Motor Home Mod (Update)

As promised, here is a Update with a picture of my Arm Rest Console Mod to my Thor Four Winds Hurricane 31D. I added a Log and Map Holder below the arm rest console. Here is A updated picture of the final result. I just have to make a Cream Colored Vinyl Sleeve for the wires and I will be finished with this project.

Mel

Arm Rest Console My Latest Motor Home Mod

I have been wanting to solve 3 minor problems in my 2006 Four Winds Hurricane. First was the controls for my Leveling system. The controls were way down on the left drivers side wall just below the dash. Hard to reach and hard to see. The second problem was no drink or coffee cup holder on the drivers side wall. Yes there was a drink and coffee cup holder on the hump, but it was hard to reach and you had to take your eyes off of the road. The next problem was A place to mount my TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) First step was to move the control board up to where it was easier to reach. It was a simple matter to drill out the rivets that held it to the wall and move it into a better position. here is a picture of it after I moved it.

I filled in the holes below where I drilled out the old rivets. Next I needed a place to put my TPMS and other electronics (Cell Phone) and charger. So I started to construct a armrest on the Drivers side wall to hold various Items and my Coffee cup or water bottle while driving. I made my arm rest out of pine and stained it a dark brown, and 3 coats of Clear High Gloss spray paint.

Getting ready to add a piece of lexsan Glass so I will have a smooth surface for any of my various suction cup mounts. It is stained and needs a couple of high gloss clear coats, and  some more screws. I used corner brackets to fasten it to the wall using pop rivets and wood screws. I also fashioned a piece to go between the dash and the Leveler control, and affixed a piece of lexsan Glass to the top of it. and used the suction cup stand to install my TPMS.

I ordered a Flush mounted cup holder from a boat company and as soon as it gets here I will drill a hole towards the rear of the arm rest and install it. The wires you see in the picture will be covered with a cream colored vinyl sleeve. Just below the controller I added a 12V receptacle with 2 USB Ports. This way I can plug in my TPMS and plug my Cell Phone in one of the USB Ports. I plan on adding a Log Book and Map Holder below the arm rest console and maybe add a couple of battery condition gauges. will post more pictures when the project is done.

Mel

 

 

 

Dually Valve Stems and Balancing Beads UPDATE

As Promised here is an Update on the Dually Valve stems and the Tire Balancing Beads I had installed on my Motor Home. In my last post I was waiting for the special Dually Valve Stems and the Balancing Beads that I ordered from Camping World and Amazon to get here. They arrived right on time. I took my motor home to a Local OK Tire dealer That was less than a Mile from Home. I lucked out and got a Tire Man that had 14 years experience with various Truck Tire Companies. He was very Knowledgeable. The Directions that came with the Valve stems were not very clear because the picture for the Valve stems that I got did not look the same. We finally got it figured out and the stems installed along with the rubber grommets or boots for the long inner wheel stems. While the tires were being remounted I put a 10 Oz packet of beads in each tire. I also added the filtered valve cores that came with the balancing beads and the red valve caps that denote the tires have beads in them.That was much easier than pouring the beads through the stem. all of the lead wheel weights had to be removed from the wheels. The inside of the tires were wiped out with a clean dry rag, to insure that there was no moisture in the tires before adding the Beads. After the tires and wheels were installed on the motor home along with the wheel covers (Hub Caps), All I can say is WOW and double Wow. What a remarkable improvement. I can now install my TPMS transmitters and can air up the tires with any type of air chuck and I don’t have to remove the wheel covers to do it. See the Picture below after the installation. I don’t know about the balancing beads, as I have not had a chance to run the motor home out on the freeway yet.

I wish that I had done this earlier as it will be a great time saver and I won’t dread checking tire pressure or adding air. I think the reason many skip checking the pressure or adding air is because with many vehicles with dual wheels it is a real pain. It was not cheap the Dually Valve stems on special at Camping World cost me $90 normally they are $120 and the beads were $64 for 6 10 Oz bags. The labor mount and dismount and valve stem install was $20 a tire for a total of $80 The total cost to me was $234 and worth every penny to me. Much better than extensions although more money. BTW Borg Corp the Manufacturer of Dually Valve stem kits Guarantees No leaks and free repair or replacement if you have a leak. So Far I am Happy.

