When I first installed a "chandelier"
in our Classic, it was just for fun. But after finding how helpful
an overhead light can be, I looked for a small fixture to install in the
LXE. The floorplan of the LXE allowed me to install a permanent bracket
over the kitchen window. When the side is folded, the bracket hangs
between the beds. The chandelier is a lightweight pendent lamp from
Home Depot, designed to hang from a rod. I removed the rods and wire,
spliced white lamp cord to the socket, and threaded the cord through a
length of white chain that hangs from the bracket. I add an in-line
switch to the cord and put a wall-hugger plug on the end, so that it fits
snugly against the cabinet-side outlet. It's amazing how much helpful
light is provided by a single 40-watt bulb.
The original battery box was mounted on the tongue, in front of the single
propane tank. However, all the splices and connections hung outside
the box, exposed to the weather, and the fuse holder even held water.
(In addition, the ground wire had several broken strands where it was screwed
to the frame, but that was easily replaced with a larger, more durable
commercial ground wire.) I swapped the original battery for a larger
AGM (maintenance-free) battery and moved it back, next to the propane tank.
That meant moving the propane sideways, but a galvanized deck hanger and
plate that extend beyond the frame provide an attachment point for the
outer J-rod securing the tank. Both propane and battery box are a
snug fit under a rigid double-tank cover (which I shortened with utility
shears), but the lid for the larger battery box was too big. Since
the tank cover was not completely waterproof, I needed some protection
for the battery connections. It turned out that I could set the old
battery-box lid over the terminals and secure it with a bungee. Any
water that drips into the box around the plastic battery case just runs
out holes in the box bottom.
Protecting the camper's electrical hitch pigtail is always a concern, and
is an easy solution. Taking a tip from another owner, I used a 1-1/2"
conduit clamp to attach the Plug-guard to the tongue jack, eliminating
the need to drill holes in the tongue.
power cord. In both the Classic and the Alite, I made the pull-out,
stuff-in power cord detachable, using a Marinco
kit. The first step in installing the kit is to cut the cord
- always a heart-stopping moment! When I removed the existing "mousehole"
hatch, the hole indeed looked as though it had been made by a mouse - uneven
and chewed up every which way! The hatch was larger than what the
Marinco kit was designed to replace, so I had to create some sort of masking
plate to put behind the new outlet. After some thought, I decided
to use the old mousehole hatch by removing its door, grinding off the hinge,
and drilling new mounting holes to match the Marinco outlet. Because
the new holes barely caught in the exterior fiberglas, I drilled them all
the way through the interior wall. The attachment bolts and nuts
are secured against braces of scrap wood that provide a firm surface on
In spite of the installation difficulties, we like the fact that there are no more plastic "fingers" to break off in the old hole, no access for critters and cold air, and no messy, stiff, wet cord to stuff into the inside storage area. Instead, the detached cord is wiped dry, coiled and neatly stored in the front bin, and we appreciate the increased storage inside the camper.
detector switch. When we're not camping, there's no need to have
the propane detector drawing down the battery. It was simple to install
a small rocker switch next to the detector so it can be turned off between
|Extension cord plug protector. At home, we leave the camper pluged into an extension cord from household current. Keeping the connection dry was a concern until I saw this handy tip from "Trailer Life" magazine. I purchased a $1 small plastic box with a hinged lid and drilled holes in opposite sides to accommodate the trailer cord and the extension cord. With heavy-duty shears, I cut slots from the top edge of the box to the holes so that the cords would drop inside. A few small holes drilled in the bottom provide drainage for any water that gets into the box. Now the connection is well-protected from snow and rain.|
12v outlet. We have a great little 12v tire pump, but we can't
always reach from the car outlet to the camper tires. With the battery
mounted on the tongue, it was an easy matter to add a capped 12v outlet.
The fuse and splices are protected underneath the propane cover, and the
outlet is wire-tied to the tongue, with a downward slant to eliminate water
accumulation inside the outlet.
converter. The converter in our LXE was a 20amp Elixir, standard
in 2007. Since we had experienced two previous Elixir failures, and
heard similar complaints from other owners, I decided to be proactive and
replace this converter BEFORE it failed us. The new converter is
8725, a direct replacement in size and power for the Elixir.
The hardest part was managing multiple stiff wires in the small space inside the converter. I went through several bandaids in the process! It was not technically difficult. A moderately handy person could do this, with a bit of background electrical knowledge. It helped me to know, for example, that I could put 2 ground wires under the same ground screw, as long as they fit. I also knew that the hot (black) wire from the incoming 30amp power cord should be connected through a breaker, and it would then feed power to the other breakers. The manual instructions were not clear about that.
Removing the Elixir was easy. I took a couple of pictures, wrote down which wires were connected where, and used labeled masking tape to hold together disconnected wires. The incoming 30amp power cord was secured to the Elixir with a plastic grommet, and I could NOT figure out how to loosen it from the cable. I was finally able to wrench it loose and break it off the cable. I removed the breakers and fuses for use in the new converter.
Once the Elixir was out of
the way, I used a keyhole saw and a utility knife to enlarge the opening
vertically, cutting away the paneling from the top framing member to the
bottom. It had been suggested that Elixir failures might have been
as much from overheating as from poor construction, so I wanted to add
extra ventilation. Before connecting wires to the new converter,
I trimmed the bottom of the opening with a piece of fake (styrofoam) wood-grained
edging, covering the inside corners with wood-grained contact paper and
using a brown marker to darken any raw wood that might show. Once
the 30amp cord and the wires for the two AC circuits were connected.
I slid the converter into the opening, leaving about 1" of space at the
bottom, and screwed it to the cabinet frame.