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Old 07-20-2016, 02:57 PM   #1
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Peterborough , New Hampshire
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replumbing copper to plastic

Does anyone have an idea what it would take both monetarily and work load to take out our copper piping on our 71 Globetrotter and replace it with the newer piping? We just bought it, we new there was a problem with the water but got a great price on it. I just have no idea what it is going to take to replace the plumbing. Will me have to completely gut her?

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Old 07-20-2016, 04:01 PM   #2
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To do both hot and cold will be about $300 and a weekend of work.
You will not have to gut her so that will make some spaces challenging.

I used red and blue Pex so I knew what circuit I was working on. I also used Shark-Bite connectors(where most of the expense is) and I also installed a 1/4 turn shut off at each faucet, hot and cold, and one for the toilet. Maybe a little overkill, but if something goes leaking I would not have to kill the whole system. Be sure to buy the Pex cutter, safer than a knife.

Hope this helps.

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Old 07-20-2016, 04:22 PM   #3
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1979 28' Ambassador
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PEX is the way to go

I did very similar as bwoodtx on our '79 Ambassador International. Didn't go with shark bites because of the expense but I did use a manifold with shut offs for each circuit. Installed the manifold right by the pump so I could shut off any single device, hot or cold, if there was a problem.

Was my first time working with PEX so it took me a few weekends because there were quite a few trips to the hardware store. Was really glad I went that route. Also took that opportunity to change out the bathroom and kitchen faucets which made my wife happy.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:23 PM   #4
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I agree with Bruce on the PEX and SharkBite fittings. I replumbed my '89 using PEX. It took me a while but I was not in a hurry, either. Also buy the little orange horseshoe shaped SharkBite PEX removal tool. You will likely need it!!!

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Old 07-21-2016, 09:20 AM   #5
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Peterborough , New Hampshire
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I am a complete novice but I am handy. We definitely want to redo to the pex. I have no idea where the lines run. Are we just following the copper lines or is there a diagram I can get my hands on
of where the pipes might be? I know there isn't in the owners manual.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:45 AM   #6
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1971 27' Overlander
Monmouth , Oregon
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I have used Pex and Sharkbites to just fix what was broken thus far. One day I may do the whole system, but for now water is in the pipes and not on the floor.
1971 Overlander Twin bed, rear bath.

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Old 07-21-2016, 10:06 AM   #7
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1979 28' Ambassador
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Port Townsend , Washington
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Originally Posted by terricrowe26 View Post
Are we just following the copper lines...
I just followed the existing lines when I ran PEX in my '79. The path was already there and I had the gaucho pulled out already so that exposed a good share the of the path. The other part was in the back compartment so it was easy to get to.
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:36 AM   #8
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Palmer Lake , Colorado
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The piping is readily accessible and it is worth replacing water heater and pump at the same time. We added in a tube and valve at the pump to allow us to pull in winterizer fluid to replace water that is left in the pump at season end. We were not able to get all the copper out particularly since we were not doing a rip out of the interior. What is left is the copper in the bath behind the molding, the kitchen we left about 12" feeding the faucet fixture and at the inlet and up through the tight areas in the back but the copper there was not damaged. I paid to have the work done by a professional and it was not cheap but well worth the investment because it is the difference between having water and not on the vintage trailers.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:39 PM   #9
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I have a 75 SLY. 31 ft center bath! I paid to have mine done! I pulled out all of the old copper and paid for new Pex and out the door was $450.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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First off, you got a great price on a GT? Really? You are the envy of many people on the forum!

You can also use the Sharkbite connectors to go from copper to PEX, so maybe you don't have to completely replace everything? I would try to track down the exact source of the pain, and maybe just change that out. It's super easy to use Sharkbite connectors on copper (read: no soldering), so that you can quickly fab up sections to replace faulty parts or areas. If it's just a drippy connection, you can sometimes fix it by drying out the pipes and heating it up with a torch.

Even when I'm doing residential plumbing, and have a cumbersome area that requires soldering in place, I usually bite the bullet, whip out my wallet, and go for the Sharkbite connector!

If I was a betting man, I'd bet that the plumbing is fine, that the PO hooked up to a funky water source without a filter, and all of your faucets are filled with grit and goo. That is, if there aren't a bunch of drips or spritzes causing you grief.

Oh, and if you're in a plumbing mood, I'd recommend installing an outdoor telephone-type shower by the door. Boaters call these affairs "transom showers". Great for getting sand and mud off the feet, and rinsing down after a swim. Mine is right next to my secondary A/C exhaust, so I can even get a blow-dry after my shower! Now, if I only had enough hair to blow-dry...
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:23 PM   #11
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replumbing copper to plastic

I replaced all of the faucets, toilet flush valve, pressure regulator, and all remnants of copper tubing in our 75 Overlander with PEX and crimp connectors for about $500 and a couple of days work. No major dismantle necessary.

The PO had receipts for over $3,000 over the course of 2 years for plumbing repairs with an "RV repairman" - none of which held.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:54 PM   #12
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if your going to be doing much pex buy the crimper. If you find 1 that just does 1/2" that's all you'll need. you'll save the cost just plumbing the bypass "H" & valves on the hot tank, doesn't leak & takes up less room. I would only use sharkbite where I think I may need to take it apart. I have done my whole house, motorhome & I use it at work.
We call ours "Ship Of Fools"
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:02 PM   #13
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Hartsburg , Missouri
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I would go with pex and buy a crimping tool for use with the solid copper crimps. You can probably buy a crimping tool for no more than extra price of sharkbite connectors, and I think the solid crimps just seem more reliable than sharkbite connectors to me. Just my opinion but I've done a fair amount of plumbing work.--Frank
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:11 AM   #14
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Peterborough , New Hampshire
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Everyone is so helpful, its great. So the guy working on my Globetrotter said the elbow blew off about 12" from the city intake, behind the toilet, a very hard place to get to. I told him to take out the toilet if he needed to to get to the pipe and asked him about replacing everything with pex. He wasn't thrilled I don't think. It's my first time going to these guys so I am not sure about them yet. I went over last night just to check on everything. They were closed. I looked in the windows of my RV to see it anything had been done and tried the door and it wasn't looked. Granted we live in small towns but that doesn't matter. I bought a lock for the hitch because I was worried and then the door isn't locked and the only set of keys (originals) are sitting right there on the counter. I have friends that used them for their AS and were happy. I hope I will be happy! We will probably tackle all the plumbing this winter in our shop when our business is slower if the guy finds everything else to be working ok once this problem is fixed. (PS I put the keys in an envelope and put them in their mail slot)

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