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 > 1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 4. Bathroom Remodel

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Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 11/02/14 07:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is Part 4 (in no particular order, especially as it gets into the latter parts) of our camper restoration modification. These links will take you to the other parts.

1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 1. Acquisition & Evaluation
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 2. Dismantling and Salvage
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 3. Structure and New Wood
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 4. Bathroom Remodel
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 5. Propane
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 6. Jacks & Tiedowns
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 7. Finishes & Finishing
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 8. Fresh Water
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 9. Electrical (AC/DC)
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 10. Galley & Greatroom
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 11. Night Chamber
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 12. Waste Water
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 13. Exterior, Skin & Openings
1968 Travel Queen Resto Mod - 14. Viewer Perceptions

I had the back wall of the camper out to accomplish a portion of the wood replacement task and found now was the perfect time to access the bathroom remodel issues.

The original camper bathroom was mostly a ward-robe, including storage shelves, a narrow clothes rod, a light, a small window and a pretty good deal of floor space for a portable toilet.

[image]

What a cute little room huh? DW wasn't terribly excited to see it's charm departed, but we both knew our duffle bag wardrobes of "pop-up campers past" were really the best and easiest method for us to not only travel, but to pack and unpack as well. The extended cab pickups of today had clothes hooks in the back seat from which to put any required hanging clothes. By having a ward-robe in a bag you can move your ward-robe around. At night the space is on the dinette seat, by day it's in the cab-over.

We're also something of hygiene freaks so we weren't really excited about sponge baths and toothpaste spit in the kitchen food prep sink. A bathroom basin was important to us, as was a grey water tank for our "flying under the radar" planned method of travel. A small space for sponge baths and potti needs might just as well double as a wet area right? Pull that out-door shower indoors where it belongs? We had scared one-too many children in the past!

In shopping the RV parts catalogs and online parts sources I found a small basin that in real time now seems very big for it's dimensions, and a specialty size shower pan.

Available residential shower pans are too big, as are most RV shower pans. I had roughly 24" by 27" max floor space to work with. Also, I wanted an edge drain (as opposed to a center drain) because I wanted a trap and a minimal amount (if any) of grey water tank slosh-back into the pan. I found an almost perfect candidate in the Icon Direct 24x27 pan from Canada.

Not only would this pan provide maximum space, it would also allow for a 3/4" insulation board between the shower surround surfaces and the camper exterior walls (both back and side - side meaning the back wall of the new propane tank compartment).

With the original single 20lb horizontal propane tank placement relocated from where the new refrigerator would be, to the right rear side of the camper, here's how the new bathroom profile looks.
[image]

[image]

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The exact height of the shower pan yet to be determined, here is the general placement of the pan and grey water tank. The main visible tank hole is for the dump valve (inside for four season use). Yeah I know, it won't drain completely while on the level, but such are the realities of inside, no basement, special order tanks (and I intend to lift the front of the tank as much as possible, which I believe may well be an inch plus). The upper side hole is for shower drain connection.

[image]

The other side of the grey water tank will live under the dinette as far forward as where the pedestal mounts to the floor. Note the main visible hole is for bathroom sink connection and the forward hole for kitchen sink connection. Incidentally the tank size is 21 gallons.

[image]

With the toilet in this position you can sit backwards to have a sit down shower and use both the basin and the counter for showering needs.

[image]

The shower head will double as the sink faucet and will mount on the forward inside wall to keep it, and any fresh water plumbing on a warm side. The plumbing will be both decorative and multi-functional (1/2" rigid copper pipe) acting as shortest line distances possible (to limit overall water use when calling on hot water) and at the same time acting as towel rods for kitchen towels in the hall and bath towels in the bathroom. The routing will come from the water heater location under the kitchen counter up through the counter along the back camper wall, over the head near the back door, into the bathroom at ceiling height and on to the placement of the shower diverter. But that is a post for another day.

The now vacated holes for a traditional sink faucet will house soap/lotion/shampoo/conditioner surface mount under-counter dispensers (with additional holes in the counter as required). The sink basin will drain down and elbow to the back wall of the propane compartment, then elbow straight down through the compartment to the outside, where it will elbow forward, then left and back into the camper's heated side under the dinette seat where it will trap on the warm side prior to emptying into the grey-water tank. That trap area will live alongside the dual (vented) batteries in a compartment also under the dinette seat. A compartment which will also contain a converter/charger/power box on the aisle side.

