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Old 05-01-2015, 01:32 PM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov
If the Axis has the scissor type stabilizer jacks, the lego blocks also serve as good jack pads for the stabilizers.
Nope: No jacks of any kind on either Axis or Vegas units.

The jacks do have the weight rating to work with an Axis but I can't see how you'd get to the crank handle on the jack with so much skirting.

Interesting: Looking around you can get 4 scissor jacks & the motor kit for them for a shade above $600. A bit less expensive than the $2600 for the Bigfoot leveling system. Maybe another DIY project? Add in another Arduino and some relays to control the motors...hmmm (Granted scissor jacks are a lot less beefy than the hydraulics that Bigfoot uses. The smallest ones, though, are 5000lbs a jack more than plenty for the max 12,500 lbs of the Axis/Vegas units.)
Could even put current sensors on the wires to the motors to determine when they have a load on them (so that it can drop the jacks in pairs and stop one when it hits the ground).
Aw bummer; disclaimer on the power pack for the jacks:
Quote:
The power pack is designed to quickly lower the jack to the ground, or raise it back to the closed position. Using the motor to lift or stabilize a vehicle may damage the motor.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:59 PM   #262
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Interesting that the Axis/Vegas doesn't even have the stabilizers. Although they weren't intended to level my class C they were real good in reducing motion during windy nights in campgrounds. My C had three jacks, two in the rear and one center front. I didn't have the power pack, but could have all three jacks lowered or raised with a cordless drill and 3/4 inch socket in under 5 minutes.

For the class C Forest River and the dealer said that if you can comfortably walk inside the coach you were level enough. They never once mentioned the motion caused by the blowing wind.
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:26 PM   #263
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Digging around some more I've found this jack system:
Stabi-Lite Electric Class C System (Ford Chassis) | Electric Jacks | Class C Motor Homes | Motorhome | Online Store | Equalizer Systems | A Days Company | Official Site

Looks like its only two jacks and is made for stabilizing the RV rather than leveling it: In the installation guide it says to put the jacks in between the front and rear axles.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:20 PM   #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Digging around some more I've found this jack system:
Stabi-Lite Electric Class C System (Ford Chassis) | Electric Jacks | Class C Motor Homes | Motorhome | Online Store | Equalizer Systems | A Days Company | Official Site

Looks like its only two jacks and is made for stabilizing the RV rather than leveling it: In the installation guide it says to put the jacks in between the front and rear axles.
Jamie,

I looked at the system for this link and to be honest I wouldn't pay more than 2 cents for it. In my opinion, and we know what they say about opinions, these are intended to provide support on the slide side of a coach only and would not provide any type of "real" stabilization let alone leveling benefit.

Installed on the front and rear, that leaves two flexible suspension points holding the weight of the coach and those two points are susceptible to weight transfer (people walking around) and the external force from wind. To be effective a stabilizer system needs to relieve or minimize the weight of the RV from all four suspension points (springs).

Also, from looking at the documentation and images, I can't see where the small size of the ground pads would provide anything other than minimal support to the smallest of coaches. The pads on my Class C's stabilizer jacks were somewhere around 4 or 5 by 12 inches. These look like they can't be more than 4 by 4.

I believe this is a case of buyer beware, the buyer may get what they ask for but it might not be what they want. As far as stabilizers go I see these as being as effective as only using 2 hurricane tie down straps on my shed.

Again, just my opinion.
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:30 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstankov
Installed on the front and rear, that leaves two flexible suspension points holding the weight of the coach and those two points are susceptible to weight transfer (people walking around) and the external force from wind.
Interesting, my thought after reading the installation guide was that you would install them left/right (e.g. at the same point along the frame in about the middle of the coach). Thus they would provide left/right stability. Front/back stability would still be provided by the axle's of the coach.

Yeah I think "You get what you pay for" is applicable here: at only $800 these are a fraction of what the bigfoot costs and provide much less stability (actually given that I could gum up a similar system but with 4 jacks as mentioned above for only $600 makes $800 overpriced for what you get).

I was actually a bit surprised to find that...
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:51 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timp410 View Post
You are right, the shower head made a big difference. When I was looking to purchase an Axis, I did not want the water controls coming off the sink. In hindsight, I now think it works best coming off the sink. The faucet controls are taking up space in such a small shower and I accidentally hit them from time to time with my arm. I wish I could seal them off and install the shower off the sink.
We would like to get rid of the rigid shower liner with the useless rigid bumps And replace with flat liner. wondering if the sink cabinet should be removed, as the existing liner goes behind it. Suppose the liner could just be cut away. Another mod we are pondering
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:29 AM   #267
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Easier Access Panels

Access panel access without screws!

