A few tiny mods....it's the little things - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-26-2019, 10:35 AM   #1
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A few tiny mods....it's the little things

When we got our trailer back home to Austin several days ago I set out doing a few small tweaks to things we already knew we wanted to do, or discovered on the trip home that needed to be done. These are all very small mods, but sometimes it's the very little things that can make a difference in livability - although thanks to all of you on the forum I also have a lengthy list of bigger projects that I want to tackle eventually as time permits.

We discovered on our first few days of travel that we have some of the wonderful self-opening frameless awning windows, we could see in the truck's mirrors that several had worked loose and were open a little bit and bouncing from the wind at highway speed. We stopped and closed them but they came loose again right away. I knew not to crank them closed really hard, but we found that a sock wrapped around the crank provided enough resistance to eliminate the problem.

I got some 2 inch thick foam and cut out pieces into kind of a horseshoe shape. It's easy to stuff them in around the window crank, and this will now be part of our "pack up for travel" routine on driving days on all the windows. They're easy to pull off and stow when we arrive, and smell much better than dirty sweat socks We don't mind doing this because we otherwise really like the look and function of the frameless awning windows.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:43 AM   #2
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The primary reason we got the frameless awning windows was the ability to leave them open for the cats when we are away hiking all day and not have to worry about a rain storm popping up. Depending on the direction of the sun and wind, it is often desirable to have the dinette escape hatch window open, but that mechanism is not secure - someone could come up and just pull the window out and the arm would go through the hole, or a big gust of wind could do the same. And fully extended that is open further than we would like.

I drilled a hole in the housing that the arm slides through and a corresponding hole in the metal arm part way out. Now we can open that window part way and slide a snug fitting clevis pin in place that securely latches that window in a partly open position. It doesn't show in the photos, but the clevis pin has one of those little spring loaded bumps on it that compress when you push it through and makes sure the pin doesn't work itself loose....or have help from cats.

We only use this when we're going to be away from the trailer, it does leave part of the metal arm sticking into the trailer well past the cushion. When we're home we just open it all the way using the lip on the end of the arm to hold it open. The big ring on the end of the clevis pin fits over the latch on the right for storage when not in use.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:48 AM   #3
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I too did this mod, but drilled the hole a lot closer to the red handle. I actually needed to do this mod as the 'catch' on the red handle had worn down to the point it wouldn't hold the window open.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:49 AM   #4
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One rule I have is not to store anything that can bounce around during travel next to relatively fragile plumbing lines and connections. The exterior storage compartment where the landing gear switches reside is plenty large enough to store a few things for easy access, but the toilet plumbing line (and in our case the cutoff valve) is in there and seemed exposed and vulnerable to me.

So I built a little guard to go around it and protect it from anything bouncing against it. I also took a piece of bubble wrap, not in the photo, and stuffed around the toilet valve both as insulation and extra protection, easily pulled off if I ever need to use the toilet cutoff valve.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I too did this mod, but drilled the hole a lot closer to the red handle. I actually needed to do this mod as the 'catch' on the red handle had worn down to the point it wouldn't hold the window open.
My original intention was to drill a hole in the red handle also. However, the red handle that was metal in our old trailer is now plastic and I was a little worried about drilling into it. If yours has been holding up fine I'll probably go ahead and do that too. And I just realized that I could drill a second hole in the metal bar just in a little bit from the red handle and the window would still be open plenty wide and the handle wouldn't protrude enough to poke us when sitting there.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I too did this mod, but drilled the hole a lot closer to the red handle. I actually needed to do this mod as the 'catch' on the red handle had worn down to the point it wouldn't hold the window open.


Agree. I did this also but drilled the hole in the red handle (itís plastic). I like to idea of drilling a second hole in the bar about halfway to give me another option.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
My original intention was to drill a hole in the red handle also. However, the red handle that was metal in our old trailer is now plastic and I was a little worried about drilling into it. If yours has been holding up fine I'll probably go ahead and do that too.


Mine has lasted 4 years with a hole in the red handle with no problems. I recommend it.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
One rule I have is not to store anything that can bounce around during travel next to relatively fragile plumbing lines and connections. The exterior storage compartment where the landing gear switches reside is plenty large enough to store a few things for easy access, but the toilet plumbing line (and in our case the cutoff valve) is in there and seemed exposed and vulnerable to me.



So I built a little guard to go around it and protect it from anything bouncing against it. I also took a piece of bubble wrap, not in the photo, and stuffed around the toilet valve both as insulation and extra protection, easily pulled off if I ever need to use the toilet cutoff valve.


You just keep adding things to my list! I like it.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:01 AM   #9
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I have already learned a valuable lesson - not knowing exactly what you may want to do later, on your build sheet get ETI to run 12 volt drops anywhere there is no 12 volt power easily accessible nearby. I have learned this, of course, the hard way.

I determined months ago that I wanted to put a little 12 volt fan on the underside of the upper cabinet on the driver side...and realized that there's nothing in that spot using 12 volt power. How hard could it be, I figured, to tie into the captain's light up in the front and just run the wire inside the cabinet down to the other end? Pretty hard, as it turned out. The inside front corner of that upper cabinet is boxed in and the captain's light wiring is forward of that panel....which was stapled in place really well and did not want to be removed.

So I wound up having to drill a hole in that panel inside the end of the cabinet and then use a curved stiff wire to try and fish through that hole and then 90 degrees around the corner to come out the little hole behind the captain's light. That took me an hour...but did finally get done. The hole for the wires feeding the captain's light was just barely big enough for them, and I didn't want to drill another hole in that limited space, so I worked very carefully like a prisoner at Alcatraz trying to break out of a cell, enlarging the hole without damaging the wires. The hole went through a wood frame member - had it only been in the paneling it would have been a cinch.

So if you are ordering a trailer....get a few extra 12 volt drops, you may really thank yourself later!
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:06 AM   #10
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I almost forgot to give a shout out to someone - unfortunately do not remember who - for the first thing we did when we got our trailer. We found the straight vertical seat back cushions uncomfortable, and Mary remembered seeing someone mention stuffing a pool noodle behind them at the base to create more of a wedge shape. It worked great! It sure feels to me almost exactly like having a custom made wedge shaped back cushion would feel...but at $2 for two pool noodles from the dollar store pretty hard to beat.
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