At the Monaco International Pre-Rally for FMCA 2017 in Indianapolis, Louise and I looked at a nice used coach. It was a 2008 Monaco Signature in beautiful condition. Louise loved it, very nice inside and out. I really liked it also but the price, the age and the 45 foot length were a problems for me. We ended up walking away from the deal. I told Louise that I now had a huge budget for making “home improvements” on our 2004 Windsor. So, I started by ordering something I had seen on the Signature. It had two pass-through storage bays, just as our coach does. Both those bays had slide trays. We have one slide tray and I have often thought about adding a second. At the FMCA convention I found one vendor offering slide trays for storage compartments. I talked to them, got prices that didn’t scare me away. I went back to our coach, measured carefully, and then went back to the SlideMaster booth and placed an order. It arrived on Tuesday, a freight shipment, on a huge 18 wheeler.
Slide Master coordinated the delivery with the Emerald RV Park in Fort Morgan, Colorado where we are currently staying. The truck driver very generously agreed to unload the slide tray alongside our coach. So, there it sat, 229 pounds shipping weight including the 42” x 8’ pallet. I unwrapped it, operated the slide, looked at the hardware supplied, and began moving it toward its eventual home. Everything had to be unloaded from the compartment. Piece by piece I moved everything from the compartment.
With the slide extended, the opposite end was easier to lift. I set it into the open compartment. Then I moved the slide to the opposite end, making the far end from the coach lighter and lifted it, sliding it into the coach. I scooted it this way and that way until I had it positioned so it would slide both ways with the desired clearances. In specifying the vertical position, I had given them the height of the lip on the storage compartment, 2 ¼ inches. The sliding tray needed to clear that lip. They supplied 2 inch aluminum block shims for each mounting hole and also one ¼ inch aluminum block for each mounting hole. Unfortunately, the desired shim that was needed to elevate the sliding tray was 1 5/8 inches and there was no way to get to that with the shims they provided. I ended up using a wood 2x2 plus some 1/8 inch stock that I had on hand. I wrestled the 8 foot 2x2 under the rails on each side of the tray.
I drilled holes in the 2x2 shim and through the compartment floor at each end of one rail and anchored the tray in place. A check confirmed that everything cleared the doors, the position was good. Everything that fit in the compartment had to be stored for the night (we’ve been having frequent rains) so I reloaded the compartment. Good news, everything fit just as before.
The next morning I’m off to Ace Hardware for bolts, nuts and washers. The two 3 inch bolts I used the previous day seemed too long so I got a set of 2 ½ inch bolts. I set about drilling holes at each of the pre-drilled locations. The first bolt went in the hole and it was too short. Back to Ace Hardware, longer bolts. When I drilled the holes, the standard 3/8 inch drill was too short, I made do with the 5” bit by inserting the bit only as far as absolutely necessary to get enough length and even at that the drill chuck was contacting the rail of the slide tray. I forgot to get a longer drill bit so it was back to Ace Hardware. Before the project was complete I was on a first name basis with the checkout clerk.
I finished inserting the mounting bolts on one side of the tray on the first day. Day two I unloaded everything in the compartment – again. I crawled back into the compartment and began working on the other side of the tray, drilling holes and inserting bolts in those holes. I’m working in and out under the storage compartment doors. The slide tray has cross members so I’m laying over the cross supports and maneuvering in limited space. Every move is twisting and stretching, craning my neck to see through my glasses, using the mini-vacuum to clean up the drill shavings.
Once all this is done I have the bolts in place. I can put the nuts on the lower side of the end bolts myself, working the top of the bolt inside the compartment and putting the washer and nut on under the coach. I even managed to do the second on one end of the tray. The rest will require Louise working from above, holding the head of the bolt stationary while I put the nut on below. So now I’m underneath the coach on pads, pinned between the gravel below and the coach above. I’m putting silicon caulk on the washers to seal the hole from the bottom. Maneuvering a caulking gun is never easy for me but doing it laying on my back under the motor home, well, let’s just say I was in danger of being caulked permanently to the motor home. I can maneuver all the way to the center but everything is limited, stretching, trying to see what I’m doing all the while. We got it done, the whole thing is in place and bolted down, ready for use. So, I reload the tray, everything back in place.
“So, what does this have to do with Yoga?” You ask. Louise loves to watch Rachel Ray each morning. This morning Rachel Ray had a guest on the show. She was young and an author. It was a promo for her book on Yoga. She loves Yoga and she was demonstrating Yoga moves that you could do while reading a book, watching TV, vacuuming the house and many other ordinary situations. At one point while watching the show, I mentioned that this reminded me of my last few days of working on the slide tray. I said, “RV Yoga.” Louise laughed and said, “The topic for your next blog.”