Mod to Protect the Electronic in my 5th Wheel

This past winter we had a few Power Outages and Power Surges. Because I am hooked to shore power 24/7 When my 5th wheel is parked at home. I decided that I needed to do something to Protect the Electronics and Appliances in my 5th wheel. What follows is a picture story of what modifications that I did.


This is the little Cabinet that I modified in another post. It is located at the rear of the 5th wheel where the power comes in.


When you open the door to the little cabinet this is what you see.Great big holes where the factory cut out the panel to run a couple of wires. Senseless, Stupid is to kind for the stupidity of the manufacture to allow such crap. Exposed Insulation and a Large Gap. While making this Upgrade / Mod I decided to do something about this problem.


I removed the cabinet so I could get in and make some changes. time to cover the large cutout and add some more insulation.


I added insulation and used a 1/2 inch piece of plywood cut to fit the opening and drilled holes for the power cord and romex wiring. The panel you see on the left is to cover the plywood and make a back for the little cabinet.


Much neater and cleaner with no big opening.


The 30 amp EMS system From Progressive industries arrived to day and is ready to be installed. It replaces the junction box in the previous pictures.


The Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C Electrical Management System RV Surge & Electrical Protector is installed where the junction box would be if used.


The EMS is installed with the remote and is ready to be tested. The little remote with digital screen is at the top of the picture. It also has a switch to by pass the EMS when using a ungrounded generator.


The test passed. The remote displays continuously Voltage, Amps, Input and Output, and any error codes. Now to install the little cabinet.


The little cabinet is installed and now all of my appliances and electronics are protected from Power Surges, High Voltage, Low Voltage, No Ground, Reversed Polarity, and many other things that you find when hooked to a RV park or campground Pedestal. I like this fixed mounted one because I can see at a glance what is going on with the power and I never have to worry about it being stolen Like a portable one. The unit can be installed in a compartment or any place where the incoming power is. The remote comes with a 14 ft telephone cable. Everything is very easy to install and requires no special skills.

For more information and spec’s Click Here


Adding Lights to a Dark Pantry

One of the problems with the pantry in our 5th wheel is it has deep Shelves and it makes it hard to see what is in there. Sometimes I’ve had to use a flashlight to see inside when searching for things. So I decided to install some lights in the 3 Compartments of the pantry. The first step was to turn off the shore power and the battery disconnect switch. Next was to remove the Cover on the WFCO Distribution panel.


After Removing the cover and the 4 screws holding the panel in, I slid it out to be able to access behind it for running my wires to the pantry. The WFCO has 2 spare terminal for a fuse to hook up other 12 volt Accessories. I used the bottom one on the right. You can see the red Wire which will be the Pos + Wire to the Pantry. Now to find the Neg – Buss bar to hook the black wire to.


There it is buried in the Nest of wires behind the Distribution panel. The black wire will be the Neg – wire to the pantry. Here is how I will run the 2 wires from the Distribution panel to the pantry.


The Distribution panel is under the stove on the right. to the left is the fridge and the furnace and return air is underneath the can see the two wires (red and Black) running from the Distribution panel under the fridge to the Water heater compartment which is under the pantry. I had to remove the louvers under the fridge and the panel access cover to the water heater compartment. Using a 5/16th wood bit I drilled a hole in the wall of the of the Distro panel and fed the wires over to the Water Heater compartment.. Next I drilled a 5/16th hole in the Front Right hand Corner of each shelf.


I ran the wires Up thru each hole in the Corners of each shelf in a (Plastic cord conduit with adhesive back) to protect the wires and keep them out of the way. Since the wall was hollow between the fridge and the Pantry, I fastened the lights to that wall with 1 inch sheet metal screws in each pantry compartment. Used LED Lights with switches on them. I decided that it was a PITA to have to reach in the pantry to turn on a light.


So I added a Magnetic door switch so that when the door to the pantry is opened the lights in all three compartments will come on. I mounted the switch in the lower right corner of the door frame.


and the Magnet to the door. I used the switch that motor homes use for electric steps about $18 from most RV parts departments. Be advised that there is two kinds of this switch. One is normally open contacts and the other is normally closed contacts. You want the one that when the magnet is not present the contacts are closed. That way when the door is open The magnet is not present and the contacts are closed turning on the lights in the pantry. When the door is closed the magnet pulls the contacts in the switch open turning off the lights.


Door is open and the lights are on. I can see all the way to the back of each pantry compartment. Now to button everything up.


WFCO Panel Cover is back on, and the lovers under the fridge are installed and the access panel to the water heater is put back on.


Everything is working. My DW is Happy, and I am Happy. Ready to Roll.

Cost of Parts to do the Job.

3 L.E.D. Lights with Switches $27

1ea 5 ft Plastic Cord Conduit with Adhesive back. $5

20 Ft of wire 10 ft Red and 10 ft  Black Wire $6

Magnetic Door Switch. $18

Total $56

Not bad and if you use Lights that don’t have a switch you could do the job for under $50.



More Storage from Small Cabinet

Gaining More Storage from Wasted Space

Something we all can use is more storage. There are many Places in a RV that are wasted space and can be made into useful storage. Such is the case in my 5th wheel. There is a small cabinet at the rear of my 5th wheel between the 2 recliners.


It has one drawer and a access panel to get to the Power cord and junction box. I modified the power cord and installed a detachable power cord. see My Power Cord Mod  that I made in a previous post. When I made that Mod I had to remove the access panel and I thought at the time what a waste of space. Today I decided to do something about it. I removed the access panel and decided I could make a hinged Door to access the inside. I needed to remove the power cables and junction box from the floor.


