Piddly things I need to have done...worried about cost - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-11-2013, 10:38 PM   #1
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Name: Sharon
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Piddly things I need to have done...worried about cost

There are a number of little essentials that I'm going to have to pay to get done. I know what the "pieces" will cost, it's the labor that worries me. Here's my shortest list:

1) Three 12v sockets. None came in my trailer. I need one high for the TV, one on the end of a dinette bench, and one in the front of the fiberglass couch for bedtime stuff.

2) Trailer electric cord made portable. Again, I know what the little outside hatch costs, but what will be the cost of cutting a hole in the fiberglass and doing wiring to make this work?

Sharon
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:44 PM   #2
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I can't answer your specific questions Sharon, just an observation.

Needs or wants? Doesn't look like any of those things would prevent you from camping and having a good time... whew. I was worried from the title of your topic. BUT, no one says you have to do all of them at once either. Maybe pick one 12 socket at a time.... and as budget allows, etc.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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Nothing.... if you do it yourself. Do some google searches and do what other people have done. One of the first things I did when I got my ParkLiner was add a 12 volt socket because there was none and I needed to charge my phone. I really need to add another one one of these days since now I have a small inverter.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #4
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Donna, I may take a break soon from emptying and trying to sell the house I inherited when dad died ... I cannot afford to live in it and will full time in my Scamp. So I sort of "need" to get the trailer mostly outfitted before I hit the road. I'll spend very little time in full hook-up campgrounds, relying on propane and solar/12v appliances to live my daily life. I plan to have a blast with this new lifestyle, and the MORE I can ready my mobile apartment before I formally take off for parts unknown, the better me thinks.

S.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:57 PM   #5
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deryk, it won't cost "nothing" since I have no tools. I'd have to do the google search you suggest and try to assimilate the info, at the same time figuring out what tools to buy for these tasks. I am not "handy" at the tender age of over-60, so even with tutorials in my face I might not feel too confident doing this stuff. We'll see.

Sharon
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:11 PM   #6
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I agree with deryk. The 12VDC sockets are available in dollar stores, and more reputable outlets. The location of them is more of a challenge the installation. The correct sized hole saw, and electrical splicing gear are required. There are several discussions on this site about electrical splices. Crimp connections vs. solder. Not rocket science, but we discuss it at length.


The location is the big issue in my opinion, What ever you plug into it, it will stick out some. Choose a location that is not going to get in the way, or be run into.

In referance to your second question, the answer depends on if you plan to power air conditioning. If yes, then you will need a 30A power inlet.
Shore-power connector replaces pull-out cord
If the answer is no, then a 15A will do:
Power inlet dimensions needed
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:11 PM   #7
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Sharon, alot of things aren't really as complicated as they seem. Now sadly Chandler of ParkLiner didn't mark in the fusebox what fuse was what on my caravan so I opened some of the compartments and played follow the wires thill I found a pair from a light right about where I wanted my 12 volt socket. Drilled the hole and cut the wires and twistd them together.

I lived on a sailboat for 8 years and learned alot. Its good to be able to make your own repairs. I havent always been so handy, just learning over time... too poor to pay someone something that I can easily do.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:33 AM   #8
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Sharon, members of RV or caravaning clubs (Tin Can Tourists?) active around San Antone might be willing to give you advice or a helping hand. (I realize I'm not in a position to make people I don't know into Good Sams.) Attending a fiberglass trailer (egg) rally during your break from the problem of selling the house might also put you onto people who can help with how-to advice on either trailer camping and/or full-timing. You don't even need to take your trailer to the event to seek advice and make friends. FWIW.

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Old 04-12-2013, 07:58 AM   #9
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rabbit is correct -- there are lots of people out there willing to help, it's just a matter of finding them. An RV club would be a good place to start.

Or, come on up to Ottawa and I'll give you hand...

