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Old 01-07-2021, 03:52 AM   #1
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Default Rear Wetbath v Side or Corner

Looking at RVs I can't imagine what RV life is like with a rear wetbath. The kind I am referring to is the type found in Travato KL and others.

For those of you who own a floor plan like that, what is daily RVing like with bathroom exposed when rear door open (and the possibility of people around). Do you hide the toilet, or? Or maybe you just never open rear door with people nearby?

What about walking in and out via rear door. Can the shower pan handle it?

I like the setup by splitting the bathroom between both sides of the van - good size wetbath with nice storage space. But just can't wrap my head around how to take advantage of the rear doors with the bathroom on display.
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:19 AM   #2
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We debated this ourselves before we had our van built. The first thing we learned with Class B's (especially the shorter 19-21 ft Class B's which was all we were willing to drive around the country) is that there are major compromises.

Our side bathroom (ie. like a Pleasureway bathroom) is about 24" X 36". It is functional and adequate for us but, frankly, it is damn small. The rear bathroom in the Travato I think is 25" x 43' which may not seem a lot bigger but when you are taking a shower, it will seem huge compared to our side bathroom and closer to a home shower. On the other hand, then you will have to downsize your storage, your refrigerator, your kitchen and everything else. Everyone will have their own priorities.

We never use our rear door except to open it for some storage access. I wouldn't mind if there even wasn't a rear door. We certainly don't ever leave it open while we are camping or use it for indoor access. I don't know why anyone would walk out the rear door when there are 3 other doors. Our huge side door (with a nice screen) and 2 main doors are all we need for access.

I definitely wouldn't call our side bathroom a "good size wet bath" although it is adequate for us. It would take a 22-24 ft van to achieve a side wet bath similar to the rear bathroom in a Travato that goes across the full length of the van.
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:33 AM   #3
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Hi: I have a 2016 PW Lexor. Side bath is very small. It is functional but one has to learn how to use it. A rear bath is actually more practical in my opinion. One should consider the loss of the rear window views or wrap around windows with wet baths on the side.
This could be an issue. I have looked at the rear bath in many B vans. For my next B, I would definitely prefer the rear bath because of it's size and practicality.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:00 PM   #4
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My wife loves to lounge on the rear bed with the cargo doors open wide. I love being able to access all my tools and set-up stuff in the under-bed storage from outside. We enter and exit through the single hinged side door (no screen), and the rear cargo doors are for ventilation, views, and storage access only (with a large zippered screen to keep out bugs).

It’s the best feature of the van for us. The small side bath is a compromise we happily accept. We usually stay in developed campgrounds and use public bathrooms, so it’s not a big hardship.

I can’t imagine leaving the rear doors open in a campground with the toilet in full view. Yuk! Center bed is typically smaller or twins. Access to the rear bath during the night while your partner sleeps is also a problem in some layouts with a pull-out double bed.

The rear bath/center bed layout might make more sense for a solo traveler that mostly boondocks. It also makes more sense if you have a large sliding side door with a screen. One way or another you’ll want ventilation.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:30 PM   #5
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Rear door mainly used as emergency exit or access to storage. If "comfortable" bathroom is concern, maybe a B+ or C is better option.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:35 PM   #6
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a number of times we have backed to ocean views and lay in bed with the rear open


wouldn't want it any other way


( we have simple screen kits for both rear and side door)



we have never used the shower- if in the boonies we use the outdoor shower wand. if in a campground we use that-



the 2006 PW Lexor head is in the middle- the doors open, extend and latch into the cabinetry and create a large private space if desired.


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Old 01-07-2021, 04:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post

Our side bathroom (ie. like a Pleasureway bathroom) is about 24" X 36". It is functional and adequate for us but, frankly, it is damn small. The rear bathroom in the Travato I think is 25" x 43' which may not seem a lot bigger but when you are taking a shower, it will seem huge compared to our side bathroom and closer to a home shower.
I'm told in the Travato FB group the side/corner bath is larger than the rear bath at 28”x51” so the Travato is probably a bad example to use as comparing floor plans. My main concern is dealing with the view from outside in (while not in use, of course)

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We never use our rear door except to open it for some storage access.... don't know why anyone would walk out the rear door when there are 3 other doors. Our huge side door (with a nice screen) and 2 main doors are all we need for access.
I was mostly thinking about view from inside out and ventilation/cooling as purpose to leave rear doors open. Like you I would also use side doors for casual ingress and egress.

