RV Mod: Swivel Mount for Indoor TV

RV Mod: Swivel Mount for Indoor TV


OVERVIEW:

Another “should’ve come from the factory” mod. This one fixes the issue of not having very good viewing sight lines for the TV in the living room. Sitting at the dinette or captains chairs to watch the main living room tv is difficult since, from the factory, Tiffin puts the TV on a fixed mount vs an articulating mount so you can adjust it to your liking.

The dilema is in finding a mount shallow enough and with a locking mechanism that support RV’rs unique needs. Once we found a TV mount we thought met those needs – the install was relatively simple but it is a two-person job due to the size of the TV.

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. MorRyde Exteding Swivel Mount  (rated for 50lbs)- $89

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Drill
  • Screwdriver / Impact Screwdriver
  • Level (one comes with TV mount)

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • Remove the TV from wall by unscrewing the fix mount from behind the top and bottom of the TV
  • Measure the distance to the horizontal and vertical center of the wall where you want to mount the TV
  • Take careful notice that the TV mount is offset from its base a few inches to the left. Compensate for this difference when screwing the mount to the wall for that same distance off-center.
  • Double-triple check your level and centering prior to drilling holes for your TV mount.
  • The mount can be installed inverted if you prefer the locking mechanism on top vs towards the bottom as you see here.
  • Next, using a helper, mount the TV to the bracket using the provided mounting screws that came with the kit (do not reuse the previous mount screws)
  • Finally, sit back and admire your work while watch TV at any angle in the RV

THE DOWN LOW:

While this mod is not complicated to do, it requires two people and you should take your time to make sure you measure and then measure again so that your TV is level and centered. You only really get one try once you start drilling.

Two small issues you should know – the refrigerator bump stop below the left side of the TV ( near fireplace) needs to be accounted for when centering your TV to ensure it doesn’t interfere.  Secondly, when you swivel the TV towards the main cabin the bathroom door can not open as wide as previously before.  We swivel the TV enough for a better viewing angle, but no so much you cant walk by and get to the bathroom.

If you have a checklist for breaking camp – you have to add one more item now (lock TV swivel), as you don’t want to drive with the TV out of it’s fixed position. Otherwise – another simple and functional mod.

 


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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: Captain’s Chair Table

RV Mod: Captain’s Chair Table


OVERVIEW:

Something we noticed the Tiffin was short of when we looked at other coaches was the lack of a table in between the two captain chairs up front.  We found these to be really functional and allows for additional seating for eating and guests to ultilize for placing drinks/snacks at. We chose ours to add an additional workspace as well for a laptop when stationary.

Since we love simple and quick RV mods – we thought we’d tackle this ourselves. From start to finish, this may have taken 15 minutes max (assuming you have the right tools).

 

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. Table Base Protuding Mount – $7 (You can order two of these vs the flush mount if desired)
  2. Table Base Flush Mount – $9
  3. Table Leg 25.5″ – $25
  4. Table Top – $50
  5. #6 Self-Tapping Screws x 6
  6. #12 Self-Tapping Screws x 6

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Drill / Impact Screwdriver
  • Dremel or Rotary Tool (optional for flush mount)
  • Metal & Plastic cutting attachments for Dremel
  • Safety Glasses and Mask

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • PUT ON SAFETY EQUIPMENT
  • Measure the hole needed to cut by marking out the flush mount against the bottom of the table
  • Using a router attachment, route out a hole against the plastic (the plastic will produce a lot of small shavings you don’t want in your eye or to accidently breathe in)
  • Test fit the flush mount (the hole will be shallow) and mark out the about needed to trim from the mount
  • Using a metal cutting attachment, trim the flush mount to the required height
  • Test fit
  • Mount the flush mount onto the bottom of the tabletop with #6 self-tapping screws
  • Drilling through the carpet – Mount the Protruding Table Base in between the captain chairs using #12 self-tapping screws
  • Be mindful to mount it centered in between the two chairs and not centered against the center console of the dash. The center console is actually right-of-center to accommodate the driver foot well.

