With spring arriving the same time as an epidemic that has us considering a remote, isolated living situation; we’ve been tinkering with all the things left on our list from last season to make our Four Wheel Camper even better.
In December, we did our best to find warm weather on a long road trip. Our tire table was still a prototype then – and the first thing we noticed was that there was zero light in the early winter evenings to do any cooking. A fast and cheap solution was an LED light strip run into our battery box and connected to our factory USB and 12V outlet wiring harness. The included controller is mounted outside – making it really convenient. Now I’m considering putting one on the other side and running around Main Street with them on in the evening. “Cruising” is what I think the kids call it.
In the process of getting that installed – I realized that our porch light was staying ever-so-lit even when it was off. Again, the rocker switch on the light failed due to corrosion (that’s the second one). So I bought a five-pack this time and got that switched (Ha! Get it?). And… managed to break the porch light cover in the process. So swapped that with a new amber one.
Next was addressing our Maxtrax and jerry can carriers for the camper. Both were early prototypes and we’ve since improved the design quite a bit. So new carriers – including a new front-loading option for the jerry can. It’s much easier to use than the top-load (I almost need a ladder on Yeti). And that’s about to get worse later this year when 37s…
Since installing the first jerry can holder – my “temporary” solution was to use some cord to extend the door catch (the door wouldn’t reach without it). Over a year later, it was time for that to go. I built a little block for the arm and now the door catch works as it was originally intended.
So those 37-inch tires… they’re not going to fit in the factory spare location. So in preparation for other changes coming this year – I went ahead and relocated the back-up camera higher on the door. This actually cleaned the look up quite a bit.
Worth mentioning because you can see it in the picture below – although not yet complete. RV Lock is a new discovery for us. It replaces the factory door latch with one that uses keys, a combo, or a keyless fob. We’re 100% getting one of those and looking forward to the ability to lock our vehicle keys or whatever else we need in our camper when we go out for a run or swim completely keyless. Open sesame.
And finally – it was time to cross the last remaining item off our list from our very first post about the camper improvements. Some interior seating.
This one was a joint effort with the wife. I took the leap of faith in cannibalizing the factory interior carpet and cubby. I then cut an extension out of 1/2″ baltic birch that I had laminated with rock maple Formica (same as the “kitchen box” and fridge mod we did) on both sides. Then I relocated the factory sticker and plate, installed a rubber t-latch, installed black edge banding, and cut and reinstalled the factory aluminum edging along with some velcro. To support us while we eat walking tacos in the rain – I built a support out of 1-1/4″ square tubing that screws into the cubby divider and laminated camper wall.
From there, my wife used the same cotton duck cloth we used to make the curtains to cover one of the factory cushions (back rest) and a new piece of foam. The result is a 36″ wide love seat with the depth of your favorite couch. And it just happens to be within arms reach of a beer-making-cold-machine. That may be by design.
Next… get out and test all these changes out! Perhaps sooner than later [reaches for hand santizier]…