ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby flboy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:44 am

I used the crimps with the Pex and have had no problems. I also used a few sharkbites due to access and the ability to get the crimp tool in place.

They both work nicely, but if you have alot of connections to make like I did, the crimps will save you alot of money given the cost of each sharkbite connection. I did have to buy the crimp tool however. The sharkbites are easier to install for sure.. but the crimps are not bad, just need to make sure they are seated in the correct position before crimping.

I cannot answer as to the long term reliability on each, but after 2 years, no issues. I tend to think simple is better and the crimps really have nothing to fail other than the Pex itself. The sharkbite has a rubber O-ring seal instead of a compression fit, I believe. I do not know if that is a weak link? Maybe some plumbers here can say more about the long term robustness and reliability? I am just speaking from my limited experience so far.



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Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:49 pm

Interesting test here of nylon reinforced vinyl tubing vs. pex vs. copper in a freeze-off. The copper lost while the other two held out okay.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f50/rv-plumbing-freeze-test-9059.html

Am wondering about ease of use of pex vs. reinforced vinyl for my application. Will have 2 runs of 1/2" that are 15' or so. One from mid point along foot of garage divider to rear where shower hooks up and another from mid-driver side to forward position to passenger side for sink spout. Everything else is runs of 1' to 2' between pump, tank, fill, vent, etc.

What is the downside of the nylon-reinforced vinyl? Seems that hose clamps would be easier to work with than pex fits, compression, sharks, etc. What drove you to select the PEX?


EDIT: Found my answer after a bit more googling....


"I have seen a fair bit of frozen, water filled pex. Here are my findings.

If the system was pressurized before freezing, it compounds the expansion. At 60psi or more, it gets ugly.

Brass fittings always fail first. I think this is why one pex manufacturer is turning to fittings and rings made of the same cross linked material.

The pex will never burst. It simply expands, mostly lengthwise. If we froze 100 feet of water filled pex, it would be around 115 feet frozen.

As far as the vinyl braided tubing, it will fail in less than a year in any case where there is heat involved. Even in cold environments, the hose clamp system is subject to leaking, expensive clamps, smells the water up, and IMO will fail long before the pex. It's a much older technology, not suitable for potable water."


And here is FLboy's thread from the plumbing section. Go with 1/2" PEX! http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=66680


Pex it is!
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby Iconfabul8 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:43 pm

Instructions with my pump said not to connect the pump with pex, it is too stiff and puts pressure on the fittings. For long runs you can't beat pex, it is cheap. I don't think you should approach the decision based on freezing results. Just don't let it freeze. If you freeze up, tubing is only one problem of many you will face.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby hankaye » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:56 am

Pig Trail, Howdy;

Full time RV dweller here. The connections from the pump are made with the braided nylon
hose, short runs to the PEX, allows for flex when charging the system with pressure.
PEX will also burst, generally in the short runs where there are curves and joints needed.
Sometimes it's the PEX and sometimes it will be the fitting. Your 100' example was probably
a straight run so they could measure it 'accurately', once you confine it to a small space and
it need to do it's expansion thing, has nowhere to go ... ooops.
Just something to ponder

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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:27 am

It's like I told the guy at the Home Depot check out line as I checked out with a pile of fittings, "I could stand in that plumbing aisle for another hour, but I think I need to home and see what I'm missing and come back!" :lol:

I think I'm straight. I plan to use PEX for the longer runs of 5' or more and mostly nylon reinforced hose between the tank, pump, fill, and vent. I still need to figure out the fittings to get from 1 1/2" tank female to 1 1/4" fill hose. I haven't seen a barb that large. They have a few fittings on Amazon, but the descriptions are a bit rough and I don't wan to order four $6 fittings and only use one. Will need a few more trips to sort this!

In the meantime I finished out the propane box with this bulk-head fitting.

Image


Here it is all snugged in place. Will need to add some padding or secure the regulator, so it doesn't bang around in transit. Bulkhead fitting is 3/8 version of part G31 here: https://gashosesandregulators.com/Brass-Fittings/40. Use yellow thread seal tape on non-flared threaded propane fittings: https://www.amazon.com/Harvey-017065-Line-PTFE-Thread/dp/B000FKBXCE

Image


Thanks all for the plumbing help!
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby featherliteCT1 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:50 am

And thank you for documenting and explaining how to plump things. This will really help me when I get to this stage of my build.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby flboy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:10 pm

PigTrail wrote:It's like I told the guy at the Home Depot check out line as I checked out with a pile of fittings, "I could stand in that plumbing aisle for another hour, but I think I need to home and see what I'm missing and come back!"


LOL... story of my life.. always back and forth for the stuff I forgot and the stuff I did not know I needed.

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Don (Flboy)

Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:21 am

Still making trips to Home Depot and laying out the plumbing setup.

I insulated and boxed the passenger side fender with scrap 1/2" BCX plywood and mounted these two parallel pieces of 1" square tubing to hold the hot water on demand unit.

Image


Here it is mounted and ready for that plumbing.

Image


That spot under the window needs a little shelf and I can route the water-supply pipe underneath it.

Image


Up front I'm starting to mock in the position of the water tank with the drawers I built a few weeks ago. Want to make sure there's room when everything is closed.

Image


Now for the first cut into the side of the trailer. I used the packaging as a template for the water-fill.

