Water leaks in the RV and how we have handled them

Since taking delivery of the RV, we pretty much hit the ground running with living in it full time. Any issue that has comes up, we tackle it head on. It has become a bit of a running joke that when an issue comes up, we all collectively sigh and say "What now?" Among the issues we have had to tackle, water leaks have been the most prevalent.

Below, is the list of water leaks we have identified so far,  followed by details for each.

  • Ice maker
  • Kitchen Faucet
  • Laundry Hookups
  • Furnace Plate
  • Shower Drain

Ice Maker

Before we took delivery of the coach, we identified an issue where there was water leaking from refrigerator cabinet. Water would move across the floor, down the slide out seal and collect near the driver seat. This issue had to be resolved, even at the cost of the dealer along with repair of any damage associated with the leak. According to the dealership technicians, the repair took 11 hours and looked beautiful once they were complete. The technician also assured me that he took extra special care to ensure the connection to the fridge was sealed. The feed for the ice maker has a valve, so we could always disable it if it were to occur again.

Kitchen Faucet

The kitchen faucet hit us on two separate occasions. This was the first leak that we had to triage shortly after living in the coach full time. Items under the sink were getting wet along with the carpet in front of the sink. Shining a flashlight, I found the culprit was the inline connection for the pull-out sink head.

In the picture above, the connection right in the middle is an inline coupler that uses two o-rings and a clip. I wrapped the o-rings in plumbers tape, reconnected it and have not had any issues since.

The next issue that was not as obvious was the cold and hot water feed to the kitchen sink itself.

I continued to find water accumulating in the water bay, below. I just assumed that it was the shower (more on that later). With these two connections, I wrapped the brass portion in plumbers tape, and reconnected the feed lines.

With the leaks under the sink, we have worked to be proactive in fixing these items as they occur as there is a lot going on under this particular area. The electrical connections to all the RV control panels run beneath here along with all of the electrical lines for the kitchen/living room slide. Below is a picture of what it looks like down there.

Also, you may note that when you begin peering your head behind cabinets and hide away holes, you may find a lot of saw dust from the manufacturing process. I understand that there is a RV boom so they are pushing new RVs through quickly to get them in the hands of dealers. I suppose this is probably the same reason we are running into all of these leaks as well.

Laundry Hookups

One of the closets in the master bedroom was designed to accept a washer and dryer. Where the washer would be installed, there is a hot and cold water hookup.

One morning, when I was getting dressed to head into the office, we discovered that my underwear drawer was taking on water. The back of the drawer wall was visibly soaked. I shut the water off to the coach and went off to work. When I came back home, I pulled the back of the closet off to reveal the laundry hookups. Which, was something I had not even realized when this first began as I was convinced that the hot water heater was leaking, as it is also behind the same wall.

I learned that water is constantly flowing to the laundry hookups, behind our closet. I traced the line back further and there was not value upstream to disable this (as was in the case of the ice maker), with no success. The issue turned out that the hot water line fixture was leaking down on my drawer below.

Each laundry nozzle comes apart in 3 different pieces, I took it all apart and re-wrapped it with plumbers tape. There was some plumbers tape there, but installed haphazardly at the factory.

After monitoring the laundry hookups for the next 24 hours with positive water pressure to the coach, I was satisfied that my underwear was no longer going to soak up any additional water. We left the back of the closet off for a few days to ensure that it totally dried out.

Furnace Plate

We noticed that the wall under where the fridge was started showing some darkness. We dismissed it as what looked like adhesive from putting the wall strip back on. We have not experienced too much rain while living in the RV, but when it does, water begins to come out from under the fridge. This of course has the hallmark of a leaky ice maker, but it was not the case.

Beneath the refrigerator is also home to the furnace. The furnace penetrates the outside wall with an exhaust plate. We learned that there was a lack of or no good seal surrounding the plate on the outside wall. Water was slipping in through there, onto the floor and coming out from under the fridge cabinet. This of course cannot be good as we surely do not want our furnace to short out and cause more issues.

The fix here was to use silicone and seal up the plate around the outside wall. This did prevent more water from coming in from the outside and gave us more peace of mind regarding the safety of our furnace and all the other electronics that occupy that same space.

Shower Drain

While sitting in the living room watching TV, we began smelling something emanating from the sink area. While continually inspecting under the sink for more leaks, it was not immediately apparent that the shower drain had been leaking.

Eventually, we opened the panel under the shower and found that it was all wet under there. Water was dripping from the 90 degree elbow heading into the p-trap which leads to the gray tank drain. The quarters were really tight, so we called up a mobile RV tech to help us out. I was getting busy and needed a bit of a break from all these RV repairs.

The mobile RV tech, identified that there was a haphazard job of plumbers tank where the p-trap pipe screwed into the gray tank drain. He also checked for other pipe cracks and put it back together and was on his way.

At this point, I figured this was behind us and that was one less leak I had to worry about or so I thought. One morning before church, we all took our turns cycling through the shower to get ready. Amber went into the basement looking for some shoes and came back reporting that our rubber made totes had standing water on them. "Oh no, what now?" I sighed. We shut the water off to the coach, went to church and dealt with it when we came back.

After worrying about the leak through church service, we had returned to look for the source of the leak. Since there were so many of taking a shower at one time this morning, we learned that water was leaking out from the drain, under the sink area, following the slide seal until it drained out into the basement below under the driver's seat.

This time, I went to work and pulled the shower drain apart. The part that connected the elbow to the horizontal p-trap pipe was spinning freely and also did not have any plumbers tape at all. Unfortunately, we paid to have this repaired and didn't get quite what we paid for.

At the time I didn't realize how the p-trap pipe came apart at the elbow. It was not until I saw the part brand new, that I realized that it was held together with a retaining ring. The gentlemen at the RV store demonstrated this to us as well.

With that new knowledge, I came back and rebuilt the drain, using plumbers tape on all three connections. First, I installed the horizontal p-trap pipe back into the gray tank drain, then the 90 degree elbow and connected the elbow to the shower drain.

Thankfully, it's been a few days and we have had no further drain leaks. I've put a towel under the drain to quickly detect any leaks and be a first line of defense to any further water damage.

Conclusion

Our RV was brand new. Clearly, as it seems that our RV did not get a great PDI or Pre-Delivery Inspection before we got it. These leaks were something that seasoned professional technicians should have picked up pretty quickly. For better or worse, these fixes have fallen into our hands and all considered, these are easy. We are blessed that we can fix these issues as they go along.

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