RV Mod: CoachProxy

RV Mod: CoachProxy


OVERVIEW:

Hey you Tiffin Owner..

Yea YOU.

Would you like to:

  • Control your motorhome from your smartphone?
  • Shut off the lights without getting up from bed?
  • Have your motorhome email you when your tank levels get to a set point?
  • Start your generator from your toilet? (Don’t know why you’d want to but hey we don’t judge!)

Well then COACHPROXY is for you! COACHPROXY! COACHPROXY!

In all seriousness, David and Mike at CoachProxy have made every geek’s dream come true if you happen to own a Tiffin motorhome. They’ve developed a plug-n-play addon to the Spyder control network in your 2015+ Tiffin.

Spyder Control Systems comes in all 2015+ Tiffin motorhomes and is a control network that ties in all your switches and major coach systems together via multiplez wiring for unified management and control.  Since the wiring is multiplex, you can connect at any point of the Spyder network in order to manipulate the connected systems.

 

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. CoachProxy – $399.95
  2. Velcro Tape or a Small Wood Screw (to secure the Coachproxy box)
  3. Laptop/Tablet/Smartphone (for initial configuration and follow-on use).

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Screwdriver

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • READ THE F.A.Q.
  • Determine a location in your coach to plug into the Spyder network
    • For Allegro Open Road – The best location I’d recommend is right in the Spyder Control Hub in the Master Bedroom
    • Remove the drawer above the breaker/spyder control box
  • Look inside the open drawer space and locate the spyder control hub (to the right as you look down)
  • There should be an open slot to plug the coachproxy in to. Any one will do.
  • Use velcro tape or install a small wood screw to secure the Coachproxy box next to the hub
  • Follow the steps on the Coachproxy.com Quickstart guide to connect and configure your Coachproxy
  • Have fun managing your coach from your smartphone!

OPTIONAL STEPS:

 


 

THE LOWDOWN:

There is really no better way to manage, automate and remotely configure your Tiffin coach than with Coachproxy.  The plug-n-play capability makes it really simple mod (10minutes if you’re trying hard) which provides direct access to the spyder control network.

There are a few caveats tho – You can only control the systems that are part of the Spyder network. So for some Tiffin Allegro classes, The generator and blinds are not on the network to control, while the larger diesel pushers  may have more systems you can manipulate.

Additionally, even for some systems on the Spyder network, the CoachProxy team have purposefully left them out of the app due to safety or liability reasons (Slide control, front blinds, etc.)

All in all, a great mod. Now I just need some Google Home integration to complete my RV automation.

 


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DISCLAIMER: WARNING The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. Rogerover.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site.  Always follow proper safety precautions and procedures and seek professional assistance as necessary before attempting any DIY project!


 

RV Mod: Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer

RV Mod: Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer

 


OVERVIEW:

As we made our way from Texas to New Jersey on the Tiffinator’s maiden voyage we stopped in Atlanta to visit old friends who happen to live but 10 minutes from Safe-T-Plus headquarters in Austell, GA.  So we took advantage of the coincidence to have their highly touted steering stabilizer installed.  Brian and his team were fabulous and the install took less than 20 minutes total and an hour from beginning to end which include the test drive to adjust for dead center.

Some of the key reasons why we dove right in to this mod right from the start:

  • Protection against front-tire blowout
  • Return to center while driving lowering driver fatigue
  • Confidence when driving against grooved-roads, uneven pavement, etc.
  • Remove the “slop” in the steering

For our 2017 F-53 chassis with 22.5 inch wheels, the Safe-T-Plus team recommended the 41-180 model with associated F-53K2.5 mounting kit.  If you are unsure what model and mounting kit you need for your motorhome chassis, the link here has a product matrix that can help determine the right model.

We pulled the motorhome into the main bay and the tech’s went to work quickly on the install.  This is definitely a DIY type job for those of you interested installing yourself but it was good for us to take advantage of the team who do tons of installs a month.  At the last Tiffin rally in West Virginia, the team installed 40+ steering stabilizers in 3 days.  That’s a testament to the customer satisfaction and word of mouth.

 

 

 

 

For those of you looking to DIY – there are a few Youtube videos that show the simplicity of the is install:

After the install, we took out the motorhome for a test drive near both at the nearby industrial park as well as the highway. Stopping 3 separate times to adjust the dead-center on the steering wheel.  The road test essentially consisting of getting up to speed, lining up the coach in a straight line as you come to a dead stop, then going underneath to adjust the shock.  While this may be tough for a single DIY’er to do, but having help with someone holding the steering wheel in place while you make adjustments makes for quick work.  The last part of the Youtube install video shows how to properly center the coach.


REVIEW:

Without a doubt, the Safe-T-Plus Steering Stabilizer is a 5+++ modification.  It immediately tightened up the steering wheel play that came from the factory.  After the first set of dead-center adjustments made by the tech team, the motorhome now tracks in a straight line in comparison to the rightward drift from when we first picked the coach up.

So what was a two handed operation of full-on and constant micro adjustments while driving, easily turned into a more “SUV”-like drive with a one-hand operation keeping the coach centered on the travel lane.

