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Author Topic: A few upgrades & What ideas do you have?  (Read 273 times)


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A few upgrades & What ideas do you have?
« on: September 20, 2020, 11:59:21 PM »
My wife and I recently took a two week trip to Glacier NP in our 8.1.  It's a long drive from IN, but we love that park so much.  When we got back, I decided to go ahead and make a few upgrades...

First, I took off the counter top with the sink and stove.  It came off very easily, just lifted it right off the screws.  Ours is a 2013 that we bought in 2017, I think.  We had never used the micro sink (it pretty much served as our "junk drawer") and the stove maybe once.  We always cook and clean-up outside the camper and I don't see that changing.  I replaced it with a simple pine project board cut to size, which provides a much more useful flat surface.  We used ebony stain and spar urethane to seal.

Second, I replaced the carpet, which the previous owners put over the aluminum floor, with luxury vinyl planks.  Facebook Marketplace provided 100 ft2 of someone's leftovers for $70 - msrp was $7/ft2, so it is quite a bit nicer than what I would have gotten had a gone to a box store.  It was super easy to install and makes the interior look much, much better.  Plus it will be easier to keep clean than the carpet.  This added 50-60 lbs to the weight of the camper.

Since it's generally just the two of us, we had already taken out the benches and table and replaced them with two Lifetime folding chairs and card table.  We only occasionally use them.  The space is much more usable without the benches.  We keep all our gear in bins, which travel on the floor and get moved up to the single bed when we set up.

We also purchased an ARB fridge/freezer several years ago, and we love it.  It was pricy and it's heavy, but so nice to not have to mess with ice and a soggy cooler.

Next on the list is to repaint and re-caulk the top (the underside of the beds when set up).  Has anybody done this?  The original paint looks bad and is very sticky.  Any suggestions on how to best do this?  I'm assuming I need to remove the existing paint.  And I'm not sure what kind of paint to use.  I've used paint from grizzlygrip.com before, so I might look into that.  Also, most of the original caulk has already peeled off.

Our tent is in OK shape - it has 4 or 5 small holes patched and a lot of black marks from (I assume) oxidation on the poles.  We have the awning, but have seldom used it.  We bought a cover from Popup Gizmos a few years ago for a trip to Texas and New Orleans and found that it works really well.  We slept pretty comfortably in 90+ degrees.  If we camp in that heat again, I'd like to find a way to reroute the air flow from the a/c to over the bed.

Other ideas we've thought about, but haven't acted upon:
- upgrading the battery and adding a portable solar charger (pricy and haven't really needed it)
- purchasing a portable cassette toilet (so far that doesn't seem that it's worth the hassle and space)
- upgrading to radial tires (we will do this when the current tires need replacing)

So what upgrades have you thought about or actually done?


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Re: A few upgrades & What ideas do you have?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 12:37:28 PM »
I like how you are changing your TT to match your traveling lifestyle. Some thoughts about your 3 future projects.
1. Batteries and solar best combo: 2 Costco 6 volts and the Renogy 100W solar suitcase.
2. Cassette toilet: I think you answered your own question :)
3. Radial tires: I bought Maxxis and won't be looking at any other brand.
Regards, GK


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Re: A few upgrades & What ideas do you have?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 08:14:08 AM »
Post some pics.  I agree on the vinyl. We had carpet in our QS and my wife did not care for them - or the bare aluminum - at all.  Much prefer the vinyl we have in our CL. Have you considered adding charging outlets for phones etc, volt meter, or LED lights?  Do you have a BAL leveler?  Loved that thing on our QS and Aliner.

Here's a pic of our old QS.