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Old 01-29-2018, 09:00 AM   #1
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Essential A-Frame items/mods

Thought I'd start a new thread since my last one went long and kind of got hijacked!
All of my updates to this list will be added as new posts at the bottom of the thread. Please see updates there.


I've had my A122THESP in the driveway for a week now and have yet to go camping in it but I've spent hours sitting inside with pen and paper trying to figure out the things I need when I do head out (listed below).

Keep in mind that this is my first camper so I'm starting from scratch.

What are the essential items you guys bring with you or always keep in your camper and what Mods have you done?

So far I've done the following:
  1. Added a Back-up Camera
  2. Replaced the crank tongue jack with an electric jack
  3. Added a 4" gel foam topper to the bed
  4. Bought some secure key hooks to hold a spare set of keys
  5. Started putting together a tool kit with fuses, wire connectors, and standard tools
  6. Got a smaller folding table for the dinette (unsure of what to do with the old one and how to make use of the bed now)
  7. Added bubble levels to the front and side
  8. Bought the Anderson leveler and chocks
  9. Have an LED strip light on order to add to the peak of the roof for ambient lighting
  10. Have an EZ-Up Canopy but want to make a DIY Awning
  11. Bought a pair of camp chairs
  12. Bought a privacy tent for the Porta Potti and outdoor shower

So I know I need a few more things and there's an IKEA 5 minutes from work so I'll stop in there for organizational and kitchen items but here's some of the things I'm thinking I should get:
  1. Probably need a camp mat/rug
  2. Also thinking about making a pattern and having a carpet shop bind a remnant for the inside
  3. Want to add some sort of corner protection for under the cover
  4. Looking for a storage container that's waterproof for the outside front toy hauler platform
  5. Need a coffee Maker
  6. Maybe a 12V TV
  7. And that's about all I can think of right now!

Help me complete this list with suggestions, ideas and anything you think are unnecessary.

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:12 PM   #2
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50 Amp to 30 Amp adapter, 15 Amp to 30 Amp adapter, 50' 30Amp extension cord, water pressure regulator, water hose, wood blocks for leveling, stadium cushions for sitting and kneeling on, small tool kit with ratchet, sockets, screw drivers, square screw driver, pliers, tape measure. Multimeter. Electrical tape. Spare fuses. Breaker bar or torque wrench with socket that fits lug nuts, spare lug nuts. Wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer to measure temperature inside of refrigerator from tow vehicle (costs is about $10 from Walmart), Spare AA/AAA/9V batteries.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:39 PM   #3
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50 Amp to 30 Amp adapter, 15 Amp to 30 Amp adapter, 50' 30Amp extension cord, water pressure regulator, water hose, wood blocks for leveling, stadium cushions for sitting and kneeling on, small tool kit with ratchet, sockets, screw drivers, square screw driver, pliers, tape measure. Multimeter. Electrical tape. Spare fuses. Breaker bar or torque wrench with socket that fits lug nuts, spare lug nuts. Wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer to measure temperature inside of refrigerator from tow vehicle (costs is about $10 from Walmart), Spare AA/AAA/9V batteries.
Thanks Alben, good list of things, some I hadn't considered.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:03 PM   #4
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Agree with Alben on the toolkit...

