Camper Modifications: Some little things

A quick update on some small modifications we’ve made with big impact 🙂

1. We went LED (yay!) with these purchased off Amazon. The light is whiter than the original bulbs and a little less bright, but still lights up the camper more than sufficiently. And while the light isn’t as warm, it isn’t the punch-in-your-face blueish that some LEDs can be, so we’re quite happy with the choice, never mind the 60,000 hours of bulb life, less heat emission from the bulbs, and the much lower energy draw. We have plans to outfit the truck in LED as well.

2. The back porch light had an orange lens that was pretty crappy at emitting light, so after a quick run to the local Camping World, we replaced the lens with a clear one for less than five bucks and it makes a huge difference on how much light that thing emits now.

3. The rumors are true. While the 4″ FWC mattresses are high density to maintain integrity, it is the rough equivalent of sleeping on concrete. Increasing mattress thickness unfortunately prevents the camper from closing all the way. But we already had a full-sized 3″ memory foam mattress topper – no problem says we! We can just throw the topper over the mattress for sleep and fold up the topper and store for travel! Unfortunately, this posed a few problems.

    1. It was a huge pain in the butt throwing a thick and heavy mattress topper around every time we assembled and disassembled the bed.
    2. The mattress topper did not appreciate being thrown around and was protesting by slow disintegration.

So we hit the internet and consulted the brilliant minds over at Wander The West to figure out our options:

    1. FWC came out with a new mattress density in late 2014/2015 that they reported would be more comfortable, and we could replace our old mattress with the new material for approximately $200 for both the main mattress and the four inserts. However, there hasn’t been a lot of word (good or bad) on the new mattress compared to the old, and we wouldn’t get the opportunity to try before we’d buy.
    2. Various mattress factories could do a custom order, where they would do a 2″ high density bottom layer and a 2″ softer layer on top. Estimates we received would total around $100-$150 to just do the main mattress.
    3. We could work with what we had.

We liked the price of option 3, and if we failed, we could switch gears to option 1 or 2. So we extracted the main mattress from the cover, stared at it intensely in hopes it would just magically split itself in two, and then whipped out a knife. A Benchmade mini griptilian, to be exact. And slowly, painstakingly, and with much swearing, we filetted the mattress into two pieces. About a 45 minute endeavor, but we actually did a pretty decent job of creating two 2″ mattresses. With a freaking pocket knife.

What a godawful process

Once that was done, we cut the mattress topper to match the size of the original mattress and shoved the two pieces into the cover. While 2″ original mattress and 3″ mattress topper does = 5″ and there’s really only room for 4″, the squish of the mattress topper does allow the camper to close completely.

We’ve slept on our mattress masterpiece two nights now, and while it’s not as comfortable as the 4″ mattress plus the 3″ topper, it is eons better than the mattress alone and it is fantastic not wrestling with the topper on a daily basis.

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