– (1) 50′ roll of 1/2” PEX water line
– (2) packs of 1/2” PEX couples
– (3) packs of 1/2” PEX 90 degree angle connectors
– (2) packs of 1/2” PEX T fittings
– (5) packs of 1/2″ PEX clamp rings
– (1) 8′ piece of 2” PVC
– (1) bottle PVC glue
– (1) bottle of PVC cleaner
– (1) bottle of PVC cement
– (2) tubes of silicone
– (1) deep base sink
– (1) RV toilet
– (1) toilet flange and wax seal
– (1) 12 volt water pump
– () 1 1/2” torque screws
– (1) Sink trap assembly
– ( ) 2″ PVC 90 degree street elbow
– ( ) 2″ PVC
– (1) tankless water heater, propane powered
– PVC cutter
– PEX cutter
– Butane torch
– Tape measure, pencil, level, pliers, duct tape
– Circular Saw, Jig Saw, Sawzall
– Whole saw set, Drill bit set
– Cordless drill
I started the water project off by first cutting out the cherry tree countertop to fit in the sink. I have three base cabinets, so it makes sense to choose the middle one for my sink area. This will allow me to have one full cabinet space to the left for preparing food and the other side for clean dishes and such. The sink came with a template for either regular mounting or under-mount. I chose to prefer the standard, over the counter mounting. My countertops are 2” thick and would look rather odd as an under-mount.
With the template I drew out the lines for the sink and then began cutting with the circular saw. The sink cut was rather difficult, cutting the rounded out corners. To make it easier on myself I used the circular saw to cut the straight lines just the beginning of the curve. With the jig saw I was able to make the rounded curves, but I was having an issue keeping the blade straight. Once the hole was removed, I cleaned all the edges with a third cut, with the sawzall. With the belt sander I make the hole smooth and ready for the sink mount.
I spread silicone around the counter top, approximately 1” from the edge of the cut-out. Carefully I placed the sink inside of the cut-out and clamped it down to create the bond between counter and sink with the silicone. Around the entire perimeter I spread more silicone and used my finger to create smooth, unnoticeable lines.
Now that the sink is installed, I have a way point to start the water lines and drainage. I will start first on the drainage. With a typical drainage set-up, there should be a 1/4” per foot fall in the line, so that the natural force of gravity with pull the water where it needs to go. I measured the length of PVC that I would be using, and marked the inside of the cabinets with the appropriate fall. With the whole saw set, I cut out the 2” PVC holes and fed the line through the cabinets. Now that the drain line is set into place, I dry fitted the trap assembly for the sink drain.
On the other end of the drain line I marked the best possible outing onto the floor. With the drill bits and whole saw set I cut through the floor. I cut another piece of PVC and brought it up through the floor. With the 2” PVC 90 degree angle I dry fitted the pieces together. Once the whole drain was set up, from sink basin, to outside of the bus. I removed the fittings and prepped the PVC. Firstly, the PVC must be cleaned and primed, even the fitting themselves. When cleaning, you should see that the marking on the PVC will wash away. It is important to take care in these steps, as to it will often lead to leaks if not done properly. After the cleaned and priming, the PVC was installed with the PVC cement. I put a healthy amount on all fitting ends and PVC attachments, making sure to hold each piece together for about 10 seconds so they would bond.
After this step was completed, it is now time to install the PEX hot and cold water lines. I used 1/2” PEX as the water lines for many reasons. PEX is very pliable, making it easier to work around corners. PEX requires no glue, cleaning, or priming. When installing the fittings, a clamp ring is placed on both sides of the fitting, around the 1/2” PEX lines. With the PEX tool, you simply compress the ring so that it clamps on the fitting. That’s it! It is the simplest plumbing solution that I have found. PEX is also very tolerable to weather changes, and will not burst as easily as standard PVC in the winter or freezing climates.
Since PEX is reasonably pliant, and you do not need to create any rise and falls in hot and cold water lines, there was no crucial strategy to install them. I started from the sink and worked my way to the bathroom. The sink was a simple set-up. I dropped straight down from the existing lines for the sink handle, and installed a 90 degree fitting on both water lines, to take them back through the cabinets. With the 1/2” drill bit I made two more holes beside the drain line for them to slip through. I measured back form the bathroom to the sink, and cut the 1/2” PEX lines. I then slipped them through the holes, and matched them up with the 90 degree fittings. With the clamp rings on both sides, I compressed them with the PEX tool.
Now, the water and drainage can be dealt with inside of the bathroom. Working out the route wasn’t too much of a difficulty, but it did require some strategy.
This is the way the water will be working in the system, so you may have a clearer understanding. Water comes in through the water tanks under the bus (future steps), comes into the 12 volt water pump, which then t’s off to the water heater. After the water heater, the hot and cold water lines are t’ed off for their proper routing. They will be routed to the sink, the shower, and just the cold water line to the toilet.
To make the concept vivid to my mind, I installed the water heater on to the wall with the 2” torque screws. I then screwed the 12 volt water pump just close to the bottom of the wall. I worked backward from the beginning, and now will start the other direction. I cut one piece of 1/2” PEX and properly attached it to the water pump. With other fittings and a few more pieces of PEX, I worked the line up and into the water tank. From the water tank, I put 1/2” PEX t’s on both the hot and cold water lines. I drilled two 1/2″ holes through the floor, just beside the 2” PVC drain line. I put a shut-off value on both lines, and then fixed the two through the floor. This is an emergency relief. In case the outside temperature begins to freeze, and I needed to desperately flush the system, I only need to turn the two shut off value and all the water in the entire system will flush out of the bus and onto the ground.
Just above the shut-off values, right at the t’s, I continued to make my water lines run. I worked the water lines to the existing PEX for the sink, then t’ed off once more. After attaching the sink hot and cold water lines to here, the t’ed off section began to run to the shower. There was still a 4” gap in the inside of the bathroom above the wall where I could slip all the lines through. I measured the lines up, cut through the studs, and fitted the 1/2” PEX hot and cold water lines to where the shower would be installed. Making sure, with every fitting that the clamp rings were completely compressed to avoid any leaks in the system.
After the sink connections were made, the shower lines roughed in, and the pump and heater hooked up, it was time to move to the toilet. I measured out the proper placement and marked the lines of the toilet on the floor. I measured out the toilet drain and marked that on the floor as well. With the jig saw I cut out the 3” hole through the floor. My next step was to secure the flange to the floor. The PVC edge of the flanged was inserted through the hole and the floor. Prior I had siliconed around the edges of the flange. I stewed the flange down with the 2” torque screws. I then pressed the wax seal onto the flange, properly in the middle. Very carefully the toilet was raised up, and sat down onto the flange. It is important to not move the wax around when doing this step, and make sure that the flange bolt line up correctly with the toilet. Once the toilet was resting in its’ proper place I then screwed the nuts down on the bolts through the flange. This will also compress the wax, making sure that no methane gases roll through the bottom of the toilet, and no leakage can occur. Once the toilet was installed I then ran the cold water line to the toilet and fitted it to the back.
Now, I have all the water lines running the shower, sink, and toilet into the proper places. None of the lines will be able to be tested until the water tanks are installed under the bus.