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RE: Bringing Trailer in for Service - Need Advice

Spray foam to keep rodents out may not be effective because they can knaw through it. Steel wool quickly rusts and needs to be replaced. I've had good luck using stainless steel scouring pads from the dollar store. You can tease the pad apart which will give you a long tube. Then wrap it around plumbing or wiring until it fills the hole. The hardest part is finding all the possible entry points and even harder sometimes to access tthem. As a back up I put some glue pads and poison bait out. So far this winter nothing has been trapped, no bait has been eaten, and no other evidence of mouse activity.
ADK Camper 03/25/21 06:19am Travel Trailers
RE: Catalog of all my mods

I realized I'd forgotten some mods in my original post so I thought I would add them here: https://i.imgur.com/dbEPW6Bl.jpg This drawer has a long full extension slide but a short drawer apparently to leave space behind for wiring and plumbing. But the space was much larger than necessary so I made a simple box and attached it to the back of the drawer to effectively make it bigger. https://i.imgur.com/9nu3FQLl.jpg Made these levelers from an 8 foot 2X6. I cut it into four 2-foot pieces and glued them together face to face to make a 6"X2' block from which I cut the various pieces with a band saw. Whether you make or buy these, I highly recommend them because they make leveling so much easier. https://i.imgur.com/Mn6JFWXl.jpg These wheel chocks are easily made from 2X4 scraps and a threaded rod etc.
ADK Camper 03/19/21 12:40pm Travel Trailers
RE: Help!!!! Travel Trailer Back in

My trailer is light enough that I don't need weight distribution but I do use a friction sway control bar. With the bar engaged the trailer is less responsive to the trucks steering making backing up more difficult. With this set-up it's best to disconnect the sway control.
ADK Camper 02/27/21 12:45pm Travel Trailers
RE: Catalog of all my mods

Some nice compliments. Thanks to all of you. I was hoping to inspire some readers to try some of these. That said, if anyone needs/wants more how to information send me a PM and I'll help if I can.
ADK Camper 01/29/21 05:19pm Travel Trailers
Catalog of all my mods

