How to Make a Small RV Shower Toilet Combo

Living in an RV can be an amazing experience. The freedom to explore new places and make your home wherever you want is exhilarating. But one downside is dealing with the small spaces, especially when it comes to bathrooms.

Most RVs come with a tiny wet bath that houses both the toilet and shower. While functional, these wet baths can feel cramped and claustrophobic. If this sounds familiar, you may be dreaming about a roomier bathroom setup. Well, I’ve got good news for you – it is possible to create a separate shower and toilet in even the smallest RV bathroom.

In this article, I’ll walk you through how to make a small RV shower toilet combo so you can finally enjoy a spacious and luxurious bathing experience on the road.

Key Takeaways:

  • Assessing your current bathroom layout and choosing shower and toilet styles are the first steps
  • Careful planning and precision measurements are crucial
  • Using space-saving fixtures like corner showers and compact toilets maximize the room
  • Installing a sliding partition wall can separate the shower and toilet areas
  • Custom building a shower pan and privacy walls helps optimize the layout
  • Solid waterproofing and ventilation protects your RV from moisture damage
  • It takes time and effort but is totally worthwhile for a comfortable bathroom!

Living in a tiny house on wheels has so many advantages. You get to wake up in a new location every day, visit beautiful nature spots on a whim, and live a minimalist lifestyle. But the downside is space is limited, especially in the bathroom. Most RV bathrooms consist of a small wet bath – basically a toilet and shower crammed together in an itty bitty room. It works, but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of comfort!

If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably daydreamed about having a nicely sized shower separated from the toilet area. The good news is, it is possible to convert your RV’s wet bath into a usable shower and toilet combo even in as little as 5 square feet of space! Now before you start ripping up the bathroom, let’s go over the key steps for creating separate shower and toilet rooms when space is limited.

Step 1: Assess Your Current Bathroom Layout

First things first, you need to fully evaluate your existing bathroom setup.

  • What are the dimensions – length, width and height? Be sure to measure accurately as every inch counts in small bathrooms.
  • How is the space currently divided up? Take photos from all angles.
  • Is there plumbing and electrical already installed? Locate the hookups.
  • What are the current fixtures (toilet, shower, sink, etc) and their measurements?
  • Are there any windows, vents or storage space? Take note.
  • What is the bathroom constructed of? Understand if you can remove/alter walls.

Thoroughly assessing your current RV bathroom will allow you to determine what’s feasible with the space. You may find you need to expand the room by stealing space from a closet or hall. Or realize one wall can be moved to accommodate a new layout.

The key is figuring out what you’re working with so you can start planning. Speaking of that…

Step 2: Start Planning and Designing

Now it’s time to sketch out ideas for how to divide your bathroom into separate shower and toilet spaces. Here are some tips:

  • Determine ideal locations for the shower, toilet, sink and any storage. Think about existing plumbing and electrical.
  • Consider traffic flow – avoid doors banging into toilets or tight quarters.
  • Maximize all square footage – use corners, go vertical for narrow spaces.
  • Choose space-saving fixtures and features – corner shower, compact toilet.
  • Allow room to open doors fully and sit on toilet comfortably.
  • Include ventilation like fans and windows.
  • Decide if you want to fully customize with tile, built-in shelves, etc.

Spend time planning to ensure your new bathroom feels open and comfortable. Using graph paper makes it easy to experiment with different layouts.

Once you have a plan you’re excited about, it’s time to make a list of materials needed and get to work!

Step 3: Select Space-Saving Shower and Toilet Options

To create separate shower and toilet spaces in a small RV bathroom, you need compact styles to maximize every inch:

Compact Toilets

A residential or RV standard toilet is minimum 15” wide x 14” deep – too bulky for tiny bathrooms! Instead consider:

  • Compact low-flow RV toilets: Many are only 13” wide x 11” deep while others have unique shapes like the Saniflo Macerating Toilet that’s just 9” wide x 9” deep.
  • Cassette toilets: The toilet portion detaches to empty the waste tank. They take up less space without the tank.
  • Portable toilets: Usually used for outdoor events, these super compact toilets have removable waste tanks and many are less than 10” x 10”.

