As an aerospace engineer, with decades of experience with aircraft costing millions of dollars, I have acquired a work ethic that is a signature of my RV modifications. Wire connections use environmentally sealed wire splices or electrical barrier strips, not the cheap and failure-prone common automotive wire splices. I use wire gauge specific wire strippers and a professional quality Paladin 1308 Ratchet Maxi-Crimper tool. For machine threaded hardware, I use aviation style elastic stop nuts to prevent loose hardware. Wire gauge is load rated and fuse or circuit breaker protected. Wire bundles are neatly secured.
Modifications follow a process of:
(1) Concept: What improvement do I want to make?
(2) Parts selection and research: What are the best parts and where can I get them.
(3) Design: Projects are designed using AutoCAD for wiring and mechanical layout.
(4) Implementation: The modification is carefully implemented, using quality parts and tools. If I am not proud of the work (even if it is hidden), I do it again.
(5) Testing: The modification is tested and adjusted to meet the objectives.
(6) Documentation: The AutoCAD drawings are finalized to capture the work completed and stored on-line and in a hard-cover 11"x17" binder.
At the end of this process, my wife asks: "Is it airworthy?"
This picture is an example of hidden workmanship. That is, carefully performed work, using appropriate electrical and mechanical fasteners electrical barrier strips, wire clamps, and as shown below, a hard-mounted outlet strip. The lower panel (removed in this picture) is easily removable for access, while the upper panel leaves the accessories securely mounted. The thermostatically controlled cooling fan mounted in the top of the cabinet keeps the entertainment equipment from overheating. All this detail is not done because others may see it, but because I inspected the work before covering it up. This philosophy is common for all the modification work I do on RVs.
A bit about my background: I have worked in the aviation avionics industry since 1972 (43 years), first as an avionics technician, then as an avionics integration engineer for Learjet in Denver, and currently as a certification engineer for an avionics manufacturer in Tucson AZ.
I have enjoyed camping all of my adult life, and bought my first RV in 1998, and have been addicted ever since. Being a bit of a techno-junkie, I often find myself making technology and comfort modifications to my RVs.
One might ask, "How can I trust the work and workmanship of these modifications? It can't be as good as the work Winnebago does." Answer: While I believe that Winnebago is one of the finest RV manufactures in its class, they are mass produced for minimum production time and maximum profit. Parts selections are sometimes not what I would have selected. Workmanship not normally visible to an RV buyer or owner are sometimes compromised.
From my experience, aftermarket RV workmanship can fall into at least three categories:
This set of pages provides detailed descriptions of the owner modifications to Via 25R on this site. Select photo pages from the buttons below to select the desired modification page. Once a photo gallery is displayed, click on an individual picture for a high resolution image. Left and right arrows allow transition to the previous or next picture.