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Trailer modernization


Steve from SoCal

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I am looking at late 1990's to mid 2000's trailers; while most have the amenities of current production there are several areas where modern equipment and systems are desirable. For conversation sake let's say a 2001~2003 Teton or Kountry Aire is the starting point. The chassis and suspension on most of these is Mor-Ride, perhaps disc brakes and BlueDot along with tires and wheels are the major chassis upgrades.

 

The utilities would be next on the agenda; my personal thoughts would include a 30 or so gallon well tank to pressurize the water system and possibly instant hot water heater. The electrical side would include LED lighting, a dedicated inverter for a residential fridge and, perhaps more efficient HVAC.

 

The living space is where the impact may be most profound it is a blank canvas.

 

I will add more later

 

Steve

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My 2002 Travel Supreme has gone thru the same process. Re did the kitchen in the retro 50's style, rounded fridge, red cracked ice counter and dining table with metal edge etc, LED lights, new flooring.

 

Unit already had Moreryde IS but needed suspension blocks and shocks replaced so got that done recently, 17.5's and Alcoa rims.

The unit had a washer dryer with a 12" space between so the dryer was sold and a shorter one installed then a Fisher Paykel d/w drawer installed between the w/d. Auto sat dish. Lots of other items added or upgraded.

 

I liked the layout and went from there.

 

Overall it may have cost more than a new unit but I have what I want.

 

R

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What are you guys using for LED lights and where did you get them?? All my fixtures are currently 1156 light bulbs.

1156 bulbs are gobbling up a lot of juice. I got mine from a location in Victoria BC. Source LED dome light is one. I may have pics of the display but will need a real e-mail to send them or it to. These lights can be turned on or off, when it come on, it has a blue night time light, you touch the button in the middle and the go to full on white.

 

Existing wiring can be used.

 

The footprint of the new fixtures, in my case, was smaller than the old stock fixtures so I made up some 1/8" thick translucent plastic plates big enough to cover the old footprint and attached the newer light to it. The whole setup was then screwed to the underside of the cabinets, covering the original cutout.

 

I'll be back in Victoria later this week and can get more info on specs and availability in the USA at that time.

 

You can add more lights in the circuit and still use less power. Led strip lights look pretty neat over the crown or cornice mold as well as around the underside of the kitchen cabinets.

 

If you are short of counter space, who isn't and you have at least 10" between underside of uppers and counter top, an LED lit shelf can be installed midway or so to clear clutter from the counter, kettle, toaster, canisters etc. Again, I have pics of that installation. The shelf kit came out of Colorado.

http://www.customizeddesigns.com/floating-shelves-with-lights.html

 

Stekay, RE cost of conversion, I spoke to the Travel Supreme Sevice out fit in Elkart a few yrs ago. For what I wanted to do they figured around 30k but I know I've spent a lot more than that, suspension, tires and wheels, carpet and flooring, fridge, lighting, inverter and batteries just to name a few.

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This is exactly what I am looking for, positive feedback from folks that have done it. I was looking at some stuff last night and found a couple who painted the oak woodwork white and it looked fantastic. Personally I will likely put a dual oven range in because I like to roast and bake. I am gong to do a 240 100amp shore power for my shop and I am leaning towards all electric, heat, hot water etc. The trailer will be my quarters while I am in Kansas and it will live in my heated shop.

 

Steve

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Our Teton has residential fridge inverter, 4 batteries, w/d, dish washer all factory. We did upgrade all tvs to current units. Also are in process of all leds. As our 12" flouresnt lights die we upgrade. Every other light is now led. We may upgrade to moryde in future. May also get Bigfoot leveling. It is very nice now.

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But is it really cost effective? Geo says they did a major upgrade to their 2005 (in 2012) and will be selling soon. I do not see how they will recoup much of their money. I know it was nice for the 2-3 years they had it, but no one will buy it for anywhere near what they have invested in it. Geo didn't say what they spent, either. I did $10 grand worth of floors, slide roofs and awnings, knowing I was throwing that $10k away, but why spend more than that, just to sell it?

No way. I won't even upgrade to 17.5 wheels because I know I am selling it before retirement. Now, if you plan to keep it for the duration, maybe. But if selling it is ever in the picture, that conversion money would make a nice down payment.

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In my opinion, Phil is correct. And it goes for upgrading your truck, hotrodding a vehicle, or remodeling a house.

 

But, if you're comfortable with your current house/truck/hot rod/rv/whatever, it's just more comforting to upgrade, and know those dollars are gone.

 

Eight years ago, we wanted to add on to our house, bigger master suite, kitchen, and a 3 car garage. We bought the house of our dreams for less than the remodel plus the resale of the old house.