THE DOWN LOW:

You can choose a different style table top, so your mileage may vary on the installation but we like the oval nature of ours (utilized mostly for boating). It provides enough room to put two plates for eating or a laptop and mouse for work. The setup stows away under the master bed when not in use which another plus.

I’d prefer for the color to match the dinette table top but for how easy this mod is – we’re fine with the white color. Easy and functional – so this get’s a 10/10 on the DIY scale.

 


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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: Selecting a Car & Gear for Flat Towing

RV: Selecting a Car & Gear for Flat Towing

As our travels progressed the first few months of RV ownership, the realization soon came about that in order to fully enjoy the places and locales we were visiting, we needed to travel beyond the confines of the RV Park or campground we happen to be staying at.

The lack of convenience in being able to quickly get in and out of the RV destination started to impress upon us the need to have easy transportation nearby.  Then started the research to see what kind of vehicle we can tow behind the motorhome that would give us the flexibility we need to travel outside the RV Park and better enjoy our travels. The main reasons were:

  • Quick in & out travel – for groceries, camp store and other amenities
  • Easily parkable – for day trips and other adventures
  • In case of emergency – Ready access to a vehicle
  • Another means of transportation – if the motorhome became disabled – we’d have
  • Too long to break/setup camp – Our motorhome (33ft) can take 15-20 minutes on average.

That made the decision easy to determine we needed a vehicle to tow, but what vehicle and equipment needed to tow became as onerous a research project as buying the RV itself.


 

VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Must be flat-towable thus a manual transmission
  2. Good tow-bar and base plate options
  3. No fuse pulling or key in ignition
  4. No hour or mileage restrictions to charge battery
  5. Easy to mod for tailights or diodes
  6. Less than 3,000 lbs in weight for easier towing

Out of those requirements, we refined the list down to the Honda Fit and the Hyundia Elantra.  Both cars came in the 2,500-2,800 lb range which was good for our motorhome chassis (Be sure to check your towing and tongue weight capacity as they are important).

 

 

A great resource to use to determine flat towing capability for a car is the Family Motor Coach Association website.  They have a section specifically on flat towing and guide for which cars could be best suited. The annual subscription is well worth the cost for the guide alone.

We settled on the Hyundai Elantra GT and happened to find a 2014 manual transmission close by here in New Jersey. The car weighs in an est. 2,865 lbs and had plenty of videos online showing base plate and tow bar installs that gave confidence in getting a good set up.

 

 


 

TOWING GEAR NEEDED:

Now that we had the car settled as to what we were going to get. It was time to think about the towing gear necessary to complete the project and prep for our first tow.  Depending on the car, there are lots of options to choose from, so do you research carefully as you want to make absolutely sure there are no incompatibilities and and all safety considerations are achieved.

Cost estimates for the additional equipment to get your Dinghy/Toad vehicle ready, range from $1,000 – $3,000.

You do not have to purchase the more expensive options but here’s our “short” list of the major equipment and why we purchased it:

 

