Shower/ Bathroom installs in 13 ft anyone? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-28-2006, 10:41 PM   #1
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For the last couple of months I have been thinking about extending the closet in my love bug and converting it to a shower/bathroom. I know that the bathrooms on the 13ft trailers is usually made in the front, but I need the bed for my boys. Has anyone ever attempted or thought of doing this? If so, or even if not what are your ideas and or comments on this type of a project? Heres a sketch of what I'm talking about..
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:34 AM   #2
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Thats a good idea. The only problems I can see are:

The toilet probably won't fit there. Thats the wheel well where you have it located.

It will close the trailer off horribly. Just my 2 cents, a 13 footer is just too small for a wall down the center like that.
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:40 AM   #3
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Hey, Jim, another Lovebug Lover here! Good to see you. What a nice looking camper you have there. I read about your awning you made and added the photo to my website.

I found this item while looking for water tanks on ebay:
accordion shower door

It would offer you the opportunity to have the space when not using a shower.
I'll follow this thread with great interest!

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Old 04-29-2006, 06:46 AM   #4
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The closet is also a little on the narrow side. This depends somewhat on the size of your rear - but I'd plan on a minimum of 2' wide and maybe 3' long for a place to put a portapotty.

Questions I would have:

Is there a pressing need to have the pp in a room? (As opposed to plunking it in front of the kitchen at night and putting it away during the day)

How essential is the shower part?

MUST the shower be inside the trailer? (you can get self contained little shower 'tents', they CAN double as outdoor privy's by placing the pp inside at night).

How important is your kitchen? Space-wise, a likely better place to put it would be facing sideways where the kitchen is located.

Must the room be solid? ie would it be acceptable to have not one door but two. The two doors fold outwards to become 'walls'. That way you've got a privacy room when you're using it - and a much smaller space when you're not.

The solution I've used in past (in both the Boler and PlayPac) was that the PP was stowed during the day and ate up part of the floor at night. Not the most private of arrangements - but got the job done.

The solution we have in the Esterel (wierd hard-sided pop-up), is that the PP has it's little part of the floor which can be closed off using a curtain. With the curtain closed, that space takes up loads of the interior of the trailer - but is private. Open, helps the trailer feel larger and not so cramped.

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Old 04-29-2006, 07:00 AM   #5
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adding a shower/toilet - good idea. I did that in mine, but lost the bench in front.

We use to have (don't know if they survived) pictures of showers placed in the middle of trailers and the walls were removable shower curtains. I really like that Accordian Door, it could work very well.

BUT as Gina said - I don't think the toilet will fit there. unless you raise it up over the wheel well, and then where would the Black tank go? But don't give up, you'll figure it out.
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:56 AM   #6
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For the last couple of months I have been thinking about extending the closet in my love bug and converting it to a shower/bathroom. I know that the bathrooms on the 13ft trailers is usually made in the front, but I need the bed for my boys. Has anyone ever attempted or thought of doing this? If so, or even if not what are your ideas and or comments on this type of a project? Heres a sketch of what I'm talking about..
Your idea has merit, based on your needs, I'm sure,.... but....it sure looks like getting access to the curb-side of the dining table could be a challange, unless you have a mod for the table, perchance?

