Water damage in travel trailers results from either an internal or external source. Leaks from the outside are intermittent depending on precipitation, but a broken water pipe leaks every time the system is pressurized. Water systems in travel trailers are usually made from high-density polyethylene polymer -- usually called PEX piping -- or standard PVC pipe.
Things You'll Need
- Fine-toothed hacksaw
- Compression-fitting straight coupler
- Craft knife
- Wrench (optional)
- Replacement pipe optional)
Disconnect the city-water connection; turn off the 12-volt water pump and drain the system at the external drain-cock. Follow the leak and trace it back to its source.
Create free access to the source of the leak by removing panels or cabinet interiors. This does not typically cause much disruption, because most travel-trailer water systems are confined to a relatively small area. The fresh-water storage tank is under a bed, sofa or dinette close to the galley, which is adjacent to the bathroom and the city-water inlet.
Cut through the pipe with a fine-toothed hacksaw. Cut to either side of the leak if a small split has occurred in the PEX or PVC; this is most frequently caused by water freezing and expanding inside the pipe. A split of an inch or so in length is usually repaired by cutting out the split, and replacing the damaged piece of pipe with a straight coupler.
Obtain a compression-fitting straight coupler. Take the sawn-out piece with you to ensure you buy a fitting of the correct diameter. Use a craft knife to remove burrs from both cuts, slide the straight coupler into place and finger-tighten the external nut on either end of the fitting. Reinstate the pressurized water supply, and check that no water is spraying from either end of the coupler. Use a properly-sized wrench to tighten the nuts in one-eighth turns until the joints are sound.
Replace a run of pipe if the damage is greater than 1 inch in length. Cut out the damaged run with the fine-toothed hacksaw, and buy replacement pipe and two straight-couplers. Cut the replacement run to length, and install one coupler at either end between the new and the undamaged pre-existing pipe.
Reinstall any trim, paneling or cabinets.
Tips & Warnings
- Fix a water leak in a travel trailer as soon as it is noticed. Travel trailer manufacturers usually construct floors and internal walls from particle board, which need not rot to become structurally unsound. Particle board often separates after as little as one soaking.
- Photo Credit coach, trailer image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
How to Repair a Broken Underground Water Line
How to Repair a Broken Underground Water Line. If you suspect that your water pipes are leaking because your water bill has...
How to Install Heat Wrap on Water Pipes
Heat tape is sometimes referred to as heat wrap, because it wraps around water supply pipes coming into the home. The incoming...
How to Repair Plumbing pipes under Mobile Homes
Repairing PVC Pipe under a trailer can seem a daunting task, it can be if you dont like to get dirty but...
How to Repair Broken Water Pipes
Broken water pipes are often the result of inadequate insulation in cold weather conditions. Old or decayed pipes can also cause leaking...
How to Repair Soft Floors in an RV Travel Trailer
Because RV travel trailers are often kept in areas of high humidity, and often used where there is a lot of atmospheric...
How to Install Water Pressure Systems in Travel Trailers
Travel trailers usually have two pressurized water systems: one connected to an external city water supply and pressurized by the grid, and...
How to Troubleshoot a Fresh Water Fill in a Terry Travel Trailer
Terry is the flagship range of conventional bumper-tow travel trailers manufactured by the Fleetwood RV Group. The line has been in production...