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I don’t know how many people will attempt to follow after me here, because doing this requires ripping everything out of the front of your RV. But just in case you’re wondering what’s up there, or what are the possibilities with the cab-over area in your RV, have a look at this video:
This all started as a follow-on from our latest RV soundproofing project. Once I had everything out of the space to install the sound insulation, I realized there was a whole lot of space there and I wanted to capture it. Since I didn’t have anything specific in mind to store up there, I thought the best thing to do would be just create one big empty shelf, so that’s where this headed.
I did cover the shelf with carpet – mainly to keep things from sliding back and forth on the shelf as I turned corners in the RV. (But it also adds some sound absorption as well!) The carpet is just the “cheap grey stuff on the roll” at your local home center, but it glues down nicely with either 3M 90 Spray Adhesive, or Gorilla Spray Adhesive. I tried them both. The 3M has a better initial bond, and the Gorilla is initially repositionable for a few minutes. The Gorilla is also significantly cheaper. I’ll still use the 3M 90 for things like laminate countertops, but for something like this carpet, I actually liked the Gorilla a little bit better.
And my final solution for the ceiling? I don’t know what you’d call this ceiling technique, but it’s something like a sprung tension ceiling with 1/8″ hardboard. I had to kerf the hardboard in a lot of places along the back to get it to ease into the curved shapes I wanted. In the end, it came out OK, and it’s removable should I ever need to get back there again.
And finally, lots of you seem to like the clock we’re using overhead in our RV. I love it. But fair warning: though it has batteries to remember the time, the display requires 120 volt power. So you’ll have to leave your inverter on, or be connected to shore power to see it. (We have excess battery capacity and a very efficient inverter, so this isn’t an issue for us.) Anyways, here’s the clock.
SHARP Oversized LED clock on Amazon
Funny Anecdote That I Left Out Of The Video Because It’s Kind of Gross And It Wasn’t Funny At All At the Time, But Now That It’s A Few Weeks Ago, I Can Laugh About It.
So, you may have picked up in the video that we went camping for a short trip without having the shelf completely finished. The part that was missing was some sort of safety edging on the exposed edge of the shelf.
Yes. You guessed it. I smacked my head into that shelf edge. Incredibly hard. It was actually a near-scalping. There were bits of severed skin hanging from the shelf. What makes it funny is that if you go back and watch this video (and the one before this), there are so many places where I foreshadowed (or maybe, cursed) myself having this very accident. Even a pool noodle or piece of pipe insulation on the edge of the shelf would have averted the disaster, but I was super confident that I wouldn’t hit it… Live and learn.
Questions or comments, fire off below. Thanks for watching!
Guess I never noticed the Transit part of the ECHO cab, not ever looking at it carefully, I thought they used a mid or high top cab from the Transit, but is that a low-top front?
I bet the noise would not have been a problem with a high top stock cab.
Ours (mid-height) was reinsulated with Thinsulite early on, but I don’t remember noise ever being a problem back then. At least compared to the road noise coming from the back in those days!!
Well, WGO orders the cutaway chassis from Ford, so technically, I guess it started life as a “no top”!
That’s interesting. So the Ford parts stop at the top of the window(s)? For other cutaways attached to truck boxes, they get the entire cab. What do the visors attach to? So your new shelf it seems replicates the shelf that is normally over the visors in the mid and high ceiling vans. And maybe makes it just as hard to plop into the driver’s seat…
We don’t have any trouble getting in and out of the seats with the new shelf.
There was a roof on the transit cab, just no back wall. You can see a bit of it in the previous video where I installed the sound deadening material.
You never cease to blow my mind! I did notice the bandaids adding up. Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to share what you do. That’s a lot of work in itself, especially on a timeline. And I am familiar with the staring process before execution begins. Thanks, man! I’ve never wanted a Japanese hand saw more. As always, you rock.
Japanese hand saws are the bomb! Catch you later!
Fantastic use of space. Honestly it looks stock! The LED lights are a nice touch. Looking forward to the next set of upgrades you have planned.
I’ve already ordered parts for the next mod!
James – this looks like a nice space gain. I wonder if you have considered the drawers under the beds? They seem very shallow drawers in a reasonably deep space. I was thinking of building up the drawer sides with Luan and installing Plexiglas (or Luan) above the drawers to prevent clothing catching on the opening. I expect you could do even better with new drawers and slides.
Interesting. I’ve never thought the drawer space under the beds was lacking, so I haven’t looked at it.
If I wanted to do something different there, I would probably just build new drawers versus trying add-ons on the old ones. Drawers aren’t that hard to build.
Please give a link to your clock. Thanks.
You betcha. I’ve added a link to the clock in the main post body.
Hello James,Sorry to hear about your scalp injury. I did something similar with regard to injuring my forehead (near the scalp line or at least where that line used to be) on a soap dish in a temporary shower during a bathroom remodeling project. Just as you indicated, there were numerous foreshadowings of the more serious injury. I too ignored all of the warnings. Hope your recovery is speedy. Rick
If you noticed the hard hat I’m wearing in the last clip, now you know why!
On the plus side, this did get me to investigate styptic powder (quick clotting agent) and now we have two jars of the stuff. One for home, and one for the RV!
As far as the shelf goes, it looks really good but it’s nothing I would do because I tend to hit my head already trying to get in and out of the seats (wish they swiveled easy while sitting in them). Hey, there’s your next project – fix the seat swivels!!!
BTW, it never ceases to amaze me that, for an engineering type person, you seem to fly by the seat of your pants a whole lot. Of course, my extensive planing usually fails spectacularly when I discover that there was one little thing I forgot about back in step #3 and I am now at step #17 and can’t go back and fix it.
Seat swivels is actually on my list. (It’s pretty far down the list, but it’s on there… We still miss the ProMaster swivels terribly.)
As far as my “off the cuff” style… I can see how you’d think that – and I’ve thought about writing a whole blog post on this. Since everything you see me do is pretty much a one-off, I rarely make written plans. There’s just no payoff in that, since I’ll never re-use them. I may jot something down if there’s an intricate detail or something, but that’s about it.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t plan at all. It’s just all in my head. Just ask Stef how much I “stare at stuff”! For each general step you see in the video, I probably stared at it for an hour or more before deciding what to do. And there’s the hours I spend at the home center or online hardware store, trolling the aisles looking for parts that might work or be worth trying. I usually buy 3 or 4 options worth of parts for anything, and return the rest later.
But none of that stuff makes for an interesting video! “Here I am staring at random metal parts for the next 35 minutes.” So when it’s all edited together with snappy cuts and set to music, I understand how it seems like I’m breezing through it all without a care in the world.
Well done James. Be sure to run this serious storage solution by Winnebago!
I’m sure they’ll see it. But I wouldn’t expect this in a standard EKKO any time soon. In models with the entertainment package, the TV is mounted in that space. Also, while Stef and I can get in and out of the cab easily, it might be a problem for taller RVers.
Great problem solving and use of limited space. I thought adding LEDs was very good idea. Your cross cut sled could be used for timber framing!!! We have a space similar opening to yours on our 70B Era. I removed the single door and enlarged that space. We want to add cargo netting but haven’t had luck finding the right size. Do you know anyone custom cargo nets for large opening? We’ve looked on Organized Orbie but haven’t found the right solution yet.
As far as custom netting, you’re on the right track with Organized Obie. They offer netting, connectors, etc in bulk so that you can customize it to whatever size you’d like. I think if you search their site for “custom netting” or some such, you’ll find it. You could always call them as well. (They’re nice.)
How about a netting across your new space