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Old 06-26-2009, 02:29 PM   #1
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Wet Bath & Aluminum

I posted this same basic thread on an existing thread slightly off topic . . . so I'm posting here hoping to get some feedback - thanks as always.

So I've fallen in love w/the idea of a center "wet bath" and have been working on a layout. My questions are mostly material questions so maybe it doesn't really belong here . . . anyway, I'm thinking about fabricating an aluminum bath, at least the pan, the seat and the exterior wall panel. The 2 end panels/walls could be some other material as long as it was water proof/resistant and single pieces (I know I'll want to "warm it up" and this might be the opportunity to do that).

Is there a problem making the pan out of aluminum?
What is/are the problem(s)?
What Alloy should I use or does it matter in a shower pan that will be used 3 or 4 times every few months?

I'm thinking it's a stand alone aluminum structure that is then housed in plywood paneling that will match the rest of the interior. I think (and sometimes my thinking is screwy) that by building it and then "placing it" vs. attaching some parts to the floor and some parts to the exterior wall and some parts independent of the existing wall or floor, that it will be more likely to stay water tight . . . ?

The model shows the sink opposite the toilet, I may change that. The model also shows how the pan is made then how the seat "spills" into the pan and then the exterior wall panel spills onto the seat. I may decide to build the exterior wall panel as smaller horizontal "shingles" that get "tighter" as it hits the sharper part of the arch . . . The edges of the pan are turned up 3" and the edges of the seat and the wall are turned roughly an inch. Building it as a unit seems to make it so I could be pretty fussy about those joints . . .

Anyway, mostly I'm interested to know what might be the reasons NOT to build the pan and seat out of aluminum.

Thanks,
MarkR
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:52 PM   #2
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MarkR,

Here is a link to a related thread that may offer some information for you.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f446...pan-47644.html

Love the mock up you made. If it were me, I would go with aluminum, or copper. Mainly because I am comfortable working with these materials. I suspect fiberglass would be lighter though.

By all means keep us posted as to the direction you choose.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:52 PM   #3
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All materials have drawbacks and there are some with aluminum which you might want to consider.

Aluminum is very soft, so denting and scratching are likely. If you chose one of the hardened types of aluminum, galvanic corrosion is likely if water collects and stands in seams. The surface would need to be regularly waxed and/or polished if you want to keep it free of water spots and small areas of whitish corrosion. The latter would not be as invasive as the corrosion possible in the seams.

You do not mention clear coating the aluminum in some way, but I would suggest avoiding the temptation unless you have a professional do it.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:19 PM   #4
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If you chose one of the hardened types of aluminum, galvanic corrosion is likely if water collects and stands in seams. =

Tim,

Can you qualify this statement?
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
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Kevin, thanks for the link.

Tim, thanks for the info, like Kevin I'm hoping for an answer that says something like: If you use 3003 you'll have these issues
If you use 5052 you'll have these issues . . . or you don't want to use xxxx because of these issues. And maybe "hardened" automatically means one of those alloys - I'm just not even able to decipher that. I'm having the same problem choosing belly skin material - I can find 3 different threads recommending 3 different alloys (3003, 5052 and 6061 (not to mention multiple thicknesses), sorry that would be a tangent . . . for another thread).
Thanks for helping.
MarkR
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:56 PM   #6
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Mark,

Here is a link that will give you some good information posted by DIMMER several weeks ago about aluminum alloys.

Regards,

Kevin

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...tml#post712087
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #7
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My curiousity

It's great that you are making your own wetbath. What's on the opposite side of the center aisle? I'm looking for a small AS or Arg MH to make a large bath with a tub. I'm thinking of enlarging the back area to use 8 or 9 feet of space. Another idea is putting the walkway on the side like a rail car has. This would allow for a larger bath. We like the open no divider look except for the bath walls. This would mean having a pull out for the bed & an on demand water heater. Limited to a place with hookups for baths but sea showers allowed for boondocking. We may end up doing this with the 345 if a project MH can't be found.

Ricky
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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The shower pan in our '56 Safari's wet bath was originally stainless steel and the wall panels were aluminum (sorry don't know the type). The aluminum was very oxidized from being in regular contact with water - like the exterior of a 50's un-polished trailer, a very dull, darkish, flat grey. They were spotted & stained from both water and "rub marks", again like the exterior. They were also pockmarked, dented & creased from who knows what. The pan was dirty, but would have been much easier to clean up - but we needed a new one so we could add our above floor black tank.

We built our new shower pan out of stainless steel as well as the tank cover and the two straight walls. Being in the front corner, the overall shape of our shower/bath is kind of a triangular domed section so it would have been difficult to do the dome/curve in SS so we painted them with the AIM Zolatone like the rest of the trailer, it is the industrial version more suitable for wet locations - the acrylic version is not.

