Jayco Expanda Modifications You Need to See

Do you own a Jayco Expanda or something similar?

Check out this video where we did some modifications on a Jayco Expanda.

Hot Water Unit and Bayonets

Today we are working on a Jayco Expanda, one of the bog-standard ones. Bit at the front, bit at the back. The owner wants to put a hot water unit in like a Joolca that you can just hang on the bracket that they made. It’s pretty cool. You can just hook them on the side and lock it in place. So one of those on the side just to go to the kitchen sink and an outdoor shower. We’ve got to modify the water a little bit. And also we got to put a bayonet on the side for the Joolca to plug into so you don’t have to take the bottles out. And then maybe a barbecue bayonet on the other side to use as well.


He has bought a pump as well to go with it. Just got the C-flow. And the model he got was the RV1-030-055-42. It’s a 9.5 liters a minute. So plenty enough to run the Joolca. He reckons that there’s no pump in there at the moment. But we find that hard to believe because surely there’d be a pump. Because that means the only way to get that 160 liters out from the two tanks would be the hand pump. So once we get in there, it might be hiding in the cupboard or something.

So we’ve checked that. He is right. There is no pump. So the only way to get the 160 liters out is to just pump this little baby. Not too cool. He’s got a tap here for the hot and cold water and an outdoor shower and everything. But it’s all just hooked up to the cold. He wants to do some stuff off grid. So once you plug into here then everything works.

We will get started sorting out the water and get all the shower and everything connected. What hopefully we want to do is just have an outlet for the Joolca to hook onto outside, and then the hot main to go in there. That’ll run the outdoor shower. And that’ll go through the kitchen sink. So work on that and then we’ll sort out the gas for that as well.

Water Done

We’ve done the water. We’ll show you how it all worked out. Under here he’s got the battery hidden down here. And if you can see this is the back of the shower, where the shower’s packed in on the outside. So we always marked the hot and cold so you don’t get confused and know what’s going where. And you can see here that we’ve just gone down through the floor. So they come up. The cold main is coming from this way and it goes down there. And that’s what will go out and supply the hot water unit. And then this one here, the supply for the cold for the shower. The hot here goes along and then it just goes straight down. If you can see just underneath there, that goes down. And so the Joolca will be hooked into this one.

So the hot water will come out of the hot water system come up through here. Once it’s hooked into it, come along to the hot, go to the shower and then it will continue along through here. And we’ll just go around in the cupboard. We’ll show you where it comes through the bottom here. So they both come over the wheel arch there. And so the hot main comes up and then goes into the hot side of the mixer there.

Now the cold main, also comes from there, too. And comes down and now where it goes down, that’s where it goes in. This is connected onto the existing main and that goes down to where the tap is installed where we can put the mains pressure onto it. And so that goes down onto that.

Pump Installed

Here’s the pump. This is the suction line. Now that suction line used to go up through this shelf and that used to hook onto that tap here. That’s that pump tap that we were talking about. So we’ve just cut that off because we don’t need that anymore. Pulled it through that hole for the hot. We’ve just pulled that off and then hooked it onto the pump here. So it’s very important, it’s got this inline filter so the water can go through here and any bits of stuff in the tank and everything will stop it going into the little pressure pump here. And it’s very important once you get off the pump. So this is the high pressure of it, you need to put a check valve in like this.

There’s a little line on it to show you which direction and that. And the reason we put that in there, so when you hook it onto the mains and then you can imagine the mains pressure coming up this way, if you didn’t have this on there, the water would flow through and come out here and then it’d be high pressure on these really soft hoses and it would pop them off underneath off your tanks and everything like that. So it’s important that you need a check valve and that really protects it. So that’s been installed now too. And then also over under this bed here, this is where it comes in from the mains here. So you get to the caravan park on the other side of this, you hook your hose onto it and it comes up here and through.

Pressure Limiting Valve

And then we’ve just put a pressure limiting valve on here. That reduces the pressure back to 350 KPA. Because some of these country towns can have some crazy pressure coming into the caravan park. So if you hook your van up and you’ve got maybe a thousand KPA or something, you’ll blow some pipes and some fittings up. So just by putting that in there, that also stops the water flowing back into the pump and everything. And so that continues on to under the van and then it goes off to the front tap and it swings back under the van and then comes up the bottom of the cupboard there. Comes up through there and then can run the water to the kitchen sink. And it can also go that way and run the dual got water system when they’ve got water on tap.


We’ll show you outside now how the bottom is all connected. Here’s the utility shower we saw on the back of that with valves. And then below that we had those fittings. So there you can see it’s got the cold. The water will come out of that. Then the hot from the hot water system will go up in there and that’ll charge this shower and also then swing over to the kitchen sink. Here’s the gas bayonet, the Joolca could hook onto it as well. And that’s all sleeved and goes up to the front of the unit.

We’ll show you the regulator. It’s quite a new regulator. It only lasts about five years so we put a new one in. But it’s very important that the top of the regulator has to be higher than the top of the bottle. But also with the Expandas, you got to make sure that the bed doesn’t come down on top of it. So we’ve just made up this other bracket on the side here and plumbed it all up.

The Fittings

We get a lot of questions about what type of quick connect fittings we use for the water side of things. We use these Ryco fittings. The reason we like these is they’re fully brass and we think they’ll just last a lot longer, especially if you’re in camping with a bit of salty water and stuff like that. And they don’t seem to seize up as badly. We buy these in bulk from our supplier over here in Perth. But you can get them online from a place called Auto Megastore. They’re in Queensland, Their logo’s like a little forklift. Type “Ryco” in a search bar and all these fittings will come up. What you’re after is the female and this is like six mil or quarter they call it.

