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Friday, January 26, 2018

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS *C* Cabinet Redo, Lantern, Mat, Porch and Banana Bread

I am going to start off the new year with posting three of our motorhome modifications at a time. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will do them in alphabetical order.

Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?

So here it goes, we are up to the letter C now!


Cabinet redo:
I know I kinda sorta touched on this cabinet topic a couple blogs back with Back Up Camera. Our motorhome has three nice dark plexiglass doors across the front of the motorhome.  Inside of each one is all of the surround sound system control deck, booster and amplifier for the sound system.  Plus other electronics: dvd player, vcr player, dvd storage, our household air fans and some other doo-dads.  They are major storage areas for us and all our "stuff".  We even mounted a clock with velcro to one of the doors, so it can removed to adjust time or change out the battery.

The far left part cabinet is a bit of a challenge.  Many Safari motorhome owners will call that cabinet that encloses the tv as a "headbanger"  or some other %*$@))&!! word.  Because it suspends down lower into the cockpit area, it is easy to knock your head against it when getting up from the driver's seat.

We long ago stopped using the big CRT television overhead as a main tv.  Instead, we mounted a slim LED flatscreen to a bracket suspending it from under the cabinets on the passenger side of the rig. It uses less power, and weighs less and has a much better/larger picture too.  So we are happy with this change, and can see the tv better from the loveseat on the opposite side.

(I LOVE Andy Griffith and Mayberry... 
playing dvds from a collectors set from daughter Heather) 

We sit here on the LazyBoy loveseat in comfort and watch the tv directly across from us. Much better than when it was located up over the driver's seat. 

Well, then why keep the big CRT tube type tv, you ask? Because it doubled as a back up camera screen for the built in camera system in the motorhome. It is used to watch the Tracker behind when towing, or when backing up in crowded areas, or even as a lookout if we hear something behind the rig in the middle of the night.  But kinda crazy to keep that big huge tv just for a backup monitor?

One fine day, Steveio's brain was a-working on this head-banging matter. After he had banged his head again, of course. He decided that if we order a nice small 7" monitor screen we can eliminate that tv.  Then he started thinking even more.... what about removing the cabinet, cutting it off at the top, and installing it back into place now flush with the others?  The front and underside surfaces are finished like the rest of the cabinets.  They are all solid wood, nothing paper particle board garbage like in our old Coachmen. These are western alder wood and such lovely pieces of cabinetry we don't want to wreck them or try to replace that one unit on the left.

Great thinking.... lots of work, but great thinking!   And since when did Steveio shirk from work???

He had the big tv out in no time, that was the "easy part"....  

Now we looked behind to realize that a whole slew of wires for all the electronics were not just behind the cabinet... 

Noooo.. they were through two holes that lined up between BOTH cabinets!  We would have to unhook each and every wire before we can detach the cabinet from the other one. I am talking about TWENTY different wires!

We photographed all of the wire connections for the surround-sound, booster, amplifier and camera/tv systems, and I carefully labelled each one before disconnecting them. Let's just hope we get each one hooked back up correctly when this job is done?

Now Steve could carefully unscrew all of the mountings to get this piece of cabinetry out of that section of the motorhome ceiling.  Whew... it worked!

(see the little hole near his right hand 
where all those wires went through?)

This is what it looks like behind there. 
All of those wires need to be fed back through a new hole
that would line up with other cabinet hole....
when the cabinet goes back into place, after it's alteration.
(See what I meant about the wires???)

Here is the cabinet after taken out of the rig.
He cut off the top sections to make it
now go back in flush along the bottom edge
with the rest of the cabinets. 

We removed the visors too....
We now use the wide powered windshield shade 
that goes across the entire width of the windshield 
as a visor instead.

The next step was to get a new piece of plexi for a matching door... and finding some matching hinges. The hinges are big black circles that extend through the glass to the outside and are a design feature.  Hmmmmm   Trying to match the same color, tone, shine of 20 year old plexiglass plus matching the type of hinges might be a bit tricky?  

Off to check on my Safari Group on Yahoo called SafariCoaches  One of the members, Bill Edwards, happened to have a door he had removed from his motorhome during a modification he made!  Complete with hinges and covers to match. He bundled it up with about a mile of bubble wrap, and shipped it to our home!   Yay! now we have a perfect match! Thanks Bill!!!