Glued some
small 1/32 x 1/8 magnets
to the back of panels and let them fully set (just happened to have these handy).


Isolate glued magnets with a piece of paper and hold in place with the facing magnets.


A dab of glue on the top of the magnets followed promptly by setting and holding the panel in place without movement until epoxy dries.


Once the epoxy sets, remove the panel and the temporary paper glue protectors. If all works out right there will be matching magnets adhered to both the panel and opening frame. This perfect match makes for a very solid magnetic connection but yet a simple pull on a corner releases the panel when needed.


I used a cut-off end of a 45 shell on one panel and an old metal button on the other as pull knobs. Works great!


Note: on the larger panel I added 3 more magnet pairs (2 bottom 1 top) because there was some warp that was about the same strength as the magnets, so a slightly larger diameter or the stronger N52 magnets might be a better choice to ensure all magnets have solid connection.
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:36 AM   #268
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I finally completed several mod’s just before our most recent trip to New Mexico.

The first, and most important was to get the coach aligned. It handled poorly on our first extended trip last year, and I was very concerned about talking it back on the interstate this year. The alignment found camber was fine, caster was toward the top of the range where we want it, but both wheels were toed out 0.1 degrees. That’s definitely a cause for poor handling!

Handling this trip was much improved – it now tracks straight and can be one-handed without fear. Strong crosswind gusts still need attention, but they aren't pants-changing experiences anymore. I actually enjoyed the driving part of this trip. I may still add a Saf-T-Plus, but it will be to provide additional help with the gusts and give a degree of peace-of-mind about a front-tire blowout.

On to the real mod’s:

I hated the countertop-extension banging back into the cabinet every time we slowed or stopped. I made this little device to hold the extension in the lowered position when not in use. A bit of scrap cherry, some time in the CNC router, and a bit-o-Velcro. Works a treat. No more crashing!





I'm limited to a max of six images per post, so I'll break this here and continue in additional replies.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:42 AM   #269
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You may have read the saga of our coach being vandalized last Thanksgiving. I convinced the insurance company I could do a better, cheaper job replacing the TV’s than Camping World could. In the end they agreed to split $800 in savings over CW’s estimate. This covered my deductible, and we got bigger/better TV’s on better mounts.

Starting with the living room TV - the 2014 24.1 came with a 28 inch TV up front. It had a surround of the normal paper-covered pseudo-wood that all the cabinets are made of. The thieves took the mounts (ripped ‘em, right off the walls) so I have no idea what they looked like. You can see the outstanding wiring job that Thor did though.




Here are a couple of shots of the new cabinet being created. It’s made of ½” Baltic-birch plywood. Good solid stuff! All the holes are there to reduce weight.





And here it is painted and installed. I had a stain mixed that was supposed to match the cabinets, but it wasn't even close. In the end I painted this part semi-gloss black. The face is solid, natural cherry. You can see that I tried to clean up the wiring a bit. I think it is better. Getting everything strung through the cabinet required me to remove, string, and re-install all the bunk wiring. That was fun!





And here 'tis with the new 32" Samsung installed.

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Old 05-07-2015, 03:05 AM   #270
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I made a few improvements to the cabling in front too.

I reused the power outlet from the original surround and added a couple of modular plug-panels. One on the inside in the lower right corner has connections for the antenna/cable coax, the satellite HDMI connector, HDMI-2 in, and USB in.



The last two are connected to the other panel on the outside lower right corner of the cabinet.



The inner panel makes it easy to make the connections when installing the TV. The outer panel makes it trivial to connect an IPad, DVD player, or whatever without rooting around behind the TV.

In the bedroom the thieves left us with this nice mess. What’s really interesting is that the original mount was attached with two screws into one ¾ x 2” “stud”. All the other screws simply went into the paneling. I guess it’s structural. (not!)



We were faced with removing all of the cabinets and the bed structure to replace the destroyed paneling, or simply covering the hole. I was pretty sure that once removed nothing would ever go back in correctly, so we opted for the cosmetic fix.

I made a 24 x 13” plate of ¾” cabinet-grade cherry plywood. The edges were banded to make it look nice. I had to relocate the coax connection to accommodate the new mounting plate. The plate is screwed to three “studs” and is quite solid.



The “new” TV is a 28” Samsung. Actually, the new TV was nicer than what we had in our bedroom at home. Soooo, it ended up in the house and the older one was moved to the coach. It's still a bigger/better TV than the "San-who?-ee" that it replaced"!



Both the living room and bedroom TVs are on easy-to-remove mounts. They will be removed for storage from now on!

