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Old 11-25-2022, 05:58 PM   #1
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Ron's Top 10 Mods

Ron's Top 10 Mods: Under bed storage crates


I have countless mods and a lot of them were on a computer that was destroyed. Most of them are scattered over several other computers. Often when trying to answer a question and post a photo to illustrate the answer I have to go searching for photos. So I've decided to wade through things and put them all in one place.

So I also decided that I'd start with the ones that I consider well worth the effort to do. At least, they work for me.

I'm coming to the conclusion that many of the mods are a draw, hard to rate one above the other. But the under bed crate storage has to be the hands down #1.

There's different ways to do this mod. This is my way.

I looked at using both 3 and 4 crates. I came to the conclusion that I preferred 4 because the total length worked well and I'd rather have 4 separate bins.

The crates are held together with zap straps. At first I was leery of using them because I didn't think that they'd stay tight considering that the long crate assembly is lifted from only one end. They've been just fine.

I made a protective sill because the hot and cold water lines run along the wall and also because the crate drawer slides over the sill.

I put casters on the rear crate. The usage action is lift up slightly and slide the drawer out, either slightly rubbing on the sill or not.

I installed two guide rails. They are actually on a slight angle because if you pulled the drawer straight out all the way it'd hit the side of the closet area. This way you don't have to steer it, it automatically clears.

At the rear I installed a stop block. This positions the front so it has room to drop slightly behind the front sill. The result is that in transit no matter how rough the road the crates are effectively locked in and can't shift positions.

So we have shoe storage by the bathroom, a built-in electric heater on the diagonal, great multi-bin storage and a separate storage area accessed from the exterior hatch.

All-in-all I think it's a pretty good use of the area.

Ron
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Old 11-26-2022, 11:09 AM   #2
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Thank you for the step by step. My husband will be doing this soon.
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Old 11-26-2022, 02:59 PM   #3
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Ron's Top 10: Front storm window

One of the more mundane but important mods is adding a storm window to the front window of a 21C. First of all, for me, having a front window is non-negotiable, if I hear noises at night I want to be able to see what's going on without having to step outside.

This mod is most useful in the 21C but applies to all trailers with a front window with a rock guard. Especially if the area is used for sleeping.

In the 21C the window is right over the bed occupants and warm moist air from them can cause condensation when camping in cold moist conditions. Worst case is dripping condensation onto the pillows.

Some folks put a layer of reflectix on the rock guard and close it. Doesn't work for me because I want to keep nighttime visibility out the window.

So I made an interior storm window using 1/8" plexiglass. The screws visible go into a 3/4" x 3/4" frame. Sort of makes a shallow pan. There is foam between the wood and the trailer.

The curtain is removed and the storm window fits snugly on the window frame. When the curtain is re-installed it holds the top of the storm window in place. No attachments to the trailer. I had anticipated that it not being a sealed unit I would make it easy to remove to wipe out condensation. This has never been necessary despite condensation on the double glazed side window.

So, no drips on the pillow and no cold draft from the window. Definitely increases our comfort level.

Ron
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Old 11-26-2022, 04:12 PM   #4
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The sill is a great idea even without the tethered crates.
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Old 11-28-2022, 06:06 PM   #5
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Undermount Spare Tire Carrier

When I wanted to add a rear box I wanted to keep the box as close to the trailer body as possible. Moving the spare tire to the front also moved 70 lbs. from the rear to the front making the effect of the weight of the box and contents much less.

Jim B. also did a similar mod so that he could have a box on his 5.0 and also carry bikes on top.

It would be a useful mod. even for folks who aren't planning on having a rear box but would like to keep their bikes close to the rear bumper where a secondary bracket could stabilize them. I hate travelling behind a vehicle with multiple bikes hung way out the back rocking and rolling. Plus I was very close to being in a bad accident involving bikes that came off on a freeway.

But I digress, . I can't believe that I waited so long to do this mod. Talk about out of sight, out of mind. But it's fully accessible, probably quicker than if I had to get a wrench and undo the 3 lug nuts.

The commercial version of these are readily available and not expensive. But since I had a little winch looking for a home I made up my own system.

Pretty simple, winch inside tongue box, cable down to tire. Winch it up and it parks neatly and firmly between the frame, almost like it was designed to hold the tire there. I do put a safety chain on it as a backup.