ITEM DESCRIPTION COMMENT
Base Plate – Roadmaster EZ2 Base Plate that permanently attaches to your car allowing to connect tow bars from your motorhome Can be DIY or Professionally installed. For Elantra – youtube video guides are avail.
Tow Bar – Roadmaster NightHawk Tow bar arms that connect your towed vehicle to the motorhome Non-binding tow bar with LED lights
Quick Disconnect – Roadmaster Quick Disconnect Attached to the base plate as an assembly to connect the tow bar to. The NightHawk tow bar requires a quick disconnect bar when used with EZ2 base plate (not all base plates require this)
Supplemental Braking System – SMI Stay-n-Play DUO Directly installs to towed vehicle to apply towed brakes simultaneously when the motorhome brakes There are lots of options for either a portable or permanent install kit. Research is required for your specific vehicle and needs. Some states require this for certain towed vehicles
Lighting Wiring Kit – Roadmaster 6 Diode Kit  Allows for motorhome brake and turn signals to be linked to the towed vehicle If your turn signals are separate from your brake lights – a 6 diode kit will engaged them all
 Drop Receiver – Roadmaster Dual Hitch Receiver  Allows the towed vehicle to be no higher or lower than +/- 3 inches in relation to the motorhome tow hitch  We elected a dual receiver to be able to attach our bike carrier in addition to towing our car. Be sure to check your motorhome tongue weight limits if you were to do the same
 Break-Away Cable – Fastway Coiled Break-Away  In case of catastrophic disconnect – the break-away cable triggers your supplemental braking system  Attaches to the break-away switch provided in the supplemental braking system
 Hitch Lock – Bolt Receiver Lock  Avoid theft of your expensive tow bar
Charge Line – RVIBrake Battery Charger Charges your towed vehicle battery while under tow Some vehicles require the key in ignition or ACC-ON in order to disable steering wheel lock, which can drain battery over time.

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

Now that all the parts have been ordered – In the next few weeks, I’ll be working on guides for the base plate, wiring/charge-line, and supplemental braking system install. In addition to the tow bar/hitch set-up.

RV Mod: Adding Rear View “Mirror” to Tiffin Allegro

RV Mod: Adding Rear View “Mirror” to Tiffin Allegro


OVERVIEW:

During our first few trips with the RV, it became a bit of a bother, as a driver, not having the ability to look behind you and see what your passengers are doing or up to if you needed to get someone’s attention.  When my co-pilot is tending to our young boys – it is hard to tell whether a loud voice or loud yell will get someone’s attention (especially if someone is way back in the bedroom).

My solution was to take advantage of the Video input of the existing backup/side camera system in the coach and add a small video monitor that can be switched at a moments notice to act like a Rear View “Mirror”.  All in this mod cost less than $30 and took about 10min max if you set up the camera in the location I did.

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. 1080P Mini Bullet Survellaince Camera – $20
  2. 12V 500ma Power Supply – $7
  3. 3 or 6ft RCA Video Cable (Yellow)

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Velcro or double-sided tape (to fasten the camera)

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • Pop open the removable lid atop your Dash (for those of you with older vehicles without a quick-access panel, you can access the back of you rear-view camera from under the dash or by removing the radio)
  • Locate your AV-IN Video connector by tracing the wires out of your Rearview display.
  • Plug the camera Video connector (yellow) to the Display AV-IN connector
  • Plug the 12VDC power adapter (red) to the power connector on the camera (red)
  • Plug into any available power outlet
  • Velcro or sticky tape camera in desired location

THE LOW DOWN:

This is just for pure convenience but is a cheap and easy mod that takes advantage of your OEM equipment.  To use view the camera, simply press the AV button on the backup/sideview camera display.  That’s it.

The picture quality is about on par with the backup and side view cameras. So daylight/bright scenes are good but dark/nightime is barely usable.  If you wanted to get fancy, you could likely flush mount the camera right against your dash and hardwire the power supply, but that was more work than I wanted to do.  Tiffin on the other hand could install this as OEM as it would be minimal cost to incorporate during build.

 


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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: Improving the Tiffin Allegro AV Cabinet

RV Mod: Improving the Tiffin Allegro AV Cabinet


OVERVIEW:

After getting our DirecTV Trav’Ler dish installed and set up for multi-tv use, the AV “closet” in the Allegro 31SA was a spider’s web HDMI switches, power supplies and cables. This has led to previous complaints of failed HDMI switches due to overheating. Additionally, due to the limited HDMI port availability and space constraints on the coach TVs, it is difficult to add the kid’s gaming console for them to enjoy while driving or parked.

With that I had two objectives for this mod:

  1. Improve the airflow within the small space to reduce heat further
  2. Add ability to easily plug in gaming consoles to play on any TV within the coach.

Neither job is overly complicated but you must be comfortable with cutting into your coach cabinetry if you want to achieve the same result.

