tabnut

Just another WordPress.com site

The never-ending table saga continues…

I have been away from this part of my blog for–good heavens–about 2 years. Well, I’m back and ready to share the latest additions of the many uses of the table. This time I have taken the utility of the tables to the outside. Before I show the details of the latest adaptations, let me comment on the materials I have been using. When you go shopping to your favourite RV supplier, you will have the option of 2 types of table posts:
1) The chrome post and metal receiving mount
2) They grey painted post and hard rubber or plastic receiving mount.
Both will do the job, but I prefer the latter. Your major problem confronts you when you have to trim the post to the most suitable hight. Removing the plastic cover from one end is a challenge, as is the refitting of the cover to the post after you have trimmed it to its desired length. How to do?
1) Using raw force pull one of the caps off
2) Cut the post to the desired length
3) Fit the cap over the shortened post
4) Drill two 1/4 inch holes on opposing sides, through the cap and post
5) Fill the hole with “Magic Putty” –Great stuff. Mine has lasted for 5 years
If you have already trimmed a post to suit the inside of the trailer, good…you can use it outside. If not, you will have to purchase an additional post and an additional receiving mount.
I will post a number of pictures that will clearly show how simple the outdoor mount is. It collapses and neatly packs away under the seat together with the cocktail table and other stuff like extension cords etc..
Note the size and positioning of the table when in the bed configuration. The rounded portion on the right inside corner makes room for the table leg to poke through the bed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Going back to the table supports, (I am all over the place-relearning how to work a blog)note that you have to cut out half of the thickness of each board. Assemble the two in a temporary fashion and mark the positioning of two holes for the bolts that will combine the two into a cross with the help of the plastic mounting cup using two wing-nuts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Note that u must mount the post receiver (whatever you call it) to a sturdy piece of plywood, at least 3/8″ thick.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finally, since the ground is almost never flat, it helps to fasten pads under the ends of each of the four legs. Thanks for sticking with me. Enjoy the modifications. I think it would be a lot of fun to start with an empty shell and design and build the inside bit by bit, as the mood strikes you. It’s so hard to please us tinkerers. Happy camping in 2014, it should be a great summer. After all…after the winter we have endured, we deserve it.

Advertisements

April 6, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

T@B Modifications-Exterior

There is no real compelling need to make changes to the exterior of the T@B, but…you know how it is. Beth tells me that I can never be content with something someone else has designed. Oh well, I’m retired and I have to do something. With that out of the way, let’s see what would make the T@B a more sophisticated, a stronger, a more beautiful carriage. My number one beef was with the cute little cover that houses the battery and propane tank. No floor, easy access for loose fingers, but cute. It was relatively easy to buy an aluminum box and mount it on the tongue. However, if you also want to cover the front of the trailer with aluminum, do that first. I fastened the shield with strong stainless steel screws, and caulked the perimeter of the plate with caulking tape.

Mounting the box requires some fiddling with wires and propane connections. Just make certain that you shield all holes with rubber gaskets to avoid wear over time. We don’t want propane leaking out. Also, fix a wooden floor inside the aluminum box. One problem I encountered, which in actual fact is not a problem for me, is that the full size propane bottle does not fit into the aluminum boxes. The reason it is not a problem for me is that I tend to camp where there is AC. We cook with an induction cooker (no heat inside), and I heat the unit with a small space heater. For the times when I cannot do either of these, I have sufficient propane in my small tank, plus the throw away bottles for my camp stove. Problem solved.

I had a couple of ‘not so funny’ experiences with the front dolly crank, which prompted me to install an additional crank…just in case…It has saved me a lot of headaches a few times. When we have established our site for a night, or a few days, I tend to use the added crank for forward support, and lift up the jockey wheel until I need it to move or hook up the trailer. Works like a charm.

Like so many others, I have mounted my spare on the tongue. Can’t remember where I bought the tongue mount, but if you join the Yahoo club on the net, they have a link somewhere on their site.

One day I bumped up against the T@B’s door with an upward motion and the door went flying like a kite into the nearest tree. I was slightly bent but I restored it to its original with a little friendly persuasion. You don’t want that to happen so make sure it won’t happen with a little piece of aluminum and a rust-free screw.

Finally (probably not) this is our favourite way of setting up in the summer. It gives us protection from the elements and it is a great way to cook and do the dishes. To say nothing about just sitting around with a glass of something special.

Finally final…Watch your head on the open window. You can prevent injury with a little bit of rubber or plastic over the corner, or leave the window down.

