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Old 10-29-2014, 01:31 AM   #21
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My mud flaps are very stiff and do not strike the pipe. Mine also looks shorter than yours. You may be correct, they may just eyeball it and cut.
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:33 AM   #22
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I have a couple of small interior mods that I will post when I get back to town. I am off to babysit the grand kids for a week.
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Old 10-29-2014, 03:03 AM   #23
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Picked up our 2015 Vegas 24.1 today. Think we are going to be very happy with our first motorhome. I look forward to seeing your mods, fixes, and tips.
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:08 PM   #24
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Long and growing list!

I've a long and growing list of planned upgrades. Several start in the workshop and will get started soon.

In no particular order:
  • DONE: MaxxAir vent covers for the living room and bathroom vents.
  • DONE: Costco 3" memory foam mattress toppers. Wonderful!
  • Seal and insulate the dash, engine compartment, and doghouse!
  • Add weights to the mudflaps to stop the right-side flap melting where it strikes the tailpipe.
  • Sewer hose storage. I hate having the hoses in the basement, even though they are in a sealed Rubbermaid container.
  • Battery watering system for house (2) and chassis batteries.
  • Driver and passenger side sun visors.
  • Built-in, whole-house water filter.
  • Black and gray water tank flushers.
  • Some kind of fixed reels for power cords and city-water hose. The after-market stuff is really expensive. I don't need motorized windup but would like some solution that minimizes the storage space needed and makes 'em easy to wind up.
  • LED replacements for all basement and external marker lights.
  • Replace the MaxxAir no-brand fan in the bedroom with a Fantastic Fan w/remote. I'll probably move the MaxxAir to the living room.
  • Remove and replace the driver and passenger side-consoles. The cup-holders are too low and too far forward to reach while belted in. DW wants dual cup holders, one for the glass, the other for the diet-Pepsi bottle. I'll add a 12-volt USB charging station, iPhone space, and magazine rack on the passenger side. I'll probably upgrade the front speakers while I'm at it. I haven't decided whether the new units will be upholstered or cabinet-grade natural cherry.
  • Solar. Not looking for long-term off the grid boondocking, but at least enough to keep the house batteries topped-up.
  • Upgrade the converter to a Progressive Dynamics unit or perhaps an inverter.
  • Add a 2-gallon accumulator to the freshwater system. Allows a couple of flushes without having to turn on the pump in the middle of the night.
  • Would love to upgrade the captain's chairs. It's on the list, but will probably be a few years.
  • Residential refrigerator. A maybe, and definitely long-term.
  • Replace the sofa with a couple of recliners. DW's not there yet on this one!
  • Replace the microwave with a convection/microwave combo.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:21 PM   #25
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Thank You

Wow! What a great and helpful list. Guess I have my spare time taken care of. Much appreciated.
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groswald
Replace the microwave with a convection/microwave combo.
Interesting: Did you get the range/oven combo?
Ours just has the range topper and thus came with a convection/microwave combo. We picked ours up from dealer stock and specifically told the dealer we didn't want it if it had the range/oven and normal microwave (had our 5th wheel for 10 years and only used the oven once--so far had the Axis for 8 months and have used the convection oven three times!). This setup also gives you two extra drawers in the kitchen for storage.
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:46 PM   #27
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Groswald,

When you make your mods please take pictures, and post with details on what you used and how you did them.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:32 PM   #28
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aa9zz,
I'll try to remember to take pictures and post updates as I get to working on things. I'm going to (try and) pull the passenger-side console out this weekend to see what I'm up against there.

JamieGeek,
Yes we got the range/oven combo. We bought our coach used and didn't get a vote in the configuration. We don't see ever using the gas oven and would really prefer to have the two extra drawers!

RFMurtie,
You're most welcome!

If anyone's interested there's a (really long) set of posts here describing our first couple of months with the Axis.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:06 PM   #29
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Forgot a few! I figure if I put them all here I might actually remember and do them.
  • DONE: Replaced the too-short shower curtain liner with an extra-long version and trimmed it to fit. No more wet floor. Also added one of those little corner-keeper doohickies to help keep the curtain and water in the shower pan on the stool-side.
  • Make new tabletops from solid wood. Maybe maple, probably cherry to "sort of" match the cabinets. The particle board tops that came with the coach are HEAVY! They are so heavy that the DW cannot set them up. They're also awkward and I struggle a bit. Solid wood should be half the weight.
  • Build a little storage thingy to sit between the head of the twin beds. We need something to take the place of a night stand so glasses, a clock, Kindles, and whatnot have a safe place to sit at night.
  • Replace the 140 degree thermostat in the water heater with a 120 degree version. 140 degrees is too hot! I can live with shorter showers. There's no way I would let one of the grandkids loose in a shower where the water is 140.
  • Upgrade the kitchen faucet to a house model with a sprayer.
  • Cobble something together to stop the counter extension from crashing back into the cabinet every time we stop.
  • Add access panels under the right-side bed like those on the left to make it easy to get to the low-point drains and winterization siphon.

That may be it, but probably not... Off to the workshop! Now, if I could only figure out a way to get my full-blown woodworking shop on board.
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:46 AM   #30
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Nice list.

Just one caveat.

