Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Motorhome Modification - BLOCKS, CAMPING MAT AND SIGNS

Ahhh Sunday morning, I am going to sip my coffee, eat my freshly baked cornbread (more on that later)  and sit here to share my morning with you.

Wishing it was summer and camping time, I am filling up my boring winter blogs with items from our files of Motorhome Modifications.  Things we have done or made or repaired or bought that make our time in our motorhome easier!   These are all taken from my photo files and I am going through them from A-Z.   I am on the B's and C's now, so this will take a while, hopefully carry me through till springtime?

First up:
Blocks for the levelers.    Although our motorhome came with hydraulic levelers, the bottom "feet" of them are kinda concave-shaped.   That is fine if you are on a cement pad, but we mostly park in gravel or dirt.  Those dish shaped points of contact soon wallow out the dirt or gravel and then the motorhome is "wiggly" again when you walk around inside.

We use the levelers more as a steadying device to prevent excessive wiggling when parked overnight. We mostly park as level as possible in the first place, so we are not twisting the frame by over-use of a leveler on one side vs another.  Some motorhomes are known to pop out a corner or portion of the front windshield when subjected to too much flexing while trying to level the rig.

Many people find a nice thick wooden block works well to put under the "foot" of the leveler before it makes contact with the ground.  But then again, you have to get down on your knees to push the block into postion, then drop the foot onto the block and snug it up.  When you are ready to leave, you have to get down on your knees again to pull the block back up.  Especially our front center block which is wayyyy in under the front axles in the middle of the rig.  (Safari's have three levelers as opposed to four, think steady tripod vs. wobbling table with four legs trying to level up?)

Sooooo we saw this idea in an old copy of Motorhome Magazine.  Yes, sometimes we steal ideas from other people, you can't expect Steveio and I to invent ALL of these neat modifications, do you?

The eyelets are great to hook the awning rod into and PUSH it into place, 
especially that hard to reach and line up center one in the front of the rig. 

If we find a site too un-level, then we drive the tires up on planks instead of straining the frame or twisting it with the levelers.  Steve made a set of nice planks, each of three layers of 3/4 inch treated plywood glued and screwed together to prevent splitting from the weight of the tires.  He made a variety of lengths, 6 pieces in all, so we can put different configurations under the dual tires to level off the coach.  Then we just snug it up with the levelers.  (I don't have a pic of the planks...drat)

On to the C's now.
This first one is called Camping Mat.  I suppose it could have gone under M's for Mat.  But Camping Mat sounds much nicer.  HAHA.   I think it's 20x8.  About 15 years ago I bought this at a camping store in Green Bay that has long since closed.  I don't even know the brand name of it, as there is no tag. I have not ever seen them since, and I tried googling camping mats but all I find are the new woven fold up ones.

I think I paid in the $80 range for it, and it was a present for Steve for Father's Day to match our Sierra travel trailer at that time. But that was back in 1996.  How lucky our newest RV is also blue!

 It's really similar to the rubberized shelf liner, but much thicker and heavier.  It won't tear or rip.  The holes are large enough to let the dirt and sand pass through, but it's almost spongey and soft under your bare feet.   It has gone through 15 years of four teenagers, all their friends, many pokey lawn chair legs, dog claws, picnic table legs, laying on dirt and rocks and tree roots and cement.   And I guess, normal wear and tear. We hang it on the deck or on a clothesline, spray it down and let it dry when it gets too dirty.  It dries fast. We fold it up and stuff it in a heavy duty contractor plastic bag and stuff it in the basement compartment.

Next on the list is Camping Signs.  There are a bunch of crazy signs out there that people display, and we enjoy walking around campgrounds looking at them.   Some alarmists say to not have your last name and your town on your sign, because someone could go to your home and rob you blind while you are camping.   (anything of value we take with us anyhow)  Other alarmists say to not have your kids' names on your signs because of bad people using their names to call them over.   Hey Kid or Hey Tommy, what's the difference?

Oh well.  

