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Old 01-05-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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POS plastic fitting destroyed my floor.

Here's another mode of trailer destruction that can happen due to yet another cheap POS plastic water fitting. On the interior side of the city water inlet, there is a plastic cap which seals to a plastic housing with some super duper never fail rodger ramjet seal inside, which due to it's obviously superior design is hidden inside the wall where it can't normally be seen. Luckily, if it does happen to fail you won't be bothered by it because the water will remain inside the skins and drain to the bottom (cleverly concealed by the wall to wall carpeting that is obviously required inside of a storage compartment) where it finds it's way into the end grain of the low bid no need for water resistance here product used for the subfloor.

If I lived in Ohio, I'd be harassing my state representatives to pass a law making it illegal to manufacture any travel trailer using:
1. Any non-waterproof flooring material
2. Any plastic fittings in the fresh water system
3. Any use of any carpeting other than throw rugs.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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The wonderful world of plumbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty
If I lived in Ohio, I'd be harassing my state representatives to pass a law making it illegal to manufacture any travel trailer using:
1. Any non-waterproof flooring material
2. Any plastic fittings in the fresh water system
3. Any use of any carpeting other than throw rugs.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In our '69, I have found the plumbing to be a perpetual puzzle. On last weeks trip to Belton, TX, the pumbing froze, again, at another one of those copper "T"s. Can't really blame airstream this time tho. I probably didn't get that last teaspoon of water out when I re-winterized. But as a consequence, when we got back, I yanked all of the old freshwater plumbing. 4 kinds of rubber/plastic tubing, hose clamps, silicone sealant, and old corroded copper. The PO's must have had various theories about pipe replacement or just grabbed onto what was available when they had a leak. I am going to replace it all with PEX but keep all of the fittings and tubing in places where I can easily see them. That way if I get a leak either I, or if I am incapacitated, a commercial vendor can readily fix it.

I agree, putting any kind of connection, electrical or water or gas, in a place that can not be easily inspected (on a vehicle that bounces down the highway regularly) should be considered a crime. It is a set up for disaster. I have enough trouble with leaky pipes in our 12 year old brick house, and it sits on a concrete slab in one place all the time.

Reading your list of hazardous conditions reminds me that I need to yank the beautiful (some green, some orange and black) vintage carpeting out of all of the in-cabinet floors. Why it is there is another puzzle. Probably cheaper to put it in in one big lump(then install the cabinets) then to cut it to fit after the cabinets. I think I will find some kind of vinyl to replace it with, after I drench the wood with marine epoxy.

cheers, bill b.
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:32 AM   #3
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That's exactly why they use carpet, Bill. It can be laid down all at once on a bare subfloor and so the labor cost of installation is quite low, and if they buy in bulk the materials are reasonable. The carpet however hides most insidious leaks until the flakeboard subfloor is well soaked.

The approach that I'm going to try to repair the damaged subfloor in mine is (once it is dry - I've had a heater going in the compartment for 2 days now) to first saturate the flakeboard with CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealant) to stabilize the wood matrix. Once that's cured, I'm going to layup fiberglass matt over the topside using West Epoxy for strength. Hopefully this approach will hold things together enough until the flakeboard (there's an appropriate name) can be replaced.

I'm also making an aluminum shield formed to create a pan underneath the city water inlet port so that when it begins leaking again, the water will be directed from inside the walls into the interior of the storage compartment where it can be quickly noticed and the leak dealt with.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:04 PM   #4
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Good Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty
The approach that I'm going to try to repair the damaged subfloor in mine is... (once it is dry - I've had a heater going in the compartment for 2 days now)
..............
Hey, bring it up here for a few days and it will be dry before you know it. Our humidity is that low, especially in the winter.

