After about 11 years in our Newmar Mountain Aire, we noticed a leak around the handle of our RV’s kitchen faucet. We could have just replaced the cartridge, but we never really liked the design or finish of that faucet anyway, so we decided on a complete RV faucet replacement.
Our motorhome came with perfectly nice Delta residential-style faucets, but they just weren’t our style. And when it comes to RV-specific gear, we aren’t fans of the typical RV faucets that feature plastic construction. So, although places like Camping World carry replacement double or single-lever faucets for RVs, we decided to check out regular household faucets. Being long-time Costco members, we thought we’d take a look to see if they had anything we liked.
We struck gold, finding a beautiful brushed nickel Hansgrohe model that we really liked at an excellent price. Not surprisingly, their high quality impressed us, but again, it wasn’t an RV faucet. We knew that replacing an RV sink faucet wasn’t all that different from doing the same job in a regular house, and most RVs don’t require RV-specific faucets.
So, we decided to go with the higher quality residential faucet designed for use in a typical stick & bricks house for our RV kitchen faucet replacement. We easily made it all work with the addition of a couple of brass adapters we picked up in the plumbing section of a local home improvement store.
We were so pleased with the results that we followed up by replacing both of our single-handle RV bathroom faucets. We again went with Hansgrohe faucets, this time chrome plated. Our RV bathroom faucet replacement worked just as well as the one in our kitchen.
While RV faucet replacement isn’t necessarily much different than the same project in a regular house, the following steps and video from our main bathroom sink faucet replacement can help you comfortably upgrade your rig the same way we did. Keep in mind that the exact steps needed for just about any RV upgrade vary by RV brand and type.
RV Faucet Replacement: A Step-By-Step Tutorial
- 1.1) Choose a Replacement Faucet
- 1.2) Collect the Tools You’ll Need For the Project
- 1.3) Shut Off the Water Supply
- 1.4) Open a Faucet
- 1.5) Disconnect the Old Plumbing
- 1.6) Remove the P-Trap
- 1.7) Remove the Drain Stopper
- 1.8) Remove the Sink Drain
- 1.9) Remove the Stopper Rod
- 1.10) Unclamp the Faucet From the Counter
- 1.11) Remove the Hot and Cold Water Supply Lines and Remove the Old Faucet
- 1.12) Feed the New Water Lines, Faucet, and Stopper Rod Through the Hole(s)
- 1.13) Secure the New Faucet Into Place
- 1.14) Connect the Hot and Cold Water Lines
- 1.15) Install the New Drain Pipe and Sink Drain
- 2) Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews & Giveaways
RV Faucet Replacement: A Step-By-Step Tutorial
Some RV plumbing systems can be a little different than those in a house. So, we’re laying out a step-by-step tutorial showing exactly how we did the job using a top-quality household replacement faucet and a couple of adapters to make it compatible with our rig’s plumbing connections.
Choose a Replacement Faucet
When choosing a replacement faucet for your RV, the most important thing to remember is that you’ll need to match the number and placement of holes in the countertop. Most bathroom sinks have either one or three holes, which are most often set 4″ apart, although 8 inches is possible but likely very rare in RVs.
If you have three holes with a 4″ separation like ours did, newer single-hole faucets usually come with a decorative plate designed to cover the two unused holes and still look nice. As you can see in our photos and video below, that’s the exact situation we had.
In the kitchen, your faucet may use a single hole, or it could have three (hot & cold water handles, plus the faucet). It could even have four (hot, cold, faucet, and separate spray handle). You’ll also need to measure the spacing between them. Again, multi-hole faucets generally have 4″ or 8″ spacing between them, with 8″ being very rare (or even non-existent) in RVs.
You should be able to use just about any residential faucet that’s compatible with the existing holes in your countertop. If your RV came with a single-hole/single-handle faucet, and you’d prefer one with separate handles, you can also drill additional holes in your countertop. Just be sure to check for any obstacles under the sink before buying your new faucet, and before drilling.
Finally, you may need adapters because not all RV plumbing is the same size as household plumbing. In our video below, you can see that exact situation on our rig. We suggest taking pictures and measurements of what’s under your RV’s sink. You should then be able to match up the correct adapters to connect the faucet’s water lines to the RV’s lines.
You can find replacement RV kitchen faucet replacements at Dyer’s Online, or residential models at hardware and home improvement stores and sometimes at places like Costco, as we did. And, of course, there are plenty of options online.