Our sign is actually the one and only thing Steve got from his wife from his first marriage (besides some tools he had in the trunk of the car and his high school yearbooks)   And the reason why she gave it to him?  Well... it was HIS last name, and she wasn't going to be a Pfundtner anymore!  hahahahahhaha    Plus, it had been a gift from Steve's folks, and she didn't want that laying around anyhow.  All in all, it was nice that she gave it back to him.   I freshened it up with some new paint, and added OUR names underneath it to match.

Heh heh ... she didn't want the sign OR the man... so I get them now, MY bargain! 

In the photo above, we are camped side by side with Steve's folks... 
so we put the sign in the middle, seeing as we were both Pfundtners! 

Our daughter Erin and husband Mark bought us this sign which we hang from the awning too.  

Okay, that took care of three more Motorhome Modifications for the blog today.  I am sitting in the sunshine that is streaming in through the woods.  Steve washed the patio doors yesterday so it's exceptionally nice looking as it glows in across the livingroom onto the couch.  We are a frosty 20 degrees out there, but no snow to be seen.  Perhaps next week?  This is the strangest winter in a long time for Wisconsin.    Our river  has been frozen over twice, and is open water again today with just a few chunks of ice floating down lazily.

I baked up a corn bread this morning in a small 8" cast iron fry pan.  It's a quick Jiffy mix, one egg, dollop of milk and plop in the cast iron pan.  Put in the oven on 400 till it starts to smell good.  Yup, it's done and plop it out upside down on a plate, then tip over onto another plate so it's right side up again.   We cut it in pie-shaped wedges, dab of butter or Steve's Smart Balance, and Yummmmm     Paired up with a cup of coffee from some freshly ground beans from Jamaica that the kids gave us for Christmas.   Oh, life is good.   

But no Packer Game today.  
But the tv show Distant Roadtrips, an RVing show, is on RTN at 10 a.m. 
That will whet our whistle to get out in the motorhome in the driveway and do some projects?
Perhaps we should take the motorhome out for some exercise later today?


  1. Loved sharing your Sunday morning with you, Karen. Now, where can I find that cool rubber mat?

  2. Most Rvers that have A & C class rigs that are stored for the winter are told to Excercise them because if you don't you'll have more problems to deal with come spring time.

    Just one word of warning when exercising you rig keep your desire to keep rolling down that road in check. LOL. Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Sorry, I tried googling it to find some, and I don't think they are made anymore? It came in a big plastic bag with a piece of paper laid inside, no tags attached to the mat. That was in 1996.

  4. You guys always have a bunch of great ideas when it comes to the motorhome. We have been looking for a outside mat for Sherman but so far haven't had any luck.

    Kevin and Ruth

  5. Always interested in MoHo Mods. We haven't done much to ours yet, but I am picking up ideas from sites such as yours. We also have one of those mats. It is great! I think we got it from Camping World.

  6. I ended up with a grass mat from Lowes it was like astro turf, and really cheap, on sale like $30 for a 10x20 piece. We just sweep it and once in a while hose it off. Donna & I are corn bread aholics, love it,Be safe out there. Sam & Donna....

  7. Great mods!! What a great idea to store pics in a file to draw from!!
    My mom always made cornbread in a cast iron skillet but I don't own one. Does it make a difference??? Perhaps its time for me to make that purchase!!

  8. Fun post ~ the cornbread looks delish!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  9. I love cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet. Unfortunately when I moved out of my house and into a 5th wheel I only kept my large cast iron skillet. Maybe I need to buy some new stuff. I'm getting hungry for some greens and cornbread.

  10. I emailed you a while back about your mat and you said you thought it was made by Camco.
    If you google Camco patio mat you'll find them.
    I haven't ordered mine yet but I will.
    I love all your tips and mods. Thanks for sharing!


  11. Ella, I have since looked at the Camco ones and they aren't quite the same either. Similar, but not exactly I don't think.

  12. You're right Karen. I did a search last night. I could have sworn I saw one exactly like yours. Maybe it was just wishful thinking?
    That's too bad because I really like yours.



Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog! I moderate all comments so it may take a little while for your comment to appear.