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Thread: PEX question

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    Seasoned Camper dryfly's Avatar
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    PEX question

    I need some advice. I've been fortunate that my 2 year old Reflection has no plumbing leaks. After reading all the posts on the leaks at the PEX fittings and flexible tubing junctions, I'm sure it is a matter of time.

    I know one option is to use SharkBite fittings. However, it looks like from a cost standpoint getting the crimp tool and crimp rings may be a lot more economical. What is the best option???

    There are good prices on the tools on Amazon, but I'm sure this is a "get what you pay for" deal. But, if they work, and you are not using them everyday, they may suffice. Kinda like Harbor Freight stuff.
    2020 Reflection 273MK
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    Site Team Ynot4me2's Avatar
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    Either way you go will be good. Sharkbite is easier specially in really tight awkward places which I think you run into a lot. PEX crimper is an investment that you can also use in your home.

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    I had a water leak in my camper that I found to be a PEX line that had rubbed on the frame until it made a hole. After pulling down the underbelly covering, the repair was easy with a connector and crimp tool. I put some split pipe insulation on everything I could reach to help avoid similar damage in the future.

    I have never used a SharkBite connector, but I can see how it would be handy if a crimp tool couldn't be used due to location.
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    Seasoned Camper OurNewEra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dryfly View Post
    I need some advice. I've been fortunate that my 2 year old Reflection has no plumbing leaks. After reading all the posts on the leaks at the PEX fittings and flexible tubing junctions, I'm sure it is a matter of time.

    I know one option is to use SharkBite fittings. However, it looks like from a cost standpoint getting the crimp tool and crimp rings may be a lot more economical. What is the best option???

    There are good prices on the tools on Amazon, but I'm sure this is a "get what you pay for" deal. But, if they work, and you are not using them everyday, they may suffice. Kinda like Harbor Freight stuff.
    I just received this one today from Amazon
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07CC...b_b_asin_title

    Seems to be of good quality. If I were a professional PEX plumber I would definitely purchase a high quality tool. But for a tool I hope I never have to use $33.00 is a good compromise compared to $60.00+ for just crimping pliers.
    Mike & Lisa
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    Big Traveler geotex1's Avatar
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    Sharkbites are great until they are not! First, understand the mass of one of these is much heavier than crimped connections. Going down the road, that matters. You will need to adequately support such for longevity. Second problem with them is that they are actually not designed for low temperature service. They will weep on you because the coefficient of thermal expansion and contraction of the fitting versus PEX is different enough. If you're a chasing 70 kind of camper, it'll never be an issue. If you winter camp, you will get some weep until you get the cabin and basement warmed a bit.
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    Paid my dues 😁 FT4NOW's Avatar
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    If you end up going PEX, the best advice would be to get a one-handed crimp tool. Wish I would have done that initially, now I have 2 PEX crimpers. Some of the tight places are just not possible to hold the PEX, fitting, and use 2 hands to crimp it.

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    Seasoned Camper dryfly's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. Good advice and I think I'll get a crimp tool. I can see why the SharkBite fittings are popular, but I think the conventional route definitely has it's benefits. I'll check on the one hand models, but I think the one OurNewEra linked might be fine for me. Don't know what we did before inter-web RV forums!
    2020 Reflection 273MK
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    Paid my dues 😁 FT4NOW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dryfly View Post
    Thanks everybody. Good advice and I think I'll get a crimp tool. I can see why the SharkBite fittings are popular, but I think the conventional route definitely has it's benefits. I'll check on the one hand models, but I think the one OurNewEra linked might be fine for me. Don't know what we did before inter-web RV forums!
    This is the one i have (the one handed version anyway). Just wanted to show you for reference. Another tip, if you put the end of it on an existing crimped ring, but 90 offset, it will break the existing connection to make the old rings easy to remove. Hope that makes sense, not sure how else to describe it. (This applies to the cinch rings, not the crimp type connectors)Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Big Traveler geotex1's Avatar
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    Couple things to note. PEX can be crimped and it can be cinched. Crimp rings come in two varieties. Cinch rings are all the same functionally, but beware there are some proprietary ones where the cinch head only fits the matching cinch tool. Cinch style is perfectly fine IMO/IME for an RV. Code often requires crimp is brick and mortar applications. If you get a one-handed tool, make sure it's a good one with ratchet-lock handle. There are a few tricks to making perfect crimps and cinches that you will learn with a little experience. Do yourself the service and buy a quality ranching tube cutter as well as the quality of the cut is directly influential to the competency of the connection. Once you have the tool and rings, having a travel kit for the camper a must with some splices, elbows, tees, and caps. Our house is PEX as well so it's actually convenient to have my kit in the rig making it a quick find for home repairs.
    Rob & Nikki + Cloverfield
    2020 Grand Design Solitude S-Class 3350RL
    2015 RAM 3500 Longhorn Laramie Crew Cab, Long Bed, 4x4 Dually Cummins/AISIN

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  10. #10
    Seasoned Camper dryfly's Avatar
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    The cinch clamps would be fine for me. Looks like that is what GD uses. I have no PEX in my house, so would only be used for RV. Being that I would seldom use it, could I get by with the cheaper two handed model? How much effort do the two handed models require to make the cinch?

    There are some cheaper one handed models on Amazon, but don't know how long they would last.
    Last edited by dryfly; 05-19-2021 at 08:13 PM.
    2020 Reflection 273MK
    '05 Dodge 2500 CTD

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