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Unread 02-01-2020, 08:20 AM   #1
kalos1972
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RV Shower Thoughts

Hello all, first post. New member!

I am rebuilding a 1978 Greyhound bus RV conversion and have reached the bathroom planning stages and need some help please.

I understand no product is going to officially support the application but general opinions and suggestions are welcome.

I am super nervous about water so am planning on redguard-ing my bathroom two shower walls and floor. I was also thinking about the Kerdi panels for the shower.

1. Can I put the Kerdi panels over the reguarded 1/2 plywood walls?

2. Are the kerdi shower pans any good vs a conventional shower pan? They are roughly the same price for a 32x32 neo angle.

3. Can you put tile over the reinforced fiberglass panels? The transition to the roof is happening AT the shower so I am concerned about water getting between the shower wall and the planned tongue and groove cedar ceiling. If I used on contiguous RFP from floor to ceiling I would eliminate that joint.


Thank you in advance for your thoughts and feedback, all suggestions are welcome!!!
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Unread 02-01-2020, 11:19 AM   #2
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Welcome, Joseph.

You are planning a ceramic tile shower for this bus?

1. Not sure what "Kerdi panels" you're referring to. You're talking about the Kerdi-Board foam panels?

2. I'm confused again. Schluter makes a foam tray to create the slope floor for use with their Kerdi membrane. Is that what you mean? Those would be a good deal more expensive than what I would consider a "conventional" shower receptor. But they would certainly save weight in your application.

3. What reinforced fiberglass panels are we talking about here? Panels that already exist in your coach, or something you want to add for your shower, or....?
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Unread 02-01-2020, 06:24 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply CX!

Yes the foam boards. I watched a DIY video series on this method of water proofing your shower and they seemed really easy, even in comparison to the Kerdi tape methods over sheetrock.

Again yes, those Kerdi foam pans vs something conventional like this a Lippert neo angle shower pan.

I wasn't thinking about the weight but I like the foam pans not having a mortar base, for weight as you said but also its another thing to crack and fail since its in a moving vehicle.

My rebuild is from scratch, I tore everything out so all I have now is a framed in 56x59in room with 1/2 sheathing up on two walls. The shower walls. 3/4 tongue and groove as the subfloor.

I have seen people use the reinforced fiberglass panels for shower walls but since the wife is hoping we can ceramic tile the shower, I wasn't sure if that would work.

Th attached pic is of the room before the plywood walls went up. The corner on the right is the shower if that helps?
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Unread 02-01-2020, 07:08 PM   #4
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I have given much thought to how to rebuild my current RV shower when the original plastic one finally fails. I'm a full-timer and this is my fourth coach and I've rebuilt most of the interior of the last three. Never yet had to replace a shower, but the current one is 23 years old and can't last forever.

Most recently I've considered using a foam tray or a pre-fab receptor in Americast or similar with foam board walls and Thin Porcelain Panels for the finished surface. Still in the thinking-while-showering stage, though.

Only comment I'd have on your photo is that I've never once used a piece of wood as large as a 2x4 in anything I've ever done in remodeling a motorhome. I find that the tear-out is pretty much the same as other remodeling work, but once that's completed I hafta turn off my brain, insert the program for motorhome remodel, and re-boot. It's just not the same thing at all.

I have used plywood as thick as nominal 1/2" hardwood veneer, but only when it's an application where that will satisfy the finished product on both sides. Everything else is 1/4" or 1/8th" plywood and white wood framing as small as the laws of gravity will allow and lots of glue-ups. Exception would be the cabinet work where I'm still inclined to use 3/4" face frames and real raised panel doors. The whole concept is different and once I get into one I find it rather enjoyable to keep size and weight to a minimum while still building a solid interior.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-01-2020, 08:01 PM   #5
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Being a motor coach vs a stick built RV might be the difference IDK. I need a 2x4 wall there for the plumbing pipes, drains and vent.

The full panel of RFP would work, IF you can tile over it. I am finding mixed results there...

Also, I like the Kirby foam pan...leaning heavily that way especially if I can use the foam boards too.

Any thoughts on the idea of redguard-ing the base plywood before installing the shower waterproofing?
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Unread 02-01-2020, 09:36 PM   #6
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While you may well need room for your plumbing, Joseph, you have no real need for 2x4 construction. You're not supporting any part of your structure with your walls and you can certainly get by with 1x material for most any part of your enclosure. Likely can be ripped down to the actual space needed. But I'll leave the methods of construction up to you.
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The full panel of RFP would work, IF you can tile over it...
Perhaps you mean FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Panels) instead of RFP? I dunno what RFP is in that context.

I'm sure you could find a way to tile over such material, but it would probably require an epoxy bonding mortar. The big problem would be making a completely waterproof enclosure from it. I think you'd do better with one of the foam boards on the market and waterproofing all the seams with a compatible membrane. That you could certainly tile over if you want.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-02-2020, 07:34 AM   #7
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Way outta my depth here, but is there a concern, or even certainty, that the entire structure flexes/twists as it motors about? If so, and given those solidly attached 2X's, I'd think a foam board would be very helpful in preventing cracks in the tile as there will be a little wiggle room at all the screw holes and the membrane banding material will allow for some movement at the corners.
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Unread 02-02-2020, 09:04 AM   #8
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Thats true, I could use 2x2 and create a space for the plumbing rooftop tank vents and the like. But its easier to just build a standard wall imho.

I am leaning to the Kerdi panel system from pan to walls judging from the feedback.

One last question, would putting up RedGuard on the 1/2 ply walls before installing the Kerdi system, be a problem or just possibly an unnecessary step in my fear of water?
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Unread 02-02-2020, 09:25 AM   #9
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It seems like every inch of wall/partition thickness counts in a build like yours.

Does that coach use an old 2 stroke Detroit Diesel? Not exactly known for smoothness at idle, and I wonder if it's mounted solidly to the frame.

In any case I'd want to isolate/decouple the tile installation as much as feasible.
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Unread 02-02-2020, 04:53 PM   #10
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As a fellow RVer I found its not just the twisting, but the excessive vibration tooling down the road. Especially with my horrible driving

If I were to re-do my bath (which we think of often) I'd frame where we need plumbing with metal 2x2's, the rest with foam boards. If the plumbing is on the outside wall of the RV, then the rest of the shower is made from 2 inch thick foam panels. Maybe 1½ thick panels. Sikaflexed together to ease construction and give some support, then banded to accommodate movement.

Very thin tiles with the least amount of thinset needed to reduce weight.
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Unread 02-02-2020, 08:57 PM   #11
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Yep, old oily Detroit 8v71! Runs smooth though...for a Detroit!

I agree with the isolation that why I was thinking the Kerdi shower pan would be better then a conventional RV hard pan or a custom base.

I have seen people use a silicone instead of thinset on each tile and grout. Silicone has some flexibility I am guessing. Haven't heard if thats held up over time though.
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Unread 02-03-2020, 07:22 AM   #12
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Robert Ault sells a special silicone which is used as a setting material and a grout. It works very well including over fiberglass.

I used his system to create this sign for our local library. It goes from the rare freezing day to 120ºF in the summer afternoons when the Texas sun hits the sign. Been 4 or 5 years now and its still in great shape.
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Unread 02-03-2020, 10:36 AM   #13
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Nice sign paul. What part of houston is that?
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Unread 02-03-2020, 02:33 PM   #14
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13th& Heights Blvd 77008.

3 blocks from my house
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Unread 02-03-2020, 06:40 PM   #15
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Awesome! Thats my ticket!

Gonna call them up tomorrow. Thank you Paul!
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