This was the fun part for our family as we were in the same boat as you at the beginning of last camping season. During our first full season last year we feel we have everything we could possibly need.
Much depends on your style of camping but fire related accessories are nice in the pacific northwest. Axe, hatchet, splitting maul,shovel, portable fire pit,fire starters/extingquishers and fire poker tools allow us to tend fire in almost any circumstance either in campgrounds or BLM land.
We also enjoy our rivers and lakes with inflatable kayaks, river tubes, life jackets and fishing poles that are permanently stored in our A214HW. We also invested in a collapsable wagon that is handy to carry all of the items needed for a beach trip or to carry items to your friend's campsite at the other end of the loop. A nice 10 foot braided security cable and lock will give you a bit of piece of mind if you want to leave your site un-attended. We use it to lock up our bikes, spare propane, genset etc when the need arises. We found a bluetooth lock that has a tamper siren along with several other cool features that seems to work well with the braided cable solution.
You mentioned camp chairs which you shouldn't skimp on if you can help it. We spend a lot of time sitting around camp and as such we appreciate good comfortable solutions. We enjoy the folding reclining chairs along with several hammocks. Wife just switched to a fold up rocking chair instead of the recliner....each to their own.
I agree with Alben on the tool kit items. I have amassed my own kit that takes up about 1/3 of the top storage box on the A214HW that includes all items on Alben's list plus a few. I would also add epoxy, super glue, duct tape, all sizes of zip ties, ratchet straps, 50' 12V primary wire, wire nuts and funnels. I use a blue funnel for water needs and a red funnel for fuel/oil and other chemicals (usually related to our small genset/inverter). I also tossed a 4 foot section of 2x4 in the box which has come in handy for multiple items that I would have never anticipated.
Battery powered touch lamps that are mounted with 3M tape are nice for inside the storage bins and make finding things at night much easier. We also installed a bottle opener next to the microwave as well as several other personal touches that make things nice. We tossed out the factory 'wardrobe' that hangs over the bed and have replaced it with several similar hanging units from Amazon that work much better and hold about 5 days worth of clothes for the 3 of us.

Cheers,
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:58 PM   #5
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Thanks ugorico,


I do have one of those collapsible wagons and my folding camp chairs are pretty comfy.


The fire and wood cutting tools are things I hadn't thought of but I am having a custom Kukri made for me that I'll be using for chopping wood and kindling.


My A-Frame is the ESP model and it came with racks for bikes and Kayaks which is one of the selling points for me as I plan on bringing both of those. There's also a built in "toy Lock" with it but I'll add another cable for locking more gear.



I have most of what you and Alben listed for tools but will add the rest as well.



I was actually playing with that "Factory Wardrobe" yesterday and was thinking there had to be something better, care to share what you replaced it with?


The Adapters Alben mentioned I also hadn't considered and I love the wireless thermometer idea for the fridge.


Keep the ideas coming I'm planing to put together a complete list once I get more replies.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:07 PM   #6
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Don't know your hight (or partners), but we have a 16"x1/2" piece of pcv pipe with a notch cut on one end so that shorter folks can reach to close the vent fan.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:50 PM   #7
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You will need some sort of grey water container. We got a 5 gal blue container from walmart and a short hose to connect to it. We also carry a ryobi cordless drill and ryobi cordless air compressor. Both use same 18v batteries. We keep them and charger in a ryobi bag and always carry it with us. If we are lazy use it to raise and lower jacks and check tire pressure both going and coming. We also added these type of shelves which really come in handy to put out your food and supplies.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:24 PM   #8
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Get a surge protector to plug into the campground/site power pedestal before plugging in your power cord to the camper. This alone could save you hundreds if not thousands in electrical repair bills. Also, a tire pressure gauge, air compressor, door mat to stand on when using the exterior shower, IR thermometer to check power pedestal or tire temperatures. After you spend a few weekends in the camper you'll find other items you feel you need, might want to have or leave at home.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:57 AM   #9
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Going to do a little something different. One of the problems you have is figuring what not to bring. Solution Mark everything with blue painters tape at the beginning season. When you use it remove the blue tape. You will be surprised what you don't use. Note never do this to first aid kit or tools. BTW instead of an Air Compressor I carry a Ryobi inflater. Goes with my impact driver for raising and lowering the stabilizers
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:33 AM   #10
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Is there a way to edit your original posts? can't seem to find a button for that. It's on my last post but not my original post.

I was going to update my first post with a list of everything everyone had suggested to make it easier to find.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:23 AM   #11
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In addition to the 12v air compressor & pressure gauge, I'd add a tubeless tire repair kit (glue and plugs).
Odds and ends: brass 90's for the water in and out - Water Bandit - paracord - rain ponchos.

Enjoy!
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:21 PM   #12
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My A-Frame is the ESP model and it came with racks for bikes and Kayaks which is one of the selling points for me as I plan on bringing both of those.
If you bring kayaks on the camper, you will need an alternative way to move them to the water. Consider a wheeled kayak cart. They can be anything from lightweight and home made out of PVC and foam pipe wrap to fancy heavy duty collapsible carts that can carry a loaded fishing kayak and still pack away in a kayak hold.

