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Old 06-28-2022, 11:16 PM   #1
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1975 Argosy 24
Salinas , California
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 8
Quick questions before replacing old waterlines

Hi all. I'm working my way through an overhaul/renovation of my 1975 argosy and the next system to do looks like the plumbing. My plan is to use 1/2" Pex and follow more or less the same layout as the original copper pipes only I was going to run the pipe along the wall behind the counter instead of on the floor where it has to bend around the furnace and wheel wells etc. I just had a few questions for you all before I get started.

First, off, I can see that towards the back of the trailer, just before the water lines branch off to the sink and shower, the pipes become narrower. Looks like it goes from a 1/2" to about a 1/4" pipe. Is there any reason why it does this? and should my new system also be built that way?

Second question, I have not lit the hot water heater since I bought the trailer and judging by the a amount of spider webs and rust flakes I removed from around the burner, it has not been turned on in many years. I would have tested it out right away but a friend told me that old water heaters can explode if they get corroded inside. I don't know how true that is so I just wanted to ask ya'lls advice. Overall I don't see a lot of outward damage on the water heater though as I said there was a fair amount of flaky rust around the burner. Should I go ahead and try to light it up? or is there a better way to trouble shoot the water heater?

Any other plumbing related tips I should know before I get started.

This is my first trailer renovation and it's been a learning experience. Thanks all for sharing your knowledge!
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Old 06-29-2022, 06:56 AM   #2
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1966 22' Safari
Hilltop Lakes , Texas
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PEX is the way to go. I re-plumbed my Safari back in '08 using PEX and crimp connectors. Zero problems with the water plumbing since then. Hardest part was planning the installation so the crimp tool had room to work.
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:27 AM   #3
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1994 25' Excella
Waukesha , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimiandrews View Post
PEX is the way to go. I re-plumbed my Safari back in '08 using PEX and crimp connectors. Zero problems with the water plumbing since then. Hardest part was planning the installation so the crimp tool had room to work.
When I do my plumbing replacement I'll be using the expansion tool and appropriate fittings. It did this on my household plumbing and the big advantage is that the tool is used to expand the tubing away from the actual connection point, and this makes it possible to use in areas a compression ring and the crimp tool would never fit. More upfront cost for the tools, but the aggravation savings made it well worthwhile as I retrofitted my house from iron pipe to PEX.
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:47 AM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Ours was originally plumbed all the way with 1/2 inch copper. We replumbed with all 1/2 inch PEX.


Kay
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:40 AM   #5
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1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
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I would do 1/2" all the way. Why reduce flow to the bathroom. I would also recommend using the expansion tool vs the crimping rings. Much easier to do connections in tight places. If your house is plumbed that way its just a bonus.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:41 AM   #6
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1994 25' Excella
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I believe the reason that a smaller line is used at the end of a run is that a larger one isn't needed. Up towards the pump, the lines are supplying multiple fixtures and require a higher flow - more water has to fit through the pipe to supply everything. As you work down the line though, there are fewer and fewer fixtures demanding water. With lower demand for water flow, smaller pipes can be used.
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Old 06-29-2022, 02:51 PM   #7
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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The reason for the smaller tubing at the end was to save $2, and a bonus of reducing weight by 1 lb or so(less then 2lb). I have a 32' with all 1/2 ID tubing and the tubing holds less then 1 gallon of water, but some people claim huge weight savings by using smaller tubing cutting down on the under 8 lbs of water in the plumbing lines (which is lost due to needing to carry more spare parts, need parts for each size).
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:40 PM   #8
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1989 25' Excella
Hershey , Pennsylvania
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When I re-plumbed our '89 Excella 25' RBT I used the crimp clamps as opposed to the crimp rings mainly because the crimp tool was cheaper. They have added benefit though of easier access in a tight space like up against a wall.
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Old 07-02-2022, 02:08 PM   #9
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1976 24' Argosy 24
1999 30' Excella 1000
White Haven , Pennsylvania
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Our 76 Argosy is plumbed with what looks like 3/8 soft copper. Real PIA to get any fittings to work. Go 1/2 pex all the way. As far as the water heater is concerned, I doubt it will explode, but given the age that aluminum tank has to be pretty corroded. Our 1976 water heater leaked the first camping trip. And that was back in 1995! It makes a real wet mess of everything when they let go. having said that my buddy just reminded me that his water heater is a 1971 vintage. So what do i know.
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Old 07-02-2022, 03:33 PM   #10
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1967 26' Overlander
Bugtussle , Oklahoma
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I used SharkBite fittings on some plumbing repairs in my house and will use it in my trailer. The connections are expensive, but it sure is easy to work with, especially in tight places.

Right now, I don't have a hot water heater installed but plan on putting one in later this month. I still have the original 1967 hot water heater in storage. Looks perfect but don't know if it works. Always thought I would install a new one, but I've decided to go ahead and figure out a way to test the old one on the back patio for a few days. If it tests out fine, I may go ahead and install it. That would save me somewhere around 500-700 dollars.
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Old 07-04-2022, 11:07 AM   #11
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1976 Argosy 24
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1968 26' Overlander
Lakewood , Colorado
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I like 1/2 pex all the way. I use a combo of fittings, mostly ring clamps as they are cheap and effective, then throw in a few sharkbite or Watts connectors on corners or inconvenient places, added benefit of giving a little movement. Hard to recommend a 50 year old water heater. I have a 25 ft propane hose I bought on e-bay several years back with a regulator and 3/8" female flare that attaches to any propane bottle. I use it to test/repair all my appliances on the floor or bench, way easier than installing to test.
Good luck, Mark D
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