This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Friday, 13 November 2015

Modifications to the camper that make us happy

I am so blessed.  Yes, I’ve got the best husband there is.  Benno calls himself an addicted technician and he is happiest when he gets to use some of his fine tools to make a modification, or a repair of some kind.  When we purchased our present travel trailer we got a demo.  Overall the trailer was in showroom condition and we really like the layout.  However, there is always room for improvement, as you know.  So during our 5 months trip last winter we quickly found out that the size of the bathroom sink was meant for children and not adults and the cabinet above it was installed so low that we bumped our heads when brushing our teeth.  Also the toilet was on the low side and tiny, the hand pump lever was weird to operate.  In short, we got on the phone and ordered a new toilet, which arrived by courier amazingly already the next day right to our campsite spot at Tombstone Territories RV Park.  I am glad to report that this new article made a big difference in our recycling comfort!

New Toilet

A couple of months in our trip last year we spent in Arizona where the temperatures at night fell to the freezing mark.  Our propane furnace in the camper kept us cozy, but the manufacturer of the camper did not include a heating outlet in the bathroom.  You guessed it, we dreaded going in there unless we had opened the door for a while to warm up the place.  A heating vent in the bathroom was added to the to do list when we would get back to Canada in the spring.

Unless you have actually used your RV for a while, you don’t really know what works for you or what irks you.  I, for one, like to cook and bake.  Unless we are on the road where I try to simplify our meals, there is always some preparation necessary which requires a reasonable space to work on.  Whoever designed the kitchen/galley space in our size of camper has NOT lived in one, I am sure of it.  Why use up space with a double sink and only leave a tiny counter space next to it is beyond my understanding.  I had been struggling to create more working room by covering the double sink with a cutting board, which didn’t fit too well and also covering the stove with a board to work on.  My creativity to gain space went not unnoticed and last week, to my surprise, the galley countertop had disappeared together with its awful sink and faucet.  A new solid surface countertop is on order with a single stainless steel sink and faucet and I can’t wait for it to be installed.

Old Double Sink

Countertop Removed

New Countertop with Sink Cover

New Countertop with 10"deep Sink

Meanwhile this summer Benno had been busy with the installation of a heating vent in the bathroom, replaced the sink in the bathroom with a larger one and a new faucet, added towel holders, repositioned the cabinet higher up and added a recessed LED light fixture above the bathtub/shower stall.  Really just little improvements but they make a big difference, like the additional shelf with fiddle he built in my galley cabinet to store some essential items.

New Heating Vent

Old Sink, Faucet & Low Cabinet

New Sink, New Faucet & Raised Cabinet

New Recessed LED Light Above Shower

Having enough power while dry camping and being on the road without using your generator is of everyone’s concerns.  With our experience as previous boaters and having been self-sufficient on our boat, we knew that the camper needed more stored Amps in the 12 VDC circuit to help with our power consumption.  Without going into the expense of adding a pile of solar panels to the roof, Benno replaced the factory supplied Group 24 Wet Cell battery with a Group 24 AGM, 80 Amp (Absorb Glass Matt) deep cycle battery.  He did not like the factory battery wiring so he modified the wiring from SAE wire to AWG Ancor Marine Grade Wire all the way to the converter.  To beef up the Amps, he wired 2 extra Group 31 AGM, 105 Amp each batteries into the storage compartment under the bed to the circuit and installed a 1000 Watt sine wave inverter next to it with the result that I now have an additional outlet in the kitchen to use for a coffeemaker or toaster etc.  Pretty neat, I think.

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