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Old 07-03-2021, 09:36 PM   #1
kowbra
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2021 3790RD Mods - Big Thread

Hello all,


In other forums, some have created a long thread for their mods that they keep updating and adding to as they go. I have a lot of mods planned for my 2021 Montana 3790RD, so I am starting this thread. I expect it will take a few months to complete, but I will update as I go along.

In order to keep organized, I will start an Index here, and come back to edit it as I add to the thread.

Ok, here goes!


1. KITCHEN
a. Drawers beside stove - link
b. Bottle water dispenser pump and faucet - link
c. Knife rack - link

2. BATHROOM
a. Add second Linen/Towel storage cabinet - link

3. PANTRY
a. Major upgrade! New Storage Cabinet above pantry and trim around door - link
b. Metal shelf supports to prevent sag - link

4. SOLAR
a. Upgrade dual 30amp Charge controllers to dual Victron 50 amp - link

5. MACERATOR - link

6. ENTRY
a. Screen door bar - link

7. LIGHTING
a. Dining Lights w dimmer - link


...future...
. BEDROOM

. ENTERTAINMENT

. OUTDOOR KITCHEN


Brad
 
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Old 07-03-2021, 09:47 PM   #2
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1a. KITCHEN - Drawers beside stove

The lower cabinets left and right of the stove have a single drawer at the top with a cabinet below. The cabinet has no shelves and is only 12" deep!

So, this mod is about moving the false panels back 6" so that the cabinet depth is 18". Then, I added some wood framing to support 2 wire sliding drawer units in each cabinet. The wire drawer units came from Costco (I think about $30 each), and are 12" wide x 18" deep, with drawer slides on the bottom.


Some pictures to explain the project:
-moved wall back to 18" from front...
-you can see this now places the top of the wall behind the popup power outlets. If you drape the power cable over the front once, it stays there and the popups work as before...
-I stained some 1x3 boards and mounted on each side of the cabinet to support the upper wire drawers...
-I stained some 2x4's and screwed to the floor to support the lower drawers...
-I attached some 1x3 boards on top of the side mounted boards to support the upper drawers...
-finished project...


Hope you enjoy!
Brad
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:19 PM   #3
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2a BATHROOM - adding 2nd Linen Storage

PART ONE...

In our last rig, the linen storage cabinets were more plentiful than in our new Montana, and DW really wants more storage. Also, the top cabinet is very deep and she cannot reach the back corner even if trying to stand on a stool or the toilet.

So, this mod is about adding a 2nd Linen Storage cabinet, and I will have a later related mod about adding more storage above the pantry.

LUMBER
In order to make this mod happen, I had the dealer order some lengths of prestained lumber along with doors and hardware. For this mod, here is what I needed...
1. A cabinet door with hardware, the same as the existing upper cabinet door from factory
2. A 7' 1x3" square stained board
3. A 48" 1x3" rounded edge stained board
4. (I reused the existing rounded 1x1.5" trim board)

The 7' board is cut as follows:
-2@ 19.75" lengths
-3@ 11" lengths
-1@ 10.75" length


STEPS:
-remove the entire upper frame...
-cut a new opening in the bathroom, below the existing linen cabinet. I made it 12.5" wide to match the upper. I found where the framing was to support the shelf in the upper cabinet, and cut the opening down 20" from there...
-next, I drilled a 1/4" hole through the wall from the bathroom side so I could get my bearings on the inside of the pantry...
-imagine my surprise when I start cutting an opening, and find that there is an extra wall panel inside! It seems they framed the bathroom wall, but then added another panel inside the pantry! ...
-I tried jigsaw and multi saw, but a sharp knife actually worked the best to cut through the panels...
-I used a Kreg pocket jig to attach all of the pieces together. Sorry I don't have more photos; got busy getting it done and missed some in the middle...
-view from inside the pantry looking out...
-view of the new installed frame. You can see the new 1x3x48" on the right edge, and you can see where I re-used the 1x1.5" trim on the left edge...

NOTE: the pantry shelf is about 17.5" tall. But the door for the upper cabinet is made for a 20-21" tall cabinet. So you can see how I added a horizontal piece of 11" board and a vertical piece to cover that...


Ok, that's it for today and part 1. Next step will be to mount the new door and hardware. And final step will be to build a divider wall inside the pantry. (I have to decide how I'm doing that, as I could not get the dealer to order wall panels for me).

Hope you enjoy!

Brad
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Old 07-03-2021, 10:31 PM   #4
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4a. SOLAR - upgrade to Victron 50 amp controllers

I was having some issues with the Jaboni 30 amp controllers and breakers. I think controller #2 was faulty, and it kept tripping the breaker. I talked to Matt at Future Sales and he suggested I needed replacement parts. I asked about upgrading to 50 amp controllers, and he suggested that I go with dual Victron 50 amp controllers. He also offered to install all of this onto a sub panel with new breakers. We made a deal and within a week the parts arrived.

