Thursday, September 05, 2019

Love Your RV Shower - Low-Cost Luxury Mod - Upscale Shower for Pennies!

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

If you spend any time in your RV you should be taking advantage of the wonderful bathroom facilities that are clean, close and should be comfortable. 

What's that you say? You can't take a shower for more than 3 minutes before you run out of hot water? It takes you half that time to get the temperature right and by the time you get in the shower, you're running out of hot water and have to start adjusting the faucet again?!

You try to make it work by turning off the water in between soaping and rinsing (navy shower). This entails standing naked and shivering while you soap up and wash your head?

Doesn't sound like luxury to me!

Love your RV Shower - Luxury for Pennies - Wacky Pup blog - tons of ideas, projects, tutorials and information
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What if I told you that for under $40 you would never have to adjust the water temperature again? and for another $25 you'd have enough water to shower for half an hour on a 6 gallon hot water tank?

Interested? Keep reading!

(by the way if you do not have a separate shower control, I have a blog article showing you how to easily add one. How to add separate shower controls to your Camper/RV shower)

Both the mods are easy - the showerhead replacement takes about 4 minutes, and that includes looking for the teflon tape that rolled behind the toilet.


The thermostatic mixing faucet is a little more involved, but not at all difficult.  It is an amazing faucet that AUTOMATICALLY keeps the water at exactly the right temperature! As soon as the hot water reaches your shower, it is adjusted to whatever temperature you've set. And it stays that temperature, even if someone turns on a tap somewhere or flushes a toilet or you start running out of hot water. It will retain the temperature until there is no hot water left. This is the best thing I've ever done for myself! I love this faucet! No more fiddling with the knobs!!

One side of the faucet adjusts the temperature, the other side adjusts the volume of water. It's easy to adjust so that it's just PERFECT!  It has a valve inside that is sensitive to temperature fluctuations and automatically delivers more hot or cold water.

Ok, let's get started!

The first and simplest thing is to buy an Oxygenics Shower Head.  


Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

You'll notice that though everything else in the shower is silver, the Oxygenics showerhead is white. That's because the white ones are $25 and the silver ones are $40.  They both work!

It mixes air in with the water and makes it feel like you're using a lot more water than you actually are. 

Now on to the real luxury -

This is the standard shower controls that came with our trailer.

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

Unscrew them from the wall.

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

Pull it out and detatch the supply lines from the back.
Make sure they don't fall down inside the wall!

Throw that tacky plastic faucet away!

Buy a thermostatic mixing shower faucet

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

(the one I got was under $40 and is great!)

Hold the new faucet up against the existing hole - you may have to cut the hole a bit larger so that the pipes will fit.


Get a plastic cutting board from Walmart. This will be what you mount the faucet on, then the board is mounted to the shower wall. Pick up the conduit nuts while you're out.

Cut it to a size that will:
A) Cover the existing hole
B) be wide enough to hold the new mixing valve

NOTE: TRY TO CROSS A STUD. If you are able to size the cutting board so that it is long enough to go over at least one stud, it will give it much needed support.  Best if it can be screwed to a stud on each end. 

You can see where the studs are when you remove the faucet, just look in the hole :)

Slide some wood inside the hole to screw into, also. The wall is made of luan plywood, and some wooden backing will brace it up.

Drill holes that the faucet fittings will go through

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

TIP: you can get straight fittings from the hardware store. All you need are threaded fittings that goes between the faucet and the incoming water lines. That makes it a lot easier to install than using the offset fittings.

Here is an example of a straight fitting from the hardware store, with teflon tape (thank you, Patty)



If you use the supplied fittings, you may need to put a couple fat washers or bushings on the fitting to make it tighten up. I cut them out of leftover pieces of cutting board.

(To make a cutting board washer, first use a hole saw to cut the outside, then hold it in vice grips and cut the inside hole with a spade bit)

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

The photo below shows how it goes through the cutting board

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

1/2" Conduit Nuts fit perfectly. 

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

Here is another photo of the straight fittings from the hardware store.



I recommend T Plus 2 pipe sealant

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

A tube is about $2.50 and is a good thing to keep in the camper. 
It is messy, though. You'll notice everything has a slight white glaze to it LOL It cleans up easily (except on fabric)



If you'd prefer PTFE Teflon Tape, this looks like a good one

Tighten everything up and screw it to the shower wall.

I recommend putting some wood inside the wall to support the weight.
I put a piece of plywood inside the wall across the top and bottom to screw into to reinforce the wall. The new faucet is MUCH heavier (solid brass)  I also screwed one side of the cutting board into a stud.

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

TIP: At this point I highly recommend turning the water back on and leaving it out like this for at least a few hours or overnight. Put newspaper on the floor under it. If it leaks at all, you will be able to see it on the newspaper. Make sure it is not leaking before you secure it to the wall.

Put a bead of silicone caulking on the back of the plastic cutting board, and all the way around the opening. Wipe off the excess after you screw it on.  I put an extra bead of caulk across the top, just for insurance :)

While you're working on your plumbing it might be a good time to put these water alarms around the trailer. This is another instance of learning from others. These alarms come highly recommended by RVers.



I used two of the original screws and the rest are stainless steel.

Pin it for later! Amazing RV Shower Mod automatically adjusts temperature! Luxury!

Now take a LONG GLORIOUS SHOWER!

And let me know how it turns out!

If you appreciate this article, please buy through my links and help me continue to bring you DIY ideas and tutorials.

NOTE: I have had some people comment about the star rating of this faucet. There are many other options - just search for thermostatic mixing faucet. If you read the reviews, most people had problems with the fittings. I had no problems at all and I've installed it in 2 different trailers. I've been using mine almost every day for 2 1/2 years. Amazon is good about resolving problems if you something happens. I can't guarantee everything will be fine, but I'd take my chances :)

LINKS TO PRODUCTS USED:

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice!! Forgot all about these things but getting one now.

Mindful Wayfinders said...

Brilliant! It's on the job list! Thanks for the awesome instructions and links.

Patty Mancuso said...

The instructions are amazing. Pay attention especially to what she says about the hoses can fall into the wall. Because they do. And be sure you cut your back piece (cutting board) large enough to secure to a vertical stud. And after you see no leaks, leave it over night to be doubly sure there are no leaks. We had a lot of difficulty trying to use the original angled brass fitting. It is offset and we couldn’t stop the leaks. So we purchased a straight brass fitting like she mentions. We did have to cut into the shower panel to accommodate the larger fixture. I can’t wait to go camping to use this!

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