Over time I've posted pictures of many of my mods, but they are no longer available on photo bucket. So I thought I'd repost many of them all in one place: A simple mod is adding shelves to better utilize storage space: https://i.imgur.com/1fluNgfl.jpg Found the handle baskets that fit perfectly. https://i.imgur.com/ix04EvEl.jpg Divided this kitchen cabinet in half and added shelves to one side. I stacked up dishes etc. in various ways to get the best arrangement. Then I custom designed the shelf spacing to fit. It's hard to believe, but there are 40 items in this small space: 4 dinner plates, 4 lunch plates, 4 snack plates, 4 pasta bowls, 4 cereal bowls, 4 fruit bowls, 4 mugs, 4 large glasses, 4 small glasses, 2 cocktail glasses 1 measuring cup, and 1 small catch all box. Hint: We used Corelle dishware because it is thin and pieces nest compactly. It's also durable, and unlike melamine, it can be used in the microwave. https://i.imgur.com/8lyshdHl.jpg Captured some wasted space in the closets. https://i.imgur.com/Jvg7Rutl.jpg This is a folding shelf to extend the kitchen counter. https://i.imgur.com/2uvm0Apl.jpg The shelf folds when not in use, but it covers the control panel so I designed it to be removable as shown below. https://i.imgur.com/jMsFK8ul.jpg The attaching hardware consists of mating plates designed for hanging heavy pictures. One plate mounts to the folding bracket and the mating plate mounts to the bottom of the shelf. The two pieces slide together and hold the shelf securely, but enable it to be easily lifted off (when the shelf is lowered) https://i.imgur.com/lY8Lmq0l.jpg Stove cover. There are rubber feet on the bottom positioned to fit into the stove's grill to secure it. We travel with the cover in place and have never had it move. https://i.imgur.com/CsUBn8Ul.jpg We have a gas grill that came with a bracket to mount to the side of the camper. I modified it so I could mount the stove cover on it. This picture shows the rubber feet on the bottom of the cover that secure it to the inside stove. They also fit into notches on the bracket when used outside. https://i.imgur.com/Fiti6Y6l.jpg Added towel bars: https://i.imgur.com/NMSMZ88l.jpg This simple towel bar is made from wood scraps and a piece of PVC pipe. https://i.imgur.com/RNsrmNPl.jpg This temporary drying rod is made from PVC pipe and suction cups. The next two pictures show the details: https://i.imgur.com/0bMD9kol.jpg Bought these at Harbor Freight https://i.imgur.com/qu4lG6il.jpg PVC pipe is a tight fit, but slips securely into handle. https://i.imgur.com/qRZ4ZSfl.jpg This towel bar is made from a wooden dowel and some wood scraps. It's spray painted with "hammered metal" paint that matches pretty well with the stainless steel refrigerator. https://i.imgur.com/03qjVAdl.jpg I shaped the standoffs to give it a little stile, but a plain block would have worked just as well. The bar attaches simply using double-sided tape. Added several drawers: https://i.imgur.com/VVs0qNkl.jpg Original deep base cabinet was always a jumbled mess. A full extension drawer made a big difference. https://i.imgur.com/e2omLwSl.jpg Another full extension base cabinet drawer. https://i.imgur.com/P7ZxJPWl.jpg Removed the blank panel under the sink and constructed a small drawer for frequently used kitchen utensils. https://i.imgur.com/3f7IKTMl.jpg To make the drawer a "full extension" drawer I added an extension to the back of drawer where the drawer guide attaches. When closed the extension fits between the dual sinks. https://i.imgur.com/xW64wnMl.jpg This shows the finished drawer. I added a panel molding frame around the original blank panel to complete the drawer. https://i.imgur.com/m33kxEEl.jpg Added three drawers under the bed. https://i.imgur.com/3PXWqF4l.jpg They are full extension. The stiles between the drawers are part of the original construction. I had to add a header above the drawers to reinforce the cabinet and provide support for the false bottom as shown in the next picture. The drawers are simple plywood boxes with a frame of inexpensive casing molding glued to the front to create an overlay for a nice finished appearance. https://i.imgur.com/9Qd3djgl.jpg A false bottom still provides some chest storage space above the drawers. https://i.imgur.com/bsXftmrl.jpg This is a small 2-drawer cabinet I made to fit into a larger open cabinet. This is where all the junk with no other home gets stored. You know - pads, pencils, glue and tape, scissors, batteries, tools, etc. https://i.imgur.com/iMpGul0l.jpg This is the same open cabinet shown in the previous picture with a tambour door. Originally this was an open cabinet that happens to be covered when the slide is in. On one occasion something fell from the cabinet during transit and jammed the slide when I extended it. Fortunately no harm was done, but the tambour not only avoids the problem but allows all the clutter than inevitably collects in the cabinet to hidden from view. https://i.imgur.com/UT8gYvCl.jpg Building a tambour door is really not that complicated. This shows the door and track before I installed it in the cabinet. The door is made by gluing screen molding strips to a piece of cloth. The tracks are made by routing a dado into right angle brackets. Magazine rack https://i.imgur.com/Nb0HRkzl.jpg Close up of magazine rack. https://i.imgur.com/neIdzY1l.jpg Added a reading light. I used stick on conduit to conceal the wire. https://i.imgur.com/Slif4H7l.jpg Added a 12 volt plug to power the reading light. https://i.imgur.com/CrUCCQEl.jpg This was originally a fixed panel held in place be four screws. It had to be removed seasonally to access the water pump for winterizing. I framed it with panel molding to strengthen it and cover the screw holes. Then I mounted magnetic cabinet latches to the back to hold it in place. A drawer pull mounted to the top makes it easy to pull it out whenever needed. At the lower right is the 12 volt outlet for the reading light shown in the previous picture. https://i.imgur.com/lwzw6nAl.jpg Made a simple bracket to hold a mag light. Always handy right by the door. https://i.imgur.com/uptxMQSl.jpg Added a battery monitor. Available on Amazon and very inexpensive. Gives much more information on the battery condition. https://i.imgur.com/ivL4xi4l.jpg Battery monitor. Mounted in an interior wall where power was available in the lower cabinet. Installation is straight forward. Just cut a hole and pushed the monitor into place. Plastic tabs on the ends snap into the hollow wall to secure it, but it can easily be pried out if needed. Cut the hole accurately for a snug fit. I actually used a box cutter to cut the hole https://i.imgur.com/ClYe8Abl.jpg Custom made a gateleg table. Our camper did not come with a dinette. It came with a heavy freestanding table. although it folded there was still no good place to stow it when not in use. The gateleg table solved the problem. When folded it is only about 6" wide. It easily stores out of the way at the end of the sofa. https://i.imgur.com/IhjDjUTl.jpg With one side up it makes a good work table. https://i.imgur.com/8aAWhpJl.jpg With both sides up, It easily accommodates a formal dinner for two. https://i.imgur.com/99La3XKl.jpg The changeover control for the propane tanks changes green to red when the selected tank runs out. The problem was that you can't see it unless you remove the tank cover. An easy fix was to use a hole saw to cut a hole in the cover and pop rivet in a piece of plexiglass. A quick glance and I can tell what color is showing. https://i.imgur.com/SqZAPNNl.jpg We cook a lot outside so a chuck box is real handy. https://i.imgur.com/427CV6gl.jpg This shows it closed. The side shelves flip up and lie on top https://i.imgur.com/s2V4Cgjl.jpg A unique feature is independently adjustable legs. This enable a set up that is level and stable even on uneven ground. Each leg is held in place with two carriage bolts that slide into a short length of "C" track. Each leg can be slid up or down in its respective "C" track to get exactly the necessary length. The hole at the top admits the hose from a bulk propane tank. The little "U" bracket at the bottom accepts the bar that supports the side shelf. https://i.imgur.com/ImKLjzfl.jpg This lighted flagpole is made from an adjustable tent pole, a simple PVC pipe coupler, a doorway flag, and for good measure a solar flagpole light. https://i.imgur.com/OOrdkCHl.jpg Here is a close-up of the coupler. A short piece of PVC pipe slips over the adjustable tent pole. A reducer and smaller PVC pipe is attached to the top. It slides over the larger bottom tent pole and stops at the coupler. The doorway flag drops into the smaller top section. The solar light is screwed to the connector. The whole thing breaks into three sections for traveling. When assembled I just lash it to the tongue jack. https://i.imgur.com/8YbOl3Dl.jpg This clothes dryer attaches to the trailer bumper. It's made from three 5-foot length of electrical conduit, two corner brackets, and two homemade bumper brackets attached with giant U-bolts. This kind of rack is available commercially, but I made this one for less than $15.00. https://i.imgur.com/0erK7qOl.jpg The bumper brackets are just 2X3 wood scraps glued together at about a 30 degree angle, and secured to the bumper with U-bolts. The conduit slides into pipe clamps attached to the face of the 2x3 bracket. https://i.imgur.com/97bUiRwl.jpg The conduit sections are joined with corner connectors. The horizontal bar is permanently attached with set screws , but I substituted thumb screws for the vertical connection so that I can loosen them without tools and disassemble the rack into three pieces. I usually leave the bumper brackets attached for the season
ADK Camper 01/29/21 11:10am Travel Trailers
RE: It’s the little things! Gravel Pad for my TT!!