In order to properly mount the new sub panel, I needed to move the transfer switch inboard. I cut a 12x34" piece of 3/4" plywood and mounted that to the studs where the transfer switch had been mounted. The transfer switch is mounted inboard, and the new sub panel with dual Victron 50 amp MPPT solar controllers is mounted closer to the outside.

BTW, I had to empty the storage bay to remove the wall panel so that I could reach everything. Still took some gymanstics

Matt sent the instructions on how to connect everything up, and it was very straightforward. I currently have the rig parked at my house doing work on the unit, and I have a lot of trees, so I can't comment on the charging performance yet.

Hope you enjoy!

Brad
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Old 07-08-2021, 12:09 PM   #5
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2a BATHROOM - adding 2nd Linen Storage

PART TWO...

Just a couple photos to show the finished cabinet inside the bathroom. You'll also note a towel bar installed above the toilet; purchased from Costco.

Also a photo to show the divider inside the top shelf of the pantry. Needs to have furring strips installed and further secured.

Enjoy!
Brad
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Old 07-09-2021, 03:53 AM   #6
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Very nicely done!
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Old 07-13-2021, 09:59 PM   #7
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3a PANTRY - add storage above

I started making modifications to the storage in the bathroom (towel cabinet) which affected the top shelf of the pantry. But I wanted to go further and add a storage cabinet above the pantry.

This for 2 reasons;
-first, when measuring the top towel cabinet, it was clear that it did not use up all the space
-second, the pantry door with no trim and white paneling just seemed out of place; like it needed some dressing up.

So, I tackled this project yesterday and today. In end I was amazed at how it turned out. The results?
-I lost 7" width in the bathroom towel cabinet (but my wife complained she couldn't reach half of it anyway)
-I gained back that 7" in depth (actually a bit more)
-I also gained almost 4" in height (there was a surprise false ceiling)

Ok, but here is the big one - there was so much dead space due to false wall panels that when it was all cleared out, I ended up with a MONSTER storage cabinet over the pantry - it is over 29" wide, over 24" tall, and 16" deep! Amazing!

Like the other project, the start was rough; not knowing where anything is inside the walls means carefully drilling holes and cutting small exploratory panels. Then, there was definitely some chisel work near the end to get all to fit properly together.


LUMBER

In order to make this mod happen, I had the dealer order some lengths of prestained lumber along with doors and hardware. For this mod, here is what I needed...
1. A cabinet door with hardware, the same as the cabinet doors under the couches on 3790/3791
2. An 8' 1x3" square stained board (left edge of pantry)

3. An 8' 1x3" rounded edge stained board (right edge of pantry)
4. 2 x 8' 1x3" square edge stained boards (cut to lengths to build trim around upper door; also needed to rip one 20" for the top trim above the door)

END RESULT:
-bathroom towel cabinet dimensions: 14" wide x 29" deep x 24" tall
-new pantry storage cabinet dimensions: 16" wide x 29" deep x 24" tall


Definitely worth it!!!

Hope you enjoy the results,
Brad


---

PICTURES descriptions:
01. Marking out the size of the cabinet door (this was ordered from dealer and is the same as the doors in the storage beneath the couches on the 3790/3791)
02 and 03. Pulling apart the wall from the towel cabinet in the bathroom.
04. Amazed to find that the false wall is ~9" in from the pantry wall! ...and some bonus sawdust and a couple of cutouts laying inside the walls...
05, 06, 07. Looking into the rough opening once all of the false wall and ceiling panels removed. That is a large space!
08, 09. I made up a panel with the "leftovers". Woodgrain on the pantry side and white on the bathroom side.
10. Used a Kreg pocket jig to create the new frame to insert into the pantry side opening
11, 12, 13. Some finished photos
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:59 PM   #8
Marc Daigle
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Mod Thread

Great Job.
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Old 07-17-2021, 07:52 AM   #9
kowbra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Daigle View Post
Great Job.

Thank you Marc!

I reached out to Sam at Montana to show him the finished product and he likes the idea; they are evaluating whether this is feasible to put into production. Of course, whether that does happen or not will depend a lot on the costs vs benefits, manufacturing processes, etc, etc. But of course another part is whether they feel there is demand for this solution.


So... for any reviewing the kitchen pantry mods here (and bathroom storage mod as part of this) - if you are interested in this going into production you could reply here to indicate that. I know Sam monitors this forum and uses a lot of the feedback here in their decisions.

I'm enjoying the building process on my end and will keep posting updates either way.

...more to come!

Brad
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Old 07-17-2021, 08:30 AM   #10
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5. Macerator

Hi all,

On our last unit we had a built in macerator and I wanted that feature again.
So I purchased a Clean Dump permanent macerator kit and also a hatch.

-Clean Dump permanent kit - link
-Hatch - link (if link doesn't work, it is a marine hatch 17"x12.5". Note, this hatch was too tall and the frame had to be notched back; ideally a hatch that is 10" tall would be better)
-Butyl RV sealant tape - link

I wanted this to truly be permanently installed, which involved finding a cabinet for the hose to be stored in while attached. I decided that there was empty space next to the water bay, below the floor; inside where the tin flashing is installed.

