Thunder cat’s Upgrades and Mods

Mods and upgrades to Thunder Cat so far:

Upgraded to dual 60ah group 24 batteries in a parallel configuration (bought a 2nd Interstate HD24-DP battery identical to factory battery).  I know these are not particularly good batteries, but I did not want to throw away the brand new freebie battery that came with the camper, when these do die in a few years I will install two 6v golf cart batteries in series configuration:

Battery Monitor system (monitors incoming and outgoing current and voltage via a 300amp shunt at the battery, and estimates remaining battery capacity in percentage).  For this install I ran a length of CAT5 cable through a plumbing chase down to the underside of the trailer, then cable tied it along the frame up to the battery bank.  The meter panel is mounted to the access panel below our fridge, I used masking tape to protect the access panel and used a dremel to cut a perfect opening for it, it looks like it was put in by the factory.  When we install solar, I will mount solar monitor panel in the same location and use the same plumbing chase:

In-counter mounted soap dispensers in both bathroom and kitchen ($5 each on clearance at Home Depot).  We were tired of hand soap containers taking up valuable counter space and having to stow them securely every time we traveled.  These are fixed in place, and have a smaller footprint than counter top dispensers:

Low flow sink aerators, a fixed 0.5GPM in the bathroom, and a selectable 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5GPM aerator for the kitchen.

Marinco Park Power conversion kit, which replaces the typical “mouse hole” shore power inlet with a high quality marine grade locking removable plug.  As an extra bonus I ended up with about 2-3 feet of extra cable that was previously secured as “extra slack” in the electric service panel bay, I purchased a few feet of 8awg wire (I really only needed 10awg, but I figured I would go bigger to be safe) to run from the service panel to the Marinco plug socket at my local home depot, other than that wire, the kit included everything I needed.

12Volt receptacle in entertainment center so I can run the TV off a small 100w inverter, I will also use it for charging laptops and phones.  This receptacle is sharing power with the factory radio/dvd unit which is wired/fused for 15amp, but the TV (even with inverter losses) is only about 3 or 4 amp, so it should be pretty safe even with the radio going too.  I added an additional one next to the bed in the bedroom for charging phones at night, this one is run off the solar controllers load terminals and independently fused for 10amp (will probably be at most about a 2amp draw).

Camco screen door closer spring set for main entry door, don’t have to worry about closing the screen door, this will keep it closed for us, which is nice for keeping bugs out.

Camco door window cover for the window on bedroom entry door to block out the sun.


JackQuick 3000 power tongue jack, rated to 3250lbs (we are under 1000lbs).  Not the fastest jack, but it sure beats hand cranking this heavy trailer.  Easy install with basic hand tools (wrench or socket, size will vary based on bolts used on your trailer, and a wire stripper/crimper), it does NOT come with all the hardware you need to wire it, I bought a ring terminal for the battery lead, and a butt-splice for splicing on the included fuse leads (and a 4 pack of spare fuses, one spare WAS included), I used heat-shrink tubing over all the splices to protect them from the elements.

Sewer cap with 3/4 hose connection for draining gray water (to the ground where permitted, or to a nearby gray water drains).  Useful when boondocking (off grid camping) easy way to dump some gray water away from the camper, the gray water can also be useful to snuff out camp fires.  Gray water is not sewage, just used soapy water from sinks and shower,  so in many areas you are allowed to discharge it on the ground, but PLEASE check with local park rules before attempting it.

Solar power install.  I installed a 100 watt flexible panel onto the roof, ran the wiring down the fridge vent, then followed water lines under the kitchen cabinets to bathroom, then outside below the shower following the factory low point drains, then drilled some holes up into the front compartment and mounted the MPPT solar charge controller, and ran cables down through the holes I drilled, and up to the battery on the tongue, its about 25′ of cable from panel to controller, then about 3′ from controller to battery, all 10AWG cable.  I fused the solar panel at 30amp, and the controller battery feed to 30amp.

Supco SPP6 Hard Start Capacitor for the Dometic 13,500BTU air conditioner.  Before installing this hard start kit, the air conditioner would overload our Champion 3100 watt inverter generator, now with this capacitor installed it will run the air conditioner with ease.  Dometic cheaped out and did not install a start capacitor from the factory.

Champion 100204 Dual-fuel Gasoline/Propane 3100 watt inverter generator.  I am quite happy with this generator, it will run my air conditioner, and its very quiet at doing it, can hold a conversation right next to it without shouting.

CCTV Backup camera.  I used an old security camera, and ran cable through the enclosed underbelly of the RV.  Then I installed a power switch for the camera, and additional 12v outlet, tapping an unused fuse location in the fuse box.