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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Shower fixtures - why are they so bad?

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HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 03/16/13 10:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I realize that the RV industry is not fertile ground for examples of excellence - but shower plumbing fixtures seem especially bad. I have owned now 5 RVs with showers. With the exception of the Airstream trailer (which had regular Grohe home fixtures), the faucets are cheap plastic crap, no single lever mixer, proprietary hole spacing so not easily replaced, the hose to the spray handle is as stiff as a bad garden hose on a cold morning, the spray handle is a leaky 50 cent molding, the shut off valve leaks buckets of water constantly. About the only good thing that can be said is that they are light weight.

Maybe the manufacturers think the DW will look no further than the kitchen sink before a purchase decision? Is there some pact between them to supply only******as soon as you pass the shower door?

I have been told that the reason the spray shut off leaks has something to do with an imagined problem with hot/cold regulation, but this is provably not true: the Scandvik spray handle in my boat shuts completely (in fact you can leave the valve on 24/7 if you like) yet works fine.

I am about to pull this hole mess out (if I can get to it...) and replace it with some marine plumbing that actually works. Am I alone in my complaints about this stuff? Or is everyone happy with their shower plumbing from the factory?

trail-explorer

NM

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Posted: 03/16/13 10:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AGREED.

They are junk.

I'm also at a loss as to teh "hot / cold regulation" and the resulting leak...

If there was some sort of plumbing code, why is it that everything in my house works perfectly fin and doesn't leak like a sieve when I turn on teh hot and cold water?


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Lantley

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Posted: 03/16/13 10:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

trail-explorer wrote:

AGREED.

They are junk.

I'm also at a loss as to teh "hot / cold regulation" and the resulting leak...

If there was some sort of plumbing code, why is it that everything in my house works perfectly fin and doesn't leak like a sieve when I turn on teh hot and cold water?

The shower faucet in your home is more than likely all brass and is securely mounted to a wood stud. Many plumbing codes require shower faucets to be pressure balanced with scald guard protection
An RV faucet is built to be light weight and is mounted to a plastic frame member or worse. The faucet is all plastic and is not pressure balanced.
There is a lot of room for improvement in RV shower faucets. It is also not easy to upgrade or retrofit a better shower faucet. For now we must Suffer. Just grin and bear it! The Oxygenics shower head is a big improvement but the faucets are all still pretty bad


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donn0128

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Posted: 03/16/13 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at any boat and they have real shower fixtures in them. I was looking at a boating catalogue this a few minutes ago and there is a wide range of quality single handle fixtures available. All marine grade brass and chrome. Not cheap and your RV might not have the room for them, but stuff is available if your willing to do the work necessary to retro fit it.


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AnEv942

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Posted: 03/16/13 11:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are a couple of links in the TCU thread under camper plumbing where folks have added seperate & 'real' shower valves.


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JimK-NY

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Posted: 03/16/13 02:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would agree that RV plumbing fixtures are cheap. I suppose many RVs are not used that much and so cheap fixtures seem acceptable.

I also have to say that I think household plumbing fixtures are also poorly made. Everytime there is a problem I start cursing the plumbing industry back to the time of the Romans. Every house I have lived in has had shutoff valves that leak instead of shutting off the flow of water completely. I have replaced numerous faucets. I did three sets of kitchen faucets in my house over a 20 year time period. All were expensive brand name units. Shutoff valves and garden faucets often still have waxy rope packing to seal from leaks around the valve. There has to be some better engineering available.

There should be lawsuits over the poorly made toilet supply lines. Many have plastic threaded connections and with time and vibrations they let go. We had a bathroom floor, kitchen ceiling and kitchen floor destroyed for this reason. It would have been worse had my wife not just stepped out of the house for a few minutes. I know of friends who have had much worse damage.

While I am thinking about it, go check the supply line to your clothes washer. These are often plain neoprene and eventually they burst especially the hot water line.





kerry4951

East Central Pennsylvania

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Posted: 03/16/13 02:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Throw away that cheap plastic shower spray head and buy a good one. A good one will not leak. You can get a better made one all over the place...... ebay, amazon, rv parts stores. Unscrew the junky one from the end of the hose and screw on the new one. Simple fix.


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Bluebirdskoolie

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Posted: 03/16/13 02:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

.

* This post was edited 04/05/13 03:44pm by Bluebirdskoolie *

john b

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Posted: 03/16/13 03:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess we are really out of the loop but all 5 trailers we have owned the showers have worked fine and we use/used them a lot. I did have a drain pipe break but that's all!! Jmho Jb


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HMS Beagle

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Posted: 03/16/13 08:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

The Oxygenics shower head is a big improvement...

I did get one from CW and tried it - not a bad spray, but the "shut off" valve leaves enough coming out to take a pretty good shower when it is shut off, so I took it back.
Quote:

You can get a better made one all over the place...... ebay, amazon, rv parts stores.

Most of them that you can buy in home improvement stores do not have shut offs. There are a few options in RV stores, I have gone through a few of them, still looking for something that works. The main selling point of many of them is the 8 massage modes which I find I do not need. Just want something that sprays, lasts more than a year, and shuts off.
Quote:

We bought a house type shower faucet from Home Depot.... just like all our plumbing. We replaced the faucets in our previous RV with house type stuff too. I don't know why you all put up with "settling for" junk. Too scared to make that kind of a change?

Trouble is, the ubiquitous Pheonix brand RV shower faucet uses 4 inch center stems, unlike anyone else in the world. You may get lucky and find a shower mixer that will cover those holes, or at least have a huge escutcheon plate that will. But I am not that lucky: the valve was installed directly under a molded in soup shelf, on a corner angle. Anything big enough to cover the holes will stick up above the shelf.

I did pull it apart this afternoon, access was surprisingly good through a hatch under the sink. I am ordering some boat gear to replace it.

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