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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Motorhome Modification - COMPARTMENTS

To get through this long boring winter, I am going through our motorhome modifications from A-Z....  This is still a blog in the C's ... COMPARTMENTS


Actually that is a mis-nomer because our rig doesn't really have compartments like most motorhomes or trailers, it's one huge storage basement wide open from axle to axle and side to side. 

Some folks have asked me about how much storage we have or how we organize our basement compartment.  It seems their rigs never having enough room, or they are worrying about cargo carrying capacity weight issues.   When I tell them that is not an issue with us, they have a hard time believing it.  


While newer rigs have multiple slides, which are very weighty by themselves, they also have storage issues with the slide mechanisms taking up valuable space.  We don’t have the slides, so we have more than enough storage area in the basement of our rig, and weight is not a problem.  

Even with all our tanks full, (propane, fuel, fresh water and waste water) we have almost 6,000 pounds of cargo carrying capacity.   Being  aluminum exterior construction instead of fiberglass makes a big difference, plus wall and roof supports are all aluminum too.   We weigh in with full tanks at 22,000 pounds without our gear when we first bought the rig.   Our rating is  GVWR- 28,000    GCWR-32,000

I thought I would show you what we haul along in our rig. I had taken these pics for insurance purposes because most RV policies only carry $500 coverage on the personal contents, I kid you not!  So please check your policy and ask your agent.  We carry an additional rider for the rest of the possessions we carry above $500. 


The basement of our rig covers a large open area and is all carpeted space, which is open side to side, and front to rear, from axle to axle.  We are only limited by the width of the doors as to what we put inside. We can fit a lot more in the basement compared to the usual separate bins you see in most motorhomes. 
 our floorplan with highlight basement space


Let’s start on the driver’s side.  All of our stainless steel compartment doors rise upwards on struts and when shut, they lock securely on both ends instead of one latch in the middle. 
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I will go down the side from front to back, door by door. 
Here is door number 1. 
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Whoda thunk of that space above the tank as a good spot to put a long tube for stowing the stinky slinky!   For those of you who do not know what a "Stinky Slinky"  is, it’s the flexible 3” hose used to dump the grey and black tanks…ewwwwwww   We don’t want to keep THAT hose in our carpeted storage basement area. 


On to the next door…..
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We bought an assortment of these gray totes with heavy snap on lids.  They are made by HOMZ 

 http://www.homzproducts.com  and I see that Ace Hardware carries them.  

The large totes measure 30 inches long by 18 inches wide.
The smaller totes measure 18 inches long by 14 inches wide.  

We like them because they have a full handle on each side, not just a lip edge that you carry by the fingertips.   Also, the lid fits firmly over the top and comes way down on the sides, which does not allow anything to get into the tote.   We have more than enough totes, and keep swapping out sizes back and forth as we determine our needs in the future.  The extra totes we keep in our garage or my fiber storage room for now.  


In this next photo below, if you look close to the center of the rig, you will see a white poly 2x4 Cosco table and a larger 3x6 heavy black folding table.  Both tables slide in nicely under the space under the suspended fresh water tank.  We use them for eating and serving food when boondocking at places without picnic tables.  Also good for extra table space when working on crafts or doing some crazy things like canning pickles (see Runkle Lake campground review or Paint River Forks in my archives)   I can use these tables for an impromptu craft sale if we want while on the road at a campground too. 

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Here it is loaded up,  each one labeled for it’s contents:  dog stuff, lanterns/propane stuff, picnic table and patio lights, diesel filters oil and supplies, raingear and boots, freshwater supplies, wastewater supplies, etc. and of course all of my fiber supplies and toys!  At the far right is the plumbing compartment with all the manifold fittings for water areas in the rig and an outdoor shower.




This next door is kinda a half access on the front, but behind the water manifold section is the water pump, expansion tank and some extra plumbing.  It used to be walled off, but Steveio removed the wall piece for better access.  Nice to have access to that mechanical stuff instead of it being buried behind a wall.   You can see the daylight from right through to the open compartment on the other side of the rig. Steve usually lays his fishing rods in this area, plus the awning rod, which is reachable from the other side. 

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Ahhhhh now on to the power stuff! This compartment is further back, behind the rear wheels.  Everything electrical is in this compartment.  We recently replaced the inverter from the old Freedom 2000W Heart (which burned out) over to this Tripplite 1500W. We also have a wired in Progressive Industries unit for surge and brownout protection. 


In front of the things in the photo above, we store the power cords and adaptors for 50 amp to 30 or 20 amp if need be. Sometimes the cords get dirty from being on the ground, and it's nice to have this compartment separate from the clean carpeted center basement of the rig. 




The generator is located in the far back compartment by the engine. It looks a little crooked in this photo because it was snapped when we were putting the generator back into place after having the rotor rebuilt.  Rest assured, it is firmly bolted back into place now and works just fine.  LOL  
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We don’t use the generator too often, but we have to run it from time to time to exercise it.  Great to have in an emergency, or to run one of the roof AC units as we are driving down the road if need be during hot summer temps.  But we really appreciate the peace and quiet when camping and don’t like to run it at all.  So if you are a genny-fanatic, please park far far away from us? 


