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Old 06-24-2012, 05:59 PM   #1
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Interstate Mods - I'll go First

I'll go first. I changed out all the Sprinter speakers for Alpine and added a powered sub woofer. I placed it the overhead compartment above the passenger seat.

The radio now sound much better in my opinion.

Let hear about everyones modifications.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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Added slip-on chrome tips for both exhaust pipes.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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We had magazine racks made and stained to match the interior, two at the rear on the cabin ends of the benches, one larger one directly behind the driver's seat.


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Old 06-25-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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Some small mods/additions for now: I added a 'Borla' slip-on engine exhaust tip, clear-bra for front of vehicle and two removable exterior mirror bras made. Renntech ECU tuning. Screens were added to the doors, Gerald's modification done to the dump-hose (ref. Yahoo Airstream forum). We installed the M/Benz I-pod adapter and programmed it. I had the driver's and passenger windows and front windshield tinted with a 3m product that helps reduce UV rays.
On my list to get done soon will be the relocation of the LP tank switch from the service compartment on the exterior, to the electrical panel in the coach. I am working on a chrome tip for the APU exhaust. The replacement of the two rear speakers with upgraded ones that will fit in the existing holes. Presently the street-side rear speaker is inop.
New Thule rack to carry our bikes, was a recent birthday gift from my wife.
I like our I3500!
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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I am working on a chrome tip for the APU exhaust.
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FWIW I used a chrome sink drain pipe for the gen exhaust.

What Borla P/N tip did you use? I scoured the internet w/o success. Finally got one at Advance Auto w/ bologna sliced tip and installed backwards.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
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I added a V12 Detroit Deisel to repower the scrawny electric vent fan in the bathroom of my Overlander. Moves a lot more air but the GF is not happy with the noise.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:52 AM   #7
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A lot of minor things, one major. The major thing, a Viper alarm system with two-way remote.
Minor things are all non-permanent, the most expensive being the addition of a Fiamma Privacy Room to enclose the area under the awning. I'll use it for the first time next week, and let you know how it works. Hopefully well enough to be worth the expense.
Most of the time I use a Swagman hitch-mount bike rack, but for hurricane evacuation when I'l need to carry spare fuel, I've got a hitch-mount cargo tray as well. Given a choice between carrying the bike inside or carrying fuel inside, I'll carry the bike inside, even though it will completely block the aisle in transit. It's not like I can move around the vehicle while I'm driving anyway.
I added WeatherTech window visors to both front windows. When I take my rig to work and park it in the lot, leaving the tip-out windows open inconveniences people who park alongside, and in order for the rooftop MaxxFan to do its job, there has to be be a way for air to get in as well as out. The visors fill the bill.
Other minor mods are just the addition of a few Command Adhesive accessories to provide a safe place by the bed to set my eyeglasses and hang my keys, a dry-erase maker board by the galley, hooks in the galley to hang potholders and Ove-Gloves, and a soap dish in the bathroom.
Oh, and after dropping the television remote under the sofa and having to disassemble the sofa to retrieve the remote during my first-ever camping trip in my Interstate back in February, I added Velcro to the remote so I can stick it up next to the TV when it's not in use.

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On my list to get done soon will be the relocation of the LP tank switch from the service compartment on the exterior, to the electrical panel in the coach.
You may want to rethink that part. National Fire Protection Agency publishes NFPA 58, the LP Gas Code. This code requires propane dealers to shut off the service switch themselves (not relying upon your word that it's off) when refilling your tank. That's why the switch is always located right beside the fill valve on all ASME propane tanks. Once you make that change, you'll find that propane dealers won't sell to you anymore. They could lose their license if they do.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
FWIW I used a chrome sink drain pipe for the gen exhaust.

