One of the few things we don’t like about RV Fulltiming is dealing with severe weather and the other night we had a big thunderstorm come through. For a few minutes we had nickle sized hail. Tell you what, having hail beating down on the RV is attention-getting! Our motorhome has three roof vents/exhaust fans. One is covered. The other two, one in a hallway and the other in the bathroom, have no cover over the lid.
We were already aware that one of those lids had a small corner crack so replacing it was on the agenda. The hail storm, though, moved that project to the front burner. The hail broke through that lid, knocking holes in it. The other lid cracked but held. As the storm continued, I grabbed some gaffer tape and taped the broken lid from the inside the best I could. The next morning I got on the roof to survey the damage. Happily, the only damage was to the two lids. I taped them both up some more and ordered replacements as well as new vent covers.
The project was easy enough and in an hour or so I had the new lids plus new covers installed. The covers will not only protect the lids in rough weather and against sun damage but will keep the rain out if the vents are left open. They can also be cracked open when we are traveling to create airflow through the camper.
This is an easy upgrade and I recommend it to anyone who has a RV that doesn’t have the covers.
One thing I really dislike about the floorplan of many motorhomes is the placement of the TV over the driver’s seat. I know that newer rigs are being designed differently, but motorhomes of the era of our “new” Safari Cheetah are all laid out like this.
With that in mind, one of our first projects after getting moved in was to relocate the TV. Since there are just two of us, picking a good spot was easier than it would be for a family. Our rig had two couches facing one another, so we got rid of one of the couches and put our recliners in place of the removed couch.
Then, I mounted the TV over the couch on the opposite side of the rig so that our recliners face it. My approach was pretty low tech. First, I put two hooks in the cabinet above the couch. Then I built a shelf that sits on the back of the couch and is attached to the wall below the window. The front of the shelf isn’t attached to the couch – it just rests on it and is kept in place by a couple of L-shaped brackets that “saddle” the couch.
The TV, then, sits on the shelf, but is also attached by chains to the hooks. This keeps it pretty stable. However, it will not stay there when we are moving the motorhome. I can just unhook the chains, disconnect the HDMI cable, and lay the TV down on the couch. This process will take less than one minute.
Meanwhile, we had a big blank space where the TV had been mounted above the driver’s area. We recovered it will stick on cork shelf liner and attached a much-needed clock there.
Again, this is all low tech and it is also low cost. We’re happy with this early motorhome project.
Note: happily, the scenes on the TV aren’t our local weather!
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Posted in Scott
I know that there are nifty bed mount cameras for this, but I was looking for a low tech solution and found one that I am sharing with you.
The challenge is backing the pickup up to hitch the 5th wheel. In our setup, the only way to see out to back window down to the hitch is to prop yourself up at a strange angle in the seat, twisting around while keeping your foot on the fuel peddle, ready to switch to the brake. My neck and back don’t work very well for that kind of Jujutsu move anymore so I looked around for a cheap alternative.
My solution was a wide angle lens that sticks to the back window of the truck. The lens “bends the light” letting me look through the rear-view mirror and see the hitch. To help things out, I put some fluorescent tape on both the edge of the hitch and the front of the hitch.
Once I put the wide angle lens on the window and tried it out, I took scissors and cut it in half, using only the bottom half on the window. That kept the lens low enough that I can look through the rear view mirror when driving without the camper and not see much of the lens at all.
This setup has been surprisingly helpful. I line things up without turning around at all, just looking in the mirror as I back up to the 5th wheel. Admittedly, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but this set up works well, especially when you consider the low cost.
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