Chassis battery trickle charger
Many of us leave our motorhomes plugged in at home to keep the house batteries charged. The chassis battery, however, loses its charge over time unless the engine is started occasionally. I installed an inexpensive solution that will work on any motorhome that has a dual-battery switch that energizes a solenoid to connect the house and starting battery together. The solution costs less than $4 and will provide a trickle charge to the starting battery.
At RadioShack I purchased a four-pack of 6-amp diodes (part number 276-1661) and a two-pack of 1-ohm, 10-watt wire-wound resistors (part number 271-131). Two diodes can be connected in parallel for a higher charge rate. The banded (cathode) end of the diode(s) must be connected to the starting battery terminal on the solenoid. The terminals can be crimped or soldered to the wires, or the wires can be wrapped around the solenoid studs so that they are clamped between the existing cables. The resistor will prevent excessive current draw through the diode in case of a dead starting battery or a heavy load such as lowering the leveling jacks. I just replaced my battery after 9½ years and never had it go dead since installing this modification.
Robert Bainbridge, F142390
Our motorhome has a Corian countertop that included an insert to cover the stainless-steel sink. This insert served as additional working space adjacent to the stove, as well as a cutting board. A heavy item fell out of the cabinet above and severely damaged the insert. Attempts to repair it were unsuccessful.
We purchased a typical white plastic cutting board large enough to cover the entire area of the sink where the original Corian piece once nested. Using the broken piece as a template, we used a saber saw to cut a new piece to match the size of the original insert. Water was applied with a squeeze bottle to the saber saw blade to keep it from overheating and melting the plastic. The edges were then hand-filed to create the rounded edge.
The reverse side can be used as a cutting board, leaving the top looking new.
Dick & Marian Wolff, F255195
Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Cabinet Door Spring
My motorhome did not have any cabinet door supports to hold the doors open. I had to hold the door open with one hand and try to get out whatever I needed with the other. This also was true for the compartment that held the VCR and satellite dish control.
I purchased some short springs and stainless-steel screws from the local hardware store and installed them on the doors. When I open the door, the spring straightens and will support the weight of the door. To close the door, I simply press on the spring and it folds into the cabinet.
The only thing you have to be careful about is not to tighten the screws all the way down. If you do, the spring will not flex.
I used this same approach on my airplane luggage door 10 years before I began RVing. Of course, I used bigger springs.
Robert G. Holton, F306248
Saving “Tech & Travel Tips”
My husband and I always look forward to reading the “Tech & Travel Tips” section of FMC magazine. We have tried many of the ideas sent in each month. When camping friends see the results of some of these tips, they always ask how we did it, or where we saw it. I now have the best “tip.”
I tear this section out of my magazine, punch three holes in the sides, and keep the pages neatly organized in a three-ring binder. I keep the binder in the motorhome with my campground directories and atlas. I bring the binder out for friends who are starting out in the RV world. They love it! My book is fairly full, because I keep magazines for a long time. I only wish that I had thought of it when I first became a member of Family Motor Coach Association.
Debbie Hale, F233751