DIY RV Shower Pan: How To Build or Fix an RV Shower Pan

Doing it yourself can be very rewarding and it can save you a lot of money. When it comes to an RV shower pan, that should not be a hard DIY project for you to start and finish. You just need the right materials and tools to get the job done right.

There are many RV shower pan ideas out there. The problem is that some of them are more primitive than others. They do not look good as they use wood barrels or a horse trough to replace their current shower pans. There are better options to use.

To learn more about this DIY project just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about in case you decide to renovate your shower area in your RV or trailer. It is not a hard project to do with design being the most difficult.

Are Acrylic RV Shower Pans Durable?


This is another form of plastic and sometimes the acrylic is made from ABS plastic materials. When you have an acrylic shower pan in your RV it can be one of the more durable pans you can have.

Then when you go to remodel your shower area, consider using an acrylic shower pan, not only for looks but for other reasons. It is usually scratch-resistant and looks good.

The drawback to this shower pan material is that when it does need repairing, which is not often, it can be quite expensive to fix. Replacing may be the better and cheaper option. There are lots of stores where you can buy an acrylic shower pan.

But keep in mind that the quality of the shower pan may not be consistent so watch where you go shopping and look for the toughest, yet prettiest pan you can get.

Do Shower Pans in RVs Leak Water?

This can happen and there are some very legitimate ways for the water to leak out of your shower pan or even behind it.

1. The pan is not sealed at the wall- a very easy place for water to leak out of. You should make sure that the pan is sealed and overlapped by the shower surround to prevent this leak.

2. The shower pan is cracked- this happens more often than you may think as some people may weigh a bit too much and crack the pan when they step inside the shower area. Or the vibration of the RV, or bumps in the road can help crack the pan.

You can seal these cracks but that may only be a temporary fix. Replacement is often the best option.

3. The drain is not tight- this will depend on the style of your drain. If it is loose or the pan has cracked in this spot, then water can leak through and get to your sub-flooring.

The fix depends on how long the water has been leaking and you may have to replace the sub-flooring if the leak has been there for a while.

How To Repair an RV Shower Pan

The first step in this project is to find the source of the leak. Then you have to assess if it is bad enough to replace or not so bad that a good fix will take care of it. There are lots of products you can buy to seal most leaks.

Those products are caulking (non-leveling or self-leveling), Eternabond, Butyl Tape and even a good epoxy adhesive made for cracks will do the trick. Once you buy the right product that will repair your leak, follow the instructions carefully.

There may be some putty that you can use temporarily until you get back home and do a better job of repairing it. If the leak is through your drain, you may have to pull the drain and use either plumber’s putty or caulking to seal the problem.

The type of repair you do will depend on the type of leaking problem you have.

How To Fix a Crack in An RV Shower Pan Floor


Photo Taken In Germany, Berlin

If the crack is not that large (wide), then the best method to use will be Eternabond tape. This is a powerful tape that really adheres to the surface once you put it on.

This tape is easy to use and you should be able to find it just about anywhere RV accessories or tape products are sold. A second more tempting method would be to turn to duct tape.

It is called the RV owner’s best friend and it can be used to fix many problems RV owners encounter. The drawback is that this tape may not hold as long as the Eternabond option.

Before you apply either solution, make sure to clean around the crack so the tape will seal up tight and not come loose. You can use your finger and smear some caulk into the crack as a second defensive measure but make sure to clean up any caulk that goes beyond the crack before applying the tape.

How To Open Access Hole in Shower Pan Of RV

This can be a difficult question to answer as all RVs and trailers are not made the same. Some RVs will have an access panel that is in the wall but not on the floor.

If your model of RV has one, it should be white and underneath the RV or trailer, right beneath the shower pan or bathroom area. If your Rv does not have an access panel, then you would have to cut a hole in the area beneath the pan to access what you need to get to.

Home Depot is said to sell covers that should close that hole once you are done. Lok for an access panel in the wall between the bedroom and bathroom or other walls and the bathroom. This will depend on your floor plan and how many bathrooms your Rv has.