Mel

   

Valve Stems, Tire Balancing Beads, and a Motor Home

Trying to check or air up the dual tires on my Motor Home, has always been a chore. I have a Thor Four Winds Hurricane 31D with a Ford F-53 Chassis with steel wheels, and wheel covers. I always had to take off the wheel covers to try and check the air pressure. Cut hands trying to get the valve caps off reaching through the wheel hand holes. What a chore it was. The last time when I got new tires I paid $75 to have the rear duals balanced and longer metal valve stems installed so I could at least check the pressure and add air if needed. I still had the problem of trying to get the valve caps off especially trying to reach through the hand holes with the tire covers (Hub Caps) installed. I finally got some long 4 inch metal extensions for the inner wheels and a 1 inch metal extension for the outer wheels. That helped, but was not the ideal solution. It was still hard to get the air chuck (I have one made for dual tires) in the right position to add air to the tires. Because extensions have caused a lot of problems leaking coming loose, and I could not install the transmitters for my TPMS. (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) To be honest the Valve stem extensions scared me and without the TPMS I would not know if one came loose and the tire lost air and I ruined it running under inflated, or worse yet had a blow out doing thousands of dollars in damage or causing injuries. I finally decided to spend the money for a “Borg dually Valve stem Kit DL3FC” made for the Ford F-53 Motor Home chassis and steel wheels. They are not cheap $90 to $120 for the chrome ones depending on where you buy them, and another $20 per wheel to have them installed at a truck tire shop. The Kit comes with rubber boots or grommets, to stabilize the extra long metal stems for the inner wheel.

After I ordered them from Camping World, I found out that after they are installed, you can’t have the tires balanced on a spin balance machine.

So I started looking for alternatives such as a

Mechanical Device (Centramatic Balancers) Expensive,

    

Centramatic Steer            Centramatic Drive

Powder, Liquid, and Beads. After much reading and searching, I decided to get Tire Balancing Beads. Cost being a factor. There are several types and about 4 main distributors of the beads. I finally bought 6 bags of 10 oz Ceramic Beads with Filtered Valve Cores made by Checkered Flag.

Everything should be here in a week or 10 days. I bought the Valve Stem Kit from Camping World, and the Beads from Amazon. after I get everything installed I will post how it turns out. Now maybe I can use my Tire Pressure Monitoring System  again.

Mattress Update

The New Dynasty RV Mattress that I ordered from Amazon Came today. It was packed really well even though the box was beat up that it came in, the mattress was protected with a very heavy plastic bag, and another layer of plastic under that. I unrolled it on the Bed in the motor home following directions and being careful not to cut into the mattress. Be for warned  It will unroll upside down. I had to flip it over. It is heavy and a little bit of a chore for one person, but I managed to man handle it. It looks just like the picture in my previous post. The instructions say that it will take up to 72 hours to completely expand and air out. It started to expand right away and within a few minutes it had expanded to 9 inches of the 10 inch height. It is a little heavy, I did not notice any smell like you do with many Foam Mattress. According to the instructions you do not have to wait for it to expand before sleeping on it. You can sleep on it right away. It really looks nice and feels luxurious. So far I am Happy with it. Will post more when I sleep on it for a few nights and see how well it holds up. I thought that it had a 25 year warranty, but the paper work that came with it says that the warranty is 30 years. I may have to add a couple more struts so that I can raise it up to get under the bed without it falling down on my head. LoL! We store extra blankets and bedding under the bed. See picture below of installed mattress in the motor home.