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Old 05-07-2015, 03:20 AM   #271
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The last installment...

I had added a Pro-Fill battery watering system to the chassis battery last fall. I finally added one to the coach batteries before the trip. It was either that or pull the batteries to add water to the forward one. When I got done the pair of batteries took nearly a half-gallon of water!



My wonderful wife gave me this for Christmas – a Garmin 720RV. It works quite well.



No pic’s, but I added a chassis battery disconnect a la JamieGeek. While I was installing it I put a meter across the poles and measured the parasitic draw. It was 118 milliAmps. That’s more than enough to drain the battery pretty quickly.

While testing I noticed this little gem – the dual USB charger is driven off the chassis battery and has a nifty little green LED. It accounts for 11 of those 118 milliAmps.




I’ve no idea where the remaining 107 mA are going. Parasitic drain should be no more than 25 – 50 mA. Oddly enough, unhooking the multi-wire connectors under the radio had no effect. Also odd, with the chassis battery disconnected and the house battery switch set to “store” the radio clock held the correct time?

The last mod was to simply stuff a mess of pink, fiberglass wall insulation up each of the windshield trim-pillars from the engine compartment. (sorry, no pic’s). This did a amazing job of cutting the wind noise. My wife and I could talk in almost normal voices, and even listen to music without cranking the volume. There’s still more insulation work to do, but now it’s about securing the dash, eliminating front-end rattles, and reducing engine noise.

As usual, the trip generated a whole new list of mods to add to the to-do list:
  • Rescreen all the windows with no-see-um gauge window mesh. We were camped on a lake outside Carlsbad NM. The evening was pleasant so we shut down the AC and opened all the windows. After a while DW hollers, “Close the windows! The bus is full of tiny bugs!” We spent the rest of the trip killing and cleaning up sand-flies. Yuck.
  • Replace the front curtains. The lining on the driver’s side has started to disintegrate already. I’ll fix the tracks at the same time. They are installed in such a way that there’s a huge gap at the back. Not great for privacy.
  • Replace the curtain track in the shower. The shower is actually plenty big enough. But the track is mounted well inside the outlines of the base creating that fun, “closed in”, feeling.
  • Re-caulk the sinks. The factory acrylic caulk is coming apart.
  • Clean up all the trim and molding. My son details new homes before final inspection. He informed me that it would be easy to make our “woodwork” look a whole lot better.

That's it for a while!

Regards,

Randy
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:04 AM   #272
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The radio is run off the house battery and its keep alive wire doesn't disconnect when in "store" mode.

That is some really nice work on the TV mounts.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:18 AM   #273
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Nice work.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:22 PM   #274
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Sorry to hear that you were vandalized. Nice cabinet work and mods.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:28 PM   #275
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Wow!

What's your hourly rate and how much more would you charge for me to watch and "help"?
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:54 PM   #276
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Thanks all. Cabinetmaking is one of my many hobbies, and I've put together are pretty well-equipped workshop in the basement. It really helps to have the right tools and room to work. It's also the reason I don't foresee full-timing in our future. Simply no realistic way to take all my toys!



aa9zz - Hourly rate is quite high, add 10% to watch, and double it if you want to help!



Regards,

Randy
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:10 PM   #277
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What do you have for a CNC Router? I have been wanting one of those.

The thing I have learned from my many years having a woodworking hobby, you never have enough tools...
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:00 PM   #278
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Randy,

That's some really great work/modifications you did there! I'm sure you enjoy it much more now and you should be proud of the accomplishment. Wish you lived closer to GA but not sure I could afford your rates.

Hope they've caught the low life thieves who vandalized you and they're finding much unwanted love in their incarceration.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:09 PM   #279
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FW28z - my CNC is a home-built 3-axis MOMUS. Capacity is roughly 15 x 15 x 3. I drive it with Mach3 software and a Gecko 540 controller. Cost to complete was about $1500. I use it primarily to make RC airplane parts, but it has other uses as well.

Larry, thanks. My rates really aren't that bad, but I'm slooooooow. A bigger problem doing custom work for RV's is that nothing is actually standard; everything has to be designed & built for each specific coach.

That said, I could do up a bunch of the counter-extension stops at a reasonable price if folks would like them.

No luck with the thieves...

Regards,

Randy
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:26 PM   #280
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Count me in on the counter extension stops. Looks like a good fix to an annoying racket. I just mentioned it to my DW the other day that I wish I could come up with a way to stop the clanging and banging and your solution looks super.

If you would PM me with the details, I'd appreciate it. No hurry. Slow is good..."measure twice; cut once."

Was kidding about your rates.
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