If you cut out the flooring material be prepared to repair it when you are done. You do not want small creatures using the hole.

How To Build An RV Shower Pan

Before you start, you need to take a few things into consideration. The first thing is that the material you are using should be sturdy. The second aspect is that it is flexible enough for when you are on the road.

The third consideration is to plan the slope correctly so the water drains from the pan easily. Finally, you need to consider the toilet and where it sits. These are all issues you have to solve before you begin building and installing.

The materials list is even longer as you will need marine-grade plywood, screws, sealant, shims, insulation, pan liner, shower drain, toilet flange, waterproof tape, and so on. Then you measure the space including where the drain and toilet will be and cut to fit.

The installation will take time as you have to make sure all the cracks are sealed and foresee any problems that may arise.

DIY RV Shower Pan Ideas


There are lots of ideas you can use. Some like the wood barrel and horse trough are practical and cheap but look and feel primitive. The biggest problem will be cutting the drain hole and making sure these items fit in your bathroom.

One RV owner used knotty pine and an acrylic shower pan or pan liner. Then they used knotty pine for the shower walls as well as for the pan walls. Another idea if you have the weight allowance would be to use concrete.

This is easy to use and very easy to mold into the design you need. If you do not like the look, just cover it with vinyl or plastic, or tiles. This small list should get you on the right creative track.

Making Your Own Shower Pan For An RV

You can do this by using fiberglass as your construction material. The biggest problem with using this material is that you need to have a lot of skill to mold it into a nice-looking shower pan.

If you do not trust your skills with fiberglass, you can always buy a pan that is used to empty water on a furnace. It will slip right into place and all you would need to do is add the fittings for a drain hose.

If you do not use a lot of water, you can always lift it up and dump the water in the sink. You do not have to secure this pan in place.

How To Support an RV Shower Pan

This is another situation where you have lots of options. Some dealers will only slip in a couple of blocks of wood and then charge you about $200+ for the repair. It is best to DIY this project so you can save and get better support.

One owner used 4” schedule 40 PVC pipes and cut them to size. Then he placed about 20 of them underneath the pan and got great support. Other owners are said to have used spray foam but that may not last a very long time.

Still, other owners used foam blocks. The material that you will use will depend on your shower pan’s design and how much room you have underneath it.

What Kind Of Drain To Use With An RV Shower Pan?


This is one area of this project where you will have lots of leeways. There are different types of drains you can buy and the best one will be the one that fits the pipe in your RV’s floor.

As long as you have that issue solved, you are free to use any drain model that works and looks good. Also, it will depend on how the RV maker built the shower to drain. You will need to look at that design to get the right fixture to complement the rest of your shower pan.

If you go with an acrylic model, the hole in the pan will dictate the size and type of drain you can use.

RV Shower Pan Center Drain

If you are not building your own shower pan, then all you have to do is go to Amazon or one of your favorite brick and mortar stores and pick out a pre-made shower pan with a center drain.

The only thing you need to do here is to make sure the drain hole in the pan fits the drain hole in your shower floor. If you are building your own pan, the trick is to get the pan sloping in the right direction so the water drains to the center.

The slope has to be enough for water to be directed to the drain, but not so much that you feel like you are standing on a hill.

RV Shower Pan Corner Drain

This option may be easier to build than the center drain shower pan. You can have a slight incline to make sure the water drains in the right spot. The good part is that you only have one direction to worry about when building the incline.

The design of the drain will eliminate many shower pan ideas you may have come up with. Not all materials will work with a corner or even a center drain. But if you want to use a wood barrel, it is just a matter of cutting the hole in the right spot and adding your drain.

Careful measurements will be the key for both drain designs.

Some Final Words

Taking on DIY projects like shower pans is a great way to fill in your free time. It is an easy project to do as long as you have the skill and the tools. You are actually free to use any construction material you want.

The key will be supporting the pan, how it will look and function, as well as getting the slope in the right direction. Don’t forget to use the right sealant so there are no leaks when you are done.

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