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Old 01-23-2016, 05:47 PM   #1
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Would love to tinker but I dont know whats safe and whats not...

Ok so I would love to tinker (aka do some simple mods) but ive never done anything like this to my RV and I dont know what is "safe" and what isnt. For example, if i want to mount something on a wall, what are my options? I want to change out some of the AV equipment, where do all the wires run? Any of you tinkerers out there want to give a virgin tinkerer some advice and pointers on either of these topics or anything else? Got good online resources besides this forum? For what its worth I have a 3170DS.

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Old 01-23-2016, 06:28 PM   #2
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Well, you picked out two of the most difficult things to do. You need to find out how your walls are made and where the studs are if you want to hang anything heavy. The wires may run through cabinets making moving them somewhat easy.
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:31 PM   #3
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If you are not hanging anything heavy on walls, just pictures or clocks, etc., use command hooks.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by phillyg View Post
Well, you picked out two of the most difficult things to do. You need to find out how your walls are made and where the studs are if you want to hang anything heavy. The wires may run through cabinets making moving them somewhat easy.

Ok, so the hanging stuff on the walls is probably at the bottom of my want list. I just threw that out there as an example. The AV stuff is at the top. I was planning on contacting forest river for wiring details. I can probably figure it out after i have that.

Phillyg, what are some "easier" mods?
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:31 PM   #5
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Lotsa luck getting wiring diagrams from FR. I just completed a thermostat upgrade mod on my 25DS and the cavity behind the entertainment module is a mishmash of cables and wiring. I was able to thread the Tstat wiring out another way and did try to tidy up what was in there. If you have any knowledge of how AV equipment is setup you might get lucky.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:34 PM   #6
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You'll have better luck running on to "Bigfoot" than getting any wiring schematic from Forest River or any other RV manufacturer for that matter. A wireless system is an option, or if just upgrading ... use existing wiring.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #7
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Im an avid home theater enthusiast so Id call my knowledge of AV wiring and stuff above average, but Im no professional more like a well-informed amateur. I have a friend that has done auto installs as well who i hope to enlist the help of in doing this.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:29 PM   #8
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I can tell you DH mounted our tv on the bedroom wall in the bedroom. Pay attention to the stud and the length of screw you are usingn. DH made the mistake of using one that was too long and ended up going through the outside of the trailer. We then fixed that ourselves using bolts and caulking.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:45 PM   #9
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It all really depends on what you're looking to do to the AV equipment. Are you changing locations or just changing what's there? If you just want to swap the stuff out, then good chance you can reuse the existing wiring.

I've run a couple new wires, like adding an HDMI hookup for plugging in the iPad, but in my trailer, I was just dropping down a hollow wall so it was pretty easy once I opened it up.

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Old 01-23-2016, 09:02 PM   #10
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Kaadk: Yes thats the kind of thing Id be doing AV wise. Would like to troubleshoot the kid area too. Lots of "not right" about the way that stuff is. Lots of issues (interference and the like). If it means replacing equipment no biggie, but may need to rewire to the front or something like that to get it how Id like. Id like to drop the av switch and replace that to run all hdmi and get a cheap bluray to feed it. The TVs i think already support hdmi.

Other things not AV related like adding a bypass for winterizing next season. Swap out the water fixtures. Others?? I know i can search til Im blue in the face of things to do, but looking for quick hit, prefer inexpensive, big bang for the buck type things.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:33 PM   #11
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A stud finder could be useful to hang heavier items. Check Home Depot

You may be able to get the manual for your electronics from the manufacturer. Find the model number and try the web. If not many systems are similar. Try a car electronics dealer and see what they have to say.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:20 PM   #12
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Wiring diagram may be difficult from FR. A/V owners manuals on the hand should be easy to get. That will tell how you A/V devices are equipped.

For tracing wires there are Wire Tracer Tone Generators that will help you locate wires by sending a tone from either end of the wire and picking it up elsewhere.

Look at the back of your tv to see if you have multiple HDMI inputs, if not consider an HDMI splitter, they are tricky though and may get expensive enough to also consider a tv upgrade.

When you thinker make sure you know what you've done and that you can reverse the process if it does not work or malfunctions. Keep good notes and pictures of the original connections or wiring.

Cutting into existing wire is a last resort and not highly recommended unless you've done it before and know how.

A/V in the RV is not much different than in the house, so if you've done that you can apply that knowledge.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:44 PM   #13
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I've done a good bit of wiring on my trailer that would have been almost impossible without a remote continuity tester for both cable and wiring. Cheap investments that will save a lot of time and headaches.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:04 AM   #14
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For what it's worth, it worth a lot-a home away from home. Congrats!

We got our 2500TS late June 2015. The unit had cloth seats so we opted for high quality seat covers from Seat Covers Unlimited in Utah (Quality, Custom Auto Seat Covers From Seat Covers Unlimited). They are made to order, so it may take several weeks. I had to send them pictures, so they could tell me if they could do it. Checking the website this morning, they don't list the E-series ford chassis, but they have the patterns and will make them. They have a customer support staff that are excellent to deal with. We ordered the seat covers (with two map pockets), arm rest covers, and shoulder pads for the seat belts. Our cab was tan, the company suggested taupe and they were right on. If you can pull material tight and can tie a knot, you can install these covers. We are sold on the Scottsdale series. The complete set was around $240 delivered.

