Download eBooks & Wiring Diagrams (FREE)

PEX Pipe For Van Conversions: Is It A Good Idea?

This site contains affiliate links to products. More info in our disclaimer.

When you’re at most hardware stores, you’ll likely be inundated with lots of different ways to build a plumbing system. There’s an incredible number of different fittings and pipes made from different materials, such as copper, PVC, vinyl, and PEX. It can be quite confusing if it’s your first time in the plumbing aisle.

Most of us aren’t certified plumbers. And we don’t want to pay a certified plumber to build our camper. We just want to find a material that is easy to customize, simple to put together, and won’t leak. And that’s exactly why PEX pipes are the best choice for RVs and camper vans.

In this post, we will discuss why PEX pipes are the best solution when building your camper’s water system. We’ll also look at which components and fittings we used, in conjunction with PEX pipes, to build our sink and shower plumbing system.

100% Free Download
Plumbing eBook For Camper Van Conversions

Download our free PDF to help build your van's plumbing & water system. From the fresh water tank to the pump and finally to the faucet and shower, this free eBook has you covered. 12+ pages of detailed diagrams and product recommendations.

Download PDF More Free eBooks
* Our eBooks have been known to lower stress * blood pressure.

So if you’re ready, let’s get to it!

1. PEX Comes In A Convenient All-In-One Kit

One of the most attractive aspects about using PEX for camper vans is it’s purchase convenience. When you buy the PEX kit, like our recommendation below, you are getting everything you need to build your PEX system. This convenient all-in-one kit includes:

  • Red & blue PEX pipes
  • PEX pipe cutter
  • 50 Cinch rings + crimp tool
  • 15 brass fittings

And for most camper van builds, you likely won’t need any other PEX-related products for your plumbing project.

All-In-One Plumbing Kit
PEX Pipe Kit (1/2") - Tubing, Fittings, Clasps, & Tools

Convenient all-in-one plumbing kit. Includes blue & red 1/2" PEX pipe, ring clasps, brass fittings, and assembly tools. Everything you need to get started ASAP.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/16/2023 10:35 am GMT

2. PEX Is Quick & Easy To Install

It’s hard to over exaggerate just how easy it is to piece together different PEX pipes. You simply cut the PEX pipe to size, insert the tube over a metal fitting, and crimp a copper ring to keep the pipe in place. It really is that simple.

Compare this to having to weld copper pipes together or use messy glue to hold together PVC tubes.

We link to a useful YouTube video at the end of this post showing how easy it is to put together a PEX pipe plumbing system.

3. Superior PEX Material

PEX pipes are made out of flexible plastic (cross-linked polyethylene), which is perfect for DIY van conversions. Because this material can flex and bend, the pipes are much more forgiving if your measurements aren’t 100% accurate. This is perfect for plumbing beginners, like us!

Furthermore, this cross-linked polyethelene resists high-temperatures, corrosion, and abuse. Which is perfect for camper vans that intend to travel in a wide range of temperatures and climates.

And lastly, unlike traditional copper pipes used in homes, PEX pipes are lightweight. They’re essentially a non-factor in deciding the overall weight of your camper.

What Size PEX Do Campers Use?

You can easily find PEX pipes that have an inner diameter of  ½” and ¾”. But for camper vans and RVs, the ½” pipes will be sufficient. The ¾” pipes are primarily for main water lines that enter a residential home.

Common PEX Fittings

Assorted brass PEX fittings
Assorted PEX fittings

In order to build a complete plumbing system you’ll need to pair PEX tubing with several types of metal fittings. These fittings allow you to:

Can PEX Pipes Resist Freezing Temperatures?

PEX pipes are proven to be more flexible and durable than their PVC counterparts. This makes them more resistant to bursting when water begins to freeze in sub-zero temperatures.

However, PEX tubes are not freeze-proof. Meaning, if you plan to travel in areas that will expose your PEX pipes to freezing temperatures, you should still take the proper precautions to winterize your pipes to prevent permanent damage to your plumbing system.

100% Free Download
Electrical Wiring eBook For Camper Van Conversions

Download our FREE PDF to help build your van's electrical system; from batteries, to solar, to inverter, and more. 38+ pages of detailed diagrams, product recommendations, and links to additional resources.

Download PDF More Free eBooks
*Our eBooks have been known to lower stress & blood pressure.

Enjoyed reading? Check out our van “Plumbing” category page for more similar content.


We hope this post convinced you that going with PEX tubing is the best option for your camper van plumbing build. Of course, PEX is just one of the many components in building a complete system for your sink or shower.

To learn more about how to build a complete water system, check out our articles below.

Thank You For Reading!

We’re Yuko and Eric! We both grew up in Asia ( Japan & Hong Kong ), we left our jobs and homes in 2018 and started traveling full time from Canada to Argentina in our self-converted camper van since end of May 2019. “Asobo” means “Let’s play” in Japanese. We named our site “Asobolife” because the life is always uncertain and we live only once so it’s important to always keep positive, playful mind and enjoy the moment you are in the present. We also want to use this website to share our road trip and van building experiences to inspire our readers. We hope you enjoy!

© 2022 Asobolife. Design by Asobolife

Scroll to Top