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Old 05-10-2020, 12:01 PM   #1
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
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City Water Connection mod to avoid cracking/freeze damage

The city water connection is attached to the fresh water system via a solid PEX connection. Every trailer might be different depending on how careful the installer was with using the correct length of PEX, but this tends to put stress on the Shur-Flo inlet/pressure reducer assembly, pulling down or pushing up on the back of the assembly...I've had three of them crack, and when they do, they leak, either inside down the wall, or in between the inner and outer skins, soaking the insulation, and in my case, the subfloor as well. Most recently, I kept hearing my pump cycle (using fresh tank) every couple hours, just for a second or two...so I knew there was a leak somewhere. Even if not using a city water hookup, there is pressure against the valve assembly from the water pump pressure, so if it's damaged it will leak.

On my trailer (23d/corner bed) the City inlet comes in under the bathroom sink. I felt around back there and noted that the insulation under the inlet, and the insulation I could feel through the hole for the black tank flush connection, was soaked, and the floor was wet and stained at the bottom.

Rather than just replace the Shur Flo assembly (Again) I decide to take some torque off the assembly using a flexible hose, and hopefully avoid the cracking issue. At the same time, I added a valve that allows me to actually isolate the assembly from the fresh water system to keep it from freezing if using the trailer (via the fresh water tank, not city water) in winter temps. And also isolate the inlet assembly if it starts to leak again while on the road, to avoid water leakage while on the road and waiting to replace it.

Here's what I got:

New city water inlet assembly. $35 at various places:
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Braided water line with quarter-turn shutoff valve on one end (Sharkbite connection was my choice given the tight space to work in). $14 at Home Depot.

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First, I turned off the water pump and drained the cold water low point drain, then removed the old city water inlet on the outside via the four screws, then and unscrewed it from the interior PEX line.

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Next, I attached the new hose/shutoff valve assembly to the new city water inlet.
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I then fed the shutoff valve end of the new hose in to the trailer, and reinstalled the screws to secure the new city water inlet assembly. I reused the old screws, and also the new inlet did NOT have a gasket in the box, so I carefully peeled the existing gasket from the old assembly. Your mileage may vary, I think they generally include a new gasket but mine never made it in to the box.

Now, back in to the trailer. I identified a place to cut the PEX pipe that leads up to the city connection, that would be easy to install the new connection, allow access to the valve I added, and also provide plenty of slack to take tension off the back of the city connection assembly. I then cut the pipe at that point using a PEX cutter, removed the piece of pipe with the old connector on the and, and attached the Sharkbite valve fitting where the pipe was cut.
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Job done! There is now no tension pulling on the plastic inlet assembly. As an upgrade, I have the option (I like options) of being able to drain the assembly via a low point drain, and then shut off the valve. Then when pressurized with the pump, water will not travel up the new braided hose and in to the inlet assembly, minimizing the chance of freezing if camping in cold weather and using the fresh tank rather than a water hookup...which is my preference to avoid heating water hoses and all that. It also gives me the ability to shut off water pressure into the back of the city inlet fitting when using the water tank and pump, in case the inlet cracks again, allowing leaks down between the skins. I can effectively remove the city inlet fitting from the system.

I think this is a worthwhile mod mainly to use a flexible hose to remove the tension from the PEX from the back of the Shur Flo inlet assembly; the shutoff valve is obviously not needed but simply provides some flexibility to control what's going on. Sorry for the sideways pics.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:37 PM   #2
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2014 27' FB International
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Nice job, and write up. I have seen leaks on many RV's from the stress placed on plastic connections due to bad installs.
When my regulator started leaking it was from the seam where he two white plastic parts are held together with the four screws from the inside.

I really did not care for an all plastic pressure regulator with a seam in the middle inside my Airstream, so I replaced it with this:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I now use an external all brass pressure regulator on the city water fixture before the hose is connected.

If yours should leak again I thought this might be another way to go.
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Old 05-10-2020, 12:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO NOIZE View Post
Nice job, and write up. I have seen leaks on many RV's from the stress placed on plastic connections due to bad installs.
When my regulator started leaking it was from the seam where he two white plastic parts are held together with the four screws from the inside.

I really did not care for an all plastic pressure regulator with a seam in the middle inside my Airstream, so I replaced it with this:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I now use an external all brass pressure regulator on the city water fixture before the hose is connected.

If yours should leak again I thought this might be another way to go.
For sure...that's a high risk leak point between the skins, and a slow leak could linger undiscovered for a long time. Thanks for the lead! Did this model cover the four screw holes that the Shur Flo OEM connection has? I'd probably switch to this next time.
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Old 05-10-2020, 03:31 PM   #4
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Talking

No, you keep the original Shurflo outside face plate. All you have to do is remove the four screws that are on the inside holding on the white plastic part of the Shurflo and remove it.

My best of memory is, I had to cut off the original hose threads and slightly enlarge the hole on the face plate to accommodate the new brass fitting. The new shore water fitting has a check valve just like all other RV inlets out there.

The Round silver mounting flange fits perfectly in the OEM face plate of the Shurflo. Before mounting it with three #10 pan head Stainless Steel screws, (don't remember whether I used self tapping or 10-32 machine screws with nuts and washers?) I filled in behind it with Black Gasket Maker silicone and removed all the excess from the outside. Looks like factory.

