Just like a home. You can replace your bathroom medicine cabinet or even just a mirror. The trick is to make sure the hardware is the right size and that you can find the studs. The only issue is that RV and trailer walls may not be thicker than 2 inches, so plan well.
One way to replace your medicine cabinet is to carefully remove the screws holding it in place and put an alternative option in the same screw holes. This task would be just like doing it in your traditional home but with smaller studs to work with.
To learn more about this topic, just continue reading our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can do this task successfully. The project boils down to what type of replacement you want in your bathroom and if you can find the studs to work with.
The first place to look will be those companies that make different components for RVs. Dometic, Thetford, Suburban, and similar companies may have bathroom medicine cabinet options for you.
The question is if they sell directly to the public or not. If not, it is no big deal to track down their approved dealers and buy through them. If not, then talk to your RV brand’s dealers and see what they can offer you as a replacement.
If those options fail to turn up anything good at a price you will pay, then you can turn to Amazon, the big box outlets, and similar stores to find a good bathroom cabinet.
The trick is that traditional home cabinets can work in an RV if they are the right size. To save space, you can try using a sunken cabinet design as long as it is not more than 2 inches thick and you find the right studs to attach it to.
Going this route opens up your selection and design to innumerable numbers. It may take a little work, but you can always add a stud if you need to to support your new medicine cabinet.
The route you take will depend on the size of your bathroom and what is behind the walls.
We looked at different RV renovation and furniture makers’ websites and we looked at a couple of Amazon’s pages that do not list RV bathroom medicine cabinets in their offerings.
Amazon may have them somewhere but the majority of their selection was for traditional bathroom medicine cabinets. This is okay as that is what you may find when you search Home Depot, Lowe's, and other big box stores’ inventory.
There is very little difference between a traditional home medicine cabinet and an RV one. Those seem to be interchangeable which is a good thing. Not only can you get a break in the price, (as everything with RV in the description can be over-priced), you can have a lot of options to choose from.
You can go to a custom furniture shop that specializes in RV cabinets and see what they can make for you or have in stock. The price for this option may be higher than you want to pay.
Some good advice will be to look at your current cabinet and see if you can find another one like it under the regular bathroom medicine cabinet selections. If so, then you should be able to replace it with just about any medicine cabinet that will fit inside your RV’s bathroom.
This is going to depend on the construction materials used by the cabinet maker. Some wood options are lighter than others and some metal ones may not look great but they are extremely light. Aluminum is a prime example here.
If you want a lightweight bathroom cabinet, then check the materials it is made from. Then check the number of shelves and if it has a mirror or not. Glass can weigh a lot and make what looks like a lightweight cabinet a heavier model.
If in doubt, weigh your old cabinet and use that as your benchmark when you select a new one. If you have to, weigh some of the cabinet options if their packaging does not state their weight.
We say this because most medicine cabinets that pop up in our searches are all advertised for traditional home bathrooms. The websites do not distinguish between a traditional home and RV medicine cabinets.
Walmart does not even pop up showing their RV medicine cabinet selection. For the above reason.
What we would advise is for you to look at your current medicine cabinet and measure it, then weigh it. After that is done, use those figures to help you find a replacement that will fit that space as well as not be heavier than the current weight.
A quick internet search will show you a myriad of medicine cabinets with mirrors and your difficulty will be finding one you like that meets your measurements and weight limits.
Any mirror that popped up in our searches was just listed as medicine cabinets no matter how we changed the search terms. This may not be the news you are looking for but going outside of the RV dealers and makers bring this result.
If you want an exact match, then talk to the dealer where you bought your RV or trailer. They should be able to help you find an exact match. This route may be more expensive but it may also be your only hope of finding an exact match made for your RV or trailer.
What we did not mention above is that you can go to junk yards, and use the classifieds to find an RV-specific medicine cabinet for your bathroom. These options may help refine your search and make it easier.
