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Old 10-07-2014, 06:59 AM   #1
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Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
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THOR #531
List of projects and repairs.

Another thread got me to thinking about listing the projects I have done (so far) on my coach. So far, they are:

Projects completed:
  • Upgrading Interior Lighting to LEDs.
  • Installing an Oxygenics shower head.
  • Installing a Range cover.
  • Screen Door cross bar.
  • Weather station (non-complicated one).
  • Video cabinet upgrade.
  • Storage space under the dinette.
  • Adding storage space under sink.
  • Overhead console in the cab.
  • Combo USB/120VAC Outlet.
  • Extend-a-stay propane manifold.
  • Siphon 360 vent.
  • Storage locker finger pulls.
  • TPMS system.
  • Garmin RV760LMT GPS Navigation system.
  • Cargo Tiedowns.
  • Installing an Air Compressor.
  • Setting up a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am for towing.
  • Upgrading a Winegard antenna to Jack OA8000.
  • Wheel Bling.
  • Vent covers.
  • Harbor Freight Aluminum Flagpole (mounts to the ladder).
Repairs completed:
  • Repairing crack in dinette table.
  • Repairing slide out switch.
  • Leaking tail lights.
Not too bad of a list of completed projects since this is the first year we owned the coach, and have put 3,500 miles on it with 50 camping nights since mid-May. So it's not like I have been doing projects in lieu of actually using the coach. In fact, a few of the projects were done while camping.



Projects in work:
  • E450 upper console panel (for RViBrake Controller mounting).
  • Clock in E450 cab.
  • Temperature monitor in E450 cab.


Projects planned (or wishful thinking):
  • Sway Bars.
  • Hydraulic Levelers.
  • Upgrade Stereo.
  • Right/Left cameras.
  • Holding Tank flush.
  • Stereo power transfer switch (from vehicle to house battery).
  • Additional 120VAC outlets.
  • Generator Transfer Switch.
  • Air Tabs.
  • Headboard in rear bedroom.
  • Woodgrain dash.
  • Replacing the lumpy couch.


Perhaps this will give you an idea or two about projects you might like to do. One thing though, you can spend money doing these things that might not increase the value of your coach when you sell it, so be careful not to go overboard.



Major items, such as hydraulic levelers should increase the value of the coach, but the less expensive items won't - especially if you do a sloppy job.



Items such as the holding tank flush - while not adding any particular value, certainly falls within the "more liveable environment" category.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FW28z
Major items, such as hydraulic levelers should increase the value of the coach, but the less expensive items won't - especially if you do a sloppy job.
I really don't do any projects with the intended purpose of increasing the value of my coach. Our RV isn't an investment--its to be used.
With that in mind all of my modifications are to increase the "livability" of the coach, make it ours and in general add things that the manufacturer didn't design in.

One of the biggest/most expensive mods I would like to make you mentioned above: levelers. It would be so nice to pull in, press a button, and watch the coach level itself.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:54 PM   #3
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The levelers I am looking at are somewhere in the $3~4K neighborhood, which after this season, seems worth every penny to me. The ones I am looking at have two types; manual and automatic.

Wife wants the automatic system, but I am thinking of the manual system. There is not a huge price difference, but the manual system has a wireless remote control, so you can walk around the coach and lift a bit here, a bit there, and so on.

I will have the factory install them - not a dealer. I live about 60 miles from the factory, so it is not a huge issue. They charge a $600 flat rate for installation, which includes welding the attachment points to the frame (the hydraulic cylinders themselves bolt to the attachment points).

And the factory rep told me that usually in the Jan timeframe, they run a sale, lopping $500 off the installation, since it is the slow time of the season. While there is no guarantee that they will be doing so this winter, we're waiting to see if that happens.

Now, we just have to figure out if we want a manual or auto system.
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:09 PM   #4
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That is a nice list!
I've got quite a list going myself.... but more silly little fixes like missing screws and such mixed in. If I could cut and paste out of my google keep list I would post it here for giggles.

I'm interested in your oxygenics shower head. Can you say that you have noticed a significant water saving with it? My grey water tank is a limiting factor and so I have been considering that modification.

I'm also curious about your air compressor install. What did you install? I recently bought a little one gallon compressor. Not an install exactly, but i was thinking about adding an outlet in the bin so that I could just pull out the hose when needed. Fits nicely in the bin but I'm not happy with it. Takes much too long to fill it's own tank.