Note that if you’re interested in Hansgrohe replacement faucets for kitchen and/or bathroom sinks, Costco may be hit-or-miss, but Amazon carries Hansgrohe products regularly. They’re not the lowest-priced faucets you’ll find, but they’re very high quality, provide excellent water pressure, they’re durable, and look great. We think they’re the perfect value, combining excellent quality, nice style, and reasonable price.
- German design and engineering delivers optimal performance for all of your kitchen faucet needs
- With the pull-out spout’s extended range, 150-degree swivel spout and two spray modes, kitchen tasks have never been so easy
- SUPERIOR DESIGN: German design and engineering delivers optimal performance for all of your bath faucet needs
- FLEXIBLE CONFIGURATION: This is a single-hole faucet that can also be installed over existing 3-hole counter configurations (baseplate sold...
Collect the Tools You’ll Need For the Project
Below are the tools we used for our RV faucet replacement project. Again, things vary on different types of RV, so you may not need all of these, or you may need additional tools that we didn’t. Here’s our list, which should be pretty close to yours:
- Crescent wrench
- 7/8 open-end wrench
- 5/8 open-end wrench
- Phillip’s screwdriver
- Flat blade screwdriver
- Slip joint pliers
- 7/16 deep drive socket wrench
- Teflon pipe sealant tape
- Plumber’s putty
- Two 3/8″ to 1/2″ brass adapters
Note that we needed to make a minor modification for our project that required the use of our Dremel tool, but it’s unlikely that you’ll need to make a similar modification. Remember, though, that RV plumbing and construction vary, so there may be differences you’ll need to account for as you do your project.
Shut Off the Water Supply
Turn off the water supply. Make sure your RV is disconnected from city water and your RV water pump is off.
Open a Faucet
Before removing the water lines, open a faucet somewhere in the RV to relieve pressure in the system.
Disconnect the Old Plumbing
Disconnect both of the faucet’s water lines, hot and cold, from the RV’s PEX plumbing lines. Depending on the old faucet’s age and brand, it may have either flexible or copper lines. These connections are often designed to be tightened and loosened by hand, so no tools may be needed. This was the case in our RV. Then remove the old sink drain and stopper, which you’ll be replacing with the ones included with your new faucet.
Remove the P-Trap
Put a bucket or bowl under the sink to collect water and remove the p-trap. You should be able to loosen the connections by hand and slide the p-trap right out. Pour the remaining water out of the p-trap, and remove the plastic nut from the drain pipe.
Remove the Drain Stopper
Unscrew the retaining nut from the pop-up stopper assembly and remove the horizontal rod from the drain pipe.
Unscrew the lower section of the drain pipe, then push the stopper upward and lift it out of the sink.
Remove the Sink Drain
Using the slip joint pliers, loosen the large nut on the bottom of the sink.
If the drain pipe starts to spin while you’re unscrewing the nut from the bottom, you can use another pair of pliers with rubberized handles to hold it in place. This will prevent it from rotating without damaging the finish.
Remove the drain nut, washer, and rubber gasket from under the sink. Push up on the drain and remove it from the sink. Using a rag, Q-tips, and/or an old toothbrush, use some household cleaner or vinegar to thoroughly clean around the drain opening. After more than a decade of frequent boondocking, the minimal water use left this hidden spot in our rig pretty disgusting! But, as shown in the video, we took this opportunity to make it sparkle like brand new.
Remove the Stopper Rod
Loosen the bolt on the vertical stopper control rod under the sink and remove it. Then, pull the rod straight up and out of the back of the faucet.
Unclamp the Faucet From the Counter
This is one area where the method that manufacturers use to secure faucets in place can vary widely. We’ll show you ours, of course, and you’ll see that our old and new faucets are completely different from each other. To remove our old faucet, we used a deep socket to loosen and remove the nuts which secure flat metal plates in place. Those plates clamp to the underside of the counter to hold each side of the faucet securely.
Remove the Hot and Cold Water Supply Lines and Remove the Old Faucet
Loosen and remove the hot and cold water supply lines. This step can usually be done by hand, as the connections are designed to be made without tools. Lift the faucet up and away from the sink, and then clean the area thoroughly.
Feed the New Water Lines, Faucet, and Stopper Rod Through the Hole(s)
Make any needed adjustments to the openings in the counter. For example, when we replaced our original three-hole faucet with a new one that required only a single hole, we used the included gasket and decorative plate to cover the two holes that would no longer be needed. If your old faucet is single-hole, and your new faucet requires three, you’ll need to drill two more openings using a cordless drill and a hole saw. There’s likely a template included with your new faucet that will make it easy to line them up with the original opening.