Works for me.

Ron
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Old 11-29-2022, 12:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
One of the more mundane but important mods is adding a storm window to the front window of a 21C. First of all, for me, having a front window is non-negotiable, if I hear noises at night I want to be able to see what's going on without having to step outside.

This mod is most useful in the 21C but applies to all trailers with a front window with a rock guard. Especially if the area is used for sleeping.

In the 21C the window is right over the bed occupants and warm moist air from them can cause condensation when camping in cold moist conditions. Worst case is dripping condensation onto the pillows.

Some folks put a layer of reflectix on the rock guard and close it. Doesn't work for me because I want to keep nighttime visibility out the window.

So I made an interior storm window using 1/8" plexiglass. The screws visible go into a 3/4" x 3/4" frame. Sort of makes a shallow pan. There is foam between the wood and the trailer.

The curtain is removed and the storm window fits snugly on the window frame. When the curtain is re-installed it holds the top of the storm window in place. No attachments to the trailer. I had anticipated that it not being a sealed unit I would make it easy to remove to wipe out condensation. This has never been necessary despite condensation on the double glazed side window.

So, no drips on the pillow and no cold draft from the window. Definitely increases our comfort level.

Ron
so the flexiglass atatched to a wooden frame stays in place without any fasteners or adhesives? please provide any additional details. I am intersted in a mod of this type, tired of wiping condensation off this window.
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Old 11-29-2022, 01:08 PM   #7
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so the flexiglass atatched to a wooden frame stays in place without any fasteners or adhesives? please provide any additional details. I am intersted in a mod of this type, tired of wiping condensation off this window.
Don't know why I don't have any construction photos, it'd be easier to visualize.

Imagine that the Plexiglas is the bottom of a shallow tray and that 3/4" x 3/4" strips are screwed on around the perimeter forming sides. If you look at the window frame you'll see that it projects outwards and has "sides". If you make the shallow "tray" a snug fit then, yes, it's held captive behind the top of the curtain it stays in place without any attachments.

Since the Plexiglas, not being a great conductor, covers the exposed fame, there's no condensation, even when the side window frame has condensation.

Ron
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Old 11-29-2022, 07:06 PM   #8
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Found it, that's how the mod starts out.

Ron
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:12 PM   #9
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I see. It surrounds the window. I was thinking it set within the frame.
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Old 11-29-2022, 10:57 PM   #10
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That's right, for insulating and reduction of frame condensation, far better than having an exposed aluminum frame.

Ron
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Ron's Top 10 Mods: Under bed storage crates

Ron

On my version I added a couple of pieces of angle aluminum to run along the bottom edges for reinforcement, just in case. I have casters at each end (and maybe the middle, I forgot) and secure it at the front with a hook-and-eye. For a rear stop I used a big piece of angle iron, intended as a corner brace for something big, mounted vertically, to keep the crates from banging into the black tank. I labeled each bin "Tools", "Spares", etc. It has been a useful mod.
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Old 11-30-2022, 11:30 AM   #12
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On my version I added a couple of pieces of angle aluminum to run along the bottom edges for reinforcement, just in case.
That was my Plan B, but didn't prove to be necessary. I'm still surprised how well zap straps hold the crates firmly together.

Ron
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Old 11-30-2022, 05:41 PM   #13
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Yes, I’m running zip ties on my 2 rows by 4 under the 19 bed. I too wondered about durability, but after 170 nights, I don’t think about it.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:48 PM   #14
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110 volt electric heat

Over the last 30 odd years, in boats and trailers, I've tripped over the cords of portable electric heaters many times. Luckily, no injuries except for ripping out the plug end of the cord.

On the 19 I wanted to install a built-in heater but could never reconcile a suitable place. Under the dinette, at the front wall, would be one spot but then it'd have to blow heat all the way to the rear, not ideal. Couldn't find a central area that was suitable.

So I made a compromise solution. At least it improved the temperature control of a cube heater. I hung a wall thermostat on the cupboard door near the bed. I could reach down at night and fine tune the temperature. But it was still cords on the floor and I sent the cube heater flying a few times.

On the 21, the diagonal on the bed has proved to be an ideal location. Central and easily heats the dinette as well as the bed area.

