Uh Oh.... Our First Leak!
by: Greg Lawson
Linda encouraged me to do a guest blog on Minnie Notes about some repairs I needed to make to our Minnie. If you own an RV, you will have repairs… that is a given. If you can make them yourself you will save a lot of money and trips to your dealer, even if it is under warranty as in our case. I grew up on a small farm where if something needed fixing or building you fixed it or built it yourself. My father was a plumber/pipe-fitter for General Motors and I was a lineman for 36 years. Repairing things like carpentry, electrical/mechanical problems, or plumbing, is something that is normal for me.
On our second trip out after we purchased our Minnie we noticed small water puddles under the shower base and on the bathroom floor. I removed the shower base access panel and checked the drain connections and P trap and inspected them for leaks. Then I checked the tightness of the connections on the trap and felt the insulation underneath and it felt dry. After that I reached a little further back to the main drain and felt water on the floor. This is also where the shower and sink faucet feed lines are routed. I was a little discouraged because taking the trailer in for warranty work is a hassle. It’s a 45 minute drive one way and you usually have to leave it. We also had a 2 week long trip planned in just 3 weeks.
The next morning before we headed home, Linda called our dealer Kevin at Wilmington RV (yes he is the owner and answered the phone) to set up a time to have them look it over. After talking to Kevin for a minute she hands me the phone to explain the problem in more detail. On the day we picked up our Minnie and while our salesman Matt was taking care of some paperwork, I met Kevin. We talked for a bit and he learned then that I like to work with my hands. While on the phone he said he thinks the leak is most likely the connections to the shower faucet. He said he has seen it 3 or 4 times and that the lines are solid all the way to that connection. He said I could fix it and if I still had problems to bring the Minnie to them. I really appreciated his willingness to share his expertise and to offer suggestions on this fix.
I documented the repair below just to provide information to anyone else that may run into this same problem.
First make sure the water pump is off or City Water is disconnected.
- Small channel lock pliers or small rubber strap wrench to remove shower hose
- Utility knife
- Square drive screw driver
- Almond colored silicone caulk for bath or shower
Remove access panel
Remove shower hose from faucet.
I could not get this loose by hand so I used small channel lock pliers and a silicone pot holder that was in the camper to protect the finish from the channel locks teeth. It just needed about a 1/2 turn to start to loosen by hand.
Use the utility knife to core the silicone all the way around the faucet access panel.
Be careful and use light pressure so the knife doesn’t slip and mar your shower.
Remove the silicone. I was able to just peel it off.
Remove the screws from the faucet access panel with the square drive screwdriver.
Pull the faucet out enough to retighten the hot and cold connectors. Mine were a little loose. I also re-tightened the 2 wing type plastic nuts that mount the faucet to the panel.
Re-attach the shower hose temporarily (hand tight) and turn on the water pump. Run some water down the drain and inspect for leaks. Check for leaks under the shower floor using the bottom access. Once you are satisfied it is not leaking anymore, turn off the water and remove the hose again.
Clean off any old excess caulk.
Re-attach the faucet to the shower with the screws.
Use the Silicone caulk and re-seal around the access panel.
Re-attach the hose and the lower access panel.
For Minnie owners, this is a 2401RG. The hoses for the shower are one piece and run along the floor in the backside of the shower and directly up to the shower faucet. The bath sink also runs along this path all the way around to the sink faucet.