DIY Projects

Windsheild/Side Window Screens

Shortly after I got my class A I decided to get window screens. I didn't do a lot of checking around like I normally do and ended up getting some custom made ones for about $100 on sale. The only problem was they were the snap on style. IE - You have to drill some holes to mount the snaps. If I had it to do over I would get the roll-on version.

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Voltage Monitor

When I first started to RV in my class C I bought a voltage monitor from Camping World. I thought was pretty useful at the time. But, as time went by I and got a little smarter it became clear that I needed something better as I found out that the meter wasn't very accurate. So, I decided to make one that I could use for monitoring both AC, DC and use it for other things.

Parts:

  • 1 Multi-meter - Harbor Freight - $2.99 (on sale)
  • 2 Sets of banana plugs - Radio Shack - $5
  • 1 Cigarette lighter plug - Radio Shack - $2.50
  • 1 90 Wall Plug - Local Hardware Store - $1
  • 1 Piece of 1/8" Plastic or Lexan - Local hardware Store - $2
  • #12 Red & Black Wire - Wal Mart - $3 each

AC Plug Assembly:

Cut about 6" or 8" of wire and attach (solder) a banana plug to one end of each wire and attach the other end to the wall plug. Be sure to attach the black to the neutral side of the wall plug and the red to the hot side. Polarity on the AC side isn't as important as it is on the DC side.

DC Plug Assembly:

Cut the appropriate length of wire and attach (solder) a banana plug to one end of each wire and attach the other end to the cigarette lighter plug. Be sure to attach the red wire to the center portion of the cigarette lighter plug and the black wire to the ground portion of the plug, as polarity counts.

Wall Holder:

The wall holder was made from some scrap Lexan I had in my shop. I just scored the Lexan at the places I want to bend and then heated them with my handy dandy Harbor Freight heat gun to makes the bends.

Note - In the photo of the voltage monitor it shows almost 128 volts and the photo of the meter shows 121 volts. This could be important during the summer when the electricity is marginal at many RV parks. That's why I installed an EMS-LCHW50.

WARNING - Always remove the wall plug or the cigarette lighter plug FIRST before removing the leads from the meter to prevent the possibility of shorting the leads together.

Before

After

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Satellite Stand

I like many of you have a portable satellite and used any number of different mounts. I used a foldable tripod for a couple of years until I found a site that made one from PVC pipe. For the original site Link Here.

I made a couple small changes.

  1. I left mount in the 180 position instead of the 90 position.
  2. I did not glue the center mount so I could maintain plumb during setup.

I also removed all the nuts and replaced them with wing nuts. This allows me to setup the satellite and not use any wrenches. I also drilled out the spots welds on the feed horn arm and used some 1/4"/20 bolts and wing nuts, as this allows the feed horn arm to fold for storage.

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Chrome Exhuast Tips

I got to looking at the exhaust pipes on my rig and they looked kind of shabby so I decided to add some "shine" to the tips. I looked at Stainless Steel tips and Clamps but decided against them due to cost.

I trimmed about 8" off the exhaust pipe and added a 3" to 4"x12" Chrome extension. I used an exhaust pipe cutter to do the trimming but a Sawz All will also do the job.

If you own a Winnebago you will most likely have to cut off the steel extension the Winnebago adds.

If you want a set check out the Product Catalog.

Before

After

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Stainless Steel Caliper Pistons

Back in April of 2010 I got an Email from a fellow RV'er that was having the classic "The OEM Brake Problem" of a stuck caliper. He had tried various avenues with Workhorse to get the brakes repaired and got nowhere. Also, he was tired of waiting for the OEM brake recall to start and decided to make his own Stainless Steel caliper pistons. Of course when I posted this info on the net I got a lot of flak over SS versus Phenolic and heat transfer. Here is a link to the orginal post on the internet. "Why we have brake issues"

Here are some photos of his brakes before any mods.

Owning an engineering company he had many tools at his disposal, one of which was a microscope. He disassembled the stuck caliper so he could rebuild it. It should be noted that it took 125 psi to remove one of the caliper pistons. The other had to be machined out.

Using the old caliper piston as a model he machine 2 new SS pistons for testing.

As you can see in the above photo the new SS pistons have been installed with new seals and dust boots. They also have been properly clearanced per spec.

After a successful test of the new caliper pistons with an extended road test he decided to complete the project with a new design and rebuild all 4 of the calipers. He also decided to add drilled and slotted rotors and new performance brake pads.

Can you get a set of these SS pistons? Sorry to say no due to the cost of Product Liability Insurance. But, you can have a set made. There is a CAD drawing in the Media download section. SS Caliper Engineering Drawing

You can purchase the drilled and slotted rotor, along with a set of pads, from Brake Performance part # RB-83015.