Remember Murphy's law #17... you can only improve something so much before you break it.
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Old 11-29-2014, 01:55 AM   #31
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Mods 1 - 3: Complete

OK, I've been home for a whole month (I travel a lot for work), and I've made some progress on mods and upgrades. The first three I'll share are:

1.
I added an Ultragauge engine monitor. It's mounted on the upper-right of the main console. Sorry, no pictures of this one. I haven't done much with it yet. So far I only have one screen enabled with speed, instant MPG, Average MPG, and distance to empty. If anyone has a good set of gauges for the E350 please post!

2 & 3.
I made new driver and passenger-side consoles and upgraded the front speakers. Here are the results.





The tops are solid cherry (the real thing) with a hand-rubbed oil finish. They will darken pretty quickly to that beautiful burgundy-brown that stain (and paper-covered pine) can't come close to!

I built a CNC-router a couple of years ago and used it to make a new switch bezel to replace the original black plastic unit. I painted the tray on the driver's-side with gloss black Valspar plastic formula spray paint to better match the rest of the plastic bits.

Both units are about 4 inches taller than the originals making them much easier to reach. On the driver's side I swapped the location of the switch panel and cup holder. I reach for the cup holder a lot more often than I do the switches. On the passenger side I lengthened the whole unit a bit and added a second cup holder. DW wanted someplace to put a bottle of soda in addition to the cup of ice.

The speakers are Pioneer TS-A6995R 5-way 6x9s from Amazon. I replaced the 110 outlet in the passenger-side unit with one that contains 2 USB charge ports. With two iPhones, two iPads, helmet communicators, and multiple cameras we can use all the charger space we can get!

Construction is pretty simple. The originals are really cheap 1/2" softwood plywood, stapled together, and covered with foam-backed vinyl. The new boxes are 1/2" Baltic Birch ply, glued and screwed together. Baltic Birch is a solid-ply (no voids) hardwood plywood. It's much stronger and more stable than normal ply, but a bit heavier. It's stiffer too which should make the speakers sound a bit better.




I found a perfect match for the vinyl at a local upholstery shop, but they didn't have it foam-backed. No problem though they did have 1/8" closed-cell foam. I attached it with 3M 90 hi-strength adhesive and trimmed it all 'round. More adhesive attached the vinyl which was then wrapped around the back and stapled down.









You can see the difference between the new and the originals. The whole project cost about $150. DW and I are really pleased with the result. They look great, are much easier to reach, and the new speakers are a marked improvement over the original Sony's.

Next up is a replacement for the front table. We generally use it instead of the large table in front of the couch. I glued up a cherry panel while making the console tops. It needs trimmed, edge-routed, and the finish applied. It should look great and is half the weight of the original Formica/particle-board tables. I'll post pictures when it's done.

Randy
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:09 AM   #32
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A CNC router is one thing I'd like to build someday.

Nice project.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:28 PM   #33
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Has anyone been able to gain access to the additional HDMI inputs on their outside TV? I can't find any information on how to release the mounting bracket to gain access.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:51 PM   #34
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Our unit does not have the outside TV. I would bet, though, that the outside TV is mounted the same as the inside TV (and is probably the same brand with the same inputs).
I did remove the inside TV and connected up a Chromecast to the 2nd HDMI input:

To get the TV off you have to flip the two tabs forward (one of which is circled in red in the above picture). I had to use a scope to find them and a long handled screwdriver to flip them. It was a major pain..something I don't plan on doing again anytime soon!
Once you get the tabs flipped (which unlatches the bottom of the TV) you pull the bottom out and lift the top off of the bracket.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:14 AM   #35
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Groswald, great work. Did you get a mount for the UltraScan and, if so, which one?

Also, which AC and charger unit did you get?
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:53 PM   #36
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aa9zz,

I used the Ultragauge "vertical" mount. I installed it right next to the instrument surround, on the right hand side, high enough that I can see it without interference from the wheel. I find I can't see the speedometer with the seat position/wheel-tilt I find comfortable so I wanted to ensure I can see the UG's speed report easily. Lowes stocks everything.

The AC outlet I used is a Cooper Wiring Devices model number TR7745LA-K. It has two 15 amp 110 outlets and two USB charge ports. The only minor downside to this brand is that you have to buy their cover plate too. They don't use the standard versions.

Leviton makes a similar device, and it's cheaper, but the USB ports take the place of one of the 15 amp sockets and didn't work for us. Mama needs her blow dryer and curling iron plugged in - at the same time!

Regards,

Randy
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:08 PM   #37
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Thanks for the info and I understand. I don't know about you but in my house (or RV), if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. I try to keep her happy all the time.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:04 PM   #38
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Sorry for the "cut and paste error". I got all of the AC stuff at Lowes. The Ultragauge stuff has to be ordered online.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:33 PM   #39
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Is the Ultragauge pretty much plug and play in the Axis?

Which one did you get, he 1.2 or newer?
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #40
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I had the 1.2. I looked at what the "plus" adds and didn't see any reason to get it. I say "had" because our coach was vandalized over the weekend and they took the UG along with the TV's and a chunk of wall in the bedroom. I will be replacing the UG when the insurance settles up.

Installing the UG is pretty simple. Just mount it and plug it in. Setup is completely user-defined though. I'm still working on figuring out the best combination of pages and gauges.

I have had a problem with the chassis battery being drained. The UG draws a little all the time. I'm not sure how big a part it played in the dead battery. I now unplug it for storage. It's easy enough to do.

Randy
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