Our View

While I've posted various pictures of our View from time to time since we've been on the road, thought I'd create a separate page to collect some pictures giving a bit more detail.  For those who've not seen it or any similar one, thought it may be interesting to give a closer look at our cozy little carhouse, and for those RVers who may be familiar with this model, I've included some pictures of various modifications I made to it before we hit the road, to make it a bit more space efficient for us.

It's a 2008 Winnebago View, model H; has a 6 cylinder turbo diesel engine, so we're getting right at 16 mpg, which is wonderful!  We found it online, turned out the owner lived just up the road less than an hour from us, and he had kept it in excellent condition.  In fact, many places we go, folks ask us if it's brand new!  He had also added a heat pump, which allows us to use the electric at campgrounds for heating, conserving our propane supply.  He had also installed a swivel on the passenger seat--later models now come with swivels for both seats standard--for easy TV watching or visiting if we have company.  And he installed stabilizer jacks on the rear, to make it more secure when we camp.

Here's the floor plan; when the sofa slide out is pulled in for travel, there's still ample room to walk through the coach.

A view of the cab; the cabover bed stays up for travel, to keep you from banging your head as you step down from the living area to the cockpit!  When it comes down flat it makes a queen size bed.  It came with a ladder that was stored under the sofa, but, based on some modifications other View owners have made, I took that out to allow us to use several plastic bins that slide under the sofa for storage.  Found a light weight aluminum ladder to use for climbing up to the cabover bed, and we can also use that for any other outside ladder needs.  When our grandson was with us last summer, this is where he slept and he loved having his own cozy little space--have a curtain that closed to give him some privacy, where he could read with his own little reading lamp! We stow our pillows and blankets on this shelf under the bed when it's up, but if I had taken this picture with all that showing, Mrs. Claus would not have been happy!  You can see the deflated air mattress on top--have a neat little hand held 12 volt DC pump that inflates in less than a minute; Trisha sewed some elastic onto bottom end of the top sheet, so it's like a fitted sheet, so once inflated I can easily pull it down to put on the pull out sofa, where we sleep.  Then pick it up it the morning, slide it onto the cabover bed, pull the deflation plug and push up the cabover to the travel position.
 Our kitchen--combo microwave/convection oven, and a 3 burner gas cooktop--with a nice wood cover for extra counter space when not cooking on it; wood sink cover that we use as a countertop extension.
 The dinette, seats 4 and folds down to make another bed if needed.
 Storage cabinets above the dinette.
Sofa, which is the unit that slides out; easy one touch pull down to make it into the bed.
 Storage cabinets above the sofa
 Looking back past the refrigerator and pantry on the left into the bathroom.
 Nice shower stall, big enough even for Santa to turn around in without bumping the walls!

Our guardian angel Trisha placed above the door for the trip--this is an Ethiopian icon we bought when we visited Jeremy while he was there.  We watched th artist create it--sitting in the shade along a path to a monastery on an island in Lake Tona, painted on parchment with colors derived from natural berries and plants.  Don't you just love those eyes?!

Now for some modifications, probably only of interest to the RVers out there:  sink cover doubles as a countertop extension, really great to have the extra space.

I found some cherry to match the cabinetry and fashioned this cleat to support the end of the sink cover--it fits snugly underneath the existing countertop overhang and the cleat; then fashioned this swing out support arm.

Used piano hinge for the vertical on the swing out support arm, velcro piece holds it snug and keeps it from flapping loose during travel.

Underside of sink cover: used the same cherry to make this bracket, which slides over the support arm; used a plastic window latch to flip over the end when it's in place, to keep it from accidentally sliding off the support arm.
Added a filter to the faucet; have an external filter, but a little extra couldn't hurt!
Added this double hook just inside the bathroom wall--holds the dish and hand towels; the factory had installed a horizontal towel rod for this on the front of the cabinet that holds the cooktop, but with towels on it, it was difficult to open the big drawer that holds the pots and pans, so this makes that much easier---and you can easily reach it from the kitchen.
I made spice racks for both cabinet doors above the sink, holding a total of 24 spice jars.  Since the doors are curved, I clamped a half inch board to the bottom of the door to trace the curvature for the bottom of the shelves, then used plexiglass for the fronts, to hold the jars in place.  The bottom shelf on each side is smaller, to accommodate the door hinges.

