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Old 07-25-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
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4 trips / 4 months / mods to-date

We've had maybe 4 trips and over 4 months experience with our 5.0, and I've finally got around to getting some of the modifications off of my to-do list. I'll post pictures for some of them under this thread. We're real pleased with the trailer, and the more time I spend camping in it and working on it the more impressed I am with the build quality.
  • digital thermostat for the furnace - easier to turn on and adjust accurately - pictures to come
  • "on" light on the water heater switch - see Jim Bennett's post - thank you Jim
  • things to quiet the water pump (hoses & pressure tank) - it just purrs now - pictures to come
  • 1600 watt inverter and 120v AV plugs to run appliances off the batteries (had this in our Trillium, then moved it to our VW camper van, and now the Escape, but still haven't used it!) - picture to come
  • drinking water tap and valve so I can get at the good drinking water in our tank versus the nasty "city water" in some campgrounds but still use their water for washing & flushing - pictures to come
  • electric heating coil in the roof A/C so I can heat with the campground's "shore power" versus using my propane - this install went so fast I forgot to take pictures - but I used Dometic part # 3101121.030 for my model # 640312.301C0 A/C unit
  • latch to keep the bathroom door securely closed while travelling - well, open a bit for ventilation, but secure - pictures to come
  • hinges to stop the bottom step from flipping when I stepped on the front edge in the middle of the night - pictures to come, but it's real had to see the hinges since they're hidden by carpet
  • I am going to install a flush system in the black water tank, I'm just waiting for a part - I put one in the grey water tank to practice, and have the black water tank install figured out - I will take and post pictures as I do it
  • I am going to install either a small rain gutter or a window vent to keep the water that runs of the back end of the awning from coming through that passenger side slider in the dinette - again, I will take and post pictures as I do it
We have 4 weeks before we head off to Newfoundland/Labrador so I ought to be able to finish the last of the to-do list - as long as the parts get here in time.
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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Here is the digital thermostat - installed and the box it came in. Got it at Home Hardware - took a bit of looking to find one that would i) fit and ii) wasn't way too complicated with timers and cooling control. This was an easy 10 minute install.
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File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0432.jpg (193.3 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0434.jpg (247.6 KB, 31 views)
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:45 PM   #3
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Here is the inverter. The power bar is plugged into it. The battery selector switch replaces the factory on-off switch - OFF is off, 1 is power to the trailer, 2 is power to the trailer plus the inverter.
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File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0427.jpg (236.1 KB, 43 views)
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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That thermostat looks just like what I am looking for. On-Off and temp control. Most are way to complicated. I did not find it on Home Hardwares site, but may just give them a call.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #5
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Here is the thermostat on Amazon. White-Rodgers 1E78-140 Digital 5/2 Day Non-Programmable Vertical Thermostat with Lighted Display and Mi, NA - Amazon.com
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:13 PM   #6
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Here's the changes to the fresh water system.
The 1st picture is just the tap for the drinking water.
The 2nd picture shows the hoses running from the pump, to the pressure tank, then back to the factory pex. With the hoses and the pressure tank the pump now sounds like a cat purring. There's a T in the pex after the pressure tank, with one feed going back to the factory plumbing and the other to the drinking water filter on the right of the 2nd picture. I keep chlorine in the fresh water tank and this removes it just before it goes to that new tap.
The 3rd picture is hard to see, but it shows where those 2 hoses come from and go to - basically I just unscrewed the pex adapter from the pump and put the one hose on the pump and the return hose on the pex adapter. I installed a pex valve to keep the "city water" from back feeding into my drinking water, or my pump from pushing all my fresh water into the campground's system - depending on which had the highest pressure.
