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Old 01-14-2007, 11:09 AM   #1
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Copper or Plastic?

Well the re-fit is coming along nicely since the Esperanza Fire is no more but the 15 degrees and snow is going to hold up any cabinetry fabrication(Idyllwild, CA). I will start the Plumbing and Electrical until it warms up a bit.
My 1958 Traveler is very simple and I am going to keep it that way. There is only a Galley Sink and a Toilet that needs to be plumbed. Originally there was Flared Copper Tubing and I was going to use this again. Is there a good reason not to go back with Copper Tubing?
Steve
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratesteve
Well the re-fit is coming along nicely since the Esperanza Fire is no more but the 15 degrees and snow is going to hold up any cabinetry fabrication(Idyllwild, CA). I will start the Plumbing and Electrical until it warms up a bit.
My 1958 Traveler is very simple and I am going to keep it that way. There is only a Galley Sink and a Toilet that needs to be plumbed. Originally there was Flared Copper Tubing and I was going to use this again. Is there a good reason not to go back with Copper Tubing?
Steve
Steve,

I believe that expertly installed copper tubing is the best quality you can get, plus it is authentic to your trailer.
However, it does sustain frost damage easily, and is cumbersome to work with, if you're not an expert plumber. It is also difficult to install/remove components in your water circuit, such as water heater and faucets etc.
I opted for 1/2in pex tubing and flair-it fittings for the plumbing restoration in my 63 Overlander. I found the tubing and fittings very easy and quick to work with, and had no leaks from the basic installation whatsoever. The pex tubing is also more resistant to freeze damage ( which is a concern where you live). Care must be taken where the plastic tubing fittings meet metal threads. It takes more teflon tape than what I was used to for making solid connections without leaks. The flair-it fittings do not require expensive tooling, btw.
I bought my water line supplies here: www.rvpartsoutlet.com
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
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pex vs copper

Hi Steve, I kept copper in my 67 safari and went with pex on my 60 caravel. It's really fielder choice on this one. I found pex more covenant to work with and more expensive. Search on the forums a little bit you will find allot of info on this subject.
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Old 01-14-2007, 04:07 PM   #4
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Other fittings you can use with Pex (or copper) is "Shark Bite" fittings. They are pricey but push-on to either copper or Pex. Great for the copper to Pex transition. No tools required except for a release clip in case you need to remove a fitting from the system.
I used Shark-Bite and Pex in a closet that had little access for tools - I fell in love with it.
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Old 01-14-2007, 04:44 PM   #5
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I've used, and still use both.

Don't understand copper being tough to work with?
Flare fittings are so easy to make and tools to do with are common and cheap.
Fittings available at every hardware store.

I use PEX for all interior, replacing plastic fittings with brass, and aluminum crimp rings with copper.
Can be tough to get crimper into recessed areas.
Pre-crimp as much as possable.
That is one place flared tubing is easy.
All under sink attachments are about the same.
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:02 PM   #6
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We replaced our copper w/ Plex. I was concerned a winter freeze would snap my copper lines. PS - So far the plex has held up in the Northwest cold front. I hope my hot water tank survives as well. I didn't drain my system before the cold front came. Am I worried? - OH YEAH!!!!
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:12 PM   #7
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Pex, it is just plain easier to work with than copper and when it comes to repair why kill yourself with a torch, silver solder and the associated tools. Pex.....Pex......Pex......
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:25 PM   #8
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As a Plumbing contractor I cannot imagine why any one would not use the push ftg.s
several different brands, John guest, Watts, Sea-quest and more. The only tools needed are cutters and a deburring tool. Tight spots no problem. They swivel and you can release them and refit them. You can go from PVC to copper to pex and back again! I have been using them for years without incident. So If you wanted to maintain an area on a classic where copper may be seen you could have your cake and eat it to! I cant Imagen why you would want to flare, solder or screw joints when all you need to do is push??
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:52 PM   #9
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I also used pex on the Ambassador and used SeaTech fittings. They also simply push on and off as needed. No tools neccessary.

The one thing I don't like about pex is that it does not bend or contour to where you might want it to go. With copper you can form it around anything you need to. Pex, expecially when cold, keeps its shape from the roll it was sold on and causes the plumbing to take its own shape.

In otherwords it ends up sticking up here and there. A straight shot will have a nice bend to it because when you take it off the roll, the pex resists changing its shape.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:09 AM   #10
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If you are staying mostly original on the vintage unit, then copper...if not, then I'd be inclined to go PEX.
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:54 PM   #11
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Modern way to do it

Steve:

The PEX type systems most everyone is recommending really are the best solution because of the ease of installation and the fact that you can also easily remove portions of the run if ever you need to.

I used a system called IPEX AQUA which uses poly coated aluminum tubing and “twin seal” brass fittings.

The tubing readily bends to shape and the whole system is easy to use.

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Old 01-16-2007, 06:37 PM   #12
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cold weather problems

The recent cold snap here has forced me to at last to repair or replace the faucets at the shower and bath sink of my trailer. Are there any replacement fittings available or possibly parts to repair the faucets? When it thaws out I am hoping I havn't got burst pipes! The pex soumds like the ticket if I have to re-pipe.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:26 PM   #13
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I've used both copper and pex for home remodeling. My Safari was done in Pex by the previous owner. The only thing I would have done is run the insulation tubing over all the lines.
Pex is more flexible and IMHO much easier to work with, Copper does let you squeeze into tighter spots if you can sweat the fitting, but never happy about putting a torch in my Safari.
Copper is also less servicable in the field. If you run into an issue with pex replacing is pretty easy to do, but moving stiff copper around and putting bends in it requires more patience and skill.
Freezing / bursting points should not be an issue as I'm sure you are winterizing your trailer before it's too late.. Oh yeah, I just remembered to do that last night before the freezing rain hit.
Otherwise bursting point for city water pressure should also be easily in the limits for Pex.
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:39 AM   #14
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Thanks to all for your input!
I am going to go back with the Copper Tubing and simply Flare the ends as original. The restoration is staying pretty true to Original with the exception of some Flooring. Our Freshwater System is minimal and I fell that the Flared Copper will keep it that way. I learned how to Flare Copper (and sweat) over 40 years ago and still have some of my Grandfather's tools for this task!
Thanks SmokelessJoe for you picture!
Steve
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