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Thursday, March 1, 2018

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS - *M* is for Maxx Air Vent, Mouse and Mr. Buddy

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?

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


Maxx Air Vent Covers:
On every RV we have owned, we have added these plastic funny-shaped covers over the crank-up roof vent lids.  They are called Maxx Air covers and we sure appreciate them on our roof.  See the two blue square shaped things in the center of our roof??

They allow the crank up lid of the RV vent to open up and let air come inside, but keeps the rain or snow off the lid itself, whether open or closed. Helps deter pesky leaks around the edge of the crank up lid too. 

There are many reasons to use a Maxxair vent on an RV, whether it's a motorhome, travel trailer or fifthwheel.   When it's raining, of course, it means you can still keep your roof vent lids open for fresh air without getting rain inside.  Okay... that is the obvious one and makes sense.   

But, if you are an RVer, how many times were you AWAY from your rig, touring the sights or gone out to eat.  Suddenly it starts to rain, and you are in complete panic mode wondering if you shut the roof vent lids or not?  Was the unexpected rain pouring in on your couch, your bed, your bathroom, your carpeting?   If you had the Maxx air covers, you wouldn't have to worry about that.

Another reason is snow....   the weight of snow on the thin crank up vent lids can crack them, especially if they are more brittle after a few years of UV exposure.   I can not imagine the horror of coming out to your rig after a winter's worth of snow was dripping inside, making a mound of snowy ice on the floors and furniture, and melting as the temps warm up.  Again, if you had the Maxx air covers that would not be such a worry.

Our friends had suffered a broken vent cover in a horrible hail storm!   So now when they went to the RV dealer to buy a new vent lid, they also bought a Maxx air cover to go over it for added protection.  Guess that's another reason for the Maxx air I never thought of!  Hail protection.  

They normally come in white or black or smoke colors.  No blue.  That is why we painted ours, as I think it looks nice to have them blue to kinda match our rig. The Krylon "Fusion" paint is made for painting on plastic.  This blue color was close enough of a match to make it look "spiffy" dontcha think?

Two good coats and I let them dry between each coat.  Steve is the one in charge to put them on. I am a tad bit chicken to go up on the ladder. Tee heeee

Looks pretty good from the side profile too

 Mouse Prevention:
Every fall we go through this process when preparing the rig for a winter rest. Mouse Prevention! It's removing any and all things can attract mice.  We run a cord from the garage to get power into the rig, and we plug in three of these small mice deterrent devices that really work well.  One in the basement compartment and one at each end of the rig. They are called:

Victor Mini PestChaser Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent

You can find them in most hardware and home improvement stores, 
but also here is a link to them on Amazon.

Our RV friends Fred and Sharon told us about them.   They live in the woods and battle nasty mice sneaking into their RV all the time. Mice do horrible damage, chewing wires in the walls, or into the pex tubing water lines.  (that happened to us on our last motorhome, the Coachmen)   Since our friends bought these devices, they have no problem at all.  Fred said in a light snowfall, he could actually see the little mice footprints hopping up to their motorhome all around, but stopping about a foot away and turning around.. and going back into the woods!   They get close, hear the ultrasonic sound, and run away from it!   (our friends also have a dog who isn't bothered by it)   We put them now in our house too, and our dogs don't seem bothered by it either. No mice, so we are good.

I would rather chase away the mice BEFORE they get into the rig.  Opposed to catching them with traps after they are inside, after doing damage or eating poison where they die inside and stink!  ewwwww

Mr. Buddy propane heater:
Original equipment RV propane furnaces waste a lot of propane and a lot of battery power if you are not on electric hookups.  Not wanting to use the big propane furnace, we did what most RVers do…  we called on a buddy… Mr. Buddy!

