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ouR escaPOD mods

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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ouR escaPOD mods
    Posted: 07 Apr 2016 at 10:15pm
Rather than post my mods all over the place, I decided to start a topic so I could list all my mods. I think it will be easier to keep track of which ones I posted this way. Smile

We purchased our R-Pod 179 in December. One of the first modifications I did was to install a shelf above the queen bed. Since I use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine for sleep apnea, I needed a place to put the machine. Since we were going to be dry camping for a good part of the trip, I also wanted to be able to run it on 12 Volt power, which meant that I also needed to install a 12 Volt outlet. These are some pictures of those modifications.








What does not show are the "L" brackets, one leg of which slips down behind the valence. They are held in place with Command strips. That is probably not needed as the shelf itself helps keep them in place also. Also, there is  bolt going up through the bottom of the brackets and a hole in the front end of each shelf that slips over that bolt. This keep the shelf from shifting while we are on the road.

Now for the 12 Volt outlet:



This is version one. Stay tuned for version two.
StephenH
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ouR escaPOD mods
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jato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2016 at 6:30am
Very nice, you may find yourself being hired by FR on a consultation basis.
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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2016 at 9:47am
Time for the next mod.

On our first major trip, we stayed at the Desert Eagle RV park on Nellis AFB in Nevada. There was an RV owner selling a collapsible ladder. It was a good price so we bought it. That led to the question of how to store it. We put up with it being in the way until we got home. That gave me time to think about how to do this modification.

First step was to get a 5x5" post section from Lowe's Home Improvement. That was big enough to hold the collapsed ladder. The problem was the length. Since the R-Pod 179 does not have a full-width storage compartment, there was no way for the ladder to fit--or was there?



The answer was to make a hole through the partition so the tube could be installed full width. This one shows how I capped off the one end so that the ladder would not shift and hit the inside wall. I took a section from the excess length and cut it, then used a heat gun to heat it so I could bend it around the end. Finally, I attached it with screws. I used plastic strapping material to hang the tube as close to the top as I could get it so I could still use the space underneath for storage.



This shot is from before I fabricated a cover for the hatch end. The ladder rides quite well there. I can now get to the top of the slide-out to make sure it is clean before retracting it.

While I had things apart, I also made this modification:



The insulation is 1" foam, which I found at the local Home Depot. It is simply cut to shape, slightly large and pushed into place. It fits tightly enough by friction to stay there. We had the opportunity to test it last weekend. I did notice a difference from when it was just the plywood.

Well, to finish the job, I hinged the two platform boards. The back one is screwed down, but the front one got a finishing touch on the edge to keep me from getting more splinters. It lifts up to access the next modifications.


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ouR escaPOD mods
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Retroactive View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Retroactive Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2016 at 9:52am
So the foam insulation sits in between the joists shown in the first pic? Putting insulation in that area is a really good idea, in my 171 the bed compartment takes a lot longer to heat up.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2016 at 10:12am
While I had the bed platform apart for the above modifications, I thought that there was a lot of wasted space. The framework for the bed was obviously the same as what would be used if there were a dinette in that space. However, what was useful for a dinette meant that there was wasted space when it is used for a bed. Because the furnace is also located there, the whole space is unusable when the furnace is running.

I thought, why not divide the space and make a compartment? That would at least give me some usable space which would not be overheated by the furnace. In addition, there was space on the wardrobe side which was not usable due to wiring being run in that area. However, there was also the potential to add storage there also.



I removed the panel at the back as carefully as I could as I wanted to reuse it. It was glued as well as stapled, so it did splinter a little. I replaced the panel with plywood and used stock to build a framework onto which I remounted the original panel. To finish, I got some quarter-round molding which did not quite match the finish, but which was not going to be easily seen anyway, so the color difference is not noticed. I now have usable space where there was none. The furnace still operates properly as I made sure there was clearance for air circulation. Speaking of that, I adjusted the position of the furnace as the person who installed it had it slid in too far, which meant that the cover was not in the best position. The installer had drilled extra holes instead of using the factory holes to fasten it. It now uses the factory mounting holes and the cover fits better. I am sure it also works more efficiently when installed as designed.

The other space had wiring. I constructed both a frame for the end and a frame for a new floor which covered the wiring. The wiring could have been routed differently, which would have made this usable from the factory, but it wasn't. I now have a small compartment here also.



While I was at it, there was the dinette. The right side had a storage compartment already. However, the cover on the left side was screwed down. When I remove the screw to see why, I saw plumbing and wires. However, I also though there was some space that could be used here also. I boxed in the plumbing and wires and made a usable space large enough to hold my towing mirrors and some other small items.



The plywood covers can be easily removed to provide access to the plumbing and wiring.
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ouR escaPOD mods
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2016 at 10:16am
Originally posted by Retroactive

So the foam insulation sits in between the joists shown in the first pic? Putting insulation in that area is a really good idea, in my 171 the bed compartment takes a lot longer to heat up.


