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I'm Buster Brown, I live in a shoe. This is my dog Tige, he lives there too.

Fresh Water Systems

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Tige Over
Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Tige Over

Last Changed 7/5/2016

This may seem to be a mundane subject, but there really are reasons to care about fresh water system components.

The usual complaint about RV fresh water systems is that there isn't enough pressure for a good shower.  If the issue isn't water pressure, it is the volume flow of water.  It takes about 2-1/2 gallons-per-minute (gpm) to generate the feeling of a good shower.

Therefore the answer to a good shower is to have high flow components in the fresh water system.

The components of the fresh water systems are the hoses, the pressure regulator, and the water filter.

We have an assembly which includes in-line water filters, a high volume pressure regulator, and a pressure gauge.  We like to place this assembly under Tige’s belly near the water inlet.  This works well except for one thing, the pressure regulator is at the trailer end of the hose.  This means the hose is subject to park water pressure.  We were in a park where the park water pressure was 100 psi.  The pressure regulator was protecting the trailer plumbing but the hose was unprotected.  The hose grew to be almost 150% in diameter as a result of the high water pressure.  Typical RV water hoses are not rated for much more than the 60 psi the RV plumbing is rated for.

A solution could be to connect the pressure regulator at the park faucet end of the hose so that the regulator would protect the hose as well as the RV plumbing.  This was not reasonable for us since we have a high volume pressure regulator that is much larger than the typical RV style pressure regulator, which is not much larger than a hose fitting.

Valterra does offer high pressure fresh water hoses with ratings of 120 psi and 160 psi.  These hoses could have solved the bloated hose issue.

Hoses

First off, fresh water hoses tend to be white to show that they are made with a harder surface material than garden hoses.  This harder surface is more resistant to picking up micro-organisms, making the water carried safer to drink.  Some of the curly-cue hoses out there are poor for fresh water.

We wanted high pressure rated hoses so that we could have the pressure regulator located in our tub.

We had another issue with the fresh water hose.  In most RV parks, we found that the 25’ hose was not quite long enough to reach the park water faucet.   We had to connect the second 25’ water hose to complete the connection.   Quite often we were only a couple of feet short.
FreshWater We found Kwik Link Ultra water hoses on the Internet.  They make custom length very high pressure water hoses with 200 psi ratings.  The hose fittings are made from stainless steel.  We had a 35’ hose made for us.  Now we don’t have to worry about what park water pressure might do to our hose, and the extra 10’ has meant we have only needed one hose since we got the Ultra hose.
<update>
We were so happy with the Ultra hose we got, that we replaced the short hose from the filter to the trailer water inlet and the secondary hose when we need to go a long distance.  This time we acquired the hoses from The RV Water Filter Store. with our new filters.  The RV Water Filter Store makes the same hoses as Kwik Link.

Pressure Regulator

The typical RV water pressure regulator does a good job of protecting the RV pluming from high park water pressures.   However, the flow rating of these regulators is only one gallon per minute after a short period of usage.   We chose to use a household regulator because it was rated for a maximum flow of 4.5 gallons per minute.   Higher flow makes the shower feel better than  higher pressure.
FreshWater We have a Watts N35B regulator.  We put a hose connection fitting on the input to the pressure regulator.  We connected a pressure gauge taken from a standard RV regulator gauge combination.  We have a hose quick disconnect between the pressure gauge and the water filter.  From the water filter we have a short hose to the trailer water inlet.
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Original Water Filter

FreshWater Here we used a single water filter. This was the highest flow filter we could find at Camping World.

We had this old half-width crate. We cut a hole in the bottom and use it to hold the filter.  When we travel, the filter and pressure regulator and the short hose to the water inlet, fit into the crate.

The filter was rated at 2-1/2 gpm maximum flow.
click on images to enlarge

We finally get it right

FreshWater The trouble with a standard RV water filters is that they do not sustain a good water flow rate and they clog up rather quickly.  We decided to get a better water filter system.  We also decided to go to a dual filter system with a sediment filter and a charcoal filter.  We wanted a better water flow rate so we choose jumbo filter canisters.  We found what we wanted at The RV Water Filter Store.  The RV Water Filter Store is run by RVers and really know what an RVer needs.