Steve piped in an extra propane line through the basement, over to the passenger side of the rig, up through the cabinet that is under our table (it contains the extra leaves for our table)  …  and added a shut off valve and flexible propane hose.  Onto this hose we can hook our portable Mr Buddy heater.   Because the Mr. Buddy can operate on high pressure propane tanks, it has a built in regulator.  But so does the propane line in our rig.  Guess we were being *double regulated*  hee heee  It would kick out when on HI. Soooooo we needed to alter the Mr. Buddy by removing it’s built in regulator to let both Lo and HI settings work in our rig.
(I also set it on an aluminum cookie sheet 
to protect the table just in case. 
This pic is for illustration purpose) 

We have also used it in other situations.  One weekend, my sister and I were demonstrating fiber tools (like my sockknitting machine and spinning wheel) at a festival. We were in a large canopy tent with a big open side for customers to come in. Brrrr it was a very chilly cold autumn morning.  Note the Mr. Buddy behind our chairs, emitting nice warm heat onto our legs and tushies!  LOL 

It is such a handy little unit and we used it a lot over the years.  Since we installed a bigger Olympian Wave 8 permanently on the wall, we do not use the Mr. Buddy as much anymore. But it is worth mentioning because we do have it as supplementary heat source when needed.  (like in below zero stuff)  On one trip out west, we were in the high desert with cold nights and our Olympian went kerput.  We used the Mr. Buddy until we got the Olympian Wave 8 fixed.

Our Olympian Wave 8


Remember the two rattan chair frames I painted yesterday?  We brought them up from the basement and set them in the front porch.  Wheee they fit perfectly and the front door on the left can still swing open.  For now, I set the floral cushions back into place so we could sit on the chairs and try them out!   We pulled over the ottoman and flipped the cushion over to plain blue.   

(the old rocking chair that had been there
 is going to be returned to the 
4th generation of the family who grew up here)

Now- I had to think about recovering the cushions.  

Three years ago, I had recovered the cushions on the couch and ottoman...  and I thought they came out nice.   Here is a pic taken before we ripped out the tan carpeting and repainted the floor boards.  But you can see the pretty fabric I used when I recovered the couch, pillows and ottoman cushion in this pic. 

I went online to get more of that fabric for these 2 new chairs.... 
Well, guess what?  
That fabric is discontinued.  Sigh. 
Of course. 

But the more I got around to thinking about it, I went on the front porch and checked the couch.  By moving one of the back cushions, you can see how much the fabric FADED over the last three years!!!  

That faded fabric just makes up my mind.  It's time to take a trip to the fabric store... for enough fabric to recover both chairs AND the couch and ottoman!   I grabbed my coupons and off we went to Joann's.   

As we left the house, I had mentioned to Steve, "I would like to find a nice fresh white and blue paisley in a large print!"  but we didn't see anything like that. They had all of their home decorator fabrics on sale, so we stood in the home decor fabric aisles for about an hour, not finding anything that quite did it.  We were going to compromise with something similar to what we used to have. But that was only 45" wide that would take more yardage to get what I needed.... 10+ yards.  Sigh.  On sale, even with my coupons, it was still $6.99 a yard.  $70 bucks was more than I wanted to spend. 

As we walked to the cutting counter, I saw a display.....  90% OFF!!!!   There were some more bolts of home decor fabric in the 54" width, much more workable for my cushion sizes.  And what did we find?????    Blue and White Paisley!!!! 

It was $17.99 a yard, but then subtract the 90% which brings it down to only $1.79 a yard!!!! Unheard of!   

I knew 6 yards would about do it....  and the bolt had 6 yards 8 inches!!!  For a mere $11.09 total,  I got enough fabric in exactly what I wanted!  If it was the regular price it would be $111.54. Wowzers!    

As she was measuring out my fabric, I wondered aloud if any of the other stores had any more of it, so I could be sure to have enough to do the toss pillows and a few coasters as well.  She looked it up and said there is a hunk of 2 more yards up at the store in Portage, WI.  Well, I wasn't about to drive 180 miles round trip to get $3.58 worth of fabric. LOL... But with a phone call placed to that store, we were able to arrange the sale and have it shipped to my home for a fee of $6.  For the $3.28 plus shipping, I will have extra fabric on hand to do the pillows!  WHEEEEEEE

So stay tuned, I prewashed fabric this evening and will start sewing tomorrow. 

Oh... PS.  the clerk at Joanns' said when I was done with the cushions, there is a UV protectant spray I can use on these new fabric cushions to help prevent fading.  So once I am done sewing, you can bet they are all going to get a triple coat! 

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