Making the small griddle more usable

The small propane griddle that came with the kitchen only had the heavy steel griddle cooking surface. It was great for making small meals but if you needed an additional cooking surface -it took a long time for all that heat to make it to the pan. I took a small cast iron grill and cut it down to fit inside the stove. Using some 4″ carriage bolts I was able to suspend the grill and perfectly match it with the height of the unit. This allows me to put a pan or coffee pot on and have another functional burner for cooking. I can still use the original griddle if I need to, and it stores on top just like it did before.

The perfect camping radio

Ok – the headline is a bit of a generalization, but I think this radaio works great for camping. Our Retro is equipped with the stereo and the outside speakers, but we really don’t use it. The factory speakers are awful sounding and by the time you turn it up the whole campground can hear it.
I searched for a small radio that gave me the following features:
– Good sound quality.
– Excellent FM reception.
-Long battery life on conventional batteries.
-The ability to take an auxiliary input.
– Not be a bazillion dollars.

I chose the Sangean PR-D19BK and bought it from Amazon.

So far the radio has met all my expectations and was a sound buy. Its loud enough and the sound quality is great for those nights by the campfire when you want a little music. I have also added a small Bluetooth adapter so that I can feed a signal direct from my phone to it, without having to use a cable.
The rechargeable AA batteries easily last a whole weekend, it only uses four so having spares is not a big deal.
The only gripe I have is that Sangean doesn’t give you an AC adapter with the radio, you need to buy that separate. So far in my usage it has only run on rechargeable batteries and I really don’t see the need for the adapter. I carry a small batter charger, should I run all my AAs down to nothing.

The most important part of the camping…the televisions.

Of course – its all about getting out to nature, but make sure you have televisions installed and working…
Our dealer speced out the trailer we bough with the factory installed flatscreen TV, located in the central cabin area.

My wife and I like watching movies at night – so we knew that a TV was needed in the bedroom located in the front of the trailer. One of the challenges with this was that the front area has privacy doors that appear to be designed to be open when watching TV. I felt that we needed the option to open those doors while the TV was in use and researched the best way to go about it.

We had a 32″ TV left over from an upgrade and I thought it was perfect for use in the camper. I took the factory TV down and swapped over the factory mount to the new TV. Given that it was a little larger I had to move the factory mound down a little to accommodate the new larger TV. The folks at the factory had cross threaded the fasteners into the back of the TV so I had to spend some time taking the back panel off and repairing the threaded inserts in the tv.

The factory mounts are more than adequate to hold the larger TV and the installation went through without anymore problems.

Using the factory TV in the bedroom required a vary shallow mount. Looking through all the choices on Amazon I found one that was under 2″ thick. I located the studs in the wall where the TV goes and drilled the holes to mount the new bracket. Everything went together without issue, always nervous drilling holes in things that are difficult to repair if you mess them up.

The new setup allows the doors to full close when not watching TV, but more importantly they can open to 90 percent when the TV is pulled out from the cabinet. This lets the kids come and go without have to open and close the privacy doors.

We also added and android TV box and splitter, so that the signal can be sent to both TVs. The factory TV was not a smart one, so if we wanted to watch Netflix or other services we needed a device to handle that. You can use an Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV stick or any of the other devices.. We chose the Xiaomi Mi Box S 4K HDR Android TV and added a 64 gb usb thumb drive so we could watch video files I had saved. Both TVs are also hooked up to the factory antenna system to pull in broadcast channels wherever we camp.

I joke about the TV being important when camping, but when its rainy or its night time its nice to have a little entertainment for the family.

Here are links to all the parts I used to put this setup together: