Archive for the ‘OutBack 301BQ Mods’ Category

Travel troubles

Our trailer is 4 years old and has well over a hundred thousand miles on it now. We are on our second set of tires and have had a few things that got beat up and replaced along the way. This trip across Ohio put more strain on it. If you haven't driven in Ohio lately, a lot of their roads are being repaired or need repaired, so it abuses cars and trailers.

We shredded two tires and I found a crack in the rear bedroom.

We are really praying about trading it in on a toy hauler. Something a bit bigger.






So we found a tire ship with tires on stock and time to get us in before the job and ran over and got them installed. Looks much better and rides better.



Getting new tires and a church youth group to wash our rig.

We were rolling from Nashville, TN to St. Petersburg, FL, when I realized that we had steel showing through one of our tires. These tires about about 50k+ on them and they were crap Chinese made load range D's from the factory. I had already done a bunch of research and knew I wanted Maxxis brand and that I wanted to step it up to load range E's. So since we were headed through Atlanta, GA and planning to have dinner with my good friend Derrell, I decided we better call around and find some tires before we had a blow out. We managed to find a place that had a decent deal on them and could have them first thing in the morning. Plus he said we could drop the trailer in his parking lot for the night. SCORE! Went out with Derrell to Chonas in Lawrenceville, GA. Had some excellent food and a good time. Came back to trailer and slept.

I woke in the morning and showered and stepped outside and a youth group was setting up to do a car wash to help orphans in Romania. Didn't think much of it. We went to the mall and hung out until the new tires were put on and the trailer was ready. I was walking the dog before we took off and one of the girls from the youth group was oohing and awing over him. She jokingly said she would wash him. I said ok, you wash him, the camper, and the van. There was a pause and the girls mom said, the whole thing? I said sure, $100 (its a good cause right?). She turns around and asks the guys doing the washing. They were all for it. So I hooked up and pulled around the building. I grabbed the dogs shampoo and let them go to it. 🙂 We had a good chat with some of the parents supervising. They did a decent job. I am picky and they were kids, you do the math. Hehe.

After that it was onward to Florida. Along the way we ran into a great guy driving my dream truck. *drool* He was trying to convince me I needed one. Which isn't hard, but I like being debt free. Maybe some day.

Anyhow, on to the promised pictures!

TV mounted in the bedroom

We got a new TV for the living room so the kids could play Wii better and we could all watch movies. The old TV was 19" and you couldn't see it all the way across the room (I wear thick glasses). Anyhow, I moved the old 19" into the back bedroom for the wife and I to be able to watch shows and movies without keeping the children up. I have a desk already built in front of the rear door, so I mounted the TV arm to a stud in the wall above the desk. This allows the TV to fold flat if we want to use the door, but swing out so we can watch it. I put the Mac Mini on the desk and hooked it up. That way we can watch Hulu, Netflix, and DVDs all from one device that has a remote. Works very well. I stuck my lamp on top of the mini and away we went. 🙂

I still haven't figured a nice way to hide all the wires yet. Honestly I have been a bit lazy on that. Can't see them when the TV is out so.... 😉

Here is the post for the new TV we put in the living room.
And here is the post about the mounts that came with the trailer.

If I want to, I can lift the TV off the bracket and take it outside to watch in our screen room that we have.

Wifi Booster

We kept having trouble with Wifi at places that we parked. Since we practically live on the internet, we really needed better coverage. I can use my Sprint Evo as a hotspot in places where there is no Wifi, but I was most annoyed that I couldn't get Wifi that was in the park I was staying in. I purchased the Rogue Wave Wifi booster from Land and Sea. It claims up to 7 miles range. I mounted it up on my TV antenna mast. Think I need to get some PVC pipe and put it up just a bit higher. I think I am getting interference from the TV antenna. I am able to see a McDonalds a mile away with 2 out 8 bars at this campground. I could not see the McDonalds a block away from the last campground. Not sure what to think about that.

The booster itself was way way smaller then I thought it was going to be. That made installation easier. I ran my wires down through the hole that the tv cable runs through. Then I fished it through the ceiling. I didn't want to drill a hole in my ceiling or wall so I just came out through the speaker hole and used sticky tack to attach it to the wall.

So far I have used it at two different campgrounds. I seem to get about quadrupal the range of my two laptops. And it's nice to only have to type in one code to get everything online. Plus with us having a router in the trailer now, we can share video and pix to all the different devices easily.

Rogue Wave wifi booster
$375 + shipping and then if you need installation. You could build your own for much less, but it may not be as easy to use and setup.
Seems to be pretty designed. I put some silicon glue on the cable holes and such just to make sure it was really water proof.
8db Gain booster. Came with all the cables and attachments and a Netgear router to get it all setup. Doesn't seem to have as much range as I would have hoped.
Makes using wifi in a campground much better then regular laptop. Allows me to use one key for the wifi instead of six. POE makes setup nice and easy.

