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Old 01-12-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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To shower or not?

No, this is not a personal hygiene question. (I shower twice a day... honest.) This is a question involving the renovation of our 1967 Overlander. We have a rear bath configuration and the shower is not exactly comfortable. While we're having frame work done, we've been talking about the final floor plan for the interior. I have read a number of threads about the rear bath versus amidships bath. My wife likes the idea of a rear bed where she can rest undisturbed while I poke around the front of the trailer. I like the idea of keeping the bath/tank weight amidships... but here's the question. Do we really a need a shower?

During our extended trip, we expect to spend most nights in campgrounds (with shower facilities). After our hiatus, most of our camping would be three-season boondocking, but generally trips of no longer than two or three days.

Now, my thought is that an amidships bath could be reconfigured to have the head and sink on one side, the shower on the other. Still, I'm not sure the shower would be large enough for my comfort... and used often enough to justify the investment of interior space. On the other hand, I've done enough camping to know that some hot water and suds can be a real morale boost after tromping around the woods. Now, I expect everyone will have a different sense of how useful a shower is or is not... but has anyone taken the leap of faith and done a renovation without a shower. And yes, I know that going "no shower" would probably hurt the resale value, but this project is zero about resale, about all comfort during up to 12 months of full timing.

We know we need a head... if only because we may have situations where we absolutely need to use the head in the traler. We know we want a good, roomy sink with a faucet and a handheld wand. The shower, however, is still subject of discussion... and who better to bring in than the wise heads around the Airstream forums. Thanks.

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Old 01-12-2009, 11:47 AM   #2
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All or our trailers prior to the one we have now have had a rear bath, and after having the center bath, we now are in agreement that we like it better. We also like the rear bedroom better than a center bedroom.

And about the question of having a shower, or not, personally we would not be without it.


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Old 01-12-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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sounds like a good idea if you don't mind using campground showers?

and more room in the trailer would be nice.

here's an alternative i don't know how much of a remodel you are doing but what if you put the shower out side ? you could use quick disconnect for the head and the hot cold adjusters and curtain? of course this would probably only be used when boondocking. just a thought
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:49 AM   #4
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Gotta have my shower in my trailer. Wouldn't have bought one without it. Nothing beats a nice hot shower to wake my aiking bones first thing in the morning.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:00 PM   #5
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We have had both the rear and mid bath AS. Both my husband and I vote for the center bath. It's just a stall shower with a large bench arrangement; however, it beats that tub/shower thing with the rear bath. I'm not certain why, but it seems much more comfortable and roomy, even if the footage is the same. The rear bedroom is nice also, since no one has to go thru where you sleep to get to the bathroom. You can just close off the back and not worry about it. If you want to sleep, no one has to walk by you to get to the bathroom. I think you both would like the mid bath. Go find an older 70's mid bath and look at how that shower is built. Plenty of room for it across the hall or the whole bathroom on one side if you decide to go that way.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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When we first got our Caravel, we used showers in campgrounds. A couple of times, they were not nice at all and we used the shower in the trailer. Finding it much handier to go from shower to bed, especially on cold nights, we now use only the shower in the trailer. Also, wnen we are dry camped, such as in Quartzsite, it's nice to have the shower, even if it's only a "navy" shower.

I, personally, would never buy an Airstream without a shower. Think about re-sale.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:17 PM   #7
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We too like the more private rear bedroom, and would not be without the option of taking a private shower. So, you can reconfigure totally to a midships-shower, or reconfigure much less to a shower-toilet area in the rear, partitioned off from a queen bed. Yes- it is doable. PM me if you want some info on this idea. -tim
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:31 PM   #8
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I think the only person who can answer this is Matthew McConaughey. He owns an Airstream, and from what I hear he rarely takes a shower.

Even if he needs one.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:40 PM   #9
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I have a rear wet bath in mine. What I like about this, is that I can stand in the centre of the space and don't have to hunch down, due to the radius of the roof. If you're reconfiguring the floor plan, what I've often thought would be very functional, is to have a shower stall located at the centreline (relative to trailer width). Access to the rear bedroom could go around to either side of the shower compartment.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:42 PM   #10
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As a celebrity, I'm not sure Matthew even needs to use the head. Seriously, I know having a shower is nice. And an Airstream shower might work swimmingly (no pun intended) if I were 5'6" tall and weighed 140 pounds. Of course, I haven't been that size since about the fifth grade.

Maybe we're spoiled, but the campground showers we've used have been decent. Having served in the Navy (including three years mostly at sea, and often taking "Navy" showers), I'm not a big fan.

When boondocking, I have no problem with an outside shower. My mother-in-law's old home on the Eastern shore of Maryland had a fantastic outdoor shower. Without doubt, we will plumb in fitting to allow outdoor hot and cold running water. This wouldn't work in a campground, but I don't see any problem doing this in a serious boondocking situation (depending on weather).

The space is an issue, but not simply that a shower makes the trailer "smaller." It's more that for me to have a shower I really enjoy and feel comfortable in would require a serious sacrifice of interior space. Frankly, our first priority is a comfortable bed. The advantage of the rear bed is a dedicated space with plenty of room. The next priority is a comfortable "living area." I'm assuming this is a couch in the front. The galley is necessary, but we'll go relatively small. The space amidships could be used to make the bedroom area larger... or it could be used for a "real" shower.

By the way, thanks for all of the ideas.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:12 PM   #11
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i vote for a center bath. put a removable closet rod across the top and use it as a clothes closet !
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:57 PM   #12
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There are a few options with this.
You can set up an outdoor shower, depending on where you plan on camping, or you can set up a temporary indoor shower with a permanent shower fixture and a removable pan and curtain. the nice thing about that setup is you can have the showerhead in the center of the trailer where the headroom is greatest and you don't have to dedicate the space for only that purpose. A pan with a drain hose can be directed into your grey tank or run outside, depending on where you camp at.
An outdoor shower can be setup with an evaporation pan without a drain. So you just shower, and let the water evaporate over time. This is what alot of people do at Burningman, due to them not being allowed to dump greywater on the ground. Obviously this would not be possible in very cold or wet environments. It is also a good idea to find a showerhead with trigger control or a valve on the riser that shuts the water off completely so you can wet, soap-up, rinse and you're done. With a little practice you could shower with as little as 1-1/2 to 2 gallons of water, which makes your fresh and grey water tanks last a good long time. also look for an extremely low-flow showerhead.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:27 PM   #13
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Question shower?

how about this?

what if you made a removable shower in the center of the trailer in the mid part of the trailer?

you could have the shower head almost flush with the ceiling and have a curtain that snaps into place and a removable part of the floor that has a shower pan under it. the hot cold levers ?
just seal everything up really good and try not to splash water every were.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:30 PM   #14
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Here's another thought. We have a rear-corner wetbath/shower. Very small. You have sit on the toilet seat cover to take a shower. I've been thinking about taking the sink out of there and reinstalling the plumbing as a wall mounted shower head. It would make for better maneuverability.

The kitchen sink is just two steps away for hand washing and we NEVER use the bathroom sink except to run the water down before switching to the shower wand.

Has anyone else eliminated the bathroom sink?


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