Be sure to visit my other sites

Be sure to visit my other sites: My main website My Arduino projects and other gadgets. My On30 Model Railroad

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Camping at Stone Mountain Park, GA. Halloween 2016

So we stayed at Stone Mountain Park Campground the last week of October 2016.
We were on the O trail, site #416.

I gotta say I have very mixed emotions about the stay. Our site was pretty nice. It was located close to the water with a decent view of it from the patio behind the trailer. But, you see, that's the biggest problem. In our opinion, they built the campground backwards. That is to say, you open your trailer out to the street, not towards the lake. So when you are sitting at your picnic table. Everyone driving by sees you, you see the road and nobody sees the lake. Every car that comes by gets to look at what you're doing, what you are watching on TV, what you are get the point.

There are fire pits circles of rocks someplace on each campsite. Ours was about 2 feet from the road on the other side of the stone wall that lined our patio area. Not at all convenient.

And ours was a good site! I can't tell you how many trailers and RV's I saw all crooked and unlevel because the camp sites were in such BAD condition. I think the last time it was paved was when it opened. Huge ruts or bumps, pavement missing, it was a mess. There are campsites that if you had a trailer like mine (door near the rear) and stepped out the door, you would fall and break a leg because it dropped off 5-10 feet. I would not recommend it. Now up at the fancy end of the campground it's all different. Flat sites with decks and propane grills. If you're into the KOA style camping, that end is for you. 

We were fortunate because I had read reviews so I brought a bunch of 2x8 lumber to level us out with. Wasn't too bad, we only had to go up 3 inches on the side, like I said, we had a good site. And I was able to build up level spots for the stabilizers to rest. 

I felt really bad for a couple guys next to us one night. They had one of those Cruise America rentals so they were totally unprepared to be parking uphill. One of them was in a wheel chair and I knew there was no way he was going to be comfortable in that RV with it pointing uphill like it was. I loaned them a few pieces of my lumber so they could at least get close to level by propping the boards up on rocks to build ramps so they could at least raise the rear about 4 inches and they were still pointing uphill.

We had a good time nonetheless. We road the Train, went to the top of the mountain, went on a hay ride and painted some pumpkins. It was the first camping trip for my 5 month old grandson so that made it perfect.

We decorated for Halloween.

Great view, cold drink and my Kindle.

Stone Mountain.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Something new for the Tow Vehicle

Okay so this isn't a MOD to the 28RLS but, this is an important mod to my 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD!

My truck is up there a little ways and it's hard as heck for me and the wife to get into the back.
This is when I really miss my Avalanche and the bumper steps.

Anyway so I installed one of these Traxion 5-100 Tailgate Ladder

It was super simple to install (Other than the screws they give you SUCK). 
It works really well and makes getting in and out of the truck bed so much easier.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Extra Jack Stands to Reduce Bounce

We're going to be going camping soon and my Son, his wife and my new grandson will be joining us.
Now my wife and I are good with the little bit of bounce in the trailer when we walk around, but let me tell you, my son is a Big Guy and when he walks in my house I feel it move.

So I bought a pair of these Eaz-Lift 48860 Telescopic Jacks off Amazon.

Each can handle 6000 pounds
And they are adjustable from 16" to 30"
They work sort of like a regular jack stand in that you use the pin to get it close in height then spin the top and crank it up tight.

I tested them in the driveway last night putting them midway between the stabilizers (right in front of the wheels) to reduce the overall bounce from the suspension.
WOW what a difference it made.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bed Support

My wife and I started to notice that we were meeting each other in the middle of the bed at night.
Not necessarily a bad thing, but when it's not intentional, it becomes an issue.

After doing a little looking around I realized that the thin plywood being as the mattress base used was bowing in the middle. It had plenty of bracing and support for front to rear but not so much left to right.

So I installed a 2x6 across right where the pass through meets the under bed portion of storage.

I also attached a 2x2 post in the center going down, it sits on a small piece of plywood to displace the load.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

General Observations about the 2016 Jayco 28RLS

This was our 2nd trailer and our 1st brand new trailer.
We had a 2004 Dutchman 26QBS-SSL that we had purchased used. We camped in it for about 4 years. We knew we were going to continue camping for many more years so we decided it was time to get something newer. Originally we wanted to go same size or smaller but we quickly realized what we would lose if we went smaller (we would lose the separation of the bedroom from the rest of the trailer mostly).

We shopped around a bunch and decided we really liked this type of floor plan with the large rear window and the two chairs in back.

When we took a look at the 2016 Jayco 28RLS we knew we had found our new trailer.
The size of the living area was awesome and the size of the bathroom was the clincher!
When I took a look at the shower and the room in the bathroom I was sold.
The side windows in the slideout add a bunch of light and a view we never had before.

We opted for the table and chairs since it's just the two of us. We did get the J fold sofa so we can have company spend the night (although I think we need to work on that bed, it's sort of odd).