I really like the C-TUG.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:53 AM   #13
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I didn't know the electric tongue jacks were so inexpensive. I may have to get one!

I had to replace/build a table for my 194HW.. now when it's on the stand, it's kinda hard to get into the seats, but I'd really rather maintain having a table.

One of the mods I did was installing a wired-in EMS.



This way I never have to worry about plugging into anything, or anyone stealing an external EMS.

Another thing I did was replace the locks on all the outside storage doors.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:41 AM   #14
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If you bring kayaks on the camper, you will need an alternative way to move them to the water. Consider a wheeled kayak cart. They can be anything from lightweight and home made out of PVC and foam pipe wrap to fancy heavy duty collapsible carts that can carry a loaded fishing kayak and still pack away in a kayak hold.

I really like the C-TUG.
Pooneil, I'm using this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Fray, what are you referring to when you say EMS? It's early and my coffee hasn't kicked in yet!

This is the tongue jack I installed: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Super easy to install and works like a charm.

The keys for the locks on my outside doors suck so I'd prefer to replace them as well, do you have a link to what you used?
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:07 AM   #15
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Pooneil, I'm using this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Fray, what are you referring to when you say EMS? It's early and my coffee hasn't kicked in yet!

This is the tongue jack I installed: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Super easy to install and works like a charm.

The keys for the locks on my outside doors suck so I'd prefer to replace them as well, do you have a link to what you used?
The Progressive Industries Electrical Management System. They make a 'dongle' type you can plug into the post at a formal campsite with electrical hookups. It protects against surges, slumps, brown outs, and pretty much every electrical situation that can make the stuff inside your camper release the Magic Smoke.

I got the version that hard wires inside the camper, so I have the protection, and no one can easily steal it.

The lock replacements I got from https://ch751.com/. See, our campers, and EVERY OTHER CAMPER AND RV MADE (pretty much) use the same key for the outside storage doors. Silly... anyone with a key can unlock all the storage doors on your camper. I ordered a set of barrel key replacements from that site. Quick and easy to install. Sure, if someone is DETERMINED, they can still get in... but it will stop casual thieves.

I probably will end up getting the tongue jack. I was lifting the tongue to hook up the truck in my driveway in November, and while it wasn't hot that day, I started working up a sweat. Plus my knuckles kept smacking the propane tank cover. Eh, I'll just get a powered jack sooner or later! I also want to slap 100-200W of solar panels on the roof and wire them in... as well as replace the OEM converter.

Upgrades and mods... do they ever end?
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:33 AM   #16
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Plus my knuckles kept smacking the propane tank cover.
That's exactly what made me order mine!
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:52 AM   #17
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What's the model EMS you are using? Is it this one? https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-I...eace6d240f7da1

I don't have my owners manual handy and not sure what AMP service the A-Frames are.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:33 AM   #18
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What's the model EMS you are using? Is it this one? https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-I...eace6d240f7da1

I don't have my owners manual handy and not sure what AMP service the A-Frames are.
30 amp. I went with the portable model: Progressive Industries, Inc. | Rv Surge Protection
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:19 PM   #19
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What's the model EMS you are using? Is it this one? https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-I...eace6d240f7da1

I don't have my owners manual handy and not sure what AMP service the A-Frames are.


Yep, that's the one. 30A service is what most small campers use. Single phase AC. It's easy to wire in if you've ever done any wiring. The instructions are very clear. I found there was PLENTY of space behind the converter in my camper. The furnace is above it, and there's just empty space behind it. The cable coming from the outside plug was long enough to cut and put the EMS in there. It has a remote screen that uses a phone cable to plug in, so you've got to consider routing that out. I'd recommend not leaving it out - when I use my generator, I have to switch the EMS to bypass, since the generator isn't grounded. I could rig up an Edison plug to tie the neutral to ground on the generator to get around that, but I haven't found a round tuit yet.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:30 PM   #20
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without getting too technical...
Weber Q
easy up canopy...or whatever.
create-a-breeze fan...and an installation of a couple of 12v outlets
dual 12 or 6 volt deep cycles...
and if you camp off line for more than 5 days with the dual battery set-up...an 80 to 120 solar panel.

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