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DebbieMH 07-27-2013 05:23 PM

Mods & Purchases - fun thread
What mods and/or purchases have you done to your Solera? List them in order of your 😀 happiness with them!

Mine to date are:

Kenwood radio/GPS DVD player with Sirrius
Hellwig Sway bar
Shower nozzle (just added-great H2O pressure)
Memory foam bed topper
Swivel passenger seat
Kurig coffee pot 😀

Other purchases that I like, like the windshield cover, dog fences, fans, etc. but above are the highlights! What's yours?

JLeising 07-27-2013 07:14 PM

Debbie - Won't be in order of happiness - too many to think through, but will comment/rate each:
-Fixed flexible tire fill extenders so they would take air and tied to wheel covers with wire ties. Wheel covers also tied on. No issues since this "mod" with tires losing air.++++
-Did three Magnadyne software updates. Cut the "blue wire" so Magnadyne doesn't dim when engine started. Now the Magnadyne does work, but see Garmin below. ++
-Added Garmin Nuvi 5 inch LMT GPS - mounted in dash well above the Magnadyne. Great GPS; very visible screen; allows non-driver to mess with the Magnadyne entertainment system without disappearing the GPS map; on our trip to Alaska while in Canada we set the Magnadyne GPS as a KM/HR speedometer while leaving the Garmin on the nav map. Great flexibility having both. ++++
-Added ground loop isolators between all connections from Magnadyne to TV. This eliminated noise in the TV video and hum in the audio when playing DVDs from the Magnadyne . Very clean DVD play now (from the Magnadyne watched on the TV). In truth, though, we rarely watch DVDs while camping. ++
-Added "T" knob "locks" to all the drawers in the RV and use a small bungees between the wardrobe and the pantry handles. Some drawers and once the pantry (forgot to latch the pull-out) had come open while driving. Also added a screw-eye next to the microwave and bungee that handle to the screw-eye for travel (one time the microwave dish burst out of the microwave on a bump and broke). Nothing has opened since these "mods".++++
-Removed the bathroom door and cut back the bathroom wall to the stud at the front of the shower. Replaced with shower curtains on "mini" rods. My wife found the "S" bed "like sleeping in a tunnel". This solved completely. +++++
-6 inch memory foam topper on the bed. ++++
-Added a small platform between the driver and passenger seats. Allows dog to lie on it between us, and very much helps my somewhat disabled wife to move between the cab and the house. She loves it! +++++
-Added Maxair covers to the Fantastic Fan, the bathroom vent, and the living room vent. New mod - too early to rate.
-Helwig sway bar - also new mod - too early to rate.
-Made a stove cover from a laminated cutting board. Fits perfectly; we use all the time. Never moves around when traveling. +++
-Took out the dinette seat back cushions - too thick; take up too much of the seat for comfortable "lounging". Replaced with 1/4 inch plywood cut to shape and covered with thin carpeting. Put a pillow in each seat for "lounging". Seat bottom cushions are fine. Works great for us! ++++
-Replaced all bulbs with LEDs. "Invented" a two-stage dimmer circuit with a double throw switch for the over-dinette lights and the over-'head of bed' lights. Works great and really helps battery life while boondocking. ++++
-Added a desulfinator. On our trip to Alaska, I think the house batteries were somewhat longer lasting with this mod - but not a controlled test. ++?
-Added a "charging station" for cell phones, iPad, Kindle Fire, etc. USB outlets tapped into the over-cab light and mounted in the wooden "box" at one end of the over-cab bunk - near the dinette. Very handy, works great. ++++
-Added vinyl "bra" and headlight covers for our trip to Alaska. I guess they did the job - no bad paint chips or broken headlight lenses on the trip. Not sure if we really needed - or would have been fine without. ++?
-Added pull-out clotheslines (2) over the dinette - again, for the Alaska trip. We found useful a couple of times when the campground driers were pretty weak - we were able to hang the last to dry stuff up while we drove on... ++
-Passenger seat swivel - Seemed important when we ordered it but only occasionally use. ++
-Outside shower (both hot and cold water) - seemed important when we bought, only occasionally use. ++
-We use a 4 cup "Krups" drip coffee maker. What I like is when we have electricity, it works as normal; when we boondock I just open the top, heat water on the stove, and pour into the filter side - so it works for us with or without power. +++
-We made covers that fit over the side cab windows out of plasticized cloth with elastic straps to hold them in place. These plus a Sprinter windshield sunscreen work great for "privacy" while camping without cutting off the cab area. These we use almost every evening. ++++
-Modified the latch on the shower door by adding (glued) a small piece of 1/4 inch drip tube to the door where the latch hooks. Before doing this the latch was too loose and the door would regularly come open while traveling - and jump out of its track. This tightened the latch and totally solved the problem. +++++

