The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

A Couple of Quick Mods and the Tools You Need

The high today was supposed to be 85 but it was only about 70 degrees this morning so I decided to tackle a job before it heated up.  As you can see in the picture below, I have plexiglass on my screen door.  My cousin did this for me the winter before last and I love it.  When you have plexiglass on your screen door, you can leave the main door open to let the light in while you are using the furnace or the A/C as long as the outside temperature isn't extreme.  My door is covered using two separate pieces.  The bottom piece covers the lower screened area plus the panel next to white sliding door.  This piece of plexiglass also means that I don't have to worry about the longdogs escaping through the screen or tearing it.  They love sitting there to look outside.  Last fall my DH came on one trip with me and decided that the top piece had to come off because he wanted the breeze to come in.  I would have opened the window to the left of the door but that's just me.  I knew I would want to have the door open but would probably have to run the A/C while I'm out this trip so I got the plexiglass out from under the mattress and putting it back in place.  It was interesting trying to hold the plexiglass and put the screws back in while standing on the top step with your nose inches from the door.  Good thing the screws went in easily as you can't get much torque in that position.

I love this mod on my RV and highly recommend it. The plexiglass is light but also makes your screen door stronger.  BUT I am going to find a way to put the top piece on the inside of the frame so I can take it on and off from inside a lot more easily.  Ideally, it needs to be cut down to fit inside the frame so that taking it off will involve only turning a few holding pins and lifting it out.

The next project I worked on was this....the plug under the dinette.

Really, could they have put it in a more inconvenient place???  You have to sit in the dinette and reach down with your left hand (probably not your dominent hand right?) and blindly try to fit the plug into the holes.  Congratulations to the manufacturers who were smart enough to put the plug above the level of the seat cushion.

I decided to put a "plug in" in a more usable location.  After first measuring and dry fitting the surge protector, I put up two strips of velcro and put their counter part pieces on the back of the surge protector.  Before you voice a concern, this metal panel moves up and down with the table.  The cross-piece that you see never gets any closer to the wall than this.

After allowing the proper "cure" time for the adhesive on the velcro, I pushed the surge protector in place.  Note the tab below the surge protector.  I used the removable velcro strips.  Naturally I would never use all these plugs at one time, it was just the surge protector I had on hand.  Now I can safely and easily plug in my laptop OR the toaster.

These beautiful potholders are also an addition to my RV.  They are held in place using a removable hook.  The potholders were made by Karen Pfundtner.  Check out her KarenInTheWoods Loom-a-Tic Workshop.  You'll find her fiber art rugs and socks and maybe some of these great quilted potholders.

So let's take a look at tools you ladies need in the RV.  Guys, this is not for you, I know you carry a complete handyman workshop whether you need it or not.  And my friends Vicki and Rae, I know you carry a lot more than this.  I'm just talking about some basics every woman should have with her.  My DH got me this toolkit last Christmas (along with a lot of other things).  It's a great sturdy even pretty toolkit; however, some the of the tools are just plain Barbie Doll useless.  He of course did not know that.  The level, the hammer and the needlenose pliers aren't bad.  The screwdrivers are pretty useless.  You insert the heads contained in those two plastic strips into the screwdriver head which is fine; however, anything other than the most gentle torquing will result in their destruction.  I suspect that the same would be true of the wrench and pliers.

So you need to add a blade and a phillips head screwdrivers that will actually work.  A decent vicegrip and a decent measuring tape would be very handy.  There is a multi-tool in that little black pouch.  And you really need to have a tool like the silver one.  It consists of a socket, an extension, and a socket handle and makes taking your water heater plug out a piece of cake.  The tool on the upper left will give you a little more torque in taking off a reluctant sewer connection.  You also need some supplies like rubber washers for your hose, teflon plumbers tape to eliminate leaking connections, fuses, spare light bulbs, etc.

You should also have one of these gadgets to check your outlets.

Is this all you need?  Well, probably not, but it is a start.  After DH gave me this toolkit, he was very quick to add that I could certainly take his black tool bag along any time; he just thought I should keep this one in the RV in case the other one got left at home.  His bag is way heavier and you are liable to scratch your hands on a wire brush or some other gadget reaching in to find what you need.  I will still grab that for more than a quick weekend not far from home.  If something happens that I can't fix, I just might have the tool that someone else needs to help me out.


  1. Hi Colleen nice to see the Plexiglass is still working. I not sure why we put it between the outside door and the screen door, but I think it was, if you put it on the screen door on the inside it would not fit properly (plexiglass and screws) on the door frame when you close the screen door. There is at least a half to a quarter inch space between the two doors which allowed us to add the plex glass. I am going to make one for our new Eagle.. Jack

    1. That makes sense Jack. I really love it. If I could figure out how to get the plexiglass cut to fit exactly right inside the screen door frame and then use a little lever switch to hold it in place, it would so handy to take in and out but you are right, it couldn't cover the inside of the screen door frame.

  2. You can never have enough tools whether in an rv or house. Seems there is always something breaking. I have my own tools too, I love my little pink hammer. Art does too when a space is too tight for his big macho one :) This makes for good teasing

  3. I have every tool, and two of some, that you could ever want. I can't lift the tool box. It's a joke around my friends and kids. My boys are fascinated, but grumble because it's so disorganized that they (nor I) can find anything without a lot of effort.

    I would like to get my hands around the neck of the person who put the fuse box in my trailer…just once. I'm convinced he never owned a trailer and he must have been skinny so I could really hurt him!! LOL


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