Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Inside Look at My Trailer

I bought my 2008 Arctic Fox 22H in June 2007 in Boise, ID. But before I even took delivery, I knew there were modifications I wanted to make.


But first a funny story - while poking around under the bathroom sink, I found this written on the linoleum floor. If you can't make it out, it says, "F*ing hurry!!" Uh-oh - looks like the assembly line at Northwood was having a race! It made me a little nervous, but I've only found a couple problems with the trailer.


First, here are pictures of what the trailer looked like before I started ripping things out. This is the view towards the front -


And here's the back. As you can see, the dinette is really in the way. I don't like dinettes, and really wanted to get rid of it.


First, I tried it out with just one of the benches gone, and a nice comfortable chair in its place. Better, but not good enough.


So, out with the rest of the dinette, and in its place went an "all-purpose table" from Ikea.


Next, a bookcase went in to cover up the wheel well and provide some storage.


Ta-da! Even Molly (sniff) looks like she approves.


Another advantage of changing the seating is that I get a great view out the biggest window.


Molly (sniff) needed a place to look out too. Since the dinette was gone she could look out one of the outside storage doors. I happened to find a screen at Walmart that just fit the opening.


Attached to the bookcase is a ceramic brick heater that provides lots of heat and uses no electricity. It has really changed my life. I never found the older catalytic heaters to work very well. My heater has an oxygen sensor, so it doesn't need a vent. It is hooked up to the propane through a hose that goes through the wheel well. You can see the connection in the previous photo.


Since I do a lot of boondocking and have no generator, solar panels are essential. These two 120-watt panels were transfered from my other trailer. They can be tilted, which I sometimes have to do in the winter.


I have 3 Group-27 AGM batteries under my couch. They do not need to be vented, and are easier to charge, and hold a charge better, than other types of batteries. Also under the couch is an inverter large enough to run the microwave.

I hope you've enjoyed the tour. If you have any questions about anything here, leave me a comment or email me and I'll do my best to answer.

41 comments:

diana said...

Nice remodel! And I love the faucet for kitchen sink. Was that a modification too?

Dixxe said...

Your rig is very cozy-I like the table it does open that up more and give you a very nice view!

Diana said...

The faucet was original, and looks nice, but it is really made out of cheap plastic. I would love to replace it but it looks difficult to do.

gumo said...

Can you suggest where to get batteries like you have? I am disappointed with the service I have gotten from my 2 traditional trailer batteries.

Enjoyed the tour! Thanks for sharing.

Levonne said...

Diana, You've done a great job environmentally engineering your rig to fit your needs. I'm impressed with your work there!

Diana said...

I got my AGM batteries 4 years ago at Discount Solar in Quartzsite, AZ. They were an off brand and only $139 each. They work GREAT! I don't know what Discount Solar has in stock now, but I'll bet they are more expensive. I think I saw some at Sam's Club recently that were $169 or $179.

gumo said...

One more question: I have never heard of a ceramic brick heater but you seem to really like it. Can you tell me where you got it and I guess it needs no electricity to work?

Thanks again for sharing your helpful experiences.

Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

So when do you say it's for sale? It's been a year.

E Squared and Mui said...

I like what you did with the work/dining area ... that all-purpose table seems to have opened the space up considerably.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

It's so much fun to make your RV your "own". Nice job making more room by taking out the dinette.

Our dinette is small, but we need to keep it for a bed for one of the grandsons, it's his "special bed".

I'll be glad to change out your faucet, let me know the next time you're back in VA. ;c)

Hopefully, we'll catch up with you before then!

Lynn said...

Wow that is a nice change and what a perfect spot for your heater also, thanks so much for sharing the inside of your home with us I loved looking at the pictures.

Judy and Emma said...

Very interesting alterations you have made! I guess I'm not that ambitious. :)

Sue and Doug said...

great job on the renos!..I love seeing inside everyone's travel homes and see how they live or if they have done any major renovations!!

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Very nice customization. I am sure that Molly appreciates the personal view to the outside world.

Maggie said...

Absolutely fascinating. I'll try to drag the Geezer over here to see this. Your world is one I want, and this looks as if it might work or us too. Thank you.

Barbara and Ron said...

Nice tour and nice to see little Molly in happier days. She really was a well-traveled dog.

Bernie said...

Great stuff ! I really like the mods you have made in the RV.

ourtakeonfreedom said...

I love the solar power modifications. What's the total capacity of your battery bank?

Diana said...

Gumo - I got mine at the flea market here in Yuma, but I've also seen them in Quartzsite. Here's the website:
http://www.empirecomfort.com/EMPIRECOMFORT/SpaceHeaters/spsub1.asp
Both the infrared, like I have, and the blue-flame are popular with RVers. I like the infrared better because the heat radiates out. The blue-flame heat goes up. Both of them need no electricity.

Donna - NO

Paul - Gee, you are amazing! I'll be there in May! Are you going to be retired by then?

Barry and Linda said...

Love your mods as well Diane. It's funny but after you commented on our blog the other day, I was thinking of getting back to you on your solar setup and he you give us all a tour of your home. Sometimes I wonder if you women are mind readers. I too would like more info on your brick heater

DaveM said...

