Calling all Compactors & Siblings! (Hunters, Campsters, Havasu - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-24-2008, 03:11 AM   #1
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Hey Everybody!
I have a few ideas that have been kicking around in my head, and replying to another thread about spare tire placement got me amped up to start my own thread, so here I am!
I know we owners of Hunter Industries products and all the siblings have limited space to begin with. I think that since my Compact II seems to have just about all the options available, I have even less space. I do find that, as I use my rig more and more, I realize what things I really need/actually use, and what I don't, and have cleared out some extra junk already. But I still have space troubles. Here are some ideas, PLEASE let me know what you think guys:
1. Outside storage of my astroturf carpet- I have a nice big astroturf carpet I put down in front of the door, to help keep the dirt down, and it just looks nice. Unfortunately the thing is big and awkward when it's rolled up for travel, and at the moment it just sits in the way on the floor inside. I'd love to put it outside somewhere. I was thinking about making a tube for it to go in, like many of us have our sewer hoses in, that could bolt across the front of the trailer. I already have one their that has the sewer pipe in it. My HUGE concern is about making holes in the skin of my trailer. Im very nervous about leaks, about it breaking the fiberglass shell, about the skin being able to support the weight. Anybody got any suggestions/ideas/comments on that? ALL input is much appreciated!
2. Outside access to the underdinette storage areas- I usually leave my dinette down in bed mode, so getting into the compartments under the benches is usually a real pain. And since these are also the LARGEST storage areas in the trailer, I NEED to be able to get into them now and then. Has anyone added outside access doors for anything like that? I've been thinking of adding an access door, but again, I'm worried about piercing the skin of my trailer, worried about leaks, about weakening the structural strength, just nervous in general! hehe So does anybody have any words of wisdom there?

Overall Im game for any space-saving, or maybe a better term is 'space-budgeting', suggestions from you all, as well as any swell mods you've made to your rig. Thanks! Joe
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:20 AM   #2
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Joseph,
One of the reasons we switched from towing with a car to towing with a minivan was storage. We use several Rubbermaid Roughneck 18 gallon tubs that hold linens, food, etc. and stay in the van until needed. For ground cover we use a folding mat that fits into a trash bag and is stored in the van.

Chuck from Washington added outside access hatches to his Compact II and they look great. We saw his very nice trailer at last year's Oregon Gathering.

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/m...view=slideshow
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:51 AM   #3
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.......many of the trailer towing car people I see camping lately are now using these relatively new 'foldable carpets'. They come in assorted colors and fold up into about a 2'X2' square. Still needs to be stowed somewhere though!!!!
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Hey Everybody!
I have a few ideas that have been kicking around in my head, and replying to another thread about spare tire placement got me amped up to start my own thread, so here I am!
I know we owners of Hunter Industries products and all the siblings have limited space to begin with. I think that since my Compact II seems to have just about all the options available, I have even less space. I do find that, as I use my rig more and more, I realize what things I really need/actually use, and what I don't, and have cleared out some extra junk already. But I still have space troubles. Here are some ideas, PLEASE let me know what you think guys:
1. [b]Outside storage of my astroturf carpet- I have a nice big astroturf carpet I put down in front of the door, to help keep the dirt down, and it just looks nice. Unfortunately the thing is big and awkward when it's rolled up for travel, and at the moment it just sits in the way on the floor inside. I'd love to put it outside somewhere. I was thinking about making a tube for it to go in, like many of us have our sewer hoses in, that could bolt across the front of the trailer. I already have one their that has the sewer pipe in it. My HUGE concern is about making holes in the skin of my trailer. Im very nervous about leaks, about it breaking the fiberglass shell, about the skin being able to support the weight. Anybody got any suggestions/ideas/comments on that? ALL input is much appreciated!
[b]2. Outside access to the underdinette storage areas- I usually leave my dinette down in bed mode, so getting into the compartments under the benches is usually a real pain. And since these are also the LARGEST storage areas in the trailer, I NEED to be able to get into them now and then. Has anyone added outside access doors for anything like that? I've been thinking of adding an access door, but again, I'm worried about piercing the skin of my trailer, worried about leaks, about weakening the structural strength, just nervous in general! hehe So does anybody have any words of wisdom there?

Overall Im game for any space-saving, or maybe a better term is 'space-budgeting', suggestions from you all, as well as any swell mods you've made to your rig. Thanks! Joe

Do you really need to carpet the outdoors? I have a large door mat outside and a smaller in just inside the door. I put it in a small zipper bag to keep dirt and water off of things.

I see people adding exterior doors for access. My concern is it is another leak point and a leak there might not be noticed until damage is done.

In my opinion the question "Do I really need this?" is always a good one to keep asking yourself.

P.S. I've also developed a system for storing stuff, if it's used in the trailer it's in the trailer, if it's used outside it's in the tug. There is a couple exceptions like, bottle jack, water hose, extension cord, which are rarely used items.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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I see people adding exterior doors for access. My concern is it is another leak point and a leak there might not be noticed until damage is done.
I am in the process of getting a couple access doors to add for the same reason. That unused, wasted storage spot under the dinette benches. Of all the posts I've read, I've never heard anyone comment on leaks. I am assuming if installed properly, that shouldn't be an issue. [b]Would love to hear from someone that have had leaks.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:49 AM   #6
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I am in the process of getting a couple access doors to add for the same reason. That unused, wasted storage spot under the dinette benches. Of all the posts I've read, I've never heard anyone comment on leaks. I am assuming if installed properly, that shouldn't be an issue. [b]Would love to hear from someone that have had leaks.
Leak Rule#1 If it can leak it will.
Leak Rule#2 [b]All seals will eventually leak.