* This post was last edited 02/20/18 04:41pm by Dave Pete *   View edit history


The older I go, the less I know.

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 11/03/14 06:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had the general layout of the bathroom and the pieces fitted to the available space. Now I needed to set exact height of the shower pan by establishing a drain and trap system.

I took a couple of measurements and drove over to the home center. Here I found some $10 clearance price (normally $30) tub drain and overflow connector sets in a variety of color finishes: bronze, chrome, enamel parchment, brass, etc. I selected parchment.

When I ordered the pan we bought white, even though it was available in parchment. We prefer off whites to stark whites but the walls were to be covered in a flexible PVC sheet material available only in white, so we chose a white pan. After finding the sink basin only in white, that also made the choice easier.

When the sink came it was parchment, part number suffix PP (plastic parchment) even though its description had said white. Another site had the sink part number suffix PW (plastic white). And the Thetford toilet was some gray, some bisque (not quite as dark as parchment), but rather than run through returns we determined a parchment sink set in a white counter top might actually offer a nice contrast. And the sink has a parchment stopper. Therefore a parchment stopper in the shower pan was logical.

The stopper doesn't click, it simply uses pressure to hold it in an open or closed (and sealed) position with a rubber seal. During use of course it will be open and when not in use it will be closed to assist in keeping sloshes and odors out.

I also bought the required pieces for the drain and trap seen here. It includes reducers from the 1.5" to a bathroom sink type 1.25" trap, and back to the ordered 1.5" tank fitting. In retrospect I should have gone 1.25" fitting on the tank.
[image]

The pieces are not cemented or threaded completely so the overall space they take will diminish slightly, but for now I was after the exact height of the shower pan surfaces.

Also note the trap position relative to the rear of the camper access. You could reach in there for future repairs with major stretching and working blind, with one hand, but that's not good enough for me. One of my biggest irritations about new RV units is how the manufacturers bury everything. They seem to have no qualms charging us a day's labor at $100 an hour just to pull down large expanses of coverings so they can access our basement systems. I don't like to pay labor charges, and as I get older I like easier labor access. No sir, I'll make an access panel inside for this trap.

Now with the exact height of the shower drain known, I took everything out so I could work and transferred the heights to marks on the wall. Here you see a right and left position of the placement for the 3/4" plywood floor that will support the pan.
[image]

In essence, the floor was raised 1.5" from the previous pictures showing the one piece of 3/4" plywood on the tank and the pan on top of the plywood. The headroom was still being eaten up. DW isn't short, but I'm taller at 6'4". And fortunately with age I'll be getting shorter. I've already lost one inch! [emoticon]

But there's only three reasons I stand up in the bathroom: to wash my face, to brush my teeth, and to - well you know. For the face washing I normally bend forward. For the teeth brushing I also bend forward. And to - well you know - I test drove (simulation) the portable toilet by sliding it forward to the bathroom door edge of the pan, and standing outside I leaned slightly forward and rested my frame on the door opening and lo and behold, I was sooo directly over the center hole of the toilet that I can almost guarantee there isn't a woman alive who would be able to justifiably complain about my aim!

So losing one and a half more inches of height wasn't as bad as it could be. And our showers will be sit down as previously mentioned.

With the new shower pan height in place I measured the sink height again. I split the difference between the previous 36" and the new 34.5" (due to the raising of the shower pan). Normal residential height of bathroom vanity height above floor is 32"-34", but in our home we have the higher vanities for a 36" height (because we're tall). Without encroaching on the rounded ceiling above the basin too much by splitting the difference, we could reach a higher height, keep it above the propane tank compartment, and that still left about 12" of wall above the basin before the rounded roof took over too much. Here you see spacers holding the pan and basin at the exact heights that will be used.
[image]

I might mention, the top of the propane compartment will be the counter top board. The basin will be IN THE compartment. Once all the under basin components are completed (soap dispensers, etc.) the bottom of the basin will be spray foam insullated.

I also might mention, many of the bathroom uses not required to be done in the room itself such as: makeup or other use of a mirror, contacts, etc. can be done at the dinette or if standing, in the aisle. When limited by space it is quite easy to make accommodations by simply changing behavior. We've done that for years.

