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Old 10-08-2009, 01:12 PM   #1
Kate P
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Default Improvement Ideas

I sent an earlier post asking for some ideas on how to improve the coach. In light of the fact that it is better to give than receive here are some of the ideas we have implemented:

1 - We had problems with the shades not moving up and down well. We removed the round head screws that protruded beyond the channels in the window frame and replaced them with flat head screws. Voila...works great
2 - Installed a Wilson Truck antenna on the roof, and added a Signal Amplifier and hooked it into a Cradlepoint wireless antenna (all from Power Signal) with a Verizon wireless aircard creating a wireless network in the coach so we can both use our laptops on the internet at the same time. The truck antenna on the rooftop was installed at an RV dealer's service center.
3 - Purchased a Motorola homesite security system which also works on the wireless internet. (Smart Home USA)
4- Installed a shampoo/soap/conditioner dispenser (Camping World) in the back bathroom. This was done by installing two metal strips on the metal around the non door section of the shower and attaching it with screws to the metal strips
5 - Purchased two metal hooks that adhere to the outside glass on the shower door. This holds towels very well. (Target)
6 - Purchased two clear over the door hooks for the mid cabin bath doors. (Target)
7- Put a corian top that matches the kitchen counter over the existing dining table. We made it two inches wider so we rarely if ever need to use the extension (Cost a little over $700 - Dupont dealer) - This really upgraded the look of the coach
8 - Replaced the snap door latch on the bedroom privacy door with a metal sliding latch attached to the top of the door. (Home Depot)
9 - Installed a 3M invisible shield on the front of the coach. If you do not do this you will definitely get chips in your paint. I wish they offered this as an upgrade when we purchased the coach as it is a "must have."
10 - Purchased sun shades for the front window and the driver and front door window. This greatly helps to reduce the solar heat coming into the coach and helps the A/C work better
11 - Purchased an Align-A-Site to find out if we can receive satellite signal on our KVH dome in any site before we hook up.

Hope these help!
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:27 AM   #2
David Bott
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Hi...

I have a thought...For those of us going to the Back To Home Rally in 2010, maybe we can setup a "Walk Though" where we show our various upgrades/improvements to the coaches.

To those that care to open up their homes and ideas to others, a sign can be placed in the coach window more or less with open house hours.

Like I said, just a thought.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
Kate P
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Default Improvement Ideas

I think that is a great idea! I would be more than happy to participate. Once Bonnie gets more of the details figured out maybe we can see if there is a slot that would work best for this. The other option is to put this idea to Bonnie and see if she is interested in introducing this idea.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:52 PM   #4
Jim A
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Default improvement Ideas

verry good, we should have some input if they think they can keep selling these units to us.
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:17 PM   #5
Chuck v
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Default lighting improvements, storage improvements

Hi all,

I am a new member here, have a 2007 Tourmaster T40C which I bought this spring with about 8,500 miles on it. Been doing a few little improvements and just found this site. Lots of good information here, and I have quite a bit of reading to do...

Here are a couple of things other owners might find useful:
"Candlelight" dining: First is a simple modification that gives the desired ?mood? level of lighting we were seeking. The three lamps in the dining room fixture are normally wired in parallel and each lamp operates at the full 12 volts for which they are rated. The addition of a simple two pole toggle switch allows the choice of either the original parallel wiring or a series wiring that operates each bulb at only 4 volts. This reduces the total light output of the fixture from the original 54 watts to something on the order of 6 watts or less, and the color of the light is changed from a harsh white to a warm yellow glow. Selecting the on/off state of the fixture itself is still controlled by the existing wall switch.

The switch is a miniature unit that fits in the center of the mounting plate of the fixture as shown in the picture below. Be sure to use quality crimp connectors and good soldering techniques, as the movement and vibration of a vehicle application is a bit more demanding than normal house wiring techniques.


Here is a wiring diagram that shows the details of how the switch provides the ability to change from the series to parallel connection of the lamps. The red wire in the photo is the (+) wire in the diagram, and the blue wire is the (-) terminal.


I also just today chanced the wooden storage bin under the desk to a slightly larger plastic one that can accept 3 ring binders as the wife likes to organize all our information documents that way. The original box was attached to the cabinet door with a thin sheet of plywood, and the sides of the box were pulling loose -- so it was time to do an improvement. I got the plastic bin from Staples, their item number 128-940. Now the bin is stronger, larger and lighter than the original!

Well, I see trying to attach the photos does not work, must they be moved to a picture server to show here?? Is there another way to just place them in-line with the text?? Sorry, the pictures add a great deal to these descriptions...let me know how best to provide them.

