How Many Van Projects Can James Do in 24 Hours?!?

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What a whirlwind this week has been! It’s currently 10pm on Saturday night and we’ve been home from the RVX show for 24 hours now. James is still out in the new van, and since he’s still working, I feel like I should be doing something productive, too. Writing is productive, right?!? Let’s go with that.

SOOO. Did you catch our news last week at the end of the RVX Show Product Reveal Video?!?! (…about 30 minutes in…)

Meet the very first Nat’l Park Foundation Travato… we’ve named him “Parky”!!!

Soooo happy I can start talking about it now! We’re honored to have this awesome van on loan for the next few months… and are especially excited to do some blogging about lesser known National Parks; more to come on that!

Pulling “Parky” out of the show turned out to be pretty uneventful. The Winnebago booth was the farthest from the building’s exit, so we expected a long wait. NOPE!

I had our car, so I went on ahead of James and picked up Mel from his cat sitter in Provo, an hour south of the show.

Mel:  “My van seems to have shrunk…”

Mel and I started our 4 hour road trip to southern Utah, and eventually met up with James and the new van a couple hours south of Salt Lake City. I passed Mel off to him.

Mel: “NOW what have my humans done to my van…”

Mel seemed a little on edge with the new van at first, but eventually he got bored and took a nap.

When we landed at the sticks and bricks last night, James immediately got to work on checking the systems and starting his mods. We only have until tomorrow morning before hitting the road for a few weeks, so he wasn’t going to waste precious time doing typical things: like SLEEPING. And EATING.

There were a few snafus off the bat.

  1. The tires were out of balance. We got them balanced today. CHECK!
  2. The microwave wouldn’t work. Turns out the plug had been pulled for the show. CHECK!
  3. The fridge wouldn’t work. I didn’t pay attention to what was going on there but he eventually got it fixed. CHECK!

Before beginning to work down his mod list, James tested the water systems:

Looking for leaks under the galley… (there were none)

Water lines got the James Seal of Approval. He even made time to sanitize the fresh tank with some Thetford sanitizing product he picked up at the RVX show.

From there, I started losing interest in watching James be James, and ended up spending a couple hours working out and got a good 5 mile run in too.

Today’s home-gym workout! (And hey don’t judge my chicken scratch; I didn’t know I’d be snapping a pic…)

But I did check to make sure James was breathing a few times throughout the day today. This is what I found him doing:

  1. Trimming some of the Froli springs so that the twin bed cushions could snap to the bed frame more easily. Otherwise the mattress slides around a lot.


2. Drilling holes in that white storage bucket that sits under the bed to make it lift out easier. I’m not sure what’s under there that requires the bucket being frequently lifted, but it is James, and I’m sure he’ll find excuses to dig into Parky’s underbelly.

3. Removing the TV. Now THIS was quite a fiasco. So much so that JAMES ACTUALLY USED A DREMEL!!! One of the things that the bolt screws into had stripped, the bolt itself was cross-threaded, and there was absolutely no getting the bolt out. In the end James had to cut the bolt with…of all things… the tool he hates most in the world and has EVEN BLOGGED ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HATES IT. The Dremel. I’m sure you can imagine how much fun I had pointing that out while he was using it.

4. Covering the ugly bolt holes from the removed TV. This was my project!!! I ran to Target and picked up a very simple frame with a clip (instead of glass) to hold a picture. Then! I took a little 5×9 “StickItList”, trimmed it to 5×7″, and then clipped it in the frame. It’ll actually be functional! StickItLists are a thin & flexible dry-erase material, and it’ll be handy for staying organized or leaving each other messages. I already have a bunch of StickItLists and was intending to stick one on the fridge since they’re made to stick anywhere, but I like having it in the frame much better. And I already filled in James’ To Do list!!!

James is very good at following clear and concise directions.


5. Cutting a hole in the bathroom wardrobe for a litter box. This one was a top priority! Great news, James got it done and the litterbox fits perfectly!


6. Building a tabletop and attaching a Lagun table mount. Y’all probably remember, James still has a pesky day job. That makes a comfortable work space super important. Between the other projects today, he was sanding and coating this table top:


It sounds like that tabletop is a temporary solution and when James has more time he wants to do it up better.

And finally, the last time I checked on him (at 10:15 PM), he started building the base for the Lagun table mount:


7. Installing our WeBoost (from Lance). Shout out to Gordon for taking the time to mail us Lance’s WeBoost control unit! Luckily, WeBoost is based right here in St. George, so James was able to buy new antennas direct from the manufacturing facility. It was super easy to run the antenna to the roof through Winnebago’s new roof port! We checked with Winnebago, and it sounds like this was the first official use of the roof port!