And of course the requirement of such a small bathroom (due to a small RV) is much easier to deal with when it is just a couple (and a close couple at that) without children of the family going along. The nice thing about modern trucks is that extended cab; it can also hold a tent!

Now, back on the inside this shot shows where I'll put my plumbing access. I'll describe that process tomorrow.
[image]

Victory402

NC

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Posted: 11/03/14 07:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave, Perhaps you might want to consider installing one of those sun roof domes over the shower area to give you a couple more inches of height?

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 11/03/14 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's a good thought Victory, but I'm not sure a few inches will gain me any real help. I think perhaps 7"+ might. But I don't want to spoil the outside character too much either, nor the low profile of just why we're doing this to begin with. But thanks for the idea just the same [emoticon]

ticki2

NH

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Posted: 11/03/14 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave , I can relate to how you think your way through a process . If I become annoying with comments just tell me to back off .

I have not had good luck with the nut and washer type traps that you show for the shower . They tend to loosen with vibration . If you want the flexibility of taking apart without cutting a fernco fitting works better . I also don't think it's a good idea to reduce down for a shower . I didn't read any mention of a vent for the grey tank .

With the shower drain and top of the grey tank being so close in elevation I will be interested to hear if there is any back up into the shower driving with a full grey tank . I have a similar situation and have not come to a resolve yet .


'68 Avion C-11
'02 GMC DRW D/A flatbed

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 11/03/14 08:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ticki2 I don't mind the suggestions, and often there are (and will be) things I hadn't considered, so it can all be very helpful. On the other hand, as you imply, too many cooks can spoil the soup and there will always be many multiple ways of doing something. It is a balance and we are all involved.

There is a vent on the kitchen sink drain at the wall that I will be re-using. I'm hoping the bath sink and shower runs are short enough to not require a vent.

Good suggestion for the fernco fitting. I'll think on that.

I think with the trap and the drain stopper, I'll be okay on the grey water back-up, but I'm sure there will be alterations required on the final product.

Incidentally, I have retested pilot holes for screws, thanks to your suggestions and I think you'll be favorably impressed with my latest choice.

67avion

Carbondale, Illinois

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Posted: 11/03/14 11:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of the best rebuild strings ever. Too bad its not an Avion :-)





Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 11/03/14 11:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks. I think I can do this because it's wood. I don't have the skills for an Avion! [emoticon]

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 11/04/14 07:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here I continue work on the shower drain plumbing access door. This is in essence the threshhold area of the bathroom.

The floor of the bathroom was originally raised about 7" and created a space for (I think) a small black water tank for a toilet, or a storage space accessible from the outside back wall, depending on factory options chosen. In removing my original floor I had discovered a full 1/2" plywood board on top of another 1/2" plywood board, the second having a hole in the center about the size of a toilet flange. Toilet options are found in other Travel Queens of the era, especially in the longer units with room for tanks below truck bed height.

I was going to use the space partially for a grey water tank, an inside and heated 1.5" dump valve, storage for the grey water dump hose, and shower trap/drain plumbing. And by installing a shower pan I had to first raise the floor high enough for the shower drain connection, and then consider the height of the pan as well to come up with a new bottom of the door opening height. That new height was 12.5"

I had to cut out a section of the bottom of the door wall face anyway (the portion that was below the original 7" high floor) to make room for an inside access under the shower. My access door is a donor drawer front from my parts camper that will hinge on the bottom and open downward for plumbing access.

These drawers are all the same height so I had to make a new opening (by cutting and framing anew) that was 5.25" tall. I chose the longest drawer front (which was too narrow to go across the entire opening by about five inches) and started framing calculations based on it.

With the excess opening space I intend to install a small low current draw 12v fan that can be turned on manually (perhaps eventually by thermostat) for either pulling or pushing warmed camper air though my grey water basement.

The piece I would cut out had to be the same length as the space above that it would patch (the area covering the height of the shower pan). So I needed to reduce the lost wood (and length) by reducing the saw kerf (width reduced by the blade to sawdust). Therefore I used my thinnest door jamb saw. I did run across metal fasteners on both sides so ran the hack saw down through those.

[image]

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It just so happened that by going the lowest I wanted (reaching the underlying wall cleat) and raising the piece upward until the rough opening was the correct height, brought the new upper edge to EXACTLY the lowest it could be to fully cover (and support) the shower pan flange lip. That height was right even with the lip.

