Tech Tip Tuesday: Factory Plumbing Mistakes

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."

― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Dickens would have never dreamed that his words would be used to introduce an RV Tech tip, especially since RVs did not exist in his day. But his quote perfectly describes one of the problems the RV manufacturers have created.

First, consider the quote's wisdom, light, and hope. All of your late-model RV water systems are plumbed with pex tubing. Pex tubing is an excellent material to use in an RV. It's crack-resistant in cold weather, and it is durable, lasting the life of your RV. Also, it is easy to install, and the repairs are easy unless they are in a concealed area. The installation is done with brass fittings and crimp rings. One of the drawbacks of pex is that it is rigid and does not bend easily. So, we have the season of light and the spring of hope.

However, the manufacturers have created a situation that is the winter of despair. Since pex is rigid, the manufacturers often will use flexible reinforced vinyl tubing so that they can get the tubing into tighter places without using multiple fittings. At first glance, you would think that was a great idea, but the problem is that the brass fitting and the crimp ring are not made to be used together on vinyl tubing. And it is not if it will leak but when it will leak.

So, if you are in the market for a new RV, you will want to verify if the manufacturer has used vinyl tubing with crimp rings on brass fittings, and if they have, we recommend that you pass on the purchase. If you already own an RV with vinyl tubing used with crimp rings, you want to have that replaced before a leak causes significant damage.

RV Supply Center is always looking for ways to help educate you when making any RV purchase, whether it is a vehicle, parts accessories, solar, or anything else on your R. We want to take the hassle out of owning your RV and make your adventures more enjoyable.