Saturday, December 14, 2013

Making T1Nnie Winnie Home

When I thought about stopping in Mazatlan at Tres Amigos RV Park, I originally thought I’d stay a few weeks until just after the holidays.  But a few weeks ago, Contessa wrote about a fabulous deal that the RV park owner, King David, was offering—$350 for a full month.  Now that’s a deal too good to pass up for full hookups on the beach!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a full month at an RV park, but after the last few months of whirlwind activity in Chicago, and the rush to drive cross-county to get out to Algodones, I was really, REALLY looking forward to staying still for a month.  Not having to constantly pack and unpack the RV also meant I could set up the fun stuff (such as Christmas decorations!) and work on a few mods that I didn’t have time to do previously.

I discovered that the door latches on the front storage doors make great stocking holders for Mille’s and my stockings!

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And the dash is a fun place to string my LED Christmas lights as the glass reflection makes it look as if there are twice as many lights!

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I also brought some outside Christmas décor (but it had to be cheap, flat, and easy to stow!).  Since the park is hard surface pea gravel, I stuck my little Santa signs through the windshield wipers rather than into the ground!

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Hard to get a good photo of my new mini table lamp, but I really like it.  I had a larger version of this lamp at my house, so this mini version feels like I’m bringing a bit of home with me on the road.

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And finally, now that I have some nice ledges in front of the front storage cabinets, I can put out a few framed family photos when I’m parked for awhile!

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On Saturday morning, my first order of business was to make my rear window screen mod that many “J” owners do.  The rear window is meant to be an emergency exit, so it comes without a screen or window holder from the factory, but my friend and fellow J owner, Suzanne, told me how to make a very simple mod using screen door material, Velcro, and a wooden paint stir stick.  Within 10 minutes, my new rear window was open and ready for business!

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I lined the inside of the window with the soft side of the Velcro strips and then attached 4 of the hook-side strips to the screen fabric leaving the corners “Velcro-free” so I could remove the screen easily if I ever do need to make an emergency exit.

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But otherwise, it’s easy to lift up the bottom portion to open and close the window, and the paint stick prop will sit nicely in the window sill when traveling and allow the window shade to be used.

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I am SO glad I had my dealer install an extra 12 volt outlet on the rear shelf over the bed.  There were no electrical outlets in the bed area and I envisioned using the rear shelf for my Cell/Wifi boosting gear and perhaps recharging phones/tablets at night.  

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But here on the hot Isla (daytime highs in the mid 80’s, and evening lows in the low 60’s), it also lets be hang my 12 volt Coleman fan/light over the bed to give some extra air circulation.  Good to have when a furry 80 lb dog is sleeping next to you!

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I also brought along the cab window louver screens that I had originally bought for the Lynnebago Van.  These are working great in combination with the Fancher’s sun shade to keep the cab seats comfortable all day long without getting too hot and stuffy.

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10 comments:

  1. Great mods to make your RV even nicer. Nice view out the back window!

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  2. Nice decs and mods Lynne.
    (I think ghost blogging should pay at LEAST two margaritas per post!)

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  3. You're so fortunate to have a rear J bed window. I'm going to be ordering a new J and if you had the rough size of that window in your head to give me, I'd appreciate. WGO said they can put a window there for me and gave 2 size options but I question if they'll work as well as yours. Yours seems 'square'.

    Love your site!

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    1. Hi Lisa-- my rear window is approximately 21" high x 25" wide.

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  4. Thank you! That's very helpful to me! :)

    If you were to put one in today.... would you choose to center it or put it to the side like you have it now. I'm conflicted on this. Any thoughts?

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    1. Ideally, I'd want the big side window to be a flip-out like the plastic euro ones they use on the Trend-- I had those in my old T@B trailer and they had much better insulation and let in more air than the long skinny tip out window I have now.

      The rear window does limit your ability to sit up in bed (because you don't want to be leaning against your window shade). So if anything, I wish it were a bit smaller and off to the side more. As it is for what I've got, though, I'm glad I have it. Another way to use the bed (if you're sleeping solo) is to sit/sleep backwards in the bed. That wall is perfect to prop up against, and if you're at a pretty campsite, the 2 bed windows make a great panoramic view! I'm not sure how Winnebago would be able to install the rear window in the center of the bed without it interfering with the ladder to the roof, but either way, if you're going to get it, I'd say put it right where the older models had it-- off to the side.

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    2. Thank you I'm inclined to put it where the previous J's had it too. I'd love a Euro window but WGO won't put a window there that opens. I pondered doing this after the fact but - IDK. Not sure what to do. I'm told RVIA code only has to do with an opening window being more than 3' away from the exhaust. It would be. I don't understand it personally. I think the window will have the handles on the side like the current V. 'Thermopane' which I assume is dual-pane.

      Yes I looked at Little guy because they sell the T@B windows affordably on their site. Like ? $175-200 for a 30" wide (IIRC). Tough decisions.

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    3. I just feel the current J's with no rear window - they seem dark back there. Also no way to peek out the back if one hears a disturbance at night, etc. And if one is backed to a pretty view - it would be nice to see it.
      IDK why they did away with the window. Leisure Travel seems to have just done the same. :(

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    4. Are you sure you don't want to save $20 or 30 grand and buy a gently used View instead? The J floorplan really hasn't changed all that much, and that would sure be a chunk of cash to use for any renovations or upgrades you'd like to add! Heck, you could even buy a tow car with that kind of savings!

      I'm thinking seriously about getting mine painted and upgraded this summer-- I just hate to buy a newer model when I know mine inside and out, and have really made it pretty darn comfy on the inside. So even if I spend up to $10k to update the exterior and flooring, that's still more cost effective than upgrading to a newer model. Mine only has 50,000 miles on it, still plenty of life left!

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  5. I can see where being off to the side - one can sit up against the corner against the wall? IDK?
    Either way - I can't wait to get my first rig! Will have to go back on your site from scratch and read everything :D

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