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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been pretty effective at squeezing every inch out of my build so far, but I'm caught between a couple of design options with respect to the bathroom and looking for some input:

Option 1 leaves me very little extra space but the dimensions of the 24x27" shower pan if I build to the edge of the passenger window. This would bump me out a little further in the space I want to conserve near the rear bench and waste some space near the back passenger seat. However, I have up to 36" lengthwise if I'm willing to build the bathroom overlapping the rear window (I suppose this could serve as some ventilation for the bathroom).

Option 2 is sort of a triangular build that maximizes literally every inch of space, but maybe it'll be too large once its framed out. The front wall line in the diagram is a little off as the closest shower pan match that I can currently find comes out about 18 5/16" on that edge (or about 2" more than the edge of the 16.25" bench). It would make getting in and out of that side of the bench much more accessible than option 1 since there will be a table on a boat stand back there. It's kind of a square-u booth shaped seating area and the table will drop down converting it into a full-sized bed.

All ideas/thoughts appreciated!

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Hmm, are to say. I'm going to have a very similar design layout, so curious what you end up going with. From the looks of it, that corner shower unit looks like it may be cramped if your kitch is on the other side. You may want a wider walk way back to the rear beds.
 

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It comes down to personal preferences and logistics. Mock up both full-size in cardboard and see which one feels better to you. You might even discover other options in the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, are to say. I'm going to have a very similar design layout, so curious what you end up going with. From the looks of it, that corner shower unit looks like it may be cramped if your kitch is on the other side. You may want a wider walk way back to the rear beds.
The kitchen is on the other side, but I don't see it interfering either way. As things are right now, anyone working in the kitchen will have to move out of the way if someone wants to get by, and I wouldn't be building out any wider than the width of that back seat at 38.5".

I guess the other variable are where the shower drains end up lining up with either pan. I saw a video of a guy making his own custom shower pan which would be ideal since then I could angle it down to the width of that that 16.25" bench, but I'm not sure how that would hold up over time in a van vs a stationary house.

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I saw a video of a guy making his own custom shower pan which would be ideal since then I could angle it down to the width of that that 16.25" bench, but I'm not sure how that would hold up over time in a van vs a stationary house.
That's what I did. I used my boatbuliding experience to fabricate a pan-surround unit from plywood, fiberglass and epoxy. Overlapping fiberglass and epoxy ties it all together into one continuous water-proof structure, just like a boat. No worries. But I already had the skills, tools, and confidence. I wouldn't recommend it as a first-time project, but it's not out of the question. There are tons of YouTubes on fiberglassing by experienced boatbuilders. Avoid the self-proclaimed van-life "experts" doing it for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's what I did. I used my boatbuliding experience to fabricate a pan-surround unit from plywood, fiberglass and epoxy. Overlapping fiberglass and epoxy ties it all together into one continuous water-proof structure, just like a boat. No worries. But I already had the skills, tools, and confidence. I wouldn't recommend it as a first-time project, but it's not out of the question. There are tons of YouTubes on fiberglassing by experienced boatbuilders. Avoid the self-proclaimed van-life "experts" doing it for the first time.
I found another "neo angle" 36" x 36" shower pan at Home Depot that only sticks out 17.3" on the short edge which means it only juts out 1" from the edge of the rear bench, so I'm starting to think that option 2 may be the winning design. It'll certainly be a lot easier to return the pan if the fitment isn't going to work. The footprint should be about perfect except for that 36" edge along the van wall which is going to be reeeeeally tight if I want to keep that straight vertical wall going up the back passenger seat.

On the other hand, I guess I shouldn't obsess over that wall being a perfect 90 degrees. It's not like I haven't had a bunch of other weird angles to work around with this project. If I have to slope that wall back in a little bit around the contours of that rear passenger seat, who cares, right? Otherwise, maybe I could also build that wall directly onto the lip of the shower pan instead of on the outside of it which should give me just enough clearance.

I guess this is part of the reason why I embarked upon this project - to solve a million small math problems.
 

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hmm, how deep is your kitchen cabinet? Looks like a decent amount of space.
 

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From a bodily movement perspective, I think the angled shower pan will make the space more fluid, rather than having a shower pan that juts out and is squared off.
If you do want a specific shower pan but are not inclined to build it yourself, you could look at getting a metal shop to make a stainless steel one for you. It should not be very expensive as it would be a very basic thing to make.
 

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Have you looked at how the Winnebago Rialta used slide out walls for the shower? Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Wood stain
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There is a door that closes to hide the toilet and is attached to the sliding walls. The drain is recessed with a cover over it for walking in the aisle. Look up the Rialta brochure.
 

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Maybe consider not using a door to make it easier to move around.

I used a retractable screen like this


Highly recommend. Light, convenient, easy to operate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hmm, how deep is your kitchen cabinet? Looks like a decent amount of space.
It's 15" wide to match the sink. I decided to only make it as wide as the sink since the extra couple of inches didn't make much difference on the countertop but made a big difference in the walkway between the countertop and the rear passenger seat.

The butcher block countertop I had was from an Ikea rolling island that I bought on craigslist for $40 and hacked up. It came with a couple of drawers which I reused in that kitchen counter. I highly recommend going that route as you usually get a lot more countertop than you need when you buy it from the big box stores.

