Our camper is a 1999 Keystone/Damon Camplite 10SG. It came with an "Add-A-Room" but we don't consider it a needed item for our camping style. We have added some things to the camper to make it more fun, convienent and functional. We ditched the mattresses and replaced them with the inflatable type. Below are some photos of a few changes.
Things We Have Done To The Pop-Up
Added a Radio/CD player and a pair of 4" speakers. The solid brass handles makes folding the galley up and down a lot easier. Radio and Speakers-$90. Handles-$5
A set of folding canvas hanging shelves adds a ton of room to put all of those things that just end up sitting around. Bed Bath & Beyond-$20. We liked this modification so much we added 2 more of the ceiling mounted clothes hangers. $26 for 2 hangers. One more was mounted to the other end of the camper and another over the sink. This added $16 for another brown one (coupon from BB&B) and $5 for another smaller one over the sink. Total in additional storage space? $67 and well worth it.
Added 12 VDC power jacks to the ceiling lights for connecting bunk lights. This is the cheapest mod you can make to a Pop-Up at a whopping $1 for two jacks.
Two 12 VDC power sockets for powering the "Iceless Cooler" and the Cell Phone. Cost-$9.
Folding cup holders at each bunk make it easier to hold that glass of water. Total for the two $9.
If you are thinking about one of these T.V. antennas for your camper, dont. RCA is not what they used to be. This "antenna" is a very cool design but a total waste of money. Dont bother with them. Money wasted-$28.
Adding this digital inside/outside thermometer was handy. If you cant get TV to see what weather is coming, at least you can look at this and see what is here. Free from Radio Shack.
We wanted to have a way to access the under seat storage from the outside so it was time to add a baggage door. Here I have the studs located and the hole marked for cutting.
The next thing to do was put the Dremel Tool to the side for the cut. After the first quarter inch I figured "What the heck" and let the cutter do the work. I got lucky and cut the hole right between 2 internal studs. Caulked around hole for weather protection. So much for the company name.
The finished job. Now we can preload our dry food from outside the camper and throw those small last minute things inside without having to pop up. Bought door from eBay $20.
The antenna was mounted on the fridge grill so the aluminum would act as a ground plane and I didnt have to cut the camper. The wire was routed through an internal bulkhead and sealed at the point of entry. Total for antenna $7.
Here is a modification done on the fridge to blow out hot air produced by the back side condenser. The thermostat turns the fan on and off as needed. This makes the fridge cool a whole lot better. Thermostat is a test unit that I decided to just leave in the circuit. Total cost $3 for the fan.
Here is the fan used in the inside of the fridge. This is a small 12 volt fan used to cool the CPU of a computer. It only moves a couple of feet of air per minute but that is all needed.
Inside of fridge before modifications.
Fan mounted inside fridge compartment blowing air towards the front and around the coils
Completed modification showing fan ready to go. I routed the wires out the back of the fridge and connected it to a pair of 12 volt wires. The fan is wired to stay on any time the camper is plugged into AC or being run on 12 volts. Moving the air around inside the fridge helps to distribute the cold air and eliminate warm spots. Total cost of this modifiction was about $1 for the epoxy. The fan was given to us.
The addition of a DVD player to the TV/VCR combination was nice. This is an Apex 1100W from Wal-Mart. It not only plays DVD's but also plays CD-R's with our digital photos and MP3 song disks. One good ROM hack and it now plays the DVD through the TV/VCR unit.
Total cost of DVD player $72. We added a small transmitter to the system that broadcasts to the FM radio for better sound quality. Cost of RF transmitter, $12.
Pop Up before Over/Under kit added. We added this kit to gain ground clearance on the body. The tires were rubbing the inside of the wells, stabilizer legs were always nearly totally compressed and step was too close to the ground.
The Axle Over/Under Modification
Pop Up after the Over/Under kit added. We gained 4 inches of height. This takes a lot of getting used to since it looks so different than the way it was. This is not an axle flip job but the legitimate over/under modification. The thing looks like one of those all terrain pop up's.
This is what the "Stack" looked like before.
Here is what the "Stack" looked like after the modification.
This is the wheel to well clearance before the change. There was only 2.5 inches of clearance. Hitting any good highway bumps or wild animals would cause the tire to rub the well. With new tires we arent going to have any of that.
