Since our RV came equipped with ordinary residential faucets, replacing them is similar to doing the same job in an ordinary sticks & bricks house. But some RV plumbing systems can be a little different than a house, so we’ve made a step-by-step tutorial showing exactly how we did the job.
Last month marked 12 years since we picked up our shiny new RV. While the faucets were perfectly workable, they’re not a style we would have chosen if given the opportunity, both from aesthetic and functional standpoints. We prefer metal (either chrome or brushed) to the “crystal-look” plastic handles on the bathroom faucets, and having higher/longer spouts would make them more comfortable for us to use.
But a faucet that’s not an ideal choice is the epitome of a first-world problem. The idea of discarding a brand new piece of gear because it isn’t perfect isn’t our style. And so they stayed, in all their glorious imperfection, for nearly 12 years.
But last year, the kitchen faucet began to drip, and leak around the handle. While we could simply have replaced the cartridge, this was juuuust enough justification to replace it with something more to our taste. Our attitude in this situation is often “If we’re going to spend money, let’s consider spending some extra to get betterment.” And we had gotten over a decade of use out of it.
The fact that Costco so often seems to have just the right thing available didn’t hurt either. We’re not so picky that we require hundreds of choices to find something we like, but Costco stores are usually the other extreme, sometimes offering only one or two styles of a given product. But it never ceases to amaze us how many times they carry exactly what we would have picked out of a much wider selection. Not only did we love the sole kitchen faucet they had on the shelves that day, but it was a fine brand (Hansgrohe) at a great price. No surprise there… this is Costco after all!
So when both of our bathroom faucets recently started dripping at about the same time, it was back to Costco to see if lightning would strike twice. Sure enough, the one style they carried was gorgeous (in our opinions of course), high quality (Hansgrohe again!) and priced extremely well (Costco)! :)
We know that replacing our RV faucets wasn’t all that different than doing the same job in a regular house. So maybe this video will come in handy even if you’re not an RVer. Keep in mind that RVs vary considerably though. Less-expensive rigs tend to use less expensive components, like plastic sinks and faucets for example. So the materials and techniques required will likely vary depending on year, make and type of RV. Fortunately, many RVs don’t require RV-specific faucets. So you can probably choose a higher-quality model designed for regular household use and make it work… maybe with a couple of adapters, like we did.
If you’re confident and handy enough to install a new faucet, keep in mind that some adaptation may be needed, and hopefully you’ll glean enough information from this video to make the job as easy as possible. Let us know how you make out in the comments below!
One last note…. we did realize, after the fact, that we forgot to mention one minor detail. After shutting off the water, but before removing the water lines, you should open a faucet somewhere in the RV to relieve pressure in the system. If you didn’t do that, and got a little wetter than you would have, we’re sorry!
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We purchased our replacement faucets at Costco… one of those “treasure hunt” items where they just happened to have what we wanted when we were at the store. Effectively, any household faucet will work, as long as it fits the hole pattern in your counter.
- HansGrohe Metris Single-Hole Faucet (Chrome)
- Hansgrohe Cento, Steel Optik (Kitchen)
- 3/8″ Compression to 1/2″ MIP Brass Adapter – we needed 2 of these to adapt the 3/8″ compression fittings that came on the new faucet so they’d connect to the 1/2″ plastic fittings on our water supply lines. Check your fittings first to see whether you need these, or other, adapters.
- Pipe Sealant Tape
- Plumber’s Putty – NOTE: standard plumber’s putty can stain porous materials, such as natural stone or plastic. In that case you can use either non-staining plumber’s putty or silicone sealant instead.
- Slip-joint Pliers
- Dremel 4000 – you won’t likely need one of these, but since our under-mount sink had a thick lip around the edge, the mounting hardware for the faucet wouldn’t fit without minor modification, as shown in the video).