Folding Bathroom Sink - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:58 PM   #1
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Folding Bathroom Sink

There has been a bit of discussion regarding the merits of a bathroom sink and it pretty much comes down to personal preference. With the four of us, a bathroom sink would definitely be something we would include on our wish list if we were buying a new trailer.

Since our 2006 17B didn't have the built in hardpoints for the current production style sink, I had to come with an optional method to install a bathroom sink.

In our 2006 the toilet sits facing forward and as you stand in front and look at the throne, there is a vent pipe to the left for the black water tank and an open corner to the right and behind the throne. The wall you are looking at seperates the bathroom from the galley.

I installed an 11 inch wide by 4 1/2 inch deep folding sink in the corner to the right and behind the throne. For scale, this is about the same width as the galley sink but not as deep. I wanted a sink wide enough to be useful and deep enough to be able to fold over the faucet. The first picture below shows the sink in the down position. The second picture shows the sink in the up position.

When the sink is down the toilet is usable for males and my daughter. When the sink is up everyone has space to exercise their personal freedoms as they see fit.

The bowl sits off your left shoulder when you are seated and is mounted for my 5'10" height. Taller folks could use the throne without discomfort. I have to lean back a bit to make contact with the sink.

The water lines are tapped into the galley faucet and the drain goes into the grey water drain vent line under the cook top and next to the furnace.

I didn't have to do too much drilling and cutting of the fiberglass shower liner. I added two small #8 bolt holes to mount the sink uplock fitting above the faucet and a 4 x 5 inch hole in the shower wall to mount the sink and faucet assembly to a reinforcing angle that I added under the galley countertop. The sink and faucet are essentially a pedestal sink mounted to the reinforcing angle and no part of the assembly touches the fiberglass so I am not concerned with fretting or wear between the sink and faucet and the fiberglass wall. The whole assembly is very robust and rigid, I bet I could hoist the trailer from the faucet mount.

The sink can be easily taken out without tools to provide more space when taking a shower. One pin is pulled from the hinge and the drain line twisted off the sink drain pipe and the sink is gone. I will remove the sink when traveling to keep it from banging around.

The faucet and sink work great. Plenty of room to wash up and no impact to using the throne. I could have used a smaller diameter sink but there is little to be gained as I needed it deep enough to cover the faucet and when folded it is out of the way.

The sink took lots of thinking. I wanted a round one to improve clearance when up or down but I couldn't find an off the shelf solution that combined the width, depth, weight, appearance and cost properties that I desired. Instead of spending $150+ for a normal sink I made this one out of an $11 mixing bowl. It works very well and unless you knew, you'd never know it was a bowl.

There were a lot of minor details that made this a success. I'll add some of those in later posts. If anyone wants to repeat this madness, send me an e-mail and we'll talk it over on the phone. I am pretty sure I can talk you out of it.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:20 PM   #2
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

The first picture below shows the sink removed for travel or showering. The hinge is a boat hatch hinge. The odd square block is a piece of semi-flexible white packing foam from a computer box. It was cut with an electric knife to match the sink contours and provide a support for the sink to rest against when down.

The second picture shows the aluminum support frame without the exterior vinyl cover. There is a piece of weather stripping running alongside the support.

The white vinyl shelf under the faucet covers a aluminum L angle that is bolted to the aluminum support frame.

The shelf and exterior vinyl cover are cut from a scrap vinyl fence rail that was 2 x 6 inches by 6 feet. I bought the fence rail for $5 from a tack shop and it was in pretty bad shape. After cutting it I sanded it down and got rid of the scratches and such it suffered from sitting outside for a few years.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:22 PM   #3
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

The picture below shows the exterior vinyl cover. I cut it with a bit of an edge on the back side so I could mount some weather stripping and to make it look better when installed. Ignore the number of holes, that was to allow some different hinge mount options to be tried.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

The first picture below shows under the cooktop before the modification with the cooktop and drawers removed. The second picture shows the same area after the modification.

The wooden countertop support running left to right, was replaced by a 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch aluminum angle screwed into every available wall support and the bottom of the counter top with a 1 inch by 1 inch spacing. The pedastal faucet and sink are mounted to the aluminum angle with a 4 inch by 2 1/2 inch aluminum T fitting.

The black vent pipe was modified with a wye fitting so I could connect the white PVC drain line and the clear water lines go to the galley faucet.

I know this is hard to follow, so if you want to repeat this madness we should talk. I left out a lot of details of some importance.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

Wow!! What a great job.. amazing!
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

Nice! And great job explaining your installation.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:30 PM   #7
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

Thane is a genius! You should check out his other innovations on fgrv.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:46 AM   #8
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

Thanks for the kind words, I'm not that smart; I just like to use things in ways they weren't intended.

This link is for the hinge that attaches the sink to the wall. http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=11375

I squeezed the female hinge half closed a bit to take out slack and used a slightly larger diameter pin to mate the hinge halves. I didn't ream the pin hole larger, just used a slightly larger pin. This geatly stiffened the joint.

This is the link for the hook I used as the sink up lock fitting. http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=11383

The up lock fitting is mounted on a plastic disc to protect the fiberglass. The plastic disc is one of these wall protectors http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

I sanded the plastic disc to remove the texture and painted it white.

The galley wall and shower liner are hollow so I had to strengthen them to mount the up lock. The galley wall is about an inch thick with thin wood on both sides. The shower liner has about a one inch gap between it and the wall. I injected insulating foam into both voids to strengthen the wall and used 2 1/2 inch long bolts with a tight fit to mount the up lock. http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

The up lock bolts go through the galley wall to a small plastic doubler plate at the same height as the cook top vent. The space between the galley wall and the cooktop vent is small so the doubler plate and nuts are out of view. The stiffened wall, up lock and mount are adequate to hold the sink in the up position.

To protect the lip of the sink from fretting due to the up lock fitting, I installed a small piece of clear plastic that is usually used to protect the edge of car doors.

The drain line is a flexible 5/8 inch diameter dishwasher drain line hooked up to a Valterra RF890 swivel drain http://www.valterra.com/rv/plumbing_...accessorie.htm. The other end of the drain line is mated to a standard 3/4 inch PVC elbow fitting with female threads on one side and a slip fit on the other. From there the drain uses normal PVC and ABS fittings to mate with the trailer plumbing.

The outer diameter of the flexible drain line fits snug into the PVC female threaded elbow and I coated both with a bit of silicone before screwing them together.

That pretty much wraps it up. I started out thinking I'd have to remove half of the fiberglass liner to get this done, luckily this method is not as intrusive and if I ever sell the trailer, the next owner can easily remove everything and patch the wall.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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Re: Folding Bathroom Sink

Crud, I forgot something...

The sink is curved along the rim and from the rim to the bottom of the bowl. The hinge is flat so it doesn't mate well with the sink.

The picture below shows the hinge mounted to the sink with a thick rubber gasket. The rubber gasket was made with a two part liquid rubber that was cured in a dam that I built up on the sink.

The dam matched the mating footprint of the hinge. It was made with modeling clay and the dam and sink were coated with Pam cooking spray as a release agent so the rubber wouldn't stick.

The rubber gasket perfectly matched the sink contours and acts as a shock absorber for the sink and hinge.
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