Home About The Autens Plumbing: How We Measure Depths

Plumbing: How We Measure Depths

written by Fred Flintstone August 30, 2016

Hey, how hard could it be?” How hard? For me, very hard. I am stupid.

 

 

 

 

 


The original shower in our Fleetwood Jamboree 26J was adequate. Adequate. Barely. Christine and I always work hard to imprint our will upon our environment. I’m particularly bad about this and, as my mother says, “’twas ever thus.” I ALWAYS gut, cut, dissemble, modify, and customize my environment.

In the instance of our shower and bathroom I was definitely at a huge disadvantage. Plumbing is not my strength. Carpentry is REALLY not my strength. Making a new bathroom, it turns out, involves both carpentry and plumbing. Who knew?

When were were first shopping for an RV, one of our secondary requirements was a little RV-sized mini-tub. The 2007 Fleetwood Jamboree 26J met nearly all of our requirements, save the “tublet.” I figured we could rip out the old bathroom fairly easily. I wasn’t sure we could rebuild the bathroom, to be honest, but I was encouraged by this thought: “Hey, how hard could it be?” How hard? For me, very hard. I am stupid.


Honestly, I had no idea how to approach the build but the existing shower setup have me some clues.

 


The old shower surround removed.

Once the old shower was removed, we could get a better sense of the space we had to work with.

I ended up purchasing several fiberglass RV tubs from PPL RV in Houston in order to find the tub size that suited us best. The Lippert-brand vinyl surround came from a vendor on Amazon after Camping World massively fucked up our initial order.

Honestly, I had no idea how to approach the build but the existing shower setup have me some clues. The original shower-pan sat on a little plywood platform positioned over the shower p-trap. Basically, I copied this as closely as I could, the only further modification necessary was a taller section to accommodate the tublet seating area. These photos show the final structure but not the multiple interim versions that, frankly, sucked.


My intention was to have a neat little place to rinse our feet. But, dammit, these this always seem to spiral out of control.


To make thing even more difficult, we chose to do these upgrades AFTER we had already redone the rest of the bathroom – new floor, new wallpaper, paint, lights, vent fan and motor, new shower head and faucet and a new surround. For this shower install we had to work around – and not damage – the work we had already done on the rest of the bathroom.

My intention was to have a neat little place to rinse our feet. But, dammit, these this always seem to spiral out of control. We purchased a new tub, new surround, a new spigot and shower-head and hose that would allow us to fill the tub directly without using the  shower, which would waste a hell of a lot of hot water. Bringing it all together nearly exceeded our thoughts, skills and abilities. The only thing that kept me from quitting was the knowledge that the original, existing setup was already fairly simple. All we were trying to do was modify functionality.


The RV’s PEX plumbing was a mystery to me and I had to pick my battles.

 

 


The new tub was abut 2 inches shorter than the previous tub so I had to build out the wall a bit.  My building skills are shit and I really thought about omitting the pictures of my cheese-log tech.

The existing plumbing did require some cutting to accommodate the new tub, but only the drain itself. I decided that the the showerhead and spigot plumbing would remain as-is, so all I had to do was place the new faucet more-or-less where the old faucet was.

The RV’s PEX plumbing was a mystery to me and I had to pick my battles. My battle plan was to leave this this alone. As for drains, RV plumbing uses a different kind of plastic than normal residential plastic plumbing.

Fortunately there are glues and solvents that let us mix these different kinds of plastics.


The worst part of this job was the fact that I had no previous experience in carpentry or plumbing that would help me.


The worst part of this job was the fact that I had no previous experience in carpentry or plumbing that would help me. The second-worse part of the job was the confined space in which I had to work.  The bathroom is tiny but I am  well over six feet.  As you can see from some of the pictures, my tiny-ass wife really came in handy. Once the basic layout of the tub and plumbing was established, the only remaining challenge was the flexible pleated shower door. Fortunately, PPL in Houston kept a respectable supply of RV shower supplies on-hand. After a couple of misfires we found a door that fit our setup perfectly.

Xstine supplemented the bathroom build considerably by adding a solid-vinyl structure to the area surrounding the toilet. There are both decorative and practical advantages to this: it looks good and you can wipe piss off the plastic (to be blunt). Further, she decided that the empty space under the tub would be used for storage space. The opening was covered by an IKEA tray and secured by heavy-duty VELCRO strips. The tray allows us not only easy access to the under-tub space as storage but also lets us easily deal with any plumbing issues that may arise.


A very hard job but worth it. We love this little house.


The whole this was capped off by a high-efficiency Oxygenics RV Shower Head. The result of all this? Combined with modifications to the water-heater, our shower-time is fantastic. Unless we are really hard-up for gray-tank capacity, we always shower in the RV rather than use the shower facilities at an RV park or campground.

A very hard job but worth it. We love this little house.

You may also like