Monday, August 5, 2019

I finished installing

the driver's side seat yesterday, and it was not too bad of a job. I had to remove the black plastic box covering the seat bag control module so that the swivel would fit over it.

We also installed a screen door handle on the inside of the door.  Really hoping to be able to go camping this coming weekend to try everything out!

This black box covers an electrical box that is located under the driver's seat. 

I covered the electrical box with some heat and moisture proof material.  The electrical components looked securely wrapped, so we are not too concerned about leaving the plastic box off.

The new swivel platform raised the seat about two inches, which was a good thing!

And here it is, all swiveled around.  The steering wheel gets in the way of a full recline, but it is lots more comfortable than the dinette.

The screen door will be much  easier to close from the inside.

I'm waiting on some new cords for the Sirius radio, a blue tooth enabled OBDII reader, and a two pack of plastic Lynx Levelers. The Winnie doesn't have any type of leveler mechanism installed, which is okay by us, it's just more weight. But we have to have a way to sit level. There are no wind down stabilizers on the underside of the carriage, perhaps because there are dual wheels in the rear.

The Hubster has been reading a book on solar power, and has found the type of lithium battery he wants to buy from an eBay fellow in Racine.  He just has to figure out where he is going to install the system.  Onward!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

I removed the passenger seat

this morning in between making another batch of bread and butter pickles.  It wasn't a difficult job, but since I've never done this type of job, it took the better part of the day to complete.  I had to ask the hubby for help with one seat bolt that I couldn't remove, and he interrupted his floor job to help me try out the swivel and rearrange the underseat electric wiring.  The job required a TP55 driver, an 18mm socket, and a 15mm socket.

We haven't yet camped in the Winnebago, but we are pretty certain that we need decent seating, and already know that the dinette is going to be uncomfortable, so we purchased swivel bases from Sportsmobile to see how well they might work.  I called customer service and expressed some reservations about how well the driver's side swivel is going to fit, since there is a small plastic covered connector box underneath it.  The young man who answered was kind enough to include a return shipping label in case that swivel doesn't fit.

The old seat base on its back.
It took me quite awhile and help from the hub to figure out how to release the yellow connector.
The metal base is bolted on with 15mm nuts.

The new swivel base, ready for tightening.

I had to borrow some carpet to fill in the blank spaces that the new base wouldn't cover.

The initial installation looked pretty good, and the swivel worked well, the only problem was that the plastic wall seat belt housing and the side plastic piece where the seat belt clips in were hitting each other.

Initially, this seemed like a deal breaker. I took the whole seat off its base, removed both of the plastic covers, reinstalled the seat, and I went inside to let the hub know about the problem.  

He sat down to try out the swivel and figured out that the seat has to be rotated in stages, and requires sliding the seat all the forward at key points. So, we removed the seat once more, reinstalled the plastic covers, bolted the seat down, and he zip tied the electrical connector so that it won't bind up when using the swivel.

Tomorrow, I will tackle the driver's seat. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

I drove the Winnie

to an RV sales repair shop about 40 minutes from here to have a Fantastic Fan installed in place of the original. We wanted a reversible fan with temperature and rain sensing capabilities, having used one on our previous camper trailer.

The repair shop said the old one had a cracked housing, which was too bad since we were hoping to swap it for the bathroom vent which has a very small fan in it. On the way back from the RV place, I stopped to top off the gas tank which was 1/3 full, and spent a whopping $102 to fill it.

I looked over the recent repair records that the previous owner had included and was pleased to see he had the oil changed 700 miles ago, and that he had had numerous upgrades done to the steering and suspension last year, along with maintenance on the generator.

The swivel bases for the front seats that I ordered from Sportsmobile arrive today, and a special TP55 bit to remove the floor bolts arrives tomorrow. I went out last night and tried to find this bit locally, but could only find T55 torx bits, and the Ford e-series seat bolts are “torx plus” 55, which have rounded instead of sharp star points. The regular T55 might work, but I do not want to risk rounding out the bolts when I remove the seats tomorrow. I took a look at the seat bolts and they appear to be clean and rust free, so hopefully they’ll come out easy.

I took some photos of the interior.  As you can see, standard RV fare. I removed all the covers from the dinette and washed them, despite the dry clean only label. They probably had never been washed, and I let them air dry and wrestled the covers back over the foam. I’m not sure how comfortable the dinette will be, which is why we looked into installing swivel bases on the front seats. Still, with the slide out, there is a surprising amount of room.

I have put a few things in the kitchen but have not really spent any time thinking about how the rest of our stuff will fit.

Earlier this week, we moved the Winnie around on the driveway to find a level-ish spot so that we could start up the propane refrigerator to see how well it worked.  We also started up the generator and ran the roof top A/C.  Everything checked out : )

Some updates on the dome light problem: it turned out to be a case of user error. I just needed to turn the headlamp pull out control all the way to the right and the dome light now works as it should.  While at the RV repair shop, I asked the owner what to do about the missing travel strap for securing the slide while driving. He said that cutting a 1" dowel, gluing rubber tips on each end, and inserting it between the interior wall and the inside of the slide wall would provide peach of mind.

I bought a copy of William Prowse’s book on RV solar, and hubby has been looking it over.  I like the author’s idea of putting the solar charge controller, fuse block, and inverter on a plywood board and mounting the board in the rv, rather than trying to find cabinet space for the components. The Winnie has a space behind the drivers side that may work.  Prowse has a few you tube videos demonstrating his layout.  Installing solar will be our next big expense. Thankfully, the Winnie was well taken care of, and we shouldn’t have any other concerns to address.