But, that's only the right solution if you want to learn to do this stuff yourself. I love being able to make these changes myself, but I understand the DIY thing isn't for everybody. At a rough guess, 3 12V outlets and a new exterior plug will take a good shop around 3 hours. I don't know what a shop's hourly rate will be, but again at a guess, less than $100/hour so less than $300 for the job. But any good shop should be able to give you an estimate before you commit to the work.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:58 AM   #10
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Some ideas....just for starters.

There are surface mounting multiple 12VDC outlet boxes available at most auto supply stores that won't require making a big hole and have a cord attached. Some even have USB charging ports included.

One of these and a 12VDC extension cord will get you going.

BTW: $1 Store parts are usually Junque, I speak from experience.....

Rather that a fixed plug-in for the power cord you can have the existing cord cut off short (about 12") and have twist lock male and female plugs installed where you cut the cord. That way you can keep your cable inside and just pull out the short length and plug every thing in, and the original hatch stays intact.
or
you can come out to Riverside and the total cost will be a case of Stella + parts
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Sharon I'm not what you would call a handy person but I have managed to do a number of additions to my trailer on my own and yes I am creeping up there in age as well. ;-) Adding the 12 volt receptacles is not very hard to do. As others have said finding the right spot were you can tap into existing 12 volt wiring (a 12v light fixture wire) & ending up with the receptacle in a location you can use is the hard part.

The 12 v receptacle can be purchased on line or at any RV shop - pretty cheap. There is a chrome one on EBay for under $6 that will not stick out. The easiest way to cut the fiberglass is to use a drill and purchase the right sized hole cutting bit. You can buy the hole cutter at Home Depot for about $6 - just borrow a drill from a neighbour if you dont have one. These will cut through your wood overhead bins and the thin fiberglass walls - assuming you dont need to do more than a few. Use heat shrink connections to tap into the wiring - you will not be sorry you did - trailers tend to vibrate and connections with twist caps can come loose. The heat shrink will also protect the connections from moisture.

Sorry cant make any suggestions re the power cord as my 16' has the power cord storage in the same location as the water tank and the space I would gain in removing it is not of much use for anything else so the cost of doing just isnt worth it on my trailer.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
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Carol is right! I figure part of ownership is learning to take care of things and make the mods I want... I don't DO propane however.

For every dollar I keep in my pocket, it means money for fuel to get me places, site fees or steak instead of chicken.

You have to start someplace or you'll always be paying someone else... that's MY mantra.

I bought new seals for the toilet. I'll be taking care of that JOB this summer sometime. We'll see how I feel AFTER that
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I don't DO propane however.
Good luck with the toilet Donna!

I also will not touch the propane or anything to do with the 30 amp power. Although I did add an exterior 110 plug last year but only after attending a number of rallies and looking at the way others had done it and getting lots of great advise here and at the rallies as to how to do it correctly. Funny enough putting in the exterior power plug in was scarier to me than cutting a big hole in the roof to add the Fantastic Fan. Go figure
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:37 PM   #14
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Name: Sharon
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Thanks all!

Living in Texas, I'm fortunate to have Larry Gamble's "Little House Customs" as a source for several big ticket items I'll have done when heading out of Texas. Propane, electrical stuff in general, and solar are out of my league at this point, although Carol, you've given me hope I might be able to do some 12v work. I've been looking over the electrical line diagram for my trailer to see where the wires run.

I'm debating the type of propane furnace/heater to have Larry install. He might be willing to do the electric cord conversion too, which will give me extra needed storage under that bench. Larry also has a special formula for installing scissor jacks (which I want as they both stabilize and level) closer to the axle so they double as jacks to change a tire.

I plan to remove the microwave oven. My trailer came with a 3-burner stove and regular oven underneath, so no need for a microwave that I'll rarely be able to use anyway with no full hookups. Scamp says to call them for the cabinet door and they'll send one out for this new space. Stuff like that I'm okay doing.

For those of you in the know on prices ... there's an RV service center nearby that offers this "special": $220 to repack bearings, replace wheel seal, check brakes/adjust brakes. Perhaps I can get this done in conjunction with new tire installation.

Etc etc LOL

Sharon
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