I like the idea of a "pan," to catch and divert leaks. Much like an airconditioner condensation collection pan I would guess.

take care, bill b.
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:10 AM   #5
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You guys are dreamers.
The RV industry can't force manufacturers to install tires adequate to the coach weight, there is no way to stop builders from extending 25' long, 5 ton chassis to 32', 7 tons motorhome.
How about not running propane lines over "cardboard" wheel wells, so when flat tire slaps, it might total whole coach?
I own 2 vintage RV with original copper plumbing in them. Had 150 psi connected to them on more than one occasion. No problems.
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
I own 2 vintage RV with original copper plumbing in them. Had 150 psi connected to them on more than one occasion. No problems
That's because you haven't had your pipes freeze yet. In that case, the PEX is better.

Quote:
I like the idea of a "pan," to catch and divert leaks. Much like an airconditioner condensation collection pan I would guess.
I like this idea too. I would suggest a drain down through the floor and belly pan so it would allow the water to exit the coach with no further damage. It (the leak) would still be quite noticable IMO.
Dave
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:35 PM   #7
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I have completed a re-plumb of my 2900 sgft home with pex, as the poly-bute under the slab completely let go. All done in the walls, lots of neat and handy fittings available now. Very forgiving to work with.

I used the CPES rot doc and fiberglass solution on my trailer too, an late-discovered leak around the awning, hidden by carpet as well. Worked well.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:37 PM   #8
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Re-plumb progress

Everything leads to another thing. As I progress down the path of total replumbing I decided to do it right this time. So, as I go I am fixing other problem areas associated with the plumbing. I ripped out all of the plumbing, except drains. They seem to be ok. Soaked the damaged floor with Minwax, wood hardener. Only thing I could find. Fiberglassed the interior and floor of the rear bay. I am moving the battery to the curbside bay, with a new vent, so I don't have a "Hindenburg" event. Moving 12 volt fuse block to interior closet behind the curbside bay. Moving fresh water connection up from the bumper area to the street side near the waterheater. Gotta fix the toilet leak or get a new one. Once I get it all back together I am going to stuff all of the open cavities with fiberglass insulation. Lots of things to do, before I get to old to do it.
cheers, bill b.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
That's because you haven't had your pipes freeze yet. In that case, the PEX is better.
Yes I have. Not personally, but PO. Soft copper tubings can take freeze quite well. They expand to some percentage, before they crack. I cut off damaged part and tried to install brass coupler on the tubing, but it expanded too much and the coupler would not fit. Had to install hose with clamps. Still holds 150 psi.
How many 40-years old RV have you seen with original PEX?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1
Yes I have. Not personally, but PO. Soft copper tubings can take freeze quite well. They expand to some percentage, before they crack. I cut off damaged part and tried to install brass coupler on the tubing, but it expanded too much and the coupler would not fit. Had to install hose with clamps. Still holds 150 psi.
How many 40-years old RV have you seen with original PEX?
I had the same problem with some fittings which froze; I used a swage to expand the tubing to fit then soldered. I am very good at repairing copper; I ran a plumbing shop in another life but would use Pex if I were to completely replumb a trailer.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:37 PM   #11
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I have a mix of pex and copper, copper is the product that split in multiple spots when I failed to winterize in time.
Dave
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:56 AM   #12
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If you have to redo it anyway may as well use pex. If it does freeze it just expands and when it thaws it contracts to the original size.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:29 AM   #13
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Just a quick addition.................

I've been using PEX and Sea-Tech fittings exclusively for 3 years and have not had one call-back about leaks or broken fittings yet!

IMHO, copper is fine for homes, but the constant bouncing of an RV down the road will eventually work harden the copper alloy making the tubing very hard and stiff and prone to cracking and breakage. This is the same reason that one should use boat cabling or any stranded type of wiring for your 120VAC wiring instead of Romex, as the solid copper conductors of the Romex are also prone to work hardening and breakage.

YET.........the RV industry continues to use it!!!!
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:54 AM   #14
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- very informative thread...glad my unit has already been replumbed with PEX and sea tech fittings...I wish so much of it didn't live behind the vacu-formed plastic bath, but I guess that's why they sell 1/8" rivets by the gross and harbor freight makes a 30 dollar air pop riveter ;-)
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