Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-23-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
Farm Living
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Western NC Mountains
Posts: 21
Oddest Plumbing Question to Date?

As noted in other posts, we are "parking" our 2011 Cedar Creek Cottage next door to a 150+ year old cabin we are going to restore. The RV is going to be in a sort of semi-permanent position for a year or two. We are in the mountains of Western NC, so have already experienced 15F and 5 inches of snow this year. We are LIVING in the Cedar Creek.

So, on to the weird plumbing questions...

1. We have frost protected water lines to the cabin next door.
2. We have an on-demand gas water heater in the cabin next door.
2. We want to connect this water supply (hot and cold) to the RV via underground trench and insulated pipes.
3. Can't use standard fresh/city water hose supply in winter due to freezing temps.

PLANNED SOLUTION: Provide insulated supply (hot and cold) via the drain down lines at the rear of the RV.

A. We trenched over to the Cottage with hot and cold water lines.

B. We are going to connect the frost-protected supply to the drain-down locations. This requires us to:
a. By-pass the electric water heater - simple with in-line by-pass valves that were already in place.
b. Make sure back flow/check valves in city fresh water supply line worked (otherwise we would be blowing water out the side of the RV at the fresh water supply inlet.) Should we ADD another in-line shut off valve for the fresh water supply?
c. Build an insulated column from below grade up to the drain-down outlet locations to keep the supply from freezing.
d. Drain the fresh water holding tank prior to connecting the supply at the drain down locations.
So, this setup means not using the RV water pump, water filter or water heater. We are, instead, planning to use the cabin pressure pump (set at 30/50 psi) and an on-demand water heater in the cabin basement.

In checking with several plumbing folk we are confident (so far) that the Cottage water pump will not allow reverse flow and that we will not be filling the fresh water holding tank. IS THIS TRUE?

We also assume that we should drain the hot water tank. (TRUE?)
If so, HOW DO WE TURN IT OFF? (since we are getting hot water from the on-demand gas system in the cabin)????

ANY help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Hercules is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2014, 06:16 PM   #2
Senior Member
Boss Hoss's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 155
Sounds like a good plan-very clever.The cottage pump should have a check valve to prevent back flow-so you're good there.
Yes- drain the hot water tank and effect the by pass valves.If it has an electric function (along with gas)-make sure the switch is off.My TT has a switch for the water heater on the main control panel-just leave it off.If there is a separate gas valve to the heater-turn it off too.Or perhaps a shut down valve on the heater itself.
Your plan is very clever and well thought out-especially feeding the system in reverse from the drain down valves.
2013 Palomino 30ft. of Pure Bliss at 5400#-and then we have this 14 ft.Sea Eagle that I tote around for my wife and son.Michigan State Parks are The Best !:thumbsup
Boss Hoss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2014, 06:23 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 20
I have done something similar to what you are asking about. The only difference is my trailer is in a heated building. I did drain the water heater and put the plug back in it. What type of water heater do you have? If your check valves leak just put a threaded plug in it. Also make sure to protect the lines and pump inside cabinets and or compartments are heated, or allow heat a way to get in there.
I hate it when I think I'm buying
But when I get home
I discover they're just
coffeebean43140 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2014, 08:13 PM   #4
Senior Member
dieselbobcat's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 503
This is a great idea and will work like a champ, but you would want to isolate the water heater, but do not open the bypass. Opening the bypass would allow cold to flow to hot side and vise verse. Connecting to the low point drains is a easy and novel way to feed the system.

If you have yet to trench and pipe it in, you could use insulated pre fabricated pex tubing that is used on wood boilers. It is two 3/4" or 1/2" pex tubing insulated and wrapped in a outer jacket... sold by the foot and ideal for your application.

ThermoPEX® - Insulated Piping

As long as you keep your pressures under control, the check valve in the pump should prevent you from filling the tank. It would be no different than being hooked up to city water.

You should have a switch for the propane water heater that you would keep off, also be sure that the electric element is off and pinned to prevent accidental operation... you could also shut off the 120V breaker for the electric option and pull the fuse on the 12VDC side to keep the heater from firing.

2021 Cedar Creek 37MBH
2020 F350 Powerstroke Super Duty Lariat Crew Cab
Northern NJ - God Bless America!
dieselbobcat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 08:17 AM   #5
Farm Living
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Western NC Mountains
Posts: 21
OddestPlumbing Question Ever: Update

Thanks for the feedback. Here's an update.

We drained the water heater, effected the bypass valves, and plumbed new supply lines to the drain down ports. A few lessons learned:

1. We added valves/spigots to the supply side just below the Cottage deck at the drain lines - in case we had any need to drain lines without having to disconnect the newly attached supplies. (Hope we don't have to use them ever, but, just in case.)

2. We built an insulated box/column from the Cottage deck to just below ground to protect the supply lines. The box is made from wood lined with 2" of foam insulation. We also insulated the pipes IN the box with regular black foam. The face of the box is attached with screws in case we ever need to get to the valves or lines above ground.

3. We hurried the supply lines from the cabin into a 2' trench, placed foam insulation over them and backfield the trench with the extracted dirt. So, we are now committed.

4. The head pressure from the spring was pretty good (about 20 pounds) but we decided to add a booster pump in the cabin basement, brining the pressure up to 50 psi. Also added a SIMPLE water filter in the basement - easy to get to and easy to change. So now the whole system is filtered.

5. Instantaneous gas water heater works well - it just takes a while for the hot water to get to the kitchen sink at the far end of the Cottage. 5-degree temperature increments on the heater let us "fine tune" the delivery temp. We settled on 115F.

Thanks again for all the help. Hope this post helps someone else from our learning experiences.

Hercules is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Waynesville
Posts: 14,233
Sounds like this will work for your location in (North Carolina) but you also use (Frost protected) in your layout! This is very different than (Freeze Proof)! Members in different locations should take this into consideration if going this route! PS the 5" of snow is good insulation also. Youroo!!
youroo is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:53 AM.