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These bits cut the metal easily.

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Here's the first cut after a few carefully placed drill-holes.

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I then held the unit in place and pre-drilled all the mounting holes. This way none of the metal bits get caught in the butyl tape and I have a smooth final-fit.

Next, apply the butyl tape and push into place.

Image


That turned out pretty well, but geeze that trailer is dirty!

Image


Fill and city-water connection.

Image
Last edited by PigTrail on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby flboy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:55 am

Wow... Very nice work. Going to be a fine Toy Hauler!

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Don (Flboy)

Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby MrBo » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:02 am

Beautiful build! Must be nice to have all that space to work with. Well done!

:thumbsup:
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:39 am

One of the first steps in the plumbing process is to situate the water tank and build the cabinet that houses it. I started by drilling out the ends to make way for all the connections, 1. pump intake, 2. drain, 3. fill hole, and 4. vent. See post above for hours of standing in the plumbing aisle at HD. I think it's a right of passage on these builds. Hopefully I can save you some time.

I bought my tank from classAcustoms. Their FAQ page actually has lots of info about hooking up their tanks or any other. http://classacustoms.blogspot.com/2017/02/water-tank-information-class-customs.html

The fittings on my tank are 1/2" and 1-1/2". There are four fittings on one end of the tank, two of each size.

For the fill hose I ordered one of these 1.25" hoses from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/1-25-Flats-Concession-Fresh-Water/dp/B07B4MLWJJ. The 1.25" end slides snugly over the port I just installed in the side of the trailer. Add a hose clamp and that was easy.

On the tank side I needed a few adapters, so it starts with a 1.5" to 1.25" adapter, then a 1.25" to 1" adapter and then a nipple fitting (male on both sides) that is 1". This screws tightly into the hose and is pictured below.

Tank side connections for fill hose...
Image

Don't forget to use some thread-sealant (different for plastic pipe and different than tape).


For the pump and vent connections I'm using plastic fittings that connect to the 1/2" ports in the tank and braided nylon hose.

Connector from tank to hose...
Image

Don't forget to drill out the fill and drain ports on the tank before you install. The 1.5" connections are threaded, but are sealed at the back of the threads from the factory. The 1/2" holes come with little threaded inserts and are ready to go.

I'm still working on the pieces for the drain, but will add to the shopping list when that's completed.

BTW, if you see something here that is wrong or could be done WAAAY better please speak up. This is my first time dong this!



Shopping list if you want to replicate this setup...


tank from classAcustoms

Fill
1.5" to 1.25" converter
1.25" to 1" converter
1" schedule 80 nipple piece (two male ends)
1.25" hose from amazon (see link above)
wall mount to fill port to mount in outside of trailer https://www.amazon.com/Valterra-White-Gravity-Water-Trailer/dp/B0735PZW4H
PVC thread sealant

Vent
1/2" threaded to hose barb
hose
2 hose clamps

Pump connection
1/2" threaded to hose barb
nylon reinforced 1/2" id hose
2 hose clamps
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am

I got distracted while sorting out all that plumbing and started with the cabinet.

This 3/4" piece of plywood will be the main support for the stairs/water cabinet.
Image


Why the weird cut? Because I need one piece of wood to span a longer distance NE-SW.

Trimmed and ready for a test fit...
Image


That's a good start...
Image
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby hankaye » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:53 am

PigTrail, Howdy;

:thumbsup: , :thumbsup: !!!

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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby McDave » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:24 am

Nice job on the stringer for the stairs. Plumbing for the fresh tank looks just like mine so I'd call that perfect!

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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Tue May 01, 2018 8:38 am

Finished installing the plumbing system this weekend and only had one leak. At, surprise, a connection where I used a threaded insert into a plastic hose with only a hose clamp and no thread sealer. Double doh! Hose connections need barbed fittings. After a trip to Lowe's I found that their plumbing selection is MUCH better than HD. HD doesn't even have schedule 80 fittings like a nipple PVC fitting (double-male) or some of the larger barb fittings to deal with the water tank fill (1.25").

...and if you've never used PEX before and have any worries. Stop. Just stop. That stuff is so easy to work with even a newb like me got all the connections leak free on the first go. Just read the directions for the type of fittings you're using (crimp, clamp, or push-in) and you'll be golden.

Here's the whole setup. The line going through the wall up high goes to the shower out back. The line going to the right in the photo goes to the sink up front. Somewhere in the middle I took a break from plumbing and added a coat of paint. This area will be covered by a cabinet, so no need to get every nook-n-cranny.

Image


PEX designed to come through the 3/4" plywood divider...

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Pump and pressure accumulator. Do I need to add air to the top of the accumulator? I need to check what pressure it has from the factory (prob none!)

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Before putting the tank in place for the final time I added this gray speaker box material to reduce abrasion on the sides, front, and base.

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Fittings for pressure side of accumulator to PEX lines...

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Drain setup with hole through floor.

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Tested the plumbing system and shower setup. After fixing the fill barb issue I had hot water and no leaks! The propane system still needs to be installed, but this is the test setup.

Image



With the plumbing installed I started in on the cabinet. I understand from the guys that did our kitchen remodel that getting drawers to line-up and slide smoothly can be a real PITA, so I will be looking for tips on getting those straight.

Image
Last edited by PigTrail on Tue May 01, 2018 8:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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