Chuck
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:52 PM   #6
RJ82much
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Chuck,

you must post pictures & diagrams to another server, and refer to the url in your post.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
Chuck v
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Thanks for the clarification. Let's see if I can do this now:

Picture of the lamp wiring [img] http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae18 ... G_1295.jpg

wiring diagram [img] http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae18 ... ngdiag.jpg

old document bin under desk [/img] http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae18 ... entbin.jpg

Old bin with staples pulling out of side frame [img] http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae18 ... gapart.jpg

New bin large enough for 3-ring binders [/img] http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae18 ... inders.jpg

New bin attachment details at bottom (hinge) edge [img] http://s970.photobucket.com/albums/ae18 ... inders.jpg

Hope this makes the earlier post more understandable...

While these links will take you to the images, I guess I still don't have the knack/technique/secret for putting them in line in the post...

Chuck
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:27 AM   #8
hyall
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I have a compartment approx 5 feet off the ground with a hatch door opens upward right at the center of RV, it was for a trash container and storage due to a counter top opens to it. I converted it to a TV compartment reinforcing the back of the cabinet with double 3/4 plywood which is hidden-did it behind the drawers in the kitchen cabinet. Drilled thru the floor or base of the compartment added RCA jacks, coaxial cable and electric. Installed a full motion arm 13 to 26 inch for the LCD TV to slide the TV in and out to differ positions, Now this beats my original basement entrainment center no obstructions also added a Bose radio for better sound all this connected to air antenna and DirTV and the unit is not in the way or using up valuable space in the lower compartment

[img]
[/img]
[img][/img]
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:54 PM   #9
RJ82much
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OK, you guys are driving me crazy trying to duplicate showing pictures directly in a post:




This is Chuck's wiring of his lamp. (Thank you Chuck, for letting me use it as an example). When you write your message, first select the "Img" button.(results in "[img]".%20%20Next,%20insert%20the%20url%20of%20your%20p icture%20location.%20Then%20close%20your%20tag%20b y%20pressing%20the%20"Img*"%20button%20(results%20 in%20"[/img]")

Right click on Hyall's picture & select "properties". With [img]and[/img] around the address, everyone will see the actual picture.

I WAS stumped & I'll admit it
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #10
RayChez1
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Default Re: Improvement Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate P
I sent an earlier post asking for some ideas on how to improve the coach. In light of the fact that it is better to give than receive here are some of the ideas we have implemented:

1 - We had problems with the shades not moving up and down well. We removed the round head screws that protruded beyond the channels in the window frame and replaced them with flat head screws. Voila...works great
2 - Installed a Wilson Truck antenna on the roof, and added a Signal Amplifier and hooked it into a Cradlepoint wireless antenna (all from Power Signal) with a Verizon wireless aircard creating a wireless network in the coach so we can both use our laptops on the internet at the same time. The truck antenna on the rooftop was installed at an RV dealer's service center.
3 - Purchased a Motorola homesite security system which also works on the wireless internet. (Smart Home USA)
4- Installed a shampoo/soap/conditioner dispenser (Camping World) in the back bathroom. This was done by installing two metal strips on the metal around the non door section of the shower and attaching it with screws to the metal strips
5 - Purchased two metal hooks that adhere to the outside glass on the shower door. This holds towels very well. (Target)
6 - Purchased two clear over the door hooks for the mid cabin bath doors. (Target)
7- Put a corian top that matches the kitchen counter over the existing dining table. We made it two inches wider so we rarely if ever need to use the extension (Cost a little over $700 - Dupont dealer) - This really upgraded the look of the coach
8 - Replaced the snap door latch on the bedroom privacy door with a metal sliding latch attached to the top of the door. (Home Depot)
9 - Installed a 3M invisible shield on the front of the coach. If you do not do this you will definitely get chips in your paint. I wish they offered this as an upgrade when we purchased the coach as it is a "must have."
10 - Purchased sun shades for the front window and the driver and front door window. This greatly helps to reduce the solar heat coming into the coach and helps the A/C work better
11 - Purchased an Align-A-Site to find out if we can receive satellite signal on our KVH dome in any site before we hook up.

Hope these help!

I like everything you have done to your coach EXCEPT, I had the 3m invisible shield on my other coach and you will still get chips on the front end. So when I purchased the Gulfstream Scenic Cruiser I had the factory install an acrylic shield manufactured by Summit products and it really protects the front end plus you will get a lot of compliments on the acyrlic shield. They stay looking new all the time, they are not like the Lexon that was installed on the Country Coaches and in a couple of years they looked dull. These are expensive, but look really nice and they will protect your paint job.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:41 PM   #11
Chuck v
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Bob,

Thanks for the instructions on how to post images in-line with the text. Now that I have been brought through it, I doubt I forget the drill.

Here is (hopefully...) the wiring diagram for the lamp modificatin, just to fully test that I have the process right ont he posting of images:



Chuck
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:52 PM   #12
Chuck v
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OK -- that does not even show as a link!

trying again...


...sorry for the multiple posts

still not working in 'preview' so unlikely that I got right this time either.
I have never used a server for images before, so it must be something simple that is being overlooked...

