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December Mod Contest: Mega Mods

In total, it took two days to complete this mod.  We love it.  We’ve had the reclining love seat installed for three years.  In that time we have traveled over 15,000 miles.  I wish I had done this mod first day I bought the camper in 2008.

It took me twelve hours to complete and cost $160.  In my opinion, the skill level of this mod is medium.

3. TJ and Kelly Kretschmar, Kansas City, Kansas
2006 Nissan Titan and 1970 Chevy C10
1994 Hallmark Ute LTD

Mod-Dec-Kretschmar-2 Before Cutting

Above: Before the modification, the rear of the camper – click to enlarge

Our Hallmark Ute LTD was severely damaged when the previous owner hit something with the rear jacks.  The accident almost ripped off the rear panel and destroyed the welds on the door frame and some of the wood framing.  The previous owner put a band-aid fix on it.

Mod-Dec-Kretschmar-4 Left Side CutMod-Dec-Kretschmar-5 Before Pipe RemovalMod-Dec-Kretschmar-6 After Pipe Reused Knife Gate Assembly

Above: The left side is cut, before the pipe is removed, and after the plumbing was done – click to enlarge

We repaired the damage by cutting the tail light wings off and exposing the truck’s tail lights.  I also removed the crossover plumbing, added a new drain valve and cap for the grey water, and plumbed the shower into the black tank with an isolation valve.  When all that was complete, I re-skinned the back of the camper with diamond plate and added new trim.

Mod-Dec-Kretschmar-7 Finished LeftMod-Dec-Kretschmar-8 Finish Right

Above: The new diamond plate on the back of the camper – click to enlarge

Once completed, I field tested the camper down some rough dirt roads in Arkansas.  It works and looks great and we were able to reduce weight in the rear.  The sheet metal reinforced the damaged framing.  The reworked plumbing works fantastic.  The only complaint on the plumbing is the black water knife gate valve can be stubborn to pull open in the tiny space it’s in.

It took me fifteen hours to complete and cost $150.  In my opinion, the skill level of this mod is hard.

4. Manfred Klement, Ziemetshausen, Germany, Bavaria
2000 Ford F-250
1992 Jayco Sportster

While renovating our 1992 Jayco Sportster 8-foot pop-up camper, we had the idea to do a little luxury renovation.  We added flat solar panels, a modern charging system and battery monitor, and a Truma 2400 propane heater.  But the highlight of the mods is our winch-based power roof lift system.

mod-dec-klement-old-Roof-Lift-Winch

Above: The original pop-up winch needed replacement – click to enlarge

The original winch we used was strongly bent so we needed a replacement.  I added an ATV-style winch from Dragon-winch, Poland.  It works perfectly!  The amp-draw is 50 amps on 12 Volts, but we only use it for a few seconds.

mod-dec-klement-new-pop-up-winch

Above: The original winch was replaced with an ATV-style winch – click to enlarge

mod-dec-klement-new-pop-up-mechanism

Above: The winch is screwed through the floor, 9 mm phenolic resin coated plywood, with 3mm aluminium below and big washers and machine screws. The above picture is from the front corner.

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