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Old 05-09-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
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1961 16' Bambi
Malden , Missouri
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PEX vs. copper

A PO replaced the main run of cooper from supply to tank and fixtures with a garden-hose style material, but it is now very brittle.

Other than cost, what are the benefits to using PEX as opposed to copper as it originally had? Does having all cooper increase value of a vintage unit?

Also, any idea what size line would be needed?

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Old 05-09-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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1965 17' Caravel
1965 17' Caravel
Memphis , Tennessee
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Pex will not burst like copper when frozen. I think most would think it is the way to go now. My 65 is going to Pex currently. I do not think Pex will decrease the value, it will increase it if done correctly and the next owner will get a leak free unit with the work already done. I am using 1/2" Pex. You will also have to decide what fitting to use. Sharkbite is the quick and easy way, but is more expensive and not as permanent. I am using copper crimp rings with the crimp tool.

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Old 05-09-2014, 04:14 PM   #3
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South of the river , Minnesota
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PEX is cheaper to purchase and easier to install. PEX is not affected by acid water. In general PEX pipe is not usually damaged by freeze-thaw cycles, though the fittings are. PEX is slightly lighter.

Copper is still used for gas lines since PEX is hydrocarbon permeable.

I don't think copper adds value to vintage units except possibly in a museum-grade situation where authenticity and originality are important for their own sake.

Typically 1/2" and 3/8" lines are used. 3/8" line is suitable for a run to a single fixture, 1/2" for trunk lines serving more than one fixture. Some people use all 1/2" for simplicity. Costs are about the same but 1/2" is, once filled with water, somewhat heavier.
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:25 PM   #4
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1988 25' Excella
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Copper is very, very susceptible to freeze damage. Pex is much easier to install without leaks. Copper in contact with Al causes the Al to corrode. I do not know about correctness and vintage. My trailers are old, not vintage. Sorta like me.
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:36 PM   #5
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After using PEX in my 72, I will never use anything but PEX in any trailer. Easy, economical, and effective.
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:38 AM   #6
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1980 31' Excella II
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I will pile on and agree... Pex is the way to go unless doing a museum quality restoration. I love copper, but in a trailer that is going to be subjected to temperature extremes Pex is better by far. I helped replumb my parent's 85 year old house with copper a few years back. The first batch lasted nearly 80 years, but it doesn't move down the road or get below freezing inside.

I use a mix of 1/2" and 3/8". I also have the crimp tool, bought it when I started replacing PBT in my house.


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