I too have powered levelers on my want list. So far though I have gotten by fine without..... so priority might be slipping a little. On my first few trip I ended up with one wheel in a dip so we were slightly out of level, but not bad enough to even worry with. I eventually did throw some 1x boards in the storage, but so far haven't used them.

My projects I'm most satisfied with so far are my Progressives Industries Power monitor install and my ARPRV fridge controller. Both help me sleep a little easier....
Oh, and the smoke detector I put in the compartment under my bed where all the electrical transfer switches, converter, and such are.....
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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For the shower head, I have not noticed much in water savings - although we usually turn the shower stream on and off as needed. But it is a stronger spray than the original head, which more or less just kind of dribbled.

The air compressor is just a run-of-the-mill Porter Cable pancake style that I simply bolted it's feet to the storage compartment. And I replaced the drain plug with a quick 1/4 turn plug.



I have used it surprisingly a lot. And if I ever get a low tire while on a trip, I can fire up the genny to power the compressor. And this compressor works a whole lot better than those portable ones you sometimes find built-into those all-in-one battery starters, air compressors, flashlight things.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:00 PM   #6
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ah....
I have a 3 gallon hotdog at home that would be on the order of yours, in terms of performance.... but i couldn't find a good place to store it so I searched for a 1 gallon unit
bought this one
Amazon.com: Primefit CM00301 125 PSI Home Workshop Air Compressor, 1 Gallon with Regulator and Control Panel and 25-Foot Air Hose: Home Improvement

It is basically one of those little cigarette lighter powered inflators (except 120VAC) attached to a small tank. Horrible
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:09 AM   #7
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I thought I would share my list....
Completed MH Modifications and Fixes
1. Added storage area under front slide to store heavy horse mat levelers and towing equipment.
2. Fixed drain hose for kitchen sink.
3. Re-attached dinette table edge moulding near the window (PO must have let it get wet).
4. Added 12 volt DC outlet under the MH near the rear wheels to power small air compressor.
5. Reduced the noise of our 12 volt water pump which lies right under the head of the bed.
6. Silenced screen door rattle using stick-on foam insulation tape at strategic points.
7. Fixed HM entry door so that it opens and closes easily in its parked mode (first plate) and closes firmly when in travel mode (second plate).

Planned MH Modifications and Fixes
1. Modify the cab passenger seat so that it will swivel toard the rear of the MH.
2. Get better form put into the dinette seat cushions.
3. Re-apolster the couch with either leather or simulated leather.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:40 AM   #8
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ok, got some time
the main points of my list.....

coated inside of bumper storage with rust converter
pinned the bumper caps with hitch pins
installed swing down spare tire rack under rear of coach
installed a fishing pole holder to the ceiling of storage bin
cut refletix to fit all windows for sunshade in storage
reattached crown vallance in bedroom (or should I say attach where Thor failed to do it)
mounted fire extinguisher in bedroom
mounted smoke alarm in electrical bay under the bed
glued the tank heating pad that was coming off from the factory (and dealer re-glued at PDI but failed)
removed bad factory silicone job in shower and re-caulked witha good latex caulk
glued exterior trim where the factory did a poor job
installed missing cab curtain velro buttons above the windshield
installed battery disconnect switches on house and chassis batteries
installed ladder to overcab bunk (required modifications to off the shelf ladder to fit
relocated bedroom curtain latch (factory fail!)
shortened fresh water tank vent line to remove kink from factory
installed Progressive Industries power monitor
adjusted bath door strike plate so the bathroom door would latch
attached thermostat to wall using anchors (factor fail.... screws with no anchors and loose)
removed align and reattach multiple drawer slides
added missing screws to drawer slides
installed bug screens behind water heater, fridge, and furnace. (can't find one to fit the range hood)
replaced cracked water pump strainer cap
replaced or added countless missing and poorly installed screws
adjusted living TV mounting bracket and added support roller

and on my to-do list:
install thread inserts for screws holding the access panels to pump and furnace
address moisture in tail lights (recently discovered thanks to FW28Z)
place guard over awning switch to prevent deployment while under way
remove the carpet under the water heater (the only floor carpet in the coach!)
locking gas cap
powered levelers
rear skid wheels (maybe)
warranty repair of puckering vinyl
add travel latch to pantry
address faded front nose (only owned since new in June) warranty
address intermittent rear cam
address grey water drain pipe rubbing coach frame warranty
missing wiper seals at bottom of slides
adjust shower door track
new power wire harness for living TV (small gauge wire gets hot)
TPMS &/or cats eye or similar dual pressure system
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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Thank you for sharing! I love your fishing pole idea. What kind of hardware mounting system did you use? I also think that adding a smoke alarm in the bedroom is a good idea.