So yeah! That’s what James has been up to, all in the past 24 hours. Now you see why I say he’s part alien. There were probably lots of other projects too, I just didn’t see them and I’m too lazy to go out there and ask.

As I type he’s finishing up his table project and then he’ll FINALLY stop on projects. That’s when the fun starts! We’ve got to completely clean the van from the ‘show germs’, and then start hauling all our crap out there. I already used our packing lists (which omg I’d be lost without!) and got everything gathered so it’s just a matter of loading it all up. AND, I’ve also hit the grocery store and Target so we are totally ready to rock this trip.

Even though it’s almost 11pm and James is out there having a ball, I’m starting to see double. Excuse any typos, it is possible I’ve been half sleep-writing.

Nighty night all! Big driving day tomorrow! BNR rally… HERE WE COME! And then after that, let the Nat’l Parks stops begin!!! Can’t wait!

Your comments below are always welcomed!

xoxo, Stef


After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    51 thoughts on “How Many Van Projects Can James Do in 24 Hours?!?

    1. Heather

      I’m late to the party, but can James come and do the same mod for the litter box on my KL? Would it help if I told you my fella is also named James? .

    2. Bonnie borgeson

      Hi James, very very new with my new/used T K. I love the idea of this table. Can you show some pictures on how you use it at that location. And how heavy do you think I can get away with for the top. I think its a wonderful idea and just use a small on/off table top with the provided pole in one of the holes for snacks while watching tv. Thanks for all you videos… so helpful


      1. James

        I didn’t take any pictures of the table when installing it. I was working too fast.
        To mount it, all you need to do is layer up 5 pieces of 3/4” plywood to mount the base plate to.
        As for a top, I just have a 3/4” pine sheet, but I think I could put something twice that heavy on there.

    3. Ron Trone

      We are looking to travel in a KL with our cat too! Anyway to get more pictures of how you made the litter box mod?

      1. James

        Well, unfortunately, no. I was working really fast and not stopping to take pictures.
        Believe it or not, I just removed the drawer, removed the hardware, and then cut the opening larger using a jigsaw. You need a *good* jigsaw to keep from making a mess of it though.
        I may have cut the corners with Forstner bits to give a radius, but that’s all.

    4. Steve Stringer

      I’m surprised they didn’t give you a “GL” version…same as what you are used to with Lance. Seems like the KL would be a 2nd choice for parks due to less storage. Also notice the push out double pane windows are not on this unit…are they still available as an option? Have fun…looking forward to see how you adjust to the KL plan.

      1. James

        The double pane windows are still available. Parky just doesn’t have them.
        The K is an interesting change for us. We can get used to anything, but it didn’t take us long to get used to those sweet twin beds!!

      2. Gene Story

        So James, tell me (us) more about that hole in the driver-side bed deck and the plastic bucket shown in this article. Has WINNEBAGO included this in the 2020 Travato 59K or did you do this?

        In our 2018 59K, removing and replacing the water filter element thru the side wall access hatch is a real “joy”. If I remove the Froli equipped bed deck, it makes this easier. But removing that heavy deck by yourself (I have done it) is a recipe for damaging something in the coach. I have pondered modification of the bed deck to ease the Winterizing process besides other occasions to just change the filter. Did WB provide bed deck access for this or is this something you did? I don’t think I can maneuver that white bucket to catch water spillage when changing the filter; is this just a hidden stash bucket? You know, cell phones, watches, pennies, sentimental copy of an engine replacement estimate from a certain dealership in Bakersfield. That kind of stash.

        1. James

          Winnebago included the bucket. I drilled the holes.
          I had to install the water filter. But I honestly don’t remember a thing about it, so it couldn’t have been very bad.
          From what I can tell, this is just a hidden bucket. (But I burned that estimate, lol…)

    5. Lauri C.

      I can’t believe it!! I’m watching Ellen videos…..!!!!! There! I know HIM!!! Congratulations! You made the “Ellen Show”!!!!

    6. Kat DeStasio

      Step- can James post more install info about the Lagun? I’ve had mine for 6 months- but lacking his engineering cred- am worried about sufficiently reinforcing the base mount and understanding the movement of the table. A portion of the table is against a wall in our Promaster Rev24RB.

      Finally had the courage to remove old table and supports. Now stuck

      A video would be great for this increasingly popular table- but a blog would be very welcome too!

      Good kitty Mel!
      RV cat story- Mel inspired us to begin training our 5 month old kitten Tigra to travel in the Promaster. On first try, sitting in driveway. Tigra scampered all over inside the RV- within 60 seconds had discovered the auto window button on driver door (which faces up) stood on it lowering the window, then promptly jumped out and back to the house. I guess not all kitties are cut out for the adventures of the road. Sigh

    7. Willie

      Winnebego’s new roof port looks like it was stuck up there with chewing gum. Come on W, you can do better than that!

