Readers reveal their favorite RV mods or add-ons

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By Chuck Woodbury

In last week’s issue I told you about the best modification I had done to my RV. I then asked you about the favorite things you’ve done to modify yours. What have you added or done that is far and away the best tweak to your RV?

We received dozens of letters from readers who explained their favorite modifications or additions. Here are a few. We’ll post more in the weeks ahead (until we run out). And, please let us know what you have done to your RV to make it better.

From Joe Ferrell
BED HEADBOARD
We own a 1991 24’ Fleetwood Jamboree Class C that is in excellent condition. One of the best modifications I made was to build a headboard so that we can prop ourselves up in bed while having our morning coffee and catch up on emails. I also have built various shelving units out of oak, stained to match the original trim, to hold my wife’s books and headphones by our bedside, as well as others to hold magazines, memo pads and pens, playing cards, coins, etc.

From Steve Willey
TANK MONITORING
I suppose I could say the best modification I made was solar electric, but everyone knows that. So I will point to the metering systems for the tanks and the batteries. Tank metering as provided by most RV makers fails early and regularly with the sensing probes within the tanks getting contaminated. I switched it to a Tech-Edge monitor panel that gives a clear bar graph representation of fresh water, waste, and propane tanks as well as battery indicator. Alarms can be set if desired to indicate approaching full or empty. It senses by foil tapes added to the outside of the tanks, absolutely no parts inside the tanks. Lasts as long as the RV with no servicing. Tech-Edge is at Sweet Home, Oregon, at http://www.tankedge.com and available from many retailers.

From Dale Randall
SPRING ON SCREEN DOOR
I have owned several RVs  — class C to A motorhomes and now a fifth wheel. The first thing I did on the fifth wheel was install a spring on the screen door. A simple screen door type spring about 8 or 10 inches long that is stretched over the middle hinge on the screen door. A short metal screw on each end of the spring loop above and below the hinge will make the screen door come shut and latch if from a wide open position. Be sure the screws are placed in middle of door frame that don’t interfere with outside door.

I also on several RVs installed a towel-like bar on inside of screen door that allowed me to hold door open while carrying guitar, suitcase or upright bass fiddle without damage to screen door.

From Terry Allen
SOLAR PANELS
I installed 2 x 100 watt solar panels to my 5th wheel RV. This would include a Maxum 2800 Pure Sine Wave inverter, MPPT controller and 6 deep cycle golf cart batteries. With this setup, I can run anything in my trailer. As long as the SUN shines, from dawn to dusk, I have power with no generator needed. The great thing is that I purchased and installed it myself.

From Bruce Leese
REMOVED OLD SHOCKS
The best alteration to our Class C was the removal of the rear air shocks and the front factory OEM shocks and replacing them with SumoSprings. What a difference in handling and ride. Also no need to constantly check air pressure since the air bags leaked from day one as the manufacturer claimed was normal.

Go to today’s RV Travel Newsletter (Feb. 8, 2020)

MORE COMING NEXT WEEK.

Please submit your favorite mod or product add-on.

##RVT934

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Sally

Forgot. Bed. We went through 4 mattresses before finding a place we could get good ones.
1.The one that came OEM with the rig. 4″ Spring. Terrible. Rv Queen SHort ? oem
2.Brentwood Home 10″: Bamboo matress . Failed in 6 months and started breaking down at 2 months. Rv Queen SHort Firm 649$. Etsy. June 2015. Threw away.
Brentwood Home Warranty replacement and then new one failed in 6 months. Started breaking down at 3 months. Replaced w/Zinus Jan 2016. Threw away.
3. Zinus Memory Foam 10″ .Never got the smell out Sent back at day 10 RV Q Short med-Firm(Highest firm they offered)400$. Never used sent back. Amazon. Feb 2016
4. Lucid Memory Foam 11″. Failed at MO 10, started breaking down at 5 months. Med-Firm (highest Firm they offered) 589$ Ebay. Bought Feb 2016. Threw away Feb 2017.

Then we found it. So for anyone who’s ever shopped for an rv mattress for FTing, knows it is painstaking. check this company out.

FoamFactory . Factory is Located in Macomb MI. These mattresses are all made to order in their MI based factory. They take about 10-14 days to make each unit.
https://www.foambymail.com/
Top of the page click:Residential
This takes you to FOAM Mattresses
Click Customize
This takes you to a page where you put in your dimentions
Ex: 60 x 72 x 8″ Continue to Next Step
This is where you pick your density and if you want dacron wrap
We have ordered HD36 Foam – HQ (M) and Dacron wrap in every order because we dont want our units to break down like they did in the previous companies.
Then you add that to the cart
Below the cart you will see
https://www.foambymail.com/GWCC-/custom-gray-and-white-striped-cover.html
We ordered these as well. Really nice covers. Pick your cover size and thickness and add to cart.
For the example above it comes to 489.00$ w/ free shipping.

They have . No smell
They are . Made here
They have. 10 yr warranty
They still show no sign of breakdown.
They are customized and cost us less than off the shelf versions that lasted less than a year . Our first order was in Feb 2017. We have had both beds and a love seat done here.