We did build ours in pieces - the pan, tank cover & two walls were all separate so there would be flexibility in the installation & fit. All the vertical pieces overlap into the pan about 3" and are covered in Vulkem between them. We had the pan fabricated/welded by a pro because of the curves & drain depression/creases but the tank cover & walls we cut/folded ourselves. At the joints of all the floor-to-wall seams, we use corner angle and Vulkemed the heck out of it behind it and at the seams and every screw hole. The pan and tank cover were made from 18ga. and the walls 22 ga. - the 18ga. was the smallest the fabricator would attempt to weld.

Here's a couple of pictures of it during our build progress, it's now done but I haven't updated our thread with new photos in awhile. Maybe later this weekend I'll get a chance.

The bottomline is, I would suggest you re-think towards possibly using stainless instead of aluminum - aluminum is very soft and more prone to scratches, dents & dimples and it oxidizes very quickly, especially with soaps & such. Personally, I'd hate to go to all the effort to build this this thing and have it look cruddy in a couple of years.

Shari
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
The shower pan in our '56 Safari's wet bath was originally stainless steel and the wall panels were aluminum (sorry don't know the type). The aluminum was very oxidized from being in regular contact with water - like the exterior of a 50's un-polished trailer, a very dull, darkish, flat grey. They were spotted & stained from both water and "rub marks", again like the exterior. They were also pockmarked, dented & creased from who knows what. The pan was dirty, but would have been much easier to clean up - but we needed a new one so we could add our above floor black tank.

We built our new shower pan out of stainless steel as well as the tank cover and the two straight walls. Being in the front corner, the overall shape of our shower/bath is kind of a triangular domed section so it would have been difficult to do the dome/curve in SS so we painted them with the AIM Zolatone like the rest of the trailer, it is the industrial version more suitable for wet locations - the acrylic version is not.

We did build ours in pieces - the pan, tank cover & two walls were all separate so there would be flexibility in the installation & fit. All the vertical pieces overlap into the pan about 3" and are covered in Vulkem between them. We had the pan fabricated/welded by a pro because of the curves & drain depression/creases but the tank cover & walls we cut/folded ourselves. At the joints of all the floor-to-wall seams, we use corner angle and Vulkemed the heck out of it behind it and at the seams and every screw hole. The pan and tank cover were made from 18ga. and the walls 22 ga. - the 18ga. was the smallest the fabricator would attempt to weld.

Here's a couple of pictures of it during our build progress, it's now done but I haven't updated our thread with new photos in awhile. Maybe later this weekend I'll get a chance.

The bottomline is, I would suggest you re-think towards possibly using stainless instead of aluminum - aluminum is very soft and more prone to scratches, dents & dimples and it oxidizes very quickly, especially with soaps & such. Personally, I'd hate to go to all the effort to build this this thing and have it look cruddy in a couple of years.

Shari

I think the voice of reason just spoke . . . thanks Shari for speaking up.
I have been trying to come up w/an "affordable" solution, and one that I could do all of the work - will keep trying.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
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I think the voice of reason just spoke . . . thanks Shari for speaking up.
Aw shucks...
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
The shower pan in our '56 Safari's wet bath was originally stainless steel and the wall panels were aluminum (sorry don't know the type). The aluminum was very oxidized from being in regular contact with water - like the exterior of a 50's un-polished trailer, a very dull, darkish, flat grey. They were spotted & stained from both water and "rub marks", again like the exterior. They were also pockmarked, dented & creased from who knows what. The pan was dirty, but would have been much easier to clean up - but we needed a new one so we could add our above floor black tank.

We built our new shower pan out of stainless steel as well as the tank cover and the two straight walls. Being in the front corner, the overall shape of our shower/bath is kind of a triangular domed section so it would have been difficult to do the dome/curve in SS so we painted them with the AIM Zolatone like the rest of the trailer, it is the industrial version more suitable for wet locations - the acrylic version is not.

We did build ours in pieces - the pan, tank cover & two walls were all separate so there would be flexibility in the installation & fit. All the vertical pieces overlap into the pan about 3" and are covered in Vulkem between them. We had the pan fabricated/welded by a pro because of the curves & drain depression/creases but the tank cover & walls we cut/folded ourselves. At the joints of all the floor-to-wall seams, we use corner angle and Vulkemed the heck out of it behind it and at the seams and every screw hole. The pan and tank cover were made from 18ga. and the walls 22 ga. - the 18ga. was the smallest the fabricator would attempt to weld.

Here's a couple of pictures of it during our build progress, it's now done but I haven't updated our thread with new photos in awhile. Maybe later this weekend I'll get a chance.

The bottomline is, I would suggest you re-think towards possibly using stainless instead of aluminum - aluminum is very soft and more prone to scratches, dents & dimples and it oxidizes very quickly, especially with soaps & such. Personally, I'd hate to go to all the effort to build this this thing and have it look cruddy in a couple of years.

Shari
Shari, can you explain how (and with what) you bent the stainless steel for the tank cover? Thanks, Hank Lischer
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