RV Wet Baths vs RV Dry Baths: What’s Best For You?
Having a mobile bathroom on your road trip is always handy! Most RVs have bathrooms these days, whether it’s a tiny closet or a spacious room with lots of amenities. Finding the balance between comfort, utility, and floor plan space can be tough, but there are many options for RV owners. One important distinction to note is the difference between RV wet baths and RV dry baths.
RV wet baths are bathrooms that combine the function of a sink, toilet, and shower in one space. The whole room can get wet and there aren’t different areas for each one. Dry baths have different areas for the toilet, sink, and shower, and the whole room doesn’t get wet.
Wet baths and dry baths are both fairly common in RVs, although you’ll usually find dry baths in vehicles that have more space to work with. Both of these bathroom formats have their own pros and cons, and we’ll explore those below (as well as some popular wet and dry bath RV models).
RV Wet Baths
As mentioned above, a wet bath is a combination of many appliances in one small room. The whole room can function as a shower, but there is also room for a toilet and a sink. The toilet and sink both have their own separate drains as well, which helps eliminate problems of sanitation and cleanliness. After all, you wouldn’t want to do your business right on the floor of the RV!
RV wet baths are helpful because they are very compact. You don’t need separate areas for the toilet and sink, so this type of bathroom tends to take up much less space. If wet baths didn’t exist, campers would have much more limited options in their RVs.
Wet baths are also a bit more flexible in their designs. They sometimes feature things like folding sinks, which can be put away when you want a bit more space to shower. Some even have shower attachments that lead outside, so the title of “wet bath” might be a bit of a misnomer in cases like this. If an external shower is an option, you’ll be able to keep the bathroom dry and enjoy the use of a faucet for showering/washing off equipment outside your RV. This feature is a bit more unusual, but it could be a perk of a wet bath setup.
Wet baths are also a bit easier to keep clean (in some cases). As long as you wipe down the bathroom and check for any warning signs of mold, you should be able to keep a fairly clean space. If you shower regularly, you’ll be washing away grime, dust, and other debris that shows up in indoor spaces. A wet bath can be easy to clean as long as you stay on top of the routine.
Wet baths are designed to be compact, so you can end up feeling a bit cramped. Wet baths that are particularly small can feel a bit claustrophobic, especially if you’re trying to shower. When there’s a toilet in the way, you’ll have less room to turn and move.
Wet baths are also… wet! If someone just finished showering and you want to use the bathroom, you might be dealing with a wet, slippery room. No one likes using a wet toilet seat, but that might be something you’ll need to deal with in an RV bathroom like this.
Because the whole room gets wet, there’s also a higher risk of growing mold, mildew, or other fungus/bacteria. You’ll need to clean and wipe down this type of bathroom more frequently to keep the humidity and growths under control.
If you’re looking for a more luxurious and spacious camper, it’s more likely to come with an RV dry bath. They require more space though, so you won’t find them in most small RV models.
Dry baths are much closer to the traditional layout of a bathroom that we would expect to see in a home, business, or other normal building. They add a bit more of a personal touch to your RV. Anything that makes it feel a bit more like home is a benefit!
Dry baths also contain separate areas for the toilet, shower, and sink. You won’t have to get the whole room wet and deal with damp walls and slippery surfaces later on. It’s definitely nice to step out into a dry area to get toweled off and dressed before re-entering the main RV living space.
Depending on the amount of room and the layout, dry baths also have the potential for more features. Some larger floor plans have dry baths that include closets, overhead cabinets, and maybe even a washer/dryer prep area. When the whole room doesn’t get wet, you’ve got more options for storage!
Since they typically require more space, RV dry baths are not as common in smaller models like Class B RVs.
In addition, sometimes dry baths can be a bit cramped as well. Both wet and dry baths have this drawback, but sometimes dry baths can feel even more closed off if the shower, toilet, and other features are crowded together in close proximity.
On the other hand, if you have a large dry bath, it could end up cutting into the rest of your RV floor plan. Some units take up the entire back wall of an RV, so you may be losing space that you would prefer to be used for something else. The balance is difficult to maintain.
Dry baths may also require more in-depth cleaning because they aren’t being regularly rinsed off in the same way that RV wet baths are. This might not be a major factor, but it’s something to consider if you really hate cleaning bathrooms!
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.