Roadtrek

Roadtrek

Thursday, July 23, 2020

CITY WATER CONNECTION AND THE INFAMOUS CITY WATER FILL VALVE

One of the most asked questions that comes up with Roadtreks is, "I have no water running in the sink, showers, or toilet. My fresh tanks are full, and no water is coming out! Why?" Just about 95% of the time the answer is the City Water Valve is set in the wrong direction. After reading this article you will understand all about the city water valve and the city water connection.


The city water valve and the city water connection is located on the driver's side of the van in the small compartment under the flip up door. Unlock that door and you will find it. In the photo below - here it is open on my 190.


This is what you will see when you look in -


BUT WHAT IS CITY WATER?  -  City water is water connected by a hose to a water spigot that is attached to a city water system's water (or a country well).  It is fresh drinking water that you will use in your Roadtrek to drink, wash your hands, shower with, or wash dishes.  It is just one of those terms in "RV Speak". 

On the left is the CITY WATER CONNECTION. This is where you connect a fresh water hose (white hose rated for drinking or "potable"water) with the other end of the hose connected to a fresh water spigot - either at a campground or at home.  We will talk about the city water connection first.

Before connecting a hose to the city water connection you MUST put a WATER PRESSURE REGULATOR on the hose. A water pressure regulator limits the pressure of the water that will flow into the pipes in the Roadtrek (or any RV).  There are different types of water pressure regulators and some have a pressure gauge on them, some have a valve to change the water pressure flowing through it, some have both a valve and a gauge, and some are preset at the factory and cannot be changed.  Below is one made by Camco and is easily found - many Walmart stores sell this in their RV section in the auto parts aisles.  This one is preset to  40 pounds which is a safe pressure for water in the Roadtrek and it sells for about only $10. Camco makes another version of this same one that is all plastic - blue plastic. I do not recommend the plastic one. Get the brass one if you are getting the Camco.


Because of the low clearance to the ground in the Roadtrek I find that this cannot be attached right on the hose connection on the Roadtrek. I attach it to the other end of the hose at the spigot. If I am using more than one hose I put it between the two hoses.

Let's look closer at the water connection on the Roadtrek.


There it is circled in red above. My city water connection came from Roadtrek with a quick hose connector. Both sides are seen in this photo - top and bottom. If you do not have one, Camco also sells these made for fresh water connections for RVs. To attach a hose with one of these you move the middle black ring and the bottom section will pull out. You screw that piece to the end of the hose. Then you push the connector and the end of the hose up into the bottom of the top half of the connector and the middle ring should pop into place and lock the two together with a "watertight" connection. (I put watertight in italics because this is not always water tight and can leak slightly. ) This makes it easier than getting down on the ground and screwing the end of the hose straight up into the base of the connector without the quick connect.  You do not have to use a quick connect. At the bottom of the connector in my photo you see a white ring. That ring is the side of a cap what we bought in Home Depot that fits the hose end of the connector and we keep that on when we do not have a hose attached to the Roadtrek. This keeps bugs from crawling into the connector and up into the pipe.

Once you have your hose connected, turn on the spigot outside at the other end of your hose to start water running to your Roadtrek.

NEXT - the more important part of this whole thing-

THE CITY WATER VALVE


In the photo above, circled in red is the CITY WATER FILL VALVE.   Over the years Roadtrek has played with this valve for some reason from years to years -  I have seen this valve handle in red color. I have seen this valve handle  in yellow color. You can see in my 2011 Roadtrek the valve handle is black. What is worse is that Roadtrek has changed the direction this valve must be turned in to select one of its TWO functions.

FUNCTION ONE - 

TO FILL THE FRESH TANK(S) WITH WATER FROM THE CITY WATER HOSE CONNECTED TO THE CITY WATER CONNECTION.  This is a second way to fill your fresh tanks. The other way is to use the city water fill holes in the driver's door frame and for the rear interior tank - if you have a 190 or 210 - the fill hole in the passenger side cargo door in the back's door frame.  I will share that I have found that using the door fill holes is much better than using the city water connection.  If you are in Summer Mode with a 190 or 210 - which generally is the best way to set your two fresh tanks (SUMMER MODE/WINTER MODE) - when filling the two fresh tanks with the city water connection the back tank will be filled first - and then once full it will start sending water to the front tank through the small pipes inside the Roadtrek (much smaller than a fresh hose) and this can take forever - if the front tank fills at all. If the water from the hose is running faster than the interior tank can move water out the interior tank will start to push water out of its water overflow valve which will pour water outside the van (thank goodness!) onto the ground just behind the passenger side rear tire. It is so much easier to fill each tank using the door water fill openings.  IN MY ROADTREK - AND MAYBE OR MAYBE NOT YOURS - as Roadtrek has played with the direction this must be turned - THE VALVE HANDLE IS TURNED TO THE RIGHT TO BE IN RIGHT WITH THE PIPE THAT GOES TO THE WATER TANKS. MORE IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS IS TO COME! 

