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Old 08-15-2018, 07:10 AM   #1
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Popular Trailer Mods - Why?

Hi folks.

I love seeing all the mods everyone does, and am looking forward to doing some myself. The reasons behind some are obvious; shelfing in cupboards, adding drawers, etc. But there are a few popular mods that many folks do but there is no reason posted as to why they do them.

For example:
  • Swapping out the analogue thermostat for a digital one. Many are doing that, so there must be a benefit, but what is that benefit?
  • Tie downs for the power awning. Is that something I need to do? I had thought I could just push a button and put the awning away (I love that!) if it became windy, but is that enough?
  • Adding an oxygenics shower head. I've just used our shower once so far and thought the water pressure was pretty good. We were running water from the holding tank which uses the onboard pump.

We've only just taken our new 25KS out for it's maiden voyage, so perhaps in time the reasons behind these mods would become apparent.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:19 AM   #2
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As far as having an Oxygenics shower head (like we do).......

For those that have one, no words are necessary.
For those that donít, no words can do it justice.

Just sayiní
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:31 AM   #3
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I'll address the digital thermostat. The digital ones tend to be much "tighter." That means there is much less difference in the temperature at which it comes on and goes off. Analog models are very imprecise. Also, in many analog models the "swing" (temperature difference between turn on and off) can be many degrees. What is "swing"?
Say you set it for 75 degrees. The analog one won't turn on to cool the RV until around 77. It then will stay on until the RV gets down to to around 73. So, you will get very hot and then feel like you are freezing.

The "swing" in most digital thermostats are much closer. Coming on at the temperature you set and then going off 1-2 degrees below that.

The digital thermostats cost a little more, so the manufacturers keep using the analog models.

As for the awning tie downs, no you don't "need" them. Just be sure to bring in your awning if it is getting windy, or when you leave the RV for any length of time. I've been RVing for quite a few years and have never used them. I'd venture to say that most people don't.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:32 AM   #4
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The digital thermostat is a good mod. Cant speak for everyone, but for us it was an accuracy thing. The analog one was off by like 7 degrees, and it caused the A/C to go on and off and on and off and on and off. But with the digital one, the temp is much more accurate, and it doesnt go on and off as often
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:35 AM   #5
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Digital thermostat so you can set the temperature to where you want it.
Old style slide only allows you to sort of get it in range. Setting it at "right about there" could mean the difference between 45 and cold or 55 and just needing the right blanket for a good nights sleep.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
As far as having an Oxygenics shower head (like we do).......

For those that have one, no words are necessary.
For those that don’t, no words can do it justice.

Just sayin’
That and ... most of the time it's 2-3 days at an electric only site. With my tank capacity at 45 gal. It allows setting lower flow volume and still having the pressure and convenience of not running out of water and having to add from the jerry cans before I pack it up

X2 on the T-stat
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:48 AM   #7
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The awning poles/tie-downs is so you can leave your awning out longer. We've encountered some rain storms where my BIL had to bring his awning in as it was flapping in the wind, but after helping him contain it to get his closed, we then stood under mine that was perfectly fine with the poles and tie downs in place. However, if the wind gets too strong, like blowing debris around kind of strong, you still need to take the awning in.

I let my set go with the old TT, and I haven't put them ones on the new fiver yet. DW doesn't want them, as the dogs would constantly get tangled in them. So now I'm back to the same procedure I had before I had poles, if a storm is coming, I need to basically break camp, putting all the chairs and tables and what-not away, putting the awning in, tucking all the firewood under the trailer, etc...
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:57 AM   #8
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That and ... most of the time it's 2-3 days at an electric only site. With my tank capacity at 45 gal. It allows setting lower flow volume and still having the pressure and convenience of not running out of water and having to add from the jerry cans before I pack it up

X2 on the T-stat
Aaaaaahhh! Now THAT makes sense to me! We mostly camp at provincial parks which are hydro only. So I may need to look into that mod. Thanks!