I'm sure there are more that I don't remember right now -

Looking forward to reading what others have done -

Taylorgso 07-27-2013 08:45 PM

JLeising - impressive list!
Here's mine, DebbieMH - and in no particular order - happy with all of them!

1. Swivel passenger seat (installed by dealer prior to delivery) ++
2. TST Tire Pressure monitor system. +++ (Also tied extenders to rims with plastic zip ties.)
3. All Halogen bulbs in coach area replaced with LEDs +++
4. Keurig Coffee Maker - also have a French Press for use when boondocking. Both make fantastic coffee. ++
5. Hellwig Sway Bar +++++
6. Windshield sunscreen (reflective one side, quilted on the other - makes great difference in controlling inside temp. +++
7. Second house battery (installed by dealer prior to delivery) +++
8. Maxxair Cover to front Fan +
9. Fantastic remote controlled fan to replace fan above kitchen area. +++
10. Toad Charge system for maintaining battery in Toad +++
11. Added 2m/440 Ham Radio. Larsen NMO antenna mounted on lip mount on front hood. ++++
12. Foam toppers to Murphy bed and Loft bed. ++
13. Carryout antenna for DirecTV installed on ladder mount and hard wired through roof into cabin. ++++
14. Electronic Deer alert. +
15. Camco Vent Insulation cushions (4" thick - just stuff in hole to keep out heat/cold).+++
16. Purchased two Ottomans for use with recliners which have no foot rest. +++
17. And strictly for Vanity, a plaque stating "Powered by Mercedes Benz" on outside rear wall. ++++++++++ ;)

DebbieMH 07-27-2013 11:23 PM

Wow - both very impressive! Thanks.

Slow_movin 07-28-2013 10:58 AM

Where to start? (2011 S Solera)
Put insect screens (Camco) over heat, refrigerator and water heater vents to keep out wasps, mud daubers. They work
Replaced fuse #23 with a 25 amp fuse. This is located in the fuse panel under steering wheel....if the 20 amp fuse blows, engine won't start...nada, zilch, zero.
Replaced 22" Toshiba TV with 28" Vizio over bunk bed.
Added a 19" Hatachi tv to bedroom.
Bought quilted reflective curtains for cab from Sprinter Store in Oregon. They provide a little insulation.
Replaced plastic kitchen and bathroom faucets with nice metal swivel faucets.
Keurig single cup coffee maker.
Aqua Spa shower head. (also for the house)
Replaced mattress with custom made 8" Memory this.
Purchased CO detector that can be put anywhere (not installed)
Bought the Vu Qube portable satellite. Detects and locks in on satellites automatically.
Removed dinette set and am awaiting a 67" Flexsteel Easy Bed sofa..should be here next week.
Bought 2 1/2 gallon fiberglass lp tank..weighs about 12 pounds when full.
Bought Coleman 2 burner roll about gas grill/stove.
Bought Weber Gas Grill.
Removed/replaced front Fantastic Fan with Maxx Air manual operated 11 speed reversable Deluxe model.
Removed/replaced bathroom ceiling fan (noisy critter) with the Fantastic fan taken from front vent.
Added Maxx Air covers to all overhead (except Deluxe model which has its own cover).
Removed screws from deck plate where "black hose" goes out to accommodate larger sewer hose. Just move deck plate aside when using the sewer hose and then slide it's not gonna go anywhere.
Installed Roadmaster anti sway bars. They are in front of the rear axle.