Mel

New Dynasty Mattress

New 60 X 75 RV Mattress with 2 free pillows to match

Buying a RV Mattress

I have been shopping for a new RV Mattress. The one that we have came out of another Motor Home that we use to own, and I put it in our present Motor Home. It is a Sleep Number Model 4000 Short Queen. I was never pleased with it, and my DW hated it. We had a Nice Avena Mattress by Carpenter in our Denali Travel Trailer and Loved it. I let it go with the travel trailer when we traded it off. Big Mistake should have swapped it out for the Sleep Number. When we went looking for a new Avena mattress, the only place that we could find one was Camping World. Very Very Over priced over $700. So I started looking for a comparable mattress on Ebay, Amazon, and Overstock. What a chore trying to decide on what mattress to get for a decent nights sleep without breaking the Piggy Bank. I was searching and reading everything I could find about memory foam and gel foam mattress’s. DW with a Bad Back likes a firm mattress, I like soft. Finally found a Firm one with a 25 year Guarantee for $360. As a Amazon Prime Member I got 2 day shipping right to my door Free. It will be here tomorrow. Like all memory foam mattress, it comes rolled up and I will have to unroll it and let it air out and expand for a few days. Will see how it turns out. It is a Dynasty Mattress 10 inch 60 X 75 short Queen, and it comes with 2 free pillows. Below is some pictures. Will post more after I try out the new one and will let everyone know how it goes.

Mel

What the Dynasty above is supposed to look like.

The Old Sleep Number.

 

 

Reflecting Back Over my many Years of Camping and RVing

Today when talking to my Sister about a camping spot that her and her husband just returned from In the Flaming Gorge area, I couldn’t help but reflect back over my 50 plus years of camping and RVing. It all started around 1964 or 65 when I had been out of the Army for a year. I was 24 years old and had a Wife and 2 children. I bought a Large Used Umbrella Tent (it was all we could afford at the time), and loaded it on top of a Volks wagon Bug. I loaded my Wife and 2 children along with my Sister and her Girlfriend in that little beetle and headed for Flaming Gorge on the Utah side about 200 miles from Ogden. I fished for the whole weekend, and we ate rainbow trout for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Oh what a wonderful time. It was, toasting marshmallows over a open camp fire and frying fish. A couple of years later I bought a wrecked 13 ft Tear drop Trailer. I restored it and we used it for a couple of years when I sold it and got a El Dorado Pickup Camper. We spent many days and nights camping in that camper, and travelled all over the country with it. we went to Yellowstone, Disney Land, and on several camping and hunting trips.

Around 1976 I bought a Brand New El Dorado Sportsman Class C with a Dodge Engine. Made several Trips to Wyoming in the Wind River country and the Grand Tetons. I traded it off in 1980 and got a Chev Pickup and a 35 Ft Invader 5th wheel. in 83 I went through a divorce and I got bumped out of my job and transferred to Winnemucca, Nevada where I lived in the 5th wheel full time for awhile. I bought a home and sold the 5th wheel and got a old Windjammer 19 ft class a with a Chev 283 Engine. My new Wife (I was remarried),and I travelled all over the west on Vacations when we could get away from our jobs. Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Oregon, and California. Lost the transmission on our first trip that my wife had ever taken in a motor home. we lost it in the John Day Wilderness area and towed it with a little 1980 Mazda Pickup to Burns Oregon where I dropped the transmission and took it to Bend Oregon and had it rebuilt. I bought a air tank, (to Blow out the cooler lines) a floor Jack and a case of transmission fluid at a surplus store across from where I had the tranny rebuilt on a Saturday. I had it back in the Windjammer by 6pm that evening and pulled out heading for Klamath falls Oregon, where we tied up for the night. (we both had to be back to work on Monday). My wife Knew then that I could handle anything that had to do with RVing.

We have RV’ed together now for 33 years. Since 1984 we have owned several Motor Homes and a couple of 5th Wheels and a Travel Trailer. We haven’t travelled much the past 3 years because of medical problems that my wife had. She is better now and I hope we will be able to travel again. We were Snow Birds going to a winter home in Yuma, Arizona for 20 years from 1994 until 2014. We sold our winter home in Yuma a couple of years ago. We figured we did not need it any more and that we could live in the motor Home when we went south for the winters. We Down sized after my wife’s illness and now have our present motor home, which works fine for us. I hope to get away for some short trips this summer and a trip to Arizona and Texas in the fall for a few months away from winter here in Utah.

I have had many wonderful years Camping and RVing (over 50 years all together). I hope to have another 5 or 10. I will keep on RVing as long as my health will let me and it is safe for me to do so.

Mel