[image]

[image]

I have a plan for how that will work out, but we don't have time to talk about that right now [emoticon] I'll cover that way down the road on the shower door install post. (Shoot - I hope I can figure out something clever by then).

Because I don't have all the gadgets, tools, fasteners and materials found in a real camper factory (or even wood shop), I tend to use ingenuity with what I have on hand, rather than wasting a day driving in, shopping, spending more money buying specialty tools and fasteners, so I checked the scrap wood pile.

In the end I cut a 3/8" piece of plywood to size to place behind the door wall face boards and would fasten it and the face wall pieces together in much the same way as how the factory built my original camper back wall with scraps.

The face wall was 1" (3/4" fir 1x material, faced on both sides with 1/8" birch paneling). So I used basic 1.25" construction screws and wood glue to fasten the 3/8" board from the back side into all the front face pieces.

I started with the back side plywood gusset. Then I cut a 1x2 for the right edge of the access door opening.

[image]

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Then I needed to face the 1x2 with 1/8" both sides, and trying to match up wood grains on the visible side. I had to cut into similar grained interior paneling wood from the old back wall.

[image]

[image]

Cutting the old wall pieces to size on the table saw I separated the panel pieces from the 1x pieces and sanded the glue from the back sides on the bench sander. Then I squared up my 1x2 piece.

[image]

After gluing I had this.

[image]

While the small piece dried I moved on to installing the plywood gusset to the inside of the wall using the wood glue and constructions screws. Then I placed and installed the upper cross piece.

[image]

[image]

Finally with the small piece dry enough I squared it on the sander and installed it.

[image]

After doing more work later in the day on the floor cleats, this is the result.

[image]

[image]

During the future interior finishing process I'll fill the gaps and see if we can hide the seams good enough. If not we'll use the contrasting paint color schemes on the lower part of the door wall as we'll be using in various other small areas of the camper interior.

Next I cut nice clean 3/4" by 3/4" moldings for cleats out of a clear 1x4 and screwed them into place. I also cut the grey water opening a bit higher in the wall common to the dinette and bathroom, allowing me to raise the front of the grey water tank about 1" for better draining.

Now, more or less finished with the interior walls of the bathroom I looked toward the back and side walls (the camper right side wall and back wall respectively) and notwithstanding some possible minor exceptions, and occasional returns to this thread, the bathroom remodel is done at this point and I'll be moving back into the Part 4. Structure and New Wood - 11/5/14 post.

* This post was edited 11/05/14 06:38am by Dave Pete *

Dave Pete

Wyoming

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Posted: 11/05/14 07:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The main purpose of the above posts to this point was to determine a satisfactory height of the shower pan, the primary goal of which was to provide as much headroom as possible in balance with acceptable shower draining (pan elevation in relation to grey water tank entry).

This can be pretty difficult when dealing with only 6'3" of headroom to start with!

I've received a couple of comments (both in thread and via PM) about concerns regarding DWV (drain/waste/vent), specifically in regards to proper venting for optimal draining, closure of the drain for preventing "on the road" slosh-back, and input for whether or not a trap is even needed (traps are for preventing escaping sewer gasses and other odors).

I'd like to say two things here.

1. I truly appreciate the offers of concern and the helpful suggestions. True, too much of that can become overwhelming, but I haven't seen that here. I'm sure many of you have thoughts, but have refrained because of your desire to prevent such "overwhelmingness". I appreciate that too! I'm not making a "request for input" here. But if you have something constructive to add, please feel free. Make a thoughtful choice of whether it is best offered via PM, or in thread, and go for it.

2. Previous plans can and do change. There is space and access for a sink vent on the camper wall. However it would be above the drain, but below the basin rim, not exactly proper (I think it is supposed to be above the basin rim to avoid potential drainage out the vent), but it may have to be satisfactory. Another option is to vent inside the 3/4" wall cavity with some creativity to a higher point before exiting the wall. The shower has a tub stopper, not a shower drain; that may work for preventing slosh back. Another option is a manual gate or ball valve in the drain line. A trap may not be necessary (except for potential odors from an incompletely draining grey water tank like mine). Also, when we use the shower for one of those "long luxurious" soaks, it will be at a time when we have hookups, at least fresh water and very likely waste connection so a trap may well be needed.

At any rate, these are all subjects for future posts. This is gonna be fun [emoticon]

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