A lot of after market seat covers we have seen are pretty tacky, look cheap and don't last. The Scottsdale material is rich looking, heavy patterned, has extra padding sewn in, and look terrific.We have had these covers in 2 pickups for several years of daily use.We have a set in our Silverado for 3 years and they show no wear. And talk about attention to detail? The Silverado has side air bags in the seat sides. They use a Velcro seam to allow the bags to inflate. We have had a lot of compliments on these covers, once people realize they are actually seat covers and not upgrade upholstery. There was no doubt we wanted them in our Sunseeker.

Other things that didn't cost a bundle, but significantly improved the use:

Cab dome light: Ours was incandescent and got extremely hot. Located a LED fixture on eBay with the same dimensions. It also has an on/off switch for convenience.

LED Interior and basement conversion: We used the cup type that look like a miniature ping pong paddle in daylight white. I found that a spatula worked well for seating them into the sockets.

Plumbing: You probably have a hot water heater bypass---if you can find it. Our is under the kitchen sink and under the cabinet floor. If yours is similar, open the cabinet door under the sink and there is a square finished panel under the cabinet. This panel is permanently attached (don't ask why). Very carefully, it can be removed without significant damage. The bypass valves are then exposed.

Our 2500TS did not have a winterizing valve for anti freeze. There was 7.5" to work with. I measured and researched. I replaced the fitting at the "in"-side of the water pump. Using the same sediment filter, the fitting allowed enough space to get a bi-pass fitting above the filter, and to maintain 7.5". It is a detail that FR should have included in the build. To do this, you will need side cutters to nip the pex connectors off at the "crown", brass fittings as needed, a pex crimping tool ($25 on Amazon), Pex pipe cutting "shears", a bag of 1/2" crimp rings, and clear 1/2" Pex pipe from a building supply or plumbing shop, and the valve. The braided does not work with pex-they require different fittings. Oddly, one of the brass bypass valves is nearly the same price as the hot water tank bypass valve kit. I ordered the kit to have a spare valve and to use some of the pipe with fittings. The tools and rings are handy to have with you on the road.

In the same area, are the low point drains, The blue (cold) will likely have a on/off valve in the basement near the water pump. However, the red (hot) low-point line will cap off under the RV. While putting in the Winterizing valve, I cut the red line near the blue line shut off and inserted an in-line valve for the hot water drain, then clipped off the cap underneath. No need to crawl under the camper to winterize.

Kitchen Faucets: One of the easiest upgrades was converting to single lever kitchen faucet. The original faucet design splashed a lot of water outside the sink. The new one has a longer arm and a pull-out rinse hose. Choose this fixture wisely for hole spacing.

UNDERCOATED: Yes, screaming with capital letters! Messy, but necessary. None of the metal underneath was protected. I noticed this because of rust spots on the drive. I used a combination of Rustoleum rubberized undercoat in spray cans and Rusoleum bed liner coating purchased from WalMart.These cans spray to the last drop. For less than a hundred dollars, it was a great investment in longevity. If you choose this route, I used about 5 cans of bed liner coating for areas such as the hitch and structure that showed. About 8 cans to do the under structure, wheel wells, cab under-floors, behind the front bumper, and any other painted or bare metal on the underside. If you choose to do this, you will need goggles, face filter mask, movable tarp to catch droppings, drop cloth to cover exhaust pipe runs,disposable clothing, and mineral spirits for clean up.

A little lengthy, but hopefully useful advise.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:38 PM   #15
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The DW had some stuff she had to hang on the walls in our new XLR. The usual beach, lighthouse and lake stuff. I found that if you have any shine to your walls the Command strips probably won't work. Every thing I hung with them fell within a few hours. I didn' want to make holes in the walls but had to to keep her happy. Most things with the entertainment center were easy if you have panels you can remove to get to the wires. You sometimes have to get creative. Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:02 PM   #16
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when we bought our new trailer last summer I was apprehensive about making mods to it. I have done a little carpentry work but am a total amateur. My advise is to start slow. I put up a couple of hooks first (allowed me to drill into the walls and see what was there). I've since made a dozen or more mods. One bit of advise I used was to drill the smallest hole you can to see if you are going to hit something in the wall - if I didn't hit anything then I could drill the hole to the size I needed. As I learned more about the trailer and its construction I felt more confident to tackle larger jobs. We have some of the command strips but have found they don't hold well on our wallpaper and wanted something more permanent. I have several more mods to make and am still a little unsure about them but you've found a good place to ask for help. I've learned tons from this forum and there are always people on here willing to help. good luck - cincia
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:06 PM   #17
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WOW you have an ever growing list for someone who is a newbie walls, AV, stereos, water fixtures and on and on and on.
For someone "NEW" you have a very bad camping diseases?
Take a look here to get some basic info there have some free videos and some pay videos, but it may pay for you just starting out to maybe pay fro some of these (RV Repair Videos & RV Tips | RV Repair Club)
Hope this helps and good luck and Happy Camping
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:22 PM   #18
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For hanging small pictures and signs, we use 3m Velcro. The adhesive is strong so we cut very small strips.

Upgrades in order of completion:

PI EMS hardwire- get the 50 amp if you think you might ever get another rig.

TPMS monitor.

400w inverter for AV items.

Sleep revolution mattress from sams club $200- WOW worth every penny. I sleep better camping than with my sleep number

Just finished adding LED strip lighting to all cabinets and wired to door switches and powered by 12v sealed batteries.

It's a good start...

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