Help putting onboard water back in our VT - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #1
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Help putting onboard water back in our VT

Our 16' UHaul VT currently only has city water available. There is no onboard tank (it was formerly standing in the middle of the floor under the bed but was removed before we bought it). To put onboard water back in for camping in locations without city water, what do I need to look for in the bowels of the trailer? I assume there should be a water pump (that hasn't been turned on in years) and some flexible tubing. If I want to run it both through the hot water heater and regular cold outlet, I assume I need to split the hosing somewhere. Check valves? Any diagrams or pictures of how this is all set up would be helpful. Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #2
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this might help for the basics:

http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=h...ed=0CCUQ9QEwAw
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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You have come to the right place! Let me describe the whole system, although you don't need it all depending on your configuration
1) An outside utility box hatch with a door on the driver side in front of the window that contains a tank filler port and a city water hookup.
2) The filler tube runs down to a ten-gallon polyethelene tank in the driver side rear hatch. It also runs back on a little 1/4" vent tube to the filler. That's to let the air get out of the tank as you fill it.
3) You can take the access hatch off by removing about 9 philips screws and getting a putty knife out to lift the butyl. It's not a big deal at all. Under the threaded connection for city water has some kind of backflow preventer built into it to prevent your trailer pump from forcing water into the hose bib and everyone else's trailer!. Its outlet branches off into a T connection just inside the hatch to provide water directly to the COLD side of the vanity bath. The other branch of that T runs around the rear floor of the trailer through the driver rear bay, through a couple holes between the two rear bays hidden under a plastic cover (where your rear AC outlet is) and into the passenger side rear bay.
4) If you pull out the tub on the passenger side bay, that back corner near the passenger brakelight is where your shurflo pump would be expected to live together with its back flow preventer. You don't need a pump to run on city water, but I am calling it like it is, or should be.
5) Now the city water connects up to a manifold, which is a fancy way of saying a bunch of T fittings T T T T connected together closely. These serve all of your appliances, and its the "split" you were talking about in your message. The manifold is pressurized by either the city water line or the pump outlet (through that valve)

a) For the pump to be able to pressurize the manifold, one branch connection on the manifold runs to the pump's back flow preventer OUTLET, the other side of the backflow preventer valve goes to the pump OUTLET. The pump INLET connects back to the tank through another piece of tubing. In this way the pump can pressurize the manifold, but the manifold can't force water through the backflow preventer and pump to the blow up your tank or flood the trailer.
b) One branch connection on the manifold goes to your water heater inlet , if you have one.
c) One branch connection on the manifold connects to the cold water supply in your kitchen sink.

In my trailer, the "manifold" was bedded under the rear passenger bay compartment in some kind of glue or epoxy that had given up the ghost. There's only about an inch of headroom between the bottom of the bin and the bottom of the trailer so everything fits in there pretty tight. What I did when I remade it was to secure it up against the exterior wall with some U clamps and epoxy. The clamps were epoxied to the walls and the tubing just goes through those. More room there.

I found some 1/2 dia tubing at Home Depot. It was pre cut in 10' lengths. They also have 1/2" Ts and barbed fittings to match. My pump was fine, the check valve was leaky so I had to buy a new one for about $20. All the tubing and hose clamps were replaced. T fittings are hard to reuse and cheap enough to replace. I put a CAMCO bypass on the water heater and I got rid of all the little ancillary pumps and stuff that were in there to serve the handpumps, replacing them with conventional faucets. There was about forty feet of surgical tubing in there with valves and pumps to pressurize those handpumps, and it was entirely redundant with the big pump they finally put in to run the shower.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:47 PM   #4
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Here's a schematic for you. I don't show the tank filler connection. And all the doors swing the wrong way. Not to scale. Not available in all municipalities.

Regards,

Matt
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U-HAUL VT-16 TRAILER PLUMBING (COLD).png  
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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Thanks very much! This really helps. When the snow melts and the temps get back in the 50s, I'll start digging around in the trailer and find all this stuff (I hope it's still there!). This will really help for those "dry" nights at some campgrounds. No more lugging water bottles!

Is the pump turned on with a wall switch when you need it? Would the one in the trailer already be AC or 12 volt? We don't have a battery - only shore power. I'm not sure if the converter still works - it did 5 years ago - but we haven't used it since since everything is 120 v.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:11 PM   #6
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The pump is 12vdc, run off a switch connected to the 12v supply (battery/converter) Many rv warer pumps are pressure sensing, and will stop once the system is pressurized. My pump switch is located on the front of the sink counter, far right, above the base cabinet door hinge area, but just under the overhang.

Regards,

Matt
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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Matt in SV like the diagram to the point and Joe MacDonald links pictures and information will be really helpful to all that see them.

Did the 16' U-Haul have a bathroom shower combo option like the 17' boler?

Kevin A this is the right place for help. Great group they are very helpful

YouTube - RV Water Heater Replacement I have purchased one of these for our boler to install as soon as the temp gets up.

Winter: -24 yesterday but only -6 today like you I am waiting to install the new tail light lenses, shock retro kit, water tank, and more, have the parts; just need less snow and a little warmer temperatures
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:56 PM   #8
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It seems the VTs were sort of a project that was toward the end of the great U-haul Travel Trailer experiment. They were retrofit with some additional features - most got water heaters and showers, but not 100%.

No on-board black or gray tanks that I know of - just a cubby hole in the Privy for a portolet.

Regards,

Matt
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