Thursday, May 31, 2012

Shower Enclosure

If you went to an RV show this past year you may have seen a new style of shower curtain/door in some brand of campers (I don't remember which one)...we did and thought it was cool and left it at that.  But 'LaydBack' on the forum tracked down the manufacturer and shared the contact information to buy one direct from the distributor.  They really should sell these things to the public, because they are slick.  After seeing 'WillingtonPaul' put theirs in at the rally in May, I ordered one up as my mother's day gift :)

  It is a nice thick and heavy vinyl that rides on tracks on the top and bottom, with a magnetic strip the full length of the door where it meets.

The top bows out like the stock shower curtain rod, so it gives a nice amount of space.

And the bottom is straight across so it fits nice and neat next to the sink cabinet.  No more floppy shower curtain, and more importantly - no more water all over the floor!

Monday, May 28, 2012

"This is Not a Storage Compartment"

OK, OK, I get it.  We shouldn't be storing stuff in the dead wasted space between the converter and the water heater...but we decided to anyway.  In our camper this is under the back bottom bunk.

You know those extra lengths of hose and power cord that you should have with you for "just in case" but have never touched?  We decided this dead space would be perfect for them.  Not super easy to access, but close enough if we ever need to get to them for some far-away utility post.  To avoid the hoses/cords from hitting against anything in the compartment we zip-tied them in their neat coils and hung them from a big hook screwed into the back upper frame of the compartment.

 Then Kevin cut a little access door into the plywood base.  

The thumb hole he made is right next to the "This is Not a Storage Compartment" sticker, which makes us feel like rebels ;)

Tongue Box and Power Jack

A huge thanks to Bob on the Visa owners Facebook page, who posted the details on his tongue box...they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Bob should feel flattered :)  The box is a truck box from Lowe's and I think it looks great with the diamond plate on the front of the trailer.  We can stow our Flojet macerator and hose along with the pack of Lynx leveling blocks, and for now the single stock battery and the towing mirrors (the mirrors will need to find another home when we upgrade batteries.)  We installed trays for dual group 27 batteries, so we're keeping an eye out for a good price.  Until then we will "run what we brung."

We also installed a power tongue jack.  I've always kind of poo-pooed the idea since we're strong able bodied folks who enjoy a little extra workout here and there...but with the up-down of the Equalizer hitch procedure and a lost bracelet because I took it off to do the cranking (and set it on top of the tonneau cover on the truck and forgot about it - major OOPS!) we decided to just do it.  We bought a Husky HB3000 and it has a built in plug guard for the power cord when it is being stored.   Since we wanted to use that feature we left the propane tanks where they were on the tongue and didn't move them forward for the box install...but the big plastic cover for them won't fit in this configuration, so I have a vinyl zip-up cover on order.  If we decide we don't like it we can always move the propane forward and remove the plug guard and use the big cover again.  So we'll see..I'll add a pic when the cover arrives.

The Hoppy Hitch Level still fits too, so that was good - I really like it! (it is the hockey puck looking thing in front of the has the cover on in the pic.)

So, in doing some research it sounds about 50/50 whether or not people like to cover their power jacks to protect from weather when being stored.  I saw a cool idea on where someone used an inverted wastebasket and installed some hooks to store the safety chains on when stored...looked like a great idea to me so I copied it.  Note the drainage holes drilled in the lip so water doesn't collect and get gunky.

And lastly, a couple of niceties in the chains and emergency break-away switch: hooks for the chains and a coiled line for the emergency break-away line:

The vinyl propane cover arrived and fits very nicely!  Here's the end result: 

And it even fits with enough space for the wastebasket cover:

Addendum: so we needed to move the L brackets for the Equalizer Hitch in order to add the box, still within their specs for minimum recommended distance from the hitch. But after towing for a bit, we both agreed that we could feel the difference and decided to get the L's back to the original spot. Kevin made a little deck with cutouts for the brackets that we then attached to the frame then attached the box to it. Nice and solid, and the ride is better again.

Door Maintenance

Well, we have 17 nights under our belts camping with Kansas and a couple of breaks in the screen on the screen door to show for it.  So in looking for a solution I found that they make a pet-specific replacement screening that is available at the big box stores.  So I replaced the bottom portion with it.  It does seem very sturdy and gets good reviews.  It is some sort of plastic rather than fiberglass.  So time will tell if it holds up to someone scratching at the door.  Side note: he was so cute napping in his bottom bunk the majority of the time we worked on mods this weekend!

