The portable shower - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2005, 04:05 PM   #1
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We installed a portable shower in our current 17' Bigfoot. We resented the loss of space for a bathroom that is in use such a short time each day. So, since we have a porta-potti, all we needed was our shower and we could take out the bathroom. Here is our shower solution.

Once again, this was posted earlier but lost in the hijacking, I'm just trying to restore some things.

This portable shower is all based on this Coleman battery-operated pump system.

We heat water on the stove and put this pump in the pot and the hose takes the warm water into the shower stall. More to follow.
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:07 PM   #2
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Here is the shower stall we hang from the ceiling. The water is collected in a tray at the bottom. Of course, you have to keep the shower curtains inside of the catch tray.

There are a number of ways the hanging of this frame can be accomplished. Some, in Bolers and such, have used tension shower curtain rods to press against the cupboards and the closet on each side to create something to hang the shower stall from.
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:11 PM   #3
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This is how the shower curtains look in their final form. We sewed loops which had small plasic rings in them. In the ceiling we screwed cup hooks to which we clip the plastic rings.

When we finish our shower we pump the water back into a 5-gallon plastic jug using the same pump that fed the warm water from the stove into the shower head. Now we can dispose of the grey water at our own convenience.

Then we fold the shower curtains into the catch tray along with the pump and slide the whole thing under the bed. This allowed us to put a larger bed in our trailer once we took out the bathroom.
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:17 PM   #4
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Here's the larger bed now that the bathroom is gone.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:15 PM   #5
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Ken, Is that a PINK dust ruffle (ruffie) I spy on the larger manly bed, OH MY!
( dust ruffles,this could be the new okra)
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:10 PM   #6
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Yes, that's a pink dust ruffle Dave. It makes a nice cover for my shotgun that I carry under the bed.
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:11 PM   #7
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Ken wins!
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:42 PM   #8
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Yes he does, never poke at a man with a shotgun!
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:04 PM   #9
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Talking

When you took out the bathroom, did you add the 2nd small window in the rear of the trailer? I remember that 17' Bigfoots had the bed in the corner oriented front-to-back with the bathroom in the opposite corner. You re-oriented the bed side-to-side across the back. Very clever way to get a longer bed.
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:53 AM   #10
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Good mod Ken, I like it.

My Compact II is too low to install a built in shower, which is one thing my wife is not crazy about, but your mod would allow me to place the shower in the pop up area of my trailer and 'wala' instant shower.

I have a couple of questions about the pump set up. We have been using the coleman pump for a shower while tent camping. This last summer I tried to use the pump it would not work. I took it apart and found the whole thing rusted inside. I had been submerging the pump end in a water container and not screwing it onto the coleman collapsable like it was designed to do. I think the water got into the pump somehow and rusted it.

I think you said you drop your pump into a warm water source to shower and then into the catch base to pump it out when you are done. Do you think rust will be a problem for you down the road or maybe my problem was the exception? I am invisioning mounting a small 12 volt boat bilge pump which is designed to be submerged that could be used the same way as the coleman portable. It could be pluged into a 12 volt outlet located close where you set up the shower.

A similer set up is used in boat showers with a small submersable pump connected to a water level switch mounted in a sump area connected to the shower. Any time water level activates the switch it starts pumping away.

I know the coleman battery power is convenient but will it hold up over time by submersing it.

Thanks again for your mod idea.

Darrel
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:07 PM   #11
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Thanks Darrel! We are real pleased with that shower mod. We've used it for over a year now and show no signs of rust or problems of any kind.

In fact, on several occasions the hot water went off in the apartment building we live in. My wife cannot, or will not, start her day without a shower. I simply went down to the parking lot where we keep the trailer and turned on a burner under a large pot of water. Actually, we have two stock pots of 2 1/2 gallons each. We measured (by putting the plug in our bathtub) how much water Di used when showering. A normal shower uses less than 3 gallons. Washing hair pushes that up to about 5 gallons. She went down there and showered and peace reigned once more in our home.

By the way, we also bought a baby bath thermometer. Now I can measure exactly what temp she likes and regulate the water in the pots accordingly.

As I said, once the shower is finished we pump the water out of the catch bin into a plastic jug to be disposed of. It is all very efficient and convenient. We love it!
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:05 PM   #12
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Darrel;

As an afterthought we put a 4-way joint in the shower frame to give a place for the shower head to pass thru. This allows for hands-free showering.

See attached picture.

The shower head fits snugly into the piece of 3/4" ABS, so much so that one can twist it to point the stream exactly where you want it to go and it stays there. Then with a little twist you can pull it out and spray anywhere you wish. Very handy!
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:24 PM   #13
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Frederick;

Our original trailer had a window in the bathroom as well as one in the bed area hence we get two now. My brother-in-law bought a newer 17' and his has only one window across the back.

That bed we have now is extra large, 54" wide by 90" long, and we like it like this a whole lot. We each lounge at opposite ends when watching TV which sits over on the table in the dinette.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:30 PM   #14
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Hello again Ken.

I hope you don't mind me asking a fiew more questions.

What do you use for the catch basin? I have looked for options but haven't found anything big enough for this wide body jet set. Do you pump right off the pot on the stove while showering? Have you had any splash problems? Sorry about all the questions but I really think this is the way to go.

Thank you
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