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Sunday, February 11, 2018

MOTORHOME MODIFICATION - *E* - Electrical Modifications both AC and DC

I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications, a few 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?


(for those curious about our Solar setup, 
here is a blog post about that: Our Solar Installation )

Electrical Power Strips:
And to add to that, many household AC appliances still draw power even when not in operation (i.e. both tv's, the microwave, the dvd player, surround sound, CD player, and our RF modulator)  so we plug all those items into household power strips. We can control them with a flick of a switch.  Then we can decide if we want them on or not without having to plug and unplug them.  Why have all of these things drawing power up in the front livingroom or kitchen if you are only using one tv in the bedroom when the inverter is on?  We put power strips up inside the cabinet by the electronics, and one in the cabinet over the microwave.  

Electrical 12 Volt Outlets:
I touched on this during my post last week when talking about the front dash area, but I will mention it again and add to it.  Around our rig, Steve has added 12 volt outlets here and there. Ya know, those "cigarette lighter" outlets?  Even though not as many folks smoke anymore, they are changing their names to "12 volt outlets"   This one he added up front under the dash and it also has two USB ports to utilize power for charging cell phones, tablets and laptops. 

We needed a 12 volt outlet in the rear of the coach to run our tire pressure monitor console. So Steveio decided to install a 12 volt outlet in the bedroom making a clearer path to pick up the sensors from the Tracker. 

He snugged an outlet up in the corner of the valance, hidden out of sight, and ran the wires along the inside over to the wiring for the light. A few wire clips and wire nuts, it was Easy Peasy and no holes drilled!~

Plus, the outlet can be used once we are parked in place... for either charging up a cell phone or even plugging in my laptop.  (I have both AC and DC cords for my laptop) 

Electrical 120v AC Outlets:
Safari makes a great motorhome, but they are really lacking in both 12v DC and 120v AC outlets throughout the rig.   Sooooo we can fix that!  Steveio is always up for a new project:

He decided to add one up by the dining table. Then if we want to run our TV on a small inverter we can do so by plugging into this DC outlet.  He added a 120v AC outlet here too.... as often we sit at the table with electronic things (such as my sewing machine) and having an outlet close by the table makes sense.

On the driver's side of the rig, in the livingroom area, we were lacking in 120v AC outlets.  Steve was able to tap into the power under the fridge and run a new outlet box to this little wooden panel. The panel also covers the vent hole and holds the new vent cover after we removed the couch there.

Electrical LED bulbs:
Since we do a lot of boondocking and rely on the solar... we added some LED bulbs to some of the 12v DC light fixtures throughout the rig.  I do not care for the light from these. I find it harsh and greenish.  Steve is the one always using it, and moves the bulbs from light fixture to light fixture.  Drives me nuts!  I never know which fixtures the LED lights will show up in? Kinda like LED Roulette!

 Electrical 12v DC Fixture Swap Out:
See..... a while back we bought five of these brass 12 volt light fixtures to replace the *hockey puck* type halogen lights that were energy wasters. They are also too hot in operating temps where the glass lens would loosen up and fall down on your lap. It would burn you if you were sitting underneath it!     A little camping friend, Autumn, got burnt on her leg one night.  That was it, out they went----

Since we improved those light fixtures, the two front "map lights" needed to be updated to something more sensible too. The holes were square and the new lights were round.... so I came up with the idea of painting two old CD's black and using them as "backer plates" for the light fixtures! 

Seeing as we rarely ever camp in campgrounds with electric hookups, 
these measures really help us conserve battery power and propane usage.  
Guess we are just being "Green" ---- 

These type of modifications allow us to boondock in areas that are more remote, more beautiful and less crowded than an RV park.  We just don't care for rows and rows of tin cans crowded together when we are on a get-away weekend.  Just one more modifications in Steveio's Bag of RV Tricks!

We have another light dusting of snow coming down right now, only about an inch or so. It looks so pretty and winterlike. Glad to have it covering up the dull grey and bleak brown of winter we were seeing last month.

Sorry to say, I am suffering again from a flu or cold bug.  I am struggling to stay healthy, but each bug that comes along gets me right down. My system is compromised as it is, and this rash of flu bugs has made me more susceptible to anything floating around.  I am on another round of antibiotics but at least this time the lungs are not involved, thank goodness.  Just head, ears, throat, belly and body aches.

Steve comes home from his driving job and immediately washes his hands and uses hand sanitizer and he is doing great.  Not me.  Sigh. So I will remain a recluse and stay inside and stay safe as well as I can.  At least till flu season is over?

We are enjoying watching the Olympics on tv.  Nick Baumgartner snowboarder is from my home town of Iron River, MI and also Nita Englund ski jumper is from nearby Florence, WI where my cousins grew up. Gotta root for the home town kids!

It's been so cold out that the dogs haven't been out for a walk in ages... Steve takes them out to the big backyard and tosses around a ball and gets them to run off some steam.  I toss the toys up and down the long hallway upstairs each evening for them to fetch and chase. Just like kids, being cooped up too long makes them full of mischief.




  1. Thank you for writing this blog!I happened onto it the other day from a Facebook group I recently joined and have read several already. Easy to read and your ideas are great. A painted CD as an "Oops plate"... genius, I have a project that will benefit from that one! So I guess it will be an afternoon of catching up on back issues while cheering on the women's hockey team over the top of my screen! lol! Sending healing ju-ju your way from the east side of the lake...


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