Mod: Shower-In-A-Box

Hiding A Shower In A Cabinet Drawer.

My 2016 Ford Transit cargo van has a medium high roof, which allows me to barely stand up straight inside and without the extended length, space is at a premium.

This forced me to look for an alternative to a regular shower/bathroom, that is still a permanent part of the van conversion. I looked into the outside shower (no privacy and unappealing in winter), the garden sprayer solution, the shower curtain bucket fix and combined aspects from all into a new concept.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to create a shower pan.
  • How to build a cabinet drawer around it.
  • How to install a permanent drain line.
  • How to add a shower curtain.
  • How to add and hide a shower head.

What You’ll Use:

  • Phillips screwdriver.
  • Tablesaw.
  • Metal saw.
  • Drill or drill press.
  • Dado blades.
  • Jig saw.
  • Clamps.
  • Sandpaper.
  • Compass.
  • Rasp.

What You’ll Need:

  • A small laundry tub.
  • Camco drain.
  • 3/4” Plywood.
  • 8 x 3/4 SS Phillips head screws.
  • 2x 3ft x ½” x 1/8″ aluminum flat bar.
  • Shower curtain.
  • Shower head.
  • Shower head shut-off.
  • 1 Drawer slider.
  • Wood glue.

Laundry Tub & Supports

I started with a 22.5” x 22.5” laundry tub, that slims down to 19” x 20” after the top is cut off and the tub height is shortened. As I plan to incorporate the shower pan in my rear kitchen cabinets, the depth of the cabinet drawer is still more than the depth of the cabinets. The drawer will stick out behind the cabinets, but as this is the storage area that is only accessible through the rear doors, this is not a major inconvenience.

Approximate Duration: 5 hours.


First establish where to locate the cabinet drawer and whether it will fit in that cabinet. This may include a location for the shower head. Dependent on whether you use a gray/black water tank to drain the shower water into, verify that enough slope is available for the drain line, to avoid standing water inside the drain line.
I use Formica as a finishing material for the drawer; you may choose a different material, but make allowances if necessary. I used a Polypropylene tub, but would choose one made of Durastone in the future.
Paid $30.00 for the tub, $10.00 for the drain, $8.00 for the aluminum flat bars, $5.00 for a box of SS screws and some plywoof for a total of $53.00 for this part of the project.

The Project

  • Remove the tub legs.
  • Fit the drain.
  • Remove fill spout.
  • Cut the base out of 3/4” plywood.
  • Cut off the rim of the laundry tub.
  • Remove the burrs.
  • Create and install two support legs.
  • Saw a support leg.
  • Scribe the support to the bottom of the tub.
  • Cut the support back to the height of the tub.

This Project Is In Progress

Other projects of this Van Conversion:

I’m just a DIY’er with a lot of common sense, but with some of the projects I do use some tools and materials, when you really have to know, what you’re doing. Always read the manual and consult an expert if you’re in doubt.

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  1. Your website is fantastic. Do you do conversions for an indivdual as I am not at all handy despite the videos? If you do not do the conversions, do you know of anyone who does in the Chicago or midwest?
    Thank you very much for your response.

    1. Hi Nanette,
      I get inquiries about conversions on a weekly basis; unfortunately, I don’t take orders for products, materials or entire conversions. I’m just a blogger, who writes about his experiences in converting a cargo van into an RV.

      If you need help with woodworking projects, you may be able to find assistance from a good friend or at a local woodworking club.

      I find it hard to give recommendations for people or companies, that I haven’t personally worked with.

      Some suggestions
      On the lower end, has good information on simple vandwelling. They also organize the RTR in Arizona each January. Enigmatic Fanatic publishes Youtube videos and organizes a Van Build once a year, but that one just happened. They assist people with simple and more complicated modifications to their vehicles with free labor and sometimes free products; this is a community event.

      There are many commercial upfitters, but there is a lot of demand and prices can go as high as $200.000 and up. I have a list of manufacturers/upfitters here:

      Whatever you decide, you can always contact me with questions and I’ll try to respond a.s.a.p. It is getting more difficult as the popularity of my website and YouTube channel increases, but I always make a real effort. If you’re getting serious about a conversion, we can also do paid Skype consultations.

      I hope this has answered some of your questions and if not, please try again 🙂 I wish you good luck with your plans and let me know what you have decided. It’s always good to receive some feedback.

      Happy New Year!

      Van Williams

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