Sally

Our best Mods:
Storm Door Mod ModMyRv.com
http://www.modmyrv.com/2008/07/07/rv-plexiglass-screen-door

Dickenson Marine Mediterranian 3 Burner Range: Made in Canada
http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/mediterranean-three-burner-gas-stove/

Lp fridge removal, In lui 7CuFt Residential Freezer. Additionally we removed the LP fridge vent from the sidewall and installed a waterproof fully sealed Marine Hatch Door.
1. https://www.ebay.com/itm/DPI-Marine-16-x-18-Flush-Series-Hatch-Door-Polar-White-Bright-White/272234943391?hash=item3f6277939f:g:~18AAOSw5BVdVHfS

2. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-7-cu-ft-upright-freezer-white/6346184.p?skuId=6346184

Custom Diamond Plate front door entry
https://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-1-ft-x-1-ft-Diamond-Tread-Light-Weight-Aluminum-Sheet-57574/301173487

Installed 10″ Deep Commercial Single Sink . Hand Welded Made in USA
https://www.amazon.com/36-Single-Bowl-Kitchen-Sink/dp/B008UFZD3G

Zurn AquaSpec Centerset Gooseneck Faucet Z812B4-ME-2F Made In USA
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Zurn-AquaSpec-Centerset-Gooseneck-Faucet-W-4-Wrist-Blade-Handles-Z812B4-ME-2F/272726037947?hash=item3f7fbd15bb:g:HfcAAOSwAKxWU46d

Air Command Ac’s(Atwood – Now Dometic) 15K/13K -Both will run as well as whole house on 2 Honda Gensets parralleled. the 13 uses 10 amps start, the 15 uses 11 amps on start.
These were designed in Australia, which is where Air Command is. they license these in the USA through Dometic. But they are not a Dometic Product. I am fairly certain these are made in Austrailia.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atwood-15028-Air-Command-15000-BTU-Air-Conditioner-Ducted-with-Heat-Pump/123208720515?epid=1529474722&hash=item1cafcfe083:g:c~gAAOSwT6ldsMko

SteadyFast Stabalizer System: #1 Best Mod. 36 ft rig that is 12 feet high(flipped Axels) Never. Moves. So Nice. Made in USA
https://www.amazon.com/Stabilizer-System-Wheels-Camper-Trailers/dp/B002BRN09I

MarineCo 50 amp 6 gauge cord and a 90 degree elbow: 6 gauge. Made in USA
1. https://www.marinco.com/en/1rpc50

2. https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Wiring/Camco/CAM55542.html?feed=npn&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIl7v04dzX5wIV1B-tBh0tSAHKEAQYASABEgJw9PD_BwE

50 amp AutoFormer : This thing does its job. Made in USA
https://hughesautoformers.com/

We removed every single hatch door and resealed with tape and then secured them to the sidewall with stainless steel screws. they look like they were aircraft machined. But they are secured for life.

We replaced all carpet in rig with high quality carpet sqaures we got at home depot. amazing. Makes rv carpet replacement a breeze.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/TrafficMASTER-Willow-Kirkdale-Texture-18-in-x-18-in-Carpet-Tile-10-Tiles-Case-HT004-815-1818/301317937

Portable Cabin Heaters made by West Marine Made in Canada
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-marine–portable-cabin-heater–7867500?recordNum=1

Manchester Tank 7 gallon Cylinders 12 year cert. WITH Gauge. Photo does not show it but its really nice we get compliments every time we fill. Made in USA
https://www.propanetankstore.com/30-lbs-7-gallon-manchester-propane-tank-with-gauge/

Marshall Excelsier Braided Stainless 36″ Lp hoses. Made in USA
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/36-Stainless-Steal-Braided-RV-Pigtail-Hose-p/06-3893.htm

Marshall Excelsier regulator Made in USA
https://www.rvautoparts.com/06-0441-Excela-Flo-Propane-Regulator-MEGR-253H_p_14666.html

Marshall Excelsier LP Tank Brass Cap Made in USA
https://protanksupply.com/shop/valves/opd-valves/opd-cap/

Thats the important stuff. We did these over about 2 years.

s e conway

It would have been very helpful to post photos of these modifications for those of us who visual learners.

Fred

Steve’s comment about Tech Edge monitoring system is not 100% accurate. I’ve had the Tech Edge system for 12 years & love it, but it does need occasional maintenance. The silver aluminum tape applied to the outside of the tanks tends to crack over time due to expansion & contraction of the waste tanks from road vibration, hot & cold, etc.. It’s easy to just overlay new aluminum tape that you can find at any hardware store. The Tech Edge system is much better than the “thru the tank wall” sensors, but even the Tech Edge system has trouble with accuracy in an odd shaped tank, like a sloping bottom tank that facilitates better draining, but fills up on one end first & gives a false reading of filled percentage. With their newest software version, you can chose to set the parameters every 25% or even every 10%, which will give you a better accuracy throughout the fill, but is a lot of work to set up the first time, as opposed to just setting the full/empty parameters. Because I have sloped tanks, my % readings climb very fast at first & them slow way down as the tanks approach full.

Carl

I also Installed the iSeries Tank monitor system. It was pretty simple and allowed me to manually calibrate the readout to match my odd shaped tanks. We love the new accurate readings. Less expensive than other outside tank monitor systems also.