      Our preoccupation with TVs is disturbing, especially since RVing is about the outdoors. We, too, do not have a TV in our rig!!

      Finally, James upside down in the bathroom wardrobe gave me the willies! I’d cramp up and be stuck in there until the fire department rescued me.

      1. Dave

        Yes, I also have a question about the roof port. We just got our 59KL and I will be installing Weboost, but can you give a little more detail about where/how to route the antenna? Thanks very much in advance.

    8. Tracey

      We’re a week into our first trip with the K and loving it! We’re keen to see the table too at Sea Otter! See you there.
      After your post about food at the Abbotsford show, i laughed when we got groceries the other day and the clerk wondered why we only had healthy things! 🙂

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Looking forward to seeing you at Sea Otter! And yep that new Lagun table mod rocks; happy to show it to you at Sea Otter. 🙂

    9. Craig Zerbe

      On the Volta site, the 13.5 kWh kit the documentation indicates that it has -30 C heating pads, whereas the 10.1 kWh indicates just a 0 C heating pad. Curious if the National Park Travato has that extra cold weather heating pad capabilities too. Looking to place a Travato order within a week. Any other little upgrade that were not mentioned in the video? Looks like a new magnet screen. Thanks. Safe Travels

      1. Craig

        Got my own question answered. I contacted Volta, the NP Travato Lithium does have additional heat elements to allow you to operate in colder temperatures than the standard Travato Lithium pack.

        1. Stefany - Post author

          Oh glad you got the answers and thanks for sharing them here! I didn’t even know that, and am pleased to hear about the heating pad upgrade… NICE!

          And yep it had the new magnetic screen; we love that screen!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        During our “Live Reveal” video showing off Winnebago’s new products, we also shared we would be rolling in the very first Winnebago Limited Edition National Park Foundation Travato! We will have it temporarily and have been tasked with visiting and promoting lesser known parks!!! Go to about 30 minutes in this video:

    10. Jim

      Please don’t tell me you can do 30 pull-ups (or sit-ups for that matter) in one set…please 🙂 But really, if you can, that’s fantastic!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Lol!!! For pull-ups I do them in 3 sets of 10… but I only do 3 reps in a row then touch feet down before starting again. So yeah, not 30 pull-ups in a row!

    11. Chris Meeker

      I really enjoy reading your posts and hearing of your journeys…both inner and outer journeys!

      Thanks for sharing. Happy Travels.

    12. Pat

      Great Basin NP in Nevada is fantastic and few visit because it’s out of the way. And The Electrolux Cafe in town is a one of a kind place.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        It’s been awhile since we visited Great Basin; and we will definitely be returning in the new National Park Foundation Travato!!! I have some awesome pictures of a hike we did there and James hamming it up by a mountain lake. Fond memories of Great Basin! xoxo

        1. Eric D

          +1 on great basin. Our other Utah parks take the spotlight but this easily forgotten little gem was nice and quiet, scenic, and had some decent road bike climbs when we visited. We also need to visit again.

    13. Noel

      James is the very definition of determination, perseverance, creative problem-solving, and love. Don’t tell him that last part, it’s a little mushy. ;-). Can’t wait to see you both!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        He is most certainly all those things on steroids! Except not literally on steroids. Great, now I’ve probably got him flagged for ‘random’ screening next cycling race HA!!! See you two lovelies soonly; safe travels!!! Xoxo

    14. Billyboy

      Have fun in the new machine – it looks terrific. What is going to happen to Lance with you spending all the time in Parky?

    15. Anne Wheeler

      So where did you get that table top? Looks nice and we’re looking for one about the same size. Thanks!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        They sell those pine panels at Lowe’s! And it actually does look really nice now that I’ve seen it in the van…

    16. Celeste

      Amazing energy and focus. Now don’t forget to sleep, a requirement in any wellnes program.
      Can I put my name on a waiting list for your Travato once you are done with it? Happy and trouble free travels.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        You’re so right on the importance of sleep. Of all the wellness components, sleep is the easiest to achieve… yet so then why is it so easy to neglect?!! (…said between yawns…) xoxo

      1. Stefany - Post author

        The cat litter box did take a cut to the cabinet panel, but it’ll be easily replaceable with a new cabinet face, WGO was fine with it. And the Lagun table is becoming a common mod with the Travato community so it’ll be a nice upgrade for whoever gets it next. Nothing else done was permanent besides those 2 things. And yes! James is speedy!!!

    17. Garrett Hasty

      Wow, you guys look busy. We are really looking forward in checking out the New Travato later this week. I myself have been busy with last minute mods and completing my check list. Which brings me to one question. I wonder how many other people are doing last minute mods?


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