Mods and Upgrades to my Motor Home

I decided that it was time to list all of the Modifications and Updates that have been made to my Motor Home. Here are the present Spec’s showing upgrades, Mods, and add on’s with some Pictures.

My 2006 Hurricane 31D

2006 Four Winds Hurricane 31D 32 ft long 6.8 L 30 valve Triton V-10 Engine 362 HP, and a 5 speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Ford F-53 Chassis. 2ea Opposing Slides in living Area, 16 ft awning, Microwave, and Air Conditioner. Sleeps 6, Queen size Bed in Bed room, Dinette and Couch makes into a bed. 4KW Generac Generator. Self Contained, and is Ideal for Dry Camping.
Upgrades and Modifications.

Added 2nd Air Conditioner in Bedroom.
Added Vent Covers.

Added 50 amp service to run both Air Conditioners.

Upgraded Converter to a PD 4645 Progressive Dynamics 4 stage battery charger.

Added a Steer Safe to front end steering.

Added a Switch and Elec Element to Convert Water Heater to Gas and Electric.
Added 110 V AC Outlets next to sink with a GFI, and another duplex outlet under the dinette next to isle.


Added a Turbo Flusher to the Black tank to flush when emptying.

Upgraded TV to 32 inch LED HDTV
Added speakers and Amplifier for TV Sound.
Added DVD Player.
Modified TV Cabinet with a shelf Behind the TV for amp, and one under the TV.

Added Kwikee Auto Hydralic Leveling system.
Modified Sway Bars (CHF) and added Phenolic Bushings.

Added a Rear Track Bar.
Added Firestone Air Bags to rear.

Upgraded Mattress to a Dynasty Gel Foam Mattress. (It has never been slept on)
Upgraded all interior lights to LED’s.
Upgraded Rear Clearance Lights to LED’s.
Added Reading Lights on each side of Bed.
Added a 4 inch riser to the toilet.

Added a Water Shut off valve to toilet.
Added a Night Light with switch over the toilet.

Added a Console arm rest and cup holder to the drivers side.
Added Magazine / Map Rack below Console.

Upgraded Backup Camera and Monitor to Color.
Upgraded Tires to New 16 ply load Range G.

Upgraded to New Bilstein Shocks
Added a 3000 Watt Inverter.
Upgraded to 4ea 6 Volt Deep Cycle Batteries.
Upgraded the chassis battery to a 12 volt Heavy Duty AGM 950 CCA

I have spent a lot of time and money doing modifications and upgrades to my motor home. It is a good running unit and when not connected to shore power it is Ideal for dry camping with the 4 6 volt deep cycle batteries, and 3000 watt inverter and Generator. The Interior Led Lights draw so little, you could burn them for weeks without running down the  house batteries. With the 2 opposing slides in the living area, you have lots of room for entertaining and not feeling cramped.
Mel

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Abask Dash Cam Mini Review

Abask Dash Cam Mini Review

After my last post about “Why You Need a Dash Cam” I decided to get one Like what my Son has, a ABASK Dash Cam, Abask 4″ IPS FHD 1080p 170 + 120 Degree Wide Angle Dual Lens Car DVR Camera With Loop Recording G-Sensor Parking Monitor 6-Glass Lens Motion Detection WDR Night Vision Time-off Screen, with front and rear camera. After using it in my Jeep for a couple of weeks, Here is my experience with it.

First the Pro’s

Large 4 inch screen. Much better than the 2.7 inch that my other dash cam has.

Excellent picture quality in daylight and at night.

Excellent on screen menu easy to see.

You can set time to turn of screen 30 sec, 1 min, 3 min.

Loaded with Many Features, to numerous to mention.

Excellent playback on TV or Computer.

Can mark a segment for viewing later and it won’t be over written.

Now for the Cons

As soon as I opened the package I dropped the camera about 3 inches on the top of my desk. The Screen bezel came loose allowing the camera to open up exposing the innards and let the screen to hang by its wires. Lucky Nothing broke. I spent 30 minutes getting it back together.

Kind of flimsy built.

The Manual that came with it, is crap. The print is so small you need a magnifying glass to read.

Many Mistakes in the manual Identifying the various parts of the camera. I copied and enlarged the manual and corrected the mistakes while putting it in PDF format.

It does not come with a Micro SD TF card, You have to buy one which adds another $15 or $20 to the $40 price I paid, making a total cost of $60 for a working unit.

Side Notes

All in All I am very pleased with the unit and for $60 it is cheap insurance. Time will tell how well it holds up. My Son has had his for 9 months and no problems. You can get a 3 year warranty from “Sguare Trade” for about $9. If your computer or TV, does not have a SD card reader, you can get a USB cable with a Mini end on it to plug into your computer or TV if it has a USB Slot. $12 at most electronic stores. This is not a comprehensive review, Many others have written a more comprehensive reviews about it. This mini review gives you an Idea about what to expect from the unit.

Mel

Why you Need a Dash Cam

If you have a RV Trailer or Motor Home, You need a Dash Cam. I bought another dash Cam for the car and the motor home. See below for my reason why.

