Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: A Few Mods before Winter

Posted By: 12thgenusa on 11/09/16 08:01am

We used the trailer pretty well this year, 89 days including a 75 day trip to Alaska. This along with some recent posts by others gave me ideas and plenty of time to plan some new mods.

RVcircus posted a video of installing a Smart Tile backsplash in the kitchen.
So I ordered some Smart Tiles from HD and did the same. It’s fairly straightforward, however they don’t tell you how to handle the fact that wall corners and countertops rarely meet at 90 degree angles. I made a couple of small goofs and also had to patch together some trimmings to fill out the area, but overall I am pleased with the result.



The rear kitchen layout has more counter space than other floorplans but there is only one light above the sink and if you are working on the end of the counter you are blocking the light from the room overhead lights. I added a second light beneath the cabinets.


The bathroom has no heat vent and the door is always closed so it can get rather chilly during the cooler times of the year. I saw where
bartlettj had added a heat vent so I thought I would do the same.
I bought the furnace flange on ebay for $6 including shipping, the round register from CW for $7.59 and the 4” duct from HD for $10.65.

It’s a bit disconcerting to drill 4” holes in the bathroom floor and several wall cabinets but the installation went smoothly and we should have a toasty bathroom next spring. There were three blanking plates on the furnace and this summer they all fell off when traveling some of the rough roads in Alaska. I took the opportunity to add a sheet metal screw to each so that won’t happen again. (If you’re getting low airflow out your heat vents you might check your furnace for the same problem).






The next is a small but annoying thing. When setting up I seem to generally forget to unlock the tabs on the outside flap for the stovetop vent fan. Along about supper time, DW asks “did you open the flap”? Sometimes the tabs can be reached from the ground, but if the site is not level, you may have to climb partway up the ladder to reach the tabs. You also have to remember to close it when getting ready to travel. I decided to add a mechanism for opening and closing the flap from inside the kitchen.

I bolted an angle bracket to the inside of the flap to which I attached a small clevis. Several pieces of 3/16” steel rod were bent to fit through the duct and out through a slot cut in the side of the fan box and threaded to accept the clevis and the coupler. Several screws were added as latching pins. To open, the handle is lifted and pushed aft and latched behind the aft pin. To close the handle is lifted, pulled forward and rotated in front of the forward pin. I really wanted to use a mini linear actuator with a 1” stroke, wired through the fan switch, but didn’t want to spent the $$.[emoticon]





2007 Tundra DC 4X4 5.7, Alcan custom rear springs, 2009 Cougar 245RKS, 370 watts ET solar,
Rogue MPT-3024, 440 AH GC2 bank, ProWatt 2000,100% LED lighting

Posted By: ScottG on 11/09/16 09:42am

Nice work!
Been thinking of doing the tile thing in my own TT. I have the same basic layout except my range is to the right of the sink.
How does the grout part work or is it part of the tile?
Looks fantastic!

Scott, Grace and Wesly
2003 Dodge 3500 4x4, 6 speed Cummins.
2018 Silver Fox 32A.
H0NDA eu2000i

Posted By: westend on 11/09/16 10:37am

I know the off-square aspect of your kitchen counter area had you pulling hair but it looks great! The flapper mod is a thing of engineering beauty. It's probably best you didn't use an actuator. They are prone to break-downs and it is just one more thing that can go wrong. Nice work!

'03 F-250 4x4 CC
'71 Starcraft Wanderstar -- The Cowboy/Hilton

Posted By: downtheroad on 11/09/16 11:48am

Love the exhaust vent opener....

"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."

Arctic Fox 25Y
GMC Duramax
Blue Ox SwayPro

Posted By: Rbertalotto on 11/09/16 01:39pm

+2 on the exhaust vent mod! VERY Clever!

Dartmouth, MA
2018 RAM 2500 4X4 6.4L
2011 Forest River Grey Wolf Cherokee 19RR
420w Solar / Bogart SC2030 / Trimetrics

Posted By: Roger10378 on 11/09/16 01:42pm

Good job on all three things. I did the smart tiles a couple of years ago and they still look like the day I installed them. I have had the furnace blanking plates fall out so I used duct tape on them. I like your vent actuator but it would be difficult on mine as the fan is part of the M/W. I'll have to give that one some more thought.

2005 Cardinal 30TS
2007 Chevy 2500HD D/A

Posted By: RollandB on 11/09/16 03:03pm

very nice work. That heat duct could come in hand on cold days if you heat it first before sitting down.....;-)

2005 Silverado 3500 Crew Cab Long Box, Duramax/Allison, B&W Companion, TST507's

2016 Artic Fox 27-5L

Posted By: popeyemth on 11/09/16 08:44pm

Could you post a little better picture of the attachment at the flap?
Can't quite make out the clevis and swivel.

"wine is a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy" ben franklin

Posted By: 12thgenusa on 11/10/16 09:22am

That was the best pic I could get. The opening is only about an inch so you can't see very far back. What you see is the fork end of the clevis bolted to the angle. The clevis is about two inches long and the rod is threaded into it. About two inches farther back the rod bends 90 degrees and comes out the slot shown in the next picture. There is no swivel.

Posted By: mikakuja on 11/10/16 09:53am

Nice work!

Posted By: DrewE on 11/10/16 10:39am

I agree, very nice work all around!

Another approach for a flap actuator (in case someone else is thinking of doing something similar) might be a push-pull bowden cable, such as is frequently used for lawn mower throttle controls. I might be interested in this if my RV's range hood vented to the outside, but alas it only circulates air inside the RV (and makes rather a racket in the process).

Posted By: 93Cobra2771 on 11/11/16 07:46am

Love the flap actuator!

Richard White
2011 F150 Ecoboost SCREW 145" 4x4
Firestone Ride-Rite Air Springs/Air Lift Wireless Controller
2006 Sportsmen by KZ 2604P (30')
Hensley Arrow

Print  |  Close