I did something similar. Instead of a gravel pad, I got 4 3'x3' concrete paving blocks and embedded them in the ground so that they were all level relative to one another and spaced to match the camper's tires. https://i.imgur.com/VyYysg5l.jpg A benefit of this is that I have a specific spot to aim for that positions my camper exactly where I want it, and more importantly, it results in a perfectly level placement. This is especially good when pre-cooling the refrigerator before a trip.
ADK Camper 11/23/20 10:10am Travel Trailers
RE: Schwintek slide system.

We have a Schwintek slide in our FunFinder. The mechanism has worked without incident for almost 10 years. I wouldn't describe our slide as a "superslide" though. It has a sofa in it so it is probably a little over 6' total length. We did have one issue with it that I was able to resolve myself: Under the slide are three rollers attached to the main frame of the trailer. The slide rides in and out over these rollers. One of mine was impacted with caulk during the manufacturing process, and so, did not rotate. As a result the slide skidded in and out over this immovable roller. The accumulating damage went un-noticed for a time because it was all under the trailer. When I finally discovered it there was some damage to the floor of the slide. I managed to free up the roller and repair the floor and have had no problem since.
ADK Camper 10/28/20 11:51am Travel Trailers
RE: Battery Monitor Install

Hey SpeakEasy, good luck with your planned installation. Because you reference a "clean" installation (a man after my own heart) may I offer some additional information that may be helpful. If you plan to install it in an interior hollow wall as I did you may be able to cut the opening using a jig saw. However, when I tried this it worked fine at the beginning, but I discovered there was a wire inside the wall that was in danger of being cut. I switched to a utility knife for the remainder of the cut. The camper walls are so thin that I actually got a nice clean cut with no difficulty. The only additional recommendation I have is that you make the hole as accurately as you can to ensure a nice snug fit. There are little plastic tabs on each end of the monitor that will compress when you insert it and hold it in place. So a sloppy fit might not hold very well.
ADK Camper 09/25/20 11:40am Travel Trailers
RE: Battery Monitor Install

