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Old 09-05-2008, 09:14 AM   #1
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2007 19' Safari SE
La Center , Washington
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2007 19 foot Safari SE Shower Disaster waiting to happen

OK, so "disaster" is over doing it....

But, I'm concerned about the construction of the shower cubicle, particularly the half-wall that the flexible shower door and the shower sprayer attach to. It looks to me like this wall is made out of wood, with a glued-on laminate (probably PVC or some plastic). This just seems like trouble waiting to happen as water and humidity start to infiltrate under the seams of the laminate.

I guess, my first question is: why didn't AS make this wall out of fiberglass too?

And the second question is: since they didn't, how can I avoid what seems to be an inevitable process?

I could caulk over every visible seam. But, is there a better solution? Maybe having a sheet metal fabricator create a single surface out of stainless steel, or creating a fiberglass overlay?

Any ideas?
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:55 AM   #2
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I've been showing in mine for about 4 years now. Given that by now the water would have damaged the wood or compressed wood, I'm not overly concerned about it. I've seen older Airstreams with similar laminated wood and they too seemed to be fine. As for the shower entry, the space is just sooooo small, that is really the only option. Unlike the now discontinued 30' Safari bunkhouse that had a similar design as the 19' and 25' SS, the 30' was the only one that had the bathroom space to actually put a door on, even though I don't think they did.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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I have a 05 Bunkhouse and initially had the same concerns of material quality. We have used ours for right at 4 years with no issues. It appears to be a wood product laminated with a melamine surface, and as long as the perimiter seams are sealed well there should not be any issues. The same material is used in many SOB trailer and motorhomes, kinda a RV standard.

I just had my unit back to the factory for some end of warranty items and the "shub" door was one of those issues. My sliding shower door was installed about 3/16" out of plumb, just enough that it never closed well, or latched worth a hoot. They replaced the Shub door and it works great. General shower maintenance has been discussed here, and I think some overlook it. I wax mine twice a year for care of the fiberglass and check the silicone seams reguarly. Water is a killer over time.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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What do you wax the fiberglass with? I dry the walls after each use, but never considered waxing.

I too regularly check the seams and caulk points.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:42 PM   #5
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I use Mequires Carnuba wax on the faucet handle/estuchon plate and fiberglass shower walls. No spotting and stays looking new. On a side note I also wax the Thetford toilet bowl, as it keeps it really clean.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:33 AM   #6
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I have the 2008 SS SE and it has a shower door that retracts into the wall, which is what I think you are describing in this thread. I am also concerned that water from the shower door will be pulled into the wall. I do squeegy it before I open the shower, but am considering putting up a shower curtain and not using the retracting door. I also squeegy then dry the shower walls, but like the wax idea. I think I will give that a try.

Diane
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:24 PM   #7
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I also did not like that half-wall covering when we bought our 2002 19' Bambi new. Within a month of purchase, I fitted a sheet of rigid vinyl foam (used for signs) over it and caulked all of the edges. That added essentially no weight and the skin of the vinyl sheet is water tight. The cut edges are not, but they are all sealed with the caulk. The result has been most satisfactory, but it sounds like nobody has had a problem with the original thin vinyl on wood. As an aside, I moved the mounting for the shower head to the back wall and we like that better.

The only leaks we have had from the retractable door were a result of the caulking of the bottom guide pulling away from the fiberglass beneath. Re-caulking took care of that.

We have always "waxed" our gel-coat fiberglass shower stall with Walbernize and the results are terrific. Just don't use it on the floor because it will make it very slippery when wet.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
What do you wax the fiberglass with? I dry the walls after each use, but never considered waxing.

I too regularly check the seams and caulk points.

This works really well for our wet/bath in the Safari.
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