab shop and had it fabricated. Here I am getting ready to lay out the mounting holes that will mount it to the bike and the holder to the mount.


After getting the holes drilled I had the mount powder coated


The new mount on the bike, a perfect fit.


The jug I will be using is a 1 Gallon RTIC with a quick disconnect siliconed into the top, bottom has a firm 'straw' that reaches to the bottom of the jug.


The quick disconnect seals when the male part is removed. No leakage. Also the RTIC jug captures the small lid on top, the Yeti has a magnetic mount that you just place the cap on when removed. I figured I'd loose that pretty quick if I went with the Yeti.


Everything mounted on the bike. RTIC jug slides into the holder that Yeti makes for their 1 gallon jug. The lock is just peace of mind that it won't bounce out, also found out later that because the jug is a little loose in the holder, it tends to spin around, this keeps it from doing it.


... and this is the finished system. I have about a thousand miles with it now and I am very happy with how it turned out. The system does not stick our further than the saddlebag. It's also high enough that in the case of a tip over, the saddlebag guard will hit ground before the hydration system does. I have a new hydration hose cover on my desk, it just didn't arrive in time for pictures.
 

keithu

Premier Member
#8
I've been running this style of hydration system all summer and it has worked pretty well. But last month while riding the Highline across northern Montana it stopped working: all I got out of the drink tube was air and bubbles. Inspection revealed that an o-ring on one of the quick disconnects broke. I was surprised it broke so early as I think the QD fitting had fewer than 100 cycles.

I found a package of o-rings in the plumbing aisle at Lowes that were perfect replacements. They are 1/2" OD x 5/16" ID x 3/32. They're a perfect fit and don't interfere with QD operation.

If you're using the Mazama QD fittings described in this thread I recommend picking up a pack of these o-rings and stash them in your tank bag on long rides. An o-ring might not be an easy part to source on the road, and if it breaks the hydration system will be non-operable.
 

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Dr. Tiki

Premier Member
#9
I never thought about O-Ring issues, thanks. I will be adding that to my shopping list for the next time I am at Lowes.

My setup continues to work great and the only real change that I feel that I need to make is getting rid of the lock that I put on it. The lock is really only there to keep the jug from spinning in the holder from all the vibrations. I would like to find a long slim carabiner or something to replace it with, something that I don't have to dig around for keys for. :)