The reason we use a female is because it gives you a couple of options. So just for instance, if you need to go through a thin bracket, to have that going through there and to hook onto as it comes out the side of your van, all you need to buy is this brass hex nipple. You can get these from Reece. The product code number is 208525. So that’s like six mil to 15 mil.

How It Works

So you put thread seal on that or loxeal. And then you can just pop that through. The female will screw on there. It bites in tight so it seals there, but then as you keep tightening it up, it snugs it up and it gets nice and solid. So whatever bracket you hold it onto becomes nice and solid. And then from then over you get the John Guest fitting. This is for the bog-standard hose pipes that they use on the Jayco caravans like the MDC ones. So they fit on that.

That’s the 12 mil John Guest and this is onto 15 mil female and it’s got a rubber in there as well. So then what you can do is the female goes into the male. You screw that in against the seal. And then you’re off and running to the John Guest. And you can put tees in and do whatever you want.

All Thread

What happens if you’ve got the wall of a caravan you want to come out on or something a lot thicker? Then all you need to do is to buy this stuff called All Thread. We don’t know if you can get it at Reece, it’s a bit specialised sort of thing. That’s six mil all thread or quarter inch is the other one they use.

You can buy them in 150 mil lengths or 300 mils. So what you can do is you can screw that into there. And then you can push that through the wall and that’ll come out the other end. You just got to make sure the thread’s just long enough to grip it. And then you can get this called a brass reducing bush. And that’s six mil to 15 mils. So you can get that at Reece too. The number on that is 207035. So your female goes onto the all thread and you can make sure you put thread or thread seal or loxeal on, it is even better. And you can just screw that on like that.

You can tighten it in nice and tight like that. And then you’ve got another solid fitting. So that could be coming out of your van. And then again you get your female fitting, the John Guest fitting, that goes on like that. And then you convert it over to the John Guess pipe and then off you go, you’re on your way.

More Fittings

The other thing you need to buy from the Auto Megastore is the matching piece to this. So that’s what it looks like and that’s the bit that goes into the Ryco fitting. And then on the other end is the barb end. So you hook to the barb and then that just pushes in. Now you can get different types of these. You can get that to have a quarter inch or 10 mil female or male thread or whatever you want to connect onto. But this is the one we like to use.

And then what you do with that is you buy this. This is just eight mil hose from Bunnings. The kinetic brand. It’s food safe and all that stuff. You can just buy two meters or five meters or whatever. The reason we get that is it’s the perfect size to push the barb fitting into. So all you do is you heat up your kettle, you stick that last little bit into boiling hot water for about 30 seconds. And then you push it in there, put your hose clap on, never going to come off. And so when you got that on and that can clip into your Ryco fittings and go up to your Joolca supply, or to come back into it.

Joolca Connections

Now if you ever want to hook this pipe, this eight mill onto the Joolca, then these are the things you got to buy. It’s an eight mil hose connecting. You can get these from Bunnings. Whenever we’ve been there, they’ve never run out. Buy a couple of those. It fits perfectly with the other hose. Click it into your van and then you just cut it to length. Put your pipe eight mil connector on there and then that can just go clip onto the bottom of your Joolca hot water system.

Now if you want to set this up with these coming out of the bottom, so you’ve got the cold and the hot and you don’t have a Joolca or you just want to test it, you just loop it. So what you need to do really, normally it would coming out here, the cold would go through the Joolca and then go back into the hot. Now if you’ve got that and you haven’t got your Joolca or you just want to test it, what we usually do is when we’re testing them, we just get the two meter hose, put the two fittings in, clip it into the cold, clip it into the hot, and then it’s like it’s going through the hot water system. And then you can check that there’re no leaks on the hot side, that the mixers are on the right way, and stuff like that.

Gas Side

With the gas side, there was 3/8 pipe coming out there. We’ve jacked up the regulator, made sure that’s the correct height. And then we’ve tapped into the 3/8 line underneath. And then we’ve put a thread line to each bayonet. So one bayonet is over here that you’ve seen before. That’s for the Joolca with the dust plug and everything. We put a little badge on there now that’s just saying you’re not meant to use the bayonet with an appliance that doesn’t have a flame failure device. We don’t know if they’re going to look into that or re-advise it.

And then at the bottom here on the other side too, we’ve got one bayonet that we tucked up just there. That’s for the barbecue that they can hook onto at a later stage. And that just all just sneaks under there nicely. It’s got the tee over there if you can see all wired up and a diesel heater in there and stuff as well.

And then also what we’ve been doing is putting a bit of heat shrink on the bottom. It makes it very easy to put the heat shrink on there and then you know which is hot and cold. If it was charged up you could plug that in there and then water would start spewing out of the other end because it just goes down the hose. And then you can hook that into the other side there if you can see that. That means that the hot will be all working like it’s been through the hot water unit and everything.

Pump Wiring

So the owner is going to buy one of those brackets from Joolca. He’ll put it on the side of his van wherever he wants it and then that Joolca can just hook on there and be totally portable. He can take it off and put a lock on it. So when you’re away, people can’t knock it off. Then you can use your shower and stuff. Plug in your gas bayonet.

Because we’re not sure how far away he wants to put it, so we’ll just leave the hose. Then all he’s got to do is just cut that hose in half later on and then put those eight mil things on there and clip it on there. The guy from the unit next door is an auto electrician. So we’ll just see if the owner wants to get his own auto sparky to do wire up the pump or we can just get Glenn next door to do that for us.

If you need any help with this, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.