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Old 04-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Recommendations for cement board replacement?

Hello,

I'm in the process of renovating our '79 Excella 500 31' and am at the point where I need to choose materials for the shower. We're going to do sort of tiling using flexible grout (SnapStone Urethane Flexible Grout | SnapStone.com) but we're unsure what sort of board we should be attaching the tiles to. Seems like regular cement board would crack if jolted or twisted during towing, so we were looking for something more flexible and hopefully lighter weight. I've heard a product called "E-Z board" might do the trick...

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:22 AM   #2
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I used fiberglass reinforced plastic panels (FRP) that are a white textured finish bought from Lowes. I'm not too sure I would attempt to put tile and some sort of backer board in a bath on a 70's vintage trailer, especially if it is a rear bath model. Besides the grout joints cracking and tiles popping, you have that much more weight aft of the axles and these vintage trailers aren't known for super beefy frames. If you check my blog <points down> you can see how I handled a rear bath in an overlander.
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:04 AM   #3
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I've seen other peoples Airstreams with tile installed but I would advise against it. It would be way too much added weight and I seriously doubt that it would remain water tight for very many miles down the road.
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:48 AM   #4
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1996 25' Excella
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If Cement board is going to twist, the for sure the tiles are going to twist no matter what substrate. All trailers move and flex.
I'm with everyone here. Find a different finish. At least premium silicone or Mono will stick and flex with the movement of Acrylic panels.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCWDCW View Post
If Cement board is going to twist, the for sure the tiles are going to twist no matter what substrate. All trailers move and flex.
I'm with everyone here. Find a different finish. At least premium silicone or Mono will stick and flex with the movement of Acrylic panels.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I didn't think there were many options aside from tile if I wasn't doing a pre-fab plastic shower enclosure; shows how much I know!

My AS is a complete guy job, including the floor boards. Interior is about 70% rebuilt at the moment. Bathroom and shower are located over the axels.

Love the look and feel of tile, but am open to other options for the shower wall finish as well.

JCWDCW mentioned "premium silicone or Mono that will stick and flex with the movement of Acrylic panels"; unfortunately I don't have a clue what "premium silicone", "mono", or "acrylic panels" are.

Can anyone point me to some websites with finishing and backing board materials that could work in my situation? Just trying to understand what options are out there.

Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:44 PM   #6
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Why not use Aluminum?
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:12 PM   #7
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This is what I would use....as with trailers you want to watch your weight.

Specialized Structural Panels - Coosa Composites

40-45% lighter than plywood. Since you're not using it to walk on I would go with Bluewater 20 which is 20lbs per cubic foot, so a 3/4" 4'x8' sheet would weigh 40lbs. Waterproof and extremely strong. I used this product (Bluewater 20) for my new subfloor and to demonstrate how strong it was I took a 5" strip, placed it across two saw horses and stood my 6'3" 255lb frame on it. The strip bent but did not crack until I bounced up and down five or six times on it.

Even this cement board which is rated as the lightest cement board is 100 lbs per 4x8 sheet.

CGC | 1/2&#34; DUROCK Next Gen Cement Board Panel, 4' x 8' | Home Depot Canada

The equivalent Bluewater 20 1/2" 4x8' board would be 26.66 lbs.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:24 AM   #8
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Re Premium Silicone or Mono.

If you go to your local Hardware or building supply and look at Caukling you should find an excellent selection of high quality choices in caulking tubes.
Personally I don't like silicone because it peels if the surface is not perfectly clean, and it doesn't take a re-coat or repair easily. Mono is at least soluble in Varsol or paint thinner

Mono is an Acrylic caulk that the pros use for outdoor sealing of windows and steel roofing. It is just one of many acceptable brands, and you will probably find a reasonable color match. Vinyl Siding suppliers have a good range of colors available also. I have used it around the house for sinks and showers
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:10 AM   #9
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Recommendations for cement board replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyCorpsman View Post
Why not use Aluminum?

Excellent suggestion! In fact, after doing some digging, this is exactly what was used in the picture below (which has served as the inspiration for our bathroom design):

Click image for larger version

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In the above image, the shower walls are sheets of aluminum coated in a marine paint for that high gloss look.

I think aluminum is the route we'll take, provided we can find it in large enough sheets for these walls. Thanks for the advice everyone!
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:14 AM   #10
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I work with a bathroom renovator.

We put tile ( at the home owners insistence ) in the floor of shower stalls. It is an expensive, involved multi stage, multi material, prone to failure process, even in a stationary application. The very experienced, master craftsman, would not use tile in his own shower floor, and opts for a fiberglass or porcelain shower base.

Then there is the weight issue. Go to Home Depot and lift up a box of tile, and a piece of wonder board. Also, it takes a lot of material to insure the needed pitch.

I have seen awesome, and beautiful results, using stainless steel in a camper shower stall. Painting your old PVC ( ? ) shower base, with 2 part epoxy might be your best, and most economically feasible option.

Note: My associates work does not fail, but we make tons of money repairing work of lesser installers.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:47 AM   #11
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Hey Trekerboy,
I'm moving my rear bath over the wheel well on my 72 tradewind remodel. A shower/toilet combo (like your attached pic) is what I'm looking to do as well. Have you put together a dimensioned floor plan yet?
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:50 AM   #12
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1978 31' Sovereign
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That looks great. I would go with a thicker .063 ga to eliminate a flimsy feel. It's readily available in 2024 alloy, in different sheet sizes. and is easy to find. You may have to search for the best price. I used a sheet to make a polished rock guard for mine. Very sturdy stuff.
Post some pics as you go
Clayton
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