Thoughts of relaxing off the grid in an RV with loved ones are truly satisfying, and spicing things up a little bit like renovating your camp van and adding a few fine touches here and there pops up occasionally.
RV sinks are among the lists of things that usually get a few modifications. Other times it’s adding a new one or downgrading the one you have just to suit your needs. Whatever it is, we have tailored this article on how to select a suitable RV sink for you and how to install one by yourself.
NOTE; Skipping to the last part of the article is advised for the method of installation; but if you don’t mind the extra vital details. Let’s get to it
RV SINKS, TYPES AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
They are similar to your home sinks, as they are used for washing your face, dishes, hands and mouth. But, they are usually lighter and thinner. Plus, they come in different sizes and patterns.
Choosing one depends on the size of your RV kitchen shelf and the size of the RV itself. Usually the ones found in any kind of RV are modeled after the size of the RV.
RV sinks also come with a spout/shower faucet for running fresh water. And underneath their counter-tops which are usually made of fine wood, you have their drainage system. There you can find the holding tanks, flexing tubes, p-traps etc.
So, before making those RV sink modifications, we want to show you how to select just the right one for you. And to do that, we are going to show you through the different types of RVs. Once you get to know which one you own, you’d be able to select the right sink for yourself.
Types of RVs
With more trips made every day, and families expanding, manufacturers have continued to churn out different RV sizes to meet demands.
We have Class A RVs. This is comfort in itself. It is the RV of all RVs. The one many campers save up for. Class A RVs are the largest recreational vehicles running the roads. They can stretch over 45ft in length. This translates to how spacious they are.
Next, is the Class B RVs. If you are a rookie or a freshman when it comes to RVing, it’s easy to think Class B RVs are next in size after Class A RVs. I mean who wouldn’t. They are alphabets and they are in order right? No.
Class B RVs are a little “RV-like and van-like”. They are in between.
Now, there’s the Class C RVs. These are medium-sized RVs. And stretch as far as 20 to 40 feet in length.
Trailers on one end are also considered to be as big as Class A RVs.
Types of RV sinks
RV sinks are made of different materials. Understanding which one suits you will help you choose the right RV sink for you camper van.
So, before going to your RV store for a new RV sink or installing an RV sink by DIYing, here are some questions you should ask yourself first.
- Do you have a budget?
- Is the size of the RV sink in the RV a bother and needs to be changed?
- Is it suitable for the kind of camp environment?
- Are you okay with the material? Do you feel you are better off using something a little better?
- Does it have a shower faucet? Or a spout faucet
- Are the sinks easily stained? Or are they discolored?
- Is the water pressure okay?
- Do you want to have another sink installed?
We are sure if you can answer these questions then you can confidently make a decision about upgrading your RV kitchen or toilet sink.
Typically, there are three kinds of RV sinks based on what they are made off. They are Stainless steel RV sinks, Acrylic RV sinks, and Plastic RV sinks.
Plastic RV sinks are the most commonly used of the three. This is not surprising given how cheap they are. They can easily fit into any kind of budget. One of its downsides is its susceptibility to scratch and stains.
Stainless steel and acrylic sinks are more durable but are pricier.
We have briefly explained their pros and cons below.
Acrylic RV sinks
Without a close-up look, these sinks could be mistaken for plastic RV sinks. They are made from the material acrylic which is transparent in nature with incredible strength, stiffness and outstanding weathering ability.
This makes it more superior than plastic. RV sinks made from acrylic are more durable compared to plastic. However, it has its drawback. They can also crack and break like plastic RV sinks. But they make a good choice if well maintained. They also come in various shapes and colors.
Stainless RV sinks
Stainless RV sinks are arguably the most durable and best RV sinks for campers van. Just running your hands over their smooth surface says how appealing they are. They are scratch-resistant and are very easy to wipe when stained with oils compared to plastics and acrylic. If there was any drawbacks concerning this material it would be price. Stainless steel RV sinks are expensive.
Plastic RV sinks
Most RVs have plastic sinks installed in them. Although this seems okay, rv sinks made out of plastic just do not last. They are the least durable. They are susceptible to cracks, tears, marks and can break easily if mishandled. However, they are very cheap which make installation very easy.
With this in hand, we are sure you will make a right pick for yourself. Installing any of these can be a little tricky if you have no idea about how the plumbing in rv sinks work.
We have arranged a step-by-step guide on how to install an rv sink. Whether you are thinking of upgrading your sink or adding just one extra for your family, the steps are the same.
HOW TO INSTALL AN RV SINK WITH AN ELECTRIC WATER PUMP
Below are the things you need. You can find them in your RV local store.
