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When we bought our Newmar Northern Star three years ago I decided that I was going to add some cabinetry, a television lift, and an electric fireplace. The idea was to get this portion of the project installed then eliminate the head banger TV and cabinet at the front of the coach. This is the first phase of that project. The couch on the left side of the photo below is what we removed. When we left our sticks and bricks home we had a very nice 42" TV that we brought along for this project. I just needed to purchase and install a television lift, electric fireplace, cabinetry, and countertop. Piece of cake right? So, I ordered the lift which is a model "30003 Valueline" Touchstone lift and a 30" Touchstone Electric Fireplace. I got two 12"X12"X30" unfinished base cabinets from Menards and the necessary lumber to build the rest of the cabinetry. This is the lift and cabinetry build in the early stages of the installation. We opted for this arrangement so that we could utilize our window in an unobstructed fashion when the TV was not being used. The framing and support for the counter top was fabricated from 1"X4"'s . The counter top itself was fabricated from 1/2" clear plywood. We were very fortunate to find a plastic laminate that almost matched our Corian counter tops in the galley. This is the project just prior to staining the cabinets and installing the finished counter top. Installation of the countertop. It is glued and screwed to the newly installed cabinetry Finally the finished project (I still need to re-staing the baseboard with another coat of brown stain)
76 Linear feet, approx. 1470 LEDs. Installation included use of aluminum channel extrusions and light diffusers together with HDM7 RF controller which features multi-function light patterns and dimming capability. Single color only - soft white to align with pre-existing OEM LEDs installed on both passenger slide bottoms and Girard Canopy Awnings.
Sharing photos of my recent DIY installation of Boogey Lights "Under Glow" surround ground effects LED lighting. As shown, the LEDs were installed beneath the motor coach on all sides (F&R, Driver and Passenger sides including underneath the entrance door steps). Installation is relatively simple and easy to do but does require some pre-planning in terms of placement and wiring. I choose to direct wire my LEDs to the coach' 12vDC circuitry which is Boogey Lights recommended practice (in lieu of using a 110vAC converter which are available). Located the main junction box and LED controller inside the passenger/door side basement compartment just ahead of my wet tank basement and then ran a single 14-AWG power (Pos +) wire to my electrical bay located on the driver's side and connected to a spare fuse terminal on the main 12vDC fuse panel together with the use of a 20-amp fuse. Materials required for the installation included 1) Boogey Lights (basic) RV Under Glow kit (which includes 2-ea 16' pre-measured LED lighting strips, a controller and wiring accessory kit) together with additional pre-measured LED light strips in 8', 4' and 3' sections along with their optional HD-M7 RF controller, aluminum channel extrusions (for mounting the LEDs strips as well as the light diffusers panels which "snap on" to the aluminum channel housing the LEDs), 2) additional materials and supplies used for my DIY installation which included 16 AWG wire, tie-wraps, #8 self tapping screws, black RVT silicone, some 3/4" x 3/4" x 8ft aluminum angle extrusions as well as some 1/4" x 1" x 8 ft. aluminum flat bar) along with other misc. parts and supplies. As shown, I particularly selected Boogey Lights single color "soft white" LEDs while they do offer a multi-color version (basically R,B,G which along with their optional controllers can be "tuned" to produce millions of color variations if so desired and can also be controlled by their cell phone app). I also upgraded to their HD-M& RF controller that includes a dimming feature (as well as other lighting control features) which further allows me to adjust the LED lighting illumination to align/match with my existing OEM installed LEDs located beneath the 2-two passenger side slides as well as on my 3 Girard Canopy Awnings. Used with discretion, these LEDs provide both lighting accent to the coach while at the same time offer increased safety when moving about the outside perimeter at night such as when needing to access the wet or electrical bays. Expectation is we will not "always" use these but on occasion do so while respecting the privacy of our fellow RV neighbors when in commercial parks. Additional information and photos of the actual installation can be found in at IRV2.com under RV Forums > RV Systems and Tech > Gear Discussions; http://www.irv2.com/forums/f52/diy-installation-of-ground-effects-led-lighting-374831.html I'd like to also mention and recommend Boogey Lights if your interested or contemplating a similar installation yourself. Boogey Lights Inc. is widely recognized as a supplier of high quality (and not the cheapest) LEDs particularly for recreational use applications, i.e. Automobiles, Motorcycles, Boats & RVs. The material composition and quality of their lights are apparent when you see them and even more so when you install and use them. They also offer the best warranty in terms of the lights themselves and are available to provide assistance (by phone or email) when it comes to planning or actually installing them. Don''t second guess yourself - you can easily "do it yourself (DIY)". No rocket science involved but does require that you do some "pre-planning" as to (a) where you want to install them, (b) what type of lights you want (single or multi-color), (c) the lengths of LED lighting you'll need or want, (d) where you will mount your controller (e) and whether you want to do direct 12vDC or use a 110v AC adapter - then its all a matter of labor from that point forward. On a coach the size of mine (45' DP) it was some what a labor of love that lasted more than 10-days to complete (albeit when I work for myself, I tend to call it a day and come and go as I please), hence the installation could have been quicker, I just wanted to take my time and work on them when I felt like it. Why DIY one might ask (vs. having them done for you)?, Well I obtained numerous quotes that ranged from $3,700 to as much as $4,500 for the supply and installation of the LEDs. By doing it myself I have calculated that my total cost (excluding my personal labor) was <$1,000 (which included the LEDs and supplied materials purchased from Boogey Lights at a total cost off $589.00). Hope you enjoy the photos.
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.”