Yes. It does. One last step I did when done was to take some insulating foam and apply it along the end of the platform which is at the front of the R-Pod. After putting the handle on that side, I realized that the insulation would get in the way of opening that up to get to the fresh water pump. I can open it if needed, but as long as I can do what I need to without opening it, I will do so.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Retroactive Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2016 at 10:38am
Thanks. Insulation is key up in our area, weather is too unpredictable in MA as it has a mind of it own. We either get the warm weather pushing up from your way, or we get the frigid weather from Montreal. Having a shift from 72F to 32F can happen in less than 24 hours in MA, during the Spring and Fall seasons. It's why a lot of the "Pilgrims" who landed in MA didn't survive the first winter, they all starved or froze to death. I can only imagine them heading out to hunt on a 60F day in March, after the first spring thaw, only to be met with a 20F night while they were 5 miles from the village...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2016 at 7:11pm
This is a simple one. The panels in the kitchen cabinet closest to the door of the 179 hide wasted space. There is an outlet and the gas line for the stove. However, the panels cover much more space than needed. For the top shelf, simply trimming the length of the panel allowed me to move it closer to the cabinet wall. I needed to strap up the wires and gas line better, but once having done so, I recovered usable space.



The partial piece is at the original location.

The bottom shelf was trickier. I could not really gain much there until I thought to split the panel cut a reinforcing piece to hold the two parts at an angle, and then install it. After doing so, I also gained space on the bottom.



Another modification was to fabricate locking brackets for my batteries. I have dual six Volt batteries. The material is anodized strap aluminum purchased from Lowe's. Since I don't have a proper bending brake, I used a vice and a rubber mallet to bend them. They go around the case and under the welded-on battery cross-members. I probably could have figured out a way to lock it with one lock on each one, but I was working fast to get this done before our first big trip. After I returned, I redid the starboard battery because it had a tendency to rub against the trailer. That is why you will see a rubber bumper. On the port side, it was not needed. That was the second one I made with the experience from making the first one.



A shot of the underside:

StephenH
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ouR escaPOD mods
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StephenH View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2016 at 7:26pm
This one is the door window. It is this one:

Door Window



It took a lot of measuring and re-measuring before I got up the nerve to cut the opening. I still had to file out a bit more as I was trying not to make the opening too big. Before cutting, I covered the area to be cut with masking tape. The marks were made on the tape so I would not have to try to remove marks from the door when finished. I cut from the inside, figuring that the jigsaw blade would be less likely to chip the outside if the cut were made from the inside. I was right.

The hardest part was getting the screws that fasten the trim ring to the window started. A power driver helped greatly. I am still glad that extra screws were provided as I did have problems with a few of them. Given that the window had a rubber gasket all the way around, I did not use additional sealant. So far, it seems to be working quite well. I have not noticed any leakage.

I did remove an aluminum clip that held the seam of the trim ring. The plain aluminum color did not look good against the black trim ring. I had to touch up the trim ring with some black paint. I also used black silicone sealant to fill the small gap at the trim ring seam. The clip was thick enough that it would have prevented the trim ring from sitting flat against the door at that point. I did not like that. My review of the product addressed that issue. If there had to be a clip, at least it could have matched the trim ring.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote StephenH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 2016 at 8:39pm
This is one that I just finished. I was looking at commercial slide-out covers, and decided I did not want to pay that much. Since my wife has a lot of sewing equipment, including an industrial strength Juki, I thought I would try my hand at making one.

The first step was to figure out what I could use for the rail to attach it. I remembered how my parents' trailer had an awning that used a rope. I looked at what I had on hand, and after a couple of attempts, I found some that was of a good quality and the correct diameter to slide into the rail.

The next step was to find some suitable fabric. We have a store called "Mill Outlet Village" near us. I found some urethane coated rip-stop fabric that seemed heavy-duty enough for the task. I purchased enough of it for the length of the slide-out plus a little extra.

Third was to cut the fabric. I found a place to lay it out and used a rotary cutter to cut the length I wanted and cut the width wide enough to allow for both the rope to be sewn in and to allow for a double-folded seam on the outer edge, wide enough for grommets to be installed plus a little extra. It was good that I did, as I later needed that extra space.

The fabric was cut and the rope sewn in to the distance between the rain gutter ends. The cut allowed the installation, but extra fabric was left for folding the side seams. It turns out I had left a little too much, so I later had to undo some stitching and re-cut and re-fold one end to get the length right.

After installing grommets, I used rope and bungee cords to attach the cover to the slide-out. Initally, the outer edge was not stiff enough. I solved that by getting some fiberglass marker poles and copper tubing. The poles were cut so that end-to-end, they are a little wider than the cover. The copper tube was cut and glued to the middle segment on both ends. The two outer pieces slide into the other end of the tube to make one long, strong, flexible pole that fits in the folded fabric with the grommets. Now for a couple of pictures.





The fiberglass pole was added after this picture was taken. I will have to get a good shot of it to post later. I also realized with this short a slide-out, the bungee cords and rope on the two ends was not needed, as this isn't wide enough for wind to be a problem.

Edit: Here is a shot with the poles inserted. The poles are 3 solid fiberglass marking stakes like those used for driveways, etc. I got them at Lowes. The end two are full-length. The center one is cut to a suitable length. Copper tubing is glued to both ends of the center rod. The two end rods slide into this ferrule to make one longer stiff rod which was fed through an opening in each end. It really makes a difference, keeping the cover tight and allowing any water to drain better.

StephenH
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ouR escaPOD mods
http://pilgrim-wanderings.blogspot.com
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