Friday, October 6, 2017

Installing Coach Battery Powered 12-volt DC sockets on Sprinter Dashboard

My 2011 Agile has two factory 12-volt DC sockets located in the cab, one by the pull-out cup holder (only powered when engine is running) and one just below the pull-out cup holder which is always powered. The MB factory sockets are wired into the chassis battery.

I installed 2 additional 12-volt DC sockets for charging our phones/ tablets/ cameras/etc. I wired the new sockets from the coach battery so as not to put extra drain into the starting battery when we are out dry camping. The additional sockets were installed on the outer sides of the dashboard top vents thus minimizing charging cables clutter hanging from the dashboard and interfering while driving. I opted for 12-volt DC sockets and use plug-in USB car chargers in lieu of surface- mount USB charger sockets for more universal mobile charging approach. Also replacing a malfunctioning USB charger with our setup would be much easier, not so with the surface- mount USB charger sockets.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Dometic 300 Series Low Profile Toilet Replacement in a Roadtrek Agile

 
My 2011 Agile came with a Thetford Aqua Magic V toilet which I've replaced twice with same model due to holding tank fume leakage around the flush valve assembly. The last replacement lasted about 2 years of use then it started to leak fumes again! 
 
Thetford Aqua Magic V design is not very well thought-out IMHO; the space between the toilet bowl and the toilet outer casing/base is hollow and open to the black tank. Waste splatter can get stuck in that hollow space during flushing, very unhygienic. The flusher arm seal is also unreliable, it is basically sealed with packed grease. When grease seal starts to dry up, it starts to leak fumes from the holding tank especially when there is negative pressure inside the van like driving with windows open.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Building a Wooden Shower Mat for the Agile

 
A fellow sprinter forum member made a really nice teak shower mat on his Agile and that got me interested in making one for my RV. Currently, there are no commercially available wooden shower mats for the Agile so you have to make your own if you really wanted one.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Custom K-Cup Coffee Brewer Station

 The stock 110-volt coffee maker was replaced with  800-watt Aicok Single-Serve K-cup coffee brewer. The Aicok runs off our 1000-watt Magnum Inverter/Charger. There is no initial current draw spike, it consistently pulls around 765 watts (@120 volts) for about 2 minutes (heating an 8-oz. water), then current draw drops to about 4.2 watts with the pump running to  percolate the heated water through the K-cup pod. The brewer automatically shuts-off when brewing cycle is finished. We really like this brewer; it is easy to use, and easy to clean/ maintain. The unit is relatively compact in design measuring about 3.94"W × 8.66"D x 9.45"H. Aicok customer support is also very responsive and helpful, a big plus in my book.
 
The brewer station with built-in slider is made from 1/2" Birch plywood with edge treatment using hardwood stock; it's then stained to match the existing cabinets. To prevent the brewer from sliding out while underway, a Decorite 5838 push latch was used. The clear door and the hinges are made out from Acrylic plastic. A strong magnetic latch holds the door closed, the small cubby is perfect for storing K-cup pods.
 
Amazon link for the Aicok Single-Serve K-cup Coffee Brewer, you'll also find reviews, specs, and  pictures of the brewer in the link provided. Enjoy your coffee!
 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Adding a Stowable Upper Bunk Bed in a Roadtrek


After a weekend of sleep deprived nights at the campground, I finally had it, I decided that we need another bed in the RV. Our kids are growing up too fast and I now find it uncomfortable and claustrophobic sleeping in the rear bed with DW and our youngest. Our youngest now sleeps in the upper bunk bed and my eldest in the DIY bed across the front seats

After hours of crazy brainstorming for ideas how to add a third bed in a short Agile, a light bulb suddenly lit in my head…I realized that there is enough space on top of the rear bed for an upper bunk bed! So the built goes. The upper bunk bed design is removable and the bed frame pieces can be disassembled then tucked/rolled into the bed top fabric cover minimizing storage space.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Our Gears (Part 2: Pots, Pans, Grill, Stove, and Camp Oven)


 I have put together some of our favorite RV camping gears, gadgets, and accessories. Most of our camping gears are compact by design thus minimizing storage space in the RV.  This post covers our Pots, Pans, Grill, Stove, and the Camp Oven.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Modified Dash Mounted Magnetic Cell Phone Holder

The magnetic phone holder I got from Amazon works well...until the "neck" part broke off. So instead of throwing it away, I fabricated a metal mount for the magnetic head. I don't like the old placement of the phone holder anyway as the phone covers part of the NAV screen, the AC thermostat dial, and the radio buttons.
 
Placement of stick-on mounts into the Sprinter dashboard (within easy access or viewing from driver seat) is fairly limited due to limited flat surfaces to adhere to. I don't like the air vent mounts because it obviously covers the vents.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Our Gears (Part 1: Camping Chairs, Table, etc.)

 I have put together some of our favorite RV camping gears, gadgets, and accessories. Most of our camping gears are compact by design thus minimizing storage space in the RV

Disclaimer: I'm not endorsing any products in this post; I'm not affiliated nor paid by any of the manufacturer to do this. I'm merely sharing camping gears and things that have worked for us, although what works for us won't necessarily work for you. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Long Range Wi-Fi Booster Installation (Ubiquiti Bullet M2 Titanium and airGateway Combo)

Staying connected on the road is important to us, not just streaming movies or music and browsing the internet but also keeping in touch with friends and families. To make use of free public Wi-Fi's (campgrounds, public parks, Mickey-D's and other business with free Wi-Fi) a Wi-Fi booster is needed for better and reliable connection especially over long distances. Our home internet provider also provides their customers many free Wi-Fi locations and in most cases, their hotspots are fast enough for video streaming.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Quieting the Water Pump and Freeing up Space for Storage under the Passenger Ottoman


 The factory installed water pump is located under the passenger side ottoman and it solely occupies that area. To create a space for extra storage, the water pump was relocated and mounted vertically into the wall facing the bathroom. I fabricated an acrylic enclosure for the water pump that can be easily removed by unscrewing few screws. I like the clear acrylic enclosure so I can easily see any leaks that would develop around the pump or the fittings. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

weBoost Drive 4G-X Cell Phone Booster Installation

 
When on the road, traveling and touring, it is always important for us to have good cell reception. An RV breakdown or an emergency in the middle of nowhere without any means of calling for help is a scary thought, but of course a cell booster will not help you in every situation- as the name implies “cell booster” means it needs an existing cell signal to boost. Sometimes a cell signal is too weak or cell tower is too distant for your cellphone to connect, this is when the booster helps. The weBoost Drive 4G-X can simultaneously boost voice and data, so you can make calls and browse the internet at the same time if your network supports it.