Hopefully, we're not in the process of regret.

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by capcrnch, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. capcrnch

    capcrnch New Member

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    Hi all, somewhat new here.
    After YEARS of tenting, we bought a used Dutchmen last month.
    We love it. It's perfect for us, but we can also tell it could be a gateway drug to a camper someday. lol

    This thing was seriously clean when we got it. Very well taken care of in the past and the previous owners were absolutely awesome.

    Yet, as a car guy, I had to modify it right away (with wife's permission and even some urging).

    The fridge, water pump and heater haven't worked in years, so we debated replacing vs removing.
    The thought having to walk in and over to the fridge, then get low to get something out of it seemed more of a pain in the butt, so I pulled that and we replaced it with a dorm fridge that currently sits
    The heater unit came out with it with the thought of using a portable if we ever need it.
    I know there's a long time pup owner debate about sinks, but we went with removing it, as we have an outdoor kitchen with a sink we use.
    IMG_2390.PNG FullSizeRender.JPEG IMG_2343.jpg

    That led to removing the flip top and replacing it with a standard shelf, then removing the cabinet for the additional floor space. (With 2 large labs, floor space is a premium ha)

    My wife spent some time painting cabinets and doing a "faux marble" look to the counter tops. I replaced the hardware with new hinges.
    FullSizeRender (1).JPEG FullSizeRender (2).JPEG FullSizeRender (3).JPEG
    Next up, laying down some peel and stick flooring and calling the interior done!

    Not much to do to the exterior. Since there is no heater or water hookups, those hatches aren't needed. Luckily I have a 3d printer, so I designed some block offs and installed those in place.

    Since the heater is gone and we don't use the camper stove, those lines can come out, so that's my job for this weekend.

    Funny thing is, we've been camping as we're working. So we work on it for a few days and end where we know we are safe to use it over the weekend. Then when we get home, we hit it again.
    Temps have been miserable here in Michigan, it's either too hot, too humid or just hard to deal with.
     

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  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Congrats. Good luck fixing it up to make it yours. By the way, love the counters. Both the length and color. I chose a unit with a couch and now have no counters than two small ones hardly big enough for much. Yes someday I see myself upgrading as well, but currently I love my popup too much for that.
     
  3. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    So if you took out the original fridge due to it being low to the ground and small, why replace it with a dorm fridge?

    Being in Michigan you may have wanted to keep the furnace..

    Anyways welcome to the Portal..
     
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  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . Something I did in my old popup was put the dorm fridge on the counter. I'm assuming that is what he is doing. I got to admit it was great to have the fridge waist height.
     
  5. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Well that I could see..in the after pictures, it looks like it's in the same spot..
     
  6. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful job!
    Just a cautionary note...
    It is my understanding that the cabinets are integral to the structure of the trailer. Have you reinforced the area where you removed the cabinet to give more space for the dogs?
     
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  7. capcrnch

    capcrnch New Member

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    We debated putting in seating but decided against it.
    Our thoughts were, we're not looking to spend time in the camper, we have a living room for that. And if it came to a storm, we'll be good with what we have for seating now.
     
  8. capcrnch

    capcrnch New Member

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    Sorry, didn't touch on that. The fridge sits on the counter inside the door. So when we want something, we can just open the door and then the fridge is right there.

    The furnace didn't work, so there was no sense in keeping it. We have our small heaters that we use(d) for tent camping, so we'll be good.
     
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  9. capcrnch

    capcrnch New Member

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    Thanks!
    Yes, I did brace the side wall to keep the structural stability. I asked a local shop and the guys there didn't seem to think it would be an issue at all, but when I mentioned putting in a more rigid base for the flip top shelf, they were all even more convinced that we were good.
    The old cabinets were framed in 3/4 x 3/4 strips and the 1/8" laminate sheet on top.
    The new flip shelf is essentially the same (dimension/measurement) as the flip sink shelf (10lbs lighter now though) and the bracing is 1.75 around the back, front and wall side. If needed, I can always add a cross brace for the 4th side, but don't think it will be an issue at all.
     