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File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0428.jpg (218.9 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0425.jpg (238.1 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0426.jpg (125.5 KB, 33 views)
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:18 PM   #7
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And the bathroom door latch. The 1st picture is with it not in use, and the 2nd with it securing the door The door never opened while we were travelling, but I always worried about it. This latch ought to hold it real securely, and open a bit so the bathroom gets a bit more ventilation. That part is optional - I could have installed the latch to hold it in the fully closed position. The latch is a lock for a sliding door. There were 2 of them on a couple of doors I replaced and I'm a bit of a packrat so keep anything like that. If anybody wants the other one let me know.
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File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0430.jpg (235.0 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0431.jpg (205.6 KB, 31 views)
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Hey Jrn56 - my thermostat might be defective. I was going to reply to your post and say I like the one you found better than mine 'cause mine doesn't have a light. But then I looked at my picture of the box it came in and it sure looks like it ought to light up! It does a great job of running the furnace - but it'd be nice if it lit up. Something else to look into!
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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More on those hinges on the bottom step on my 5.0. The concern I had was that, if I stepped on the front edge of that bottom step, it'd kind of flip up. If it flipped far enough I'd slide off and sprain my ankle smashing into the floor. That never happened, but it was an easy fix. I simply installed 2 offset hinges on the back of that step so now it hinges up rather than lifting right off. The back can't flip up any more.
The 1st picture shows the step hinged up. Hopefully this'll make it clear where I put the hinges.
The 2nd picture is one of the hinges, peeking under the step when it's tipped up a bit.
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File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0436.jpg (224.7 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0435.jpg (180.9 KB, 7 views)
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:42 PM   #10
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This is the indicator light to show that the hot water tank is on. My heater is propane only. As I'm sure you all know the big red light isn't normally on - it just lights when the switch is on but the heater isn't firing. So to check to make sure you have turned the heater off you have to look at the switch, which in my mind is upside down (down is on and up is off). I got this from Jim Bennett's post, which has a picture of the backside of the plate to show you how to hook up the LED. But it's so neat I just had to include a picture! Again - thank you Jim.
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File Type: jpg 2013-07-21 0437.jpg (235.8 KB, 8 views)
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:39 AM   #11
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Funny you should mention the bottom step possibly flying up if stepped on wrongly. At our recent factory visit last week my wife managed to do just that! I was thinking, why isn't that attached or hinged somehow. She didn't get hurt, but it almost made her stumble into the (now) exposed storage spot.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrob View Post
Hey Jrn56 - my thermostat might be defective. I was going to reply to your post and say I like the one you found better than mine 'cause mine doesn't have a light. But then I looked at my picture of the box it came in and it sure looks like it ought to light up! It does a great job of running the furnace - but it'd be nice if it lit up. Something else to look into!
When all else fails, read the manual. The factory default for the thermostat backlight is off but a few simple button pushes turned it on!
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:07 AM   #13
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Again - thank you Jim.
No problem at all. I have gotten many, many great ideas from others here myself. All this sharing of mods we do is a great thing.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:02 AM   #14
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The thermostat pictured above will work on battery? We haven't really used the furnace, but know that we don't like the factory thermostat ( it's really difficult to push the tabs etc.) - does the furnace work on both battery and AC as well as this thermostat?
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:55 AM   #15
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Chapi, the thermostatic control is low voltage, so there would be no issue. There needs to be leads wired in from the A/C to the thermostat, and it will work for that. I do not have A/C, and when I do install it, I will either have to run these wires, or just operate it from the controls on the unit.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapitre View Post
The thermostat pictured above will work on battery? We haven't really used the furnace, but know that we don't like the factory thermostat ( it's really difficult to push the tabs etc.) - does the furnace work on both battery and AC as well as this thermostat?
Hi Chapi - always nice to meet another Silverado driver.
The thermostat I used and included a picture of runs on AAA batteries, and only controls the furnace and not the A/C. We had the same dislikes re: the factory thermostat, and this little guy addresses those issues. It's got one switch, well labelled and easy to move, for off/on - and two other switches to set the temperature up/down. Once I read the manual I was able to set the backlight to come on for a few seconds anytime I use the up/down switches. The panel shows the set temperature and the current temperature, both digitally.
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