When imgur user Jamesssf got out of the army, he was looking for adventure. So he scraped up $60,000 and invested in a nice truck (2007 F350) and RV trailer (2009 Keystone Cougar). Being the inventive type, the trailer was never going to work in its factory condition, and he made a few DIY changes we think you’ll appreciate.
James wanted a motorcycle mount, but built this storage rack instead to save on weight.
He wanted space to haul a motorcycle and the first thought he had was to use the trailer’s tagalong hitch to mount the bike rack. The weight limit for the hitch turned out a little shy of what he needed though.
So he took some bed railing, welded up a frame that mounted to the hitch sleeve, added a sheet of plywood and came up with this great outdoor gear box mount. The box is a locking patio box, bolted on for security.
I store firewood and a BBQ grill and other “shed” items in there.
When your birthday is July 4th (and you’re a military veteran), a flag mount is a necessity!
A few self tapping screws later and James also had a place to hang his flag to celebrate his birthday, which also happens to be July 4th. He suggested sealing your flag pole bracket with silicone. This is just a standard flag pole bracket you can buy for under $10.
Beer bottle opener mounted conveniently next to the camper’s main door.
Next up, a bit of convenience for entertaining. Rather than hustle up into the keystone’s kitchen when he, or a guest, need to open a cold one, James mounted a beer bottle opener beside his front door. Works for me. Same screws and silicone as before.
Mounting tape and a removable screen offer dog access and a breeze.
Inside the door a removable screen curtain has been mounted, presumably with double sided mounting tape, which he uses a lot. This allows him to enjoy the brief Washington summers while his dog gets easy access and the bugs stay out.
Out with the old, in with the new, updating the furniture goes a long way.
Next up was an issue of style and comfort. The dated captain’s chairs had to go. In their place, a black leather swivel arm chair and a handy “mudroom in a shelf” for boot and shoe storage. Amazing how much homier it looks.
After the chair changeout and storage rack addition.
Utility items such as key ring hooks, fire extinguisher and a handy electrical power strip all got the mounting tape treatment. The special tape makes it possible to mount small items to nearly any surface.
This little nook was pretty easy to achieve. Just toss out the old hide-a-bed and install a sleek black leather futon. Gives it a much stronger “bachelor pad” vibe, is rugged enough to survive the dog, and it’s bolted down for safety.
He removed this furniture to make room for better-looking and more useful workspace.
Bonsai garden with “grow” lamp.
He found an adjacent dinette rickety and inconvenient, so a small office, complete with a Zen bonsai garden takes its place. Plenty of table space, an additional seat for guests and a relaxing hobby area, all in one!
Entertainment upgrade included an electric fireplace.
The factory electronics had to go, both picture and sound were poor. Check out the section below the cabinets. That’s an electric fireplace for a cozy feeling on those cool evenings.
Added convenience with drawers for under bed storage.
The bed had under mattress lift up storage that James found too inconvenient. It was a lot like those coffin racks they have on navy ships.
So he relocated the hydraulic arms, and installed drawers in the front panel. No more backache or head banging!
A lot of small fixes that overall showed he wasn’t afraid to make his RV his home. A lot can be done for a little! To see more of James’ DIY RV mods, visit his imgur album.