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Monday, October 26, 2009

Outside Shower Installation

I was wondering what was involved in installing an outside shower on my 2000, 21-foot travel trailer. Both the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink are located on outside walls with good access to the water lines. I'm just not sure what is inside the walls where I would have to cut the mounting hole. Is there any type of studs or braces on a fiberglass trailer? My friends have the outside shower on their trailer and I would like to add it to mine. Is this something too difficult?
Tom, (Lake View, NY)

Tom, the installation of an outside shower should not pose too great a problem for the handyman - especially since you already have easy access to the water lines. There will, however, be studs and insulation inside the walls you'll need to be aware of. The type of construction of the side walls will determine how many studs and where they may be located. There also may be electrical wiring inside the wall so care must be taken when cutting into the wall. Disconnect the shoreline and battery power prior to drilling and cutting. Be sure also, to purchase the faucet/shower assembly first so you will know the exact cut-out size. Most will come in a pre-fabbed assembly such as in the photo. 

Check for the stud spacing dimensions by looking under the cabinets, behind drawers and/or in closets. There will be a tell-tale line of staples or molding strips to indicate the spacing. If possible, use one existing stud as one side of the cut-out opening. Determine exactly where you want the faucet assembly on the outside of the trailer and be sure it does not present a problem inside, such as too close to a partition wall or cabinet. Also, stay away from exhaust vents for the water heater and furnace. For best results structurally, frame around the complete opening with wood. The assembly will then have a solid structure to attach to. Then simply "tee" into the existing hot and cold water lines and you are in business. There are many “easy-to-use” fittings available and soft, pliable PEX tubing available at any well stocked service center that will have you plumbed and showering outside in no time. But please do us a favor; use a shower curtain!


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