Saturday, August 01, 2009

Legacy RV water hose on reel--a reel problem

File this one under "real world tests" that don't flatter.

UV radiation finally signed the death warrant of one of our RV drinking water hoses: The poor thing just permanently kinked, and filling the rig's fresh water tank became a kind of marathon exercise in straightening out a kink, only to have to run back down the line to remove yet a fresh one. The RV maintenance man finally swore this would be the last time he'd fight with this hose, a new one was in order!

The problem many RVers with limited storage space fight with is where to put the hose when not in use. Our field research rig is a truck camper--and one without "basement storage." Water hoses get chucked in the crew-cab's "back seat" area. Coiling them neatly helps, but unless put into some sort of containment, they somehow take on a mind of their own and wind up doing a serpentine dance among tool boxes, hats, cat carrier, et al.

It was a bell ringer when we ran into the Legacy flat hose reel, equipped with a 30 foot 1/2" hose. Visions of hooking the receiving end of the hose to the tap, then rolling out only as much hose as necessary to reach the rig left a pleasant picture. Ready to break camp, simply pull out the folding rewind crank, zip the hose back on the reel, and stow it away. No more tripping over hose tangles, wow!

While sitting in camp one evening though, prior to needing to refill the tank, mental juices began flowing. The tiny bit of the delivery end of the hose that came out from the center of the hose reel, we wondered. How on earth would a 2 or 3 inch chunk of hose easily lock onto the city water inlet on our RV? Would we need to carry around another few feet of hose to reach down from that inlet to the ground-located hose reel? Or, could we induce more of that nice, flat, drinking water safe hose out of the reel on the delivery end?

We looked the hose reel over: Sure enough, if we unreeled the hose, then slipped the flat hose at the far end out of a slot in the reel, we could extend it. So we pulled the hose out to a more useful 4" length, then rewound the hose to check for ease of operation. Not a problem, the hose rolled back onto the reel with no reluctance. OK, now for a bigger test: We hooked up the female end of the hose to our site's water tap. What kind of flow would the hose deliver? No time like the present!

We opened the water tap and wondered at the itty-bitty flow that emminated from the male end of the hose reel. A bit of a sputter, but nothing to write home about. Then, with fits and starts, the flow increased to a good flow--exactly as the hose reel itself popped and snapped, and the reel sides blew apart. We hastened to shut off the flow and examine the damage. A plastic cover that acted as a hub at center of the reel had popped off, the reel sides had unsnapped, too. The hose, which normally is a single layup of hose over hose, was now two, side by side. Apparently the good folks at Legacy had never intended that water be run through this flat hose unless completely unwound from the reel.

It took the better part of an hour to manually unwrap the hose from the reel, which of course, would no longer "unwind." It was a fairly straight-forward matter to repair the damage, snapping pieces back in place, and then rewind the hose using the fold-out lever. But useful? Most of the reasons we bought this hose reel for were now ruled out. We went back and carefully re-read the hose reel packaging. Nothing appeared in print that warned the hose would of necessity need to be unwound before use. We checked the company website too, and it was likewise devoid of this essential piece of information.

Walmart will soon be seeing us again. This time to return this promising, but sadly undelivering, product. We'll buy the old $6.00 drinking water hose, coiling it neatly between uses, and hoping that the trash bag we stow it in will hold up for at least a few uses. Maybe by the time we need to replace that new hose, somebody will come up with a real hose reel.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow ! you discovered that water would not flow through a hose that was flatened for storage! I would have thought that it was obvous that this was simply a storage system for the hose, to allow it to go flat (the type of hose- which you can buy without a reel) and not ever expect water to flow through it in the 'stored' position! People should not try to use things in ways they were never were intended for...

Anonymous said...

Anyone with any common sense could figure out you must un wrap a flat hose completly before putting water pressure in it! Wrapped up it acted just like a hydralic jack with the water pressure in it.

Anonymous said...

I had one of those. I gave it away because it was a pain in the tush to use it.
If I had tried to use it as these folks did, I would have kept it a deep, dark secret instead of putting it out for the RV world to know.

Anonymous said...

Electric cord winders should also be completely UNwound due to possible heat buildup. Most are labeled so. DeMaris' are THE BEST.

Anonymous said...

I suppose their next complaint will involve the "useless" windshield sunscreen that could *ONLY* be used while they were parked because it kept them from seeing the road while they were driving!

Fox said...

Well DAHHHH I did not know you were BLONDE... expecting water to flow through a flattened hose .. I knew from the headline in RVTravel that this was going to be laughable.

Anonymous said...

Check out the Coiling System Products from Coil n' Wrap. They allow you roll up your hose quickly and easily with no tangles or kinks. Also they have products for the TV cable, 30 amp and other cords. Works great. www.coilnwrap.com

Anonymous said...

I agree with the rest of the commenters...it should be obvious you have to unroll it ALL to use. I carry a 50 coiled hose in my RV for use only when I am a long way from the spigot in a forest service c.g. and need to fill the tank. But the standard hose is my normal hookup for city water pressure.

journeyman said...

Wow - You guys are tough! I'm new to "full timing" and have already made my share of mistakes - most of them simple duh-huh moves. I'm glad none of you guys were around to see them.
John aboard "Journeyman"

mogul264 said...

I have a 'flat' water hose on a reel that WILL allow water to flow. The 'flat' hose really is several parallel mini-hoses extruded side-by-side that are the equivalent diameter of a small regular hose. I obtained my green one at Sears. Partially coiled or fully unwound makes no difference to water flow, and drains when it's rewind (~usually on my legs and shoes!).

jaigin said...

Wires and hoses are always a mess unless they're contained somehow. I've found that velcro strips are a good answer, the type that have opposing surfaces on opposite sides so that it sticks as you roll it around the coiled hose. It's also really great for keeping bundles of wires neat. In addition to velcro there are clamps. Walmart sells plastic clamps of different sizes that are easy to open and close, the largest of which fits neatly around several coils of hose.

Anonymous said...

I have one that is 25 feet long and I love it because of the smaller space it takes. I use quick connects on both ends with a pressure regulator on the facuet end where you turn it on.

I had one that lasted about five years and then replacedf it just this spring. You do have to unroll it from the storage reel