Sheri and I say – Skip the 2nd bathroom in an RV
We've lived in an Open Range 399BHS for over three years and we feel like we know enough about it to comment on some of the things that affect future buyers when they are making decisions on getting a 2nd bathroom in the RV.
Actually, you don't add the spare bathroom, but instead you purchase the RV with it based on the floor plan. Of course you would know that you have to buy the 2nd bathroom floor plan or not, but it feels better saying it.
Unless you have read this, when you're shopping for an RV, you're going to find a 2nd bathroom (actually a 1/2 bath) a neat feature. But its not. The spare or extra bathroom is eye candy designed to entice you into thinking about an RV like you would a house.
You can do a deeper dive on RV plumbing by going to the RV Plumbing How-To page.
Why a 2nd 1/2 bath in the RV sounds like a great idea
If you have a bunkhouse, or if you have a 2nd door to the outside, the idea of a 2nd 1/2 bath sounds like a great idea. Why? Let me list…
- Kids have a place to brush teeth
- Girl in the family might have a place to do make-up.
- You can have people quick access to a restroom from the outside without going through the RV.
- Your guests can have some privacy – especially if there is a bunkhouse. Its like a little 2 bedroom house.
- You don't have to share your RV's master bathroom with guests.
Why a 2nd 1/2 bath in the RV is really a bad idea
Before going into the listing a little background and “reminder”… RV's are mobile. Because of that, water fittings are much more subject to leak due to vibration.
One more thing, RV's, particularly in their nether-regions are subject to wider temperature swings. Again, hot/cold cycling makes fitting more subject to leaking.
With that in mind, here are all the reasons that the 2nd bathroom is a bigger pain than it is a benefit…
- Double the water fittings – double the opportunity to leak
- 2nd black tank? If so, it probably doesn't have a black tank rinse so it is harder to maintain.
- 2nd gray tank? Another tank to monitor? And empty. And drain.
- Given the MAIN tanks are a pain to monitor and drain – do you want to double the work?
- 2nd set of tanks – usually smaller. In fact the 2nd set makes the first set smaller as the RV designers are planning all of the under floor space for tanks and water routing. Who wants smaller main tanks?
- You don't have a 2nd shower… so your guests still will use your main bathroom.
- If you don't use the 2nd 1/2 bath, you might not notice things you need to do like the fact that the EXTRA black tank is full and stinky – RV living is about making life MORE carefree, not less.
- More specifically – 2nd bathroom EQUALS 2nd bathroom to clean.
So the RV52 analysis is : 2nd bathroom looks cool when your buying the unit, but it probably isn't worth the extra trouble and effort it requires. Sheri and Marlan say : Avoid it if you can. Don't panic if you get it, but don't let it be a “net positive” to your RV buying decision – see it for what it is – extra work.
I've put some Amazon listings here, just in case you are looking for RV plumbing fixtures.