A man sits in his gutted sprinter van looking around and planning his camper build.

Is RV Plumbing Hard to DIY?

Any DIY work on your RV can be difficult. Most issues in a job come from situational circumstances. For instance, doing the plumbing on a fifth wheel RV with a shower, bathroom, and kitchen sink will be more complicated than a DIY plumbing job for a van.

However, plumbing in general isn’t that complicated. Once you grasp that you’re only moving water around, it’s easier to understand your RV’s plumbing. 

If you’re considering working on or installing an RV plumbing system, gather plenty of information first. You can start by answering some basic questions.

Check out these tips to help you answer the question, “Is RV plumbing hard to DIY?”

Get a solid foundation of how RV plumbing systems work before you take on a DIY project.

Do Plumbers Work on RVs? 

You may think you can find a plumber in your area who will work on your RV’s plumbing system. Not all plumbers will be willing or capable of jumping into a plumbing job for an RV.

However, a knowledgeable professional should get the job done. Plumbing basics don’t change much because you’re in an RV. 

How Much Does It Cost to Replumb a Camper?

There’s no solid answer to this question. The cost of replumbing your RV involves many variables. The size of the camper, how you orient the bathrooms and sinks, and how much water you’re moving all make a difference in how much it would cost to replumb your camper. 

A more expansive camper may be comparable to the cost of replumbing a trailer or mobile home. In that case, you may pay around $3,000 to $4,000 for the work. If you do the work yourself, no matter the size of your camper, you often save money. 

A man sits in his gutted sprinter van looking around and planning his camper build.

Is RV Plumbing Hard to DIY?

Working on your RV’s plumbing isn’t very complicated. Some connectors and measurements might frustrate you, but it’s not rocket science. 

There are many different parts to a DIY plumbing job. You have to make sure you’ve done the job right to avoid significant issues in the future, but it is manageable.

It may be time-consuming to add or rework plumbing in your camper, but you can probably handle the job’s difficulty. Think of it as a 7 out of 10 on a scale.

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How Do I Install Plumbing in My RV? 

If you have zero knowledge on the matter, you should start by watching a few instructional YouTube videos. The videos will help you form foundational knowledge. 

Check out this vanlifer’s DIY water system for his camper van.

It’s essential to have suitable materials and tools at your disposal while you are working, so thoroughly prepare. Also, give yourself ample time to complete the job. You may run into several small roadblocks, and you’ll need time to find the right solution. 

What Kind of Pipe Is Used in RV Plumbing? 

Not all RV plumbing is uniform, but your RV or camper may have either ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or PEX (short for cross-linked polyethylene) tubing. Plumbers use these materials most often because of their lightweight design. 

ABS and PEX tubing are flexible materials that easily fit together and replace. However, an old RV might have copper piping, and working with copper piping is a different ball game. 

Which Hookups Are Needed for an RV? 

Consider where you need the water to come from and flow to when planning your RV plumbing hookups. For starters, you’ll need places to release sewage and pump in new freshwater. 

If you’re working on a system with a toilet, directing the sewage to a port that makes it easier to empty is crucial. Also, refreshing your freshwater storage should be uncomplicated. 

Are RV Faucets the Same as Home Faucets? 

Some RVs include faucets that are like the ones in your home, but that’s not the standard. RVs come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their faucets. If you’re working with a simple pump faucet, the plumbing setup will be different than a faucet that you work into the mainlines of the RV. Research the types of RV faucets first. 

Is DIY RV Plumbing Worth It?

Deciding whether or not a DIY plumbing job is worth it has everything to do with your comfort level. The job scope could be vastly different depending on the build of your camper. If you don’t feel comfortable working on your own, it may be more cost-efficient to hire a professional. 

You’ll also often get a bit of a warranty on the work when a professional does it. If the job is small, it’s likely worth doing it yourself. Consider all the variables before tearing into your camper’s plumbing setup. Are you brave enough to work with the plumbing on your trailer? 

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