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Old 08-15-2005, 08:19 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Portland , Oregon
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Thumbs up Shower under the bed??!!

I have been thinking about how to maximize the floorspace in my 1973 31' AS when I redo the interior. It was pretty much gutted when I got it so I need to rebuild the entire interior from scratch. That means I can change things around if I can find better ways to arrange things. Of course I am still constrained somwhat by the location of windows, wheel wells and etc. I have been thinking about how to make the bathroom a bit more roomy and hit on a "crazy idea" that upon further reflection may not be that crazy afterall. I submit the following proposal for comments and feedback...

My AS was originally a mid-bath model. I want to put at least a queen size bed in the back oriented length-wise in the floor plan. I still intend to have the bath in the middle area. What I am thinking about doing is to modify the floor plan so that the vanity/sink is on the street side (under the existing window) and the toilet is on the curb side directly opposite the vanity. There would be doors of some sort both at the front and back of the bathroom area just described. Now here is the interesting part:

I want to build a shower underneath the end of the queen size bed.

It occurred to me that when the bedroom is not in use that there is a lot of space that is not very well utilized. It also occurred to me that it would not be a particularly serious issue if the bedroom could not be used when the shower was in use. So I am thinking about fixing the end of the bed so that it will fold back and expose a large shower pan placed in the end of the bed close to the bathroom. The idea is to have some sort of shower curtain that surrounds the shower on the bedroom side that would prevent any water from getting out of the shower into the bedroom. I suppose it could be obscure to help with privacy but it would also be easily possible to just close the bedroom curtains when the shower was in use. The curtain would just need to be lifted up and fastened to hooks in the bedroom ceiling. The fan in the middle of the bedroom ceiling could probably be used as a shower exhaust fan - I have not looked at its exact location in the room relative to this but I think that would probably be OK.

There are, of course, a lot of little details to work out with the approach. I think that I have most of the issues already figured out in my mind but I didn't want to share all of the details at first. Instead I wanted to get some healthy discussing going to see what others think of the idea.

Malcolm
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:26 PM   #2
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1980 31' Excella II
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Malcolm,
sounds kind of like the shower assembly in the old Winnebago Rialtas...not necessarily under the bed, but IIRC you had to pull up a floor section, open a couple of doors and voila you had a shower...how about a pan section on a set of heavy duty drawer slides?...I like the concept and seeing how you ARE in the midst of a complete rebuild....

Aaron
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:29 PM   #3
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Cool Healthy discussion - huh ?

Busy night eh?

I vote for a hot tub! How cool! A hot tub hiding under the bed.

I guess you're going to hinge the aft end of the bed and have electric/hydraulic struts to push-button raise one end of the bed which of course contains the shower head(s). I doubt the overhead will support a queen (bed).
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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Aaron,

Do you have any pointers to photos or other information about the approach that was taken in the Wnnebago Rialtas?

Norm,

I am definitely not intending to support the end of the bed from the ceiling. I was only thinking of supporting the shower curtain. As to how the bed will open a lot of that depends on what I end up using for a mattress (and how heavy that ends up being). I have been leaning in favor of using an air bed of some sort which, of course, should be fairly light. If I could also easily partially deflate it that would make the whole issue of hinging the end of the bed a pretty simple one. I might not need anything electric or hydraulic. I could just lift up the end of the bed and support the lid in a vertical position that would actually back up the shower curtain somewhat too. I have been thinking of having the shower head on the end of a flexible hose anyway so all I really need is something to hang it on when the shower is open. As to the idea of a hot tub that would be great. In actuality I have been thinking that an inexpensive acrylic drop in bath tub might be just the thing for a shower pan with sides. That way I could put the curtain down inside the tub so that it would not leak around the bottom of the curtain. I have to find out more about how much they weigh and how tall they are. I do suspect that the standard product items are probably going to be less expensive than an RV shower pan or tub. If I did use a tub I might actually be able to use it as a tub when I was hooked up to city water (and well braced with my frame supports under the back end). My wife and I are shower people but we do have some thoughts of taking small grand children with us from time to time and the bath tub would be great for them. Another alternative might be to use a plastic pond liner if I can find one of a suitable size and shape. Most of the ones I can remember seeing are black or maybe green and tend to be kidney shaped or at least rounded more than I might want. I don't know about that for a color choice. We shall see as the idea develops further.

Thanks guys for the feedback,

Malcolm
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:10 PM   #5
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malcom,
I am going to have to dig...Winnebago doesn't make the Rialta anymore. IIRC the shower pan was molded into the main floor of the body and covered with a removable floor panel. You opened the bathroom door and a cabinet door and they provided the shower enclosure, the shower curtain hung on the outside edge. It was similar to the wet baths in the current 22' Airstream. I will see if I can find one for sale at a dealer somewhere and round up a few pictures...I love checking out other RV's and coming home with the realization that my Airstream is still the best deal out there....even if it is still in pieces

Aaron
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:11 PM   #6
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Shower pan ...

Malcolm,

C Johnson is a forum member doing a cool & extensive restoration that, I think, lives in the Portland area. I believe he located a tank maker in your area. If so, find out who they are and see if you can buy a (preferably damaged) poly/roto tank that would fit your specifications. Cut the top off and some of the sides and you will have a light weight 'pan' for your shower. Some of the tanks will have a slope to the bottom which will allow drainage.

For the drain you could use a standard screw-in type that is gasketed. The poly/roto tank has some flexability to it for usually more than five years. They are not expensive.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:16 PM   #7
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Norm,

That sounds like a good idea. Chris is here in Portland. We have not met in person but have communicated some be email.

Thanks for the idea,

Malcolm
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