Thanks for input. I know what I don't know and its helpful and interesting to learn how various people look at some of these features differently
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Old 01-07-2021, 08:38 PM   #8
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We have the Travato 59K model with the rear bath. We like the rear bath because the rest of the inside seems to flow better. But there are arguments for either one. The one thing I didn’t like was on the side bath, there’s another water pump in the shower you have to use to pump the water to the gray tank. It appears it clogs easily too. Just a thought. The rear bath does not require the pump.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:48 PM   #9
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We have a midbath, with the wet bath directly behind the driver's seat, with jackknife couches in the rear. I would never own any other configuration (first generation Airstream Interstate RS model):



The million-dollar view is always going to be out the back doors. I can't imagine having the sight of an intervening toilet spoiling experiences such these below, which are the whole point of vanning for me. I'll let these pics stand on their own persuasive merits: Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas; Angelina National Forest, Texas; Parrsboro, Nova Scotia; White Point, Nova Scotia (me in the ocean, my dog deciding to hang back and watch); McKinney Falls State Park, Texas; Gabarus Lake, Nova Scotia.







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Old 01-08-2021, 02:04 PM   #10
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The main reason we still have and enjoy our 2007 RT 210P is the layout, particularly the fixed twin beds in the back corners of the van. We have huge storage accessible from the rear doors and we can sit, drive or sleep with the view outside the rear windows. Those windows are very important to us as are the crank out windows on both sides immediately above each twin bed. This offers great ventilation and views.

We don't find the small wet bath in our Roadtrek to be much of a problem. We don't expect our traveling experiences in a camper van to be equivalent in luxury compared to the master suite in our home. Actually, we look forward to the change in pace and lifestyle of the compromise.

The arrangement in the back with the fixed twins results in our interior and exterior storage capacity to be 81 cubic feet, including the pantry and cabinet replacing the third seat. That is more storage in most 24 foot Class Bs.

We want that rear window day and night and going down the road. How much time di you really, truly spend in the bathroom of any Class B or C? Not much.

We still remember with fondness our 96 Roadtrek 190 on a Dodge chassis. The single rear door on the Dodges allowed for unlimited rear viewing and the often criticized heavy door never sagged in all the years we owned it.

Different folks have different needs and different layouts, but for us the rear bath and some loss of use of the rear storage and view would be a no go.
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Old 01-14-2021, 05:43 PM   #11
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Default I Like a rear bath, but . . .

I had a class C that had a rear bath, and liked it. But that was on a truck chassis (old Winnebago Minnie), and was higher up than a class B. On a class B, with a rear bath, the black tank is in the very rear of the coach, and is a scraping problem with some makers. This is because of the low ground clearance. This sort of makes me prefer the smaller (tighter) side bath. Now, if they made one with a rear bath, with the black tank up between the axles, I might reconsider.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:00 PM   #12
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Default A Vote for the Rear Bath model

You do not see the toilet in a rear bath. You see the rear doors and windows. You can have them open to light or not. We prefer to keep our windows covered and have very nice covers provided on our 59K.

Enter through the rear door? Why? There are three other doors already. We keep a rug on the bathroom floor and could go that way if need be. We enter through the slide and take our shoes off. Also if you have a Promaster you will find it easier to drive with your shoes off. The foot well is awkward and small.

Displaying the bathroom is no big deal. When people see it they are fascinated and want to know more. Also you can put up the screen and then its mostly obscured. If you get the side bed then your bed will be very small and your head will be right up against the cold rear doors. Also if you do not find the mattress comfortable and try to add a topper it will make the bed very hard to fold. We have 2” memory foam on our twins and that makes them comfortable. Without the padding look for aches and pains in the morning.

In my opinion the G model is better for a single person who has a lot of work to do on a desk, the front dinette. The K is better for couples. With the K the beds can be twins or near king size. The G bed is a double at best and you have to hop up to it.

If you are considering a manufactured RV Van then do not look at custom vans to imagine what your factory van will be like. All those pictures of attractive young girls lounging on the bed and looking out at the ocean are not realistic. Sure those vans have clever “garages” under the beds but they usually have no bathroom at all.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:00 PM   #13
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Usually the rear bath trade off is a smaller or less convenient bed. We spend hours in bed, minutes in the bath, so we opted for the tiny but very serviceable mid bath and a big rear bed. For us it was the right call.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travato K View Post
...All those pictures of attractive young girls lounging on the bed and looking out at the ocean are not realistic...
Next trip to SoCal I'll have to take a photo of my wife curled up on our rear bed with her coffee, book, and journal, doors open wide, parked on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It's her happy place. Young is relative, but I'm d---d if she isn't attractive!