And the digital thermostat may mean I'm not doing the blankets on/blankets off thing all night long lol. Now if only hubby and I could agree on a temperature I guess I'll add that one to my list as well.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:02 AM   #9
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I'm not much of a fan of digital thermostats. Far as I'm concerned a few degrees off one way no big deal I have 2 ACs . As for awning poles I use them and love em don't have to worry about rain or wind when I'm at the camper. Good investment as ya never know when you get one of those strange winds come out of no where. Yes I do watch the weather and If I leave for the day and weather is iffy I will put awning in. Takes about 60 sec to remove straps and roll awning up. Poles are permanently attached to awning and I will just leave them hanging when I put awning in. There is a travel mode for the set up might take 2 min to put up. Later RJD
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jacqui583 View Post
Aaaaaahhh! Now THAT makes sense to me! We mostly camp at provincial parks which are hydro only. So I may need to look into that mod. Thanks!

And the digital thermostat may mean I'm not doing the blankets on/blankets off thing all night long lol. Now if only hubby and I could agree on a temperature I guess I'll add that one to my list as well.
I added the single lever faucet as well, because it allows me to get the temp and volume set quicker and the with the goofy faucets they use in the shower that have both handles turn the same way and it is counterintuitive to the way any other faucets in the world work.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:42 AM   #11
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I'm a fan of digital thermostats. They have less temperature swing and improve comfort. Also, as a full timer, I can program them to save energy and have the camper at the perfect temperature when I return home.

Awning tie downs are great and I will get one one day. Some folks just use tie down ratchet straps but I would want something that secures the awning in both directions up and down.

I bought an oxygenics shower head but only use it when I'm dry camping. At campgrounds, my regular shower had has more water flow and great pressure.
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:43 AM   #12
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we also have the 25KS, ... love the digital t-stat and awning poles, but are satisfied with the factory shower head, we don't use one of the fancy ones at home and this is camping, ... but there is one shower mod that we did want, ... shower head holder is too darn high for us(especially for the one who is 5' 1"), it almost touches the ceiling, ... we bought two of the suction cup holders so we each could have it at a comfortable height of our choosing, ... but the suction cup has to have a smooth surface to get a good hold and the shower wall surface isn't, ... I mounted a flat smooth piece cut from a 5" vinyl post, now everybody is happy, even with our old cheap shower head, ... we love the 25KS
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:57 AM   #13
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I've had awning poles for five years and never used them. It really comes down to what type of awning you have and personal preference.
The old style manual awnings would hold enough rain water to bend the tube if not properly angled or wrap over the top of the camper in wind, but many of today's awnings have auto dump and will fold if the wind kicks up. Using awning poles will defeat these features so it kind of becomes a question of whether you trust the design to work as intended or whether you want to control how it works.
Once upon a time I thought about changing to a digital thermostat, but the one that came in my camper seems to work just fine. Temperature swing would be the biggest reason for changing, but mine doesn't appear to suffer from excessive swing.
We bought this camper new five years ago, and the only mods I've performed is changing to LED's throughout, changing the pancake lights in the bedroom to an actual 12v ceiling light and reading lights that can be aimed. I did mount the old pancake style reading lights inside the clothes closets which made a huge difference.
Thought about changing to the oxygenics shower head to help conserve water, but never found one with the off button in the shower head so continue to use the one that came with the camper. If you do change the shower head, you'll want to ensure the new one has a button to shut off the water flow while you soap up.
Modding your camper can be great fun and quite useful. It can also become rather addictive! Take your time and make sure that there actually is a "need" before inventing a solution and don't let modding overshadow actual maintenance.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:17 AM   #14
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You can buy an inline water shut off valve for the oxygenics. I have a KES K1140B-2 shut off valve for use with my oxygenics when I dry camp.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:38 AM   #15
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You can buy an inline water shut off valve for the oxygenics. I have a KES K1140B-2 shut off valve for use with my oxygenics when I dry camp.