That's all I can think of now...Will edit later if anything comes up.

Taylorgso 07-28-2013 11:07 AM

:sterb191: Ha! Forgot about my bug screens!

hkreck 07-28-2013 01:09 PM

Well let's see???
1. Kenwood with Garmin GPS.
2. Hellwig Sway bar
3. Fantastic fans
4. Bug screens
5. Coleman Road trip grill
6. Keurig single coffee maker
7. TV/DVD player in rear bedroom

Looking into several other mods this Winter (including)
1. Shelving unit behind passenger seat for can goods and the like
2. Swivel seat
Plus what ever good mods are posted by others on the forum:thumbsup:
That I can afford.:roflblack:

DebbieMH 07-28-2013 01:18 PM

These are all great ... wait till I tell my DH ... :eek: .... some great ideas here! He thinks that this "forum" has already cost him a lot of $$$. My next possible investment is fans ... our unit does not have any fans other than the noisy one in the bathroom. We do have vents. In y'alls opinion, replace the vents with Fantastic Fans or the Maxx Air model above? I bought a pretty silent floor fan that we use when it is very hot outside, just to help out the AC. But I also know now that you can't run the AC on low on the generator for very long before you run out of propane (happened about 2 am in Florida) .. so maybe in cooler weather a fantastic fan or maxx air model would be helpful..... thoughts?

Slow_movin 07-28-2013 01:30 PM

Debbie..what we did (just last week) was to remove the Fantastic fan in the front vent and replaced the one in the bathroom (that is one noisy critter and also doesn't pull much air) with it. In the front vent we put a Maxx Air Max Fan Deluxe here Airxcel | Maxxair | Maxxfan Deluxe (Manual Opening)

This is 11 speeds and is reversible and the cover opens and closes as you see fit so there is no need for an additional cover. It cost us $327 at an RV shop plus labor. There is a video showing installation and your DH might install it..or yourself if so inclined...

We ordered a Flexsteel 67" sofa 2 months ago and the dealer told us Friday that it is in transit and, hopefully, will be delivered Monday or Tuesday...fingers crossed.

JLeising 07-28-2013 01:40 PM


Originally Posted by hkreck (Post 432432)
Well let's see???
1. Kenwood with Garmin GPS.
2. Hellwig Sway bar
3. Fantastic fans
4. Bug screens
5. Coleman Road trip grill
6. Keurig single coffee maker
7. TV/DVD player in rear bedroom

Looking into several other mods this Winter (including)
1. Shelving unit behind passenger seat for can goods and the like
2. Swivel seat
Plus what ever good mods are posted by others on the forum:thumbsup:
That I can afford.:roflblack:

Henry - Saw your note on planning to add shelving behind the passenger seat - reminded me of a mod I didn't mention. We added a canvas? over-door shoe organizer behind the ladder. Something like this one: Whitmor 6082-13 Natural Linen Soft Storage Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer: Home & Kitchen. ++++ - Works great - we can't use several of the pockets because of the ladder, but there are a lot of them - so not an issue. Also the cloth pockets keep things quiet while traveling.
Some others I forgot - added pull bar to screen door (+++); lucite storm window to rear window (++++,stopped sweating of window); Camco gutter extensions to front gutters (recent - can't rate yet); plywood cover for steps while camping to prevent stepping into the well if up at night in the dark (+++, works well but often forget to put in place).

Debbie - ours came with the manual fantastic fan in the front vent - works well. In addition to "normal" use, we use in moderate temps to ensure the dog is comfortable while we are out (up to eight hours) - battery held up well for that time; kept camper cool for him (in higher temps we start the gennie and the air-con for him - and limit our time away). My wife is a little short to reach controls to turn on/off and open/close. Remote version might be nice - I made a "control rod" for her - piece of 1 inch plastic pipe with a rubber insert on one end - this works for her to both open/close and turn control knob.

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