My money would be on the ouside shower/PP arrangement

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Old 04-29-2006, 12:49 PM   #7
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Hello James, There are problems as mentioned with the side bath, wheel-well and intruding into the space etc. Sounds like you need the beds up front. There is something you might do, go to an RV website that sell the van type class B motorhome conversions. Check out the floor plans on some of those. They have a closet bath where the doors foldout to enlarge the toilet area but when closed it does not take up any interior space. This way you can setup the toilet as needed and close it up when you need the floor space. The shower is located in the center isle with curtains and a drain in the rubber floor. Not the best setup but it all works. One company that makes this type of bath is Roadtek.
We bought our standard 13ft scamp with the front toilet. Try as I might they would not install the shower option into a standard, only the deluxe which is a few thousand more. I did manage to get them them to sell me all the parts to add the shower myself and I picked up all those parts when I collected the trailer last year. It is fairly simple to install a front bath. Total parts bill was $360 if you already have the toilet. The main items are the fiberglass surround that covers the wall and the Floor drain pan. I will be posting pics of the install process soon. Good luck with your project.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:48 PM   #8
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Thanks for the comments all!
The reason I was opting for a shower inside is due to my wife not wanting to shower outside! I had also seen a picture of a 13 foot aero-stream (sp) that had a little bathroom right there. I am not so worried about the back dinnete as It has been converted to a full-time bed and the addition of a wall would make it like its own little room. I have also thought about the toilet being on top of the wheel, but I have this crazy Idea to mod a porta potty into a fully functional one so that the little extra hight might help. Last time I took the family camping we had a problem with men walking in the womens' bathroom when my wife was in there. Now my wife is saying that we need a bigger trailer with a shower and toilet, but I love the Love Bug and don't wanna give it up! This motivated me to start investigating a way to make it all work! One comment about the space issue did get me thinking though, so I will go out to the trailer and tape off the section where I am thinking about this and see how reasonable it would be. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-29-2006, 03:11 PM   #9
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Last time I took the family camping we had a problem with men walking in the womens' bathroom when my wife was in there. Now my wife is saying that we need a bigger trailer with a shower and toilet,
No disrespect meant to your wife but... ewww! I don't blame her for wanting the changes.

Now that the motivations are laid out... I'll retract the "outside shower/privy" suggestion.

I'd switch that to a curtained off privy (only at night) combined with a stowable-shower located in the center of the trailer (kicking everybody else out briefly). MIGHT work in the floor space between the benches of the dinette too - but that depends on folk's height. I (for one) wouldn't fit.

Course, taking advantage of the opportunity to go shopping for a bigger egg isn't such a bad thing either.

I'm in a whole different kettle of fish. Here I was planning on shopping for a 16' egg to fiddle with when the opportunity arose - but now I've got to rethink that since I have to think about sleeping 6 instead of 4. That arrangement doesn't exactly pop up very often (yeah, I know: Casita Spirit standard w/ side bunks - but where do those folks put ANYTHING?) I've got awhile to figure it out though...

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Old 04-29-2006, 04:23 PM   #10
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This is an idea that we had on a boat when I was a kid - it worked well, and saved a lot of floor space from being wasted, by only having the space in front of the portapotti available when the doors were folded open. The second door hinged on the back of the compartment door is just a piece of 1/4" ply.

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Old 04-29-2006, 04:44 PM   #11
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go to an RV website that sell the van type class B motorhome conversions. Check out the floor plans on some of those. They have a closet bath where the doors foldout to enlarge the toilet area but when closed it does not take up any interior space. This way you can setup the toilet as needed and close it up when you need the floor space. The shower is located in the center isle with curtains and a drain in the rubber floor. Not the best setup but it all works. One company that makes this type of bath is [b]Roadtek.
I was going to suggest that very thing. Also, be sure to click on Andrew's diagram to see the [b]animation of the double folding door!

Here's a link: RoadTrek 190 Popular
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:27 AM   #12
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I was going to suggest that very thing. Also, be sure to click on Andrew's diagram to see the [b]animation of the double folding door!

