Of course! One is in the house and the other in the house on wheels! Seriously though, with so many people moving into their RV full time, this becomes a valid issue.
At some point, that faucet will need to be replaced, and knowing what differences, if any, there are between “specialty” RV faucets and the normal ones at Home Depot can save you a ton of money.
So, are RV faucets different? Yes, RV kitchen faucets are different. The primary difference between RV faucets and “normal” faucets is that RV faucets are generally made of plastic, rather than metal, to reduce weight.
However, the fact that they are different does not mean they aren’t interchangeable.
Particularly in newer model RVs and travel trailers, the threads are the same in both models, so the units are fully interchangeable or easily adaptable.
This is important because the faucet that came with your RV or travel trailer is probably not what you are going to want to live with long-term.
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How Are RV Kitchen Faucets Different than Home Kitchen Faucets?
As noted previously, the faucet that comes with the RV is generally made of plastic. This is to reduce overall weight in the RV or travel trailer.
The plastic is honestly not only lightweight, but it is a cheap grade, with horrible neutral colors.
It tends to break easily, and there isn’t a woman on the planet that will be happy with looking at it.
Other differences are less cosmetic but could potentially be a problem should you choose to install a replacement.
Some RV or travel trailer manufacturers use specialized fittings on their hoses. These fittings could have a different thread style than your standard or traditional faucet.
To counter that issue, there are adapters available online or in your local hardware store. These adapters are extremely easy to use and surprisingly inexpensive.
The centerpunch, or holes cut out for the faucet and handles, could be different measurements than the traditional faucet requires.
This is particularly true of older model units. There is no simple fix for this except to (a) cut new holes or (b) replace the sink.
This really isn’t a huge deal, but you do need to be aware that every little bit of unnecessary weight added to your unit decreases your gas mileage and increases wear and tar on the unit.
In this case, you’re talking about less than a pound of weight difference.
The simple plastics utilized in the manufacture of RV kitchen faucets are not designed to stand up to everyday, regular use. In fact, you’ll be lucky to last a year with those RV faucets.
Some RV or travel trailer manufacturers use smaller diameter pipes and tubing in the plumbing to save space and reduce water pressure necessary to support the unit.
Smaller diameters result in different fitting types and different threading requirements.
Installing an RV Kitchen Faucet Replacement >> Check out the video below:
How to Install a Traditional Kitchen Faucet in Your RV or Travel Trailer.
If you’ve decided to go ahead and replace that cheap, tacky RV faucet, first of all, …good for you. Secondly, it usually isn’t challenging.
Of course, you can have a professional do the installation for you. You’ll spend more, but you will also know the job is correctly done.
Assuming you’re more of a DIY sort of person (and most RVers are), you’ll want to do this installation yourself.
There are 2 different sets of instructions, depending on your plumbing and the fittings involved.
Home Plumbing Fittings
If your plumbing has traditional style fittings, Doityourselfrv.com offers the following step by step instructions for replacing that old RV faucet with a shiny new traditional metal kitchen faucet.
Remove the old faucet
First, turn off the water to your unit. It seems obvious, but you never can tell.
Second, run the water through the sink faucet until water no longer flows to try to empty any residual water in the plumbing.
Then, crawl into that HUGE space under your sink and disconnect the fittings from the existing plumbing.
You may want to have a bucket or towel available to catch any mess. Finally, come back to the top of the sink and remove the faucet.
Clean and Prep
You’ll want to clean the area thoroughly, removing all residual putty, adhesive, and any other gunk.
You want a nice, clean surface to place that nice new faucet on/in.
Prepping involves applying either pipe dope or plumber’s tape to the threads on the new faucet you are installing.
Pipe dope or plumber’s tape are both designed to make for a tighter connection and reduce the risk of leaks, even over time.
Both are inexpensive and available at the local hardware store or any big box store.
You’ll also want to apply a little caulk or putty to the sink surface around the cutout holes where you’re going to place the new faucet.
Place the new faucet in place in the caulk or putty, with the threaded piping from the handles going through the appropriate cutout holes.
This should place your faucet itself directly where you want it to be.
