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The Beginner’s Guide to RV Plumbing Parts

The Beginner’s Guide to RV Plumbing Parts

One of the main advantages to camping in an RV instead of a tent is the convenience of having a plumbing system. That is, when it’s all functioning properly and not leaking. This convenience can also turn a camping trip bad in a hurry when something goes wrong. With this beginner’s guide to RV plumbing parts, you’ll have a basic handle on how your RV’s plumbing system works and the handiest parts to keep on hand for emergency repairs.

RV Plumbing System Basics

In order to understand what RV plumbing parts are important, you first have to know how your system works. Designed to conserve as much water possible, the following components make up your plumbing, in order of water flow:

  1. Fresh water tank or city water inlet- This is your water supply to your RV’s plumbing system. You’ll either fill up the tank, or connect a hose to your campground’s water supply.
  2. Water pump- Your 12-volt water pump creates pressure to distribute the water throughout the system. It’s not used when directly connected to a water source that is already pressurized.
  3. Hot water heater- Your heater contains a tank and a heating system to supply hot water to your RV.
  4. Fixtures- These include your taps, shower head(s) and toilet.
  5. Drains and pipes- Allow used water to evacuate to the appropriate holding tanks.
  6. Grey and black water tanks- Your grey water tank holds evacuated water from your sinks and tub while the black water tank collects waste from your toilet.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with each of these components and their locations on your RV before you head out on your first trip.

Emergency RV Plumbing Parts to Keep on Hand

While it’s impossible to determine exactly what RV plumbing parts you will need in the event of a leak or a malfunction, there are some common items you should keep on hand. Before stocking up, refer to your user manual so you buy the right ones:

  • A few lengths of PEX pipe
  • A couple of quick-connect or push-on connectors to join pipe lengths
  • PEX plumbing adaptors to connect appliances and fixtures
  • 90-degree female connectors if used for shower heads and toilets
  • A few spare drain plugs

Keeping these hoses and fittings on hand will help you get through most plumbing disasters. For more help with RV Plumbing parts, visit or contact Edmonton RV Service