Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Water Bandit and Household Sink Hose Adapter

A few days before our most recent trip we had a problem with the outdoor water faucet at our house. There was no way to rectify the problem before the trip and I wanted to leave, as we always do, with our fresh water tanks full. I remembered something that I saw at the RV accessories shop at our Roadtrek dealer that would allow me to attach a fresh water hose to any faucet. There was no way we could get to that shop three hours away so I decided to take a chance that a nearby travel trailer shop might have this.  The problem is I could not remember the name.

We went to the trailer shop and looked on the wall of accessories for water hook up. There on a peg was a shopworn package that was it - the only one they had - and it is called the Water Bandit. We bought this - $7.99 - at this shop which was actually higher priced than it should have been but as they say " a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" and we bought it.

The Water Bandit is made by Camco, that makes many other RV accessories. There is another company that puts the exact same thing out except in a different color and that one is called the Water Thief. It sounds like these are made for stealing water but what they are made for is attaching a water hose to an unthreaded faucet or a threaded faucet with broken threads.

The Water Bandit is a flexible but firm rubber sleeve with a brass water hose connection on the end. The inside of the top of the water bandit has rubber threads to screw onto a damaged, threaded hose faucet, and this is followed below with a smaller open for a friction fit on a non-threaded faucet. It can be used on any faucet. The instructions are VERY CLEAR to NEVER close the end of the hose that the water is coming out of as it will cause too much pressure at the connection and the Water Bandit will come shooting off the faucet. Complaints in reviews that I have read about this since purchasing it all focus on the user using a nozzle on the end of the hose or a water cut off and the Water Bandit ballooning and shooting off the faucet. This is not how this is to be used and this also makes this for filling tanks only. You cannot connect the end of the hose to the city water connection and then not have an open faucet for the water to flow through inside.

When we were getting ready to leave, we tried it and it worked. You first screw the hose onto the Water Bandit -

Next you push the water bandit over the end of the faucet -

Try to push it up as far as it goes. Positive user reviews of the Water Bandit suggest to use a screw tightening hose clamp on the Water Bandit to lock it onto the faucet. We did not want to do that on the kitchen faucet so Meryl held it in place while I had the hose outside to fill the front tank. Since the water cannot be shut off at the exit end of the hose, we used our back up the Roadtrek walkie-talkies to communicate when to turn on the water and when to shut it off. The Water Bandit ran with no leaks held in place by Meryl at the faucet. The water pressure did back up a little in the faucet and there was a small leak at the bottom of the faucet where the faucet turns. This was not a problem as the water just ran into the sink. I should add that our kitchen sink is about three feet away from our house's side door so the hose only had to go through the house a few feet, in case you thought we dragged the hose through the house.

As I have been reading about those who use the Water Bandit, I have learned that there are some State, Federal, and Regional campgrounds that have water spigots at the campsites with no threads for a hose. Unless you know the campground, this is a big surprise when you get there and find out you can't connect your water hose. The Water Bandit is ideal for this and will enable a connection to a spigot where one was not intended. For this I would use the clamp - easily found at any home or hardware store.

NOW - after we bought the Water Bandit I remembered another way to connect a hose to a household faucet. There are adapters sold in plumbing departments of home stores that will do this. Just in case the Water Bandit would not work on our kitchen faucet, I went to Home Depot to see if they had one. There were various types and I asked the salesman in the plumbing aisle what to buy. He gave me this one -

This is made by Neoperl and is just called "Faucet Adapter". It is lead free. The part number on the package is 571493. This connects a male 15/16" - 27 thread or a female 55/64" -27 thread household faucet to a female 3/4" hose (standard garden and fresh water hose size) and a female 55/64" -27 threaded end. The package will say male 3/4" hose as that is what the end is on the adapter. Why so many dimensions. This adapter is made to replace the water aerator/strainer on the end of a household faucet. On some faucets these are male attached and on the rest these are female attached. This will fit both. On the outlet end, you can put this on the sink and leave it installed all of the time. It allows you to screw the aerator/strainer back on the faucet when a hose attachment is not needed and then just remove that when you are going to attach a hose. These are made for portable dishwasher and portable washing machine attachments to sinks. It cost about $6.

To use this, you unscrew the aerator/strainer end off the sink, set it aside, screw this on and attach a hose just like you would screw the hose onto an outdoor faucet. When you are done, unscrew the hose, unscrew this adapter from the sink - unless you want to leave it there - and screw sink's the aerator/strainer back on.

This was fast and easy and the best part is that the end of the hose can be shut off with the water at the sink still on - as long as the adapter is screwed onto the sink tightly - there is a washer inside to prevent leaks. In fact, there are two washers included - one tall and one short to fit different sinks. The short washer fit our sink.

This was even better than the Water Bandit. It allowed us to both be outside at the Roadtrek - me with the hose in the door fill and Meryl inside the Roadtrek checking the water level on the monitor panel. I had my water fill nozzle on the hose that allows me to shut off the water flow as soon as the water starts to backup into the fill opening and could that caused no problem inside at the sink.

With the kitchen sink closer to the Roadtrek on the driveway than the outdoor water faucet on the other side of the house in the backyard, this was easier than filling the Roadtrek the way we usually do.  The Water Bandit is now in the "water box" that we keep in the outside compartment of the Roadtrek that holds all we use for hooking up to water. It will be there with us in the event of a water connection problem on the road. The sink adapter will stay at home ready for the next time we need to - or want to - fill the Roadtrek from the kitchen sink.

Both are good to have if you ever find yourself with a problem outdoor faucet at home, and the Water Bandit is definitely good to have if you encounter a campsite water spigot with no hose threads.

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