Mortar a bad idea for DIY shower pan in a 1974 Amerigo gig-16? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-06-2018, 10:20 AM   #1
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Name: Justine
Trailer: Amerigo
TX
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Mortar a bad idea for DIY shower pan in a 1974 Amerigo gig-16?

Hi friends,

I’ve been refurbishing a 1974 Amerigo FG-16 and I’ve been racking my brain on the best way to do a diy shower pan. The space I have for the wet bath is quite small and to save $$ I’ve opted to figure out my own way to make one as opposed to trying to get one custom made. Does anyone have an opinion or experience with doing a typical shower pan (the same as for a shower in a home, with mortar, shower liner,etc) in a travel trailer? Will the bumps in the road during transit cause the mortar to crack?

I’ve toyed with using fiberglass cloth but i don’t have enough experience with fiberglass to feel confident that this would turn out any better. Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Justine
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:47 AM   #2
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Mortar bed shower pans are typically thick and heavy. More weight and reduced headroom might be problems. It would have to be pretty strong to sit on a bouncing and flexing trailer floor, or support a persons weight over that flexible floor.

Fiberglass pans can be light, thin and flexible.

Another idea might be to make it out of stainless steel sheet that is bent up and welded on the perimeter. These are commonly custom made in sheet metal shops for water heater and boiler drain pans. Just take them a sketch with your dimensions and have them do it. This method could also be used to make one out of polyethylene sheet, like some water tanks are made. Poly can be welded.

Remember too, there has to be a bit of slope or it will puddle. Making it out of fiberglass means you can easily make a reduced area at the drain so the drain fitting doesn't sit above the surrounding floor.

Fiberglass is probably the best way and a simple male mold laid up with glass isn't too hard to make. Or you can just fiberglass the whole shower area to get a waterproof room.
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:40 AM   #3
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Mortar bed shower pans are typically thick and heavy. More weight and reduced headroom might be problems. It would have to be pretty strong to sit on a bouncing and flexing trailer floor, or support a persons weight over that flexible floor.

Fiberglass pans can be light, thin and flexible.

Another idea might be to make it out of stainless steel sheet that is bent up and welded on the perimeter. These are commonly custom made in sheet metal shops for water heater and boiler drain pans. Just take them a sketch with your dimensions and have them do it. This method could also be used to make one out of polyethylene sheet, like some water tanks are made. Poly can be welded.

Remember too, there has to be a bit of slope or it will puddle. Making it out of fiberglass means you can easily make a reduced area at the drain so the drain fitting doesn't sit above the surrounding floor.

Fiberglass is probably the best way and a simple male mold laid up with glass isn't too hard to make. Or you can just fiberglass the whole shower area to get a waterproof room.
You can purchase shower pans made for RV. They come in a lot of sizes. They are not that expensive to purchase. As to the question. YES THE mortar will very likely crack. But there are other options for bedding and grouting tiles besides the traditional cementious types. However that is always going to be done as a system where the pan liner is matched to the tile adhesives. But it is not just the mortar and grout that can crack. The ceramic tile is also vulnerable to breaking into pieces under stress. You would need to use a high fired porcelain tile as that is much stronger than tiles that fire at lower temperatures.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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Name: Justine
Trailer: Amerigo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Mortar bed shower pans are typically thick and heavy. More weight and reduced headroom might be problems. It would have to be pretty strong to sit on a bouncing and flexing trailer floor, or support a persons weight over that flexible floor.

Fiberglass pans can be light, thin and flexible.

Another idea might be to make it out of stainless steel sheet that is bent up and welded on the perimeter. These are commonly custom made in sheet metal shops for water heater and boiler drain pans. Just take them a sketch with your dimensions and have them do it. This method could also be used to make one out of polyethylene sheet, like some water tanks are made. Poly can be welded.

Remember too, there has to be a bit of slope or it will puddle. Making it out of fiberglass means you can easily make a reduced area at the drain so the drain fitting doesn't sit above the surrounding floor.

Fiberglass is probably the best way and a simple male mold laid up with glass isn't too hard to make. Or you can just fiberglass the whole shower area to get a waterproof room.
Thanks so much for the input.

