Monday, September 25, 2023


RV bathroom often underrated in buying process. Take note of these details

When shopping for an RV, it’s easy to be influenced by advice that you should concentrate on models that provide the appropriate amount of sleeping, dining, meal preparation, storage and closet space for your family. Those aspects are, indeed, important. But while you’re focusing your attention on those areas, don’t allow yourself to neglect features and equipment that could make the difference between being comfortable or miserable on a camping trip. For example, the most underrated area in an RV is the bathroom.

First-time buyers tend to ignore the size and features of RV bathrooms, only to learn later that they spend more time in those tiny spaces than they thought they would. Veteran RVers consistently rank bathroom size, location, layout and features as among the most important considerations in their purchase of a new unit.

In fact, it’s not hard to imagine that a significant proportion of the late-model used RVs for sale on a dealer’s lot were traded in on new ones because their owners judged the bathrooms inadequate.

The most criticized features of RV bathrooms, besides size, are the inconvenient location of a toilet, the lack of storage space for toiletries and the poor design of shower stalls. Who can forget the frustration expressed by one RVer who examined a motorhome’s toilet compartment and complained, “I could do my business there okay, but I’d have to go into the hall for the paperwork.”

Bathrooms and shower areas are notoriously poorly designed and constructed. Many of the most widely used models of combination tub/showers require the camper to balance on one foot and climb into them through a child-size opening.

While walking through a new or used RV that interests you, consider whether the bathroom has adequate storage space for your family’s toiletries and whether it has towel racks, a large enough mirror and heating ducts. Either the bathroom should have space for keeping towels and linens or there ought to be a linen closet conveniently located nearby. Is the tub/shower large enough, and is its curtain or sliding door adequate?

In order to step into the tub, do you have to climb over the toilet or stand on a heat register? Is the shower enclosure well-built or does it look as if it leaks? Stand in the shower to determine if the space there is adequate. Does the bathroom have a built-in hamper for dirty clothes? Is there enough knee and elbow room when seated on the toilet? Does the RV bathroom have – and do you need – a power roof vent?

Maybe take a check-off list with you as you’re shopping for an RV so you don’t overlook something that you may regret later.



Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


  1. I’m surprised the author didn’t mention under-sized bath room sinks. Most are so small that you’re left to wash your face in the kitchen sink.

  2. Well, well, well , you know, I’ve walked through a lot of RVs and never saw a situation where you had to “climb over the toilet” to get into the shower. My next door neighbor has a 2007 Fleetwood Bounder and in order to step into the shower he has to step over a 24 inch wall…..I think that the tub/shower might be over the wheel well.
    Bathrooms are important, but, we don’t spend that much time in ours. We have a Class B motorhome with a wet bath, it’s not big 24 by 42 inches, but it’s large enough and the entire room is designed to get wet.
    Class B motorhomes are actually built well. My rig is 12 years old and we can just walk in, no obstructions. No cabinets inside the bathroom.

  3. The wife and I are both north of 6′ tall, so bathroom space was a close second to the bed being a real queen size. I lost count of the toilets I sat on where my knees pressed hard against something (door, wall), or showers where the missus had to go all hunchback just to stand in it.

    The immediate redeeming feature of the little NoBo 19.2 was the bathroom – it has more than enough room in both shower and toilet, as well as a very decently laid out interior. The shower got its headroom from a large bubble skylight, which adds light to boot.

  4. The bathroom in our National coach works well for us: well laid-out with good access to toilet and shower (no tub) and plenty of storage. It has a door from the hall plus one from the master. Doesn’t have a hamper, but one is built-in in the bedroom. The jack and jill feature works well when we have people traveling with us, which is often.

  5. 1st RV we owned was a 5th wheel with the bathroom as part of the bedroom. Super roomy and the closet was right there with your clothes. Best RV bathroom that we’ve had. We downsized to a small TT with a bathroom so small that you couldn’t get dressed in it. It did have a nice storage cabinet for towels and things. We then upsized to a little bigger trailer with a much larger bathroom that had plenty of room to get dressed. However, the shower was a radius shower and very small and hard to shower in. There was zero storage for towels. Now we have another 5er with a rectangular shower that is big enough to shower comfortably in, lots of storage and there is room to get dressed. Finally!

  6. Since we were going to travel with my Mother-in-law, a larger bathroom was key. Bought a 2017 Jayco 23MRB. Only added a few towel hangers. Was going to upgrade to a. Class C last year but could not find one with a comfortable bathroom. We fell in love with one class c, but when I sat on the throne it was so small that I would have to move backward or forward in order to do my business. Pathetic. We are still in our travel trailer and loving it.

  7. Tallest person stands in shower, put both elbows out and turns around. Sit down on the toilet and decide if you have enough space to accomplish what needs to be done. BIG space saver is buy microfiber bath towels. You can find different thicknesses. Another big plus they dry quicker than cotton, so they don’t go musty on you. TIP: Wash & Dry Microfiber clothes separate from terrycloth. Fibers from terry clog up the microfibers and shorten their life.

  8. Many newer models now have two doors to the bathrooms. Not sure why two are really necessary given how close together they are but what you most often lose in that floor plan is the linen/toiletry storage. That was a no go for us. Storage is a non-negotiable!

  9. When we bought our 21′ TT we had three requirements #1- it was well within our towing capacity #2- separate bed & seating #3- dry bathroom. We happily got all 3 in our Gulf Stream 189DD, BUT we had to add toilet paper holder, clothes/towel hooks, a little space heater, to the bathroom. I also looked closely at the tub/wall joint and a few exposed pin staple heads and re-caulked (maybe 1st caulk?) everything. Replaced the tissue paper shower curtain with something a bit sturdier.

    Not to rag on G S, many smaller units are as poorly equipped. The marketing should change from puffery about interior design to how you have the ‘opportunity’ to choose your own accessories.

  10. “Does the bathroom have a built-in hamper for dirty clothes?”
    I look at A LOT of Motorhome floor plans and I have not seen this on any of them. Maybe this is something that 5th wheels have or larger travel trailers.

    Thanks for the info. I will add this to my list of items to check when we are finally able to purchase an RV.

  11. Thought you retired?!? Don’t care, just wondering. Did I miss something? Or you just writing occasionally?

    • Chuck’s been writing the more than occasional column following his “retirement” although I think he has trouble getting the editor’s attention 😉

  12. When I bought my first TT(a TEC Campmate 245 BH) the bathroom was so small you had to leave door open long enough to get yourself in position for what you had to do before closing the door. Lol

  13. When we purchased our current RV, spouse made me get in the shower to check overhead clearance. I fit nicely.
    Only changes that I’ve made in the bath area are replacing the towel bars with longer ones from Ikea and replacing the faucet with a bar style from Ikea.

  14. All good points Chuck. Also, I’ve noticed that the raised toilet mount makes it difficult to “Step up to the plate” so to speak, and requires leaning on the back wall for men to P.! I also wanna comment on the new box at the bottom of the articles now having a short Bio and pic of the writer. It’s nice to put a face to the article. I hope to run into one of you on the road to enjoy a fireside chat with our favorite beverage! Keep up the good work all!

  15. Can you use the bathroom with the slides in. A must for most people that you won’t know unless you put the slides in and also while they are in see if you can get to the fridge.

  16. We upgraded to our first MH because it had a 4′ tub and shower unit. Our present MH has a “garden tub” with shower enclosure. Happy wife=happy life.


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