Your RV plumbing: Shake, rattle and roll!


By Bob Difley

One major way our RVs differ from our stick houses is the ability to drive them down the highways to a new location. But that also leads to potential problems that you ordinarily don’t have to worry about with your stick house — unless there is an earthquake — and that’s shake, rattle and roll.


The rigidity of your RV bouncing down the road applies considerable tension to every fitting in your RV — all the screws, nails, bolts, shelf mounts and plumbing joints. If a shelf mount fails, the shelf falls down or at least begins to loosen and you notice it and fix it before it dumps your TV on the floor.

But when a plumbing joint begins to fail, it could be with just an intermittent drop of water. And if that leak is somewhere hard to see — which most of them are — then that drop turns into many drops that could, if not noticed, over months or years rot out much of the wood floor and some of the frame of your home-on-wheels.

The result is not pleasant, and it could cost a bundle to rebuild a rotted-out floor. So make it a point periodically — every four or six months — at your city water connection, to look into those dark holes under the cabinets and behind drawers, and around your shower, sink and water pump fittings.

Use a bright flashlight and feel around. If you see or feel dampness, locate the source of the leak and have it taken care of immediately — including having an expert check for rot.