Easy RV Mod -> Build Your Own Custom Water Manifold
I’m a bit behind on my easy RV mods (with sooo many interesting blog posts to write what’s an RV gal to do?), but this week I’m getting back on track and I’m super-excited to present our very first reader-submitted mod!! Say hello to Steve and Mona Liza from The Lowe’s RV Adventures. They’ve been travelling Alaska (and putting out some great pics in their blog, by the way) but they’ve ALSO been busy doing snazzy RV mods. Steve wrote up this particular mod so well that I’m just going to post his exact words. So here it goes…
I performed this modification after reading about a similar project in Motorhome magazine. It’s a low-cost way to make fresh water management a little easier, if you face the same issues I do:
- To avoid possibly forgetting my regulator at the park, I wanted to move it into my RV’s compartment. This puts it closer to the system it’s regulating and eliminates having to install the regulator at every stop.
- I don’t like moving my hose between the system intake valve and black tank flushout valve when I’m ready to leave a park.
- I like to have an extra “hose bib” available to connect a hose for washing my RV.
For these reasons, I made up a “water manifold” out of 1″ PVC pipe and fittings, inexpensive and easy to do. I used 3 1-inch “slip T” fittings with threads for 1/2″ faucets. Using small sections of 1″ pipe, I glued them together and put a cap on one end of the manifold. The other end is done with a female threaded fitting which allows a hose thread to be inserted (hard to see in the photo). I ran the hose from the regulator into that end. You can see I cut up an extra hose to attach everything, using plastic ends which are plenty good for the pressures used here.
The regulator is a Watts 263A, which has high flow capability and is adjustable – very nice unit. Check it HERE. I was going to mount it in the compartment, but I found it was nice to be able to pick it up and let it drain outside when removing the hose. The manifold unit is attached to the compartment wall with “C” hold down clamps and doesn’t move at all.
When hooking up at the park, I have all faucets off and can turn the park water on “full blast” without worrying about their pressure. Then after checking the regulator I can open the water faucet to my RV. When emptying my black tank, I simply open that faucet to spray the tank. NOTE: Be sure to install a check valve at your black tank input, similar to the one in the photo – also available at rvwaterfilterstore for $15.00.
If you want your setup to look really cool, you can do it using a copper manifold which are available at plumbing supply stores. They are more expensive and require a lot of soldering to complete. It was a bit more than I wanted to take on for this project.
A separate point regarding water filters – I suggest using units that filter at 5 microns, NOT .5 microns. Although it sounds like .5 would be better, the filter is very restrictive and clogs up quickly. We experienced low water pressure very quickly after installing the .5 unit and have had no problems with the 5 micron unit.
Thanks a bunch for the mod, Steve. You are definitely a handy guy and this mod is a keeper!
Got a cool RV mod of your own? Feel free to e-mail me with photos and details and I’ll highlight on the blog in a future post. Full credit will be yours!