Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Thirty seconds after washing my very first dirty dish in the alpha RV sink setup, the windshield washer pump motor burned out.

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I started with this cabinet I found on the side of the street.

I scored this sweet stainless bar sink from Home Depot for half price because it was out of the package and missing parts.

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I cut a hole for the sink using several different tools. The right side was so thin that it got damaged and I had to replace it.

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I needed a different p-trap and drain setup than in the yurt, so I bought the parts at Home Depot. The flow rate of this setup is too low to use a normal P-trap, it needs a smaller one.

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The main problem with the old pump was that it *had* to be at the bottom of the clean water tank, which meant that if it leaked, water would get everywhere. I had purchased a new Seaflo RV pump that is strong enough to siphon water up through a tube, which should be much better. However, its flow rate is over 20 times as high as the windshield pump, so there are several new problems.

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First, the flow rate is *way* too high, which wastes a lot of water. The major feature of the old one is that uses less than 5 gallons per week for all of my dish and hand washing. Second, it uses a thicker vinyl hose, and pushes so hard that it inflates the hose like a balloon. Instead of stopping immediately when I let off the pedal, it continues to spray for several seconds instead. One nice feature is that it shuts off automatically, so, if I wanted, I could use the cut-off handle on the bug sprayer to turn the water on and off like in a normal sink, but I actually really prefer the foot pedal setup because it leaves my hands free.

What I would *really* like is an actual windshield washer pump that’s designed to live inside the reservoir instead of attached to the outside like most are now. Using a 12VDC pond pump might be an intermediate option, because they have some with lower flow rates, but I’m still worried they might make too much pressure. The addition of some kind of one-way flow valve on the water input would also help so that the water doesn’t drain back down into the reservoir and empty the pipe after each use. I think the next thing to try is a valve that will let me reduce the flow coming out of the pump. I just hope it can handle the back pressure.

For now I’m going with what I have in the interest of getting on the road. I’d rather explore options at 83 F instead of 100 F.

In the meantime I’ve been working hard to get Mom prepped for a few weeks of limited left-hand use. I’ve been shopping, chopping, and stocking the fridge and freezer with lots of easy-to-prepare foods.

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I’ve also been trying out some different setups inside the van in the hopes that I could have a functional fridge, sink, and stove by the time I leave.

I should be able to get on the road in a day or two.

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