Also, I forgot to list one of the other things that I've done: replace all of the screw channel moldings (the white vinyl moldings that cover up the screws used to join exterior panels.

Like you, I had to fix a crown molding, too, that was not firmly attached and also was a bit too long, causing it to bow out.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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Yeah I didn't love the idea of sleeping on top of that jumble of wires and such.....

for the pole holder, I bought one of these
Amazon.com : Rapala Lock 'n' Hold Rod Rack : Fishing Rod Racks : Sports & Outdoors
But it didn't work in an overhead position

So I bought one of these
http://www.amazon.com/BoatBuckle-F15...cal+Rod+Holder
and it works great!
My only concern is that I couldn't find structure to sink the screws into so I'll likely pull he screws eventually and need to address it.....
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Old 10-11-2014, 02:35 PM   #11
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You guys impress me.

One additional project I just started is to modify the E450's dash "cubby hole" (where the coin holder is and where the upfitter switches would go).

My new RViBrake has a remote cab console that I want to mount in that location.


I use a custom panel fabrication shop that will make flat panels in single quantities. I have already ordered the panel to replace the storage bin.
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDHoge View Post
1. Modify the cab passenger seat so that it will swivel toard the rear of the MH.
.
I looked into that as it would give you a lot more room. But I am not sure if I have enough "swing space" around the passenger's chair, so I am not sure yet if it will become a project or not.

I found out Atwood is OEM for at least one brand of swivel. The cost $400 from Atwood, but they suggested trying a Fleetwood dealer as they might sell them cheaper.

I have some contact info ffrom Atwood as well as assembly instructions on pdf but I am mobile and won't have access to that info for a day or two.

If you'd like I can send what I have to you then.
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:23 PM   #13
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I'd really appreciate seeing what you have. I've done some Internet research and found that there are quite a few systems, from simple steel plates that could potentially bolt right up to the E450 seat mount, to whole hog swivel recliners that I think are designed for Class A motorhomes.
Like you, I'm worried about whether there is sufficient room to swivel the seat. However the simple steel plate swivel is so inexpensive that a failure wouldn't cost that much if you just did the work yourself and bolted it onto the factory mount. This approach would raise the seat height by 1 and 1/2 inches, which will probably make my wife's feet not touch the floor (but then she's complained while driving that she's too low and needs a cushion).
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:38 PM   #14
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that sure would be nice to swivel that seat!
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Old 10-11-2014, 04:47 PM   #15
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I'd like to see what you come up with.

The only issue I can think of is making sure the passenger side air bag sensor still works (I think it detects if an adult person is sitting in the seat or not).
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:33 PM   #16
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THOR #1075
JDHoge,

What did you do to quiet the water pump?
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:42 AM   #17
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I tied the water pump and its lines down better. I also made sure that the water hammer was open to the air (i.e. not filled with water). These simple things helped quiet down the pump.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:43 AM   #18
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A few weeks ago the plastic cap on the suction strainer between the fresh tank and the pump in my coach cracked a sprang a leak. Looked as if it was put on a bit too tight at the factory.....
Anyway, I found in messing with it that any air in that when the pump would run dry and there was any air at all in that thing and the pump noise is much more severe, and this is a high point in the suction side piping. I found that if I let the pump run a while (filling my tanks up....) eventually the air would work through and the pulsating and noise would dramatically improve.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:54 AM   #19
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So are you saying that the presence of air in the water hammer dampening tube is a mistake? In my mind I had always thought that the function of a water hammer device was to have a vertical shaft of pipe that was filled at least partially with air (which is softer and more compressible) to lessen the effects of intermittent pulses of water caused in homes at least by opening and shutting faucets (I've been in homes where you could hear the pipes rattle when the water was shut off). In the MH, the 12 volt DC pump creates pulsating pressure all the time, which is the source of its noisiness. This has me thinking that maybe the water hammer on an RV should be on the outgoing side of the system. Mine is on the supply side, so maybe that's why it isn't very effective or why it should be filled with water?
Any ideas?
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:10 PM   #20
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Oh no, not saying that at all. I was just noting an observation.

I used to work pumps and systems in the paper industry.
We used pulsation dampeners all the time for various pulsing pumps, and these dampeners are often used on both the suction and discharge sides.

I don't totally understand the affect that I was describing that was happening in my coach, but I suspect it had something to do with an interruption in flow to the pump.
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