Once the correct hole pattern is set, feed the new water lines, faucet, and stopper rod through the hole(s) down into the area under the sink.
Secure the New Faucet Into Place
Again, the method used to secure the faucet into place can vary a lot by brand and style. Here’s how ours was done.
Working under the sink, we slid both rubber and metal washers, followed by the retaining nut, over the water lines. Then all three slid over the stopper rod, up to the underside of the counter. We then threaded the retaining nut loosely up to the underside of the counter.
Note: If the washers and retaining nut won’t fit snugly up to the underside of the counter, you may need to adapt a bit. When we installed our new bathroom faucet, we ran into that situation because our sink was an under-mount type with a lip that got in the way of the large retaining nut. We used our Dremel tool to create a small indentation at the edge of the Corian. That allowed the washers and retaining nut to spin into place.
Make sure the faucet is perfectly aligned and straight, and then tighten the retaining nut securely from below. You’ll likely need a helper above the counter to hold the faucet firmly in place while you tighten the nut from below.
Connect the Hot and Cold Water Lines
Depending on your RV plumbing, you may or may not need to use adapters for this step. In our case, for example, we had to connect adapters to the hot and cold water lines to attach the new fittings to the larger RV plumbing connections. This is where a photo and measurements of the original faucet and the RV’s plumbing connections are really helpful as you peruse options in the plumbing aisle.
Connect the faucet fittings (with or without adapters as needed) to your RV’s plumbing. Be sure to connect the hot and cold lines to the correct sides. If you’re using adapters, use your open-end wrenches to tighten them snugly to the faucet fittings. If no adapters are needed, you may be able to hand-tighten the fittings. Be sure to use Teflon plumber’s tape if the fittings aren’t sealed with O-rings.
Install the New Drain Pipe and Sink Drain
As needed for your particular faucet, dismantle the drain pipe that came with it. Apply 4-5 wrappings of plumber’s tape to the inner threads. (Be sure to apply the tape in the same direction as the threads so that reassembling the parts won’t unwrap the tape.) Reassemble the lower part of the drain pipe and hand-tighten it.
Remove the nut, washer, and gasket from the new sink drain, and place the drain down into the sink’s drain opening. Working under the sink, pull downward on the new drain and use a Sharpie to mark a horizontal line on the threads right where the pipe comes down below the sink. Now remove the drain.
Wrap 7-8 turns of plumber’s tape around the drain pipe directly over the line you drew. This is done to prevent leaks from the drain pipe, as it creates a nice flat surface for the gasket to seal against.
Take a chunk of the plumber’s putty and use your hands to roll it into a cylindrical shape. Wrap the putty around the rim of the drain and press it into place. Make sure it’s formed into a single continuous, unbroken circle around the rim of the drain.
Place the new drain into the hole at the rear of the sink and apply gentle pressure to keep it in place while you’re installing the gasket from under the sink. Again, a helper may be useful here. Slide the nylon washer up against the gasket, then install the large lock nut.
Before tightening the drain into place, reattach the lower portion of the drain to the upper section and hand-tighten. No pipe tape should be needed here, as there’s usually an internal gasket in place. If not, then pipe tape will likely be needed.
Rotate the entire assembly so that the opening for the stopper control rod faces directly toward the back wall of the cabinet. Hold the pipe with one hand while using your slip joint pliers to tighten the lock nut. Now that the drain is tightened firmly into place, you can pull away the excess plumber’s putty and clean up around the sink drain.
Align the stopper so that the hole in the bottom faces straight back, and place it into the drain. Insert the horizontal rod into the drain and finger-tighten the retaining nut. Try moving the rod up and down to make sure it opens and closes the drain accordingly.
Connect the vertical stopper control rod to the horizontal rod. Test to make sure it opens and closes the drain completely. Adjust the rod as needed. Slide the lock nut over the drain pipe and put the p-trap back into place. Hand-tighten both nuts.
Remove the aerator screen from the front of the faucet to prevent any debris from clogging the screen. Turn the city water or water pump back on and check for leaks. Then, run warm water through the faucet to allow water to run through both lines. Let the water run at high pressure for about 20-30 seconds.
Look under the sink to check both incoming water lines and the drain pipes for leaks. If no leaks are found, re-install the aerator. Turn on the hot water, and then the cold water, making sure the lines weren’t mixed up during installation.
For a step-by-step visual tutorial, have a look at the video we made during the installation of the new faucet in our main bathroom sink:
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