Modifications & Tips Page

Added switch at entrance for overhead lighting.

Changed porch light and added 2nd light.

Added dual wall switch for bathroom light and fan.

Added inside switch for water heater electric element.

Changed thermostat for furnace to digital

Removed cabinet divider behind clock

Power load considerations

Added valves and hose plumbing for easy winterizing with RV antifreeze

Charge controller replacement



Entrance Switch
There are no wall switches for any of the inside overhead lights.  You have to come all the way up inside the trailer and fumble for a light switch on a ceiling fixture.
To fix this I replaced the single porch light wall switch with a dual wall switch. I used a lighted type switch for the porch light.  I  wired the new switch to the fixture under the clock cabinet. Now an inside light can be turned on while I'm stepping into the trailer or even while standing on the ground outside.

Entrance switch
Note: I wired so that the new wall switch operates 1 bulb in the 2 bulb fixture and the existing switch on the fixture operates the other bulb. The lighted porch light switch is plenty of light to let you know that the porch light is left on when you are inside.
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Porch Light.
If not careful with the door, it can swing out and hit the lens of the porch light. Mine got popped loose once,  I popped it back on but later lost the lens on the road.
I  could not find a replacement lens so I ended up replacing the entire fixture with a rectangular type commonalty found in RV stores.  I also wired a second porch light. Both have switches on the fixtures as well.

I still have not fixed the door banging the lens problem.
2 lights
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Bathroom light and fan switch
Light in stall is hard to reach especially for small children.
The fan switch quit working as well
I installed a dual wall switch on the door pillar outside the bathroom. I used a lighted switch for the bathroom light and put the fan on the other switch. I just removed the broken switch on the fan.

Bath Wall SwitchThis is one of the harder modifications to do. It was kinda hard to get the wires from the fan and light down to the switch area. I removed the bathroom skylight molding to get access. I also had to pry back the sidewall panel in the cabinet above the sink. it helped a lot to have the existing plumbing access panel right where it is.
I  had to drill a horizontal hole from the bathroom wall then a vertical hole up to meet the 1st hole from the cabinet side. No holes or wires are visible after everything is put back together.
Before the fan switch broke I was thinking about just adding a small waterproof light fixture on the bathroom wall. would have been a lot easier.











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Water Heater Switch Modification:
The electric water heater switch is kind of inconvenient located in the outside water heater access, even when you know where it is, it is hard to see and reach.  And I always forget if I left the switch is on or off.

Here is location of the electric water heater element switch. In outside access.
Note: Down in ON.

WHSwitch



I installed switch in the water tank storage compartment.  I just used a single 120V switch with built in pilot light along with a 30" piece of 12-2 Romex and an "old work" electrical box.  Now I can easily turn on/off the electric element from inside the trailer.  I have the switch box just sitting in the bottom of the water tank compartment.  I can view the pilot light by looking through the 'thumb hole' on the compartment door\bench seat.

New WH switch





Update- Switch modification - modification
I have now moved the 120 V water heater switch to the wall where all the other controls are located.
Element Swtich new location
 Note: With this setup you have to leave the existing switch in the outside access compartment in the ON position all the time. Then use only the inside switch to turn the element on and off.   If the switch in the outside access is off then the electric element will never come regardless of the setting of the new inside switch.  In other words the 2 switches are in series.
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Furnace Thermostat Change - Analog to Digital
The analog thermostat is kind of annoying. You can't set it at the same place one night to the next. The same slider control is used to set temp and turn off the heater so you loose the setting you had.
One time I did not turn the switch all the way to the off position and burned up a whole tank of propane just setting in my yard one winter.
I removed the original and put in a digital programmable unit.
Model: Hunter 42999B (Walmart) Battery operated with 2AA cells.

Digital Stat

Stat Wiring
Easy to connect. The original has 2 wires. Connect one wire to W and the other to Rh. (Leave the jumper on from Rh to Rc)
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Winterize Plumbing  Addition
Added 2 valves and hose so that RV antifreeze can easily be added to the system using the 12V water pump.

