We decided to do a complete remodel of our Airstream’s bathroom. I first was determined to just spruce up what was already there with marine paint. But after we did the kitchen remodel and found all of the nastiness from an old sink leak we decided gutting the bathroom was imperative. We took out everything. Surprisingly, it was a very quick demo. Start to finish I’d say it took 4 hours.
This is what was underneath. The subfloor ended up being sturdy in most places, especially where traffic passes through. There was a bit more breakdown of the subfloor around the toilet but it still was strong enough. Since we were on a timeline we decided to leave the subfloor as is. (I’m sure this is traumatizing to some of you reading this. ha!) After this photo as taken, we removed the old propane furnace vent and the cabinet on the right side.
I probably spent a solid afternoon knocking old rivets back into the wall and re-riveting the plastic end cap all the way around.
My dad and uncle are both amazing builders and helped with the build-out of the bathroom. We are so grateful for their help! They both said working in the bathroom was like building out the inside of a fishbowl. It was a challenge for sure. That’s my dad trying to make sense of everything.
I desperately wanted the tub to sit directly on the subfloor since we are both tall. But after demoing the bathroom, we found the p-trap was housed inside the original platform and directly underneath the subfloor was the gray water tank. There was no way to lower the tub because of this without doing serious surgery and relocating the gray water tank. So we rebuilt another platform. There weren’t too many options in the tub department but the best one I could come up with was this one. It does the job!
The bathroom was framed with strips and different shapes of 3/4″ plywood and then covered with 1/4″ plywood facing to keep the weight factor down.
From here a few more pieces of framing was added and then the countertop was affixed and the front was faced with pallet wood.
The bathtub face was covered in a sheet of decorative back splash paneling from Home Depot. One sheet covered the whole tub. I have one coat of white paint on the pallet wood face. I added another coat after this photo. The back walls in the bathroom were covered in white Aquatile from Home Depot. It took two sheets of tile for around $24 a piece.
The sides of the tub area were covered in 1/4″ Starboard. It’s a marine grade “plywood” that is completely waterproof and behaves just like plywood. It was glued onto the 1/4″ plywood with Liquid Nails and then stapled on the corners with a staple gun. The front of the cabinet was finished with a $6 pile of pallet wood. Although a lot of people reuse old pallets, I’ve read horror stories about them being treated with chemicals and/or having toxic chemicals spilled on them while in use. So I opted for new pallet wood. The counter top is from Ikea. We used the old countertop to trace out the new one.
We built up the backside of the toilet with more pallet wood and left a small cubby for toilet paper and other small items. We also recessed the toilet paper holder in this cubby area too. After much deliberation, we chose a regular toilet. I watched a video on caring for a composting toilet and it was just too…err…personal for me. I couldn’t imaging dislodging part of the toilet and parading it through the trailer and out the front door to empty it. And it was just too much hands on stuff for me. Maybe I’m making more of it than it really is. I can’t totally write off a composting toilet in the future but I wasn’t too crazy about what I saw. So far the regular toilet on a black tank has been a breeze. No mess, no smells, no touching weird stuff…nothing!
I’m slightly plant crazy. I have a TWELVE plants in the Airstream. This cool looking cactus is called a dog tail. It’s fuzzy and not at all sharp – no need to worry about getting stabbed while going to the bathroom. Ha! I hand cut a stencil for the wall and painted little irregular trees all over the lower half of the wall.
The towels are from Target and they’re great so far. They are fast-drying and aren’t fading in the wash. Also, they aren’t getting pulls either. I have the matching bathmat as well that fits perfectly in the space.
Here’s an overhead view of the space. We had minimal space left for a trashcan and couldn’t find anything that came close to fitting. My mom constructed this trashcan next to the toilet from canvas and lined it with a plastic frame. Its not completely rigid and squeezes into the space perfectly snug. I also picked up a vintage cheese box from an antique shop for a place to throw my headbands and hair ties.
I have our toiletries in this amazing vintage chocolate box I also picked up at an antique shop.
For lighting, I constructed this pallet wood puck light fixture. Click here for more on that. We installed Levelor roller shades here and throughout the trailer. We used a filtering one in the bathroom so we could yank it down when we are in there without making the room dark. We’re really happy with them so far. Lowe’s cuts them to size so they’re a perfect fit.
When we get up in the night to go to the bathroom, we turn on this little touch LED light. It’s much dimmer than the overhead and the perfect amount of light.
Our electric water heater is housed inside the base cabinet next to the toilet. We have a cut out on the side to easily access temperature control. The latch on the left side is to access the plumbing and shut off valves. We’ve been really happy with the water heater we chose. We got the Bosch 4 Gallon Electric from Home Depot. We can easily get a 10 minute hot shower which is mind blowing. We weren’t expecting more than a few minutes out of a 4 gallon system. It heats up quickly – about 30 minutes – for the next person.
Our sink was a score from an scratch and dent shop for just $10! The faucet was an Amazon find. It’s a very solid piece and looks great with the sink.
I installed a trap door on the front side of the cabinet. Here we can access the guts of the sink and also hide a cubby for more toiletries.
The plumbing everywhere stayed in the same location. We did everything ourselves with the exception of hiring a plumber when a copper pipe broke during the remodel. The plumbing was all updated but we left everything where it originally was for simplicity. We installed a longer shower hose to reach the far side of the bathroom wall. We also put in a new adjustable shower head holder that is fastened by 3m tape. It is super strong and hasn’t budged.
Extra Long Stainless Steel Shower Hose for Handheld Shower Head Double Lock 78 Inch Length Flexible Pipe // Amazon // Buy
Oxygenics Shower Head // Amazon // Buy
Gaoyu Bathroom Adjustable 3M Adhesive Waterproof Shower Head Adapter Wall Mounted // Amazon // Buy
The far side of the tub has a nice big ledge for toiletries.
Another look at the bathtub face. It was covered in a sheet of decorative back splash paneling from Home Depot. One sheet covered the whole tub.
The shower curtain was a bargain from Amazon. I wanted a non-smelly, PVC-free and waterproof curtain (since it has to wrap around the inside of the tub to protect the laminate countertop). This one is awesome – slightly frosted so you can’t see right through it but see through enough to see if you’re about to get stabbed while showering. Am I the only one with this fear? Ha!
The shower curtain rod had to have a bit of a custom alteration to it. My dad welded a bracket at and angle to attach it to the ceiling. The other bracket affixed to the wall as normal with no altering.
I made distressed barn style double doors for the bathroom. They were made from 1/4″ plywood and framed with various scraps of wood we had left over from the remodel. They are super light weight and easy to open and close. More photos of the doors can be seen here.
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