I mounted a Plug-Guard to protect
the trailer-end of the wiring harness when it was not connected to the
tow vehicle. It's screwed to the spacer between the tongue and the
storage box, where the swing-away jack just clears it. The
seam in the spacer prevented me from mounting it on the other side, away
from the jack..
jack. The swing-away tongue jack was mounted so that even when
the wheel was cranked up as high as possible, the camper tilted to the
rear. There was a second set of holes in the mounting plate that
let me raise the plate about 1". You can see below that the bolts
are now in the lowest holes on the plate. I wish I could raise it
even higher, but at least I can level the camper.
top half of the door swings all the way open, which is wonderful for air
flow, but I was afraid the small aluminum plate on the door would mar the
outside wall. A piece of wide white loop-side self-stick Velcro,
mounted just below the window, is a perfect bumper.
love the bumper-mounted clothesline from Camping World that we use on our
Classic, but it wouldn't fit on the small C-channel bumper of the Alite.
The answer came from another owner - 2 Tiki torch stakes! With a
hacksaw, I shortened the stakes to the same length as the bumper and attached
each with a single stainless bolt, backed with a fender washer, lock washer
and nut. The trick to drilling holes in the bumper was to mark the
location with a metal punch and drill with several successively larger
bits. The vertical poles are 3/4" PVC pipe. The horizontal
pieces are 1/2" PVC. To keep the frame from drooping, I added a 3/4"
PVC "T" to the outer pipe. My broom handle, cut to the right length,
is the center support (when I want to sweep, I slip out the handle and
screw on the broom). For travel, I bungee the long horizontal pipe
to the front rack. The other PVC pieces go in the front storage box.
rope. An immediate problem when I purchased the Alite was the
lack of clearance for the door-side roof latch when the camper was folded.
The door-side latch seemed almost to rest on the window! Before leaving
the dealership, we removed that latch, but left the bolt in place.
Sure enough, on arriving home, I found that the bolt itself had slightly
marred the window frame, so I removed it. I took off the windowside
latch as well, after I found that I could hardly get it latched because
the weatherstripping was so tight. Now when I set up the camper,
I first catch a rope in 2 brackets secured by screws holding the decorative
rail at the rear of the front roof. The rope has a hook on one end
and a ratchet on the other. After I raise the roof, I catch the hook
and ratchet to the rear bumper and tighten it. When I raise the A
sides, I engage both rear barrel bolts to hold the sides up as I put the
side-to-side pole in the peak (see below). This "wind rope" holds
the roof halves together securely without need of the interior roof latches,
and the pole reinforces the side walls. You know it works when you
realize you CAN'T lower the roof with the rope in place!
|Fantastic fan remote. For some mysterious reason, the Fantastic Fan in the Alite was equipped with a remote control. Hardly needed in such a small camper, and an unnecessary use of battery power. I removed the fan motor and replaced it with the manual handle, which was supplied along with the fan instructions.|
door holder. I find I don't use the outside baggage door, but
added a self-stick door holder for convenience, just in case.
Storage bin lid holder. Not only have I been hit on the head by hatch doors, but the front storage bin was hard to hold up. I didn't want to drill into the lid, so it was Velcro to the rescue! The plastic lid weighs very little, so loop side velcro on the lid and hook side velcro on the luggage rack are enough to keep hold it up (photo above).
shoes. The Alite came with no pads
for the stabilizer legs, so I added a set. Since the stabilizers
tend to loosen and droop during travel (even when tightened), I use ball
bungees to secure the front legs and the bumper tube bungees hold up the
cabinet. The storage opening to the right of the door was not
nearly deep enough to accomodate a porta-potty (as you can see in the photo
below, left). I took off the cabinet door, but before I could saw
away the frame above the opening, I had to re-route a 120v wire (to the
outside outlet) around the rear of the cabinet. The original wire
wasn't long enough, so I added a junction box and spliced a new piece.
I also made a plywood platform to raise the potty to the level of the benches,
the cut the bench lid to cover only the space to the left of the potty.
I finished the opening with fake oak trim to match the cabinets.
During the day, I fold a small fleece throw over the potty. A non-skid
mat under the potty and a velcro strap across the front holds it in place
Note #1: I use a water bottle to squirt-flush, rather than filling the fresh-water tank in the potty. It takes less water, and gives a more "accurate" rinse. You can see the water bottle bungeed next to the door in the photo above.