Of course this was three years ago, so things may have changed a little, although this is a very common fitting in many SOB RV's.

I used this nipple:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
To connect the new brass outlet directly to the Airstream Factory female fitting you showed in your pictures with no other modifications.

Although I am sure you could use your new flex design to connect as well.

While you are in there the next time you may consider eliminating the OEM check valve / vacuum breaker for the "Black Tank Rinse". Mine is directly above the fresh water fill and it is a cheaply made item that is very prone to leaking (even if operating correctly). I removed it and replaced with a couple PVC fittings and the same nipple as above and now I use an external vacuum breaker like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/Homewerks-V...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ== on the end of my rinse hose instead. Therefore eliminating another potential leak hazard.

Good luck, always plenty of stuff to improve on an Airstream, My motto is "if it's not broke, fix it until it is!"
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Old 05-10-2020, 04:47 PM   #5
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Clarification

The Flange of the new fitting fits on the outside going into the OEM Shurflo face plate from the outside in.

The link to an image of the OEM vacuum breaker valve did not come through on the above post, here it is:
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...QaAqHqEALw_wcB

You can see it could not possibly be made any cheaper!

Time for an adult beverage...........
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:17 PM   #6
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1978 1/2 inch Red trim insert replacement..

Good day all, Looking for some info on replacing "if possible" The Red 1/2 inch insert trim that goes around the belt line on my 78 Ambassador . The blue insert trim was replaced and is still looking good

I have seen it in orange. (just wouldn't be fittin Hopping there's some still out there. or some really cool Red Reflective strips..

OK now thinking LED

Be Safe & See You in The EAST

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Old 05-11-2020, 09:17 PM   #7
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I added a flexible connection too, it’s been working great!
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:41 AM   #8
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Nice!
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by HavanaBill View Post
Good day all, Looking for some info on replacing "if possible" The Red 1/2 inch insert trim that goes around the belt line on my 78 Ambassador.
. . .
Welcome to the forum! You will probably find a better audience in the following Ambassador sub-forum IMO:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f356/

Click on the "New Thread" button at the top left, and you are off to the races!

The thread we are in is about plumbing.

Good luck,

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Old 05-28-2020, 04:13 PM   #10
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Seems like a popular project lately. I had steady leak(s) coming from the water bay on our 2014 27FB Classic tgat was driving me crazy. Interesting how our water bay is underneath vs thru the side as found on newer units. Probably more prone to freezing however given everything is external any leaks simply fall to the ground and not inside.

I found just about every pex T and elbow fitting going to shore connection and ayx fresh water valve leaking. Used the same sharkbite hose to alleviate all the pex crap and used on both fresh water and black rinse Click image for larger version

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Old 05-28-2020, 07:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by wingingit View Post
Seems like a popular project lately. I had steady leak(s) coming from the water bay on our 2014 27FB Classic tgat was driving me crazy. Interesting how our water bay is underneath vs thru the side as found on newer units. Probably more prone to freezing however given everything is external any leaks simply fall to the ground and not inside.

I found just about every pex T and elbow fitting going to shore connection and ayx fresh water valve leaking. Used the same sharkbite hose to alleviate all the pex crap and used on both fresh water and black rinse Attachment 368855Attachment 368856

I have identified so many places that have ridiculous PEX Ts and Elbows that I intend to either replace with more sensible pipe runs and less fittings, and/or eliminate with braided hoses. When I was at GMFL's in December to do some projects, he pointed out a ridiculous number of fittings under the kitchen sink, which he replaced with less PEX and 1/4 of the fittings. What was there made NO sense!!
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:30 PM   #12
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Excellent description with photos! Thank You. Just one question, what brand or type of pex cutter are you using? I'm in the market to purchase something compact enough to fit in some tight spaces for future repair and all I could find is huge ones that are very difficult to squeeze in. I had developed a leak in one of the fittings near the water pump and and couldn't believe what a mess of fittings were under there.
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Night owls View Post
Excellent description with photos! Thank You. Just one question, what brand or type of pex cutter are you using? I'm in the market to purchase something compact enough to fit in some tight spaces for future repair and all I could find is huge ones that are very difficult to squeeze in. I had developed a leak in one of the fittings near the water pump and and couldn't believe what a mess of fittings were under there.
This one works great for me and pretty small.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C8G4F7M..._Yfi0Eb6TDDZBB
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:31 PM   #14
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Thanks wingingit! Do you use the matching crimping tool as well? Is it compact enough to fit in tight places? or does anyone know of a compact crimp tool that will work? Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Night owls View Post
Thanks wingingit! Do you use the matching crimping tool as well? Is it compact enough to fit in tight places? or does anyone know of a compact crimp tool that will work? Thanks in advance!
I don't presently own any pex tools besides the cutter. My plan is to carry some spare pex and a combination of sharkbite fittings so if I ever have future problems I'm hoping to be able to cutout any leaking pex fittings and replace with sharkbites.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:53 AM   #16
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City Water Connection mod to avoid cracking/freeze damage

Pexlock fittings no special tools. Channel lock type pliers to close screwdriver to open.

https://flairit.com/

I bought enough fittings for an emergency repair plumbing kit for trailer.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:59 AM   #17
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https://youtu.be/MWOVqg2zvkU

Looks like a great option
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