Hope you had a great summer. My Wife and our Dog, really enjoyed our SurfSide this summer. Now after a summer of camping I have a few questions for you.
I am curious what your post meant about making a new door under the closet area ? Is it possible to explain what you meant by this and or email me a few pictures of what you did?
Also you said you made a new door under the gaucho - I'd love to see that too. Finally, you mentioned you purchased LED lights for the back tail / stop / turn lights. Are you happy with them? Are they brigther and were they easy to install ?
Thanks for now.
We too enjoyed the summer with our large dog. We did Ottawa to PEI and then across NB to the "Boston States". Handy to have a trailer in the states as hotels rarely accept dogs and even campgrounds often will not allow dogs.
About the modifications; I'm not sure if you have the same model but in ours the closet is immediately to the left as you come through the door. The cupboard is positioned immediately above the passenger side wheel arch so the floor of th cupboard is quite high as a result. There is waste space around the wheel arch which I thought we could use. So I cut a hole in th side of the cupboard. The hole goes vertically from just above trailer floor level to just under the level of the floor of the cupboard. The cupboard is framed with 1"X2" framing. Horizontally I cut out all the space between the 1X2 framing. The resulting hole is approximately square. Hinges mount on one side and the friction catch on the other side. Using the Russian plywood described it looks like it was put there by the designers. There isn't a lot of space in there but I keep selected tools and rags and things I will need quick access to in this oddly shaped space that is not good for much else. It is easily accessed from outside the trailer.
On the other side as you come through the door is the gaucho bench which in my model is divided roughly in three parts. The centre section already had a hinged door giving access to a porta-potty. However the left and right thirds were accessible only via a narrow hatch under the gaucho cushion. Made it difficult to use the space as you have to remove the cushion to get into it. Just like on the other side I cut away the the skin (1/8" plywood) in the section nearest the door. Cutting back to the limits of the framing on top, bottom and sides. Then as on the other side I installed a hinged door. I use 1/2 of this space for a 100 amp deep cycle battery
and high end marine charger. A bulkhead of thin plywood separates the electrical
side from the other side which I use for storage. I replaced all the other doors as well. I didn't like the fake wood grain paper glued to it or the fake embossed plastic frames to make the doors appear thick and heavy. The Russian plywood doors are heavier than those they replace, and I worried about vibration causing them to come loose - especially the large doors and especially on rough road. This has not been a problem.
Then all the brown fake woodgrain walls (cupboard and around the fridge
and everywhere it was found ) had to go. They were painted in an off-white that matched the paint
used on the ensolite. Feels bigger and cheerfully bright inside now. The Russian ply doors are finished with colourless varathane that shows their very nice varied grain to good effect and contrast a little with the off-white walls.
I used the same Russian ply to make a shelf all the way from the back side of the cupboard to the rear of the trailer across the back and up to the side of the fridge
. It is at the level of the top of the plywood window frames. This shelf has a 5" wall to help things stay in the "shelf/trough" and it works well except sometimes on the roughest of roads. So, I don't put anything up there that would not survive a fall
unless I have it really well secured. This shelf is wider where it crosses the back of the trailer than it is on the sides (to avoid bumping the head). It is fastened to the fridge
wall and the cupboard wall and the frames of both side windows
and the rear window. This shelf is really useful for all kinds of stuff like clothes and towels and the like and over the cooking area ro cooking related stuff.
About the LED lights
- they are really bright - almost too bright as some people have pointed out before, but they fit nicely in the same area as the originals although they will not cover both of the holes from the originals. I had to fill one of the holes from the original and drill new holes for the new lights
. I think they are great. They look sensible like they are the right size for the space and could be part of the original design. The originals were always dusty/dirty inside and therefore very dim. They burnded bulbs a lot too.
The new ones came from Princess Auto and are a standard item usually in stock. Sometimes on sale for $25/each but usually about $34/each. I believe they are called 7" and they have some funny number of LEDs - like 39 or so.
If I have a chance I'll take some pictures tomorrow and post them in another message. Maybe someone could simply explain how to post pictures and the permissable size.
I hope this is helpful.