We had to do a few minor modifications of beefing up the wood on the left inside surface of the cabinet for the hinges to attach to. We had to remove the little tweeter speaker for the surround sound on the right to make a bit more clearance and shift it over about 1/2 an inch.

There!  Done! 

We also removed the clock from the third door 
and relocated it over to above the tv on the cabinets.

Sure looks great and improved our view out the front. 
Visually it makes our rig look wider....

but most of all, Steve won't injure his head anymore
on that "headbanger cabinet"!

Camping Lantern:
We have had plenty of camping lanterns over the years... from Coleman white gas units with double mantles, smaller Coleman propane units with single mantles, or big battery units that ran off those huge 6v batteries, remember those?   

Well, now we have settled on this small LED lantern. It runs off a few AA batteries and the little LED lights reflect on the bright shiney silver point hanging down from the top.  It has brightness from low to high setting and the batteries last all summer long.  We take it out to set on the picnic table to play cribbage at night and it does not attract as many bugs as the old lanterns did.  We jokingly call it "Steveio's Manly Man Light" which was a tease because it was so small compared to the big huge lanterns we used to haul around.  But we like it.  A lot. 

Camping Mat:
Sadly I do not have a source for this mat any more. It came from an RV store about 20 years ago and we have not seen them since.  It's a rubbery mat similar to shelf liner but stronger.  It lets the water and sand fall through the little holes, but holds up well. 

It has gone through four teenagers, numerous dogs, poking legs of lawn chairs, drifting sparks from a campfire and countless days in the hot sun, night of freezing temps and frost and sometimes even snow, mud, rain, and gooey marshmallows.  We clean it by laying it out on the cement driveway and use the pressure washer on it with some Dawn dish soap in the reservoir.  Then we hang it up on the washline. Good to go again. 
Gosh this pic makes me want to go camping! 


We woke up to mid 30's this morning and glorious sunshine streaming in.  Our front porch faces east, so it got a good dose of sunshine to warm it up.  By about 9 am it was VERY comfy out there...   enough to sit and read the paper, sip a cup of coffee and cuddle the dogs!

Our snow is almost all gone, 
just a few little bits of snowbank next to the road out front.

The doggers are keeping a watchful eye out for the mail lady,
or any other lucky dogs that happen to go by for a walk. 

Steveio had a chance to stop by for an extra cup of coffee 
in between runs of his elderly folks today. 
It's warm enough out on the porch for short sleeves! 

He hung out the American Flag and it was flapping in 
soft warm breezes blowing from the south.

As I type this now, the temps have risen to 47 degrees!!! 
 I think that may be a record? 

 Yup, we really miss not using the front porch in the winter months.
We are normally way below freezing, or even below zero. 
This strange January Thaw (the third one this month) 
is not normal for our winters in Wisconsin.

I had three mushy bananas this morning to whip up into some of my wonderful Auntie Lois's banana bread recipe. It ALWAYS comes out perfect!!! Never fails. 


I added chocolate chips to the two metal pan loaves, and the glass pan is made regular, no nuts. You can be as creative or as plain as you want. But the main recipe is perfect every time and never sticks to the pan if you use non-stick cooking spray. Yummm the house smells so good!  It started to rain outside, so this is an extra special treat today.


  1. I have read your blog for about a year and don't think I have commented before but Have missed your posts. Hope all is well with you and you will be back posting soon.

    1. Thanks Candace! I just posted a new one right now on the letter R. Have you seen all the posts between this letter C and the letter R?

  2. No I haven't. I read your blog on Bloglovin and have had no new posts since C which was quite a while ago. I will have to go straight to your blog and catch up!! I AM glad that you are doing well. : )

  3. I came to check that I understood you correctly. Yes I did. I have no idea why Bloglovin did not update my blogreader after this post. Here I have been wondering if you were still ill, checking Bloglovin for an update and you were blogging right along! YAY! I am glad I finally thought to check with you. Now I wonder if other blogs I thought were unepectedly "gone" perhaps just were not being updated on my reader.


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