|Low cargo door|
|High cargo door|
Leveling Boards: Whew! I priced those installable crank up leveling jacks, the yellow plastic locking leveling boards, and figured I could save myself a heap of money just making my own. After a bit of experimentation, I learned I could get all the leveling I will probably ever need with the pictured 3/4" thick 4" wide, 8" long and 16" long wood fencing boards. (I found a few of these boards on a scrap pile somewhere, and cut them the width of my tires.) I carry 2 sets. Cost: $0
I create a ramp behind the tires that need lifting, 2 boards thick, then 4, then 6, then 8 boards thick as needed, and easily drive the RV up onto them.
|Both back tires rest on the long boards.|
The longer boards provide a final resting place for both back tires to sit on, but the shorter boards are sufficient enough ramp to lift the unit using just the outer tire.
It surprised me how just a few inches thick makes a huge difference in leveling. See how the unit is completely lopsided driven up onto those 8 boards pictured above? And walking inside is difficult on this angle. But if I wasn't on level ground already, you can see that I could make it level using my method. Oh, and don't forget to chock your other tires so the unit doesn't blow off the boards.
Hanging closet conversion to shelves and bins. I don't bring hanging clothes on trips, but if I did I have a second closet with a hanger bar. So in the bigger closet I built 2 shelves to hold 3 16" x 22" Sterlite bins. One is for my clean clothes, another for dirty clothes, another for a second person's gear, linens and pillows, or whatever. I've stacked a 4th bin under the 3rd one, in case I need a large container to put wet stuff, wash a dog, store live fish caught in a nearby stream, or other useful purpose. I built the shelves by lining the side walls with 3/8" plywood cut to fit, stained to match, and screwed in, then laying a 3/8" shelving board across the top, then repeat with another set of uprights and board. Voila! A much more useful space. Cost: $25 (Target for bins, Home Depot for wood)
Stained Glass Window: I hate those curtains and flimsy curtain rods around the top bunk. Romping up there, they are always bending, popping off, and the hardware sticks out and pokes/scratches you. So I got rid of the long one and coated the interior window with a stained glass sheet (comes in a roll from Home Depot, several designs). You clean the window immaculately clean, wet the precut sheet with soapy water, and position it on, then work out the bubbles with a credit card, per package instructions. Once on, it stays there by suction. I've had one up on my art room door for years and it's still there. But it comes off easy if you ever want it to. It's pretty, creates ambiance, and filters out a good bit of sunlight. Cost $19
Windshield Privacy Shade: My Class C unit came with a curtain you can velcro around the front of the drivers cab for privacy. It hangs straight down (over the steering wheel), though, and blocks off a lot of valuable dash space and the cab seats can't be sat in with that curtain in your face. Hated it. Whose dumb idea was that? I got rid of it and resolved the privacy issue with an oversize accordian style silver windshield shade (available at any auto parts store), held flat against the windshield by a flexible flat stick that contours to the windshield's curved shape. It creates privacy, allows for maximum usable space, and also keeps the heat out. When not in use, the screen folds up neatly and stores in the closet, and the stick stores nicely under the overhead mattress.
|3 tiers: open, filtered light, privacy|
I love the double pull down window shades that came with my RV. Very cleverly, they slide up and down and acordian fold into each other, providing a filtered light screen and a privacy screen. But it does NOT block out heat/light sufficiently. (Another bitch of mine, for I'm sure those engineers could solve this problem from the factory if the wanted to.)
Later I ran across a large flat cardboard box, cut out two pieces the exact shape of the windows that tuck right into the upper and lower window grooves, and am now figuring out how to decorate them (contact paper, glued on reflective tarp, or maybe a laminated photo collage).
I don't know whether I prefer the cardboard or the fabric. Both work. The loose fabric folds up and tucks away in the door pocket when not in use, and is the easiest to make. The cardboard version stores flat under the overhead mattress or in a closet, but took more effort to build. Cost: $0
|Sky Light cover|
|Shower Curtain held on track |
by a tension rod.
Shower Curtain Repair: 4 of the top grommets on the flimsy built-in accordian shower curtain had ripped out, so when one opened the curtain it sagged into the shower in places. Bummer! Didn't think to open and check it out before purchasing the second-hand unit. I was faced with replacing the curtain, not cheap, reinstalling the grommets (tried that, but it was way too bitchy to fool with). Why those RV designers can't reinforce the top hem of the curtain so the grommets can't tear out, is baffling! Eventually I installed a little adjustable tension rod behind it near the top, and presto, problem resolved. When I open the accordian curtain, the loose parts just rest against the rod and don't fall in. Cost: $1.29 Walmart
Outdoor Thermometer: I always want to know the outside temperature. Glued a transparent velcro strip to the outside wall and the matching piece to the back end of the thermometer bracket. I stick it up when I get to my campsite, and take it down when I leave. Works perfect except in a very heavy wind it peels off. Heavy wind, bring in the thermometer. Forget to do that, it lands unharmed on the ground. Cost: $3.50
Hooks, Hooks, Hooks: For minimal expense, I've installed hooks galore all over the place. This keeps my precious walkways, counters, tables, couches and bed clear of sweaters, coats, PJ's, bathrobes, leashes, damp ponchos, towels, pot holders, etc. I despise clutter and having to move something out of the way every time I want to move into a space. Some hooks glue to the walls, some screw in, some hang over the doors. The factory provides some, but can you ever have enough hooks?
I also ran some Rubber Foam Weatherseal Self Stick Tape (that I had lying around) along the bottom inside edge of the cargo bin to prevent anything pressing down along the bottom edge. Of course I left a gap where the latches need to swing into place over the lip. Cost: $0. Why can't those RV engineers eliminate this problem to begin with?
I still have more improvements in mind and will post them as I resolve them. It's fun playing RV engineer, but extremely time consuming!
To see my earlier RV improvements, visit this page. It is totally amazing to me how RV's are let out of the factory without these issues resolved! Just as amazing how each and every one of these problems can cost a fortune to resolve if you let the RV Repair people do them for you. And they don't even have solutions for some of these problems! We are pretty much on our own to resolve many issues.
Upwards and onward!