fixing : Guide to Upgrading the Bathroom in a Camper or RV

Elegant bathroom of the motorhome with cassette toilet. Rving in Style.
In terms of layout, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the light fixtures, right?

It’s true, but the lights are not limited to lighting. Almost everything in the same place in your caravan is considered a light. That means your fridge, freezer, cupboards, sinks, showers, and yes, even your toilets are all fixtures.

You may have bought a second-hand caravan with slightly less wear-resistant equipment. Now you have to think about getting spare parts. How to do ?

I am glad you asked. In this article, I will explain, step by step, how to replace two of the most important elements of your caravan: the shower and the sink.

Then I will help you with your shopping. After all, what makes good RV equipment? What should you look for if you have to buy new ones? What about brands and materials? When you finish reading, you will have all the information you need to get a nice, shiny new device and install it yourself.

How to replace the showers on your motorhome

There are many reasons why you would want a new shower device for your caravan. Poor quality and old age are two of these reasons. If you don’t have enough water pressure, this is another compelling reason to change your shower.

Of course, you know that not all campers are the same. So you can expect that replacing your own shower will be a little different from what you read.

Recommended tools:

An adjustable wrench
A bucket (for any minor leaks)
A replacement shower

Step 1: The first step to replacing your shower, regardless of the configuration of your motorhome, is to make sure that the water supply is not working. This way you can avoid sudden splashing of pipes or hoses while you are working. You can also avoid most leaks. Small leaks can happen, and that’s fine. This is only abnormal if the water comes out strong and quickly.

Step 2: Check that the water is really turned off. The toilets must not contain water, nor the taps. If there is still water reaching these devices, check that you have turned off all sources of water.

Step 3: You can now remove the tap from the shower. Slowly remove all of the rubber washers to facilitate the process. An adjustable wrench can be used here.

Step 4: Install your new shower device where the old one was. Replace the rubber washers. Again, you can use the wrench for a snug fit.

How to replace the sinks in your motorhome

An unattractive old sink with low water pressure is not pleasant to look at or use. Replacing the sink in your motorhome should be a relatively simple task that takes about an afternoon.

Recommended tools:

Plumber’s tape
Plumber’s putty
Putty knife
Bucket
Adjustable wrench
The new sink device

Step 1: As you did for your shower, the first step is to make sure all the water is turned off. Empty the water lines and drain into the sink so that it is completely free of water. You can do this with a water tank that doesn’t have a lot of water. Open the tap and make sure the water pump is on. The pipes will then start to empty.

You can also remove the water lines (using a crescent wrench), turn off the water pump and let the water come out this way. You will need a bucket to collect the excess water.

Step 2: Remove the tap using your adjustable wrench.

Step 3: Then, free the sink from the counter using a putty knife. Be careful when doing this. You don’t want to accidentally cut yourself or damage the counter.

Step 4: Add the plumber’s putty to where the sink was. Now install your new sink, placing it where the old one was. The plumber’s putty must allow it to adjust properly.

Step 5: Replace the drain pipes and water lines.

Step 6: Try the sink. If the joints seem a bit loose or leaky, use plumber’s tape.

What makes a good fixation?

Okay, what makes a good device?

The answer is a combination of several things. Brand recognition is important. If you know that a brand produces high-quality items, you can reasonably assume that if you buy a fixture from it, it too must be of high quality. Is this still the case ? No, but it’s a general guideline you can follow when shopping.

Another characteristic of a good luminaire is its price. Yes, sorry, but you know you get what you pay for. Of course, some companies claim to charge reasonable prices, so the old adage does not apply in all cases. But in most cases, if you buy a cheap device, you can’t really complain if it breaks in a year or two.

High quality materials are the third feature of motorhome equipment. Are your toilets made of porcelain or plastic? Are your showers strong and durable or cheap and not very solid? If you paid more for the installation, the material chosen for the assembly will probably last for years.

Favorite brands

The following brands are all suitable for motorhomes:

Bathroom

Thetford
Dometic
Aqua-magic
Sealand
Bravura
Showers

BodySpa
Lyon
Lippert
Stoett
Sinks

Dayton
Elkay
Ruvati
Kingston Brass
Ideal fastening materials

Depending on the type of device you are looking for, there will be ideal materials for each.

Take for example the Dometic toilet. Yes, they manufacture both toilets and refrigerators, as well as stoves, ventilation solutions, doors, windows, awnings, air conditioners, etc.

Let’s focus on their toilets for now. If you navigate to a site like Camping World, you will see many toilets from Dometic. One is the brand’s standard 320 toilet, which retails for around $ 245 at retail. They are ceramic, like the toilets you are used to seeing at home. Compare them to their portable toilets for motorhomes and boats. These gray and white five gallon toilets are made of heavier ABS plastic.

But you wouldn’t really want the kitchen or bathroom sink to be plastic, would you? It is most likely not. Porcelain or other ceramic is the norm for bathroom sinks, but this will require careful use and cleaning. Otherwise, you risk breaking this delicate material.

For some sinks, stainless steel is an option. Sometimes we even use cast iron, but it is covered with a layer of enamel. Plastic and even porcelain are more common for bathroom sinks. Most of these materials are suitable for long-term use.

Materials to avoid

There are certain materials you should keep away from when shopping. They wear out quickly, which means you will have to buy new fixtures sooner than expected.

Although I mentioned stainless steel as a popular material for sinks, you have to be careful. Stainless steel can rust when oxygen and water mix. This means that the nice, sparkling silver sink you bought will likely look brown and crusty after several years of use.