Valves
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Remove Cabinet Divider
Howard Miller/radio DVD cabinet above the refrigerator:
Was curious about the cabinet behind the clock. Seemed like a large amount of space behind there with no access. I removed the inside side panel from the cabinet by removing the 4 wood screws. This  gives access to entire cabinet all the way to the end behind the radio DVD.  You can move the panel over to the left side of the HM clock to give more room but still protect the radio/wires etc.  Or remove or lay down the panel to have all the space to the end.
Be careful of the wires behind the Radio/DVD.
radio clock
DVD/ radio on left and clock at the center stuck to a mirror panel by 'Velcro'.  The panel divider is just to the right side of the clock.






Also shown are the indoors speakers.
Audio / Video in/out cables hanging down.
Under cabinet light fixture.








Divider







The side panel is shown here in its original location.
One outdoor speaker is behind the black cover.










Clock cabinet no divider







This shows the side panel laying down. The panel could be set back up but pushed down by the side of the DVD/radio unit, however the cabinet floor does not cover the whole area.  The other outdoor speaker is exposed here.









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Power consumption 120VAC - ' Shore' power

Power usage in a travel trailer is something that you will need to be consciously aware of.  It is easy to use too much power at one time and throw a breaker either in the trailer and/or in the main panel of the structure you are connected to.
  
Appliance Ratings: (As found in my '07 X139. Your appliances may have slightly different ratings).
Water heater 12A (1440 Watts)
Microwave 11.67A (1400 Watts)
Air Conditioner 10.5Amp total. (1260 Watts),  8 Amp (960 Watts) compressor + 2.5A (300 Watts) fan motor. Startup Amps are momentarily  much higher.
Refrigerator 1.5A (180 Watts)
Power Converter (WFCO 45Amp model) - 780 Watts Max When charging battery I measured ~6 Amps (720 Watts).

Connection to the outside outlet on your home:
If you plug into a standard outdoor outlet on your house you can easily overload that circuit. Many older houses have the outdoor outlets shared with the bathrooms garage etc.  If you are just maintaining the RV battery and running a few lights from time to time then you should be OK. If you have people living in the RV,running the AC and microwave and such then you really need a dedicated circuit, preferably a 30A 120V circuit.  Having everything on all at once could overload even the maximum 30A circuit.

Extension Cords:
Your RV 'Shore power' cord has 10 gauge wires.  If using an extension cord with the 15 amp standard plug adapter, then  use a cord with at least 14 ga and preferably 12 ga diameter wires and as short as possible.

NOTE: For those of you who want to do your own wiring:  Do not confuse a 30A 240V circuit such as you have on a clothes dryer outlet.  Attempting to wire your RV outlet into 240VAC will destroy the power system. The properly wired RV outlet will have ONE hot wire black (or red), One neutral wire (White) and bare copper or green for the ground.

'Shore Power' Capacity Rating:
Use the following as a guide to estimate your capacity: Find the amp rating of circuit you are connected to from the chart below. Then add up the Watts or Amps of everything that could be in use simultaneously on that circuit both in the RV and in the house if applicable.
 
Note: For the appliances you can use either the Amps ratings or Watts ratings. You must use the same units for all.  If you are given only Amps then multiply the given Amps by 120 to get Watts. If you need to calculate Wattage when given Amps then divide the given Watts by 120.

                                                                                 Connection Type  -vs-  Wattage Available

Connection Type
(Breaker rating)

Maximum Wattage Available
Adapter
Minimum Wire Gauge
 (Extension cord)
30 Amp @ 120V 3600
 no
10 ga
20 Amp @ 120V 2400
yes
12 ga
15 Amp @ 120V 1800
yes
14 ga

Example Watt Method:
Running the Microwave and AC at the same time would use 2660 Watts (1400+1260). This would be OK if you are connected to a 30A service but would overload a 20 or 15A service.

Example Amp Method:
The  microwave = 11.67A and the AC = 10.5A 
11.67A + 10.5A = 21.67A  (Must use a 30A connection in order to run both of these at the same time).

How to find appliance ratings:
All electrical devices should have a wattage or amp rating printed on the device or on a label.
Be sure to use the AC input rating and not the output ratings if stated.
For example my laptop adapter says: Input:  120VAC 1.5A  Another line says:  Output:: 19.5VDC 3.34A
Ignore the 50/60 Hz rating.
I would need use the 1.5A input rating. (The wattage would be 1.5 *120 = 180 W)



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