Water pump install - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-17-2006, 04:51 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1976 13 ft Boler and 1980 Trillium 5500
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Hi Folks - I bought a small Shurflo Nautilus model water pump for install in my boler. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone that has installed a water pump before as to the correct procedure - also - the faucet fixture I have presently is a dual mode model; a single spigot with a hand pump for the on-board tank and a traditional handle for service water. What sort of fixture do you suggest I install for a 12v pump/service combo? I would like to avoid having two faucets. Thanks! Alec
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:44 PM   #2
Con
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Name: Con
Trailer: 1977 Boler 1300/2003 17' Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Hi Al,
Check out my pics on Webshots re: taps and pump. I used A Sureflo Diaphram pump.
But and install an inexspensive tap set. Ours was purchased from a RV dealer for about $35. It is actully all chromed plastic and has the goose neck spout.

Install a shutoff switch and a indicator light for the pump. One of those back lit switches would work well. I have heard stores from people where the road vibration slowly worked the tap open and that allows the pump to activate and start running water from the onboard tank into the sink. As the drain outlet would have the cap on the sink would over flow and flood the trailer/camper. With the indicator light there is less chance of leaving the pump powered when you hit the road. Also make sure you install the in line filter at the pump.

The left tap on ours activates the pump when we open the tap. The right hand tap is strictly for the city water hook-up. Our Insinkerator Hot Water Dispenser is tee'd off the city water line. When we are at a RV park though, I like to use the water from our on board tank as it is nice clean water from a deep well. If I make coffee from the Hot Water Dispenser it tastes awful because of the chorine and flouride. We use it more for washing dishes, our hands or brushing out teeth. So far I have found no problem from having both systems on at the same time and I am very happy with the way it has worked out.

One of the first things I did when we got out Boler was revamp the water system. If you ever take one of those hand pumps apart you will find they are nothing but junk!
Hope this gives you some direction.
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:01 PM   #3
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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My Boler came with a water pump from the factory (normal for a B1700) and only one cold water faucet. The pump pulls water from the tank and pushes into the same piping to which the outside service connects - as far as the sink faucet, shower, hot water heater inlet, and toilet are concerned, there is just one source of pressurized water.

If I understand Alec's situation, there is a manually pump pulling from the tank and discharging into the sink through its own faucet, and a line from the outside service fitting to a separate faucet at the same sink. If it were me, I think I would just tee the pump intake line in the same hose that feeds the hand pump, and tee the pump outlet line into the line between the service fitting and faucet. A check valve is also needed between this tee and the service fitting (it may already be included at the service fitting) so the new pump doesn't spew the tank contents out the service fitting.

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This is only from my experience with my trailer, and descriptions of other people's hand-pump-equipped trailers; I have not actually added a pump to a trailer like Alec's.

Edit Note:
I have assumed that the manual pump is to be retained. Removing it (and leaving just one faucet) doesn't change the plan - the tee into the tank line just becomes "replace the hose which feeds the hand pump with a hose to the new pump".
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:31 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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I'm using the same set us as Con. I purchased a regular bar faucet at HD and am using one side for city water and the other for the pump system. I really like the bar faucet, it's so much nicer for hand washing and getting pitchers under.
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Old 01-17-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1980 Bolar 1700
Massachusetts
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I don't have the photos to document the exact set up but below is a link for the basic diagram for a single point and mulitple point systems. As for the actual faucet, the pump now works like the city water supply so you no longer need the hand pump. A regular faucet will work just fine. The only disadvantage of loosing your pump is if you run out of battery you have no water.
http://www.windsun.com/PDF/RV_Install_Guidelines.pdf