Here's a link: RoadTrek 190 Popular
Thanks Fred, it is indeed RoadTrek not Roadtek, below a pic of bath stowed and setup. Also the drain in floor for center isle shower. Andrew's animation shows how it open and shuts. Basically this is the same setup in the Roadtrek. You will have to build a raised platform over the wheelwell hump for a place to set the porta-potty. It should still be low enough for use by shorter people. Another options is to use the compact flush Sealand Toilet that scamp installs. It is very compact with the black water tank under the toilet. You will need to plumb water to the unit which means you will have to have a pump, water tank etc in your rig. You will also need to figure how to plumb the drainline/valve. The unit itself is kind of spendy but worth every penny when you have to hit the head in the middle of the night.
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:38 AM   #13
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If you can put/Make a shower tub in the doorway. Plumb your shower head to this area and put up a privacy/splash curtain there too. An advantage to this is you now can have the kids (adult or child size) remove, clean etc. muddy shoes in a place that can be washed out easily.
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:44 AM   #14
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Herre's a shot I took a few years ago. No wet floor.
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Old 04-30-2006, 05:32 PM   #15
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For the last couple of months I have been thinking about extending the closet in my love bug and converting it to a shower/bathroom. I know that the bathrooms on the 13ft trailers is usually made in the front, but I need the bed for my boys. Has anyone ever attempted or thought of doing this? If so, or even if not what are your ideas and or comments on this type of a project? Heres a sketch of what I'm talking about..
I have run into this on occasion. Have you ever thought about using a porta potti for a toilet and installing an outside shower? You could install a second hook for the shower head higher up on the sidewall and as long as you were wearing appropriate swimwear, ( you don't want to get arrested) you could shower outside. The porta potti could be kept under a bed or someplace converient for storage and take it out on the floor area for use.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:42 AM   #16
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I had also seen a picture of a 13 foot aero-stream (sp) that had a little bathroom right there.
I know that the 17' wide body Burro located one there, but I believe the trailer is 7.5' wide. I'd venture to say that your Love Bug is only a little over 6' wide. The only other one that I know that has one in that position is the 16' Airstream and I believe it is 8' wide. I think the 1.5' to 2' difference is why I'm having a hard time seeing the possibility of that position in your trailer.

If the kitchen counter is 20" deep and the bathroom is 3' inside measurement (a necessary minimun for a shower/toilet combo, I would think), that only leaves a little over a foot for someone to work in the kitchen area. Maybe even less since the maximum width of our trailers is the middle. Inside floor space isn't quite that wide.

I'm not trying to put a damper on your idea because I think that you might be able to construct something like what has been suggested as far as an indoor fold away, but permanent... I just can't seem to visulaize it when I'm in my 16' trailer.
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:51 PM   #17
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I agree with Suz that the bath-beside-door setup, which I have seen in an Airstream, is for wider trailers. I also agree with Joseph that curbside dinette access would be a problem (it's tough enough already with just the closet) assuming that you want to keep the dinette (and not just a fixed bed).

Like many others, the fold-out or curtained shower area comes to mind, with Class B motorhomes as the shining examples. Some of them have hinged floor sections to cover a recessed shower pan between the frame rails.

If you are really into modifications, the wheel well interference problem can be addressed by using the space directly opposite the door, like my Boler B1700RGH, the Escape (plan with bathroom) and side-bath Scamp 16'. In a 13' trailer, that means moving at least some of the kitchen to that space beside the door (e.g. stove on one side, sink on other).

This is why they make bigger trailers, but on the other hand I would like to be towing something smaller. I hope you can work something out, James!
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:53 PM   #18
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This is an idea that we had on a boat when I was a kid...
Gold star to Andrew for impressive graphic of the month - animated!
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Old 05-21-2006, 07:50 PM   #19
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Andrew, consider this as "thinking out loud" as I haven't given much thought to either a toilet or shower in my Trillium.
Your reference to your boating adventures got my thinking of the boat we cruised on when I was a kid. To use the toilet, which was contained in a wooden box, you had to lift the lid that was hinged at the back and propped against the bulkhead to have headroom and then open the front of the box via a door in order to actually have access to the toilet itself.
Instead of having side swinging doors, what if you had a two part opening? 1 part lifted to the ceiling and the other lowered to the floor. The top section could have the rod for a shower curtain for privacy while the bottom part would be the shower floor. Just a thought for a tight quarters arrangement.
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:20 PM   #20
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I was thinking of doing something like this in my 13' Scamp, but I haven't worked out all of the details yet. I was thinking about making a rectangle suspended track on the ceiling out of PVC, that a couple of shower curtains could hang from for a complete enclosure. I could either take them down when not needed, or just push them back against the closet. For the shower floor I am thinking (don't laugh too hard) of an inflatable kids pool. The smallest I could find. Blow it up when needed, and when its not it won't take up any space at all. Plus, I don't have any black or grey water tanks in my trailer, so what ever I use I am going to have to cart away to empty and I figure this will work as well as anything else cause I am not planning to take really long showers here! So just another idea to toss around.

BTW- what are you going to do for water supply and does your trailer have a water heater already?
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