Looks like I'm about to go shopping...
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:07 PM   #16
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Swing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben31 View Post
I'll address the digital thermostat. The digital ones tend to be much "tighter." That means there is much less difference in the temperature at which it comes on and goes off. Analog models are very imprecise. Also, in many analog models the "swing" (temperature difference between turn on and off) can be many degrees. What is "swing"?
Say you set it for 75 degrees. The analog one won't turn on to cool the RV until around 77. It then will stay on until the RV gets down to to around 73. So, you will get very hot and then feel like you are freezing.

The "swing" in most digital thermostats are much closer. Coming on at the temperature you set and then going off 1-2 degrees below that.

The digital thermostats cost a little more, so the manufacturers keep using the analog models.
The technical name for "swing" (the gap between turn-on point and turn-off point) is "hysteresis." All thermostats have hysteresis--if they didn't, the furnace would "chatter", turning on and off at a rapid rate.

Many people don't realize that the hysteresis of an analog thermostat (even the cheapest ones) is adjustable, by virtue of a tiny, hidden resistor. This resistor is called the "anticipator" because it anticipates when the heat is going to be turned on. (Yes, a goofy name.) This applies to RV thermostats, residential thermostats and even commercial thermostats.

It works like this: The adjustable resistor is wired across the contacts that close and open to start and stop the furnace. When the contacts are open, current flows through the anticipator. Not enough current to allow the furnace to start, but enough to heat the bi-metallic coil in the thermostat so it acts as if the room is hotter than it is. The room gets colder than the set point. (Example: the thermostat is set at 72 degrees and the anticipator adds 2 degrees. The room will have to get down to 70 before the contacts close.)

Once the contacts close, they form a short-circuit across the resistor. No current flows through it and it doesn't heat. The room continues to until the bi-metallic strip sees a real 72 degrees (same as the rest of the room), and the contacts open.

This resistor (the anticipator) is built into the thermostat, often on the back side, requiring the user to remove the thermostat from the wall. It has a scale, often 0 to 5, and a common initial setting is 0.8 or maybe 1.0. It's a "thin film" resistor, screen printed onto the thermostat, with a rotary wiper.

A couple of tips:
  • Sometimes the wiper contact gets tarnished, leading to a high-resistance connection. The thermostat will act like there's no anticipator and there will be almost no hysteresis ("swing"). You can fix this by noting the setting, then rotating the wiper back and forth a few times, then returning it to its original position.
  • Sometimes the thin film gets a break (burns through) under the wiper. Any setting on one side of the break won't work. Any setting on the other side (the wired side) will work fine, so set it just above the old setting.
  • Caution: This is not a high-wattage resistor. It's a thin film. If you accidentally put 12 volts across it, you will burn it out (and need a new thermostat to restore hysteresis). It's operation relies on current-limiting done by the control board and motor relay. Be careful with multi-meters on the ohms setting, too. They can source significant current on some settings.

Probably more than you wanted to know.

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Old 08-15-2018, 07:52 PM   #17
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We love the Oxegenics Fury shower.


https://www.amazon.com/Oxygenics-Sho...nics+rv+shower

This shower hose is what we use at home an in the RV.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/AquaSource-Chrome-Hose/4764480

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Old 08-16-2018, 06:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
As far as having an Oxygenics shower head (like we do).......

For those that have one, no words are necessary.
For those that donít, no words can do it justice.

Just sayiní
Agreed, particularly if yo have, like we do, the first gen tankless Girard water heater. This shower head makes all the difference.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:16 AM   #19
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Personally, I won't use the awning tie downs. I've watched too many and helped several people remove torn up awnings that were "Tied Down" when a storm hit. Too much money to worry about and if a storms coming...I roll it up.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:13 AM   #20
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Personally, I won't use the awning tie downs. I've watched too many and helped several people remove torn up awnings that were "Tied Down" when a storm hit. Too much money to worry about and if a storms coming...I roll it up.
X2 We have an awning screen that zips on and would act as a tie down. If a storm is coming, it gets unzipped, put away and the awning gets rolled up.

Never yet seen a rolled up awning get damaged in a storm.

Cant say the same for those left open, tied down or not.
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