That looks superb, the siting of the desk by the window was a good idea. IKEA takes some beating for value doesnt it.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Diana,

Unfortunatly won't quite be retired by May but will be well on the way. Should be done working around July and offically retired 1 Sept if all the paperwork goes thru correctly.

Marti and I would love to meet you in person and dinner will be on us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour! I still love my little Nash 22H too. My AGM Batteries are almost 8 years old so I'm thinking about two new ones - maybe will check out Discount Solar but I think I want Lifelines. Happy Holidays!!

Allan

Diana said...

Allan - Sorry, I disagree about Lifelines. I think they are overpriced and aren't any better than my off-brand.

Barry - You have some great information on boondocking on your blog. I hope everyone will check it out. And yes, women can read minds, so be very careful...

I think my batteries are about 100 amp hours each, so I would guess 300 for total amp hours, but I don't seem to be able to find that.

I forgot to mention that I use a small inverter to run the tv and computer. I use the large one only for the microwave. Takes less juice that way.

Also forgot to mention the 30% federal tax credit that you get for getting a solar system. I would take it on all parts of the system - panels, regulator, batteries, wire. If you pay federal taxes, this is like a 30% discount on anything you buy. Also, Arizona does not charge tax on anything related to a solar system, so make sure you don't pay it.

Me and My Dog said...

Thanks for the tour - like most people I love to see the inside of rigs, especially the changes you made. I'm hoping to do lots of boondocking, and will come back to see if I can use your mods when the time comes. This looks very cozy and liveable. Thanks!!!

Cookies Travels said...

I need some heat for boondock, when I had the big rig, I had the Cat heater, but this rig is so small, I'm afraid any kind of propane heater will be to much, since I don't have a wall/cabinet space to mount it. I did pulled the booth out too,bought a euro chair and Ottoman. Tore out the carpet and had put Pergo flooring in. I don't have Solar or an inverter and have been told there is no where to mount a inverter, my batteries are under the entrance stairs and just fit. This is a Class C without slides. How much of this work did you do yourself?

Budhi and Cyndi said...

Diana, I love your modifications you made. I too do not like the booth dinning and have only been watching for the stand alone dinning setup unless the price was so good that it would be worth tearing out the booth. I have to say that the total asking price with or without a booth has come into play since i can fine without within the price I want to pay. As you can read, from my post We haven't bought our RV yet, still shopping, but I love to see what modifications individuals do to make the RV their homes and you did an outstanding job here.

Laura said...

Nice mod! Its so functional and looks great too. Its nice when we can change things up to match our own requirements and personality.

sally said...

Diana, what size heater is that? I need to buy one for the Argosy.

Diana said...

Cookie - You can buy feet for the heater, so you don't have to mount it on the wall. Also, make sure you get the model with the thermostat.

Sally - I have the SR-10T. Again, make sure you get the one with the thermostat.

If you go to Empire's web page you can download the specs.

Anonymous said...

Diana
I am very impressed with the mods. Did you do these yourself? I noticed that you added carpet under the desk and kitchen, did you also do this yourself? If you did all the mods yourself do you hire out? :-)
Dan
Bubbadan

The Good Luck Duck said...

I love Molly in the storage bay. Perfect!

Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

I recently got rid of the drop counter at the end of the counter next to the couch. It was ripping out of the cabinet. It is not really missed as it turns out.
When I replace batts early next year, I think I will go with three group 27s just like you. But not under the couch since that used for other easy access storage. Have fun.

www.travelwithkevinandruth.com said...

Nice job on the remodel. It's nice to have it the way you want it.

Solar and batteries are definitely the way to go. We have a generator on board but never use now that we have the panels and batteries. Always hate the noise with generators.

Kevin and Ruth
www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

Danny &Shula Oren said...

I admire your RV life style and wish you to enjoy,smile and have fun.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dianna
I enjoyed reading your blog. After years of dreaming about doing what you're doing I've finally bought an older 5th wheel that I'm going to renovate and live in. The solar's being installed as we speak and I'm preparing myself mentally. It's a little scary but I think I'm the personality type to be successful and happy full timing. I'll be checking in from time to time for ideas.

KB
Vernon BC Canada

Diane said...

Great idea on the bench replacement. I enjoyed the tour. Are you located in Quartzsite now? We are and I would enjoy getting together to pick your brain on boon-docking conservation methods. We will be here until April 15th. Diane (dlkuelske@gmail.com)

lovesjesus said...

Hi,I am just starting this lifestyle,although have been a trucker over 30 years in the 11 western states,I really want to know where to get one of those brick heaters you have .I now am around Portland,and camp in my little truck free at rufus ,Orego corp of engineers on the columbia river,Thanks,How does one old skinny christian trucker find a wife to do this with ?

lovesjesus said...

I could use some help also on where some neet places are tpo live free in the west.I do like eastern Oregon,Washingto,and Idaho a lot,but might have to look south in the winter and don't know the places to be,Thanks all,George 360-953-2184

MANGRUNTS1953 said...

Hi. Thank you for being so generous with your time and ideas! What is your computer set-up and what service provider do you have? If you feel comfortable answering I would also like to know how much it costs?
If I have crossed the line I apologize!
Sincerely, Robin
...and again, thank you very much!

Michelle said...

very interesting look at your RV. I agree with you that the dining area is better utilised for computer work and it can still be used for dining if you did decide to host a dinner or something...