The DIY Option

DIY-bandeau-1This week we added another upgrade to our Keystone Passport Travel Trailer.  We seem to be in a mode of upgrading some of the little things and some that may seem a bit larger.  As discussed in a previous post I understand why the manufacturers tend to go with “cheaper options” when constructing an RV, it all comes down to cost and time.. so be it.  In talking with a Keystone rep at the last RV show he gave us the “insider scoop” that if you want everything perfect you need to go to the factory and get it made that way.  Well for most of us that is not an option and when it comes to cost I think doing the little upgrades a few at a time will ultimately save you money in the long run.  Besides, being new to RVing I really didn’t know what I wanted until about a year in the RV and seeing other trailers.  So it really is trial and error for a while and then you fall into the get what you want mode.
For us every upgrade we make now is a plus.  The RV is paid off so all the cost now is added value to us and it makes the trailer more suitable to how we use it and meets our needs.  The thing that we have learned in this process is just how much you can do yourself.  Now there are things that I won’t do like drill holes in the side of my rig to install a Slider Topper.. nope.. way out of my wheel house.  But I am finding that many things can be done by myself and at a tremendous cost savings.  The case in point, and it cost me too much for this lesson, is this weeks upgrade.  We had installed (there’s the mistake) a set of Morryde Step Above steps.   We saw them at the RV show and immediately knew we needed them on our trailer.  They replace the existing fold out steps on the rig.  I spoke with the Rep from MorRyde at the show and demo’d the steps and some of the other MorRyde products.  They are fantastic, solid, super stable steps and they are great on the trailer.  I took the brochure home and did all the measuring to find the set we needed to fit our rig and went to Camping World to buy them.  They are running a $59 “We install anything” deal right now…. which is not entirely true after you pay for the parts and labor.. not to mention the item itself.  But I had them install it and came to find out one of my doors is smaller than the other and so only one set could installed.  MorRyde does not make the small door option yet.. I sure hope it’s coming.  The install took a few hours, I’m sure it is because they are installing a ton of stuff with the $59 deal, but what it amounted to was putting the stairs in and mounting them with 6 screws.  Six screws that are easily accessible.  After looking at what took Camping World 2 hours to do I kicked myself in the rear for spending the money on the install.  I could have done it in 10 minutes.  Had I ordered the steps on Amazon

6Exm0vKKTYe50TdyCU7OIgand had them shipped to my house I could have saved about $200 in shipping, labor, and install fees.  Lesson learned, look into the DIY options before you buy.
I have done a lot of little improvements to the RV.  Today I installed a pole in the closet.  We converted our bedroom closets using inexpensive drawers we found at Target so we needed to make the lined closet usable to hang jackets and shirts that need to be hung on hangers.  Took me 5 minutes and it’s done the way I wanted it.  The point is that I am learning to do it myself.  As we take our trailer out more and more and see what upgrades or manufactures are doing with the newer trailers we see things that we like and want.  From now on we will be always be looking at how we can do it ourselves before we jump to the install.  Now if it is stuff that I just not comfortable with then paying for piece of mind is always worth the cost.
So here is a list of the what we have upgraded or changed in our Keystone Passport to date:
New Mattress on bed
Installed cup holders around dinette
Bedroom closet drawers
Hall closet hanger
MorRyde steps
Slide topper
Replaced Door windows with Thin Shade windows
Replaced curtain stays as they have been breaking with zip ties
Replaced Scissor Stabilizers with Eaz Lift stabilizers
Vent Covers on the two vents on roof
Added antenna booster to TV
Lost of Command Hooks around to hang things
Tongue Jack replaced
Kitchen sink faucet replaced
Bathroom sink faucet replaced
Shower head replaced
Started changing our light bulbs inside to LED bulbs
Seat Cushions in Dinette replaced
I’m sure I am forgetting something here, but we are making the RV the best for us and we love it!
What are some of the upgrades that you have done on your rig?  We would love to know heck maybe it will inspire us to do more upgrading.
Let us know!
Have a Happy Day!

Window Up Grade! AP Products Thin Shade

11080005This week we upgraded the door windows of our Passport.  We went with the AP Products Thin Shade.
We went with these windows for a couple of reasons.  First, we love the shade that is built into the window.  The older windows allowed for privacy, but the look was just not what we liked.  The old windows looked like the glass that you find in a restroom.
Second, we love that the new windows match the smoked glass look of all of the rest of the windows on the trailer.  It makes the look of the RV much nicer and the door side now has a matched texture of the glass, it just seems to flow better.
Finally, the price was right.  We got an incredible deal on the set of windows.  We stopped by camping world.  The windows were on sale from $133 a piece to $119.  Then we got to the register we discovered thanks to the associate that there was another price marking on the box.  She told us that she had to charge us whatever the price is on the box.. so we got both windows for $180.
The project took only 20 minutes to install both of the windows, the hardest part was taking the old windows out.  Once I got them out and cleaned up the door the new install was quick and easy.
It says that the windows fit most RV’s.. they fit in our doors like fingers in a glove.  Perfect fit and great look.  Looks like they came installed from the factory… which begs the question… no it actually doesn’t.. I understand why the factory does not do the cool upgrades and I appreciate that.  The money spent later is well worth it because then you have the ability to customize your rig.
So another nice upgrade to the RV.  Glad we got it done.
Heres a video that gives you an idea of the project.
Have a Happy Day!

