While there are many similarities between a traditional home and an RV or travel trailer, there are differences as well. You need to not assume that everything will be the same because different circumstances apply. The shower is one such difference
The first thing to remember when caulking and sealing an RV shower is that some things are not as they seem. To properly waterproof an RV shower, you need to leave that little gap of at the bottom unsealed.
To learn how to waterproof an RV shower and why you can’t seal that gap, just continue reading our article. It has that information and more. Take a few minutes to see how this important information can help you preserve your sower area.
Most RV showers come waterproofed in the beginning. The manufacturer takes care of that problem for you. The time you need to worry about this task is when you have some damage done to the shower area, you want to replace old and tired looks with updated colors and patterns or you are remodeling the bathroom.
The materials for the shower walls are already waterproof. You will not have to worry about them. It is the seams that you have to deal with as those seams need to be sealed to be waterproofed.
The way to do this part of the job is to use the right caulking material. There are several good brands out there that will work in your RV. Tub & Tile is good as are different silicone based types. The latter is usually clear and no one will see the sealant once you are done and it has dried.
If you are not sure about the walls, and other broad areas in the shower, you can always paint them with a waterproof paint. That way you get the color you want as well as the protection you need.
There is some discussion on this issue as while RV makers say their showers are already waterproofed. However, they may, at least with older models, only be water resistant. That can cause you problems later on if you and your family like showers.
The first option you have would be to simply place a new shower surround over the older material. The newer materials are waterproof and the extra protection would help you out.
Or just replace the old surround with a new one and you should have some peace of mind on this part of RVing life. When you go to seal this new material, make sure that the caulking you use is waterproof and not water resistant.
Even though there is less water pressure in an RV shower than a traditional one, there is still a lot of water hitting those seams. When you replace or cover the old walls in your shower, you can get the design that you like and lets you move a lot easier.
Plus, you do not have to worry about paint getting allover the place. The install is not that hard as all you have to do is use the right materials and make sure to measure accurately.
There is nothing wrong with painting your old RV shower surround. You just have to be careful and make sure you cover everything you do not want to paint. Using waterproof paint is quick, easy and will look good if you pick the right colors.
Plus, you should be able to find waterproof paint just about anywhere paint is sold. You just need to talk to the store clerk about mixing colors so you get the tint and the shade you want.
Painting is easy. Make sure to use masking tape to tape off areas you do not want to get splattered and use newspapers on the floor. You can tape the newspaper to different spots as well to give you better overall coverage.
Then use a roller for the broad areas. Paint strokes are hard to cover at times and you do not want to be looking at paint brush strokes everyday. Brushes can be used for those hard to reach spots and the corners.
Since the shower is small, you will not have to buy a large can of paint to waterproof the area. Don’t forget to wear old clothes.
There are different types of these water proof panels that you can buy from your favorite RV parts and accessory stores or those big box home improvement outlets that have just about everything.
These panels are not hard to install and if you get the acrylic options, they will reflect the light making it brighter inside the shower area. Also, the acrylic panels are said not to crack, fade. or scratch which is a win for you.
The solid surface panels are good as well. They come in a weight and thickness that make them very durable and have them lasting a long time. Neither of these panel options are hard to install.
Just make sure to follow instructions or get some advice from the experts who have done this task before. These panels may not be as easy to install as painting but at least you know you have solid walls that won’t peel, chip or get damaged that easily.
You would have to check the different retailers to get an idea of their cost. The prices should be reasonable and you should not need to buy too many of them.
Here is where you get the inside information about that little gap at the bottom of your shower. Many people assume that the RV shower is like their traditional shower back home. With that assumption comes the urge to seal that little gap.
Don’t do it. That gap is left there by the RV makers on purpose and it has a real and practical reason for being there. The gap allows air flow to get behind the shower wall and help dry out the paneling and other materials behind the surround.
If you seal it, you are only asking for mold and other bacteria to grow behind the shower surround.That instruction only applies to that little gap. In the other seams and edges, you should seal them up tight .
You can use any type of waterproof caulking you want as long as it keeps the water and moisture out from behind the shower area. The dealers themselves have been told by the makers of different RVs to leave that gap alone and not seal it up.
Sometimes you may get bad advice from mechanics, etc., as they may not know about those special instructions or why the gap is there.
There are several good brands that you can buy that produce great caulk and sealants for you to use. A few of those brands are Dicor, Kohree, Geocel. Sikaflex and 3M. Gorillia is said to be another top brand to use as well.
You just need to go to your local hardware store and pick the one that is waterproof and made by a reputable company. Also, you want a caulk that will fit your budget. Even simple tub & tile caulking will do the trick and that can be found just about anywhere.
If you are still to sure which caulk you should use, you can always ask a paint store for the best option. If you are painting your tub, then you want a caulking than can accept paint.
It won’t do you any good to have a nicely painted shower but the caulking looks white or no color at all. Looks do matter. You have a lot of choices in this department and most brands do make and sell waterproof varieties.
Caulking is just about the last step in the process. If you are painting, then it comes just before you spread the paint over the shower walls. If you are adding waterproof boards, then it comes after that installation is over.
Caulking is simple. You put the tube in the caulking gun, then tighten up the push rod. You do that by squeezing the trigger till it gets tight. No need to go too tight at this time as you just want it to be ready for when you start caulking.
When you get started, you need steady pressure on the trigger and move the caulking gun at a slow but steady pace. The key is to get a solid bead without putting too much caulking in one spot.
If you go to slow you will put too much caulk in one spot and when that happens you have to stop your work and wipe up the excess. You cannot leave the excess there for too long as the caulk starts drying as soon as you put it on the seam.
After you caulk, wipe your finger over the caulk to get it looking nice and smooth. Run your finger at about the same pace you applied to caulk to make sure you fill in cracks, bubbles and other gaps
It gets a little messy but caulk cleans up easily.
This depends on the waterproofing option you pick. There are not that many options available so you have to check your budget to see which one is the best for you. Painting is often considered the best as it is easy to do and you can find the paint in the colors you want.
Replacing the current surround with an upgraded design will get you waterproofing and the design you like. When you use the replacement or the water proof solid panels, you will need a very strong construction adhesive to attach those panels to the previous surround to the studding behind it.
When you are using paneling, etc., measurement and cutting will be your two most important aspects. You have to be careful when doing both as one mistake will send you back to the store to spend more money on replacement panels for the replacement panels.
Keep in mind that the gap at the bottom is not to be covered by paneling or caulking. You want good air flow to keep the material behind the walls nice and dry.
These are an accessory that can be found in just about every store that sell bathroom or shower products. They come in many different colors and patterns so you can make your RV bathroom look better than ever.
However, not every shower curtain is waterproof so you need to look on the labels to make sure before you buy. Polyester is a good shower curtain material that says it is waterproof.
To keep these shower curtains in good shape and germ free make sure to follow all laundry instructions that are on the label. There are far too many options to list any here and just get the ones that are made by your favorite brands.
If you have the space, you may want to consider replacing the shower curtain with a solid shower door. It is worth considering as they keep the water inside the shower.
Watch the gap at the bottom as it is there to protect your RV walls. Replacing the walls are far more expensive than you want to think about. Also, you do not have to spend a lot to waterproof your shower.