Night before last, my oldest sons new car got cut off, and side swiped, by a big pickup truck, that was lifted and had oversize tires. my sons car was in the left hand turn lane next to the divider getting ready to make a turn. The pickup truck cut him off and it hit his car on the passenger side. The truck then jumped the divider and crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic went over the bank into a ditch and hit trees. The people in the truck claimed it my sons fault, and that he ran into them. The cops were ready to write my son a ticket because of the friends of the truck driver (so called witness’s), saying it was my sons fault. (my sons car had Nevada Plates, so the the cops were going to believe the locals).  My son then told the cops that he had a dash cam. They said whoa, the cop yelled to the other cops that my son had a dash cam and to hold up writing a ticket. The cop told my son to give him the dash cam. My son started to refuse. The cop called over his Sargent, who told my son they were taking the dash cam as evidence of a accident. said they would get a warrant if necessary. My son unhooked the camera and gave it to them after getting a receipt. Yesterday they called my son and told him to come and pick up his camera. The camera showed that the other guy had cut my son off and hit his car. The cop told my son if he had not had the dash cam, he would have been in serious trouble because of the drivers friends testimony that it was his fault. They then went to the pickup drivers house and gave him a citation. I hope they give the so called witness’s a ticket for lying.

Just another reason to have a dash cam in this day and age, especially if you have a RV because people are always cutting you off or crowding in front of you. A dash cam can save your bacon If that happens. 

Mel

Charging a AGM Battery

Last week I forgot to Turn of my chassis battery switch. Yesterday I went to check on something in the motor home and the steps would not come out. Nor would the Motor Home start. The chassis (Starter Battery) was dead. I had left the radio and a couple of other things on. Normally I disconnect the battery using the Chassis disconnect switch by the door when I am not going to be using the Motor Home or when it is stored. Senior Moment I guess. I thought no problem I will get the Battery Charger and recharge the battery. Little did I know what I was in for. I hooked up the battery charger and it kept cycling on and off. I checked the terminals and they were clean and the charger was hooked to the correct polarity. Hmm What to do. the battery was almost dead. The battery charger needs 10.5 volts to run. This is a safety feature of the battery charger. Oh well I will use my 10 amp trickle charger. same thing with it. So I decided to remove the battery and bench test and charge it. (what a job). The battery sits way down to the left of and between the radiator and grill, (see Picture below). 

 

The battery weighs 50 Lbs. I had to bend over the opening and reach way down to unhook the battery using a 10 MM and 6 MM socket and end wrench. I got it all loose and now the hard part getting it out. I bent over the opening with the hood up and started to lift the battery out. It was awkward and heavy, I was barely able to get it up to the lip of the opening, and had to tip it on its side. It was a good thing that it is a sealed AGM battery (which I did not know at the time). After getting it out, that was when I noticed that my right arm was bleeding. The metal fins of the grill just inside the lip opening had cut the inside of my right arm from my elbow to arm pit. (see picture below of fins.

The red arrow shows the metal fins. I doctored my arm and cleaned the cuts and applied some disinfectant. Got the battery on the bench and discovered that it was a AGM Battery. I did not have a AGM Battery Charger and none of the 3 battery chargers would start because the voltage in the battery was almost dead. So I did some reading about AGM batteries. There are 3 methods of charging a Dead AGM Battery when you don’t have a AGM Charger. I will only cover the one that I used.

I took a set of battery cables and hooked to a good wet cell lead acid car battery in my jeep and hooked the other end to the AGM battery making sure pos to pos and neg to neg. I then took my 10 amp automatic battery charger and hooked it to the agm battery. I Left this setup for one hour checking to make sure the battery or the cables were not getting to hot to touch. The voltage from the jeep battery tricked the battery charger in to running because it could see 10.5 volts or more. After an hour I checked the voltage of the AGM Battery, with everything unhooked, making sure I had the 10.5 volts so the charger would work without the jeep battery. I continued charging the AGM Battery until I had at least 12 volts. I checked the wires and the battery to make sure it was not getting to hot to touch. This in case there was a internal short which if badly overheated could cause the battery to explode. I then installed the battery in the motor home and started it up to finish charging it. I did use a piece of carpet over the lip when reinstalling the battery. I learned a couple of lessons today. I also wonder how many people have replaced a AGM battery because they could not get it to charge after being run down.

Mel

Computers and Eye Strain

Computers and Eye Strain

I sit for long hours at the computer both day and night. Lately I have noticed that My eyes tear a lot at night while sitting at the computer, and sometimes during the day too. I was having a hard time sleeping after sitting at the computer for several hours at night and sometimes I would have a headache. I happened to run across an article about something called Blue Light and Eye Strain. My Monitor is a Sanyo 26 inch HDTV and even though it has automatic Light adjustment for Day and Night viewing I found it was not enough to protect my eyes from Blue Light. Another symptom was having a hard time going to sleep on many nights and headaches, which I never had before.. In reading the Article, it stated that the blue light fools the body into thinking it is daylight when in fact it could be the middle of the night. It will often time strain the eyes as well as make it hard for you to go to sleep, especially if you have spent long hours at the computer.

What is the answer you may ask. I found a neat little Utility called “F.LUX” for Windows 10 and Linux. What it does is filter out the blue light according to the time of day or not. You set it up according to your Location and it will take care of the filtering according to the time of day or night. There are several other Utilities that do the same. There are other Physical filters that slip on the screen to do the same thing, But I like this handy little utility and it does the job for me. There is also one for Chrome Browser called Midnight lizard that you can add to your chrome browser. The “F.LUX” has been a blessing especially on my Laptop with the glaring white screen. I would suggest that you read up on Blue Light and eye strain. Save Your Eyes.

Mel

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.

Mel