Fully serviced pitches are becoming increasingly popular. With the facilities in caravans including showers that can actually be used as showers rather than just to hang wet clothes the only downside was the water supply and disposal.
The supply side is catered for quite easily and there are a number of commercially available kits on the market to adapt your caravan’s internal water system to either a direct feed via a pressure regulator or a controlled feed to top up your Aquarol. It’s easy to understand why commercial kits are available, all they have to do is connect from a tap to your caravan’s water system via a length – or multiple lengths of hose and 99% of the time this can be achieved.
However, a system for the drainage is a little different. The problem is water has an annoying habit of only wanting to flow down hill. Before deciding on how I was going to tackle the drainage for our caravan when on sites, I looked what other people were doing. Nearly all were using a length of the standard grey ribbed flexible hose to connect the Y piece to the drain. This seemed OK if the hose length was one or two metres, but after watching one fellow caravanner keep wrestling with what seemed like a 300 foot length of springy pipe which most of it was just coiled round and round on the ground and every time they did the washing up he had to come out and lift sections of it to drain…. that was the way I didn’t want to go. I would have thought cleaning it afterwards would be a bit of a chore as well.
I wanted to go with a rigid pipe and still have the ability to adjust the length without resorting to short lengths of pipe and adaptors. On a trip to the local Screwfix Direct store I checked out the plumbing section. I wanted to use cheap standard pipe and parts where possible. The choice of sink drainage pipe seemed the way to go. There are three colours generally available, Grey Black and White. The Grey and Black have UV stabilisers so that years of being clipped to the outside of houses doesn’t degrade them. The white however is designed only for interior use, but it did offer an advantage. White is easier to see on dimly lit caravan sites and for the amount of time it would be outside I don’t think the UV element will be a factor.
There are two diameters of pipe available and one slides neatly inside another. So using the smaller diameter ‘upstream’ I could effectively have a variable length of pipe. A few elbows and angles should allow me to easily adapt for most conditions.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words….
I used the flexible pipes of the ‘Y’ adaptor that came with the caravan to connect up a manifold to join both caravan drain outlets. There is enough flexibility in these pipes to enable the outlet run to be skewed away from the van. I cut the two 3 metre lengths of pipe down so they could easily fit in the gas locker.
This is the set up used at Troutbeck Head CC site….
As the drain for the pitch was directly at the rear of the caravan, I used a length of flexible to add on a 45 degree bend so the pipe would run rearwards…..
I joined on a short length of pipe to my main “trombone’ sliding section with an adaptor and for good measure, I used a spare block of wood to support he extended length….
At the drain end, I use a 90 degree bend to point the flow down into the drain….. with a handy brick to keep it in place!
The original collection of fittings and lengths of pipe came to less than £12, and so far this system has allowed us to use all the serviced pitches we have been on, with one exception… Lady Heyes… for some reason the two pitches we have been on there, the EHU post and drain have been on the awning side of the van. Ho Hum…. you can’t win them all.
In use we haven’t had any problems and both the main sink, bathroom sink and shower drain easily. When we are breaking camp, the pipes are easily cleaned with running water and being white, its easy look down them to check they are clean. All the fittings are kept in a bag in the gas locker along with the two 2 metre and two 1 metre lengths of pipe. As the two sizes slide inside each other there is only really two lengths to deal with.
I hope it gives you some ideas on how you can connect up to a fully serviced pitch. If you have any ideas that would improve my system… let me know, anything to make things easier!
I already had a 2 into 1 adaptor supplied with the caravan that used the normal ribbed flexible pipe, so I used two of the three lengths of flexible pipe off this to make the connections between van and my system. I can always revert to the adaptor in the future if required. By using the flexible pipe as a connection to my ‘manifold’ it allows me to use it with the wastehog if required and I can just bend the manifold upward to remove the wastehog for emptying without having to disconnect anything.
The biggest advantage of using standard plumbing items is I can always go to a DIY store and add to the system if we find a pitch that I can’t connect too. I’m just looking now for something similar to a small awning pole bag that can take pipes at 2 metres length… or even the possibility of storing longer lengths along one of the caravan chassis rails.
Total price for this setup was £11.60. You can find everything here at Screwfix Direct