Do you have a Chausson 610/630/640/650 motorhome with an annoying bathroom sink you can’t reach without banging your head? If so, then read Dave’s step by step guide on how to reposition the sink.
What’s the problem?
Owners of the above Chausson Motorhomes all share a common frustration about the bathroom sink. The small sink is positioned against the wall beneath the bathroom cabinet. This makes cleaning your teeth without dribbling on the floor impossible, even with your head in the cupboard, nose pressed against the multivitamins. (Miche: he does look funny tho🙂
So after 18 months of splats on my socks I’ve moved the sink out 8cm, which has now solved the problem. I no longer walk around looking like a bird has pooed on my foot. If you want to do the same modification, learning from my mistakes read on.
Move the bathroom sink out 8cm. Creating a space behind the sink for a handy soap dispenser/hand cream/bits and bobs shelf. Why 8cm? It’s about the max you can move it without undermining the worktop below (you have to cut some away). It’s enough to solve the problem and provide a usable space behind. If you’d prefer not to have the sink overhang like I’ve done, then you could mount it on a piece of wood of a similar design to the surrounding area.
It took me a day, but learning from my issues below should cut that in half. (Miche: You’re welcome 🙂
What you’ll need before you start
- No.2 Pozidrive Screwdrivers; a long and a short
- Tape measure
- Multi tool saw
- Drill for pilot holes
- Spanners – Adjustable and a 19mm for the taps.
- Wood for the infill panel. I used the shelf from the cupboard beneath the bench seat behind the drivers seat. This we removed to fit the inverter and matches the cupboards so is perfect. If you can’t do this, then either source something similar or stain some wood to get close
- A work light or torch.
- Clear Silicone sealant
- 2 x small L brackets.
- Screws and two small bolts (that will pass through the brackets) with nuts and washers.
- If fitting the B&Q soap dispensers, a 60mm hole saw
You might also need (if not enough play on pipes)
- 25mm flexible tubing about 4”, a straight connector and three jubilee clips for 25mm pipe.
- Hose extensions for the taps (I didn’t need these)
Before you start
Assess the pipes. This is worth doing before you start, as it will involve a trip to the stores to get the parts. Check how much slack you have in the waste pipe and the tap lines. Will they be long enough if you moved the sink forward 8 cm? I thought mine were ok… the waste pipe wasn’t as it turned out. You can’t get 25mm Flexible pipe from B&Q, or my local plumbing shop. I eventually found some in a local Pond & Aquatic Shop. I only needed 4” but had to buy 12″ for 75p. 🙂
Step 1 Remove Panel
Remove the cupboard facia panel below the sink. It’s held in place with an L bracket each side. Removing the screws each side of the cupboard wall drops it off.
TIP: Tape the screws to the board so you don’t lose them and put it somewhere safe.
Step 2 – Loosen the sink
TIP: Having some kind of light in the cupboard helps with the whole job.
The sink was almost easy to remove. There are just 2 long screws holding it on in the front corners of the sink. Stick your head in the cupboard and look up to see them. Removing these may be enough for you to lift the sink.
However, in mine the wise folks at Chausson had fired four staples through the inaccessible back left corner of the sink and into the wall. In order to get the sink to release in that corner I snipped off what I could with wire cutters, then wrestled the sink free by pulling up and out.
Step 3 – Re-assess the pipe lengths
With the sink loose pull it forward 8cm while keeping the left side against the wall. It won’t fit flush but you’ll get an idea about those pipes before you commit.
Step 4 – Disconnect the pipes
TIP: Make sure your water pump is off!
Remove the tap lines. You’ll need the 19mm spanner tap side and the adjustable water side. Place a towel in the cupboard to catch the water dribble. Mark the stainless steel tap hose that goes to the red hot hose, so you know how they reconnect later. Tie up the red, blue & black hoses with tape or string to prevent them dropping back into the hole they come from.
Remove the waste pipe by pulling it from the sink trap. You can now lift away the sink.
Step 5 – Cut the worktop
Close the bathroom door – sawdust will go everywhere, at least this contains it. Wear a mask, or hold your breath for 5 minutes. (Miche: Wait what?!!!)
You need to extend the sink cut-out by removing a 4.5cm bit off from the front.
TIP: Tape the lighting wires against the cupboard wall to avoid cutting them with the jig saw.
