Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-14-2015, 12:13 PM   #1
New Member
1974 31' Sovereign
Chester , Vermont
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1
PEX Pipe: Best way to retro-fit?

I want to take all copper out and replace with pex. Does pex only come on rolls? Is this even a good idea?

sullivan51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2015, 12:30 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 393
It's a great idea. Re plumbed my 1976 with Pex, and all my water problems were solved. It is a time consuming project if you don't have trailer gutted, but well worth the time and effort. I used a combination of the Pex ring connectors and Sharkbite. Used Sharkbite on things like water heater that might have to be removed or replaced. Chris

WBCCI #7394
2002 Chev 2500 HD Duramax
1976 31' Gone but fondly remembered
CBWELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
Cyquest's Avatar
1969 23' Safari
Blenheim , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 151
I went to my local plumbing store and purchase enough pex to do my entire trailer $20. Rings can get pricey and crimper was $12 at home depot. You may need new fittings to go to your hot water tank and or faucets. But in the long run. You'll be happy you did it.
Cyquest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2015, 05:50 PM   #4
Rivet Master
BAB's Avatar

2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,599
I buy all the parts at Lowe's .... and I would only use copper connectors, T-fittings, etc....they come in all sizes.
"SilverLeaf II" 2015 30' Classic
2014 RAM 2500 Laramie 4x4 CC w/6.7L Cummins
ProPride 3P
AIR# 58452
WBCCI # 3430-Unit 21
BAB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2015, 06:09 PM   #5
Dazed and Confused
Isuzusweet's Avatar

Currently Looking...
1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,743
Number 1...don't use Sharkbite fittings on anything you can't reach and fix. These fittings have been known to fail.

Look at replacing your plumbing with Pex A Wirsbo/Uponor plumbing. This is a true expandable pipe that fits OVER the fittings instead of the fittings fitting into the pipe as this doesn't restrict flow pressure. Being a true expandable pipe it will allow for some form of freezing, which copper won't. It will be a lot easier to fit than copper. Your local plumbing people that sell Pex A will probably rent you the tool for a nominal price. It is also the system that most plumbers swear by that is leak free.

Per Mare, Per Terram and may all your campaigns be successful.

Its a recession when your neighbor loses his job; its a depression when you lose your own. "Harry S Truman"
Isuzusweet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2015, 07:02 PM   #6
Rivet Master
Glenritas's Avatar

1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 733
See my post
Glen & Jane 1969 all electric Airstream 25' TradeWind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe
2001 Casita 13' Patriot Deluxe
WBCCI #6269

My Build Thread
Glenritas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2015, 12:23 PM   #7
New Member
2014 19' International
Richmond , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 4
Everything is going the direction of Pex. Even high-end houses are using Pex and as a handyman it is sure a lot easier to work with and run. Invest in a good Pex tool and a selection of fittings. Yo can also buy adapters from pvc and copper to Pex to adapt to any circumstance.
tarpon85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2015, 01:21 PM   #8
Rivet Master
mimiandrews's Avatar

1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,483
PEX is the way to go.

Be sure to make drawings of the existing water system, in detail, before you rip anything out. The project is more planning than it is working. I bought color-coded PEX in rolls at Lowe's. Used crimp rings throughout.

I found that I could (in fact had to) build whole sections of the new plumbing "elsewhere" and then lay them in place in the trailer already assembled. The trick is to put those last few connections in places where there is room to actuate the crimping tool.
mimiandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2015, 02:37 PM   #9
Tom T
Tom_T's Avatar
Vintage Kin Owner
Orange , California
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 574
Odd to have 2 posts on essentially the same topic the same day, so some may be helpful ...

FYI - here is one other tip which I added there....

With the plastic PEX lines (& with wiring too), you'll want to get those rubber grommets made to fit the holes in the frame through which you run the lines, in order to prevent chafing from cutting thru the lines over time & movement on the road (more of a problem in trailers than stationary buildings).

I know that Vintage Trailer Supply sells the rubber grommets in 3 or so sizes/diameters, but there are probably other sources too.

If it's an afterwards addition of the grommets, then you can also slit them, insert around the line, & re-glue the rubber together with any automotive rubber adhesive once inserted onto the frame member holes.
<end snip>

Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-14 Cayenne S
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner)
Tom_T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2015, 03:39 PM   #10
Rivet Master
1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,423
Blog Entries: 1
I have split grommets to install later, if proper size for hole I never cement ends as they fit together snugly. Never run wires or plumbing thru metal or abrasive material w/out grommets, wood is okay w/out.
featherbedder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2015, 11:02 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
BentMetal's Avatar
1972 Argosy 26
Alamogordo , New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 117
Images: 23
Can someone explain the rubber grommet use? I'm interested in where you are locating these grommets along the water lines.
BentMetal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2015, 08:33 AM   #12
Dazed and Confused
Isuzusweet's Avatar

Currently Looking...
1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,743
I think someone has electrical and plumbing confused. The electrical has plastic or rubber grommets to allow chafe free passage through frames and cross members in the body.

Plumbing on the other hand is laid out on the floor but does in some cases travel under interior gables. Usually the gable has a notch in the bottom of it that allows for the passage of plumbing. However I did use Vulcum/Trempro 635 gooped around my Pex at points where chafing up against a gable could occur to prevent that from happening. Silicone would work as well but I have found the Trempro to keep its resiliency and adhesion better. If you need to secure the plumbing to the wall you can get rubber or soft plastic coated plumbing straps. No grommets needed.

However if you do need grommets or some method of protecting a wire through metal frame work, I found that the plastic sleeve candle sticks for candle arbour lights work well. I think they are 7/8" diameter by four or so inches long and you can get them easily at any Home Depot or hardware place.

Per Mare, Per Terram and may all your campaigns be successful.

Its a recession when your neighbor loses his job; its a depression when you lose your own. "Harry S Truman"
Isuzusweet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2015, 09:43 AM   #13
Kevin245's Avatar

Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,636
Images: 9
If the copper is good I'd leave it in place. If you're dealing with bad plumbing then a pex change over is the way to go. Pex comes in rolls, or sticks (usually 10'). I prefer rolls for long runs and sticks for short runs so I can avoid unnecessary splices. Rolled pex has memory and wants to coil back initially which can be a bit aggravating at times.

I use brass fittings and copper crimp rings. Pex is easy to work, though you do need to pre-plan any connections that will go in tight places as crimping in limited cramped quarters does present a challenge. There are small crimping tools that help work alleviate this issue.

Pex tools can be big ticket items but I found that even when I bought good pex tools I still spent less than what new copper tubing material costs were at the time.

Just my 2


"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1967 Caravel Retro-Fit Modern Water Heater. Suburban or Atwood? Moonstruck 1966-68 Caravel 3 10-04-2012 03:47 AM
Controller for Disk Brake Retro-fit rrpranch Brakes & Brake Controllers 6 05-03-2007 08:43 AM
Retro fit grey tanks, a shell off excercise? Boondocker Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 7 04-03-2007 06:53 PM
Onan Retro fit Sundance Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 4 03-25-2007 07:42 PM
Disc brake Retro fit kits Inland RV Center, In Commercial Listings 57 01-29-2005 10:17 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.