Our bathroom is tiny, but it is a complete wet bath.

But you're right: a lot of the "#vanlife" pictures are home or small shop builds without a true wet bath. Engineering the plumbing, tanks, and waterproof enclosures takes the resources of larger builders.

I can certainly see the practicality of the rear bath for some. Choices are good!
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:32 PM   #15
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The other issue with the rear bath is that the tanks are probably then in the rear where the spare tire was located. I would like the larger rear bath but not if I would lose my spare tire or would then have to haul it on a rear tire holder. Everyone has their personal preferences but I don't want to be sitting on a remote forest service road in the middle of nowhere with no spare tire.
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Old 01-15-2021, 12:41 AM   #16
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I find myself drawn more and more to the Storyteller Overlander philosophy of the "bathroom". I think they call their shower system the halo or something like that. It stores in the overhead bin. There is a shower pan that is covered unless in use (where the portapotty is stowed). Since as someone has already mentioned, you use the bathroom for minutes a day, why dedicate so much space to it. The big drawback in my opinion is the toilet situation. However if viewed from the perspective that it's there if you really need it, but if using a public toilet is probably what you'd do most of the time anyway, then why not?
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:52 AM   #17
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Rear baths propose a lot of pluses and minuses. Your can generally create a more generous bathroom in the rear vs. on the side in a Class B along with a dry bath and separate wet shower. The minuses are blocking the rear windows (claustrophobic), doors that directly open to the outside (aesthetic sensibilities) and blocking storage especially for outside activities. The other problem is solving bathroom drainage when the waste tanks are over the axle. That is why cassette or composting toilets are popular in those designs. Other options are incinerator toilets, basically fancy porta potty disposable toilets, and macerater toilets to pump waste and water over the axle.

I don't have any desire to deal with a composting toilet. I have a cat and am experienced with litter boxes with which I liken to compost toilets. Cassettes mean handling dumping about 3X times vs standard grey tank toilets and the embarrassment of carrying the cassettes in odd places. The others have their own problems but I have settled on a macerating toilet and a big grey tank forward of the axle.

So, I have come up with a solution in a shorty 144 WB Sprinter van where I solved the rear window view and rear storage or not opening to the back but still maintain an emergency exit. Also, I get one of the largest bathrooms in a Class B at 31” x 38” but it is not constrained in width of a through aisle because it is at the end of an aisle. But the ample waste tanks are forward of the axle.

Twin beds are the other solution but are not side by side but stacked as in bunk beds. You may have seen my Advanced RV video on this. It is radical for a couple but great for a single RVer but we are going to do it so we can get a 5 foot shorter van without sacrificing anything--storage and amenities.



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Old 01-16-2021, 01:16 PM   #18
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Twin beds are the other solution but are not side by side but stacked as in bunk beds. You may have seen my Advanced RV video on this.
Could you post a link to this video?
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:13 PM   #19
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Could you post a link to this video?
This might be it. https://youtu.be/hsD4UvfLVAA
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:20 PM   #20
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That's the video. We were at Advanced Fest and I spotted an empty 144 Sprinter van with a plywood floor already put down so took the time to lay out the plan with painter's tape to visualize the plan. Rob from ARV spotted us and unexpectedly volunteered to mock up the bunk beds. It took him about an hour with spare plywood, 2x4s and foam mattresses. News got around quickly and Mike Neundorfer took the opportunity to video the process. It was all spontaneous.

I had to get over the hurdle of convincing my wife. She wanted the upper bunk with a skylight over the bed. I have to have the lower bunk because our cat sleeps with her chin on my left ankle every night.

A single person could reconfigure one of the bunks for storage or leave it for guests. The bunks are 30" wide which is better than twin beds on the floor side by side with an aisle between. The bunk beds take up 25% of the available floor space behind the B pillar whereas side by side beds with aisle space or full width beds take up 60% of the space and usually have to be converted from daytime use to night time setup. In freeing up space I can have a permanent bed setup, a larger bathroom and a functional kitchen equivalent to my extended van Sprinter. Back storage I think is more functional than under bed or sofa storage usually found in vans. The batteries and inverter are under the lower bunk. I have windows all around other than the driver's side rear panel.

The two cab seats turn around fully and are unencumbered to sit down with leg space to place an ottoman. I am opting for two Lagun type tables instead of one which would necessitate sliding over to occupy the drivers seat. You could put a shared pedestal table between if you wanted. We opted for two for computer use.

We never entertain others inside our van nor take passengers along.
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