Have you ever wondered if you can replace your RV’s faucets with standard ones for homes? Let us face it. Most of the water fixtures in our motorhomes do not look as elegant and robust as the luxury faucets we install in the house.
Knowing the differences between RV faucets vs home faucets should make it easier for you to decide whether replacing your RV water fixture with a household model is worth it.
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The Anatomy of a Faucet
Determining whether or not residential faucets can work as RV bathroom faucets or RV kitchen taps requires basic knowledge of a faucet’s construction and structure. Regardless of design, a faucet will have the same fundamental components.
This cylindrical component forms the solid base of your faucet. Inside the body is a pipe that delivers water from your plumbing system to the spout.
Vintage faucets only connect to one water supply line. Modern taps convey water from at least two different water pipes supplying either hot or cold water. Some models can also have a third pipe that links to a sprayer. It is similar to an RV kitchen faucet with sprayer.
- Adjusting Ring
An essential component of any faucet system, the adjusting ring serves as a watertight seal between the faucet body and the spout assembly. Most manufacturers use high-grade silicone, although other companies may place other synthetic elastomeric materials.
- Spout Assembly
This faucet component contains several parts that work to control water flow to the spout. It connects with the faucet lever, allowing you to control the volume and the temperature of water coming out of the pipe.
In classic faucets, the spout is a short section that curves downwards. A modern faucet typically has a spout that extends forward and upward at a 15- to a 30-degree angle. The spout connects to the faucet body and conveys water before going out of the aerator.
- Faucet Lever
The lever of vintage faucets requires a twisting motion to operate. On the other hand, modern taps have levers you pull up or push down and slide to the left or right to function.
Push it a little bit down, and you can reduce the water volume coming out of the faucet. Pulling the lever up increases water flow. Turn it left or right, and you get hot or cold water, depending on the arrangement of your plumbing system.
If you have a vintage faucet, you may not see this component. It serves two purposes in the modern tap. First, the aerator filters large particles so that these substances do not end up in your glass, dish, or food.
Second, it smoothens water flow, allowing you to enjoy a steady stream instead of a waterfall-like cascade.
This component forms the base of your faucet. It is a metal plate covering the holes where water pipes pass through to connect with the tap.
RV Faucets vs Home Faucets: What Makes Them Different
If you look at the faucet in your house and motorhome, they look very similar. They have the same fundamental components we described in the preceding section.
Both systems convey water from your house or RV’s plumbing system. Now, this is where the difference lies.
You see, the water in our homes passes through rigid metal or PVC pipes. These fixtures are sturdy, capable of lasting many years. Their connections feature threads or grooves that form a tight seal with your faucet’s inlet ports.
On the other hand, motorhomes feature flexible cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubes that run behind the RV’s wall panels and other spaces. Motorhome manufacturers prefer PEX hoses over conventional metal tubing because it is easier and cheaper to install.
Older RV models may still have the legacy copper tubing, which will have the same connectors and fittings as your standard residential plumbing system.
If your motorhome has PEX tubing, you may have either a compression union fitting or a pipe thread to connect the ends to the faucet.
Hence, the main difference between a residential faucet and an RV tap is their connection to the plumbing system.
Can You Use a Home Faucet in Your RV
You can replace an RV faucet with a residential type of tap. However, it is crucial to check your home faucet’s connectors and compare them with your RV’s plumbing system, including the RV sinks and faucets.
If they are similar, you are in luck. If not, you may have to think of ways to put dissimilar systems together.
One way to do this is by purchasing the correct fittings to join your RV’s water supply line to a residential faucet’s inlet port. If that does not work, you may have to make some modifications to your RV’s plumbing system.
Now, I do not know about you, but I think I am better off buying a faucet designed for RVs, campers, and motorhomes. I find it too tedious and cumbersome to make modifications in my RV for fear I might damage something.
Nevertheless, if you have that indomitable DIYer’s spirit, making the modifications yourself should be a worthwhile activity.
Can You Use Residential Kitchen Faucets in Your Motorhome
It is always possible to use residential kitchen faucets in your camper, provided you have the correct RV faucet adapter.
You can think of it this way. Can you connect a 1-inch pipe to a ¾-inch tube without using a fitting that accepts both sizes of tubing?
This observation is the same when connecting a home kitchen faucet to an RV plumbing system. The faucet’s inlet port diameter can be bigger than the diameter of the RV’s water tube. That is why you will need an adapter to connect two different-sized water fixtures.
There is also the question of whether you have threaded ends or not. If the faucet’s inlet port has grooves, it is a must that the connection fitting you use also has threads to secure the joint.
If the inlet port has a plain surface, a threaded fitting will not work. The same is true with your RV’s plumbing system. Fixtures with plain ends will always require a specific fitting.
Will a Home Shower Faucet Work in a Motorhome
Do you hate using the shower in your RV because you do not like the showerhead? How about the tap in the bathroom sink? Do you feel it does not satisfy your need for an elegant-looking water fixture?
If your answers to these questions are affirmative, you can always replace RV bathroom faucets with a brand, model, and style that suits your taste. You can always check for more elegant-looking faucets and showerheads that complement your RV’s interior décor.
However, you may have to purchase a faucet adapter because of the difference between an RV shower faucet and a residential tap. It would be best to check your motorhome’s plumbing specifications, especially the pipe diameter and types of fittings.
You can then tailor-fit your shopping, considering the physical characteristics of the RV’s plumbing system. It is one of the best ways to ensure correct and watertight connections, freeing you from the hassles of leaks and water damage.
Can You Replace an RV Plumbing System with Home Pipes
If you have been following our discussion closely, you already know by now that anyone can replace their RV plumbing system with residential models. It includes changing the faucets, water sprays, showerheads. And other water fixtures.
But, why would you want to replace these items?
Though we do not have control over what goes into our motorhomes before we buy them, we can install a different water fixture to make our RVing adventures more pleasant.
Water fixtures can also break. Some of us may already feel wary about using the same faucet style in our RVs. Maybe changing the tap with something more familiar will make our RV homier.
There are also those who love replacing their RV water fixtures with residential components because of the wider selection. They can install a posh-looking faucet to make their motorhome stand out.
Whatever your reasons for replacing your RV faucet with a residential unit, it is essential to check the product’s compatibility. If incompatible, you must use the correct faucet adapter to establish and secure the connection.
It would be best to learn your RV’s technical specifications, especially its plumbing system. Note the sizes of the different water fixtures, including the recommended fittings. Your knowledge of these things will make it easier for you to choose the right faucet adapter.
Every motorhome owner must know the difference between RV faucets vs home faucets. It helps you determine whether you can replace your rusty and dull-looking motorhome water fixture with an elegant and more sophisticated residential-type tap.
Design-wise, both faucets have the same components and functions. However, they differ in the way they connect to the plumbing system. Hence, your knowledge of these connecting mechanisms helps ensure the correct replacement of your RV faucet with a home faucet.