Hang ‘em High - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Hang ‘em High

by | Aug 25, 2022 | Pro Tip, RVEXPERT

Photos by Lori Swaffer
Finding a place to hang wet clothes and towels if you don’t have a dryer — or they shouldn’t be dried — can be tough. Using a shower curtain rod eliminated the problem and the eyesore.

Hanging towels in the bathroom is personal, which is why many RV manufacturers leave towel bar and ring installations up to the owners. My 39-foot fifth wheel came with only one towel rod on the shower door. However, draping extra damp towels over the shower enclosure restricted air flow and prevented them from quickly drying, especially in cold weather.

Unfortunately, there were no available blank walls in my model’s bathroom to install extra towel bars, so I zeroed in on a way to utilize the space in the shower stall without impacting elbowroom. After some head scratching, I came up with a solution using a shower curtain rod.

a rope holding clothes on hangers runs across an RV space
Before adding the curtain rod in the shower enclosure, I sometimes had to run a section of rope between my living room walls to take advantage of the airflow inside my fifth wheel and dry clothes I needed. Obviously, this wasn’t a good solution — and, well, looked really tacky.
top view of the shower curtain rod kit parts organized
Adapting a shower curtain rod into a towel bar was a good solution for hanging wet towels and clothing. The shower curtain rod kit included a two-piece tension rod, wall brackets with double sided tape, wall anchors and screws.
I’ve got plenty of room in the shower stall and wanted to find a better way to hang clothes than via the unsightly “clothesline” I’ve sometimes had to use in the living area — which made the interior look like a messy bachelor’s pad. There’s no reason why a shower curtain rod can’t become a towel rod — and in most cases, it’s stronger than a towel bar. After a little research I found an adjustable shower curtain rod to fit in the shower stall, which has a 36-inch span between the opposing walls. (Look it up on Amazon under “Alskarhem Shower Curtain Rod 32-48 inches”. It sells for $16.99.) This stainless-steel shower rod is available in a couple of different colors and can be extended to 48 inches; other length combinations are also available. The tension rod comes with brackets to mount on a wall comprised of thin paneling, ceramic tile, marble, brick or any other substrate.

Fortunately, I have very high ceilings in my shower and I was able to mount the rod overhead without being an issue for my 6-foot-tall body. The rod can be mounted in several places and can be left on the loose side so it can be removed from the brackets when you take a shower if your stall is not high enough.

Installation was very easy. In fact, I did not need the wall brackets because my substrate was solid, leaving the tension alone to hold the rod in place. Both sides of the rod are adjustable, so I decided to position them evenly to make the rod even stronger. I simply measured 36 inches and made chalk marks on the concrete patio outside to use as a template for adjusting the rod evenly on both ends. Because I didn’t use the wall brackets, I was able to move the towel rod in many different locations for best convenience. I can always keep the rod in a closet and put it up quickly when needed, but in this installation, the rod is not in the way.

close view of the connection point of the shower curtain rod ends
The distance between the opposing walls in the shower was measured at 36 inches. Caulk marks measuring 36 inches (replicating the shower stall dimensions) were put on the outside concrete patio to use as a template to adjust both ends equally. Both sides of the rod are adjustable; once connected, the rod was brought into the bathroom.
a shower curtain rod end with a "covering"
technician holds a bracket in place on the RV wall
The ends of the rods can be placed in wall brackets for more holding power. In this case, the brackets were not needed since the substrate was strong enough and the lip of the fiberglass stall helped hold it in place. If the brackets are used, they can be taped to hold into position while the screws are driven to the wall or anchors, depending on the wall material. If anchors are needed, mark the position of the bracket first.

Finally, I found a little carousel with clips on Amazon (Google “Ikea Asia Pressa Hanging Dryer 16 clothes pegs”; $16.89) that works hand-in-hand with the new shower curtain rod. This little device, which holds small wet items like socks or washcloths, can be hung in the shower to control dripping water, and be stored in a cabinet when not in use.

clothes hang from a shower curtain rod in an RV shower
socks and towels are clipped to a hanging carousel drying device held by shower rod
Hanging clothes and towels on the shower curtain rod provided an additional towel bar while providing a place to dry items that were previously draped over the shower enclosure and restricted air circulation. Tucked out of the way, they can remain there until dry. I also located a hanging carousel drying device with 16 clips on Amazon which hangs on the new shower rod and holds small items like socks and washcloths.

A little ingenuity and a few bucks and I now have my living room back — and can still enjoy dry towels.

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