I had enough slack that I could mount the cables and junction box on a aluminum stud at the rear wall of the cabinet.


Using Self tapping screw I attached the Junction Box to the aluminum stud and shortened the big round cable from the Power plug in. I now had a clean floor and more room to store stuff.


With the floor clear I now added a door that I made out of plywood and covered the door with the old access cover so it would match. I added a Magnetic latch and secured the cover on the door with glue and some screws.


I used some black surface hinges and a handle. I used These type hinges and handle because they were cheap and much easier to install while laying on the floor. I just have to replace the handle on the drawer to match. Very quick and easy way to get more storage. To bad they don’t make a Bar Fridge that small. Would be a nice place for Ice and and Libations while sitting in the recliner watching TV.




Furniture Problem Solved

Furniture Problem Solved

The problem was The big oversize recliners Blocked the doorway and you had to crawl over them to get in to use the bathroom or get something when the Slide was in (Closed). I tried Moving furniture around and different Combinations, but none were suitable for us. see Furniture in 5th Wheel Rearranged . I decided to get rid of the over sized Heavy Recliners which left a blank space. I needed to get something that was smaller and Lighter where a couple of chairs or Recliners needed to go. I decided to get a couple of New Euro Recliners made by Thomas Payne for Lippert Inc. I chose them because they were light (Easy to Move) and the right size for my 5th wheel so I could get in the door when traveling without having to crawl over a recliner. See pictures below.


This is looking in the doorway with the new recliners and the slide is in (closed). Doorway is not blocked.


The doorway is not blocked and there is plenty of room to get around the counter to go to the bathroom or to get something when traveling.


My new Recliners are easy to move, Are narrow only 27 inches From arm to arm and light weight. by moving the recliner on the left against the wall and placing the recliner on the right in front of the little cabinet in the middle, I can close the slide all of the way and have 1 inch to spare. Problem solved. It was an expensive deal $850 with shipping, But it works for us.

Duplex Outlet Update

In a previous post called “Some 5th Wheel Mods and Upgrades” I told how I added a Duplex Outlet to the front of the kitchen Cabinet so my Dear wife would not have to use the overhead outlet and extension cords.


Worked great for the toaster and coffee Maker, but my Dear Wife uses a portable Induction Cooker sitting on the stove so she can use the Vent Fan above the stove. This required a Extension Cord running across the sink so she could plug it in. So I decided to put in another Duplex Outlet by the stove.


Since it is by the sink I installed a GFI outlet by using a Surface Mount Outlet Box and a GFI. I drilled down through the counter top and cut the wire going over to the Outlet on the front of the Cabinet.


Running the Vertical Line wire from the Main distribution panel circuit breaker up through the counter to the line side of the GFI, and another wire from the load side of the GFI, to the Outlet on the front of the sink Cabinet. This way both of the Duplex Outlets are Protected by a GFI.


This is the Distribution panel. The Bottom Circuit breaker is the one I added for the Duplex Outlets. I still have room to add a single or a double circuit breaker if Needed. This panel is located under the stove and to the left of the sink cabinet. There are also room to add a couple of 12 volt fused circuits if I ever need some more. Dear Wife is Happy, So I am Happy.




5th Wheel Furniture Rearranged

Rearranging Furniture in my 5th wheel.One of the problems that I had was the 2 Recliner Swivel Rockers at the rear of the 5th wheel.

You could not close the slide without putting one of the Recliners in the Doorway. If you had to use the restroom while traveling or needed to get something from the 5th wheel you had to climb over the Recliner to Get inside. Even to open the slide. If I replaced the recliners with smaller ones, I would still have to put one in the doorway.

Removing the little cabinet between the recliners still did not help.What to do? Hmm, Maybe I could do some furniture rearranging.

After taking several Measurements I decided that I could remove the Table and chairs from the front of the slide, and move the couch forward in it’s space.

Move the couch forward to where the table and chairs use to set.

Then I could then put the swivel recliners in the place where the couch use to set in the slide.

Swivel recliners in there new location in the slide.

Then I could put the table and 2 chairs where the recliners use to set at the rear of the 5th wheel.

after removing the little cabinet to make room for the table and chairs, I had to cover the hole, the wiring and junction box.

So I made a access panel 2 ½ inches from the wall to cover the junction box and wires, which gives me room for the table and chairs. Much easier to move the table instead of the recliners. The TV is on a swivel articulating arm so sitting sideways is no problem to watch TV and the chairs Swivel also.

Now to get some Dinette chairs that have rollers and swivel. Maybe a couple of barrel chairs. Plenty of plug ins at the table for computers and chargers and things. I might put a nice decorative light fixture in the center of the overhead cabinet for a nice touch and lighting for the table. I’m still thinking of other changes, but that’s for another post. Mel

Maxxair Vent Fan and Cover Installation

Since My 5th wheel only has 1 air conditioner and when it is very hot the front bedroom gets pretty warm even though the air conditioner is ducted. I needed something to circulate the air a little better when the AC was running. At night time when the air is cooler we don’t want to run the AC or if we are dry camping we only need a breeze in the bedroom to sleep. we like fresh air in the bedroom at night. so the solution was to install a vent fan that would exhaust air and pull air from a open window creating a nice cool breeze. The fan that I wanted had to be one that could reverse and suck in air as well as exhaust air from the coach. Another feature that I wanted was a fan that would circulate the air when the vent was closed and the AC was running. another feature was a auto temperature control that would start the fan when the interior got to warm to exhaust the air. The fan had to be quiet when running even on High. So I purchased a Maxxfan 4000K for $139 at Camping World or $125 at Amazon.

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