Corner Showers

Tub showers are space hogs! To save room opt for:

  • Pre-formed corner shower units: Available in different sizes, these fit neatly into a corner and many have built-in shelving.
  • Custom tiled shower: Using a pre-made shower pan, you can build a tiled corner shower tailored to your exact space.
  • Shower pods: All-in-one fiberglass shower units come in compact corner styles. Some have integrated shelving and seating.

Be sure to choose a shower with adequate interior space – at least 30” x 30” recommended. Going too small results in constant elbow banging!

Selecting the right space-saving toilet and shower styles for your RV is the best way to maximize room in a cramped bathroom. Do your homework to get the most compact options.

Step 4: Install Partition Wall and Door

With your ultra-compact toilet and shower selected, the next step is deciding how to divide up the two areas. Here are some options:

  • Shower curtain: Low cost but makes the room feel crowded and leaks water.
  • Accordion door: Folds up to save space but less privacy.
  • Barn style door: Sliding door saves space and is a stylish option.
  • Floor to ceiling partition: Solid wall provides the most privacy but eats up space.
  • Half wall with doorway: Allows light to pass through and feels roomier.

If possible, having an actual doorway between the shower and toilet areas makes the space feel less cramped. A sliding barn door works well for tight spaces.

Choose water resistant materials like acrylic or marine board for the divider wall. Be sure to waterproof the floor under walls to prevent leakage.

Proper ventilation like exhaust fans and anti-mold paint help keep moisture under control. Take time installing the partition so it’s secure and sealed.

Step 5: Build Custom Shower Pan and Walls

Unless using a stand-alone shower pod, you’ll need to build a custom shower pan and walls to fit your unique space.

Here are some tips for constructing your RV shower:

  • Use solid waterproof materials like acrylic, fiberglass, acrylic panels, or tile over cement board.
  • The shower pan must slope 1⁄4” per foot towards the drain. A mortar bed works better than pre-slope.
  • Install an expandable drain kit that seals tightly against the pan.
  • Surround the shower in moisture resistant backer board or cement board.
  • Waterproof the walls and seams thoroughly with RedGard or at minimum two coats of silicone sealant.
  • Slope the ceiling downwards away from walls if possible to prevent pooling.
  • Install an exhaust fan vented to the outside to manage moisture.
  • Use silicone caulk for all seams and edges during construction for waterproofing.
  • Don’t skimp on waterproofing! Leaks can cause major RV damage and mold.

Building a custom shower is a big project but worth it for the added comfort. The key is taking time to fully waterproof and prevent leaks leading to costly repairs down the road.

Step 6: Add Storage Solutions

An RV bathroom can never have enough storage for all your towels, toiletries and personal items. With limited space, you have to get creative. Consider these storage solutions:

  • Install shelving above the toilet, in the shower or on partition walls
  • Use the space under the sink for rolling carts or baskets
  • Add a storage cabinet above the toilet
  • Utilize overhead cabinets on walls or above shower
  • Use a freestanding tall storage cabinet in a corner
  • Hang a storage hammock on the wall or from the ceiling
  • Install towel hooks on the walls and the back of doors
  • hanging shower caddy adds storage without taking up floor space
  • Place a narrow storage bench under a window

Take time designing space for all your bathroom necessities. Those small shelves and cubbies add up to ample storage!

Step 7: Finish Touches

The finishing touches really elevate your space and make it feel complete:

  • Add accent tile on walls or shower floor
  • Use Caesarstone or similar engineered stone for the sink surround
  • Include a mirror to make the room feel larger
  • Install recessed lighting and sconces for ambiance
  • Fresh paint color coordinates everything
  • Add decor items like plants, art and baskets
  • Get plush bath towels and coordinated accent rugs
  • Incorporate greenery like a hanging air plant wall

Take time picking out finishes, lighting and accessories that reflect your style. Don’t forget luxurious towels – you deserve them after all this work!


As you can see, creating separate shower and toilet areas in a tiny RV bathroom is very doable. Yes it takes planning and effort to optimize every inch, but the end result is incredibly worthwhile. You’ll finally have the comfortable bathroom you’ve always dreamed about on the road!

Following the steps we covered will help ensure you successfully transform your RV’s wet bath into a convenient shower and toilet combo. Just remember – accurate measurements, waterproofing and compact fixtures are key.

Someday when you’re relaxing in your spa-like shower oasis, you’ll look back proudly at having tackled this project yourself. So go ahead and get started designing the RV bathroom of your dreams!

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