Adding Rear Air Bags to My Motor Home

Adding Rear Air Bags to a Motor Home

Ford F-53 Chassis

I have been wanting to add Firestone Ride Right Air Bags to the rear of my motor Home, which is a 2006 Thor Four Winds Hurricane 31D with the Ford F-53 Chassis. I purchased a set on a open package deal for a little over $200. Last October. I’ve been waiting for good weather and the ambition to do the Job. Yesterday started and finished one side today.

Although the Kit is for the F-53 Chassis, Firestone and others warn that the jit is not for Thor Motor home because of the location of the House brackets holding the house to the Chassis frame> I know of a few others who have done it so I decided to try. Here is my story.

First off I had to modify the House Brackets so I could install the upper air bag bracket to the frame. I bought a 12 ton Bottle Jack on sale at Harbor freight and placed it under the axle, I blocked the front wheels and the rear wheel on the other side. I then jacked up the motor home so that the dual tires just cleared the ground enough to remove them from the Hub. After removing the wheel liner, I took my air impack wrench and loosened the lug nuts. After removing the Dual tires, I placed another jack stand on the axle for safety. I took the air bag upper bracket and loosely bolted it to the frame. This way I could see how much of the house bracket I would have to remove and how much I would have to remove on the upper air bag bracket. After marking and measuring the real work began. I took my 4 inch welders grinder and started the grind the house bracket so the upper air bag bracket would clear. See Picture below.

This is the House Bracket on the Motor Home Frame after I ground off the metal so the upper air bag bracket would clear. The two big holes below the bracket is where the lower bolt holes in the Upper air bag bracket goes. You have to drill two holes in the frame for the upper air bag brackets bolts to go. Next I had to modify the air bag bracket. See Picture below. 

You can see where I had to modify the bracket so it would clear the house bracket on the frame. The Next Picture shows in more detail the Modified Upper bracket Bracket.

Modified Upper Air Bag Bracket

Next was to install the air bag to the upper and lower air bag brackets, using Locktite Blue on all threads. Then using the Grade 8 Bolts and lock nuts supplied, I installed the air bag assy to the frame. See Picture below:

Air bag and brackets bolted to Motor Home Frame.

Air line is routed to a compartment so air filler fittings are out of sight and locked in compartment. See picture below:

Air filler fittings Locked inside compartment to prevent tampering.

Tomorrow I will start on the other side weather and temps permitting. I am stiff and sore so it could be a couple of days before I get started again.



My Backup Camera and Monitor Installation

indasha.JPGI decided to install a new Backup TFT LCD Color Monitor and Camera For my Motor Home. The old in dash Voyager B&W monitor and camera were working OK, but I wanted to Jaz up my dash a little bit and have color. I bought a kit with a color TFT LCD Monitor, 18 LED infra red night Vision Camera and 15M (49ft) of waterproof cable and fittings The kit came with all hardware and a frame to mount it on any flat surface. I wanted to replace the old B&W Voyager which was mounted in the dash. The new monitor was a 7 inch TFT LCD. So it was smaller than the hole in the dash where the old voyager was. The hole was 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches and the new monitor was 7.0 x 4 5/8  inches Hmm what to do.

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Arm Rest Console My Latest Motor Home Mod

DSCF0003.JPGI 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)

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My year end Blog Post for 2015

My Year End News Blog

To all my Friends, Family, and readers of my Blog. This is a year end News letter with Excerpts of all that has transpired during 2015 For My Wife and I, on our Rving Journey. 2015 was a busy year for us. So here goes.

It is January 2015 and I am getting Cabin Fever and want to head for Warmer Climates. 2014 was a bad year for us, (see excerpt below) and we were hoping 2015 would be better.

Excerpt from my Blog was not a good year for us for RVing. Doctors appointments and other things kept us close to home except, for a few short trips of 500 miles or less for business reasons. Normally we would go to Arizona and Texas for the Winter, But it was not to be. I traded our Denali TT because for the short time we had it. It sat in its RV pad for 1 year and 3 months. We made one trip in it. I got a older 1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit Motor Home. Got a lot less money tied up in it. Got my fingers crossed and hope we will be able to get away for at least part of the winter, But it may be spring before we can, If at all.

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More changes and Mods to my Motor Home

More Mods to my Motor Home

The Following are some changes (mods) that I made to my Motor Home while staying at Berry Springs RV Park in Georgetown Texas. We have been here for 3 weeks now and I have been getting a bit bored. Needed something to do especially on those real rainy or windy days when we did not go visit Family or sight see.

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Dash Cam for Motor Home

After a close call with a car that cut in front of me that I missed hitting by inches, I decided it was time to install a Dash Cam looking out the front windshield of the motor home. I wanted one that would run in a continuous loop with plenty of capacity and no batteries to replace. I did not want to spend a fortune on one, but wanted one that had good resolution and a G Impact sensor with a USB, HDMI, And memory slot. I finally chose a Black Box G1W-CB from Amazon for $58 Using prime it was here in 2 days.