I can’t recommend enough the product and team at Safe-T-Plus. They were highly professional and engaging throughout.  If you’ve yet to install this modification or still are hesitant on its improvement – check the customer reviews on online and you can’t go wrong jumping right in.

 

So..we bought an RV

So..we bought an RV

And it seems we aren’t the only ones lately.  Part-time and full-time RVers on YouTube have exploded everywhere and with RV sales at record highs, it attests to the popularity and resurgence of the pastime.

So with that inspiration, that is as good a kick to jumpstart the website and get back to blogging, documenting our new experiences in enjoying the RV lifestyle.  We are starting a new era in our lives with the intention to maintain the tight-nit nature of our family and expand our children’s awareness of this great country of ours.

All the while, as a way to pay it forward for all the RV vloggers and DIY’rs out there that help us make a good informed buying decision, I plan on documenting our experiences and DIY work here on the blog.

But back to the RV itself. Why did we buy one? What did we get? What do you plan on doing with it? That’s both an easy and hard set of questions to answer but we did have a few guideposts:

  • Plenty of sleeping options for a family of 4 with support for temporary guests (nieces and nephews)
  • Somewhat easy to maintain (within reason)
  • Great floor plan with quality finishes/materials
  • No mega bus-type RVs – something that can reasonably fit in national parks/campgrounds
  • Technology options galore!

All the advice we read pointed us that when buying your 1st RV, purchase your 3rd one which makes lots of sense due to the myriad of options out there. But with those requirements, we decided on a new coach and the Tiffin brand. Specifically the Tiffin Allegro Open Road 31SA.

The main reasons where: a) Tiffin reputation and quality workmanship. b) Floorplan, floorplan, floorplan c) Features and upgrade options extremely attractive.

The biggest question we’ve gotten so far is, why not Diesel? We wanted to stay small in form factor (less than 33feet) and Class A options there are limited, fuel economy is comparable between the two, and the price premium for Diesels compared to Class A gas just weren’t that attractive for us.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the model we liked in the color/floorplan/options combination in any of the local dealers in NY/NJ/PA. Custom building the coach was an option but with RV sales being what they are, build times are 3-4 months out. But as fortune would have it, we found the exact model with every tick mark we had listed at an RV dealer in Houston, TX.  We learned that this is actually commonplace to purchase an RV out-of-state. So we’re going to use this as our opportunity christen our RV on a maiden voyage through the South/Southeast/Northeast as a summer vacation!

So the journey starts soon. We’re leaving here within a week’s time to start our RV experience. We couldn’t be more excited and anxious. As we get familiar, I’ll post more pictures of the RV as well as our extensive plans to modify the coach to our family’s needs. See you on the road!

 

DC Trip for Norma’s Birthday

DC Trip for Norma’s Birthday

We headed south for the weekend to celebrate Norma’s birthday and do some sightseeing down at our nation’s capital. Being that it is only 4.5 hours away, it was just at a good distance away for a half day’s drive. We tried to cram in as many sites as possible that Mateo’s and Mommy’s little feet could bear with all the walking that was required. Here are the highlights:

Day 1 – Friday

We arrived around 3pm and checked into the Hilton in Old Town, Alexandria. Great location with tons of shops, restaurants, and a waterfront all down King st. I wanted to show Norma the best that exemplifies the Marine Corps – so we took the metro over to Marine Barracks at 8th & I to catch the summer-only  Friday evening parade.  We didn’t have a reservation but met a really nice Staff Seargent decked out in his Dress Blues at the entrance that gave us free tickets so we didn’t have to chance it in the General Admission line. We chatted up with an old Korea-era vet while waiting for the parade to start, hoping the forecast for rain wouldn’t come true.  We got to hear some great marches and standards by the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and the Presiden’t Own Band after which time Company A and B filed out in prep for the finale of the Silent Drill Team when the rain started coming down pretty good. They cut short the parade and didn’t get a chance to see the drill team but we had a blast anyway.

Day 2 – Saturday

We started the day with room service for breakfast and then headed out early to head out for our main day of sightseeing. Our first stop was the National Museum of Natural History which Mateo loved, especially the dinosaur and mammals sections. He even got to see a live tarantula feeding which scared the beejubus out of Norma. We ate lunch at the museum then headed out to see the Washington Monument and then took a short stroll north to pose in front of the White House and fist-bump Obama. Norma wore the wrong shoes so her feet were on-fire right about then due to all the walking we did, so we snuck a cab to head over to the Capital posing for pics and then a shorter stroll over to the National Archives and see the real-deal copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

We were pooped and then headed back to the hotel to relax for bit before going out to dinner down at the Charthouse on the Potomac waterfront. We  ate well and celebrated with a birthday chocolate lava cake for Norma before heading back home on the Trolley and calling it a night.

 

Day 3 – Sunday

I think everyone was sore from all the previous day’s walking, so we got up a little later and found a cute diner in Old Town, Alexandria to eat breakfast. We headed out for the last bit of sightseeing at the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial towards the west side of the National Mall. There were lots of people but we got some great photos of the memorials and of the long length of the mall.

It was a great birthday weekend from start to end. Sore feet and all, there was so much to do – really almost too much to do, that we will probably be back one day to get a chance to see more wonderful sights and history.

More pics here in the gallery.