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Old 03-07-2016, 10:40 AM   #1
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1967 1968 Bath Tub Shower Curtain Rod Enclosure, a “How To” DIY option...

I've perused most all threads concerning the '67/'68 shower curtain. There are some valiant efforts to solve the issue. Here's mine, perhaps not for everyone, but a viable option….


The beauty,
I find the '67/68' bath to have excellent proportion, clarity, adequate storage, it's big and bright and easy to clean… It was genius to position the tub toward center so a six-footer like myself can stand tall and still have a few fingers of headroom. The toilet attaches to the under-floor black tank in a simple, conventional manner, none of the plumbing is hidden or captured inside walls, you can easily reach the supply side of all the fixtures. I'll never understand why Airstream changed it for 1969, there's been nothing like it since…

Then,
There's the shower curtain “thing”. It may be the most bizarre, scabbed on, dysfunctional, annoying piece of junk in Airstream's history. Who could even think up this Velcro and snaps, flapping accordion contraption?? The folding door/curtain, which is permanently affixed, is 16 square feet of potential festering petri dish. It's such a shabby design, I'd guess that few even exist today. When I discovered the hot seamed plastic/cardboard bacteria haven, I immediately drilled it off the bulkhead and tossed it out the door.


Why not a simple, conventional curtain rod??
In the last few years, I think that I've looked at every shower rod and every style of shower rod mounting hardware on our planet. I found nearly nothing that you can purchase off shelf, is neat and strong. There are different gimbal/hinge/collapsing/swing-away rod devices, but they cannot affix to the bulkhead and follow the tub's shape to terminate at the endcap. There are also curved rod solutions that don't follow the tub contour.


I'm not a fan of the earlier sixties style curtain ring channel that is riveted overhead to the endcap contour. It's action is bit awkward, and the unique curtain, which has to be cut and trimmed to its unusual shape, doesn't drape elegantly, or seal remarkably well vertically, so I didn't bother to pursue that avenue.


A fix that is not too invasive, fits the era, a reasonable expenditure of time and money, uncomplicated, and has simple, familiar function.


KISS Material List,
a few handfuls of fine masonry sand
two wine corks
two feet of electrical tape
ten feet of 301 stainless steel one inch Outside Diameter .049” wall tube, hacksawed at 43.5”--76.5”
one 60 degree degree boat-rail round base (fits to endcap)
one boat-rail “T” (rod support)
one 90 degree boat-rail base (fits to tub)
one boat-rail support (fits to bulkhead)
one boat-rail end support (fits to bulkhead)
one foot of 3M 30# VHB tape
seven SS screws


How it went,
I scribed the decreasing radius of the tub onto cardboard and used that as my bending gauge.
Filled the 76.5” tube with tamped sand, corked and taped its ends. An ordinary 3/4” conduit bender will contour the SS tube with ease, to perfectly match the tub's shape.


Boat-rail mounts come in a wide variety of angles and bolt patterns. A 60 degree round mount angles so perfectly against the end-cap, it's astounding! The other two mounts stand off the pocket-door bulkhead creating a towel bar. The endcap is fiberglass, so after drilling for the 60 degree mount, I buttered the holes with epoxy. As it set, I started Antiseized screws into the epoxied holes, the squeeze-out creates an epoxy grommet. Later, I removed screws, VHB taped the mount in place, and gently snugged the screws to the endcap. Doing this makes me feel that the rod mount will not cause stress to the fiberglass. I likewise VHB'd and screwed the mounts onto the bulkhead. The rod's height allows the curtain's top edge to be equal to the top edge of the original accordion thing.


Assessment,
With ordinary, sensible use, the rod alone with its triangulated points of attachment, suffices. I worried that if Godzilla, while merrily bathing, loses her balance and grabs the rod to break her fall, it may fail, so I added a 43.5” tall midway pole support that will not interfere with the '67/'68 “dressing seat” that hides the toilet.

Additional findings,
Turns out, I love having the pole there to assist take-off and landing on the can. “Hook” style roller curtain rings glide over the “T”. We use the pole as a Safety Bar enter/exiting the tub. Clothes Line, Towel Bar, Chinning Bar (it supports my 175# with ease), and Bike Rack (now I can join the fray of “how to carry bikes with Airstream”). It's inspired Pamela Anderson Stripper Pole poses, so entertainment has been added to its list of features...


Conclusion,
All told, this project was not difficult, multi-functions admirably, and cost less than a C-note…
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:04 AM   #2
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Nice looking addition!
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:10 AM   #3
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Very nice!
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:57 PM   #4
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Much nicer looking than the curtain rod that i built from a long piece of spare MGB brake line!

Lynn
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing! This looks like the perfect solution to our shower problem.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:31 PM   #6
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Thumbs up!

A very classy looking solution!
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:21 PM   #7
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Beautiful! Well done & thanks for sharing it all! I can't use, right now. But, I'm sure many will find this super helpful and Maybe, I too, in the future!
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:33 PM   #8
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Shower/Tub Cutain Rod

This is very similar to what I did with the exception that I started with a standard curved shower rod from Menards and bent it with my conduit bender and used a pole with the same boat fittings you used and reshaped the curtain holders to slide over the intersection where the upright pole meets the curved rod rail. I never thought of using the epoxy and tape to strengthen the fiberglass to holder connections to make them more secure. I can easily retrofit mine to mimic what you have done. Thanks for posting your install. I will get this upgrade done in the next week when open the trailer up. Thanks again, Ed
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:30 AM   #9
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Would this solution work with a 1964 Overlander?
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:34 AM   #10
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Shower curtain rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroyl View Post
Would this solution work with a 1964 Overlander?
Caroyl, I don't know if your bathroom setup has a separate tub from sink or not. Any tub can have a template made out of cardboard or poster board so you could use that for a pattern to shape the rod. The trick here is to find hardware that allows the rod to be attached to the bulkhead wall, the pocket door wall, and the fiberglass end cap or ceiling so that the rod will be solidly attached and hold up while traveling without doing damage to the existing wood or fiberglass. I do think if you look around that you will be able to find marine or standard plumbing fittings that can be used to make your shower curtain rod workable for your bath setup. Just take your time and work through dry run setups before you commit to bending the rod tube or attaching the fittings to your wall structure. Remember to use the sand as mentioned above to fill the rod so that it will allow the bending to be done without putting a kink in the rod tube. I looked at bathroom photos of the 1964 Overlander bathtub setup and I think you should be able to make this type of update work in your trailer. Just find the points at which you want to attach both ends of the rod and work from there to get the most coverage for the curtain with the least area to be impacted by the rod design in the space you have. Good Luck, Ed
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:22 PM   #11
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Great solution!
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:31 PM   #12
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Thanks Ed 👍🏻


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Old 03-14-2016, 09:00 PM   #13
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Most excellent design and execution. Great job. You are right on about the 67 and 68 bath design. My 66 has an earlier design with the sink over the tub. It also had a bifold door that required a lot of floor space. The 67 bath was a great improvement.

My son's 69 Globetrotter has a wet bath which is not very functional at all in my view. But it is a smaller trailer.

I used one of those articulating shower rods that does offer a bit more elbow room. It works okay, but not as cool as yours.

David
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:11 PM   #14
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Great job! I was just browsing for potential solutions for our 68 Overlander bath, and here it is. Thanks for the excellent engineering and clear description.

Roy
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