Doug Rutherford

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Fixing the camper

April 2012
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Did you ever have one of those days? I picked up most of the supplies to fix the plumbing on the camper yesterday. I managed to get the grey water tank off and cleaned off the other day and needed some new copper tubing and fixtures to patch into the water line and replace the leaking bits. However, that’s where it sort of ended.

Tapping in the new line is the easy bit. I do have to get the fitting off that meets up with the water heater. Here’s where the real fun starts. What I really need to do is latch on to it with an 18″ pipe wrench but, since it’s a camper, you have about 3″ of space to fit the 18″ tool into so you can remove it. The ideal tool in such a case is a basin wrench which should work, unless the fitting is in too tight to get it out. On my shopping list yesterday was a basin wrench (they cost about $10-15). Needless to say, I forgot to get it.

That’s okay. I wanted to put some penetrating oil on the fitting to make it easy to remove anyway and will pick one up today. However, when I cut into the line to put in a union and measure the tubing, I ran into a bit of a problem. Cutting the tube was no issue. But to flare the end, you need to file the end of the cut down to remove the rough edges left by the tubing cutter. In the 400 sq. ft. of garage, do you think I could find a flat file? More shopping, I guess…

After class today, I get to run the grey water tank to the RV repair shop to see if they can fix the leak. Hopefully, it is patchable since replacing it is a major pain. Patching it involves polyethylene welding, since there is no adhesive that will actually stick to the material. Think of it this way: try to glue something to a plastic milk jug. It’s the same material. When the black water tank gave up the ghost, I had another made from aluminum and added the holes, fittings, etc. to match it to fit. Hopefully, I find out this afternoon that I’ve avoided this…


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