I love our van and am happy with the overall quality, even four years later. Still, there are a few things that annoy the living crap out of me. One of them is the poor placement of plumbing and wiring in the two dinette seats. I understand that in a production environment you probably can't sweat every millimeter. Still, a little more thought and time could have been given on how to route and place things in our two main storage areas. It would have saved me a good bit of frustration and a couple days of work. That being said, I did enjoy the project, partly because it took away a couple sources of constant frustration. I'd be grumbling, at least in the back of my mind, every time I opened one of the benches.
The dinette bench on the passenger side contains the water tank. There's a fair bit of plumbing that goes along with the tank. Originally all the fittings were on the front end of the tank as was most of the plumbing, including the pump. There's 2"-3" between the rear of the tank and the rear of the bench. The plumbing took up 4"-6" inches in the forward area of the bench, depending on how careful we wanted to be with the plumbing and motor. Other than the loss of valuable storage space the frustration for me was having to think -- as per usual -- about and be fairly careful with what and how we stored items in the bench for fear of trashing the plumbing or covering the pump and causing heat problems, etc.
After staring at it for only four years it dawned on me to flip the tank end to end. I moved and condensed the majority of the plumbing to over the wheel well, which you can see is next to the tank. The water pump is now in the cabinet for the port-a-potty, which is directly rear of the dinette bench. Because of the size of the port-a-potty and the fact that we're loath to store anything with it there was plenty of space in the back of the cabinet for the pump.
The same plumbing -- minus the water pump -- tucked into the corner of the dinette.
In the first "after" photo you'll notice the drain valve between the corner of the tank and the wheel well. I need to cob up something to cover/shield it from being hit by a stray dutch oven or bocce ball. Otherwise now we can throw whatever we want into the bench with out thinking or worrying. Probably not a big deal to some, but the less thought and time it takes for those kinds of things the better and more frequent our trips are.
If I'd worked with pex before and could have done the project in one sitting it would have gone a lot faster. I did enjoy working with the pex and like it as a solution. I have to admit that what is shown is my second try. The first version involved simpler, curving runs of the tubing and about 1/4 the number of fittings. When one of the fittings had a small leak and I had to take the whole mess back out to fix it it occurred to me that it might be good to having things be a little more modular and repairable.
I just realized it looks like I deleted the overflow/breather line that was on the top of the tank. I didn't. I just didn't catch it in the after photos. It's just out of frame in the bottom picture.
Next weeks installment, Electrical!