The original pantry had shelves, but since the pantry is narrow and deep, it was a bit awkward to get to items at the back of the shelves.  So I had some help from a cabinet maker for this one, but this is probably the most helpful modification we did.  The pantry is on a slant angle, and as a result the original equipment hinges only allowed the door to open less than a full 90 degrees.  So the cabinet maker installed these hinges that allow for a very wide swing, thus allowing the rollout drawers to fully extend.
 This shows one of the 4 drawers fully extended.
 We added an additional shelf, giving us 4 rollouts, with the top one having enough space to accommodate tall bottles, and there's still about a 12" high space below the bottom rollout for additional storage of taller items.
Added plexiglass fronts to the shelves in the medicine cabinet, keeping items from spilling out when you open the door after travel.
 Above and below:  the unit came with the TV mounted on this shelf, but it the angle was such that it was difficult to clearly see the picture from several places in the living area.  So I took out the original TV, got a much lighter weight, larger, LED flat screen and used a flip up, swivel mount.  The bottom picture shows the TV in the up position for travel.  Had the cabinet maker make this new cabinet over the shelf, giving us some great additional storage space.  Had him leave enough room to accommodate the small bluray DVD player between the cabinet and the shelf--this allows us to get Netflix, Pandora, etc. when we have wifi available.

The closet came with just a rod for hanging clothes, so we got this elfa drawer unit from The Container Store, giving us a dresser in addition to the hanging rod.

Used one of the brackets that had been under the sofa to hold the OEM ladder in place to attach a flashlight in the stairwell by the door--always good to have a flashlight handy just as you walk out the door and an easy place to always know where it is!

Used similar but smaller brackets to make a permanent, easily accessible place for storing the door strut, which is used to hold the outer door open when you're at a campsite, so you can use just the screen door and get some fresh air.
The original set up was just to store the sewer dump hose in the water compartment.  Not happy with this idea, I copied this modification from plans by another View owner:  Used a 5" vinyl fence post from Home Depot, cut it to a size so it just fits between the bay doors on each side of the RV, attached it with brackets to the underside of the unit.  Fence post caps are held in place by the snug fit of the bay doors.
 Used a vinyl gutter as an insert in the fence post, holds the hose and adapter; used a 1" piece of pvc pipe with a wood dowel inside to accommodate the screws through the gutter sides for the handle.  Believe, me, makes this necessary part of RVing much easier and keeps the hose out of the water compartment.


8 comments:

  1. Wow! You've done great work.

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  2. I finally found your blog. Lots of reading to catch up! Your modifications are quite clever...just what I would expect from you, Jack. Happy happy travels to you two adventurers. Donna

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  3. Jack-Would like to know what stabilizer jacks you bought and how you mounted them. We have a 2008 View and you have done some great modifications.

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    1. GRB: Thanks for your kind words! As to the stabilizer jacks, I honestly can't tell you, since they were put on by the person I bought our View from. When we bought it last summer, I used them every time we went out, but now, 5 1/2 months into a & month around the country trip, we really don't use them at all anymore. Yes, sometimes we get a little sway, but it doesn't bother us, so we just don't take the trouble to put them down. What I am going to investigate, though, is the installation of automatic levelers. Expensive, I know, but it sure would be nice to use those to level up at a campsite, rather than having to go out and put down the leveling blocks.

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  4. Hey Jack, awesome mods ... you are a man after my own tinkering tastes :) We actually have a 2008 24H too (yay!) .. and I looked underneath in preparation to install the Vinyl Post Hose mod. I have the black water tank pipes behind the ‘Water Compartment’ that hang down below the bottom of the ‘w.c.’ (i.e. I can’t snug up the Vinyl Fencepost to the ‘w.c.’ as yours seems to be from the pics (I will have to drop it down several inches or cut them way short so they end before the pipes))
    .. Any suggestions for brackets? (or other suggestions in general :) thx Dom

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! Unfortunately, I'm afraid I can't be much help to you--we traded in our View last year for a Class A, as we seem to be spending the better part of the year on the road, so we just needed some more space. I don't remember encountering the situation you described, but my recollection was that there was room to just drill holes in the floor of the water compartment. If you aren't familiar with the View/Navion Yahoo group you should check there--lots of folks have done a lot of mods on Views and you can probably find a way using that site. Good Luck!

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