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Old 05-28-2019, 02:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Carbondale
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Colorado
New to RVing

Hi all. Just bought my first RV - '02 Dutchmen Express. Super excited to hit the road in a couple weeks. It seems to be in pretty good shape but I'd like to spend some time recaulking and checking all systems. Definitely want to replace all bulbs with LED's. Would like to replace carpet with a wood type floor. Considering installing a small solar panel. Would also like to do any other upgrades before hitting the road to ensure we don't have to mess with a whole lot while traveling. Would love any advice in the following areas:
1) what's the best caulk to use for all seams/roof?
2) How do I know if the roof needs to be "resealed" and what product should I use?
3) which LED bulbs/colors are best for price?
4) any suggestions for installing new floor? Was planning on removing furniture but should I worry about removing fridge, kitchen cabinets, and large cabinet in "living room"? What's a good material considering we have a dog and don't want to worry about scratches/tearing?
5) is a small solar panel worth installing to keep battery charged for lights and charging electronics?
6) any other upgrades to consider?
I'm fairly handy and can get just about any job done (with help of YouTube), I just don't know what I should spend my time and $ doing.
Thanks in advance for any tips and ideas.
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:21 AM   #2
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LED bulbs from Amazon are inexpensive and work great for me. No experience with the other questions.

Only suggestion I have is to camp in your driveway or somewhere close to help go through the unit and get a feel for what’s needed and what’s important to you.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:55 PM   #3
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Dicor, EternaBond and Butyl tape are your friends for sealing. Also, you can sometimes use Flex Seal but sparingly. DO NOT USE STANDARD SILICONE! Install an upgraded water pump and isolate it (rubber underneath and rubber hoses). new shower head and new sink faucets. 2 6 volt batteries instead of one 12 volt and if you have deep pockets, check out the Lithium Ion thread.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:34 PM   #4
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Add to above posts:

2) How do I know if the roof needs to be "resealed" and what product should I use?

Wash it. Carefully inspect all seams. Seal any cracking caulk beads with Dicor.


5) is a small solar panel worth installing to keep battery charged for lights and charging electronics?

A small solar panel is of minimal use. 30 watts may keep your battery charged during storage.

You might as well go for at least 100 watts to make the trouble of installing it worth while. It will help with the long finish charge the batteries require. Make sure you get a high quality solar controller.


Maybe add a small quiet generator. I have a 1000 watt Honda. Very quiet. Easy to store and handle. Plenty big for charging 200 amp hours of AGM batteries. Use it for two hours in the morning followed by 8 hours of solar charging. An excellent combination.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:07 PM   #5
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Not sure what bulbs you have, but these leds have worked great for me, and they're inexpensive
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies!
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Old 07-13-2021, 05:45 AM   #7
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New to Rving as well!

Well I have been in my 98 Dutch for 2 months now, it's been fun yet I wish I knew alot more b4 buying!! I am fixing to have to replace floors in the kitchen area due to fridge ventilation being broken and rain pouring in it and it was 2 late to just replace the ventilation kit!! My awning got caught flew backwards over the top and caused a huge rip up the side, any suggestions to help with floors, roof, side wall now & it's sitting on my moms property and I'm fixing to move it, any setup info would be greatly appreciated!! Oh I no longer have an awning...so any help or suggestions for just putting something up for shade on my porch would greatly be appreciated!! Ty in advance!!
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Old 07-13-2021, 02:33 PM   #8
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There are plenty of used ones available-buy new!
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Old 07-28-2021, 02:09 PM   #9
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There is someone here (leisuresolar@gmail.com-is his posting name) that deals in solar and will give you a concise answer. I put a 100 watt panel (flexible) on my RV to keep the battery charged because of the vampire loads. It worked great and was relatively inexpensive. I fastened it down with screws and eternabond.

If I were you, I would have started a new thread.

Frank
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Old 07-29-2021, 04:12 PM   #10
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"... My awning got caught flew backwards over the top and caused a huge rip up the side ..."

RV awnings are not designed for windy conditions. You have discovered this in the school of hard knocks. Always retract the awning before you leave and before winds are forecast.

15 mph winds are probably too much. I have a pair of aluminum posts and tie downs to stabilize the free end of the awning. That helps, but I have been reluctant to test them in winds over 15 mph.

"... any suggestions to help with floors, roof, side wall now & it's sitting on my moms property and I'm fixing to move it, any setup info would be greatly appreciated!! ..."

That is a lot of advice with lots of variation. I suggest Internet Search and especially Utube for "how to ...". It may work well to put specific questions in separate new posts. Pictures will be required. Specific "make" and "model" of RV and RV components are recommended for accurate advice. There should be labels on appliances like the awning.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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