Help with Water System

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OcoeeG

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So I am getting ready to work up the water system on my trailer. And I need some advice.

I have a 13 gal water tank.
3 GPM 12V on Demand pump

For now I am going to just do cold water, but by the Fall I would like to add a hot water heater, why not right.

I have the materials to use regular ol' 1/2 poly tubing. I have been reading a lot of stuff and it seems like a lot of RVs use PEX. Should I go with PEX? What are the advantages or disadvantages?

I plan on doing quick disconnects for sink and eventual hot water heater. Anyone have a good source of quick disconnect fittings?

Any other advice on trailer water systems is appreciated.
 

FishinCrzy

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I'm no plumber but I have used PEX. Why would you want to disconnect it? Shark Bite fittings can be disconnected. I would make sure it can be easily drained at a low spot. PEX bends easy but there are limitations to that. There is a lot on the interwebs about advantages and disadvantages.
 

OcoeeG

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As far as disconnects... My sink setup will live in a box and be put out once we get to camp. If I can just "plug" it in once the sink is deployed seems like it will be easier. I am talking about something like this.n. And thanks for the link but I imagine advantages and disadvatanges to using PEX on a trailer wold be different that in the home. Which is why I asked specifically about a trailer.
Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 10.01.21 AM.png
 

FishinCrzy

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I'm sure someone on here has the answer! Something like this might be a solution for quick connect.

 
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OcoeeG

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Next Question: I have the Ironman 4x4 50L "rooftop" water tank. Looks like this
Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 12.22.22 PM.png
I want to add an extender to the inlet for easier filling. Looking for an adpter that will screw onto that type of coarse threading. Anyone have an idea?
 

lhoffm4

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My son recently installed a tankless water heater in his off grid tiny house build. He runs it off an inverter powered off a couple LiFePO4 batts that charge from solar panels. He has a cold water intake on the outside of his trailer that he hooks up to a standard garden hose, but didn't want to install a hot water tank. Seems pretty useful. Not sure if your roof mounted tank set up could be plumbed into such a water heater, or if you plan to just have the sun itself warm the tank? Another idea might be to mount some of the ribbed glass over your tank that focuses the sun light. It was popular several years back for solar air heaters. Folks were mounting them in frames with coiled aluminum dryer vent hose that snaked back and forth under the glass. One end of the hose was vented outside the frame, the other end went into the structure or trailer to heat the space. I think this type of setup could work for heating a water tank like the one in your pic as well... Food for thought...
 

smritte

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I use poly tubing ( in case I'm mistaken, hard line not soft. I don't want to confuse them) in my water systems. Pex installs the same but where I am, I can buy poly in any length and Pex I have to buy 50 foot. I Had bought the slip fit Shark Bite connectors and every one dripped. I don't know if there is a slight size difference but it felt tight enough. What I did next was (which is how I did it in the past) use barbed fittings and heat the tubing slightly. The tubing molds to the barb giving a nice tight fit.

I run an older version of this water heater. I bring it on longer trips and have a fitting just for it in the back. I hang it on a bolt, plug it into my water and run it into my shower tent.
 
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OcoeeG

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I use poly tubing ( in case I'm mistaken, hard line not soft. I don't want to confuse them) in my water systems. Pex installs the same but where I am, I can buy poly in any length and Pex I have to buy 50 foot. I Had bought the slip fit Shark Bite connectors and every one dripped. I don't know if there is a slight size difference but it felt tight enough. What I did next was (which is how I did it in the past) use barbed fittings and heat the tubing slightly. The tubing molds to the barb giving a nice tight fit.

I run an older version of this water heater. I bring it on longer trips and have a fitting just for it in the back. I hang it on a bolt, plug it into my water and run it into my shower tent.
Hmmm, interesting on the sharkbites. They do feel reasonably tight, but almost a little TOO easy, I could see them leaking. I hope I am wrong!

I am inclined to use the poly because I already have it, but I do feel like PEX would be a better longterm solution. ie. the right way to do it.

Thanks for the response!
 

Phillysteak

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Most push-to-connect style fittings have an O-ring internally that does the sealing so don't worry too much about it being "tight", just make sure you cut the ends as square as possible and don't leave any jagged edges that can damage the O-ring when installed. Personally I feel using push-to-connect fittings with semi-rigid poly tubing is the ideal route, makes repairs easier. A buddy of mine went the schedule 40 PVC route for his build and that system is a nightmare to repair.

First step for finding an extension for the inlet is knowing the thread, might be tricky as some companies use a standard thread and then alter it to make molding easier (AKA no longer a standard thread). It's hard to tell by the photo but you might be able to leave the inlet port alone and add a bulkhead fitting next to it, that type of fitting would have gasket seals and give you a standard NPT threaded connection for rigging up to PEX or something similar.

McMaster is expensive but this is an example: McMaster-Carr

EDIT: And you might get away with just drilling a hole through the water tank cap and adding the bulkhead fitting, depending on the diameter of the cap.
 

smritte

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I am inclined to use the poly because I already have it, but I do feel like PEX would be a better longterm solution. ie. the right way to do it.
Same.
I'm replumbing my house with Pex and honestly I don't see any difference in longevity between the two for my trailer. I had my last trailer plumbed with poly for over 10 years.
Just incase I didn't write it correctly, I used the Pex shark bite slip fittings on the poly tube. I've used slip fittings on all kinds of things before but never the combo I listed. The Pex going into my house will be crimp.
 

smritte

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Most push-to-connect style fittings have an O-ring internally that does the sealing so don't worry too much about it being "tight", just make sure you cut the ends as square as possible and don't leave any jagged edges that can damage the O-ring when installed.
Doing this and seeing it drip (imagine 10 fittings behind panels), I was dumbfounded. I did it for the ease of repair. I saw no reason for the issue other than cheap design or maybe not able to retain 100 psi. I could see if it was only one, it was all. Not actively dripping but seeping enough and slow drip like the tubing wasn't straight. I use slip on fittings on all my air hoses. Some up to 200 psi with no issues.
 

Phillysteak

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@smritte oof, I can imagine... dimensional tolerance on the tubing can bite you in the rear. I had a sealing issue last year using PEX and ended up throwing the coil of tubing out, it had the brand name on the packaging but something just felt off. It had a slightly different color and felt like a different material, just ever so slightly different. Could be a manufacturing defect, I'm highly suspicious of quality control these days. Swapping the tubing fixed the issue and it felt noticeably different when connecting to the push-in fittings.