Now you’ll need to crawl under the sink and connect the fittings to the plumbing pipes or tubing.
Make sure the connections are snug and tight, but don’t overtighten. Overtightening can actually increase the risk of developing a leak later down the road.
Let your plumber’s tape or pipe dope do the job for you.
Check for Leaks
This is the moment of truth. SLOWLY turn on the water, watching under the sink for tell-tale signs of leaks.
Assuming everything has gone correctly, you’ll be bone dry and smiling ear to ear.
If leaks appear, turn the water back off and try the connection again until the leaks no longer occur.
Related reading: 15 Effective Ways to Stop Condensation in Travel Trailers or RV
You can even wipe each connector with a paper towel to check for slow, not quite visible to the eye leaks that can occur.
Non-Traditional (RV) Plumbing Fittings
If your plumbing is smaller diameter than traditional, then your fittings are not going to match up. The directions are slightly different, so let’s go over them together.
RVHomeTown.com offers the following steps to installing a traditional faucet in a unit with RV plumbing. That means you’ll need to utilize some adapters to make the threading fit properly.
- Remove the faucet. The steps involved here are identical to those listed in the instructions above.
- Clean and prep. Again, these instructions are the same as listed previously.
- Installation. This is where the difference begins. Place the faucet over the holes, with the threaded handle fittings poking through the holes as previously discussed. You will secure the faucet to the sink using the provided attachment nuts, which are standard.
Next, attach a straight connector from your input tubing first. Plumber’s tape works well to reduce leaking in this area.
Use two wrenches to attach the straight connectors to both the hot and the cold-water input tubes/pipes.
Now, connect the straight connectors to the threaded fittings on the faucet.
Again, you probably want some plumber’s tape on those threads to allow for appropriate tightening and to reduce leaks.
Check for Leaks. Follow the instructions in this step previously outlined.
What Are The Different Types of RV Faucets?
What are the different types of RV faucets? The main types of RV faucets are pull down and pull out. Essentially, these are the same as your standard kitchen faucets in a standard brick and mortar house.
Generally, they are lightweight, very reliable, and wonderfully easy to clean. However, if you purchased a cheaper RV, the faucets will be different from a regular house. Why? Because they tend to be made of less expensive materials (like plastic).
You can buy any kitchen faucet to fit into your camper. All you need to do is find out whether you have a single or double holed construction.
Then, buy a faucet that definitely fits, and away you go!
Of course, there are different models for showers. Although, they are largely the same as the version you find in brick and mortar houses too.
We suggest you get one that increases the water pressure — nothing worse than a weak stream after all.
Which Is Better? Pulldown or Pull Out Kitchen Faucet?
To tell you the truth, there is no “better” faucet. It is all down to personal preference. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each one so you can make a well-informed decision.
Pull Out Kitchen Faucets — The Pros
- There is a longer hose. Why should this matter? Well, it means that you can easily fill big pots and pans without struggling or spraying water all over your sink.
- Less splash-back. Since the spray head is far more flexible, you can minimize splash-back effectively.
- Great for small spaces. The spouts on the pull out models are shorter so it saves space which is incredibly helpful in an RV.
Pull Out Kitchen Faucets — The Cons
- Can’t fill tall objects. Well, they can but it’s not ideal.
- Can be inconvenient. If you have larger hands, they are rather awkward to hold.
Pull Down Kitchen Faucets — The Pros
- Common. There are more designs and finishes to choose from as they are widely used.
- Great for deep sinks.
- Very ergonomic. Since only one motion is needed, the operation is fluid.
- No kinks experienced. There isn’t a long hose that can be pulled in different directions so there’s less chance of something going wrong.
Pull Down Kitchen Fauces — The Cons
- Not great for saving space. You need a deep sink and a fair amount of room above it.
- Lose water pressure. Depending on the quality of the model, you’ll lose some water pressure with these.
Top 3 Best Kitchen Pull Down Faucet?
There is an insane number of pull down faucets available on the market.
We have three best pull down kitchen faucet to recommend you today which will hopefully make your search a lot easier:
1. Delta 9178T-DST Leland Pull Down
This one is wonderfully sleek while maintaining a very affordable price. You can choose between 1- and 3-hole mounting depending on the design of your camper.