Have you looked at how the Winnebago Rialta used slide out walls for the shower? View attachment 81675 View attachment 81676 There is a door that closes to hide the toilet and is attached to the sliding walls. The drain is recessed with a cover over it for walking in the aisle. Look up the Rialta brochure.
Thanks for the suggestion. As of right now, I think I'm pretty set on design option #2 and becoming increasingly confident that I can make it work, even if I have to slope the wall a little around the contours of that rear passenger seat.

I kind of agree with Minnievan in that the angled wall will make the space more fluid to move around, both inside and outside of the bathroom. It'll also visually partition the van a little more between the two "rooms" which I think will look cool.

I'll post pictures here as I complete the buildout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Maybe consider not using a door to make it easier to move around.

I used a retractable screen like this


Highly recommend. Light, convenient, easy to operate.
I haven't ruled that option out, but I have some holdups:

1) I thought they were kind of expensive compared to real doors
2) I didn't think that a door would be that intrusive and would remain closed all the time anyway.
3) I could leave the door open at night to help wall off any lights/TV etc from the front galley.
4) Those screens struck me as kind of meh as far as privacy. Seems like if you're going to do some dirty business with an RV toilet, you'd at least like to have a room that's a little more soundproofed than a thin screen.

Happy to have my mind changed about any of these things.
 

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I haven't ruled that option out, but I have some holdups:

1) I thought they were kind of expensive compared to real doors
2) I didn't think that a door would be that intrusive and would remain closed all the time anyway.
3) I could leave the door open at night to help wall off any lights/TV etc from the front galley.
4) Those screens struck me as kind of meh as far as privacy. Seems like if you're going to do some dirty business with an RV toilet, you'd at least like to have a room that's a little more soundproofed than a thin screen.

Happy to have my mind changed about any of these things.
If you can otherwise manage the door, or use it to wall off lights from the front a door might be better.

Its certainly not soundproof, but a door probably isn't either. Generally I am alone in my van. I have a second screen at the cab partition and the few times I have been traveling with someone one of us waited in the cab or outside while suing the restroom. That way if you showered you can step out to dry off, since the bathroom is very tight. But mostly its just me and I get the whole place to myself.

My design didn't allow for a door that could open out when the second bed (Smartbed Evolution R) is deployed and the screen at least allows access to the bathroom while the bed is out. Admittedly 90%+ of the time I try to use other restrooms and showers.
 

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I agree with Option 2. If I were building, I’d be looking seriously at how to best use that tight angled corner which adds nothing to showering space and could be difficult to keep clean. Let no inch be wasted, even if not square. Inside maybe a couple shelves for soap, shampoo. Below, perhaps shelves facing outward or a special place to store something long and skinny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you can otherwise manage the door, or use it to wall off lights from the front a door might be better.

Its certainly not soundproof, but a door probably isn't either. Generally I am alone in my van. I have a second screen at the cab partition and the few times I have been traveling with someone one of us waited in the cab or outside while suing the restroom. That way if you showered you can step out to dry off, since the bathroom is very tight. But mostly its just me and I get the whole place to myself.

My design didn't allow for a door that could open out when the second bed (Smartbed Evolution R) is deployed and the screen at least allows access to the bathroom while the bed is out. Admittedly 90%+ of the time I try to use other restrooms and showers.
Yeah, I'll probably stick with the door design. I think it'll make for a cleaner look once it's all painted and closed up. I've already camped in it once and going in/out of the loud van door kind of disturbs the wife, so I imagine that our bathroom will be used quite a bit.
 

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All ideas/thoughts appreciated!
I would make shower only as large as needed, and not worry about wasting space. You can always find something to place in the “unused” space. On the other hand, if shower is made unnecessarily larger due to available space, then it’s wasted (or tied up) permanently unless you can use larger shower for daytime storage or similar.

For us, a 24X27 shower would be close to ideal if building a dry bath. Larger would be nice but wasteful.
 

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Which jibes with what I’m suggesting. Looking back at the drawing, I also see opportunity for a narrow storage space behind the seats, low enough not to impact the window. Chairs, window covers, ?

IOW, outward dimensions of Option 2, yet shower sized more like Option 1 with the rest storage.
 

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The triangle one is nice! I would finish it off with the idea that it will always be open, leaving the diagonal sides as open as possible. I love van bathrooms where the "shower is built like a fancy nook in the space. It feels so much more spacious than a closed box. get a curved shower curtain rod and shower curtain.

Another option: a 21" x 35" pan. That's what I used and the narrow width would work well with your other reduced dimensions. I especially like the raised toilet area. it brings my squat portapotty to normal toilet height and it's never sitting in water.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The triangle one is nice! I would finish it off with the idea that it will always be open, leaving the diagonal sides as open as possible. I love van bathrooms where the "shower is built like a fancy nook in the space. It feels so much more spacious than a closed box. get a curved shower curtain rod and shower curtain.

Another option: a 21" x 35" pan. That's what I used and the narrow width would work well with your other reduced dimensions. I especially like the raised toilet area. it brings my squat portapotty to normal toilet height and it's never sitting in water.

View attachment 81698
hey thanks. That’s a solid idea. My triangular “neo angle” pan arrives at my local HD tomorrow, so I’m going to lay it out and see how it looks. If I’m not in love with it, that pan would probably be my next best option.

That 21” depth vs the 24” pan I had been looking at would make a huge difference, and your other points about the elevated shelf for the toilet are well taken. Where did you buy that one?
 
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