Some Little Upgrades for @stro

Although the start of our camping season has been delayed (at least camping somewhere other than our driveway), spring maintenance and some incremental improvements to @stro, our 2019 [email protected] 400, go on as planned thanks in part to on-line shopping. I thought I’d share what we’ve been up to so far.  

After opening up the windows to clean behind them and finding they wanted to stick a bit, I applied some silicone lubricant to the seals and the rubber window surrounds (3M Silicone Lubricant, Dry Version, $10.25 for an 8.5 ounce can from Amazon).

Speaking of the windows, we all know you have to be careful not to scratch the acrylic windows when washing them. Even using a clean microfiber wash mitt to wash and a microfiber towel to dry can leave some very fine scratches, but Plexus Plastic Cleaner and Polish does a great job of safely cleaning them and removing any fine scratches ($24.69 for a 13 ounce can from Amazon). 

Borrowing an idea from another [email protected] owner, I installed a plug guard to prevent the power cable from being exposed to moisture when not connected to the tow vehicle. You’ll need to pre-drill holes for the included self-tapping screws.  (AP Products #008320 Plug Guard), $10.78 from Amazon).

In the past, we’ve just used a carpenter’s level to level the trailer when setting up camp. To make things a little more convenient, I picked up some small plastic bubble levels. Once I verified the trailer was level all the way around, I installed one on the side of the hitch for front-to-back leveling and one inside the lid of the propane cover for side-to-side. I used the adhesive method, but they can be secured with screws (not included) if you prefer. (Camco Utility Trailer Level 2-Pack Model #25503, $5.97 at Menards). 

Moving around to the inside, I’d been looking for some washable area rugs for a while, and finding a set that offered a pattern I liked (or at least didn’t mind) for both the area in front of the kitchen counter and under the dinette was more challenging that you’d think. The longer one is 18” x 47”, while the shorter one is 18” x 26” and could also be used just inside the door instead. They come in other colors as well depending on size. (HiiARug 2-Pack Non-Slip Rug and Runner, $27.98 from Amazon). 

The storage cubbies in the 400’s bathroom are handy but things tend to slip and slide around a lot, and the very narrow dimensions made finding suitable bins a little challenging. These fit perfectly. (Shorter bins are mDesign Slim Storage Bins 2-pack 14.5” x 4” x 4”, $17.99, and taller ones are mDesign Plastic Storage Bins 2-pack, 14.5” x 8” x 4”, $26.99 from Amazon). 

While we’re in the bathroom, I wanted a different solution for shower gel and shampoo beyond setting the bottles on the toilet seat when showering. I saw other folks had recommended the simplehuman brand wall-mount dispensers so I decided to give them a try. They’re not the least expensive dispensers, but they are very nicely made and a breeze to install with the included adhesive tape strips. We got the double, but they come in a single and a triple size as well. (simplehuman Double Wall-Mount Shampoo and Soap Dispenser, $47.99 on-line from Home Depot). 

And finally, the audio quality of the TV’s built-in speakers is pretty poor and I’ve yet to find a way to play the TV audio through the Jensen stereo, so we added a small portable speaker. It has Bluetooth so it can be used to stream audio from your smartphone, but importantly it also has a 1/8” jack for a stereo aux cable. One end plugs into the speaker, the other into the rear headphone output of the TV. When plugged in, the TV speakers will automatically mute. I snagged this one on a great sale at Target, but any portable speaker or sound bar that had a 1/8” input would work just fine. (JBL Charge 4, normally $139.95 at Target). 



Jim Kuzman, Girard OH - 2019 [email protected] 400 - TV 2019 Volkswagen Atlas SE 4Motion w/ Factory Tow Package


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