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Camper Mod Contest Entries

2012 Top Mod Contest Part 2

“Our camper has a refrigerator on the right as one enters the rear door.  Immediately next to the refrigerator is the typical over the wheel well couch/bed.  When we purchased the unit, we camped for a year or more using the pull-out couch/bed for sleeping.  It was simply two sheets of plywood with front trim facing.  There were two three-inch foam pads for the seat and seat back when in couch mode.  The same foam pads were used side-by-side in the pulled-out bed mode.

The bed was not too comfortable for sleeping, nor was the couch too nice for any length of time.  Ones weight compressed the foam mattress causing our legs to rest upon the trim facing.  It quickly became very uncomfortable for sitting.

One day my wife came home from shopping.  She asked if I thought a futon she had seen could possibly fit the camper as a replacement for our uncomfortable couch/bed.  I was skeptical, but we went to the store to take measurements.  Guess what?  It was going to be a good fit.  In addition, it was nicely padded, had springs underneath and the color matched the décor of the camper.  Wow!

When I took the old plywood out to modify the installation, I noted the weight I was removing.  The futon was about fifteen pounds lighter.  Fortunately, the futon’s legs simply unscrewed.  To hold the futon in place, a slider/rail system was constructed for each end.  Each system consists of a slider on top, mounted to the bottom of the futon, and a bottom rail fastened to the over the wheel well area that fits into the slider.  The futon is only about an inch higher than the original couch/bed.

When in normal couch mode, it fits nicely next to the window as did the original back.  It’s comfortable for sitting.  Converting to a bed and vice a versa is quick and easy.

By sliding the entire unit toward the walkway, then pulling the back forward two clicks, and letting the back fall back, it drops into the bed position.  A support leg on the outside right corner was re-purposed from the original equipment.

The futon easily goes back to the upright position by pulling up the back (under the window).  Then the entire futon pushes back to the window.  We have found this to be a good improvement for comfort.  Only slightly more space is required (not really noticeable).  It’s far and away better now, to sit and sleep on.  A nice upgrade for a little over $100 and we reduce the camper weight by a few pounds.” – Paul and Marceil Gathany


Glenn Yauney, Oregon
1995 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually
2000 Arctic Fox 1160


“I installed laminate flooring over the white linoleum floor.  The factory color for the linoleum was wrong for a truck camper.  The improvement was not expensive and immensely improved the looks and livability of the camper.” – Glenn Yauney


Pete and Linda Clark, Ohio
2006 Dodge Ram 3500
2008 Snowriver 10.2 RK


“Our Snowriver had the television hook up in the corner of the kitchen which was always in the way while cooking and not visible at all from the bunk.  A major move was in order.

The television antenna cable and 12-volt power was routed through the base cabinet to a vent stack and up into the overhead cabinet.  There was an existing 120-volt receptacle for a microwave which we do not have.  I installed an inverter and a second junction box through which the antenna and inverted power run (for when we don’t have shore power).

The articulated television mount was wider than the framing on the corner.  As a solution, I welded two pieces of flat plate on the television mount and then secured the L bracket to the corner.  The television can now be seen from the bed as well as the dinette and kitchen.

We had the wire spice rack from Walmart loose in an overhead cabinet, which was always being bounced around.  Surprise, surprise, it fit perfectly in the space where the television connections started and the basket was a gift.  The spice rack and basket modification was a side benefit of the modification to move the television from the counter to the wall.” – Pete and Linda Clark


JT More and Sue Jurf
2004 Ford F250 Crew V10
2005 S&S Ponderosa 8.5


“Of all our improvements, our movable catalytic heater has really worked well.  We are skiers and typically ski out of the camper on location and at backcountry pull-outs twenty nights per year.  I “T’d” into the propane line of the refrigerator and installed a quick release propane bib with cut off valve into the dinette area.  I used a free standing Olympia Wave 3 heater with a flexible hose.  Our lowest temperature thus far has been about 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  We woke up in the morning at about forty-five degrees and used the standard forced air heat as a quick warm up.  It has actually paid for about a third of the total cost in propane saved this winter and there’s no battery draw.” – JT More and Sue Jurf

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