These filters are rated over 8 gpm.
FreshWater
<update>
We reused our Watts regulator.  We added a Tee just before the filters so that we had a source of pressure regulated but unfiltered water.  We also added another gauge, that we also acquired from The RV Water Filter Store, so that we can monitor what the park water pressure is going into the regulator.
click on images to enlarge

We put it in a tub

FreshWater We put the filters with the regulator setup into a storage tub.  This keeps the filters out of the sunlight reducing the potential for organism growth.  This also makes the setup a little more neat.  We can put the water hoses into the tub for traveling.

With our new dual jumbo canister filters, our shower spray now feels like a regular house shower.
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We moved the setup inside

In 2011, we brought the water filters onboard when we found space in a compartment off the cargo bay.  This included a new city water inlet and also mounting the pressure regulator onboard.  The details of the installation are found at Onboard Water Filters

Quick Disconnects

FreshWater We use hose quick disconnects between everything.  We just don’t like twisting hose connections.  We have quick disconnects on the Y connection we put on the park water faucet, the two fresh water hoses, the pressure regulator filter unit, the hose to the trailer inlet, the trailer inlet, the adapter hose we use to fill the fresh water tank, the spray nozzles we carry, the hose we use for flushing the black water tank, and the black water tank spray input.

As a result of our experience with Training Wheels, we found that we prefer plastic hose quick disconnects.  The brass type fittings we bought for use with the motorhome corroded.  The quick disconnect between the pressure gauge and water filter is a brass unit we purchased from Wal-Mart.  This Wal-Mart quick disconnect is heavier than the ones we tried previously and so far has not shown any signs of corrosion.  If in the longer term, this brand of fitting proves to be non-corrosive, we may change out all the plastic fittings.  Currently we get our standard quick disconnects from Home Depot.  The better quality brass disconnects have appeared at Home Depot.

FreshWater The reason we have the one brass quick disconnect is that we ran out of plastic pieces.  You need to standardize on one brand and buy extra pieces.  Pieces will wear out and new uses will arise.  Murphy's Law says that you will not be able to find addition quick disconnect pieces when you need them.
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Inlet Extension

FreshWater The water inlet for the Travel Supreme is on the side of the trailer.  Attaching a hose to water inlets is not easy.  The finger wheel to tighten the connection is problematic.  We use quick disconnects to simplify this.  The water inlet on our motorhome was inside a compartment and we left the quick disconnect attached.  With the trailer, we had this door over the water inlet to deal with.  We found that by attaching a 45° adapter to the inlet, it would stick through the access hole in the door.  We could leave the quick disconnect on the 45° adapter.  When we travel, we attach a capped quick disconnect to seal the inlet.
FreshWater
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FreshWater There was a side benefit to the adapter sticking out the inlet door.  The quick disconnect gives us a visual indicator for the end of the trailer when viewed from Red Rover's mirrors.

Update

In 2011 we installed our water filters inside the cargo compartment along with the pressure regulator.  The move mandated the city water inlet to be moved to just behind the street-side cargo door.  The more central location was more convenient along with not having to carry the water filter tub.

Full Flow Fittings

FreshWater We had been using quick disconnects from Gilmour.  We learned that Gilmour also had a full flow set of quick disconnect fittings. 

We decided to upgrade to have the most water flow we can have.

The standard Gilmour female quick disconnect had an automatic shut off valves that stopped water flow when the male fitting is removed.  Handy at times but a lot of restriction.
FreshWater We used to use a valve with a standard Gilmour female quick disconnect.   In the Gilmour Full Flow  quick disconnect, there is a built in valve.
FreshWater The passage through the Gilmour Full Flowquick disconnect is quite a bit larger.
FreshWater Here is a comparison of the passage through the old valve compared to the Gilmour Full Flow valve.
FreshWater There is quite a difference between the standard Gilmour make fitting (left) compared to the Gilmour Full Flow male fittings.

Disclaimer: The information in this site is a collection of data we derived from the vendors and from our personal experiences.  This information is meant as a learning guide for you to  make your own decisions  Best practices and code should always be followed.  The recommendations we make are from our personal experiences and we do not receive any compensation for those recommendations.