 FUNCTION 2 -

TO RUN WATER FROM THE CITY WATER HOSE AND FROM THE WATER PUMP INTO THE PLUMBING  OF THE ROADTREK TO GO INTO THE SINK, SHOWERS, TOILET, AND HOT WATER HEATER TANK! Yes the city water system through this valve is connected in a way to allow WATER IN THE TANKS to run  into the water pump!  THE SETTING OF THE VALVE HANDLE FOR THIS FUNCTION IS (IN MY ROADTREK - AND MAYBE OR MAYBE NOT YOURS - IS STRAIGHT UP.  In this close up photo below you see the CITY WATER VALVE SET TO RUN WATER FROM THE HOSE AND YOUR TANK WATER INTO THE WATER PUMP! In the photo above you will see my city water valve is set to RUNNING WATER IN THE PIPES.

So why is the city water valve infamous? Well if you put the city water valve into the fill position and you try to use water from the city water hose OR the water pump to get water from your fresh tank(s) - NO WATER COMES OUT of your plumbing into the sink or showers or toilet or hot water heater. And you will - like many, including me, go into a panic that there is something terribly wrong - and you might (I didn't  (and this happened to us the first night ever that we were in the Roadtrek), but I know some who have) go to an RV service center and pay them to fix the problem and they will charge you for walking over to the city water valve and turning it the other way and say - see it is fixed! This valve is too easy to leave in the wrong position! Between this and that it is just easier to use the door fills for the fresh tanks, I never touch this valve.

 Now - as I have said here - the way to turn this valve to get each of the functions can be different between year Roadtreks - and you may have a red handle or a yellow handle or like mine a black handle. BUT IF YOU HAVE NOT WATER RUNNING INSIDE THE ROADTREK THE FIRST THING YOU DO IS GO TO THE OUTSIDE TO THE CITY WATER VALVE AND TURN IT THE OTHER WAY. SINCE THE OUTSIDE SHOWER IS RIGHT BELOW IT - TURN ON THE COLD HANDLE AND YOU SHOULD GET WATER POURING DOWN ON YOUR FEET.  AND IN THIS CASE THAT IS A GOOD THING BECAUSE YOU NOW HAVE WATER RUNNING IN YOUR ROADTREK. AND THIS IS WORTH REPEATING AGAIN - EVEN IF THERE IS NO WATER COMING AND YOU HAVE NO HOSE CONNECTED AND ARE USING WATER FROM YOUR TANKS - THIS VALVE HAS TO BE SET THE SAME WAY FOR RUNNING WATER - SO DO THE SAME AND GO TO CHANGE THE VALVE TO THE OTHER POSITION! 

You know it is just another one of those Roadtrek things that does not make sense. But now you know about it! 

 

Friday, June 26, 2020

ALL ABOUT THE HOT WATER HEATER AND HOT WATER TANK

This is an article that is a collection of links of all of our articles to date about the hot water tank.  There are always a lot of questions about how the hot water tank works and what needs to be done involving the hot water tank during a year of using the Roadtrek. The hot water heater is a Suburban 6 gallon propane heated hot water heater and tank.  Some early Roadtreks had electric and propane heating elements. It is installed from the inside and it is accessed outside and inside the van - outside is access to the hot water heater mechanism and tank drain. Inside in a cabinet at the floor is the tank and bypass valves.  The tank is covered in foam insulation. The inside of the tank is glass lined. The battery switch must be turned on when you want hot water as the propane is self-ignited by a 12 volt igniter.




THE ROADTREK HOT WATER HEATER AND THE WATER SYSTEM - HOW IT WORKS

THE HOT WATER HEATER AND PROPANE

HOW TO PUT THE HOT WATER HEATER TANK INTO BYPASS

FLUSHING THE HOT WATER TANK

DON'T LOSE YOUR WATER HEATER DOOR

SANITIZING THE HOT WATER TANK

DRAINING THE HOT WATER TANK

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES ARE HOT WATER HEATER/TANK RELATED:


WINTERIZING - THE DEFINITIVE STEP BY STEP GUIDE

THE DEFINITIVE STEP BY STEP DEWINTERIZING AND SANITIZING

PROPANE

 




This is all fairly complete in what you need to know about the hot water heater and tank in your Roadtrek.