Well I think I've finish up the trailer mods . . . at least for now. At least I'm ready to hit the road in another 11 days for my full-timing adventure!
Got the entry steps covered with the carpet pieces that match my patio rugs. I think they'll keep the inside cleaner, and will be easier on the dog's paws. Installed a toilet flush-handle screen door opener and painted the flat rod black to match the screen door. Also installed a pet guard over the bottom screen on the door. Got all of my pictures, plaques, trophies and do-dads mounted; most with 3M Command Strip Velcro or clear silicone sealant. Shouldn't have to remove & store anything for traveling. Got the T.V. mount installed in the bedroom, along with a wall pad and tie-back to keep the T.V. in place while traveling. Got my front pass-thru (and the underside of the bed) insulated with 1-1/2 thick pink Styrofoam insulation, and the hooks & brackets installed for all the fishing rods, WD bars, hoses & electrical cords. Also discovered that putting the 3" memory foam mattress pad under
the mattress sealed off the 1/2" gap between the bed platform and the nightstands (necessitated by the overhang of the nightstand's countertops). Also put a heated mattress pad on the bed. Should stay a lot warmer in bed while cool/cold weather camping.
Next, I mounted an 18' "warm white" LED rope light outside under the awning. A lot of you have used the thin strip lights with mounting tape, only to find that they don't weather well and/or come loose after a season or two. That's why I decided to go with the "rope" lights. After cleaning the area under the awning with rubbing alcohol, I attached 3'-long clear plastic "mounting channels" (also from Menard's) to the side of the trailer using the self-stick tape that came pre-mounted on the channels. Then, just slipped the rope light into the channel. Covered almost the entire length of the awning. The really neat thing about these rope lights is they're solar powered!
I won't have to eat up electricity/battery to light up my patio area. The wire leading from the lights to the solar cell was only 6' long, so I had to extend it with speaker wire and a couple of the "bullet-style" quick connects. Right now, it's just hanging loose, but I plan on running it down the awning arm channel (behind the rubber weather strip), then storing the solar cell inside the forward pass-thru. The solar cell came with a ground stake, and I added enough extra wire to place the cell in front of the trailer (where there's generally some direct sun).
There's also an on/off button and a constant/flashing button on the back of the solar cell. Will definitely use the on/off button, but I think the flashing LED's would really get irritating after a few minutes. Maybe I'll save that setting for the camper next door that insists on playing his outside stereo at 180 db at 1:00 a.m.
Final mod was maybe the best, at least for my circumstances. I have a 4' x 8' plastic fishing boat. I believe it's a Coleman "Bass Buster" (or something like that), made out of the same plastic as an ice chest. I've hauled it before in the bed of the pick-up, but have to leave the tailgate open to do that. Unfortunately, the tailgate hits my electric trailer jack, so it will only open about 1/3. That means loading the boat into the truck, lifting the boat, closing the tailgate (so the boat rest on top of the tailgate), and then hooking up the trailer. Quite the PITA! You may recall that I had the pull-out bike rack/storage tray installed on my trailer shortly after I bought it. I had planned on hauling my generator, tools, wastewater tote, ladder, etc. on it. It occurred to me that those items would be better stored in my lockable truck bed with hard tonneau cover, IF I could figure out a way to haul the boat on the trailer storage tray. After a great deal of arduous thought (and several "adult beverages") I came up with the solution! I used some of the leftover Styrofoam to build a "cradle" for the boat, and used the strip of memory foam I cut off the end of the mattress topper as a sort of "bumper" between the boat and the back of the trailer. Used a couple of heavy-duty ratchet straps to secure the boat, and a 15' hd cable with padlock to keep it from disappearing while I'm in a rest stop or truck stop. Only problem (as you can see) is the boat blocks my tail lights and license plate. "What problem?" I just picked up a trailer light kit with 25' wiring harness and some cable wrap at Home Depot. Drilled a couple of holes in the storage rack frame to mount the lights, used some of the harness wire through the cable wrap to run to the trailer tail lights, removed and reattached the license plate, and I'm in business. Oh, and I left enough slack in the wires and cable wraps to extend or retract the storage rack, if necessary. The boat weighs less that 150 lbs., which is far below the GWLC of the storage rack. It seems to be very stable, but haven't tested it yet at 65mph highway speeds. Will test it on a lonely country road first. If it decides to get "airborne" on me, I'd rather retrieve it from some farmer's corn field than from some highway-driver's windshield. If all works well, and I'm able to haul it this way, when I get to my campsite I'll just remove the boat, retract the rack and store the boat under the trailer. Then I can haul it to the water in the back of the truck - with the tailgate down.
Pretty clever, hey! Like I've said before, "Mrs. Brown didn't raise no dumb boys!"
(Pictures posted in additional threads, due to size limitations.)