August 6, 2015: I had a great day working on the tiny house yesterday. I’m so glad I decided to take the day off from work to put some time in on the house. Yesterday, I got the shower almost ready to install. I was pretty excited to work on the tiny house because the tiny house is finally back in my driveway after almost getting stolen a couple of months ago. After dinner last Tuesday, my neighbor, Charlie, who has a GMC truck he uses to pull his travel trailer, met me over at the RV parking lot to tow my tiny house to the driveway. That went really well. I was amazed at how well Charlie was able to back the house into the driveway. He barely even needed my help. After the house got moved last Tuesday, I spent about another hour getting the house level and then taking the wheels off the right side (so it wouldn’t get stolen again) and putting it on jack stands so it was still level. I thought all of that would be harder than it actually turned out to be. However, I think I came up a good process of putting jack stands in the right locations and then using the tongue jack to pivot the whole trailer up and down so I can lift it off its wheels and insert other jack stands were needed. With the house properly leveled, my first order of business yesterday morning was to remove a hornet’s nest that had created itself underneath the peak of the rear gable. I was hoping that all the hornets would have left now that their house is been moved, but no such luck. There were probably a couple dozen of them huddled in the nest when I climbed up on a ladder to take a look. The first thing I did was to spray some soapy water on the nest. This made it impossible for the hornets to fly and they quickly started falling to the ground. Once most of them had fallen off the nest, I was able to push the nest off of the house with a stick. I felt kind of bad killing all of those little insects, but I couldn’t have a hornet’s nest growing on my tiny house. That just wasn’t going to work.
After dealing with the hornets, I spent the rest of the day prepping the bathroom for installing the shower. I started by trying to remember how it was that I was planning to assemble all of the ABS pipe underneath the trailer that connects to both the bathroom sink and the shower. I made some notes when I first dry fit all this together back in April, but they didn’t make any sense anymore. I’m still not entirely sure how I’m going to do it. I have very little clearance to work with on the connection between the bathroom pipe and the pipe underneath the trailer. I think I have an idea, but it’s going to require two people and some precision cooperation. I will give it a shot on Friday with Andrew. I’m probably 80% confident we can do it. Once I was pretty sure I could assemble the pipe, the next thing I did was lay down tar paper where the bathroom is going to be. I have been trying for a while to figure out how to waterproof the bathroom floor. I thought I might use some paint on, waterproofing sealer, but I really couldn’t find anything that I didn’t have to special order in a gallon size and pay way too much to have shipped. Eventually, I decided on the tar paper because I found a website where somebody described laying tar paper down on their RV bathroom before replacing the floor. I had a leftover partial roll of tar paper and I figured if it waterproofed my roof, it might waterproof my bathroom as well. When I laid the tar paper down, I folded up all the corners so that the tar paper now forms an enclosure around the entire bathroom. The great thing about a tiny house bathroom is that it is so small that a 3 foot wide roll of tar paper will cover the entire bathroom without any seams at all. I’m not entirely sure if this extra effort will help me, but I don’t think it will hurt.
The next thing I did was to cover the shower wall studs with plastic. Again, I’m not sure if this will help me, but don’t think it will hurt.
I then stuck a strip of rubber flashing on top of the plastic at every stud and nailing board. That way, when I screw my plywood panels to the wall, the screws will go through the rubber flashing and create a waterproof seal instead of just tearing a hole in the plastic.
I also installed a two by four board at the very front of where the shower pan will go. This will help to hold the shower pan in place.
The last thing I did yesterday was to install some of the plywood on the shower walls. I screwed these panels to the wall so I could easily remove them in the future if I needed to. I couldn’t install the plywood that butts up against the top of the shower pan until I screw the shower pan to the wall and I can’t do that until I attach all the ABS plumbing underneath the house. However, I least got all of the plywood cut to size and make sure it would all fit.
The point of the plywood is to create a smooth surface that I can glue the FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) panels that will create my shower walls to. For the surface, I had to choose between quarter inch plywood and quarter inch cement board. The cement board has the advantage of being completely waterproof. However, it also has the disadvantage of being very heavy and the tongue of my trailer is already really, really heavy. I spoke with Tumbleweed about this and their RV guy said plywood would be okay. Since I have waterproofed the walls and the floor, I’m hoping that the worst thing that can happen to me is that the plywood somehow gets wet end I have to tear off the FRP panels, unscrew the plywood and start over again with cement board or a one piece shower enclosure. That was about it for yesterday. I am excited about finally installing my shower on Friday!