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  10. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Well-Known Member

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    You certainly seem to have everything under control. You’re doing a fabulous job! I’m looking forward to seeing further updates.

    TIP:you might want to add info re your trail and tow vehicle in your signature, so others can see your equipt in your future posts. Your general location is also helpful, if others want to altert you to rallies in your region.
     
  11. capcrnch

    capcrnch New Member

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    I really hope i've got it under control. lol
    I'm far from an engineer, but i'm a long time woodworker and tinkerer, so I like to think I have a good head on my shoulders. Thanks for the kind words, i'll definitely keep updating as we go!
     
  12. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    It looks very nice, you did a good job.

    I'm also not a fan of the fridge location in pups. We replaced ours with a dorm sized freezer, which is not accessed as often. Our fridge also sits on a counter by the door.

    If you are not using propane, you don't have to remove the lines. You can cap them off, or not, since you don't have tanks hooked to them. It doesn't matter. We don't use propane either, but left all the lines in place just in case. We converted our hot water tank to hybrid electric/propane and never use the stoves. Our model didn't come with a furnace, but we live in Florida so not a big deal. We have a heat strip on the rooftop a/c and an extra electric heater.

    I'll admit I don't understand why people remove sinks. :grin: But it's YOUR camper, so I understand wanting it YOUR way. The drains and intakes for plumbing should already have covers on them.
     
  13. capcrnch

    capcrnch New Member

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    I think my wife and I are both happy with the fridge being on the counter. We also bring a cooler that we use for drinks and other misc items.

    I pulled the lines that were coming through the floor, because I know my dumb dogs will gnaw on them. lol
    I'm undecided about taking the time to go under and remove them, but probably will, only because I know they're there and they're cut haha

    As for the sink. Neither of us could think of a time we would use it, when we have the one outside the camper. We did do a pros and cons and there just wasn't many pros (for us) to keep it. Especially since we wanted to remove the cabinet, which would have exposed all the water lines anyway. The covers that were existing needed to be replaced due to cracks in the plastic. I could have replaced them with new water feed caps, but figured why bother when I can just print a couple of nice discs to throw over the holes.
     
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  14. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Congrats, you have a tent on wheels lol.

    Not dissing it if it works for you, but I like my furnace, fridge, running water, and the ability to camp miles from the nearest power outlet :)
     
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  15. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    We think alike...If i had a older pop up i would do the same.
    We bought our 2019 new and never have used the sink or furnace or stove.
    If we get chilly we us ceramic heater.
    Our fridge does get used for sodas and condiments but the rest goes in a cooler.
    We left ours alone because we we plan on trading or selling it at some point in the near future
    and want to leave it intact.
    The furnace may get used this late fall if we dry camp and get cold.
    If its a older pop up and you plan on keeping it long term you might as well make it how you want it.
     
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  16. capcrnch

    capcrnch New Member

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    Still have a fridge, water outside the camper and the ability to camp away from power. The furnace was dead, no sense in keeping the weight. If and when (I'm sure it will be when rather than "if) we camp in cold weather, we have portable heaters we can use.
     
  17. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    But... not all at once.
     
  18. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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    Looking good. I understand the urge to simplify the camper, especially after tenting for years. You're camping people, not RVing people. Enjoy!
     
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  19. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    My wife uses the inside sink to remove her face at night before bed and to help reapply everything in the morning. Yes......she's high-maintenance and has to look just right even when "pretending to be homeless," as she thoughtfully puts it. Other than brushing my teeth and washing the goop out of my eyes in the morning, our sink pretty much didn't get used. I NEVER cook inside the camper as its much too confined and would stink up our clothes/bedding. I much prefer the outside kitchen. My brother bought a new trailer that has a separate outside kitchen that built into the back of his Minnie Winnie and gets used exclusively, as well.
     

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