  • Big bathroom with roomy shower, lots of legroom when you are on the toilet and lots of room to towel off and do things at the vanity.
  • Excellent view out the back window, but since your chairs are facing forward you don't see it from them.
  • Entertainment unit works well. You can pull the TV out and see it comfortably from the recliners (love the recliners) as well as the sofa or even when sitting at the table.
  • The Furrion DV3200 Stereo/DVD is an interesting bird! It has worked well so far for playing DVD's and listening to the Radio. You can also listen to the TV over it which is nice but, the speakers are located front and back not left to right so you get weird stereo when you are sitting in the recliners. It's not so bad when you are on the sofa watching TV. Trying to play anything from USB is such a chore that I installed a separate media player for that purpose. The clock on the Furrion also keeps changing time erratically  (*** update below).
  • There is plenty of pantry space and the space over the kitchen seems to hold all of our dishes and more.
  • There is plenty of other storage too, over the bed, under the bed, over the recliners and over the sofa as well as the 4 drawers in the kitchen.
  • There are no full length closets anywhere. No place for a full length coat or robe, no place for a broom or walking stick. (We were spoiled with our old trailer having a decent size full length closet and a good sized jacket length closet)
  • The only windows on the awning/living side are small. There is one over the sink and two very narrow ones (one in the bedroom and one at the very rear). So if you are camped next to the lake and your view of the lake is out your door, you really won't see much of the lake from inside the trailer (now if you are backed in, it's wonderful)
  • The awning doesn't cover both doors. Our old trailer did and it was nice to be able to have both doors open and not worry about rain.
  • All the windows except for one slide open. That means you can't have them open in the rain.
    There is one window over the sofa that is a small crank open and there is a slide open window directly across in the kitchen that is under the awning so you "could" have a rain free cross draft if you have the awning out, but not much of one (there is of course the rear door).
  • There are no drawers or anything like that in the bedroom. You have two small side closets. You need to find boxes or something to put your socks/underwear and such in.
  • Our unit came with a Black Tank flush but it's on the curb/passenger (awning) side of the trailer. How in the world they expect you to run a hose under the trailer when you are at a dumping station I don't know.
  • The fresh water filler is on the curb side of the trailer too!
  • The exhaust for the Gas water heater and the exhaust for the furnace both blow out on the awning side and are right where most people setup under the awning.
    Be cautious about where you put things when using these! I had to reconsider where I put our outside TV because of the location of the gas hot water heater exhaust (we usually use electric to power the water heater but you know, sometimes you want hot water NOW so you fire up the gas too).
  • The front door is very, very narrow. If you're a larger person, it could be a tight fit.
  • We opted for the 2nd A/C in the bedroom. I love it. Now we can have the bedroom extra cold for sleeping at night but when you get up in the morning, the rest of the trailer is comfortable.
    The A/C is extremely loud which doesn't bother me at all, it helps mask the campground noises. Apparently it is not loud enough to mask my snoring (so I have been told).
  • Love the skylight in the kitchen. Hate that it came at the cost of a roof vent in the rear of the trailer though. I guess that's the hand off.

*** Fix for Furrion DV3000, DV3100, DV3200 clock randomly changing times or changing to Military/ 24 hour format. With the unit powered on press and hold the ZONE B button for about 10 seconds until the display reads "RDS off". The default setting is on and this allows the radio to receive digital information from radio stations, part of that information is time. Because the radio isn't smart enough to know what time zone it's in or anything like that it misinterprets the information and displays the time incorrectly.

Also if your Furrion won't play a DVD check the cables. They are often hooked up wrong on one end or the other. You can easily remove the unit by gently prying off the front cover and removing 4 screws. Also check for a piece of tape in the opening of the DVD player.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Outside Antenna connection

So I made some modifications inside my trailer to turn the Cable In jack on the side of the trailer to an Antenna Out. But that still left me with the problem of the antenna jack being on the wrong side of the trailer. So I bought a couple of weatherproof Cable TV jacks.

I put one on the lower skirt below the factory one.

And one on the other side where I put the table and TV.

Then I ran a piece of RG6 cable between them.
So when we go camping I have 2 three foot jumper cables.
One goes from the Antenna out to my little jack.
The other goes from the little jack on the awning side to the TV.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Shower updates

I made a lot of changes in the shower.
First we added a new shower head with an on/off valve.
But I hate standing in the shower and trying to get the
temperature correct while avoiding getting sprayed on.
So I installed this little valve right off the main spigot.

I then threaded a small plain shower head onto this valve.
Not only does this allow me to get the temp right before I jump in, but it's
perfect for just washing your feet or your privates while leaving both hands free!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Outlet move and USB Charging outlet.

There is this nice little table at the rear of the 28RLS between the recliners.
The problem was the placement of the electrical outlet.
If you put a lamp on the table you had to run the power cord around front to plug it in.
That was ugly and just didn't work for me.

So I found a spot on the drivers side rear of the table and cut a new whole.

And moved the outlet back there.

Then I installed one of these Twin USB/12v wall mount sockets
in the existing hole. (It's also available in white).


I had to run a 12v supply line into the table, that was a chore!

I ran a line down from the lights in the overhead storage.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Insulating under the bed

I realized that we were getting a lot of heat from under the bed thru the mattress.
So I got some foam board and cut it to fit and insulated under the bed.
It made a world of difference.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The beast and it's tow!

This is our 2016 Jayco Jay Flight 28RLS
and our 2010 Chevrolet 2500HD Z71 

We bought the 28RLS new from Camping World in Woodstock GA.

Camco Insect Screen on Furnace exhaust

On my last trailer we had Mud Daubers building nests in every opening they could find.
Not this time! One of my first purchases was this Camco 42144 Flying Insect Screen - FUR 500, it fit PERFECTLY without even having to use the springs to hold it in place. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I can get it back off, it snapped on over the vent.

I got it where I get everything, Amazon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Kitchen back-splash update

So the first ting we knew we wanted to do was replace the ugly wallpaper type back-splash with something more like real tile. My wife found this nice peel and stick and it was so easy to do, we did it while camping. You can find the Peel and Stick here on Amazon