I'm leaning towards the fiberglassing the whole area to make it waterproof idea. Question (potentially ridiculous question): would it make any sense to glue down a PVC shower pan liner under the fiberglass, or would this necessarily complicate things?
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by iwannagohome View Post
Thanks so much for the input.

I'm leaning towards the fiberglassing the whole area to make it waterproof idea. Question (potentially ridiculous question): would it make any sense to glue down a PVC shower pan liner under the fiberglass, or would this necessarily complicate things?
If you put down a pre-made pan, the liner would be OK, but probably not necessary. Kind of a belt and suspenders approach.

But if you decide to glass the area, there won't be anything to glue the glass to if you put a PVC membrane down first. It might be best to have a sound plywood base and a slightly tapered plywood floor area over that subfloor, that slopes to drain by sanding it thinner near the drain. Then soak that area with resin before you lay any glass. Then add a filler around the inside corners of about 1" radius and lay your glass cloth to go across the floor and up the sides a ways. This will make strong inside corners that won't crack. The walls don't need as much thickness as the pan, but the pan should probably end up about 1/2" thick or so. Before laying the glass make sure your drain fitting fits and is low enough to not puddle. You can get shower drain fittings at plumbing supply stores or even use a kitchen sink drain made of stainless. Threaded ABS fittings will screw onto these kitchen fittings, even though they are not really made to do that.

You can use either epoxy or polyester resin for this. Remember the trailer is made of polyester and epoxy sticks to it perfectly, but later, polyester resin won't stick to epoxy if you want to go the other way. I personally like epoxy because you can thicken it easily and get different speeds of hardening and because I am just used to it. Either one is fine.
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Old 09-06-2018, 02:54 PM   #6
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There is a company, "Flextile" that is focused on tiling in RVs. The sell silicone adhesives and silicone grouts. Their website has videos to explain and teach people how to do this in an RV.
https://flextile.com/videos/


But they do say not to do this for a shower floor All their photos show a plastic or fiberglass shower pan in the RV bathrooms.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:17 PM   #7
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Name: Steve
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Make a pan from cardboard in the trailer. Then coat the card board with vinyl duct tape. Then layup fiberglass and resin over the duct tape. Drill the drain hole. Remove the fiberglass & cardboard pan. Pull the fiberglass & resin pan off the card board. The resin & fiberglass pan wont stick to vinyl duct tape. Sand the interior surface of the pan to remove shine. Acetone wash to remove any amine blush then wash with soap and water. Now decide what you want your feet to stand on. Could be paint, bed liner coating ( rapture liner ) or even garage floor coatings.

You can mount the pan with spray foam if you ever think you will want to remove it or construction adheasive if you never want to take it out. You can always use mechanical fasteners if you want that look.

Thats the route I would take for a custom pan in my trailer.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:35 AM   #8
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Spill containment platform as shower pan

In my Sprinter I have one of these spill containment pallets for a shower pan. It is about 26" square, and I use it with a shower curtain. Important is the little round drain plug that you can attch a hose to. It is a good DIY solution, not sure it is for permanent installations. $69, made by Eagle. Very sturdy polyethylene, designed to hold 55 gallon drums.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:44 PM   #9
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Name: Fredrick
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mortar in shower?

It makes yer shower a blast "wink"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L16_81mm_mortar
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:07 PM   #10
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In my Sprinter I have one of these spill containment pallets for a shower pan. It is about 26" square, and I use it with a shower curtain. Important is the little round drain plug that you can attch a hose to. It is a good DIY solution, not sure it is for permanent installations. $69, made by Eagle. Very sturdy polyethylene, designed to hold 55 gallon drums.
Tom,
That looks like a great idea. Do you use it with the grate? Any pix?
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:04 AM   #11
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It works well. It is not fixed. So it can be stored on its side.

I do use the grate, but indoors that "lowers" the ceiling, in effect. It also works well outside at the back of the van, with the open doors forming two sides of a 3 sided enclosure. Finished off with a shower curtain. A garden hose can be attached to the drain with a pvc adapter. Pipe thread to garden hose, from Home Depot, I think.

Oh, it can be used without the grate if you need height.
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