Note #2: My original potty was a Coleman brand, which I replaced after it leaked on the first night. It was not a defective unit, but rather a defective design. If the Coleman potty was tipped even slightly forward, off level, liquid ran down the handle stem each time it was pulled to flush. I replaced it with a Passport Potty 8L from Walmart. Not as big as the Coleman, but it doesn't leak!
pole. Always good for reinforcement of the A walls, a side-to-side
pole was essential since I no longer had roof latches. The pole doesn't
support a lot of weight, just the chandelier and the small shelf, so closet-rod
brackets screwed into the A walls were sufficient. I did have to
be careful that the door-side bracket would not rub against the window
when the camper was folded, but there is just enough space. I don't
use a cushion on the door-side bench, so I put a large rubber chair-tip
in the street-side bracket before folding the sides and it supports that
wall on the bench lid. The pole is an adjustable aluminum painter's
and trim. All of the exposed bench/storage lids serve as countertops
and are covered with strips of self-stick vinyl oak flooring. It
was inexpensive and easy to work with. I also used fake oak trim
to finish as many exposed edges as I could, including around the sliding
doors in the bed storage area. Here are before and after pictures
of the sliding door trim. More trim can be seen in the porta potty
threshold. Originally, the entrance was finished with an aluminum
"L", inconvenient for sweeping and very hard on bare feet! I bought
an oak-finished metal carpet transition strip (cheaper than a wooden one),
cut it with a hack saw to fit (even around a floor bolt), and screwed it
|Upholstered roof ledges. Another clever Aliner owner came up with this idea. It helps prevent condensation and provides a ledge for holding small items like glasses, book or watch. I used sheet-metal screws to attach lengths of 1Ē aluminum angle to both front and rear of the camper body, just below the roof hinges. In the front, I notched the aluminum so that it didnít pinch the electric wire when the roof was lowered. I covered the whole area with upholstery fabric, fastening it with double-stick carpet tape. It softens the camper interior, and the ledges are very handy. You can see the results in the porta-potty photo above.|
The Alite came with enough cushions and plywood to make the entire interior
into a double bed. I chose to make it a permanent 1-person camper
and the only cushions I use are the two 20"x32" and the 20"x12", all on
the long street-side bench. That's my sofa-bed. I pull the
two longer cushions out from the wall a bit, stuffing a rolled lightweight
blanket behind them. The resulting 23"-24" width is enough for me
to sleep on my side and easily turn over at night. The original bench
lid, running the length of the camper, was much too unwieldy to manage.
I cut it in half and enlarged the cut-off roof-side corners, making it
much easier to lift each section by means of nylon straps screwed under
the front edges. To support the rear edges of the bed lids and keep
them from falling down into the storage area when lifted, I nailed a 4"
strip of vinyl, cut from a piece of gutter cover (wonderful stuff when
thin white vinyl is needed!), on top of the rear framing.
Bedding. My "mattress" is a piece of 1" memory foam, cut to fit the cushioned area. I sewed the foam into a protective slipcover of thin, slick fabric. The covered foam slips into an envelope made from a flat sheet. One end of this envelope has a velcro flap, so the sheet can be removed for washing. A narrowed flat twin sheet and a flannel sheet (also narrowed) are stitched together at the bottom to make a top cover. At night, I put a pillowcase over the daytime throw pillow. Depending on temperature, I can sleep covered with just a sheet or pull up the flannel sheet, or add the blanket. I also have a small fleece throw. The folded bedding - memory foam, top sheet set, and pillowcase - is stored in the rear of the under-bed storage, on top of the battery. The pillow and throw are daytime "sofa" furnishings.
screen protector. Another Alite owner wisely warned me that the
unprotected bedside window screen was easily damaged. But how to
protect it? I made a trip to Lowes, hoping to find an old-fashioned
aluminum screen-door protector. No luck in the door department, but
the garden department I found an irresistable piece of white plastic picket
fence, just the right size for the window. It was more flexible than
I wanted, but that was easily fixed by putting a piece of white-painted
metal garden stake behind each crosspiece in the fence, securing them with
clear zip ties. Fastening the fence to the right edge of the window
was a snap - I just screwed it in place. Fastening it to the middle
stile was a problem - the window slid past that point, and there wasn't
a place to put a screw. In my "junk box", I found what I think were
two plastic mini-blind supports. The had hook-shaped ends that could
just catch the middle bar of the window; I snipped off the other ends and
screwed them to the fence itself. Now I don't worry about stretching
or tearing the screen - the fence is good protection. Besides, it's
so darned cute!
wastebasket. Space is a premium in any Aliner, especially the
Alite. There was a bit of empty space between the battery box and
the cabinet wall, just begging to be used. I found that a clear plastic
wall-hung office file fit nicely. I cut a 4" hole in the cabinet
wall above it, trimmed the hole with a toilet flange painted brown, and
had a drop-in trash basket. To make it less obtrusive, I glued some
oak flooring scraps (the same I used on the "countertops") to the back
of the office file. A piece of self-stick velcro on the bottom keeps
the file in place, but it's easy to remove to clean or empty.
I took apart a set of white plastic extending pegs and screwed the individual
legs to the aluminum edges of the A walls, where I could. On the
large window wall, there was plenty of room, since that wall folds first.
On the door-side wall, I was limited to a location lower on the A where
the two walls were not overlapping. It's nice to have some hooks
for clothes, mugs, etc.