This is the wheel to well clearance after the change. There is now 6.5 inches of clearance. The stabilizers now extrend further and there is room between the bottom step and the ground. In test driving, there is no sway or anything else other than height to deal with. I did this change myself in about 2 hours. Total cost for the over/under modification: $24
AND... If anyone ever tells you that Pop Up tires dont need to be computer balanced, DONT believe them. We took these to the tire store and paid $5 each to have them balanced. You should see the weights they added! One was a lot worse than the other but both needed to be done. I suspect that we will double the life of the tires by doing this simple thing. Total: $10
We finally broke down and got a 12 X 6 outdoor carpet for outside, under the awning. Adding this 6" diameter, 6' 6" PVC pipe will make it easier to manage. It is connected to the frame with internal stainless steel carriage bolts and hardware. A cap on the left and screw plug on the right should keep the carpet nice and dry. Carpet $30, tube $25. Total for the job $55.
Carpet and Carpet Tube
Solar covers are a must. They keep things cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Keeps tree and bird crud off the bunk ends as well as any water that may get on it not to mention they keep the inside darker in the early morning. Secured in place with Velcro under roof edge and clamped with small clips. Same material as the $70 ones but...
Total for job $30
Now how creative can she get? Rhonda made her own little frilly things to go around the inside ceiling corners of the roof.
This is nice since it covers up the poor roof corner workmanship that all campers suffer from.
She went to the fabric store and came back with bags of fabric and in no time had these finished up and installed.
Total for job $20
After way too much research on the best stuff to clean the clear windows with, we ended up with this stuff. It is called Protect All and is made for the vinyl windows.
I hate to promote Wal-Mart but you get it there for $8.50 a bottle. This should last quite a long time though and works great!
We are trying another local broadcast antenna. This one is from Radio Shack and shows more potential than other we have tried so far.
Mounting is sort of cool. I mounted it on the lift pole with hose clamps. No holes in the camper and less than 5 minutes added to the set up time. It is a very solid mount and clears the roof edge by 1/2 inch. Using my idea for mounting, this works without hacking the camper with holes and hardware.
Here is what it looks like deployed and in operation. If this wont cut it, the sat dish gig is next.
This is a close up shot of the mounting design. The hose clamps are stainless steel for no rust and are trimmed short for speed of deployment. The hose clamps never get removed. We just loosen them enough to slip the pole mount out and they nest on the lift rod when popped down.
Total for job $40
Last update on: January 21, 2007
Changing To Good Stabilizers
Some Interior Decor
Solar Bunkend Covers
Adding Brakes To The Camper
Off with the old ones using a grinder.
Here are the old stabilizers. After just a couple of years, they are bending and just not up to par. After raising the camper body they were too short resulting in having to add wood blocks and anything else we could find to make up the difference.
So, it is good bye to the old ones.
And on with the new.
These crank down to more than we need with a neat tool that makes deployment about a 10 second job. Preliminary testing sure indicates good results.
Cost: For 4 stabilizers and a new grinder. $125
Finally An End To The
Those darned cushions never stay up and in place! Fixed that problem... Using my cousins killer sewing machine for leather, we sewed 2" Velcro to the backs of the silly things. Stick them in place and forget it.
We said we would never do it but after one close call too many we changed our mind. This is a Dexter custom made axle with electric brakes. Using the new heavy duty crank downs to suspend the camper off the ground, the changout took less than 45 minutes. We will never leave home without brakes again.
Control is provided through a Prodigy controller.
Cost: Axle Delivered $200
Prodigy controller $100
Automatic Lighted Step
Following up the modification with a Prodigy controller
Now this is different. It is a small light added to light the step at night. The lamp was disassembled and totally sealed with silicone to guard against water damage. It isnt a real bright one but is great to light the step when the door is opened.
The sensing is done with an embedded magnet in the door and a magnetic reed switch in the frame. When the door opens more than 1 inch, the light comes on. No moving parts and the wires are run inside the door frame to keep them out of the way.
Coleman "Hot Water On Demand"
This nifty little portable "Hot Water On Demand" heater will eliminate using the coffee pot and stove to heat and warm water for cooking and cleaning dishes. It can heat water over 100 degrees above the incoming water temperature and has adjustable water temperatures.
A good Sam's buy for $156 and comes with the optional carry case ($30) and spray handle ($10) in a package deal from Sam's.