Monday, February 1, 2010

RV drain valve alternative

It was early in the morning and I could see my breath as I hurried to winterize my coach before leaving for Europe. I opened the access panel and reached down to open a drain valve and the handle broke off in my hand. Note to self, "I need to fix this when I get back."I decided to "deep six" the old valves and replace them with a higher quality and more useful valve. I headed for Home Depot and found the parts I needed for the job.

For the hot water drain I selected a 1/2 inch "SharkBite" fitting with a 1/2 inch male threaded standard garden hose valve. The "SharkBite" fittings are great because you just push them on and they form a tight seal with absolutely no leaks. They can also be easily removed by compressing the release collar. This particular fitting has a braced back for securing it into the wall.

On the fresh water tank drain I used a standard 1/2 inch barbed hose connector with a 1/2 inch threaded male end attached to a standard garden hose valve. This is held in place by a hose clamp.You probably already figured out why I'm using a standard garden hose valve and you would be correct. When I drain my fresh water tank I want to be able to attach a standard garden hose and water the trees or run it down the sewer instead of making a small lake under the coach.Most RV manufacturers use cheap drain valves that seem to break after several uses. I had to replace valves on my travel trailers, 5th wheels and now my motorhome. You can use any combination of valves you like as long as you have room for the modification. I don't use these drain valves that often, but when I do use them I want them to work properly. Hopefully someone from the RV manufacturing industrial complex will read this and say, "What a great idea - drain valves that connect to a standard garden hose - why didn't I think of that!"

Jim Twamley - Professor of RVing

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