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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS - new outlets and tow plate repaint and dog stuff


Steve's mom is now doing better and resting comfortably at home, 
our daughter Heather's bridal shower is done, 
and we got a toad to pull behind the motorhome----   

Now that the big powered windshield shade installation is done, 
we did a few more little things to prepare for our upcoming vacation.  

We can finally sneak away for a few weeks vacation before all the wedding hoopla starts up. Heather and Jesse tie the knot on October 8, 2010.  So we better get while the getting is good~!

The first modification is that we wanted another outlet near the table that will run off the inverter.  There is an outlet up over the table underside of the overhead cabinets, but that one only works when there is plugged in shore power available.  Then we also wished to put in a 12 volt outlet too, so we can plug in our tire pressure monitor system base there to receive signals from both the front and the back portion of the rig, without needing to buy a signal repeater.  We are also going to be monitoring the four new sensors we are adding to the toad.

So Steveio measured up the distance, tapping into the power sources in the lower basement compartment, and ran both new wires up through the floor into the cabinet under our table.  From there he drilled out portions of the side of the cabinet, installed power boxes behind and hooked up the two new outlets.  They work great!  I tested it out with our new digital picture frame, filled with photos of past camping trips.

(we stole this idea from Mel and Paula --- thanks!)

Next project on the docket was changing the single 12 volt outlet to a dual 12 volt outlet up by my passenger side dash.   Now that we have a 12 volt Cradlepoint router, having 2 outlets will work better up there....  my laptop already has a 12 volt adapter, so that is also plugged in up there too.   We don't like having to run the inverter for 120vAC power when they run just as well off 12volt.

Next project on the list was that Steveio noticed the base plate that came on our Tracker was a little rusty looking.... so he took it off, inspected it (good thing, one of the mounting bolts was broken!)    and he coated it with a rust-neutralizer coating, then a new coat of rustoleum paint.  He can bolt it back on tonight after work with all new bolts.   Then we will line it up and see if we need a drop receiver adapter to keep the tow bar level.

I am making a vinyl cover for the towbar, which we can use when the toad is unhooked... we are told it is best to cover it up if not removing it.  There are keyed locks to hold it in the hitch receiver so it don't *walk away* at some campground.

Okay, the next one isn't really a motorhome modification, but it is something for camping.  You all know we take along our two fur ball doggies camping and everywhere we go.  We are very careful about picking up our doggie messes----   and always carry along doggie bags --  by reusing plastic store bags.  Since we have gone to fabric shopping bags for groceries, we don't have many plastic store bags any more.    Last week we were shopping at Dollartree and found these neato boxes of smaller black scented doggie bags!

You might think this is a dumb thing to blog about, but it goes along with the next photo:

 Mom and I were shopping at Goodwill last Friday and I found two of these, still new, in the wrappers! They are made to fit around the Flexi brand retractable dog leashes we already owned. 

Sure beats having to tuck extra bags, keys, cell phone etc. into your pants or sweatshirt pockets
to just take the dogs out for a walk.

Well, off to feed the little gremlin girl some lunch and spend the rest of the day making lists of things we need to pack before leaving on vacation!!!  Wheeeeeeeee


  1. My goodness you are going to have that home sooo decked out with gadgets. I wish Steve lived closer to fix ours up! lol
    I like the bag idea and the holder. Good shopping!!

    Cindy and Walker

  2. Glad to hear Steveio's Mom is doing better, The power of prayer is mighty. Those outlets will sure come in handy when you start towing your
    toad, The guy that designs where the original ones go at the factory must be a company man who has never camped, our 5th wheel has two outlets by the dinette amd two behind the sofa that will never be used,I had to put a two to four converter on the one on the cook station and the one in the entertainement center, how can a two oulet plug possible power a TV, DVD, VCR,and digital converter. I also ran a cable from an outside cover plate to a wall plate in the entertainment center so my Satelite dish antenna input would be seperate from the other antenna inputs. Glad to see Steve is so handy and can get those jobs done. Be safe out there.Sam & Donna.

  3. Karen, Is there any way I could have you make one of those vinyl covers for my Blue Ox hitch? I'm not very crafty and don't own a sewing machine. I usually take the whole thing off and store it in the car trunk when I land somewhere for a while, but it seems to be getting heavier and heavier as the years go by. :)

    I also use those doggie clean up bags. You were lucky to still find them with 50 in a box. They've now shrunk down to 40/box at the same price. :(

  4. I'm almost embarassed to tell you how I clean up after my doggie. I bought a package of 100 standard size brown paper lunch bags ($1.38); I buy paper napkins at Costco - there are probably a million in the bundle. Every morning and afternoon I take a brown bag, about 4 napkins, and a plastic bag "just in case". Trial and error has shown me how to place the napkins over the doo-doo so I have enough to wrap around the mess and lift it without getting it all over my hands. It goes into the bag, neatly folded, and into the trash dumpster.

    I switched to this method because I got depressed thinking about the floating plastic debris islands in the Pacific, and now the North Atlantic has a huge plastic island as well. If you've been reading about it, "someone", probably the oil companies and the government, is speculating that the plastic drops to the bottom of the sea and creates a home for marine life. Oh yeah, plastic is good for the ocean.

  5. Gypsy! That is a really GREAT idea! I think when these are gone, I will change to that too.


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