The days of old copper piping for our Airstream Argosy had come to an end when we decided to renovate her. But even more dire to our plumbing renovation, was discovering the intake for the a Water Hook up, ran next to our 30 amp electrical box. What were those 70’s Airstream Argosy builders thinking?
Researching our plumbing project we found a few surprising details. No need for copper, Pex Piping was installed in most new RV’s and much easier to install, AND there was something called the “Shark Bite” that meant I wasn’t going to have to take a plumbing course to learn plumbing.
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Our first step was to map out what faucets we were going to be using, and how the fresh water tank was going to be utilized when boondocking. We new we had 3 main faucets. Kitchen, Shower, and Bathroom Sink. We opted out for hot water in the bathroom sink, and we really wanted a outdoor shower along with our Center Bath Shower. We drew up our plans with anticipation and excitement. The one component we had NOT decided on was our Hot Water Heater.
We saw a video on using the Excel Tankless On-Demand Gas Water Heater VENTFREE – Propane (LPG) – Low Water Pressure Startup. Low Water Pressure Startup. Starts up with only 2 psi. of water pressure. Holds up to 150 psi. All other tankless gas water heaters require at least 20 psi to start up due to their outdated technology.
This sold us right away. The best part is that is runs on 2 D Batteries and that will save our Deep Cycle Batteries.
The next step was to buy 2 rolls of 50 ft Pex 1/2 pipe. One Blue (cold water) and one Red (hot water). Then buy the appropriate Shark Bite fittings including a Check Valve that you will see explained in our video below. A big expense however was the Crimp Tool Pex 1/2 and the SharkBite PEX Pipe Crimp Ring 1/2 Inch, Plumbing Fittings.
TIP: DO NOT secure the crimps until you are done mapping your Pex. Things change, design changes, and you don’t want to waste time taking apart the crimps.
Our design includes a outdoor shower utilizing the old battery box and re-using the old Argosy shower fixture. We also wanted real copper piping in our Center Bath. The GOOD NEWS, Shark Bite makes connectors for copper piping. NO sweating copper.
All in all, we are very happy with our design and using Pex as our piping choice. Time will tell how well the Shark Bite connectors hold up.
We will do a full review of the Excel on Demand Water Heater when it’s installed.