Replacing an RV Drinking Water Hose on a Retractable Reel

TheRVgeeks Replacement, Water & Sewer 14 Comments

We appreciate the fact that our RV came equipped with a Reelcraft self-retracting water hose reel. It keeps things neat & tidy and expedites both hooking up and disconnecting. But there is one downside: when it comes time to replace the hose, we can’t simply pick up a new one and start using it.

Installing a new hose on our reel isn’t particularly difficult, but there are several steps involved and the working quarters are a little tight. One big issue for us is the fact that a standard potable water hose won’t work, due to the special fitting that connects it to the reel. The original equipment replacement is not only absurdly expensive (more than triple the cost of a standard hose!), but it’s also very hard to find.

In this video, we’ll show you how we replaced our OEM hose using a standard 50-foot Neverkink drinking water hose instead. Since the work of removing and installing the hose has to be done anyway, the extra steps involved in adapting a standard hose are minimal, and well worth the effort.


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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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Comments 14

  1. I agree with all the others that have viewed your video and it is very informative, but I have a different situation. I have a 2007 Monaco Diplomat where the reel isn’t exposed like the one in your video but behind the control panel. The control panel as many attachments to it that would have to be disconnected to be able to remove the panel. Is this my only choice to be able to replace the hose on the reel? Is this the reason to seek out professional?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Mark. One of the most frustrating things for DIY RVers is access, such as a generator that’s not on a slide, making it hard to perform what would otherwise be easily-performed maintenance. It sounds like Monaco’s placement of your hose reel is the same, creating a challenge that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Other than hiring a pro to manage a possibly complex removal/re-installation of plumbing lines, is there any chance you might be able to access the reel from behind by crawling in from the opposite side of the basement? Or maybe from an adjoining compartment?

  2. Another awesome video! You make everything look so simple because it’s so well thought out. The idea of reverse twisting the hose first before threading it into the connection is perfect advise. I’m also glad you mentioned to not over tighten the connection when using teflon tape. I’ve learned the hard way that you can split even a steel fitting by over tightening. Thanks for your guidance and I will be looking forward to your next video.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Roger! Very much appreciated. One of our favorite things is to identify little tricks to make a job easier. When we had a problem starting the threads, twisting the hose the other way first was one of the little tricks we figured out. Sometime we should make a blooper reel, because there are often some false starts before we figure out the best way to tackle a new project for the first time. For example, we at first tried tightening the hose clamps before inserting the hose into the reel. Then we found out that once they’re in place, you can’t screw the fitting in, because it’s such a tight fit that the hose clamps hit the inside of the reel when rotating it. We would have shown that, but the video was getting long enough, so we just showed the right way to do it. Thanks again for the nice comment. :)

  3. Hi Guys.

    Educational video as always. Now here’s an idea for you. You should make a video on installing a RV to toad charge line. I can’t count the number of postings regrading dead toad batteries at the end of a day of towing.

    Last year I outfitted a new toad to our rig with a charge line. Works like a champ.

    I have written many an email and also published my own project papers on this topic on our web site. But (drum roll please)…I really believe you two would be doing the RV community a great service by explaining the need for a toad charge line and how easy and cheap it is. Some RV’ers I know just run a charge line using the RV 12+vdc line with a fuse and diode at their toad battery connection. I used the BrakeBuddy 39332 Towed Vehicle Battery Maintainer for $22 at Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004RCXB8A?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

    Sorry I missed your live web conference last week with Chris and Cherie. Still haven’t had time to go back and watch it, but promise I will in the coming days.

    re, mike

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Mike,

      We’ve definitely been spoiled by the fact that our Honda CR-V doesn’t have any power drain while we’re towing it, so we haven’t had to consider options like a power line or the BrakeBuddy unit. But thanks for the suggestion… we’ll add this to our list of videos for future consideration!

      – Peter & John

  4. Another great video. I have been toying with installing a retractable reel in my 2001 Dutch Star. There is plenty of space behind the aluminum control panel. Have you heard or seen of a retractable reel that I could install? Thanks

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Rod,

      Glad you liked this video. Since our coach came with one, we haven’t done any research to find if there are any options out there. The only thing we can suggest would be the same Reelcraft model that we have (Model #A5835 available on Amazon). But it is NOT cheap! Some quick Googling shows that there are also some powered units (TRCi Shoreline) if you want to get fancy. ;)

      Sorry we can’t be of more help!

      1. Boy you were not kidding about the price at about $450. I will have to think hard about installing a reel even if I like the concept of ease of storing on a 14 year old MH. I believe your reel in the video is a Reelcraft . . right? I don’t understand how a power hose reel is cheaper other than it is not made of stainless steel. But thanks for the information.

        1. Post
          Author

          Rod,

          Correct. Our reel is the same Reelcraft as the one on Amazon that we linked to. It’s a Reelcraft Model #A5835 OLBSW23. And yes… it’s pricey! We’re not sure exactly why it’s more expensive than the powered units. But it is very sturdy and has held up very well for 10 years (hope we’re not jinxing ourselves, LOL!). We’re very happy with it… but if our coach hadn’t come with one, we’re not sure we could swallow the price of installing it after the fact, either!

  5. Great video!! I have been wanting to change mine for some time now but couldn’t quite figure it out and I sure didn’t want to pay the price for the OEM hose.

    Thanks,

    Roger

    1. Post
      Author

      Glad you liked the video, Roger. And we’re with you… we couldn’t see paying what the OEM replacement hose cost when a standard drinking water hose is so cheap and could be modified to work. Hope your replacement goes as smoothly as ours did.

    1. Post
      Author

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