The install was more complicated than I thought, especially trying to guage where the floor was when I was drilling the opening for the hatch. In hindsight, I would have drilled near the bottom and worked my way up.


Hope you enjoy!

Brad


PHOTOS descriptions:
01, 02. Cut the sewer pipe and add a valve. (this should be done from factory IMHO)
03. Cut opening in tin below floor next to water bay. Note my first set of holes was too high and was hitting the floor so had to drill lower down.
04. Marine hatch installed
05. The installed hatch while open, with Clean Dump 20' hose coiled inside. (note if you look carefully at the top inside of the hatch you can see black duct tape where I had to cover some of my 'extra' exploratory holes that were too high up and hitting the floor)
06, 07. Photos showing the pump mounted to the drop frame and connected to the sewer.

08, 09. I installed the new switch onto a metal plate below the factory blow out lines so that it would be less likely to be bumped 'on'. I ran the power wires to the fuse box and installed on the end block, #18. I also installed the included 20 amp fuse.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:52 AM   #11
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6a. Entry - Screen door bar

Ok a quick one for today...
On our last couple of rigs we really appreciated having a screen door bar, such as the Camco one - link

We love the new self closing screen door feature on Montana's so I almost didn't install the screen door bar this time. But I leaned on the screen door with my elbow to carry food outside, and put my elbow right into the bug screen, and popped it off! (easy fix, this time)
So, the handle had to go back on!

Quick and easy, here's a photo.

Enjoy,
Brad
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:11 PM   #12
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3b. PANTRY - metal shelf supports

Hi all,
Another quickie...

On our last rig, I had installed some metal supports under the shelves. This worked very well to reduce the amount of sag.

I had some metal supports leftover, so installed them on the upper 2 shelves today. I could not install on the bottom shelf, as the water heater is under that shelf and I couldn't get the screws in.

Photos attached...

Enjoy!

Brad
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Old 07-19-2021, 11:25 AM   #13
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1b. KITCHEN - Bottle water dispenser pump and faucet

While looking at new RV's, we saw SOBs that come with an electric pump to pull from bottle water jugs, and my wife says "I need that". So, I installed one under the sink.

This is the pump kit I bought, but there are lots like this... link
And, I bought this faucet - link

PHOTOS:
01. I installed a new box behind the garbage can drawer. I tapped into the power outlet on the outside of the island.
02. I mounted a piece of 3/4" plywood behind the center panel under the sink, then mounted the pump to it.
03, 04. Photos of the pump and jug under the sink.
05,06. View of the new tap... looks like a little brother


Enjoy!

Brad
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Old 07-21-2021, 06:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kowbra View Post
Hi all,
Another quickie...

On our last rig, I had installed some metal supports under the shelves. This worked very well to reduce the amount of sag.

I had some metal supports leftover, so installed them on the upper 2 shelves today. I could not install on the bottom shelf, as the water heater is under that shelf and I couldn't get the screws in.

Photos attached...

Enjoy!

Brad
I bought 1/4" plywood and cut it to fit the in the shelves themselves and since my wife was covering with anti-skid material. Problem solved as well.
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Old 07-21-2021, 07:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Golfmedik View Post
I bought 1/4" plywood and cut it to fit the in the shelves themselves and since my wife was covering with anti-skid material. Problem solved as well.

Good idea! Much stronger than factory.
I just think the 1/8" material will start to sag after awhile.

Brad
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:40 AM   #16
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I put in the same type bottled water pump and plumbed to the ice maker for the fridge. I use a 3 gallon square bottle and refill with gallon jugs since it is in the cabinet between the fridge and stove. The DW uses a lot of ice.
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Old 07-24-2021, 07:05 AM   #17
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7a. Dining Lights w dimmer

Hi all,

I wanted to add lights to the dining that would match the ones over the island. I don't mind those LED "puck" lights when they are under the cabinets, but to me they detract from the luxury look in the dining area. Also, we wanted a dimmer for a little more intimate feel when dining after dark.

I tried to find 12v fixtures, but for any who have looked, 12v fixtures are very limited. So, I decided to see if 110v fixtures could work. Yes, they can, but the key is to get a 12v LED light with an Edison screw mount. I had looked a couple years ago on another project and these did not seem to exist, but now I found these...
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


With the above bulbs, any 110v fixture would work. While not a perfect match, I found these on Amazon...
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And, lastly, the Facon dimmers will work with this setup...
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
...I installed the dimmer switch in between the lights. Perhaps there is room on towards the outer edge, but it seemed like a lot of extra fussing.

Some photos of the finished install...

Enjoy!

Brad
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Old 07-26-2021, 08:22 PM   #18
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1c. KITCHEN - Knife rack

Hi all,

So another quickie... a magnetic knife rack. I know this is not so unusual, so I'm only sharing this because the one that my wife found seems to have metal bars that are the same size as the cabinet handles. So, it seems to work really well!

Link to Amazon knife rack...


Enjoy!

Brad

...link to INDEX of all mods...

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2021 Montana 3790RD, Legacy, Super Solar Flex
2020 RAM 3500 Limited, HO
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