 

So it's an emotional thing. If you can afford to lose the cash, go for it. No sense making the kids rich. :D

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I agree with Phil too.

 

The original plan was to use this unit to full time in once I retired. Now that Karen and I have split that is no longer possible. On top of that, Rocel is not such a huge fan of RVing in general.

 

I think getting dropped in cold to a cross Canada trip as her first experience had some to do with that...

 

The upgrades were in the neighborhood of $55K. Someone is going to get a heck of a deal.

 

Geo

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Not all the work has to be done at the same time. Roof and suspension were 1 and 2 with me.

 

I don't post or ask about all that has been done. What is important to me may not be to others and the responses can be disappointing particularly when you word the question in the direction of someone you know has dealt with the particular issue but still doesn't respond. The resource guide and projects done by others plus my own experience, likes and dislikes help make my mind up. Some projects are expensive some not.

 

Adding the dishwasher cost over 2k by the time all was said and done. But in my mind, a good idea The led shelf was about 200$ but now the counters have no clutter. I hate clutter. MY new island has all rollout drawers and slides 10" from side to side as well as being twice the size of its predecessor.

One of my former wives had a compulsive disorder for filling all available space with "something". In the fridge, anything behind the first row on any shelf was dead. Don't ask me about the freezer.

Uh Oh, my blood pressure is rising...where are my pills and o2?

 

Call it pride in ownership, I was always modifying or renovating something on the house or in the yard.

 

I don't care what others think or consider worthwhile, I do this for me not them. People young and old pass or drive by giving me the thumbs up.

 

I don't have kids and Christie Brinkley hasn't asked for a blood test. My brother is in my estate so he will have to deal with it if I go first. He's not an RV er, so call it revenge.

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Do anyone have a feel for the cost for this type of conversion. Can you just pull into Elkhart IN and find companies that do this type of work?

There are lots of firms I'm sure and couldn't remember this earlier but Midwest Custom RV in Elkhart is the old Travel Supreme bunch. Bishop was the contact person there when I was considering renos. The deal fell apart because of the difficulty in reaching him.

 

They do good work, I believe.

 

Mikes Paint in Elkart is another for doing exterior.

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I am neither flush with cash or delusional, I know what I can do and have the resources to do most of it in house. My shop has machines and fab equipment, I do industrial controls and, ran a good size wood shop. Most of the things mentioned are not difficult and with three fork lifts, four bridge cranes and a half dozen jib cranes even large stuff is not really an issue.

 

The reason I want to do the things I do is because, I like being at my shop. I could build out an apartment here and have thought about it, the idea of having a trailer allows me to take travel when needed with all the comforts of home. There is a project I am working on that may require my staying at client locations for days to weeks at a time. The client locations would have plenty of power and water available for my trailer. It is far more cost effective to stay in my own trailer than moteling it and I can make my own meals, laundry etc.

 

The trailer would not be for camping at an RV park, I may take it to some events but, I am not really a "camper". Traveling to many of the locations having a well provisioned trailer would make the stay far more comfortable. In some locations it could mean the difference between a long drive from the closest hotel or motel.

 

Remodeling a good trailer makes more sense to me than buying something that is built to a price point. Sadly I can't go out and buy a New Horizon or Forks trailer. I can take a good set of bones and make it more contemporary with the features of a newer trailer. With new residential appliances in the kitchen a facelift on the decor and, updated infrastructure I can come close to a new custom trailer on a scroungers budget.

 

Steve

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In my opinion, Phil is correct. And it goes for upgrading your truck, hotrodding a vehicle, or remodeling a house.

 

But, if you're comfortable with your current house/truck/hot rod/rv/whatever, it's just more comforting to upgrade, and know those dollars are gone.

 

Eight years ago, we wanted to add on to our house, bigger master suite, kitchen, and a 3 car garage. We bought the house of our dreams for less than the remodel plus the resale of the old house.

 

So it's an emotional thing. If you can afford to lose the cash, go for it. No sense making the kids rich. :D

Not sure how things work in the US but here you do not want to be 20% more expensive than your neighbors. Also it is a dollar for dollar when you renovate the kitchen, bath, carpet or paint. Can't speak to bedroom or garage, pools and hot tubs are a loss, even a detriment. Also re the house, there are real estate and lawyers plus plus taxes on one or both ends plus any modifications to the new place. The very least being paint. Then there is the landscaping.

 

Upgrading the truck was a smart thing to do...for me. The other truck was totaled anyway. Hot rodding? If that gives someone a safe place to be, then I say go ahead, no explanation needed if it relieves stress. That in itself is worth the price.

 

IMO, cash is not lost if it keeps you sane or close to it. Or prevents a heart attack.

 

R

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