Chuck[/b]
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:30 AM   #13
RJ82much
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Ah Chuck, what you really mean is:



I don't know why, but I removed the "?" stuff except for the actual file name "diningfixturemodificationwiringdiag.jpg" (right click on the picture & select properties to see what I mean)

I'm sorry to mess around with the thread like this, but posting of pictures is a subject that comes up often. And BTW, I think your wiring scheme is a very elegant solution for mood lighting. Nice job.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:47 PM   #14
Chuck v
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Bob,

Thanks for all your help!

To reinforce the learning here, I will try to post the picture of the improved document storage bin modification.


...and the modification to this plastic bin needed to accomocate the added depth compared tot he factory wooden bin.


Thanks everyone for your patience with this new member

Chuck
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:38 PM   #15
RJ82much
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Nice job Chuck...

Hopefully we all get benefit from the improvement ideas, and the technique to help show them.

I feel that it is important to welcome our new members.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:04 PM   #16
Chuck v
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Thanks Bob,

I do feel welcomed here. This is our first coach (although we had a small camp trailer for week end outings...) and moving to a 42 foot diesel pusher is a big change from the towable 20 footer.

We have upgraded all the faucets to higher quality residential units, as well as doing the storage bin change, the lamp modifications and adding some slide-out wire shelves under the sink to better organize the space there. Not shown above is the 4-pole double throw switch mod that was added to the four lamp vanity fixture in the bath that makes it a night light. Don't know why GS did not put a floor lamp fixture in that room like they do in the bedroom and under the kitchen cabinets, but the modification of the existing vanity fixture suffices. Here is a picture of the cramped space inside the fixture bar with the new switch in place.

Not as easy a change as the dining fixture, but it really pleased the wife to gain a night light in the bath area.

Chuck
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:14 PM   #17
Chuck v
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Here is another minor addition/improvement:

The DW wanted some additional storage drawers in the closet area of our Tour Master 40C walk-in. Here is what I ended up doing.

This addition uses the Sterilite Company 4 drawer unit that is 25 ? wide by 18 ? deep by 35 ? inches tall.
Their model number for the drawer cabinet is 0174, and details are on their web site at:
http://www.sterilite.com/Category.html? ... ategory=78
These drawers are spacious, light in weight and have rollers for easy operation. The unit is ?platinum? in color, so it goes well with the decor of the coach.

It was necessary to modify the cover of the top drawer to enclose the closet rod such that when the drawer unit is placed on the top of the existing dresser unit in the closet (the one with the heater in the base?) it will both rest on the dresser top surface and be retained from sliding/tipping by the closet rod.

The first photo shows the material removed in the webs inside the top cover and the 1.125 inch holes cut in the outer sides of the top. The second photo shows the top cover assembly in place on the closet rod. The last view is a full look at the unit atop the existing dresser?







Total cost under $50 and results suited the wife just fine...

Chuck
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:12 PM   #18
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I installed bamboo and new carpet in Rod Gallager's coach. See photos at
http:groups.yahoo.com/group/erniesremodelingandrepair
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:05 AM   #19
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Chuck v............I finally installed toggle switch to lower the dining lites..which look great!!!!...I could not find that small toggle that had enough capacity at radio shack so I went to auto parts store....but I spent 2 hours last nite to figure out what terminals to use....I still am looking in to finding a rheostat that I could really adjust a lot more....but thanks jim k
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:00 PM   #20
Chuck v
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Jim,

Glad to have been of some help. Yes, the change from bright task lighting to mood lighting is quite a step with no intermediate settings, but I purposely chose the switch approach because I did not want any power dissipation in a dimmer, and wanted to constrain any heat generated to the lamp bulbs themselves which are designed for it and are in ceramic sockets. Safety first!

If you were to use a resistive rheostat, that device would get hot and there is not much space in the fixture itself. This is why the household dimmers are electronic, but that is much easier on an AC supply than on a DC system like the RV lighting.

Blue Sea Systems DOES make a DC dimmer which is essentially a programmable power supply of up to 10 amps, their part number 7503. It is operated by a separate momentary rocker switch that steps the output higher or lower (bright to dim...) They are expensive at almost $100 at marine supply houses and are too large to fit in the wall fixtures in the RV. measuring about 1 inch by 2 inches by 3 inches, not counting the five wire leads emerging from the metal finned housing... It certainly is a more robust unit than the RV style lamp dimmers.

The surface mount dimmer that is used on the overhead lights in the TM is a bit harder to find and as I recall it was also about that much money as well... Each of these do dissipate some heat but not nearly as much as a simple rheostat approach.

In short, I found nothing that could replace the wall switch for the dining lamp that was cost effective in the electronic dimmers, and would not feel comfortable with a resistive rheostat there due to heat buildup.

Chuck
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