What Borla P/N tip did you use? I scoured the internet w/o success. Finally got one at Advance Auto w/ bologna sliced tip and installed backwards.
Check this link. It looks like this one. I do not have the P/N as I installed it last year. Verify your exhaust pipe dimensions.
Borla Exhaust Tips - Single Oval Rolled Angle Cut with Embossed Tip

Protagonist, thanks for the heads-up on the LP switch relocation. I just do not trust that door retainer pin for many uses. If you leave the switch on, the electrical drain is significant.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist
You may want to rethink that part. National Fire Protection Agency publishes NFPA 58, the LP Gas Code. This code requires propane dealers to shut off the service switch themselves (not relying upon your word that it's off) when refilling your tank. That's why the switch is always located right beside the fill valve on all ASME propane tanks. Once you make that change, you'll find that propane dealers won't sell to you anymore. They could lose their license if they do.
You can have the best of both. I plan to install a second switch (inside) in series with the one at the fill panel. Both switches would have to be ON (closed) to open the valve. I have the switch which matches the ones on the two panels inside the slider door. And on mine there is a blank position available in one of the 4-gang panels. Now I just have to find the time to run the wires.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #10
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You can have the best of both. I plan to install a second switch (inside) in series with the one at the fill panel. Both switches would have to be ON (closed) to open the valve. I have the switch which matches the ones on the two panels inside the slider door. And on mine there is a blank position available in one of the 4-gang panels. Now I just have to find the time to run the wires.
That can work. The main point of my advice was to not get rid of the outside switch.

Also, if you've got both inside and outside switches, if the LP gas alarm goes off, I'd recommend you shut off the propane from outside, not inside. I don't know if the inside switch would spark at all when turned on or off, but best not to take chances when you've got a propane leak.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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I just do not trust that door retainer pin for many uses.
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My plastic doohickey was already missing when I got mine at 4K miles. Replaced w/ a screw stubbed out and a knob to spring the cover out and over the end of the screw. May put a wing nut on the end of screw but for now it seems secure. Upcoming trip will be first road test.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
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Forgot that I also fashioned a stop for the slider that allows it to just open to the leading edge of the seat. I read where others used a tennis ball stuffed into the track but didn't understand how that incorporates the hold-open catch.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:16 AM   #13
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Minor things are all non-permanent, the most expensive being the addition of a Fiamma Privacy Room to enclose the area under the awning. I'll use it for the first time next week, and let you know how it works. Hopefully well enough to be worth the expense.
As promised (threatened?) I've got a report on that Fiamma Privacy Room. I used it at Eisenhower State Park, Denison, Texas, last week.

When the thing arrived via UPS, I unpacked the carboard carton and transfeered everything to the "MegaBag" that was packed with it. That's a nylon bag supposedly large enough to hold all of the pieces. Yeah, it's big enough, but NOT strong enough. It has webbing handles on both ends and webbing carry straps in the middle. The stitching ripped out on one end handle and the carry straps, leaving me with a 55-pound bundle that's almost impossible to carry.

Earlier this week I ordered a much better bag from a company called Sam Ash, that makes equipment bags for drummers, to carry their drum stands and such. It's got rollers at one end, and a rigid base, along with the end handles and center carry straps. It's not quite as long end-to-end as the Fiamma MegaBag, so that some metal pieces won't fit, but I'll figure out something different for them. The Sam Ash bag has a 100-pound capacity, and the rollers will make it easier for a solo traveler like me to handle. and it should be easy enough to stand it on end behind the driver's seat and lash it into place for transit, unlike the Fiamma MegaBag.

When I went to set up the Privacy Room, the instructions were crap. Mostly pictures that didn't clearly illustrate what they're trying to show, and stilted text that was translated from Italian by someone for whom English is a second language at best. However, being an engineer, I pride myself on my ability to figure out how to do things without instructions when necessary, so I pressed ahead valiantly.

The instructions were actually written for a Privacy Room that fits on an F45 awning, not an F65 awning. I didn't know that I'd have to drill the awning case to install two brackets. Not a problem, just unexpected. It's only one drilled hole per bracket, and the brackets should be able to remain in place thereafter, not be removed every time you take down the Privacy Room.

