In most cases, RVs and trailers came with a shower curtain, pleated shower door, or a glass shower door. But with recent advances, the retractable shower door has gained in popularity. These doors install easily and make it harder for mold to grow.
The retractable door from Nautilus does install easily. That is just one of its positive points. Another is that it stops any rattling noise you may have heard when your shower had glass doors. It may be the perfect replacement for your RV shower doors.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can make a great shower door decision. This door will also give you more entry and exit room from the shower.
People who have bought this shower door option seemed to love it. They focus more on the positive aspects than the negative ones. This section hopes to provide you with the full story so you can see if this type of shower door is right for your RV or trailer situation.
Besides Nautilus, there are several companies that make these retractable doors, and what is negative about the competition may not apply to the Nautilus product.
Do your research well so you do not get confused and think that the problems other companies have, Nautilus has the same problems. From what we can tell, they do not at this time.
If you are talking about the screen and not the tracks and hardware and other mechanisms, then you would be out of luck. It does not seem that any retailer or wholesaler is selling individual parts to fix broken ones.
Nor are they selling just the screens if yours get torn or damaged. From our research, you can only buy the full assembly. That means you have to replace the whole door not just the screen.
This makes sense from a business standpoint because those inner mechanisms and attaching the new screen would be quite difficult to do. That includes trying to get inside the retractable base to attach the screen to the mechanism.
Every retailer or RV parts store we have seen does not offer spare parts. They only offer the complete door package. Those are easy to find depending on the brand you want. For example, Amazon has the RecPro retractable door but it does not have the nautilus brand.
The good news is that some models are not as expensive as some RV owners have said. There is a $200 model but many other models we have seen sell for about the same price as a pleated shower door, under $100. Other models fit in between those two extremes.
Some of the owners that have bought this shower door absolutely love it. They find it to be a better fit and more waterproof than their tri-fold glass doors that came with their RVs.
They also liked the fact that the retractable door did not rattle as those glass doors did. Then, they also liked the easy installation and clear instructions. That has been a common complaint about some of Nautilus’ competitors.
Those companies do not include instructions, if they do include those instructions, they are not very clear. But all is not rosy with this product. One owner does not like his model.
He did at first but then problems started to arise and he is very dissatisfied with this particular retractable door. His complaints started with the fact that the metal parts were painted and not powder coated.
Then he said there were no drain holes to let the water out after the curtain was wiped when retracted. Some people did not like the tape security method it was not as waterproof as they had hoped. They still needed to do other work to make sure the water from the shower remained inside the shower area.
But overall, most people that reviewed this product that we saw were pleased with the door and did not want to go back to the old system that came with their RV.
The first step after buying your shower door is for you to measure the opening. The top and bottom should be equal but the company allows for a 1/4-inch difference.
Anything bigger than that and you may need to reframe the opening. The top to bottom measurements needs to fit the same parameters for the door to work properly.
Once you have the measurements, the second step is to install the tracks. The good thing about the tracks is that you can cut them to size if they are too long. We should add that Nautilus is supposed to include very clear instructions.
Make sure to follow them when securing the tracks to the shower frame. Also, do a test fit to make sure all pieces are going to fit properly before you secure anything in place. Remember you can always take some off but you can never put more on. Be careful of your measurements and cuts.
Before you install, make sure to clean the area where the adhesive tape will stick. Once dry, you will need to install the upright retractable section at the same time as you do the upper and lower tracks. The opposite support track can be installed after you did the other three first.
Don’t press too hard on the tracks until you have everything in place. The adhesive tape is hard to pull off once it is installed. Leave the tracks loose until; you get everything in the right position. Once they are, press hard to affix the tracks to the walls of your shower area.
Make sure to test the retractable portion before you permanently install the tracks and after you have permanently installed them. Add your silicone caulking when you finished installing the tracks.
Once all of this is done, you can have a nice shower.
From the video that we watched to get those instructions, the installation seems to be quite easy. You may need four hands at times but that is normal for this type of installation.
What makes this installation simple is that the company made the product with strong adhesive tape instead of screws. Once you have the track in place, and everything fits, you just pull the backing off the tape and put the track in its place.
While this is simple it is also difficult as you have to be careful to put the track in the right place. The tape is said to be very sticky and hard to remove if you are off-center or level.
What the tape does is remove the need for drills, screwdrivers, and screws. It also makes for a seamless installation. It takes less than 20 minutes approx, to do the installation but takes a little bit longer to make sure you got everything lined up right.
Don’t forget to test the retracting door to make sure it will slide right before you adhere the tracks to the walls. Other than that, this is a very straight forward project that just about anyone who is careful can do.
The instructions should be clear and very helpful as they guide you through the process. If not, there are plenty of YouTube videos showing you how it is done.
This seems to be a common problem with many of the Nautilus owners. The source from reading people’s comments is that the latch is not strong enough to hold the door in place.
Any little movement dis-lodges the latch allowing the door to retract and slam shut on its own. One owner solved this problem by buying a glass door latch, then closed the door and drilled a hole through both the new door latch and the Nautilus latch.
Then they inserted a pin that could be opened from the inside or the outside. Another owner installed those old-fashioned metal door handles on both the wall and the retractable door and then tied a marine rope loop to both to keep theirs closed.
These two ideas should give you some inspiration and find your own creative method to keep the door closed when showering. The source is a poor latch design and we are not sure if the company has taken steps to fix that design or not. The problems have come in the last 2 years.
One tip, when you are finished showering and closed the door, open it back up again to let it dry. If you don’t, you may get a moldy smell the next time you shower.
Nautilus is not the only company making this type of shower door for RVs. It may be one of the better companies but there is a lot of competition in this area. We found quite a few manufacturers that may be a good alternatives when you end up not liking the Nautilus product.
1. RecPro- affordable, nicely designed but the biggest complaint was the bad instructions if there were instructions included. This company uses platinum vinyl for its door construction material.
It weighs only 6 pounds so you are not adding a lot of weight and may even gain a few extra pounds in your weight limit.
2. Camper Comfort- they make 4 models and they come only in 2 colors. Their mesh vinyl construction material is supposed to provide a very modern look to your bathroom.
It also has a problem with not providing instructions even though the company makes this product in America.
3. Glideaway- this is an Australian company that makes the same type of door as the American ones. It has all the same features as RecPro and Nautilus doors including the wiper blade when you close the door.
1. Do some research and find out how each door is installed. You will have a tiny amount of space to work with so make sure the door will be easy to install in small spaces.
2. Do accurate measurements- measure more than once to be sure. In most cases, you can only be about 1/4 inch out of line where the tracks go. So make sure your product will fit squarely.
3. Think about the maintenance before buying- if the door is high maintenance, you may not want it even though everyone else has one.
Like any product, Nautilus retractable shower doors have their good and bad points. This company seems to have built theirs right as not that many people complain about it even though the latch lets go and the door closes on you.
It is a good door and it is a space saver. Plus, it spares you the task of taking the curtain down and cleaning it once in a while. It also stops the rattle you hear with glass doors.