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You may have gotten here via Tech Tips
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Stand Alone Water Filter

When I first started to RV I didn't use any kind of water filter. But, I learned real quick that many campgrounds and/or RV parks have really bad water. I stayed for about a week at KOA that had its own well. Needless to say it took about 3 complete system flushes to get the rust and sediment out of the system. I vowed that would never happen again. So, I checking Camping World (when I still shopped there) and then headed down to Wal Mart, Home Depot and Lowes to see what was available. I ended up with an Omni whole house water filter.

PARTS:

  • 1 - U25 Omni Whole House Filter
  • 2 - 3/4" pipe thread to hose connector
  • 1 - double female hose connector
  • 1 - 12" piece of septic system drain pipe
  • 1 - PVC patio drain
  • 1 - Quick Disconnects
  • 1 - Hose Splitter
  • 1 - Water Faucet (Optional)
  • 1 - Pressure Regulator (Optional)

Sources:

  • Filter - Home Depot/Lowes - $20
  • Fittings for water filter - Home Depot/Lowes - $10
  • PVC Drain Pipe - Home Depot/Lowes - $5
  • Patio Drain - Home Depot/Lowes - $5
  • Quick Disconnects & Hose Spliter - Harbor Freight - $5 (on sale)
  • Optional Parts - Wal Mart - $25

NOTES:

  1. The RV style pressure regulator are not all that good. Get a good Watts version.
  2. The "O" ring on the filter needs to be replaced every now and then. I bought 4 or 5 at Menards .
  3. Replacement filters can be purchased at Wal Mart or Menards for about $10 for a 2 pack.
  4. Do not use any plastic hose repair kits as they don't last and most of them leak. I use only brass male/female hose connectors I get at Wal mart for about $2-3 a piece. Same goes for "Y" connectors and Quick Disconnects. Harbor Freight has the best price on Quick Disconnects.

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One Hose Water System

After I traded for my class "A" I used the old water filter setup initially. But, I decided to upgrade the system so all I had to do was hook up 1 water hose. No more connecting, disconnecting, leaky washers, extra hoses for the black tank rinser and so on.

When your view the photos you may think the water filter is mounted in the wrong place, where the sewer connection is. But, if check a to see where Newmar mounts their $231 version you will find it is in the very same spot as mine.

With my setup any water that goes to the coach is filtered. I have an adjustable Watts water pressure regulator installed so I can be assured that the coach water pressure is not above 60 psi. I have shut offs for the tank flusher and the filter.

I can take the system apart in about 30 seconds with the quick disconnects for servicing. The quick disconnects allow me to remove the filter and reconnect the water to the coach while I service the filter.

I have removed the check valve installed behind the city water inlet for better water pressure and it eliminates noise. But, be aware you need be able to shut off the city water supply inlet when the house pump is turned on, otherwise you will have water being pumped into the basement. Because I never have to remove the hose I add a cap to the end of the hose as this keeps the system closed.

Because I have the black tank flush hooked permanently I have a back flow preventer installed and I shut off the water to the coach when flushing the black tank.

Lastly I only have 1 hose to hook up or disconnect no more leaks from loose connections or worn out rubber washers.

Parts:

  • Filter - Omni U25
  • 4- 3/4x3/4x1/2 male pipe thread to hose adapter
  • 1 - 3/4 double female hose adapter
  • 1 - septic system pvc pipe - cut to length
  • 1 - 5/8" male hose repair kit
  • 3 - 5/8" female hose repair kit
  • 1 - 4'+ section of hose - new/used (black tank hook up)
  • 1 - 4'+ section of hose - new white
  • 1 - hose shut off valve
  • 1 - hose bib splitter
  • 3 - male/female hose Quick Disconnects
  • 1 - water hose cap
  • 1 - back flow preventor
  • 1 - Watts N 45BU Water Regulator

Sources:

  • Filter - Home Depot/Lowes Cost - $15 or less
  • Brass Fittings - Home Depot/Lowes Cost - $15 or less
  • PVC pipe/Drain - Home Depot/Lowes Cost - $5 or less
  • Hose repair kits - Wally World Cost - $1 or less
  • Hose new - Tractor Supply Cost - .65 a foot
  • Hose used - My garage Cost - 0
  • Hose shut off valve - Harbor Freight Cost - $2 or less
  • Quick Disconnects - Harbor Freight Cost - $4 (6 pc set - on sale)
  • Hose Bib splitter - Harbor Freight Cost - $1 (brass - on sale)
  • Back flow preventor - Local Farm Store Cost - $4 or less
  • Watts Pressure Regulator - Home Depot/Lowes Cost - $20 (no gauge)
  • Water Hose Cap - Any RV supply Cost - $1

Notes:

  1. Since these photos were taken I have replaced all of the plastic hose connectors with brass versions secured with small hose clamps. NO MORE LEAKS!
  2. I have also replaced the green black tank flush hose with new piece of hose that is marked "Black Tank Flush - Do Not Rwmove".

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