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Reading Time: 4mins 53sec
Now that we have our plumbing actually planned out, we have to first get our bathroom into place. That means that I need to pick out a shower that will work for me, frame it in a way that will allow the water to drain properly and pick a toilet that will be able to fit in the small space that I have allocated for it.
This task isn’t as hard as it may sound, since I have planned out where our black water tank will be going already and have everything else put in place. All this step will require of me is to do some research about the types of toilets that are available to me for van living and the best showers available that use the least amount of water possible.
These steps are pretty easy, but we also need to talk a bit about how the shower and toilet will hook up the current plumbing system that I discussed last time. The blackwater tank and the fresh water tank need to be able to hook up to these appliances. Then I’ll talk a little bit about just how I intend to keep my toilet, my shower and my van clean when I’m going to be making use of these items
Step #1: What kind of Options do I have?
Now that I have a space and a water system set up for showering, I’ve decided already where I want the shoer to go in my van. At the foot of my bed, next to the kitchen area will be my shower, and next to that will be my bathroom, both of which lead to the black water tank. You could alternatively form a grey water tank if you want to separate your shower and tiler water. If you opt to do this, then you could potentially filter out the grey water, which is just from the shower and sinks, and turn them back into usable water.
For my plans, however, I’m not going to be doing that. I’ll just be using the same tank for all my waste water. The options for toilets are pretty limited, but i’m hoping to get a low pressure toilet that will not use much water if it uses any at all. Plumbing does not generally require any kind of electricity unless you also have a heating system of some kind. For the shower, I can hook up a small water heater to the wiring and electrical system and get a nice hot shower going whenever I want it.
Of course, I still need to be conservative with my water supply. With that being said, I can look towards this option or something close to it to help me use less water as I shower. There are a lot of ways to save on water when you use it, such as low pressure sinks and buying water from stores so you can only use your water for cooking and cleaning purposes. For me, I’ll just be using it as I need it, since I don’t plan on being far from a water source for very long.
Step #2: Setting up and connecting it to plumbing
For one thing, we need to make sure I have a nice spot ready for the shower. I need to build in a nice frame in the area where our shower will be going. This means that I need to prepare some metal brackets to hold out shoer room in place, and use some good quality sealant so that no water escapes from the shower room. The floor needs to be prepared for the extra weight of the water as it needs to be waterproofed so that the water doesn’t wreck the floorboards!
Once we’re sure the shower won’t leak or ruin the floors, I can attach the pipes from the bottom of the shoer directly to the blackwater tank. I will need to put a drain on it as well, just in case I drop something in the shower it won’t be lost to the waste tank forever. I’ll probably get some mesh netting and put it over the hole so only water can get down the drain from that point.
The toilet isn’t much different, since it will be right next to the area where I’ll have my shower room. I’ll first need to make a little area for the toilet to go and a way to keep it from moving around. The pipes will only hold it so much, so imm need to some some wood and line the bottom with some kind of supports and screw to keep it in place easier. The plumbing will be very much the same, except I’ll need to make a way for water to fill the tank of the bowl so it can be flushed.
Step #3: Maintenance and Cleaning
I’ll also do some regular checkups on the plumbing system. This includes checking that the black water tank is empty enough to continue using. This also means that I’ll inspect all of the pipes that I can visibly see for any signs of leaks or rusting. I would really like to avoid having to have a plumber come out and fix some of the work that i’ve put together myself. That is on the off chance a plumber would even try to take a job like this if something goes wrong.
That’s one of the main reasons it’s important to understand your own rig too. You need to know what could go wrong so that you can fix it. If you have a mechanic or plumber look at your vehicle, it will take them much longer to find the cause and fix it, if they even will be able to or even make an attempt to!
One thing I will do regularly is make sure that no holes have opened up and that the sealant is still doing its jobs correctly. I will be reapplying the sealant in areas where I think it may need it if I see some holes or mysterious water stains or droplets.
Another key thing I’ll be doing is not only checking for leaks, but cleaning in and around any areas that can harbor water vapor or droplets in the shower I want to prevent mold from forming, so I’ll be cleaning the bathroom areas on a weekly basis, twice a week or more if I start to see that it warrants a deeper cleaning. I’ll try to take care of the drains too by using some agents that eliminate odor and blockages in the pipes from forming. This product is one that will work wonders for you if you ever get stuck. The only thing is that it’s really unsafe to breath in, so if you go to use this in your van, try to stay out for a while and let the van air out before going back in.
I figured out what kind of toilet and what kind of shower that I’ll end up putting in the van now. The hard part is basically done at this point, since all the blackwater and fresh water is taken care of. The plumbing at this point in time is done and I can’t focus on moving on to my next step. Personally, the next step I have planned is my favorite. I get to think about how I’m going to arrange my van and set it up to house my computer and desk space.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to the disk space and I have a lot of options when it comes to setting up a desk for myself to work and play at. I don’t need to worry much about space issues, because everything I’ve done up until this point has been in an effort to make room for this part of my van. This is the centerpiece for my van and I intend on making it big and well worth the effort!