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Old 03-24-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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I am in the process of getting a couple access doors to add for the same reason. That unused, wasted storage spot under the dinette benches. Of all the posts I've read, I've never heard anyone comment on leaks. I am assuming if installed properly, that shouldn't be an issue. [b]Would love to hear from someone that have had leaks.
It's a maintenance issue. Anytime you have an opening to the outside, whether it's an electrical hatch, water connection, windows, vents or access doors... there's always a potential for leaks. Actually, I think a vented door for the 3-way refrigerator is a bigger leak hazard. There are holes in that door!
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:07 PM   #8
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Hey Everybody
1. Outside storage of my astroturf carpet
I added a six foot piece of PVC pipe UNDER the trailer, IMMEDIATELY behind the wheewells, this negated the need to perforate the skin. I use to go into pretty rough territory and never had a problem with hitting. Had I hit a really deep rut or hole I'm sure it would have come off.

2. Outside access to the underdinette storage areas
I added an outside access door to the curb side of my trailer. On the inside of the trailer I reinforced the opening with a wood frame, shaped to accommodate the curve of the sidewall. I don't think I really needed to do this but I usually overbuild anyway. The frame also made a good backing to mount the frame of the access door. Never had any problems in this area either.

Russell
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Joseph,
One of the reasons we switched from towing with a car to towing with a minivan was storage. We use several Rubbermaid Roughneck 18 gallon tubs that hold linens, food, etc. and stay in the van until needed. For ground cover we use a folding mat that fits into a trash bag and is stored in the van.

Chuck from Washington added outside access hatches to his Compact II and they look great. We saw his very nice trailer at last year's Oregon Gathering.

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/m...view=slideshow
Hey Tom,
Thanks for the pic there, that is a NICE looking access door. Sadly on my trailer that's EXACTLY where the fresh water tank is! hehe That's the other tough question. Im looking to access the storage area under the front bench because it has the most open space. As stated, the left hand bench has the fresh water tank under it, and the right hand bench has the house battery under it. I also wonder about affecting the structural integrity if I add a door on the right hand side of the trailer, since there's a battery access door also. If they are right next to each other, is that too many holes in the skin too close together? Just a thought...
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Hey Everybody
1. [b]Outside storage of my astroturf carpet
I added a six foot piece of PVC pipe UNDER the trailer, IMMEDIATELY behind the wheewells, this negated the need to perforate the skin. I use to go into pretty rough territory and never had a problem with hitting. Had I hit a really deep rut or hole I'm sure it would have come off.

[b]2. Outside access to the underdinette storage areas
I added an outside access door to the curb side of my trailer. On the inside of the trailer I reinforced the opening with a wood frame, shaped to accommodate the curve of the sidewall. I don't think I really needed to do this but I usually overbuild anyway. The frame also made a good backing to mount the frame of the access door. Never had any problems in this area either.

Russell
Hey William (and everybody else who had hatch advice!hehe)
Hmmmm, thats an interesting suggestion for the pipe for the rug... Honestly it wouldn't probably hang down any more than my black water drain does... Hmmmmm, Im going to have to really think on that one! I'll mention that to my Dad and see what he thinks, that might not be a bad way to go with that, and then I would avoid having to make holes in the trailer skin for it.
On the access door, I like your thinking there too, over engineer it to keep things strong. If I do add one, it's probably going on the curbside as well. But it IS a hole in the skin of the trailer, and there IS always the possibility of a leak, so I'd have to keep an eye on it. I DO agree with the earlier post though, why don't we see more leak issues with the access panels for our fridges, which are FULL of holes? hehe
Thanks guys, I'm getting some great ideas going in my head from all this input, so keep it up!
ALSO, I LOVE the solar panel idea that somebody had, for putting it on their stoneshield over the front window! Though I think I'd want mine to hinge in such a way that you could just flip it up on top of the stoneshield when it's up. I would think that would put less leverage on the shield's supports, and then you wouldn't need to create the extra support arms that were shown. However I get there, I would LOVE to eventually get to where I could camp off the grid for a week or more, with the assistance of solar for charging...
Any thoughts/suggestions there folks? Thanks! Joe
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:33 PM   #11
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Rule # 3
If you fix the leak it will probably leak again some day.


Carpet:

Ours is huge, that's what the wife wanted so we fold it up and stick it in big black plastic bags. If it's wet we spread it out at home to dry.
My friend ( who is single) has a smaller outdoor carpet he simply rolls it up and bunji's it to the rear bumper. Nice and neat. Several bunji's keep it in place very well.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:32 PM   #12
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We are in process of making the table/bed arrangement into a permanent bed. This is going to make it a lot harder to access the seat storage areas so a couple of access hatches will be in order and rearanging things so that outside things will be stored there will be necessary. A couple of large plastic boxes will be under th bed for clothes.

Click image for larger version

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The inside table will replace the smaller one that's outside and a front dinette will replace the bunk.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:57 AM   #13
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Hey James,
Sounds like you have some great ideas in the works too. I like that little exterior table, but I don't know how well it would work with a Compact, since there's not a lot of space on either side of my door...
Still, it sounds like we're both on similar tracks, trying to maximize the space we have, so good so far and keep sharing the good ideas!
Joe
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:22 AM   #14
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Love that outside table. I have a 4' folding table I use right there, but I sure like your setup. Is it attached to an awning railing? What kind of hardware is on the table?

Thanks!
Sharon
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