Now that we are done with the driver's side, let's move across the front of the rig. 
Inside the front compartment are all the electronic fuse boxes and grounds etc.  
I had to cut and paste a few pics of it, as it won’t all fit in one picture.
wiring in the front run bay
In here we also have a large fire extinguisher with access in emergency because this compartment does not lock.  Hope we never have to use it, but it's a great location.  If we are ever needing to help on an emergency on the road, it's easy to grab. 

Yes we carry FIVE fire extinguishers in our motorhome: 




Now on to the passenger side compartments:

These are the two most used doors near the passenger front between the side entry door and the front of the rig.   We kinda packed them full, huh?

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Someone asked on the blog about how does Steve fix stuff while we are on the road?  Rest assured, he has ALL his tools along, even a vice that can clamp into the back hitch to work on items like an outdoor workshop. 

This one is Steve’s favorite compartment:

tool drawers0tool drawers1



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Stacked on top of the totes are our camping signs, picnic table cloth, kneeling foam pad  and whatever else don’t get stowed away properly as we break camp the time before. 

We carry along our two zero gravity recliners, and four folding chairs for company and our two macreme lawn chairs, a few little wooden tv trays for coffee clutching too.  It all fits along with some room for the patio mat behind the chairs. And Steve's big air compressor alongside the chairs.


Yes, Steve puts the large air compressor right into this compartment too. It's used for his air tools, and also in case of a low tire, it's capable of going to the 110 pounds needed for our tires.   It slides in and kind of curves back underneath the stairs in an open space usually not accessible.  By just reaching in to flip the lever on, and grabbing the long air hose, he is in business!    (of course when boondocking, we have to fire up the generator first to get the power to make this run) 



Now we can move to the rear half of the passenger side.

The two interior entry steps into the rig to reach the main floor are the only things taking up any square footage in the basement storage area. 

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This door number 3 is located at the left of the entry door.  In here, we have the big solar controller for the solar panels on the roof. There is also a big pull out fuse to disconnect the whole system for repairs.  I like that we have an outdoor tv antenna jack here. Sometimes we carry out the inside tv to watch packer games under the awning.  There are both DC and AC electrical outlets and a little light to see what we are looking for in the dark too. We also stow the 6 large planks for under the tires for leveling the rig.  (not in the pic) 


This next compartment is for the batteries. I talked about them more in depth a few blogs back. They are located behind the rear wheels. It is open around the sides and bottom for ventilation.   There are 6 batteries in there now, but we can later move the 2 chassis (driving) batteries into a new rack in the engine compartment that Steveio made.  Then we could increase the bank of coach (camping) batteries to a total of six 6volt golf cart batteries if we wish.  Although with our five 100 watt solar panels that we installed, we may never need six batteries… four might be enough. 


compartments 2


Now this last door is the cool stuff that you do not see on gas engine motorhomes.  This is Steve's Control Central! He finds out all kinds of  diagnostic stuff in this compartment. He can even start the engine from in here if the key is in the ignition. Pretty cool! 

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For those Techy Kinda Guys, here is the new head piece he re-vamped to fit the newer Fleetgard FS 1212 fuel filters that are available for our engine, now that the Racor Win 200/200 ones were discontinued. 
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So.. that completes the tour of our storage compartments and how we organize them.  In the future we see ourselves adding a few more totes of clothes (in vacuum sealed space bags)  some supplies of my craft stuff, and perhaps my table loom when not in use. The loom folds up somewhat and fits in drivers side number 3 quite well.  

Otherwise we are pretty well set for full timing, and more than adequate space inside the rig for the personal items we take along regularly and keep our kitchen fully stocked as well as the clothing and bathroom gear.   So our weight load will not change much, right now fully loaded we are about 3,000 pounds under our CCC limit, so that is a good thing.  We still have 4,000 towing capacity on top of that too.  We currently tow a Geo Tracker that only weighs 2,200 pounds


Well, enough of all that , time to get a few things done around the house.  Later today I am picking up the Chelsea Beetle Bug Girl from daycare and taking her back to our house.   Her granfaddah needs an apple pie baked, so she better come over and peel/core/slice up some apples!    Putting her to WORK!   Later she can have a spa evening in the big whirlpool tub with bubbles, and get in her jammies before her Mommy and Daddy come to pick her up.  All ready for beddy-bye. 


5 comments:

  1. You are just way too organized. I am sooooo jealous!! You could make money doing this for others...

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  2. Yours is one BIG motorhome. I can't imagine driving it, much less backing it up. It looks great!

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  3. How organized you are. We usually play the game "Now where did I put the.....(insert object here)?

    Mike and Dee White
    gonerving.blogspot.com

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  4. Howdy Karen & Steveio,
    BOY HOWDY, are y'all organized!!! I LOVE THAT COACH!!! That propane genset is
    a wonder!! Where did you get it?? There is a smaller 150#PSI Sears compressor
    that Nick Russell & Greg White both have.. You only need a table-saw for 'large' projects; a circular saw does everything a table-saw will do and you can clamp it to a board for larger/longer cuts... Where's the welder go?? I like the 'tall' propane lamp!! I can't wait until y'all 'hit the road' fulltime and we can 'learn so much more!!! Send some snow down here to Texas, please, we need the moisture!!

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  5. Okay guys, it is now 1/30 and no posts for quite a while... are you okay?

    Larry

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