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Van Repairs and Upgrades

Getting ready for my first big trip in my new to me 1992 Roadtrek camper van. My 5th wheel has retired permanently to my leased lot.

The front shocks on the van were bad and had to be replaced. I used Monroe shocks rather than the Bilsteins the Facebook groups were recommending due to my camper van being a 3/4 ton rather than the 1 ton most of them have. Go with the Monroe RV ones if you have a 2500 3/4 ton. I also had them put on a Moog steering stabilizer which definitely helps it go straight and of course an alignment was done. In 1994 and higher models, a Big D steering stabilizer should be added to the steering for better support instead of the Moog.

Later I had the front brakes redone and both calipers replaced since one was sticking. The brake master cylinder reservoir was also leaking so replaced that.

Inside, I replaced the light fixture in the kitchen with an LED one that also provides a USB port. I also added 2 more USB ports and a 12V port above the rear passenger seat. It was not easy adding wires for the ports. I had to snake them through the ceiling and open one side wall to do it. The bulbs in the other light fixtures were also replaced with LEDs to save power for boondocking.

12V LED Light With USB   USB and 12V ports

While I was working on adding wires, I found wires had already been run between the roof vent and and the converter to add a powered vent fan. I got a Vortex II off Amazon and installed it. It just shoves up into the current vent after connecting the two wires and is held in place by 2 screws into the metal brace that is already there. It has 3 forward modes (blowing in) and 2 reverse modes (blowing out). Nothing fancy. No rain sensor or remote but it is so easy to reach that I don’t mind. I must say it helps tremendously with the heat buildup inside the van.

Vortex II Vent Fan

A message board was added to one cabinet door for messages when I have a passenger with me and for my own notes to myself.

I screwed a cup holder that would normally sit between car seats in the crevice to the doghouse over the van engine. I also have one with a trash bin and other slots that sits on the floor between seats.


Two bubble levels were added with one over the driver in the center of the cupboard there and one overhead to the side. They make parking level for the fridge to work properly very easy.

Speaking of the fridge, it’s a 3 way but was only working on gas. An RV tech cleaned the rear of it up and told me the control was bad and could not be gotten anymore. I jumped on Ebay and searched for it. It took me a few days but I found one brand new in the bag and ordered it. Be sure to get an American 120V one and not the Australian 240V one. The RV tech had no trouble putting it in and now I have all 3 modes to use and I do use them all! I use AC when provided in camp, DC when driving only (it drains the batteries), and gas when boodocking.

Because I still don’t trust the old fridge and I tend to over-shop on groceries, I knew I also wanted an AC/DC portable compressor fridge which also cools down much faster than an RV absorption fridge. The only place I can put it is where the rear passenger seat/bed is. I removed the seat and put it covered in my garage. Then I cut a sheet of plywood and added some thin would strip stops to it to cover the remaining pedestal and not move around. Above it is the new 12V port I added to run the portable fridge.

Seat Pedestal Cover

The center rafter was missing for the awning and the plastic loop that opens the awning broke. I was able to get the parts from FiammaUSA in Florida. Silly me couldn’t find anywhere to store/mount the rafter other than on the short wall running under the bathroom so I installed the clips for it there. Later someone in one of the Roadtrek Facebook groups mentioned just tossing it in one of the long open cubbies up front that run just below the ceiling. Like duh! It fits easily there.

Due to the TV antenna being built into the ceiling, the Roadtrek has to be oriented right for best reception which you have no control over when in a campground. I added an external antenna that I can clamp onto the side of the van when needed and run the wire inside to the TV.

That’s it for now. Doing what I can to make it fit my camping style. As far as more repairs, even new RVs these days need them right out of the factory and certainly should be expected when purchasing used. Still, I paid very little for this Class B motorhome including the repairs compared to the cost of a new one from $70,000 to $170,000! Roadtreks are particularly popular as well as Chinooks no matter the age and folks drive them into the ground. Who wouldn’t at those new prices?!





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