Plastic RV plumbing fittings can provide your RV with the comforts of civilization whether you choose to make camp on a baking savanna or in lush wilderness. After all, even amongst die hard camping freaks there are few who would sing the joys of walking a quarter mile in pouring rain just to reach an outhouse with a long drop, or of being forced to wash dishes at a spigot. And the delights of nature become far less bittersweet when you don’t have to bathe in a freezing outdoor shower, but have your own geyser along for the ride. Below I’ve outlined a couple of the issues involved in using plastic RV plumbing fittings and plumbing lines.
The first challenge you’re likely to face when it comes to your RV plumbing system is getting water into the vehicle. Now, in case you haven’t read your vehicle’s manual, drinking water comes in through the RV’s fresh water fill, while water for flushing the toilet comes in through the city water inlet. It would be best if, when putting fresh water into your RV, you use a hose actually designed for transferring drinking water, rather than a plain green garden hose, which can make the water taste unpalatably rubbery.
Another thing you should take under consideration is that plastic RV plumbing fittings are predominantly designed to work under pressures of between 40 and 60 PSI, and so at best might be able to work under pressures of around 100 PSI. This might represent a problem given that city water pressures can run as high as 150 PSI, especially in unregulated areas. Thus you may want to install a pressure regulator on the line running from your city water inlet. These are actually pretty cheap, and easy to install – all you need to do is screw one onto the end of the hose, and presto, you’ve got insurance against damage to your plumbing system.
Now, if you’ve got an old RV, there’s always a possibility that the pipes are unsatisfactory. This could be due to your RV being fitted with old-school copper piping, which is susceptible to corrosion and lead-leaking, or because it was originally fitted with thin wall plastic RV plumbing fittings, which are easily damaged, especially amidst the debris of offroad RV travel. Thus, it’s in your interest, regardless of whether or not you currently have any problem with the workings of your RV plumbing system, to look for a product that isn’t going to fail you when you need it most, out in the wilderness far away from repair shop technicians.
From a practical perspective you need to keep in mind that you might be working in a tight dark space. Depending on the amount of space you have I suggest using something like a LED flashlight, it’s provides better light than a conventional flashlight. If that doesn’t work try to place your LED camping lantern in a solid spot somewhere. This will also free up both hands for work.. and you should have this with you on any camping trip in any case.
Probably the best move in such a circumstance is to go for PEX plumbing. PEX is the common abbreviation for cross-linked polyethylene, a substance strong and reliable enough that it’s commonly used not only for domestic water pumping and hydronic radiant heating systems, but also for transportation of offshore oil and natural gas. The John Guest BPEX line of plastic RV plumbing fittings is perfect for the plumbing of both cold and hot water services in motor homes and RVs.