November 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

T@B Modifications-Interior

The T@B is a ‘teardrop’ style of trailer which has been upgraded to allow a medium size person to stand upright in the forward portion of the unit. It has retained the aerodynamic shape of the original 4X8 teardrops of the 30’s and 40’s, an important factor with today’s budget conscious drivers. The weight of the trailer comes in around 1700 lbs, light enough to be pulled by a small SUV or a decent size car.

The basic T@B - set up and ready to go

Enough room for a 5'10" tall person

The T@B comes in a few different layouts to suit most people’s tastes and needs. However, it is small, and in trying to please most buyers, the designers had to take a rough average with the design and details. If you are like I am, you will always find a better or more convenient way to create extra storage space, to trim weight or to make more beautiful, something that was designed for ‘average’.  A good example is the very sturdy, practical and heavy table. It serves as a table and then folds in the knees as if hit in the groin by a fast-pitched baseball, to become the surface for the bed. It’s too heavy, too bulky and too complex.   Over the years our ‘Tardis’ has morphed into something that is now as close to perfection as I can imagine (without stretching it another 5 feet and trimming off another 500 lbs). In the attached gallery of photos I show some of the changes I have designed and built. Let me begin with the

challenge of additional space.  The heavy table is gone, and in its place I have a single leg table with 2 positions on the  floor. This gives more space, versatility and the table serves the purpose of the bed, which the original table did also.

Front Storage Unit Next I made the major decision to eliminate 2 sections of the skimpy little storage cabinets at the front of the trailer. Somewhat difficult to do, but it looks a lot better and I don’t hit my head any more. In addition I could now mount 4 little led lights from COSTCO that come in very handy especially when you are trying to save your battery power.  Very little storage space is lost with this adjustment. The tiny cabinets were of little practical use. I used the two doors to make a counter top ‘catch-all’ that now contains all of the junk I used to have in the tiny cabinets.

Porta-Potty

Tabbies have all of the basic necessities of a modern RV, but they do not have a dedicated space for a toilet. (there is a new model that does, but since the change in manufacturers I am not sure if they still produce it). In a T@B the PortaPotty reigns.

I have found a good way to keep it out of the way during travel and daily activities by switching its position from the front closet to the left side closet. I have done this by building a floor that holds the unit and slides in and out of the closet space.

The unit can be slid forward and back on its floor platform and its travel is restricted by side, front and rear stops.

In the travel position it slides back and is held in place by a bungee cord, at night the floor slides out and the unit forward on the board. The added advantage is that the unit is now 4 inches higher. Not a lot, but better

Pantry

My wife tell me that this is the most important modification I have made. To start with, the space right next to the door is narrow and high and is nothing but a catchall for all kinds of stuff.

Once it is in there, it is IN there.The unit I built sits on guides and the roller portion is attached to the cabinet and its

three shelves. The glides arenothing more complicated than drawer glides.

Make sure that you build a frame so you can mount the glides, and get glides that have maximum travel distance.

Side Table

A very handy addition for the cook, for that glass of wine while reading during a rainy day, or for the computer.  You want a good, sturdy surface which you have to hinge to the counter side. I used long screws and screwed them into a block of wood on the inside of the counter. A hinged triangle at the base holds the table in place when not in use.

Overhead Light

The three little lights in the T@B are cute, but a bit useless when it comes to illuminating the inside of the trailer. There are a number of powerful lights available at your hardware store or at the RV centre.

I mounted mine directly beside the exhaust fan, and actually took a 12V feed from the power source of the fan. I have been using it for a year now and it’s just wonderful to have light.

Cups and saucers rack

With this rack you no longer have to rifle through a mess of stuff to get at the plates or cups. This rack is prominent, but out of the way. It is designed to fit the space directly behind the stove on this particular model. If your stove is at the front I can’t help you, find another space for it. We keep it stacked with all of our dishes when we travel. The dowels prevent the dishes from flying about.

Just another table

I like a small trailer, but I also like space. Being medium size and having a wife of the same dimensions, medium space is sufficient and also desirable.  I have already rid myself of the overgrown and over technofiddleyjazzersized folding table, I now have a table that doubles as the bed spacer.  Next, I thought, why not go even smaller.  I purchased an additional rubber leg mounting and fastened it to the bottom of an oval table 2 feet in length and just a bit over a foot wide.  Wow…the space I have gained, it’s now a dance hall on wheels. Take a look.

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment