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Old 01-09-2013, 05:21 PM   #1
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'73 Overlander bath remodel started, a few questions for the group

I finally got a start on working on the bathroom of my '73 Overlander. We've had this trailer now for about 5 months give or take and knew that the bath would require work even when we bought it. I've been holding off on starting till I got some other matters cleared up and now that I have, it's off to the races.

This bath was in pretty much original condition. As it was, I don't think it would have worked for us. I'm not a big guy and the bathtub/shower setup was terrible. I couldnt turn around without bumping my head against the upper cabinets over the tub. The sink was also too small and the mess underneath with all the valves was a nightmare. It needs to be cleaned up and made much simpler. The plastic was discolored and cracked and the PO had put down parquet which made no sense in a bathroom with water splashed around.

Here is the bath in as found condition:






So the first order of business is to remove the tub and sink and see what lies below. About a month ago I managed to remove the banana wraps and some of the low trim to find a bit of punkiness in the wood floor. I am being pretty judicious in how much brute force I use to remove the old stuff, I don't want to destroy anything just in case it can be reused by me or somebody else.

Here is what it looks like as the parts come out:

Sink assembly and top out:


Tub out:


Platform out. Looks like somebody did a patch on the water lines a while back:


Other side, bottom part of the sink and toilet:


Gone:


A couple of bad spots in the floor, I was able to poke right through or they were already wide open:







Still have to remove the cabinet over the water heater. Since I want to reuse that, I am trying to be gentle with it. The parquet is a bear to pull up, was put down with a fairly heavy mastic. Lucky there is not that much floor in there to begin with.

Right now the plan is to replace the tub with a shower pan, probably around 24" deep by 36" long. These pans seem to be available on the web for around 100 bucks give or take. I've seen some plastic material at the local HD/Lowes that I can use to make up the walls of a shower which should work fine for my purposes. The sink I'll make a small cabinet for topped with a small bowl. The area underneath what was the old sink, I'm not sure yet, but I've got to do something to make it neater and more serviceable. The entire subfloor will come up so I can clean and preserve the frame there and then I'll put some flooring down that can stand the wetness.

I cut out most of the sewer vent lines in spots where I can put them back together with a coupling if I need to. Keeping the plumbing in there will not work when I go to remove the flooring. I'm not a plumber by trade, but the whole system of multiple vent lines seems convoluted and I would like to see what others have done to simplify it all.



They had a heating vent, the multiple sewer vent lines and the battery and charger in the worst possible place.



I'm thinking about moving the charger up a bit underneath the bed and maybe the battery as well. I don't really want to mount the new shower pan up on a platform if I don't have to, there isn't that much headroom back there to begin with. The heater outlet can be moved out into the bed area if I give up one of the drawers below.

So that is it for today, going to take advantage of the warm weather to try and get the rest of the deconstruction done by the weekend. Comments and thoughts and pix of what you did are more than welcome.

Bob
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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You ARE replacing the subfloor, back there, aren't you? It looks pretty punky. We did some rearranging for our rear bath. You can see it in our "Little Girl Refurb" thread. The shower arrangement might not work for you but the sink spot might be better. We left the toilet in the same place (new toilet) because of the black water tank. Moved the sink to the street side of the trailer by the door in. Moved the shower to the left of the doorway when you walk in but it faces the rear of the trailer. You might want to try putting the shower in the same spot but facing the doorway? It would give you the most headroom there. We used Pex for water and redid the drains. Mocking up a new bathroom before you do it helps tremendously. Others here have done some wonderful things with their trailers. If you do a search, you will find many threads and ideas. Good luck!
Great pics, by the way. We LOVE pics!

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Absolutely the subfloor is coming out. Most likely a straight cut at about the same line as the dividing wall between the bath and the sleeping area. Sink should be pretty much centerline with the rear window, shower area to the left and toilet and water heater in the same spot as original. I may reuse the upper right cabinet and mirror or just start from scratch on my own. Most likely will paint over all the walls in one color, maybe an off white. I'll also do some sort of LED lighting in there as well.

I'm no stranger to home remodeling jobs, I've done every bath in this house including building cabinetry so small cabinets for this bath will be easy enough. The plan is to finish this all up by early to mid Spring so we can put it back on the road. I've also got a pair of axles to replace if they ever come in as well as the preservation and painting of the frame from the axles on back. I'll probably to the front part of the frame next year along with changing out the gaucho to a U shaped seating area and maybe a new cabinet and counter for the sink and stove.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
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We rebuilt the interior of our '71 Tradewind bathroom from scratch. We had to gut it to replace the floor and fix rear end separation. The old stuff didn't seem worth keeping and we wanted a separate shower, not a wet bath.

We made the curbside bulkhead wider and the streetside one a bit narrower. We replaced the old walls with 1/4" birch plywood, glassed and epoxied on the bathroom side for both. we did away with the small, moldy closet that had been on the curbside of the wet bath (with a carpeted floor?!?!) and used the extra space to put in a shower.

We formed a shower pan from various thicknesses of plywood. The base was three layers of 3/8" ply, one the full size of the base, the other two cut in contour lines to send water to the drain, with 1/8" lauan ply over that to form a smooth slope. The 1/8" ply managed the curvature just fine. Our only mistake was attempting to use gorilla glue to fill the gaps in the slope. It expanded more than we planned and made the thin ply bulge up between the screws we'd used to hold it down. I sanded down the high spots and put glass and epoxy over it and it came out smooth.

Some pictures can be seen here at our shower pan and vanity blog entry.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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Very interesting renovation. I do have some fiberglass skills and looking at what you did with that shower pan doesnt give me warm fuzzies. That was a lot of work there. I do have a couple of questions. Did you move the converter forward or was it in a different place? How do you deal with the rear window getting went all the time from the shower spray since its partway in the shower. Where did the plumbing for the sewer vent go to? It looks like there was a hole right above where it used to vent out to the roof.

Your trailer doesnt have that back access hatch that mine does, but I do like the way you made the sink. I may do something along those lines as well, running it all the way over to the other wall, pretty much the way it was originally. Underneath I may try to figure out a way to build in storage accessible from the bath as well as some space coming in from the outside.

How does that composting toilet work? Did you repurpose the black tank to a gray tank or remove it alltogether? That white flexible pipe, is that the sewer for the sink and where does it run to?

Thanks for the response. Love the blog and the pix.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #6
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Yes, the fiberglass was a PITA, but worth it for the results, I think.

I don't know where the converter was originally. I think it was in the battery compartment which is just forward of the shower wall. My husband, who does all the mechanical, electrical and plumbing departments in the trailer, moved everything so that it all sits under the back bench of the back dinette. Access is through the existing door to the outside and also from lifting the dinette seat bench. The batteries are enclosed in a riveted aluminum box vented out the bottom to the outside.

We covered the window with something - I think it might have been from a roll of ridged shelf liner. That was more for privacy since the original window was part of the original wet bath setup. The water that does splash on it just runs down the wall.

The plumbing for the sewer vent still runs up behind the toilet. Connections from the shower drain run under the back of the trailer below the floor. The hole in the ceiling may have been sewer vent. I'll have my husband ("barts" on the forum) chime in since he handled all of that during a time when I was out of the country.

The sink cabinet was an adventure to build, with both thrills when things worked and curses when they didn't. The sink bowl itself is a salad bowl from Ikea, with a pedestal milled to go under the bottom to make the counter easier to wipe.

We like the composting toilet just fine. We usually do any solid business in the campground toilets, so it just composts toilet paper. There is no odor in the trailer from the toilet. A very, very quiet fan runs nearly all the time (we have solar, so the bit of battery drain isn't an issue even during the off season) that keeps negative air pressure in the composting area.

The white pipe is indeed the sink drain, with the supply line pex running right alongside. It goes into something in the closet (where the water heater is) or behind the toilet. I'll have to check with my better half about those details.

We took out the black tank entirely, so our trailer is completely tankless. We use a 5 gallon bucket for gray water when we can't run a hose into the bushes. On the whole, the bathroom works really well for us.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webspinner View Post
I don't know where the converter was originally. I think it was in the battery compartment which is just forward of the shower wall. My husband, who does all the mechanical, electrical and plumbing departments in the trailer, moved everything so that it all sits under the back bench of the back dinette. Access is through the existing door to the outside and also from lifting the dinette seat bench. The batteries are enclosed in a riveted aluminum box vented out the bottom to the outside.

We covered the window with something - I think it might have been from a roll of ridged shelf liner. That was more for privacy since the original window was part of the original wet bath setup. The water that does splash on it just runs down the wall.

The plumbing for the sewer vent still runs up behind the toilet. Connections from the shower drain run under the back of the trailer below the floor. The hole in the ceiling may have been sewer vent. I'll have my husband ("barts" on the forum) chime in since he handled all of that during a time when I was out of the country.

The sink cabinet was an adventure to build, with both thrills when things worked and curses when they didn't. The sink bowl itself is a salad bowl from Ikea, with a pedestal milled to go under the bottom to make the counter easier to wipe.

The white pipe is indeed the sink drain, with the supply line pex running right alongside. It goes into something in the closet (where the water heater is) or behind the toilet. I'll have to check with my better half about those details.
The closet contained the Univolt (converter) along with a vent for both the shower and the original sink; as Webspinner noted, we moved that to the other side of the shower wall in one of the dinette bases, where the fuse panel and batteries are located. When we converted the closet to a shower, we lost the vent; I vented the shower via the old black tank vent by changing the plumbing around while fixing the rear end separation, but the sink is unvented. This has not been an issue except for the sink tends to drain slowly; I'll be adding one of those Anti-Siphon Trap Vent Devices (ASTVD) underneath the sink to get it to drain properly.

The flexible pipe (from West Marine) takes the sink discharge to a tee I spliced into the existing drain for the kitchen sink. I like having the bathroom vanity not go down the floor from an aesthetic and space standpoint.

- Bart
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:31 PM   #8
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Thank you both. Looking at some of your other pix on the blog I see that your kitchen is on the opposite side of the trailer than mine, so your sewer runs down the street side of the trailer as opposed to the curb side (mine). That gives me the vent and another pipe to deal with on the shower side.

I've found a few rv shower pans either 24x32 or 23x36 which I think will fit the space. I'd rather not move that back wall between the beds and the bath area as you all did. Down the road I'll remake the front gaucho into something along the lines of a U shaped dinette somewhat similar to what you did but leave the beds alone.

To mount the pan I need to move my converter back, there should be enough room under the bunk behind the wheel well cover. I may have to pull the battery box out to get the space and if I do that I could put a neo-corner pan in there (even better). I don't think there would be any issue with the battery on the inside, I had an SOB trailer that had it all under one side couch.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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We didn't move the walls towards the front at all. Our back room still has the same sleeping length it always did - barely enough for my 5' 11" son.

We just made the curbside wall wider to make space for the shower and made the streetside one narrower. Essentially, we moved the doorway about 3 inches towards the streetside.

Good luck with your renovations. It's great to be able to see what you want to have and make it so. It helped us a lot to keep camping in it as we refined our ideas of what to work on next.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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Thanks to the warm weather these past two days, I am making progress toward pulling up the floor in the bath. The small section of ducting that originally went under the tub was a pain, there were screws underneath holding the sections together and no room to move it up to get them. It wasn't pretty but I got it out. Once that was gone I had access to the top of the battery box. That came out fairly easily and afterward the bottom sections followed. This is what it looks like all gone. You can see the rotten sections of plywood on either side, these easily came out.








Inside it's starting to look a bit less junky. I was also able to run a sawsall blade on the outside and zip through what was left of the bolts holding down the top structure to the frame. I also cut about 3" of the bottom of the interior skin so I can have access to the bolts holding it to the floor and frame. I'm not looking to pull all the walls down but to just replace the last 3 to 4 feet of floor and then put new modern fixtures in. It will all be covered up when done so I'm not too worried about what it looks like. I'll probably run a strip of aluminum flashing on the bottom to cover it up.





I am tossing around how I will put a new shower in this space. One idea is to put a 32" square shower base in which would cover up most of the area that is used by the battery box. Or I could put in a 24x32 inch base which would save the box, but I would have to fabricate some sort of step enclosure on the back to accommodate it. I'll firm up that part of the project once I get the floor off and see what my chances are of putting a gray water tank in next to the black.




The other question I have has to do with a section of steel in between the bottom of the aluminum C channel and the cross section of the frame right below the back access door. What I cant tell if it is original or not. It is heavily rusted which makes sense due to its being in direct contact with the aluminum skin and all the wetness normally at the back end of these trailers. Not sure if I will try and take it out or not as it would probably mean pulling out the door frame and I really don't want to go there.




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Old 01-31-2013, 12:15 AM   #11
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That piece of steel is an important part of the structure in these trailers. It sits underneath the floor and above the frame; all the fasteners in the floor go through it. The C channel and other rivets in the skin go through this as well - it's what ties the back of the shell to the frame.

Our 25' Tradewind does not have the rear door. I removed our rusted piece of steel and after replacing the floor, fabricated a stainless angle that extended higher up the rear. Rather than just relying on the rivets at the C channel to hold things together, I added another row of rivets that tie the skin to the stainless angle.

I'd remove any rivets that go through that rusted stuff and replace it w/ stainless, and then re-rivet.

It's not difficult to fix while you have it apart....

Our rear skin was in poor shape for the bottom couple of inches; I added a doubler behind the skin the full width of the trailer and about one foot high; this doesn't show, of course, so it was easy to put in. The back of our trailer is now quite strong .

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
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That piece of steel is an important part of the structure in these trailers. It sits underneath the floor and above the frame; all the fasteners in the floor go through it. The C channel and other rivets in the skin go through this as well - it's what ties the back of the shell to the frame.

Our 25' Tradewind does not have the rear door. I removed our rusted piece of steel and after replacing the floor, fabricated a stainless angle that extended higher up the rear. Rather than just relying on the rivets at the C channel to hold things together, I added another row of rivets that tie the skin to the stainless angle.

I'd remove any rivets that go through that rusted stuff and replace it w/ stainless, and then re-rivet.

It's not difficult to fix while you have it apart....

Our rear skin was in poor shape for the bottom couple of inches; I added a doubler behind the skin the full width of the trailer and about one foot high; this doesn't show, of course, so it was easy to put in. The back of our trailer is now quite strong .

- Bart
Bart
Just to make sure I got this right. There are two pieces of steel. The one in the pix which looks like it goes underneath the aluminum and underneath the c channel and then contacts the top of the plywood floor. On the other side of the plywood, there is another piece of steel that goes across the two frame members. The bolts ran from the bottom steel part through the wood, through the upper steel part and then through the c channel. Is this original? I thought they used some sort of flat aluminum part to spread out the stress from each bolt rather than this steel piece.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:32 AM   #13
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Well, I've only had one trailer apart there, so they may differ - but the steel that goes under the wood and on top of the frame is important.

The function of these steel piece(s) is to tie the frame to the shell. Since the shell has no concentrated strength here, a distributed approach is needed. You're going to need to replace those steel pieces, preferably w/ something that doesnt' rust. It is not difficult to remove the steel bits once the skin is loose from the C channel.

Note that rust is the enemy of wood.. wet wood and steel just are a bad combo.

- Bart
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:24 PM   #14
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Looks like that upper piece of steel is original. Proof was seeing it on another 73 overlander that also had it. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f226...ns-100955.html

Made some progress today, got all the bolts cut in the C channel and made some judicious cuts and pulled up the floor. The section under the access door was completely rotted out. Floor came up in three sections, what was surprising was that there were no screws holding this section down to the frame. All the mechanical fasteners were on the perimeter.





I'll replace the last 4' of flooring, one sheet of ply should do it. What did surprise me was the size of the black tank. I had thought about the possibility of fitting a gray tank in that space as well, but I don't see that working. I wonder if newer trailers orient them long ways to fit.
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