There’s a curved section front right which is removed with the cut, so you end up with a larger rectangle. I found I couldn’t get a jigsaw wall side, so you will need to use a multi tool saw or hand saw.
Refit the sink in the cut-out and check that you have 8cm at the back. Note that the sink ramps down from the front toward the plughole and is deeper than the sides about 1/3 of the way along. You just need to ensure that the extended cut-out clears this drop and that the sides sit flush on the worktop.
Step 6 – Make the infill back panel
My plan here was to make a box that would fit behind the sink, that would house a couple of soap/hand cream dispensers. Using the salvaged shelf panel I cut two lengths 8cm wide. The top one was the width of the sink, the bottom one was shorter by the width of the wood. This allowed me to make an end piece that would sit under the top, and look neater.
Screw the bottom bit across the gap at the back with a screw each end down into the cupboard sides. To support the “lid” I used offcuts to make vertical pillars and glued them against the back wall and base. I then glued the sink side ones to the base but not the sink.
You can lay the lid on but don’t fix it yet.
Step 7 – Secure the sink
Use this opportunity to give the sink and trap a good clean before you put it back. Place the sink in the new position. With the front now overhanging the worktop you can’t secure it as before. (Unless you chose to make another base). The sink has 4 other screw tabs beneath. You may find the back right one prevents the sink dropping in the hole, if so just cut a few millimetres off it.
Once you have it sitting butted against the back box and side wall, stick a line of sealant along the front edge of the box base. I also put a line along the left side of the sink, not to seal it but to help secure it to the wall. Put the sink in position.
The rear two tabs were fixed to the worktop by using two L brackets I had laying around. Screwing it into the underside of the worktop, then with a couple of thin bolts and washers, clamped the tabs against it. The front tabs I screwed into the side walls, watch the screw lengths – you don’t want to penetrate the cupboard walls.
Once it’s screwed in, seal around the sink/wall joints with the clear sealant. To get a professional finish use theses Silicone scrapers, rather than your finger. These are a great buy and you’ll use them in the house when caulking. (I wish I’d discovered these years ago!)
Step 8 – Reconnect the plumbing
If you are lucky this is just the reverse of step 4. If like me you find the waste pipe is now too short you’ll need a short length of 25mm flexible pipe. A straight coupler and 3 jubilee clips to create an extension. The 3rd jubilee is to secure the pipe to the sink trap. It didn’t have one on but I think it should just to be sure of no leaks.
Step 9 – Reattach the front cupboard panel
Reverse of step 1.
Step 10 – Finish the back box
Choose what you want to do with it:
- Leave it as a shelf
- Cut some holes to house; soap dispenser/toothbrush holder etc
- Create a drawer that pulls out right to put bits in.
- Have a lift off top to have a wide box for bits
We chose to go down the soap / hand cream dispenser route as it’s a couple of things that no longer need to live in the bathroom cupboard.
You’ll need to find some narrow dispensers, that require a hole no bigger than 6cm diameter. You could go with a conical shape but I found these “Diani” white ones in B&Q with straight sides for £5 each. To get a clean cut you need a hole saw of the correct diameter or slightly larger. Cut this outside not in situ. My 60mm hole saw was a faction too small, but sanding the hole for a couple of mins was enough to create a tight fit.
I positioned the holes offset right to avoid the tap getting in the way. Once cut it’s a good idea to seal the bare wood edges with a worktop oil, varnish or furniture wax. I painted the exposed edges and added a layer of Osmo oil left over from a worktop project.
The finished Project
Chausson motorhome bathroom sink repositioned with soap dispensers
Depending on how snug a fit you have, you might need something to seal any gap to minimise water ingress. Ideally you still need to be able to pull out the dispensers to refill. I was going to make a small drawer, but it’s actually easier for me to leave the top unsecured, mine is a really tight fit. This way I can inspect/clean beneath and use it for storage of items not used often.
Test for leaks. That’s it job done. Open beer.
Now you just need to get rid of the sawdust that’s gone everywhere, before your partner spots it! (Miche: Too late I spotted it:-)
If you were admiring the tiles they are Tic Tac Tiles, vinyl self adhesive sheets from Amazon. We liked the effect so much we did the kitchen and the bathroom.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like: Installing a cooling fan in a van fridge
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Disclaimer: Dave is confident and experienced at DIY and loves tackling small van projects. But it goes without saying, if you’re in any doubt then do not attempt this yourself. Your local friendly van mechanic will gladly help with this upgrade.
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