WaveWiFi Rogue
The Rogue Wave is brought to you by Wave WiFi, THE name in marine WiFi. The Rogue has 800mw of power to help you connect to public hotspots from up to 7 miles! The easy to use web-based interface requires NO software installation and will work with Windows and Mac.
You can easily connect any router such as our optional Netgear to the Rogue Wave, allowing you to share the connection wirelessly with several computers throughout the boat!
We're so sure you'll love the Rogue that we are now offering a 2 Week, no questions asked Money Back Guarantee!

800mW (+29dBm) output power
Easy to use web-based Wave WiFi Interface
FREE Online Firmware Upgrades
FREE iMap™ Global Weather
Up to 7-mile range from a quality HotSpot
Instructional CD and Quick Start Guide
One year written limited warranty
14 Day Satisfaction Guarantee
Works with 110/220V AND 12/24V
Kit includes everything you need to get started: Rogue Wave, 110/220VAC and 12VDC Power over Ethernet supply, 8db Marine Antenna & Mount, 25' Ethernet Cable, Quickstart Guide, and CD

4G booster antenna for my Sprint EVO

I am parked at a camp ground just outside of 4G coverage. Basically the trailer and the trees are blocking my signal. Which really stinks since there is no WIFI here and I pretty much live on the internet. 🙂

I came up with a way to boost my signal on my Sprint EVO so that I can have 4G and use my phone as a hotspot.

It's a little redneck, but it works!

Tub upgrade

We kept having an issue with the shower leaking out around the edges of the shower curtain. The water was running down the wall and then seeping along the edge and onto the floor. I bought a $4 cutting board from Walmart. Then I used my rotozip jigsaw tool to cut a shape out. Then I glued that shape to the tub with water proof silicon. It's totally removable and will keep the water from leaking out. I angled it back just a bit so the water will at worst pool in the corner. I also found that I need more caulk around the bottom of the tub as the stuff that was there seemed to have shifted and wasn't doing anything.

So here's some pix.

This should stop the water from leaking out the edges

Battery Upgrade

I was so sick of not being able to run the furnace all night while Wallydocking, that I finally went out and bought two 6volt gold cart batteries to replace the one Excide deep cycle marine that came with the trailer. I ended up with two Deka GC25's. Cost about $300 for the two, but so far with the testing I have done, we should be able to run for about 3-4 days with no trouble. Definitely worth the upgrade.

Heres the forum post about it all here.

Keeping a tv in place

Our camper came with a 19" 720p TV. It worked ok for movies and TV, but then our friends got us a Wii and suddenly playing 4 player games became terrible on a tiny screen. So we went off to Best Buy and picked up a new one. Got a 32" Insignia 1080p. Very nice with smart sound. Trouble is it was too heavy for the wall mount bracket and I wanted the 19" in our bedroom anyhow. So it sat nicely up on the ledge with the table stand, it was just a matter of making sure it didn't go anywhere.

Here's what I came up with:

I got 4 of those 1/2" screw in eyelet things (whatever they are called) 🙂
Then I got a bolt that fit in there snugly
I got 4 longer screws that fit into the wall mount holes in the back of the TV.

I used a piece of 1 inch pine board that I had extra from mounting the gas cans. I drilled 4 holes in it to match the wall mount holes. I bolted the pine board to the back of the TV. Then I put two of the screw eyelets in the pine board. Next I put the other two in the wall where the old TV was mounted (there was a support behind the wall board that I screwed into).

I then set the TV up on the stand (putting a little sticky tack stuff under the stand so it wouldn't slide), I lined up the 4 eyelets and dropped the bolt down through. This keeps the tv from falling off the shelf, but still allows it to swing left and right. I positioned it off the right just a little bit on purpose so that it could be seen from the couch.

As of this post, we have driven over 1200 miles with the TV mounted this way and it's working great.

Stashing stuff.

We needed to protect our bikes and stash our hose that we use for sewer with our FloJet. This is what I came up with.

I also picked up a 50ft 30 amp extension cord from Craigslist and cleaned a couple cupboards to come up with even more storage.

Jerry can mounts

We use a generator at night when boondocking to keep us warm in winter and cool in summer. The generator is kept in the back of the van, but I didn't want the gas smell in where we all ride. So I had these old Jerry cans back home that I figured would work well. I got an extra holder off eBay and mounted them up on the tongue. The fit perfectly and turned out rather well I think. I will have to paint the old red one when summer comes, but for now I can carry 10 gallons of fuel for the generator that runs about 8-10 hours on 4 gallons. This works out pretty well for us. I used some pine boards in between stuff so that it didn't mar up the paint on the trailer.