Probably the easiest project you can take on in your bathroom. This is a matter of removing a few screws and then placing the current medicine cabinet in a safe spot.
After that is done, you simply match the current screw holes with the holes in your new medicine cabinet and screw those screws back into place. Using the same screws will ensure that they are not too long and will not cause any damage to anything hidden inside your walls.
Once you are done, you can move the old cabinet to some storage spot n a basement, garage, or underneath your RV till you can sell it. There will be people looking to buy one and yours may match what they want.
Do not worry about finding another surface mount cabinet. There are more than enough to choose from and all the stores have them. Just pick the one you like the best and that will fit inside your bathroom and you have a replacement.
As we said, for the bathroom, this may be the easiest renovation project you can take on. There is nothing complicated about making the switch.
You can go two ways on this task. The first way is to hire someone to do the work for you. There is no shame in doing this unless the person does a bad job. The cost will be for the person’s labor and the cost of the cabinet.
Labor charges vary and if you can hire an experienced friend, then you may get away with buying only a few beers. The cost of the cabinet varies and depends on size, and style, with a mirror, without a mirror, or is a surface or recessed mount.
The second method is to do it yourself and then the cost is your time and the cost of the cabinet. A quick check at Amazon finds that you can pay anywhere between $50, on the conservative side, to over $500 if you want a fancy recessed model.
Your costs will depend on those options. You may be lucky to find one at a junkyard or in a classified ad that will save you a lot of money on a good one. Shop around and see what you can find that suits your tastes and your bathroom space.
The key is to get one that looks good, fits your needs, and is not hard to install.
As we have said, this is not a hard task to do. It is very simple and it is classified as beginning carpentry. Generally, you will only have 4 screws to remove. Two upper ones and two lower ones.
Once they are removed, just move the cabinet off the wall. You should have someone helping hold the cabinet as you work so it does not fall and break itself or something else.
That is all there is to it unless the RV maker threw you a curve ball and used rivets or attached the medicine cabinet to other cabinets on the other side of the wall. Then you will have more work to do.
If there are rivets holding the cabinet, then you will need a rivet remover instead of a drill or screwdriver. There may be other fasteners attached to the medicine cabinet so look for those before you pull too hard on your medicine cabinet.
Those usually only have screws holding them in place. Simply remove the screws with a screwdriver or a drill. When it comes time to install a medicine cabinet, just reverse the process.
The installation process is not that hard and will depend on the design of the new model. If it is a recessed model, then you may want or have to install some brackets to the stauds first. Then place the cabinet on top of those brackets.
Once in place, just screw the screws in using the most convenient method. The difficulty in this installation will be the space between the studs. If they are too far apart then it is best to install a stud where you need one to be for the medicine cabinet to be secure.
For a surface mount cabinet, just use the old holes to secure the new cabinet. If those holes are not going to be tight enough and the screws may strip them so they do not hold, then move the cabinet up or down about an inch and create new holes.
You can drill pilot holes to make the screws go in easier if you want. Generally, for the surface-mounted cabinets, the studs should be in the right place so you do not have to worry about them.
Unless you purchased a cabinet that is too wide for the studs. Then you will have to add another one to hold the cabinet in place. Your installation will depend a lot on the design of your RV or trailer’s bathroom design and construction.
Make sure to proceed with caution and investigate fully to make sure you know what you need and where the studs are located.
Some RVs have been made where there is only a mirror in the bathroom. This may look to be a simple task but be careful One owner shattered his mirror when removing it because it was secured by double-sided tape and not screws or holders.
You can try using a putty knife to remove the mirror but that may not be successful. Proceed with caution when removing mirrors attached to walls.
One of the good aspects of owning an RV is that there will be times you can use items designed for traditional homes. Not only can this save you a lot of money, but you get a great selection to choose from.
A bathroom medicine cabinet is one such item and you can pick the best one for the best price very easily. Installation and removal are not hard either. Just make sure to have basic carpentry skills.