Monday, January 31, 2011

Water Fillers

Your Lazy Daze comes with a nice big fresh water tank which lets you spend a number of days off in the boonies enjoying the Great Outdoors. All you have to do is fill it. Here are some tips to make that job a little easier.

- The first trick is to be able to connect to the water source. Not all faucets have a threaded spout onto which you can fasten your hose. Not a problem - all you need is a "water thief". This simple three-dollar rubber gizmo adapts virtually any faucet--round, square, threaded or not--to a garden hose fitting. Every RV should have one tucked away for emergencies. It's basically a somewhat stretchy length of rubber tubing that has a metal male hose thread on one end. You stretch the tubing over the business end of the faucet, then connect your hose to the water thief via the hose threads. Some I've seen have pretty straight-sided tubing, while others are tapered, may have molded-in ridges to grip the faucet, etc. They can slip or work their way off of the faucet if the water pressure is high, the water hose flexes or pulls on the water thief, etc. Carry a 1.5" diameter hose clamp fitted with a thumb screw to help secure the rubber tubing over the end of the faucet.

- The other useful gadget is something that will hold the end of your hose in the water fill opening. There are commercially available items or you can make your own. The problem with the commercial version is that there are holes in the cap around the hose connection which allow back-pressure from the water being forced down the curved fill tube to expel some of the water. Since there is already an air-vent tube beside the water tube that allows air to escape as the tank fills, a solid fill device is better.

-- You can easily make a fill device yourself: buy a regular fill tube with the hose connection and also purchase a replacement cap for the fill inlet. Drill a hole in the center of the fill cap through which the fill tube just fits. Cement the two together. Now you can securely attach your hose to the fill opening. The sound of gurgling or burping will indicate that the tank is just about full.

-- My wife wasn't keen on me making one of copper and soldering it even though I told her the solder was lead free and we have copper pipes in our home. She wanted me to make it from PVC instead even though she knows I no longer like plastic parts since moving to Fl. She used the logic that we use it for outdoor irrigation and it lasted and has UV inhibitors and it wouldn't even be in the sun that much. I think she just doesn't like when I use a torch because it gets her nervous. So to make her happy I bought the 3 pieces I needed to make one from 1/2" PVC tubing that I already had left over for spare tubing from an irrigation system project. I needed the 45° elbow ($.21), a 1/2" PVC to 1/2" FPT adapter ($.29), and the 1/2" MPT to 3/4" brass hose adapter ($2.26). It all cost less than $3. I already had the tubing, PVC cement, and primer. If they had the PVC 1/2" slip to 3/4" FHT hose adapters in stock those were only $1.05 so it would have been even cheaper but they were out of stock and I didn't want to go back just for that. I'd also rather have the brass type hose adapter and really would have rather made the whole thing from copper tubing but this was a compromise. It works great and no more need for a hanger to keep that lousy cheap plastic and vinyl tubing filler from falling out of the potable tank filler. Even if I had to buy the 1/2 tubing and the cement and primer it would've been only about a $6-8 project and a much better way to fill the tank. A piece of 8'x 1/2" tubing costs only about $1-1.50 and a small container of cement is about $1.50, you don't really need to use primer except in pressurized systems but it's cheap also. Making one of PVC is easy even for those that can't solder. Home Depot or any other store will cut the tubing for you free so you don't even need a pipe cutter for it.

- Terry Tanner has made a very effective fill tube from copper tubing and fittings. A thorough description with photos and plans are available on Terry's Techsnoz site.

When filling the tank, water backs up and comes out the inlet
- The vent outlet, located inside the water fill access door, has a stainless steel screen covering it. It is secured with a rubber washer. Remove the rubber washer and pop the screen out. It may be completely blocked with crud. Scrub it clean with a little detergent and an old toothbrush. Problem solved.

Contributors: Bob, Mike, Larry Wade, WxToad 

Revised: 12 Oct 13
Return to FAQ Index