I installed a pressure tank next to the water pump in the wiring and plumbing bay under the bed. I had winterized the system before I did the installation when we returned from Arizona in March. When I was getting ready for my birthday camping trip in May I found out the pipe was leaking badly. The new winterizing bypass valve also had a bad crimp fitting. I had not de-winterized in time to find the leaks and even though I spent a couple of hours connecting the pipes without the tank the system was still leaking. We dumped all the fresh water and we had no running water in the RV that trip. Luckily our campsite was right across the road from a nice running water bathroom.
Towards the end of June I needed to get ready for our post July 4th camping trip. We have the older set of grandkids visiting and I wanted them to be in the mountains again while they are here. I reconnected the pressure tank and redid the crimp fittings for the winterizing connection and when I turned on the water one of the hoses just shot out water.
I’m not sure if the hose was stretched at this point, the fitting was out of round, or if the crimp wasn’t tight enough but I could not stop this leak. Unfortunately the connection between this hose and the pex was back under some other equipment so I could not reach it to extend the pipe and eliminate the leaking hose.
I shared this dilemma with a Class C RV support group and someone suggested I replace the whole pipe under the floor. Since I have plenty of pex that seemed like a good option. The pex from the equipment bay extended under the floor to the wiring, plumbing, and heating duct area below a large drawer on the kitchen side of the RV.
Access to the area required removing the drawer and reaching into a confined space to cut off the crimp fittings and replace the pipe. I bought a new tool that had both the crimping and a cutting function. Unfortunately it required the cutter to be perpendicular to the crimp ring so I could not remove them in place and had to cut out the entire tee fitting. Pulling out the old pex and inserting a new piece through the channel under the floor was not difficult. It slid right through.
However I thought it would be easier to replace the crimp fittings with sharkbite fittings. This did not prove to be true. I clicked on the fittings and tapped them with a hammer but they leaked profusely when I turned on the water pump.
Then the real struggle was trying to remove the fittings. I could not get them to come off so I eventually just cut the pipe again to get them out. This effort resulted in several bruises and scrapes on my arms.
Once the sharkbite fittings were cut out. I had to figure out how to reconnect the pipes and tie them together with crimp fittings instead. The crimp fitting on the valve had to be pried off which took another battle with vice grips and a screwdriver and more battle scars on my arms. I disconnected the heating ducts to move them out of the way while I was working in the tight space.
Then the pex was a bit difficult to align with the tee fitting and the valve. I fitted all the pipe together before I started crimping.
The new crimping tool had slightly shorter arms so it fit better in the confined space. I was able to get the crimper fixed over each ring and I used the sides of the cabinet to start the ratchet function to close the crimps. Holding everything together was difficult but slowly the crimps were made and the plumbing was fixed.
It was a minor miracle that none of the crimped fittings leaked. In the storage bay under the bed the sharkbite fitting worked fine to connect the output hose to the new pex. The other hose connected directly to the pump.
We were able to have running water with no leaks in the RV during our July trip to the mountains. We had a few nice days but the last one rained and we got graupel when driving through Rocky Mountain National Park so the kids were ready to get home and we skipped the last night of camping.