RV bathtubs are nice to have, but when it comes time to take on the task of a replacing a tub you can either pay a professional or do the job yourself. This RV bathtub replacement isn’t too difficult if you know what to expect. Ready to give it a try? Here’s what you need to know.
Before you begin your RV bathtub replacement, first replace all RV bathtub components. But don’t try to salvage the RV bathtub enclosure since they are difficult to remove without cracking.
You’ll also waste time cleaning off surface dirt and gunk. A new RV bathtub enclosure may be a little expensive, but you’ll be happier when everything is sparkling new. This goes for all of the parts for your RV bathtub replacement project. Re-using parts will just leave you with an unattractive mix of old and new plastic.
The next step is to measure and order carefully. Take precise measurements of the tub’s length, width, and depth. Make note of which side your drain is on. Many RV owners say that ABS plastic RV bathtubs tend to match product description directions better than fiberglass ones, so check user reviews for the replacement you want.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bathtub faucet
- Dicor lap sealant
- New RV bathtub
- New RV tub surround
- Panel retainer clips
- Shower/tub drain
- 100% silicone caulk
- Caulking kit
- Channel lock pliers
- Putty knife or flat pry-bar
- Rubber mallet
- Utility knife
Now, with everything in place, you can now begin the install.
1. Remove shower curtain assembly
Retract your shower curtain and remove the top slider bar. Next, remove the catch bar and bottom guide bar. Carefully remove spool assembly.
2. Shut off water and remove plumbing fixtures
Remove all bathtub accessories like the shower head. Open your RV bathtub plumbing access on the wall behind your tub, then unscrew the plumbing. Next, remove the faucet by unscrewing mounting rings from behind the fixture.
3. Gut the tub surround
First, remove all panel trim clips from the surround enclosure. The tines of an old fork work well to remove the clips. Just wedge underneath them and pull. Rip out the surround next.
4. Remove the apron retainer strip
Extract the metal strip that attaches the tub rim to the bathtub apron by unscrewing the retainer screws.
5. Disconnect the tub drain
Don’t pull the tub out until you remove the drain. Access the plumbing below the tub itself, then unscrew the drain from the P-trap.
6. Remove the RV bathtub
7. Drain to the new tub
Remove the downspout from the old tub and attach a new drain to the downspout through the hole in the bottom of new tub. The YouTube video below shows further details.
8. Re-seat the new bathtub
Maneuver the attached tub drain into the platform hole, then attach the downspout to your RV plumbing. Confirm the drain is sitting inside the P-trap.
9. Check the fit
Press down on bottom of tub to ensure it is seated firmly on the platform. But if your tub doesn’t seat properly, consider cutting a 1/2? thick plywood sized to the tub platform (just be sure to cut a hole for the downspout).
Further, attach the riser to the tub platform with drywall screws. Once firmly seated, attach the downspout to the tub plumbing by screwing down the retainer ring.
10. Install the new enclosure
Put the surround enclosure in place. Apply silicone along the tub rim, and inside the retainer clip holes. Insert new clips back into existing holes then use a rubber mallet to secure the surround to the wall.
11. Replace plumbing fixtures
Insert the new RV tub faucet from the front side of your tub. Attach retainer rings to the fixture from behind the wall. Next, attach the plumbing onto the fixture pipes. Pay attention to where hot and cold plumbing lines should go.
12. Install shower curtain assembly
Attach the shower curtain reel and rods in the opposite way you removed them. Additionally, use silicone to affix the spool side to the surround. Now you can install the bottom guide bar, catch rail, and top bar. Just insert the curtain first so it glides easily and connects to catch.
13. Seal and clean
Slowly turn the water on and look for any leaks, especially from behind the tub drain. Also, dry the tub and apply 100% silicone bath sealant to all seams. So, once the caulk is dry your new RV bathtub enclosure is ready for use.
Watch this RV bathtub replacement video for more details:
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Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.