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The Big 5 List – Christmas Wishes

This weeks Big 5 list is all about our Happy Place.. I hope Santa and his Elves are reading this.. oh and they should Subscribe and Like the post too…
These are the Big 5 things that I was Santa to bring for the Happy Place.
anderson1.  Anderson Levelers.  I have been looking at these for two years now and am finally at the point where I want them.  They will make leveling the trailer a lot easier and reduce the time we spend checking the level and making adjustments.  We use your standard yellow leveling blocks now, and while they do a good job.. I think it is time for an upgrade.
Anderson Levelers on Amazon.
levelmate
2.  LevelMatePro Bluetooth Vehicle Leveling System.  Ok.. so this one confirms me a gear geek, but I gotta tell you.. watch the video on this product and you will want one too.  Showed this to Teresa.. who has to get out every time to check the level and I think I have her sold on this idea.  This handy device makes setting up super easy.  We live in the Pacific Northwest, so rain is always an option.  Having this will make it a lot more comfortable setting up and quicker taking down to with the cool feature that remembers the height to your ball hitch.  It’s a tad bit spendy, but in the long run I think Santa would get his money back in convenience.
LevelMatePro Bluetooth Vehicle Leveling System
compressor3.  3 gal. 1/3 Horsepower 100 PSI Oil Free Pancake Air Compressor.  This item has a bunch of uses, namely keeping air in the tires and blowing out the water lines.  But I am certain there are more uses than that.  The reason I want this one is the size.  It is small, light, and stores in the RV with ease.  A friend of mine has this little gem and it actually saved my bacon on our last outing when I realized that our tires were a little low.  Saved possible blow out on the way home.
chalks
4.  New hard Rubber Chalks.  I have been using the typical yellow chalks that you get when you first buy your RV.  Well I started with four of them and have run over two of them.. totally flattening them.  They have done their work for the last two years, but again, time for an upgrade and something more secure.  I worry about the trailer stability at times, especially since more of the campgrounds and RV pads are uneven and you never know what you are going to get.  It never hurts to be a little safer than not.
5.  New memory foam set cushions for the dinette.  This is something that is a DIY project, but something that needs to get done.  As you know, the padding is not always the greatest.  From the bed mattress, to the dinette the cushions are less than desirable, especially after two years of sitting on them.  We replaced the bed mattress with memory foam and it is fantastic!!!  Now we need to replace the dinette cushions.  Looks like Santa might have to do that one himself.. err.. or bring some memory foam.
Well.. that’s the BIG 5 for this week.  With Christmas just a few days away I hope the list is not to late in getting published for the Jolly Old Elf to see.
Enjoy the Holiday!
Whats on Your List?

Cabinet Support Install

Today we spent some time out in the Happy Place doing a little upgrade.  I found a solution to a problem that most people with over head cabinets have.. not enough hands.
For two years now we have been talking about installing cabinet supports, I finally found them at a local RV shop.  The RV Designs H277 Cabinet supports are the answer to the problem.  Easy to install and they work like a charm.
While I was out in the trailer, I also got a few other odds and ends done.  There seems to be a never ending desire to make the Happy Place … Happier.  It is fun to get in there and tinker around.  There is something special about our RV.  Because it brings us so much joy it is fun to spend time upgrading and doing those little things that make it that much better.
What are some of the upgrades You have done to your RV?  Big or small, share with us you favorite upgrade.
Thanks for checking our the blog.



Camco Screen Door Bar

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I am sure that I am not the only one that is always looking at other RV’s and how folks set them up, gadgets, neat to have stuff, and upgrades or enhancements made to the RV to make is better, usable, or increase function.
A few trips back I was talking with a neighbor in the camp ground.  We were standing outside of their trailer and the screen door was open.  Attached to the door was a screen door bar, it caught my eye.  I asked him if his door came that way as I had not seen one before.  He told me he installed the bar and it took him about 10 minutes.
Recently I was at our local RV dealer getting the new fender for the trailer and I saw the screen door bars.  I think I paid about $13 for it.
I have been waiting for a rainy day to get some inside projects done and today was the day.
The install took 10 minutes, just like my neighbor had said.  Not a whole lot to it, but it certainly makes the screen door a bit more solid and it looks great too.
We had said we were going to try it on one of our doors and if we like it we will add it to the other.  Looks like I need to go get another one.  I really like it.
This is not a big WOW project, but something that anyone can do and just a nice addition to the Happy Place.
What are some things that you have done or plan on doing to make your RV perfect?
Let us know.