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Van Plumbing

The thought of doing plumbing can be a scary thing. In a van build it is fairly easy to complete your own van plumbing. I am sure you can find plenty of  youtube videos. We use pex pipe and parts for our Wicked Cool Vans water systems. We plan to have all water components on one side of the van.

Lay out your plumbing supplies and plan for the best placement.

In the photo above we are making our plan. We will have the sink and all plumbing on the right side of this van. The hot water heater, pipes and pump all need a place. In this build we will be placing the diesel heater in a compartment behind the water system.

The thing we dislike the most is to start a project and not have all the parts on hand. Missing one part holds up the entire production. It is good to have a drawing of your plan. Nothing fancy, just a drawing of how you plan to place everything.

Nothing fancy just your vision in black and white.

We work as a team and it is easier to visualize this way. By the time we are done with the drawing we both have scribbled all over it. After we have a plan that will work we bring it to scale. One key to an entire build is proper planning.

Now build the cabinet. Here are a list of supplies we have on hand for plumbing. 1/2 Inch PEX PIPE, Fitting ,Clamp Tool, Clamps Cutter Combo Kit 2 PIECES XFITTING HOT (RED) AND COLD (BLUE) OF 1/2″ PEX BRASS FULL PORT SHUT OFF BALL VALVE – 1/4″ TURN.  We have at least 4 sets of these on hand. It is a good idea to have shut offs if there is ever a leak you are able to keep it under control while you repair it. 5 Plastic Poly Alloy 90 Degree Swivel Elbow Pex x FPT Barb Pipe Fitting, 1/2″ x 1/2″ 5 pack. You will need two packs at least 5 Plastic PEX Poly Alloy Tee Barb Pipe Fitting, 1/2”, White, 5 Pack you will need at least two 5 packs of these. 5 Plastic PEX Poly Alloy Straight Coupling Barb Pipe Fitting, 1/2”, White, 5 Pack 5 Plastic PEX Poly Alloy 90 Degree Elbow Barb Pipe Fitting, 1/2”, White, 5 Pack, you will want a lot of these on hand. it helps you have a clean look to your plumbing. I would say have five or six 5 packs on hand. 5 Plastic Poly Alloy 90 Degree Elbow Pex x MPT Barb Pipe Fitting, 1/2” x 1/2”, White, 5 Pack

Pick the size of your tanks. We try to get the same size for both if it will fit into the plans of the build. Lead Free White Poly Alloy Elbow with Pex to Female Threaded Fittings, 1/2 x 1/2 40 Gallon Fresh Water Tank & Plumbing Kit RV Concession 13 Gallon Water Tank & Plumbing Kit 7 Gallon Water Tank & Plumbing Kit 20 Gallon Fresh Water Tank & Plumbing Kit RV Concession Fresh Water Pump, 12 Volts, 3.5 Gallons Per Minute, 45 Psi 1/2″ Twist-On Pipe Strainer White City Water Flange with 1/2″ MPT RV Outside Shower Valve Kit – 4 Inch Quick Connect Valve and RV Outdoor Shower Faucet in Black Quick Connect Hose Adapt Duty Coiled Water Hose RV Extension Coiled Hose Extender for Disconnect Valve, 15ft Spiral Hose Theard Flex Seal Tape Waterproof Plumbers Plumbing White 1/2″ x 520 Inch Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4 gallon – Eliminate Time for Hot Water – Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted

Water pump with the tank under.

Now you have a list of items you will need. Find us on facebook at

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Fresh water intake, outdoor shower and diesel heater tank.

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Holes in Your Van

You just brought your new van home. The first thing in a build is to put holes in your new van for windows, vents, air conditioners, heaters any outer device you are planing in your build. This requires cutting a big ole hole in your new van. A scary thing. No turning back now.

Hole in a new van for our clients Fresair cooling machine.

Most items you will be installing will have a template. The key is to make sue where you are cutting does not have any structural beams in the place you would like your new product. At times you may have to place the new item in a different place. Research is important. Reading the description and measure for placement ahead of time to make sure your vision can be accomplished. The reason why these items must be installed first.

No template with this window.

You have to be prepared for the item to come without a template. The cardboard box it came in will work. Read the instructions and watch a video on installation. This way you can get tips on what not to do. A lot of videos will share their mistakes. That way you don’t make the same ones. One thing we always do is make a practice cut from our template. We will take a piece of scrap wood. Trace out our template on it. Make the cut. Fit the item in the cut hole to make sure your template is spot on.

We make sure the area is clean and free of any debris. Check you are not placing it where you will interfere with a structural component. Measure many times. You will want to make sure you are placing the hole level and even. Draw your outline. Step away. Make sure it looks right. Take some final measurements. After the outline we always place tape on the outer side of our outline. This helps prevent your tool from making scrapes on outside of your cut.

Make sure you have a new blade for your saw. This will insure a clean cut. After the cut you will need to file the edges and paint with primer. This helps avoid rust from exposed metal.

Metal Primer then paint will help prevent rust.

After the paint dries dry fit your item. If all looks good you can start your placement. Butyl seal tape on the edge of the item before we do the final screw in. Here is a link to some on Amazon the butyl seal tape is a great thing to have on hand for your build. If it is an item on your roof you will want lap sealant on hand as well. Here is the lap sealant we recommend. The final step is to secure your item into place. Make sure you are plumb and level. It wasn’t that bad was it?

Here is a list of item I would have on hand for putting holes in your van:

Jig Saw make sure you have new blades

Butyl Seal Tape

Lap sealant if its on your roof

Paint Tape

Sharp Marker

Metal File

Primer Paint

Metal Paint

Tape Measure

Rubbing Alcohol

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