Temperature control is by a centrally located wall mounted thermostat on the drawer stack. Power runs from a dedicated circuit breaker along the lower side area to the drawer stack. Yes, there is a path there. It then goes along the wall and over to the heater.

The heater is made by King Electric. The model is called "PAW" which stands for "pick a watt(age)", You have a choice of wiring it for 3 different wattage's.

The heater was designed primarily to be installed horizontally. But for this location a vertical installation is better and it works just fine. Well, fine, but with a slight hum. I installed two aluminum brackets to hold the blower assembly a little more firmly and it's now dead silent.

The grill was originally white. I sprayed it satin black to match the furnace.

I tweaked the louvers a small amount to direct the warm air flow down the front of the kitchen area and into the dinette. I did some air flow tests to confirm and it's perfect. Heat reaches the dinette just fine.

When I posted this before some folks commented on their fear of the blanket hanging down in front of the heater. This was also an initial concern that we had and right from the first test we had a blanket guard that just slid under the mattress and stopped the blanket from hanging down. That's the white object in the crate. It's the delicate items rack from a junked dryer. We used it a couple of times but came to the conclusion that it's not needed.

So it's used in cold weather when we have power and at home when I'm in the trailer for one reason or other .

Ron
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:45 PM   #15
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The heater is made by King Electric. The model is called "PAW" which stands for "pick a watt(age)", You have a choice of wiring it for 3 different wattage's.
Ron
Ron-

It looks like you're using the King Electric heater with one of their thermostats. In that case, which wattage level did you pick at the heater? The smallest one?


Also, did you find the trailer's paneling to be sturdy enough to mount the heater directly to it without additional bracing?
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Old 11-30-2022, 11:19 PM   #16
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Hi Mike,

I don't remember the brand of thermostat. It's your basic household type and the same type that I've installed in my house, it doesn't have to be the King brand.

If you look at the rear view of the heater you can see that I mounted it using small "L" brackets. Yes, they are screwed through the paneling but they're also very close to the framing and the heater feels solidly mounted.

I used the 750 watt terminals and it's proven to be very suitable. If a little more heat is required the furnace is always an option. I like it at night because it's very silent and I don't have to hear the furnace cycling on and off.

Ron
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Old 12-03-2022, 09:59 PM   #17
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When I wanted to add a rear box I wanted to keep the box as close to the trailer body as possible. Moving the spare tire to the front also moved 70 lbs. from the rear to the front making the effect of the weight of the box and contents much less.

Ron
Ron- Where does the safety chain go? Can you secure it so that the tire won't drag if the cable fails?
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Old 12-03-2022, 10:33 PM   #18
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Hi Mike,

Yes, even though my truck has the spare hanging on a cable without a safety I do have chains for safety. They each go through a hole in the wheel rim and shackle together. If the cable let go it wouldn't drop very much.

I'm usually a belt and braces guy. I see that I not only nico-pressed the cable but used a cable clamp as well.

Ron
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Old 12-03-2022, 10:50 PM   #19
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Clear Door Glass and Inside Storm Window

I'm so used to seeing obscure glass in housing in areas like house bathroom windows that I didn't realize that the "obscure" glass in the door window was really clear glass. I like to be able to see out any windows that I have so when I discovered that it was only an obscure plastic film on clear glass, off it came. Quick and easy.

From the exterior there's still complete privacy and at night it's still hard to see in. We made a curtain but don't use it much. Maybe if we were in a high density campground.

Since the glass is single glazed it seemed like a good time to install a plexiglass insert. Heat saving is likely small and sound proofing increase also, but every bit helps.

Ron
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Old 12-04-2022, 07:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I'm so used to seeing obscure glass in housing in areas like house bathroom windows that I didn't realize that the "obscure" glass in the door window was really clear glass. I like to be able to see out any windows that I have so when I discovered that it was only an obscure plastic film on clear glass, off it came. Quick and easy.

From the exterior there's still complete privacy and at night it's still hard to see in. We made a curtain but don't use it much. Maybe if we were in a high density campground.

Since the glass is single glazed it seemed like a good time to install a plexiglass insert. Heat saving is likely small and sound proofing increase also, but every bit helps.

Ron
I'm trying to convince the boss on removing the plastic film but she keeps reminding me about who's the boss.
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