I would also suggest a shureflow accumulator tank. The electric pump has a pressure switch in it that instantly turns on the pump when you open the faucet. As long as the faucet is open the pump will run. The accumulator tank allows the pump to build pressure and so that your pump will not run continuously but will cycle on until the tank is pressurized and off when the pressure drops enough to switch on the pump. Its not a lot but when you are talking about an appliance that is drawing 2.5 amps, it takes its toll on the battery over the course of a trip.
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-pump...r-pump-tank.htm
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:11 PM   #6
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Name: Con
Trailer: 1977 Boler 1300/2003 17' Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Several points Rob;
- With my trickle charger solar panel I have yet to have the battery run down.
- If the battery gets run right down, I can just walk around to the back and open my tank drain valve at the edge of the trailer and fill a container.
- I seriously considered installing a Acummulator tank but thought I would try the system without it. We have not had it for 2 years now and I really have not found any justification to install one.
You all have brought up some good points.
But, every one to thier own thing.
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Old 01-17-2006, 08:57 PM   #7
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Name: Con
Trailer: 1977 Boler 1300/2003 17' Bigfoot
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Al,
I just checked back on my manuals and I think you have the wrong pump. I got caught on that also. The first one I bought was the Nuatilus and it can only be mounted no more than 4" above the tank and is not self priming. It wouldn't work for my application. I also talked to some of the engineers where I worked who had quite large sailboats and they guided me in the right direction.

I exchanged it for the bigger diaphram pump which is capable of as much as 6 feet vertical prime and on the horizonal up to 30 feet and is self priming. That means you can mount it almost any where in the trailer. It is more exspensive of coarse. I seem to remember paying about $125 Can. for it.

I did some more research in my Shurflo manuals on accumuator tanks. It seems they are recommended when you are going to run more than one fixture of the pump so for a single fixture application like mine it has not been a problem.
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Old 01-18-2006, 04:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for the excellent feedback - I'll let you know how I make out. Con, I believe that the area where I will mount the pump is no more than 4 inches above the tank so I should be ok - I'll check it out this afternoon. Thanks again! Alec
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Old 01-18-2006, 01:58 PM   #9
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I'm not questioning the recommendation of an accumulator with multiple fixtures, but I would like one in my Boler even when using only one fixture at a time. If I open the faucet fully the pump runs continuously and all is fine; however, if I turn the tap only partway to get less flow the pump cycles frequently to maintain its set pressure at the lower flow rate. That's normal behaviour - it just isn't pleasant.

An accumulator stores some water under pressure as a reserve to smooth out the demand on the pump - with an accumulator the pump should run about the same amount of time, but in longer and less frequent cycles, which I assume is easier on the pump and would certainly be easier on my nerves, whether or not the reduced starts actually mean less energy consumption.

The alternative is a variable-speed pump. I found these when investigating potential replacement of my old (maybe 1979 original equipment) SHURflo. I'm not sure why people are using the Nautilus marine product (maybe because it is the smallest unit they have for potable water?) but in their RV products (and in the marine line) they have an Extreme series including variable speed units, which speed up or slow down to match the water flow, and thus do not need an accumulator. This is what I plan to get when/if my current pump dies. Since even their smaller unit is larger than we might need, electrical capacity might be an issue, although actual energy consumption should be low since the power draw is matched to the water flow rate demanded.

Speaking of marine applications, a friend of mine had a sailboat which deliberately had no electric pump. He had the power but he wanted to discourage excessive water consumption: when you are manually pumping, you don't pump when you don't need to. He had a foot pump - not hand-operated - so both of your hands were free when using the sink.
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:05 PM   #10
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Yes, keep us posted Al.
Please keep in mind that the pump you have is not self priming so you need to keep a head of water on it all the time, whereas the diapham pump primes itself. So basicly you would need to mount that pump below the tank outlet.
When I installed ours, I filled the tank, powered up the pump, opened the tap and it started pumping thru in seconds. It only took a half a minutes to expell the air in the lines as they are a short run.
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:56 PM   #11
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Name: Alain
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 4500
Quebec
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Hi,

Here is my setup. A small pump, at the base of the water tank hook up to the hand pump faucet line. A switch on the wall control the pump. I can use the faucet both ways. By hand or with the electric pump, just flipping the switch.

The last picture was just to show, on my original (lost) post, that there was room enough to install the pump beside the original water tank of the Trillium. I use this tank as grey water tank now.

Alain
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Old 01-18-2006, 05:07 PM   #12
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Hmm. Thanks Alain - I like the idea of retaining the hand pump function in addition to the 12v pump - I'll have to take a closer look at this... thanks! Alec
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