It’s a little disgusting, isn’t it? You can use solutions such as club soda, cream of tartar, lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar and even lighter fluid (which is recommended as a last resort) to remove rust. That said, due to the nature of stainless steel, rust will always come back.

If you find a sink containing aluminum, it should hold up better. Aluminum does not rust, which is very convenient.

Tips for online shopping

Okay, at this point you should have a pretty good idea of ​​which brands to buy if you want a particular fixture. You are finally ready to start ordering the equipment for your new motorhome bathroom.

Not so fast. To ensure you get the best possible quality of equipment, here are some tips to follow when shopping online.

New on used

Always buy a new product instead of a used product, unless you can see the used bathroom fixture in person (which is unlikely when shopping online). Sellers can make anything look good in an image using Photoshop and other photo editing software. What you see is not always what you get.

Go straight

If you can, shop directly on the manufacturer’s website. This way you will know that it is the manufacturers themselves who manufactured the item and who will package and ship it. The quality is beyond doubt. It must also arrive intact.

Reputation is important

Otherwise, shop only on reputable websites. CampingWorld.com is a site that I recommend to you. Amazon is another, but sometimes choices have to be made. Which brings us to our next point …

Beware of certain third parties

Read carefully if you are shopping on a site like Amazon. Remember that all of the products listed on Amazon are from a third-party seller. Sometimes these third parties are the manufacturers themselves, because they know that people like the convenience and speed of shopping on Amazon. Other times, these are undefined parts. This is where things can get risky. Long delivery times, high prices and inaccurate products can ruin your shopping experience.

Reviews are your friends

Make sure you get the highest quality product by reading the reviews. If previous users were unhappy with their bathroom equipment, you should be tired of buying from this seller. There will always be some negative reviews for each product, but they should not deter you in all cases. You should only find another site to buy your device if there are more negative reviews than positive reviews.

Find images uploaded by users

I’ve said it before and I say it again: don’t always trust the pictures. Third party manufacturers and sellers will of course use the best images available to showcase their product. This will cause people to click on the list and hopefully buy it. Photos can be edited, as mentioned above. On Amazon in particular, users can upload images of the actual product in use. This gives you a realistic picture of what the product will look like, without frills.

See the product in action

Today, it is not uncommon for manufacturers and other sellers to upload videos along with images to sell a product. If the bathroom accessory you’re looking for comes with a video, you should definitely check it out. Again, this allows you to see the product in action before spending several hundred (and sometimes several thousand) dollars on it.

If the manufacturer himself does not download a video with the product, can I recommend YouTube? You will certainly find a tutorial, a video of unpacking or installing another camper who has tried the same bathroom device before you.

Can I get a price check?

You may have found the perfect site to buy your device, but don’t click this button until you have done your research. I suggest you do a Google search to see the prices of competitors.

This will allow you to make sure that you can get the best price for your device. There is also another reason to compare prices. If you’ve found a great third-party site that offers the device at an incredibly low price, you’ll know you should avoid this ad. After all, if something seems too good to be true online, it often is.

What to do if you have a poor quality device

Sometimes you take the above precautions and still end up with sanitary equipment that is not quite what you expected. Whether the quality is poor, the design is bad, or the materials are bad, here is what to do if you end up with a bad device.

Of the shop

Most accessories for your caravan will be available in a box in department stores, hardware stores and DIY stores. You may take the box home and find that the installation is not entirely correct. You may be missing parts for assembly. Parts of the fastener may be broken. You may have noticed discoloration, scrapes, or other minor cosmetic issues.

You don’t just have to smile and put up with it. On the contrary, if you have a receipt and it’s been less than a month, you should be able to return the fixture and get all your money back. You will then be able to obtain a replacement device that will be better suited to the bathroom of your motorhome.

Online

If you ordered a device online, sending it back and getting a new one is not as easy. Each online retailer has a different return policy. You must either call the retailer or send them an email to obtain their return address. You may have to pay for the packaging and shipping of the item, which is tedious.

If you purchased your device from a third party, return may be difficult. If you’ve used a reputable site like Amazon, you should be protected by it for your returns. eBay also has a good return policy, which gives you 30 days to return the item. It doesn’t even have to be broken. If “the item is not as described”, that’s all you need on eBay to return the bathroom fixture. This should, at a minimum, protect you if you are dealing with a seller who is not up to par.

What if you chose Facebook or Craigslist? You may be out of luck. It all depends on the generosity of the seller. Some sellers will disappear from the Internet after selling bad items, and others will scramble to get your money back. You may need to take photos of the damage, pay for shipping, and much more.

At this point, you should ask yourself if it is still worth your while to get your money back. This is why you should really pay attention to where you buy your sanitary equipment.

Conclusion

An accessory is anything that is installed almost permanently on a caravan or motorhome. In the bathroom, this means that the shower, toilet and sink are considered fixed equipment.

It is easier than you think to replace your own sanitary facilities. Showers and sinks should be easily removed with little more than a wrench and a putty knife.

When buying your equipment, pay attention to where you install it. Third party sites can trick you with retouched photos and cheap deals. Read reviews, watch videos, watch images carefully, and ask questions if you have any. Any seller worthy of the name will be happy to provide you with more information about the product.

Now that you know what to look for in a sanitary facility, you should be able to find high quality supplements to install in your caravan. You can then enjoy the comfort of home, wherever your adventures take you. Good luck !

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