Recreational Vehicles to the Rescue

October 30, 2011
By Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

So, you've got a client who could really use a sink in the outdoor kitchen, mostly for hand washing or filling up on a little cooking water. Unfortunately, the kitchen is away from the house, and running plumbing to the site just isn't an option. What do you do?

A fresh water system for a recreational vehicle or boat may solve the problem. By locating an RV fresh water tank and pump in the cabinet below the sink, and by draining into a bucket, you can create an isolated system for fresh water in the outdoor kitchen. The pumps are designed to automatically turn on when the faucet is used and a drop in pressure is detected, and they can be used in conjunction with a water filtration system.

What you need to know:

  • Most of these systems are 12-volt DC-powered. 110 or 115-volt AC-powered systems are available (sometimes called "park" models).
  • A marine-grade pump is better able to withstand the elements than a standard RV pump.
  • Look for a pump that is low-noise, low vibration and "pulse-free," and mount the pump to a solid, stable surface. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet can provide a bracket for mounting pumps inside our sink bases.
  • An accumulator tank can help smooth the flow of water and prolong the life of the pump.
  • Keep the system sanitized, and be sure to use a hose marked for "drinking water" to fill the tank.
  • Don't use the hose for any other purpose. Connect the two ends of the hose together to make a closed loop when not in use.
  • These systems still need to be winterized or disconnected and stored indoors for the winter.