The key to setting up the Privacy Room is the "Clip System S" as it's called in the catalog, or "FastClip" as it's called on the labels on the clips. Basically, they're a pair of four-foot-long clamps that slip-fit together to make eight-foot-long clamps. Connects to the brackets I installed on the awning case at the upper end, attach to the leading-edge metal part of the awning (whatever that's called) at the lower end, and then clamp to the awning fabric along the entire eight-foot length.

The problem with the FastClips was the connection at the lower end. They're supposed to connect to protrusions on the leg swivels, but my F65 awning has a different type of leg swivels that completely lacks any kind of protrusion for the FastClips to interlock with. I got by through the simple expedient of putting them in place and then retracting the awning just far enough to put the FastClips in compression. It was fine for that outing since there wasn't much wind, but I don't like the idea of just friction-fit if there was any kind of a wind. I'm still trying to work out an acceptable substitute connection method before my next trip. If I can't figure anything out, I'll order a pair of F45 leg swivels to replace the F65 leg swivels.

One must be careful when attaching the FastClips to the awning fabric. There are some sharp edges that can cut the fabric. I'll be rounding those corners with a file before I use the Privacy Room again.

Once the FastClips are in place, the rest is pretty easy. Each wall and door panel has a plastic "bolt-rope" at the top that feeds into a slot on either the front of the awning or the outer edge of the FastClip. Feed the panels in, pull them tight, zip adjacent panels together.

Then another problem cropped up. The wall panels that butt up against the side of the RV have foam inserts that are supposed to be sandwiched between the RV's outer surface and a vertical metal pole, mistakenly called a "vertical rafter" in the instructions. The problem is, the pole is straight and vertical; the wall of the Sprinter is curved and angled. I couldn't use the poles. I worked around that by using a pair of bungee cords, conected at the top end to the awning case, and at the bottom end to a metal stake driven into the ground. The bungee cords conformed to the shape of the Sprinter van body, unlike the poles.

One other problem, at the sliding side door, I had a choice of that foam-filled edge interfering with closing the sliding door, or blocking the passenger front door. No possible way to set it up without blocking one or the other because the doors are too close together. I chose to block the passenger front door since I use the sliding door far more often while camping.

After that, it was just a matter of staking down the lower edges of the walls, rolling up the plastic windows to leave screened openings, and hey, presto, I was done.

It made for nice covered storage and a decent retreat from the deerflies (big as pigeons, I swear!), and because that side was in shade all the time no matter what the angle of the sun, it even made the interior of my Interstate about 5 degrees cooler than on my previous outing.

Plus, thanks to the FastClips clamped along the edges of the awning, the awning didn't flap as much when a breeze sprang up. Even when I don't use the whole Privacy Room, I'll probably use the FastClips on every outing, once I figure out that whole lower-end issue and file off those sharp corners.

The first attempt at setting up took about two hours; I expect the next attempt to take significantly less time now that I don't have to figure out what I'm doing and don't have to drill any more holes. I was working alone the whole time; it would have gone about 25% quicker with a second person.

The time to take everything down and pack it away was only about 45 minutes, again working alone. It would take less for two people because folding the wall panels is awkward for one.

While setting up that first ime, I swore up and down that I'd throw the damned thing away when I got home, but I changed my mind once I was done. I'll use it again, but probably will get more use from the Privacy Room during the relatively mild Louisiana winters. With the plastic windows rolled down, it should retain heat nicely.

I did take some pictures once I was done setting up, but haven't yet downloaded them or reduced them to a size that I can attach to a post. If anyone's interested, let me know.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:56 AM   #14
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Flammable Privacy Room

If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to see your pictures.

Setting up the privacy room, sounded .... Difficult.
But please, let's see how it looks. I'm wondering how you had a bungee cords long enough. Lucky you're an engineer. I would not have been able to do so many 'work arounds'.

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