This is what came in the kit. I also ordered a 32 GB mini memory card. Next was where to install it. Because it has no batteries it has to have a constant 5 Volt to operate. So I ordered a 12 volt to 5 volt battery adapter with a mini usb connector for the camera. I could have used the Cigarette lighter Adapter that came with it, but did not want a bunch of wires hanging down and blocking my vision. I could also mount it at the bottom of the windshield, but I have a very wide dash and did not want to run wires across it. I decided to hard wire the camera and mount it under the overhead cabinet on the drivers side. I needed a smooth surface to attach it too, using the suction cup mount that came in the kit. I solved the problem by sandwiching 2 pieces of Lexan together for strength, and mounting it on the underside of the overhead cabinet on the drivers side. see picture below.

Camera mounted on the Lexan piece installed on overhead cabinet With power wire wire coming through hole I drilled in back of the cabinet on drivers side.






Picture above is the Map light and speaker enclosure on the left drivers side. I removed the speaker so I could snake power wires from the map light around behind the overhead cabinet to the TV cavity and the battery adapter for the Camera.

This is the  TV cavity in the center of the overhead cabinets, with the LED 32 inch TV removed. You can see the switch and the red and black wire on the left in the TV Cavity. I drilled two holes in the aluminum structure on the left for a switch and a fuse holder. I wanted protection for the camera from stray currents so I installed a fuse holder with a 1.5 amp fuse before the on off switch. I wanted a way to turn the camera off without having to be a gymnast to reach the camera while bending over the steering wheel and ducking under the overhead cabinet. I installed the on off switch in the Cavity, which I can reach from the shelf below the TV. the battery adapter should be here today and I will finish up the job.


LED Reading Light Mod

My 2006 Hurricane Motor Home only came with a Light above the Bed on the overhead cabinet for reading in Bed. I decided it was time to install some decent Lighting for reading while in Bed. I wanted something That I could mount on the side of the shirt closets on each side of the bed. My DW has a eye problem and needs good lighting to read by. So I started looking for a pair of 12 volt reading Lights that were LED and low wattage, but would focus a adjustable bright light on the reading material without disturbing the other person in the bed. I finally found what I was looking for on Amazon. It was 2 of the following Lights

Ming’s Mark 9090108 LED Reading Light LED RV Reading Light with Brushed Nickel finish with an on/off switch and MR16 base LED bulb. The LED bulb features 8-30v DC; 66 high power 3528 SMD LEDs; beam pattern 120 degrees; luminous flux 190 lumens; 3.12 watts; color temp 4000-4500K Natural White. The 12v DC fixture is made of steel with a brushed nickel finish and comes with an on/off switch and the MR16 LED bulb noted above. Applications include 12v DC marine and recreational vehicles. (Green LongLife LED replacement bulbs that can be used in this fixture include part numbers 3528104 and 6060105.)   

 Now the problem was to install the lights on each side of the Bed on the side of the shirt closets. I would have to run new wires and I did not want any wires showing. I could get 12 volts from the light in the center of the overhead cabinets and run the New Wires over to each side of the bed to the shirt closets. I discovered that the sides of the shirt closets that I wanted to install the lights on were hollow, so if I could get in there I could run the wires down the side without the wires being exposed. I also found that if I removed the speakers and the center light fixture on the overhead cabinets above the bed, that I would have room to access and run new wiring for the new reading lights.

You can see in the picture access to the hollow section of the overhead cabinets by removing the speakers to gain access to run the new wires. The next problem was to get into the Hollow sides of the shirt Closets so I could run the wires for the lights down the hollow section of the side of the shirt closet to where the lights were to be mounted. I took a hole saw with a short drill bit to drill a 3/4th inch hole in the side of the shirt closet, without punching through the inside. I then used a angle drill with a spade bit to drill through a 1 x 2 board in the overhead hollow space to access the hollow side of the shirt closet. see picture below. I did this through the speaker opening using the 3/4th spade bit and right angle drill.

In the picture above you can see the hole I drilled and ran the wires trough to the hollow side of the shirt closet. I then used a wire clothes hanger straightened with a hook on one end which I ran up from the 3/4th inch hole I had drilled in the side of the shirt closet, and fished the wire down to where the light fixture will go.

in this picture above you see everything put back together and the wires coming out the side of the shirt closet waiting for the new light fixtures to get here. When I install them I will add a pictures of the finished product.


I got the New Light Fixtures in the mail Today a couple of days Early. So I installed the Lights and this is what they look like. They are bright and very good for reading. See pictures below of the finished Mod.



Lights installed on the left and right side of bed on the shirt cabinets

The finished result