Pex replacement of Water lines Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2018, 09:17 AM   #1
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Name: Dave and Bonnie
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Pex replacement of Water lines Boler

I have a 1977 17' Boler and was thinking I could replace all my copper water lines with Pex connections and lines. Has anyone done this? What are the difficulties?
I was thinking perhaps the connectin points may be problematic?
Appreciate advice and direction
Dave - Berniece the Boler - New Westminster BC
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:46 AM   #2
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Name: bill
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As an old copper guy, I have been won over on the advantage of PEX. When copper freezes, the pipe will immediately split. Meanwhile, PEX is much more forgiving. You need access anywhere you have a fitting to work a PEX tool. So access is important. If I was refurbishing a trailer, I would for sure use PEX.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:26 AM   #3
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Name: Aaron
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I was working on a remodel and replacing the copper pipe and then about half way I switched to PEX. PEX is so much easier to work with, cheaper, and way faster to do. You will need a PEX tool, they do make small models.

While you will need to get the tool into the space, you don't have to worry about fire or getting the heat applied to the copper pipe. Something else I found useful with the PEX is that because it is flexible, you can make the fitting and then feed it into the space you want.

I do know a guy that redid this 16' Scamp with all PEX, he didn't have any problems with it.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
.... You need access anywhere you have a fitting to work a PEX tool...
I invested in one of those long arm clamps. These days there are quality PEX ring crimpers no larger than a pair of vice-grips. They use "ear" clamps and even have a LED that lights to flag when the joint is adequately crimped. Lots of options.
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Old 04-23-2018, 11:09 AM   #5
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Name: Jack L
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Is there a problem with the existing copper? If it really needs total replacement, PEX as the way to go. If it's working OK or needs a small repair, why replace everything?
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:46 PM   #6
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I suggest you spend at least the better part of a full day reading up on the topic. A good place to start is here, esp the PEX Plumbing section. It is definitely in the realm of DIY but like most things, if you want to be sure to DIR (do it right), then it pays to do some homework first.
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:16 PM   #7
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I invested in one of those long arm clamps. These days there are quality PEX ring crimpers no larger than a pair of vice-grips. They use "ear" clamps and even have a LED that lights to flag when the joint is adequately crimped. Lots of options.
Iíll have to look for one!
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:27 PM   #8
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Name: Daniel A.
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Its the best way to go Dave, the tool costs anywhere from 60.00 - 100.00 and pex pipe is cheap and easy to work with.
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:13 PM   #9
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Name: K C
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You don't have to use crimp on fittings although they are perhaps more secure than other types. A professional plumber would certainly use crimps because of the cost advantage of the rings over the more expensive connectors. But as you won't be doing a large quantity of connections such as would happen in a house there really is not much in the way of financial payback for purchasing the tool. If you don't have any other use for the crimping tool I would suggest trying to borrow or rent one instead of spending $60.00. If you have all the materials on hand it will only take a couple of hours to secure in all the plumbing lines.

The screw on fittings or push on fittings do work nicely. You will want to do a pressure test on the system if possible to check for leaks before you go camping.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:36 PM   #10
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Name: Eric
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I redid my plumbing with the PEX and it was easy -- although I had everything apart. I got the tool from my son who redid his house. You might even have a friend who has the tool -- bought when it was needed for remodel and loan it, or doesn't need or want it and will give or sell it cheap.
Nice to have around for plumbing stiff if you don't want to stay copper.
Much easier in the house if you are redoing galvanized that is 50+ years old
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:24 PM   #11
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Boler
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Picked up a tubing cutter (important) and a crimper, the type that squeezes the side, for about $25 for both on Amazon.com. The crimper came with a few 3/4 & 1/2 rings.
The crimper is the size of a big pliers. It is the only way to go imo. My 79 Boler has the old style plastic tube & as it needs to be replaced it will get pex, suggest the white stuff with the black liner as it does better with UV.
Happy camping.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
Picked up a tubing cutter (important) and a crimper, the type that squeezes the side, ..
I am quite sure that that you are talking about a clamp (or pinch ring) system and not a crimp. The clamp connection requires one type of tool. The (copper) crimp rings require a different tool (and a check with a go/no-go gauge). BTW, the Uponor ProPEX system with fitting rings that expand and then contract to make a connectin is yet another way to go (and what Evelands uses now). It is because there are different systems for using PEX that I recomended some light reading before starting the project.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:40 PM   #13
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Name: G
Trailer: Damon
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pex replacement

Pex is great! If you can, rent the tools, the cutter, ratchet crimper and use the special rings and for the hard to reach places just use the "sharkbite" fittings, expensive but well worth it. Remember to buy the sharkbite removal tool, just in case you goof and for the future. If you need small radius bends there is a metal fitment available to hold the curve.

Measure twice, cut and dry fit, trim if needed and crimp. That's it!!

Consider adding a winterizing circuit to by-pass the hot water heater while you're at it I put mine under the sink for easy access!! You'll need three gate valves and a couple of T's Have fun!. W.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:43 PM   #14
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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If you have trouble with buying or installing Pex this certification class will help. While not really a problem in the trailer world but in remodeling work where inspection requires a certified installer this should help.

PEX Certification / Apollo Flow
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