The end result came out well and the DW is very satisfied with the clean look and ease of plugging systems up.

 

 

 

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. AC Inifinity AirPlate T3 – $49
  2. 2 Port HDMI Wall Plate – $10
  3. 3-Port HDMI Switch – $12
  4. 1.5 Ft HDMI Cables (x3) – $9

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Short Screwdriver
  • Right Angle Screwdriver
  •  Small Putty Knife
  • Spring or Bar Clamps
  • Drill
  • Oscillating MultiTool or Dremel
  • Masking/Painters Tape
  • Wood Glue

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • FOR THE FAN INSTALL:
  • Remove the wood vent next to the cabinet (use the putty knife to slowly pry the panel off the nails)
  • Remove the exposed finishing nails
  • Measure the Fan Controller and mark the cut lines
  • Cut and ensure tight fit of the fan controller
  • Use wood glue to reinstall the wood bracket holding the controller
  • Remove the AV cabinet top
  • Locate the OEM fan, unplug and remove from cabinet (may require right-angle screwdriver)
  • Mark the cut lines for the fan
  • Cut the fan opening and test fit
  • Connect and wire up the controller per instruction.
  • Utilize the open outlet made available from removing the OEM fan.
  • Place the temp sensor inside the AV cabinet, near the HDMI switches
  • FOR THE HDMI SWITCH INSTALL:
  • Mark the cut location
  • Carefully cut thru being cautious to not go too deep and accidentally cut the inside of your wardrobe
  • Interconnect your 1.5ft HDMI cables between the wall plate the 3-port HDMI switch
  • Remove the HDMI-in cable (From: Tiffin DVD Player – to – Tiffin HDMI Switch) and plug it into the last port of the 3-Port HDMI switch
  • Plug the 3-port HDMI switch into the same port you removed the cable from the previous step and tuck to the side
  • Screw the wall plate against the wall
  • Replace the lid on the AV Cabinet
  • TO UTILIZE THE HDMI SWITCH:
  • Select HDMI2 (or the input you normally used for DVD) on the TV you want to use
  • Whichever console/device you power on last, the HDMI-switch will automatically make that the active input

OPTIONAL STEPS:

  • Due to the location of the gaming consoles, wireless controllers are best suited for this install
  • If you have more than 2 additional consoles/devices to plug in – use wall plates and hdmi switches with more ports

 


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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: TST 510 TPMS

RV Mod: TST 510 TPMS


OVERVIEW:

Safety. Safety. Safety.

That’s the word in a nutshell for this mod. Extremely simple to do and can be completed within 15 minutes

If you don’t know why a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is so important, here are our top reasons for installing one:

  • Maintain even tire wear
  • Direct alerts for fast leaks or blowouts
  • Monitor tire temperature
  • Monitor TOW vehicle tires

There are lots of different TPMS systems out there with several specifically targetting RVers.

I chose the TST 510-RV TPMS with 6 Sensors model which retails for $316 on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

SETUP:

  1. On a piece of paper, write all your sensor ID codes (printed on top of each sensor) to the tire location you will install each one.
  2. Go to each of your tires and use the included wrench to install them on your valve stems (if you don’t have steel valve stems standard, you should consider that mod prior to installing the TPMS)
  3. Determine a location for your display unit and power it up via the 12v connection. Optionally, you can hardwired to an available 12v line under your dash. The lithium battery is rechargeable and lasts several days on its own, so hardwiring is not a necessity.
  4. Go on to individually set each tire location on the Display unit with the specific sensor ID you wrote down earlier.
  5. TEST DRIVE.

 


THE LOW DOWN:

The added sense of security when traveling down the road in your motorhome is immeasurable. The ability to monitor your tire pressure and ensure all 6, 10 or 14 tires of your coach + toad are operating efficiently that helps to minimize catastrophic tire damage is a win-win no matter how you count it.

The systems are not on the cheap side of cost, but this is a must-have safety upgrade.

 


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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!