2011 Addition – Replacement of Front Analog TV with 32”Digital HDTV

Magnavox Model 32MF330B purchased at Sam’s Club – 30” width was the limiting factor in choice.  After replacing the bedroom TV in 2009 [below] we traveled with a digital converter box for the front until I got up enough nerve [and money] to take on the replacement of the front “boat anchor” TV.  Net weight savings on this conversion was in excess of 75 pounds.  The process is depicted below:

Left – wood trim removed and Analog TV removed [5 screws]. TV held in place with several screws. TV is then pushed back at top, bottom comes out first.  Center – new HDTV is shorter so a Bottom brace is needed.  Brace is held to TV with purchased longer screws in same holes used to fasten TV base [not used]. Right – Back braces made from 2x4 scraps and old closet shelving supports.  Shorter bolts and fender washers in the same holes used for TV wall mounting.

Left – Wiring completed. After the photo, I modified the wiring for the sound system and used the side RCA inputs.  Only the DVD works on the component plugs.  Center – TV installed with stained base front trim, both bottom and back braces held tight with screws driven from under the metal frame into wood.  Right – original wood trim returned to same location, and finished look complete, along with fiberglass speaker cover.

2010 Addition – Replacement of Recessed Fluorescent Lighting with LED 12 volt Inserts

To make a long story short, the fluorescent light fixtures in our RV were back-feeding AC current into the DC line leading to the air conditioner control board, mysteriously not allowing the air conditioning to come on whenever those fluorescent lights were on.  A new ballast [the problem area] was possible, or possibly some in-line capacitors, but the manufacturer of the lights is now out of business.  I had been seeing a lot of LED applications in cars, etc. so I did some searches on the internet, and found a source for replacements.  All the “guts” of the fixture come out and the 12 volt line is all that is needed and the original lens covers.  We obtained our replacement LED modules from www.prudentrver.com and I prepared some installation instructions here in PDF form.


Left picture shows the fixture having removed the ballast, ballast cover and the bulb sockets.  Next picture, 6 of the 12 LED board wires are twisted together with each of the two 12 volt leads and then use wire connectors and electrical tape.  Next picture, the LED panel is attached to the fixture – I used two small screws from my workshop.  Right picture, the two new lights in place – brighter than the fluorescents they replaced.      

2009 Addition – 26” LCD HDTV - Bedroom

Vizio TV dimensions – 26.1”W x 18.7”H x 3.5”D (Base and mount removed] (Made from scrap 2x2 and 2x4 lengths and 4 2” metric screws with large washers to hold TV)


Left - Original cherry TV shelf with 2x2 backward stop and 2x4 forward tilt stops added.  Center - TV support made from 2 - 19” 2x4 upright supports and 2 - 25” 2x4 base supports with notch on each side to fit cabinet flush. Two small 2x4 pieces are used for rear lateral stops on each side.  Right - “Dry” fitting [right] the parts, prior to TV mounting.


Left – original TV cabinetry [unchanged] prior to installation of new support system.  Center – TV shelf reinstalled in original cabinet and TV and support system placed in the cavity for wiring.  Note the four 2” screws with large washers hold the TV where a metal support would normally fasten.  Right – TV repositioned forward and tilted back on 45° angle and then slid back under the forward tilt stops against the backward stop and then tilted forward into position.  To complete install, I drilled three 1/2” diameter holes for wood plugs, then angle screwed 3” wood screws through the finished base into the original shelf.

2009 - New hinge bracket for front storage/media areas

We installed new brackets on the glass media doors on each side of the front TV because the original  piston style hinge was making the top hinges bend and come loose.  Purchased these toy box brass hinges from a hardware store.  We keep the doors open when we are parked – no problem with head room coming in the door.

2008 - Motion Sensitive Entry Light

Lights up switch panel, real handy for late and early morning dog duty, and I don’t hit the disconnect switch anymore!

2008 - Bathroom Fan

Replaced small factory fan with Maxxair Fold-down Top

2008 - Reverse Osmosis Water Filter [for drinking water and coffee]


Left - Reverse Osmosis Filters supported by Blocks of wood.  Right - Reverse Osmosis Tank in “dead” corner of kitchen cabinet held by hooks and bungee cords

2007 - Extra Towel Bars and Robe Hook


We installed an almost identical towel bar on the back of the Bathroom door and a towel ring near the extra sink on the vanity in the bedroom and a robe hook on the wall across from the shower

2007 - Central Vacuum Addition to Kitchen Cabinet

(Mounted under extension tray in kitchen cabinet and electric connected at GFI outlet by desk)


Before                                              After

2007 - Linen Shelves to Pantry Conversion

(Simple shelves and brackets removed, spacers added at back and front, custom pantry shelving purchased)


Before                                         After

Bernardi’s 2007 Tropi-Cal LX  

Interior Improvements [newest on top]

RV Always Under Construction/Renovation

2011 - Major Renovation of Our TropiCal LX at Classic Coach Works

We have never been happy with the original carpet in the unit.  We think it was used at many rallies and as a demo unit and it showed the wear from day one.  We also wanted new roller shades throughout the coach, quieter AC units, and motorized front windshield privacy shades on the interior, and some heavy duty coach repairs on the exterior.  

Just before Thanksgiving weekend, Stephanie and Greg Williams took us through the entire facility and showed us different samples and ideas for the carpet, window treatments, cockpit privacy shade, and A/C unit covers, and how they would work in our coach.  Then we covered all the repair items - the loose driver overhead cabinet, the out of alignment slide out and the broken hinge on one of the compartment doors.  We agreed that they would install most items, including the motorized windshield privacy shade, and I would install the other interior day/night shades. Once all the measurements were taken, they went back to the office and worked up the quote in less time than it took us to have lunch.  The prices were fair and we scheduled the work to be completed in two weeks during December.  They completed the work within a day of the estimated time.

After Tom installed the other shades, we loved them so much that we ordered two more, one for the front passenger window and won for the front driver window.

For more information on Classic Coach Works in Lakeland, Florida, go to www.classiccoachworks.com.

Below are Before and After pictures of part of the renovation:



New Carpet - Living Area - Sofa

New Carpet - Living / Dining Area

New Carpet - Bedroom Area

New Day and Night Privacy Shades - Windshield Area

New Day and Night Privacy Shades - Bedroom Vanity Area

New Day and Night Privacy Shades - Sofa Area

New A/C Unit Filter and Sound Deadening Cover - Living Area

New A/C Unit Filter and Sound Deadening Cover - Bedroom Area

Shades Demo_MP4_.mp4

Click on the video icon to watch a demo of the shades!

2012 - New Wood Hallway Light Covers

After changing out all the fluorescent fixtures to LED strips in 2010 and 2011, and after several of the cover lens cracked, I decided it was time to change out the covers completely.  It was a labor of love as my woodworking skills are very basic. I used poplar and stained to match the cabinets and then used polyurethane to seal them. Only minor ceiling adjustments to retrofit the switches on some of the lights.