- RV bar sink (circular or rectangular)
- Sink table top (optional)
- Bar sink strainer
- Spout/shower faucet (single handle)
- Bar sink drain hose
- Plumber pudding or sealant
- Electric water pump
If you already have a sink installed that’s fine. However, if you are thinking of installing another, by yourself, we will take you right through the process. These steps will guide you on how to do just that.
- Choose a suitable location to put your RV sink. Once that is done. You can check it off your list. Make sure it’s placed at a spot easily accessible and less obstructive to movement.
- To hold your sink up properly, you’d need a sink table top. You can use a tall rectangular shelf. Or a block table.
- Get your sink bowl (RV sink); whether it’s circular or rectangular, to the top area of your table. Turn it upside down.
- Use a marker or a chalk to draw the external outlines of the sink on the table (right exactly where you’d like to have them placed). With this you get to know the dimensions of the sink. Otherwise, you can check the sinks manual for help.
- Measure the distance between the final edge of the sink and the tracks under the sink. The tracks are two narrowly spaced grooves right pointing downwards from under the flat pan of the sink.
- Take down the distance (width) between them.
- With that distance in mind, use a ruler, place it on the outlines on the counter-top and draw the width from the tracks to the line on the counter-top. That should be the distance between the tracks and the edges of your sink
- Mark out four spots on these lines. In this sense the marks should be on the smaller inner outlines. Connect all four spots.
- On your table counter-top, drill four holes on the edge where the inner outlines meet if it’s a rectangular sink. If you are using a circular sink bowl, a few holes of about 6 at different points on the inner lines you traced earlier are enough.
- Stick your jigsaw into one of the drilled holes to make the cut along the outlines. When done, the cut out part should fall off easily revealing a rectangular or circular hole that fits the sink.
- Stick your sink into the hole. It should sit perfectly with the wings on the counter-top.
- With that done, turn then sink upside down and apply plumber pudding or sealant around the perimeter of the sink. This is done to prevent water from snaking beneath the sink especially dirty splashes and spills on the counter-top. Aside that, it also help to secure the sink in place.
- Put you sink into the hole.
- Sinks come with sink clips which are used to hold the sink to your counter-top. Slide each sink clip between those two narrow spaces, covering the perimeter of the sink. While sliding, choose a spot you want to have the sink clips clipped to under your counter-top. Turn the toothed side of each sink clip so it is directly under your counter-top and then screw it tight. You will find a very slim mouth for a flat head screw driver to fit in.
- Trace the outlines for the spout faucet. Then, cut them open.
- Apply the plumbers pudding around the perimeter of the spout, before installing them in the cut out.
- Since the RV sink has a perfectly cut out hole for the sink strainer that make the job easier for putting the strainer in the sink.
- Wound the strainer with a strainer nut to keep it sturdy.
- Attach your bar sink drain hose. This should cover the strainer.
- Slip in the lock nut. And tighten the drain hose by turning the nut clock-wise using a monkey wrench.
- The water pipe from your single spout/shower faucet should be hooked straight to the opening in your RV electric water pump takes water to your sink. Your electric pump has two openings. One takes water to your sink, the other draws water out of your fresh water tank.
- Connect the drain hose from your fresh water tank to the other end of your electric pump.
- Take the wire of your electric pump and have them attached to a battery that can feed it.
The electric pump operates on demand. First, set the pressure meter. When that is done, and it’s turned on, it draws water from the fresh water tank at the set pressure, through it, to the hose leading to your faucet.
When you turn or thumb down the faucet lever, you get water. Do the opposite and the water stops. But that doesn’t mean there is no water in your pipe. As long as your electric pump is switch on, there is always water in your pipe.
Note: Your electric pump and holding tanks, and table should be properly and tightly secured to prevent them from slipping or falling off.
Tip: Instead of using the regular hose line for water, you can use a Flex line. Flex lines help to tamp down the noise made by the RV electric water pump.
INSTALLING A RV SINK WITHOUT AN ELECTRIC PUMP OR A SPOUT/SHOWER FAUCET
If you are looking on installing a sink without a pump and a spout/shower faucet, it is pretty much not as complicated as doing it with an electric pump.
- Replace the pump with a clear water container that has a tap or faucet. This contains your fresh water.
- Basically the steps are the same as installing a RV sink with an electric pump. Only in this case you won’t have any need for one.
- Get a collapsible water container with tap about 7.5 liters depending on the size you want.
- Get a water container holder to prevent the collapsible water container from slipping off or you can simply make one yourself using plywood.
- Place the water holder carrying the water container on the counter-top. Secure the water container holder with screws or clamps to prevent it from falling when taking a bend or can’t dodge the pot holes.
- Your sink drain hose remains connected to the gray tank. And that’s that.
Knowing the basics about how a sink works as an RVer will save you some bucks when it needs to be repaired or upgraded.
With the steps above, you can have a RV sink installed by yourself without calling a professional. However, if things get a little complicated under there, don’t hesitate to contact one.