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Old 09-22-2011, 01:17 PM   #1
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Plumbing & Wiring Redo

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.

BEFORE:


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.

AFTER:



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.

EDIT: 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!
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:49 PM   #2
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Re: Plumbing & Wiring Redo

Awesome. Love love LOVE the cleanup job! When you have so little space to begin with, every extra square/cubic foot counts. Can't wait to see what you did with the electrical!
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:58 PM   #3
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Re: Plumbing & Wiring Redo

I need to do a plumbing reroute- hot and cold water lines go over the back doors instead of right in the front of the bench, there is like an extra 8' to 12' of line and I waste a gallon to get hot water at the sink- not to mention increased freezing.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Plumbing & Wiring Redo

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
I need to do a plumbing reroute- hot and cold water lines go over the back doors instead of right in the front of the bench, there is like an extra 8' to 12' of line and I waste a gallon to get hot water at the sink- not to mention increased freezing.
My sentiments exactly! Weren't we supposed to get together and get this done this summer? Wait...why are the trees changing color, doh!
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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Re: Plumbing & Wiring Redo

Quote:
Originally Posted by saline
Weren't we supposed to get together and get this done this summer?
I'm starting mine tomorrow. A $57 clamp style and $200 of fittings from HomeDepot (and a $150 of fittings return when I figure out what I needed...) The clamp style seems better for the SMB redo as you clamp the edge of a ring, instead of having to get a whole tool around and spread 180... we'll see.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:30 PM   #6
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Re: Plumbing & Wiring Redo

I'm traveling. I'll be posting more when I get back.

Jage, that was pretty much my thinking across the board. I was too stingy on the fittings a couple times. That cost me a number of runs to HomeDepot. Buy at least twice what you think you need.
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