The other things I did were to put springs on the screen door to make it close automatically (I had done it before, but let's just say I didn't read the directions and installed it all wrong.)  So this time was a success, and since I had to remove the gas strut door opener to get to the hinge screws we decided that we liked the ability to open the door all the way rather than the 90 degree angle that the strut allowed.  It is easy to put back on, so we'll keep it in the camper in case we change our minds.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

More Kitchen Cabinet Space

The space under the kitchen cabinets is dead space used for heating and plumbing, but there is still a decent amount of usable space left under there.  So I unscrewed the access panels and added some strips of magnetic tape on the cabinet side, and some strong little button magnets on the removed panels.  For a way to open them I just used Gorilla Tape (my favorite stuff!) and taped a little ribbon pull on the top of each one.
I would have liked to add matching doors or something, but this will do for less frequently accessed stuff and is most certainly more cost-effective :).

Silverware Drawer

Since we don't have drawers in our kitchen (only cabinets), I decided to add a small drawer under the dinette table for silverware.  It is made by Rubbermaid and is just called Small Drawer.  I found it at Lowe's, but it is also here on Amazon.

Here it is in the open position...

...and closed position.  It kind of "locks" into place so I think it should do well in transit.

City Water Inlet Replacement

So when we pressurized the freshwater a couple of weeks ago we noticed some water dripping from the city water inlet.  Upon some research on the web, it sounds like it is not uncommon for the check valve in there to get nicked or lodged during winterizing (we took the "easy" way out and had it winterized last fall...we'll be doing it ourselves from now on.)  Someone online on one of the RV boards even said they always keep a spare on hand.  Anyway, we sourced a new flange from Amazon and that took care of it.  Easy fix, but I thought I'd document in case it helps someone.

The old one -after playing with it for a little bit, I found it just wouldn't pop into the correctly seated can see it is a bit off center.

The PEX connection, ready for the new one.

The old one and the goods to install the new one (except the caulk for around the flange after it was screwed back on)   Luckily we had butyl tape on hand from the roof fan install last fall, since I only needed a small hunk of it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

CT - Charlie Brown Campground

Great rally with friends from!  This campground is really close to home and is really set up nicely for rallies (however, it wouldn't be somewhere we'd go to stay as a family since it is so open.)  The crowd had sites all around a big pavilion, so it was awesome for the group potluck and just general group gathering.

The kids had a great time running around, hitting the park and the camp store, catching frogs, fishing...

...and of course playing video games together.
And the grown ups had a great time too, visiting with old friends and getting to know new ones!  We enjoyed in an incredible spread of food, and nobody seemed to complain that we brought the "margarator" along ;) 
Even a friendly tug o war between the firefighters and the cops of the group!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bedside Shelf

Well, it is above the bed, but you get the idea.  We wanted a place to put glasses and cell phones (that we use as an alarm clock as well) so we added this little shelf.  Just a pair of rosettes and a length of casing just to length (62").  The casing has little ridges that are perfect for holding our phones at a viewable angle and the whole thing stands off the wall enough to run a charge cord behind it to the phones when we have shore power.

Instant Off Water Saver

I installed these Instant Off Water Saver things on both faucets to save on gray water (not to mention, just to be a little more green).  They work great!  You just push the little stick when you want water flow and release when you don't, or for dishwashing you can twist it so it stays on without pushing against it.  Home Depot is about half the price of what you find online.

Combination Locks on the Hatches

We changed out the keyed cam locks on all four hatches for combination ones, sourced from Amazon: Combi-Cam.  Since just about everyone and their brother has the CH751 keys, this adds at least a little more deterrent.  Plus, it allows us to hide a door key in one of the hatches so we don't have to carry camper keys when hiking/kayaking/etc.

Bathroom Organization Stuff

The Visa didn't come with towel racks or a TP holder, so we installed them - the hand towel ring and the TP with wall anchors (the lightest weight cheapies we could find at Home Depot or Lowe's...can't remember which one) and for bath towels we have an over the door rack.  We tried the over the door hooks first, but that didn't work well when traveling as the towels would be in heaps on the floor if we had done a bunch of turns.  So that rack faces outward now for jackets and stuff.

The toothbrush holder is self adhesive and is called Hang Away, available on Amazon: Toothbrush Holder  and the divided basket and kleenexes stay put with blue poster tack under them.