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Friday, March 9, 2018

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS - *P* is Painting Door Frame and Prop Pole

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 P now!


Painting Door Frame:
Since I do all of the painting and touch-ups done around the house, my paint brushing hand gets called upon for the motorhome from time to time.  I usually give our motorhome steps a coat of black rustoleum paint every year they need a touch-up. 

Steve had removed the icky fake indoor/outdoor carpeting on our steps a few years back, and installed two nice polished aluminum stair tread/bull nose pieces for traction on the stairs.  It matches with the aluminum lower portions of our motorhome and works very well.  But the black portions do need the touch-up.

Once I got the steps done, I was looking at how horribly marked up and grubby looking the cream paint was around the edge of the screen door.  Especially near the handle where we are always grabbing or pushing the door shut. 

Well, if the main door can have a strip of black around it, why can't the screen door???   So I cleaned the surface well and let it dry in the sun, and went to work on painting the frame of  the screen door! 

I carefully painted around the edges, here I am partially done....   I wanted the worst portion to adhere well, so I scrubbed it twice and was letting it dry while I painted around the other edges first. 

And here is the door all done!   See the frame around the edge of the inside of the main door?  So I think it kinda matches.  I didn't paint any of the cross pieces as many of them are plastic and didn't want the problem of peeling paint. (we got the stained glass insert in the big door when we were in Mexico a few years ago)   Ahhhhh there, all done!  Steps and door. 

On many of the Safari motorhomes, they had a goofy door latch that was kinda a sideways pull lever instead of the normal push down lever on most RV screen doors.  We decided to take that off a few years ago, and we just put in a roller catch for cabinetry instead. 

Then Steve added an angled piece of aluminum as a door pull.   Now we can just pull the door open or push it closed and the roller catch will latch it lightly.  It makes it much easier for going in and out, especially with trays of food or dishes when we cook outdoors.  We do that most of the time!

But..... every once in a while, this can be a problem with sassy doggers who know they can push on the screen door with their noses!  POP and it's wide open!   They only do this if we are sitting outside eating, and they want to come out too.  heh heh

"Huh? Who? Us? Would we pop the door open???"

So from the inside, we added this half-butterfly that is used for attaching screens or storm windows on a house.  From the inside we can turn it to keep the door from popping open by doggers' noses, or even from the outside we can reach in through the slider and turn it open or locked.

Prop pole:
The other thing I finally got around to taking pictures of is our "prop pole" for when we work on the diesel engine.  Our motorhome has a king sized bed, and a pretty heavy memory foam mattress.  This makes the bed hard to lift and keep up in the air when working under it.  The little struts that hold up a normal RV bed or a lightweight RV mattress just don't cut it on our bed. 

Steve found this pole... it's called a cargo retainer pole and used for keeping items from sliding around in the back of trucks or cargo vans. It is very heavy pipe, adjustable, and has swiveling ends with rubber gripper surfaces.   He got it at Harbor Freight for about $15 or so?  

We both lift the bed together, then Steve sets the pole into place with one rubber grip pad on the engine and the other grip pad on an angle under the lip edge of the bed.

 Now we are able to reach in underneath the bed to do our service and check things as needed.

He is even able to crawl right inside the engine compartment and reach stuff without having to shimmy in underneath the rig.  Engine access can sometimes be a problem with diesel pushers.  Many diesel truck repair companies don't even want to work on them because of the difficult positions of the bed, slide mechanisms and engine placement.  

I was just reading on a fellow blogger's post about how the workmen had to cut into the actual floor/step area to make an access hole to get to a certain part of their engine.  Then they hinged the cutout piece so it could return to it's previous position.   I am glad we have full access, this is much easier!

That is why most big truck repair places don't like to work on motorhomes at all, or charge a higher hourly rate for RV's.  They would rather send you on down the road to someone else than work on you.  Also having to make their workers keep clean shoes for going in and out of the motorhome for repairs is tough....  compared to working on a big semi rig where the whole engine is exposed with a tilt of the cab.

We had that experience in our last motorhome, a Coachman, where the workers went in and out with greasy boots all over the light green carpeting and my handwoven wool rugs!  Plus a few grimy hand prints on the wall as they went in and out of the doorway.  I was sooo upset!   The repair place offered to pay for cleaning, after I complained.  I scrubbed good with Dawn dish soap and got it all out, but never again I tell ya!


We had a sunny cold day here in Wisconsin... and tonight it is going to dip down to perhaps into the single digits.  We turned on the gas log fireplace tonight and are cozied in for the weekend. 

Somebody asked me the other day after I posted a blog pic of our fireplace about the gas log... and they asked if we liked it.  Well.....   after having woodburning fireplaces in both of our last two homes, we REALLY appreciate the gas log fireplace unit we installed in this home.  Click- it's ON.  Click - it's OFF.  No ashes, no draft, no hauling in wood, no bugs crawling out of the bark etc. 

It has real flames
that give off heat and make the room cozy.

here is a link to the blog when we installed it:

This really cool leaded glass fireplace screen Steve found on Craigslist.
It was the first thing we bought when we knew we were buying this home....

We added a mirror over the top,
that we bought from one of the previous daughter's 
who grew up in our home. 

This pic was all done up for the holidays

We added a little cast iron match holder that Steve got from his dad, a fond memory of his childhood. It was all grubby and rusty, but he restored it and we mounted it to the fireplace tiles. 

 We don't need matches to light the gas fireplace, but it looks kinda "historically correct" to put it there!  hahahaha  I really like it.

Getting close to bed time and I forgot to publish this blog!  Here is goes..... 

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