RV Water Pressure Regulators
One important item to have when hooking up a popup camper (any kind of RV) to the "city water" connection at a campground is a water pressure regulator. This is a very inexpensive device, but it can prevent very costly repairs.
The water pressure in some campgrounds can be extremely high. If you have ever examined the water hoses inside your camper, you might notice that they look rather flimsy. They generally hold up extremely well. But like many things in a camper, they are designed to be lightweight, in addition to being functional. So they cannot tolerate as much water pressure as the solid pipes in your house. And the water pressure in many campgrounds is much stronger than normal household water pressure!
To prevent damaging your water system and causing costly water damage to your camper, it is imperative to have a water pressure regulator. Fortunately, these are very inexpensive. They are available at WalMart and RV dealers. You can probably find a suitable regulator at a hardware store, but it will probably be more expensive, and you might need to adjust it to the proper pressure (generally, about 45 PSI). Regulators designed for RV's are generally less expensive. This is one of the rare cases where an "RV accessory" is actually cheaper than its counterpart from the hardware store. In many cases, there seems to be a premium price for an "RV part", when a virtually identical object originally intended for some other use is less expensive. But in the case of pressure regulators, the "RV" version is typically less expensive.
These are available in both brass and plastic. The brass ones tend to be of much better quality. Both types work fine in protecting your RV's water system, but the plastic ones have a tendency to drip, which wastes water and can leave your campsite muddy. Here is a brass regulator which is available online, and will be about the same price at most RV dealers:
This regulator is also available at walmart.com . You can order it online, and you also have the option to order online and pick it up at the closest store.
If you're like me, and you very rarely camp at sites with water hookups, then you can probably get by spending a couple of dollars less, and just get the plastic regulator. As long as you're willing to put up with the possibility of a few nuisance drips outside the camper, one of these will be perfectly adequate to protect your RV's water system:
As you can see, either of these regulators simply screws on to the campground's faucet, and you attach your water hose to the regulator. (You could also put the regulator between the hose and the camper, but by attaching it to the outdoor faucet, you also protect your hose from over pressure.)
Canada: If you can't find these regulators locally, they are available on
at the following links:
Speaking of hoses, as you have probably noticed, your camper takes a standard garden hose fitting. And, indeed, you can use a normal garden hose. Many of us grew up drinking from the garden hose with no ill effects. However, garden hoses are not necessarily guaranteed to be free of impurities, and most of them even include a stern warning not to drink from them, notwithstanding our childhood experiences.
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So if you are going to buy a hose, you may as well buy one that's designed for drinking water. Such a hose will probably state that it's an "RV" hose, but more importantly, it will contain language stating that it's suitable for potable water. It's probably best to use such a hose. Granted, the garden hose didn't kill you as a child. However, when you drank from it, you were probably drinking running water. In the case of a hose hooked to your camper, most of the time, the water is just sitting there (probably in the sun), soaking up whatever chemicals or impurities are in the hose.
RV hoses are generally available at reasonable prices, and not much more expensive than an identical-looking garden hose. For example, here are some hoses in various lengths:
These hoses are also available at WalMart: 10 feet , 25 feet , and 50 feet .
One useful item that is both convenient and inexpensive is an "L" adapter for the end of the hose. This will allow the hose to run straight down from your camper's inlet. It makes for a neater installation, and prevents tripping over the hose. An adapter similar to this one should be available at any hardware store, probably for less than the price shown here:
Finally, I haven't ordered one of these yet, but for $3, this gadget will make filling the tank a lot easier:
You could probably put one together yourself with parts from any hardware store, but for $3, you really can't go wrong. Invariably, when filling the tank, I waste water and/or get wet myself one way or another: If I'm standing at the spiggot to turn off the water, the hose invariably falls off the side of the camper. And if I'm standing at the camper holding the hose, then I get sprayed when the tank is full. This gadget seems to solve the problem.