If you are considering installing one of these monitors, here is some information that may help. Before you begin, disconnect shore power, and disconnect your battery. You can probably access all the necessary connections in the wiring behind your converter. So if you can access that area it is the place to start. https://i.imgur.com/eqvPgghl.jpg This is a picture of the back side of my converter. As you can see neatness is not a priority during factory assembly! Look for a bus bar that gangs many of the negative returns from various camper accessories (lights, fans, refrigerator etc.) One of these wires will return to the battery negative terminal and so carries all the current from all the camper's electrical systems. This is the wire to disconnect and connected to the shunt. You must supply another wire (8 gauge) between the other shunt terminal and the disconnected bus terminal. It might be tricky to find the correct wire to disconnect from the bus. In my case it was the only wire from the bus that went through the floor so that's something to look for. To verify you have the correct wire disconnected, reconnect your battery and check that no 12 volt accessory works. The positive 12 volt connection should be easier to find. At the back lower left of my converter are a red and black wire. If you remove the converter front panel you will see these are tied together at a terminal labeled +12 volts.
ADK Camper 09/17/20 08:43am Travel Trailers
Battery Monitor Install

I installed a battery monitor in our camper. It cost less than $20.00, and gives far more information than the OEM battery monitor. Among its various features is an alarm to indicate when the battery voltage drops below a set level. https://i.imgur.com/X4pPmYzl.jpg The monitor is mounted on an interior wall that is near the converter so I could access the necessary connections. It must be connected to the battery's positive terminal, and a shunt (included with the monitor) installed in series with the wire directly connected to the battery's negative terminal. The other end of the shunt also connects to the monitor. The shunt enables the it to determine the total current being supplied by the battery. I used telephone wire (remember when the phone was hardwired and bolted to the wall?) to connect the display. It requires a total of 4 light weight wires. Telephone wire is perfect because it conveniently consists of 4 color coded wires in a single cable and it only costs 19 cents a foot! https://i.imgur.com/pUVl4D7l.jpg The monitor displays the instantaneous battery voltage and current (amps). Form these values it calculates the instantaneous power (watts) and calculates the cumulative energy (watt-hours) used since the monitor was last reset. It has a switchable backlite to illuminate the display if needed. The picture was taken with everything OFF. The .2 amps therefore is the total of the parasitic loads (Propane/CO detector and radio).
ADK Camper 09/15/20 03:59pm Travel Trailers
RE: What's your battery setup on your travel trailer?

Ktmrfs said: And finally, the weakest link in most trailers isn't the battery, it's the WFCO charger which almost never will go to bulk charging mode so (1) batteries never get fully charged and (2) charging current limits to around 10A which means you can run the generator all day and not get the batteries charged. Solution is a Iota or Progressive dynamics converter. I have found this to be true in my camper. I use an inexpensive manual battery charger to recharge my battery. Works faster than the WFCO OEM charger. But the reason for your battery discharging so quickly may be because of parasitic battery loads. If you have a Dometic fridge it may be that the door heater to control door condensation is always on. Some models have a switch to turn it off. But some models such as mine lack a switch. If yours is like mine you can install your own switch by cutting the heavier red wire inside the fridge interior light and installing a switch there. I did this and it extended the battery life by days.
ADK Camper 08/23/20 07:22pm Travel Trailers
RE: new RV purchase advice

Can't respond to all your questions, but for what it's worth I'll share some of my opinions. I've had a funfinder for 9 years. It's been relatively trouble free. Sounds like you're looking for a "couples camper" I suggest you Google that to get some ideas. I suggest giving priority to a walk around bed, and a sofa. If seating is limited to a dinette, I believe you'll find it uncomfortable for extended seating (think rainy day). A sofa AND dinette may be very hard to find in the size trailer you want unless you pick a floorplan with a Murphy bed. We do not have a dinette and don't find that to be a problem. We use a small gate leg table pulled up to the sofa, or sometimes we use folding chairs. Definitely insist on a slide: it will really open up your floorspace.
ADK Camper 06/10/20 08:29pm Travel Trailers
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