With space in a van being at a premium at the best of times, the decision to build a shower/toilet cubicle can render spacing critical. It can also be a challenge to find a pre-formed shower tray with the right dimensions to fit your build plan and with a drain that is located over a part of the floor that you can actually make a suitable hole through and find clear space below!.
I decided to opt for a slightly different approach whereby I built the shower cubicle – ply floor with Polyx Oil treated spruce T&G clad walls – and then fibreglass in a ‘tray’ in situ. As it has been many years since I had last used fibreglass I got a local specialist firm to apply the fibreglass to guarantee a good finish.
One advantage of this approach is that it saves on a few centimetres of precious height that is lost to the raised base of many pre-formed trays to allow for the waste outlet and trap. The downside however, is that virtually all ‘straight through’ wastes only have about 10cm/4″ of threaded pipe on them which is insufficient to extend adequately through the van floor to easily allow the attachment of a locking collar, thus another ‘work-around’ is required – you soon get used to this with a DIY van conversion!
On a practical note, there is no right, or wrong, place to put the drain since the van will always end up being parked on a slightly opposing angle! – a squeegee comes in rather handy.
Tip: Pay attention to the finished smoothness of the gel coat.