Plus, it makes use of innovative touch-tech to ensure a great user experience.
2. Moen Arbor 7594E Pull Down
If you love a brushed chrome finish, the Moen Arbor 7594E is about to become your new best friend.
Aside from aesthetics, this model promises to be spot resistant and is also compatible with both 1- or 3-hole mounting.
3. Kraus KPF-1650SS Nola Kitchen Faucet
For those of you who like the commercial pull down design, the Kraus Noal is the one for you.
It is relatively inexpensive and incredibly sturdy, making it suitable for super long-term use.
How Long Do Kitchen Faucets Last?
How long do kitchen faucets last? Generally speaking, kitchen faucets last between 15 to 20 years easily. Having said that, it does depend on a variety of factors, including the following:
- The make of the faucet
- The model of the faucet
- How often you use it
- How well it was installed
- The quality of the water
- The hardness of the water
- How often you or a plumber maintains the pipes and systems
The only reason to really replace your kitchen faucet in your RV is simply for aesthetic appeal. Obviously, you are going to want to match the design to the rest of your kitchen space. However, few practical factors come into play when considering whether you should replace your young faucet:
- Chipped or damaged
- Worn out or corroded (this makes repairs hard)
- You’re replacing the kitchen sink
- You are replacing the bolts, nuts, aerators, or washers but that doesn’t fix the issues
- The repairs will cost more than replacing it
How Much Does a Good Kitchen Faucet Cost?
How much does a good kitchen faucet cost? Faucets on the low end of the kitchen faucet range will cost you anywhere from $150 to $300. In the middle of the spectrum, you should expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 for your kitchen faucet. Finally, at the high-end, you will have to spend roughly $1,500 or more.
We understand that this seems rather expensive, but we want to give you the full range of prices.
You will find that you get lots of customization options if you are willing to break the bank a little bit. Not to mention that the quality of the finish will improve too.
To be honest with you, it depends on how you define a “good” kitchen faucet. There are a few contributing factors that you need to consider like how you plan to use it, how you want it to look and your budget.
Do I Need a Plumber to Replace Kitchen Faucet?
In a word, nope! You don’t need to hire a plumber to come in and replace your kitchen faucet in your RV. To prove it, here’s a little step-by-step guide on how to DIY it:
- Shut off the water in your camper. Usually, you have to turn two valves.
- Switch the faucet on. No water should come out (except residual droplets).
- Use a wrench to disconnect the supply lines.
- Take off the faucet. Just remove the retaining nuts to do this.
- Fit the bracket for the new faucet.
- Run supply lines and threaded rods of the new faucet through the holes in your counter. Then tighten.
- Connect the water supply.
- Slowly turn the water back on.
What Are The Different Types of RV Sinks
There are three main types of RV sinks. Let’s look at each one in turn (you’ll be an expert in no time):
1. Plastic Sinks
This is the least resistant version. However, they are usually cheaper than the other two we’re going to mention.
2. Acrylic Sinks
Unlike plastic versions, acrylic sinks are shatterproof. They tend to be inexpensive and durable so purchasing one is a win-win situation.
3. Stainless Steel Sinks
These are both pretty and the toughest. What more could you really want? (Just remember that you will be paying the price for this though!)
What Are RV Sinks Made Of?
As you can already gather, we have answered this question above. But, let’s just run through the specifics again.
Plastic RV sinks are the least durable but they can look rather swish if you place them in a modern countertop.
Acrylic ones are almost the same but a little bit more expensive (you’re paying for the durability).
Finally, stainless steel are the ones that will keep your kitchen/bathroom running smoothly and looking oh-so-good!
It used to be you had to have specialty everything for your RV or travel trailer due to its unique construction and size limitations.
With the rise of full-time living in these units, manufacturers are making it easier and easier to adapt your “home on wheels” into your dream home that just happens to have wheels.
Modifying your home to make it more comfortable and user friendly is one sure way of having a happier and more comfortable RV lifestyle.
See you on the road!
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