Simplifying RV Life

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cougar3514v

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Since I've been RV'ing only for a year or so, I don't know if the trick I'm about to suggest is commonplace and it just took me a while to figure out, or if it's something cool. 

We go camping a few times during the winter, and therefore, I need to winterize a couple of times a year.  I was getting tired of unscrewing the panel that hid the hot water bypass valve and thought there might be a better way.  In addition, when the dog steps on his water bowl and the water runs under the cabinets, it's nice to be able to quickly remove the bottom panels.  (He's a black lab so he's sometimes a little goofy.)  :D

I bought two drawer pulls that match the cabinetry in the kitchen and mounted them where the screw holes were on the panel.  I then took some commercial-grade Velcro and put it behind where the handles mounted so that I could simply pull off the panel. I've attached pictures to better describe what I've tried to say with words.

Anyway, the purpose of this post was to see if anyone else had some tricks they use to simplify RV-ing.  I'm just curious to see if there are some things I could be doing better.  What do you expect? I'm an engineer by trade, so spending 2 hours to save five minutes is in my nature!

-Dave
 

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Ned

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Dave,

That's a good idea.  Velcro is one of the RVers best friends, along with duct tape and earthquake putty, of course :)
 

cuts_up

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I have my bathroom trash can attached to the side of the tub with industrial Velcro.  On my bathroom countertop I have 2 Longaberger baskets of stuff, and they are attached to walls with Command Strip mini hooks so they don't move when we do.  I threaded zip ties through the backs of the baskets and hooked them on the mini hooks.  One of the baskets has a container of Wet Ones which we use when we are conserving water and when we are in transit. 

I am currently in the process of redoing the window treatments in the mh bedroom, and I am strongly considering hanging some fabric panels behind the valances with Velcro.

Velcro is a good thing!
 

Carl L

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In addition, when the dog steps on his water bowl and the water runs under the cabinets, it's nice to be able to quickly remove the bottom panels.  (He's a black lab so he's sometimes a little goofy.)

An elegant solution to a problem.  However, here is solutution that avoids the problem.  http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?skunum=3496&src=SRQB.  We have used 'watering holes' thru a sucession of mutts, including one purebred Labrador meathead.  It really is almost completely impossible for a critter to spill.  In fact, the only major spill was by a two-legged meathead (c'est moi).
 

cougar3514v

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A spill-less water bowl - what will they think of next?  If Casey had that kind of a dish, he'd have plenty of water to soak all of his dried dog food in.  (Don't ask me why he does that.  I'm quite happy not knowing what goes on between that dog's ears.) 

As for the Command Strip adhesive accessories, my wife and I also use them all over the camper.  One of the things we use it for is to route speaker wires under cabinets and out of site.  The speakers that came prewired in the camper aren't all that great, so we have a set of regular speakers attached with...you guessed it...Velcro.

-Dave
 

Marsha/CA

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Cuts up,

Instead of using velcro to hang the fabric panels, I used spring loaded tension rods.  Our bedroom pull down shades did not keep the bright sun out; or if we were parked near those big bright lights sometimes found at campgrouds.  So I made panels of dark fabric, sewed a pocket across the top, slipped the rod through the pocket and put the rods under the valence.  They work VERY well.

Marsha~
 

Tom

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Marsha,

That sounds like a tip to add to our library.
 

cougar3514v

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Speaking of keeping the bright sun out, does anyone have a neat way to keep the sunlight from pouring through the skylight over the shower.  Most fifthwheels I've seen (including ours) have this enormous skylight over the shower which just happens to be at the foot of the master bedroom bed.

-Dave
 

Tom

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Dave,

Seems like that was discussed here very recently. It started as a way to protect the skylight, but also discussed blocking out sunlight. Click here to read the topic.
 

cougar3514v

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Thanks, Tom.  I guess I should have done a search before posting.  The foam insert mentioned by Betty sounds like a plan.  I didn't want to cut off the light permanently, only on those late mornings when I can't get my hind end out of bed.

-Dave
 

Tom

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Dave,

The upholstered cushions work well; We have a couple on our boat that Chris made. OTOH we also have Sunbrella covers on others, where we don't need to remove them often.
 

cougar3514v

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I was also thinking of using one of those reflective automotive windshield shades cut to fit and attached with, well, Velcro.  I ought to buy stock in that company. :)  That way, I wouldn't build up as much heat between the dome and the cushion.

-Dave
 

Tom

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Dave,

You might want to velcro it to the cushion, not the inside of the dome. If it gets really hot up there, the glue on the velcro will melt and leave an awful mess. OTOH why not sew the shade material to the top of the cushion.
 

cougar3514v

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Sounds like the voice of experience.  I didn't even think of the glue melting.  Thanks for the ideas!

-Dave
 

Tom

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Dave, just one more thing I forgot to mention. Using that reflective auto windshield stuff might reflect enough sun/heat back to the dome that will cause premature cracking or failure. Try the cushion on its own first and you might find that's enough. (Chris used 4" foam, so it's a lot of sun and heat block and we didn't need the other stuff).
 

cuts_up

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Texas
Thanks, Marsha, I can't believe I didn't think of tension rods.  I use them in lots of places.  At home I use them in a window to hold spools of ribbon in my craft area.

I bought some solar "fabric" on ebay.  It's silver on one side with a white paperish material on the other.  It doesn't quite do a blackout, in the same conditions as your shade.  I have the silver panels velcro'd to the window frames, silver side showing outside the rv.  It really does help keep the temp lower inside, which was the purpose for getting the stuff.  But I needed a quick fix on the windows during my redo so I stuck this stuff up.  I have the silver stuff on all 3 windows in the bedroom.  My dd says it looks really ghetto from outside.  My new plan is to take larger pieces of the stuff and pleat it all the way down.  Hopefully from the outside it will look like a stainless steel mini blind.  From the inside, that fabric panel will cover it.  After it's pleated it will be at least 3 layers all the way down, sometimes 4 layers.  That should give a total blackout.  I took the aluminum mini blinds down because they made so much racket.

Instead of the same fabric panel across the window behind the bed, I'm using something a little heavier, and it will have 2 layers with batting (duh, a quilt).  In my head the end result looks like a headboard.  It will be covering the emergency exit, but since it will be soft we can kick right through it if necessary.

Kathy
 






 

Marsha/CA

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Kathy,

It sounds like you have a good plan figured out.  I'm going to do some research on replacing our front window drapes with a pull across accordian fan type cover.  I've seen this on some of the newer motorhomes.  The only drawback I have is that the drapes can be dry cleaned whereas the fan pull back idea might be hard to clean.

TOM:  please feel free to add my idea to the "tips" list.  Hope you guys are in a warm place, this has been the coldest winter we've had in a long long time.  We are now seeing the damage the week or two of below freezing weather did.

Marsha~
 

cuts_up

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About those drapes, I think I read here that a new set is about $130.  To have them dry cleaned is about $90 because of all those pleats.
 

Tom

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Thanks Marsha.

We're currently in Phoenix, a little warmer than it was in northern Kentucky  8)
 

cuts_up

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Marsha, I finally got those fabric panels up, using tension rods.  Thanks again for the suggestion!  It's perfect!
 

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