A Post About A Post That Isn’t

The bumper on most RVs already has storage for sewer hoses, but it doesn’t store enough extra hose for some campsites. Moreso an issue for our 324CG which has a midship gray waste connection UNDER the main slide (grrrr) in addition to the typical gray/black clean-out location aft, so we need almost double the hose and extra hardware. Until now we’ve had to put these extra essentials in plastic bins taking up precious storage resources in the one-single-outside storage provision.

This isn’t an original idea transforming a 5″x5″x8′ PVC fence post from the hardware store into RV sewer-hose storage, but I wanted to show how I did it. Thanks to those trailblazers who’ve already done it, I’ve gotten some ideas and took the time to think about how I wanted to recreate it on our RV.

Unfortunately, the wife suffers from my analysis paralysis and it took me a while to determine what hardware to use, how I wanted to perform the installation, design it in CAD, and print the blueprints. I’m just kidding, I didn’t actually print out blueprints… I mean, who does that?! Ahem, moving on…

Once I settled on a plan I got to work… in 107-degree weather. Since I planned on painting it rattle-can black with a high-heat enamel I wanted to be sure to achieve good adhesion to this slick fence post. I began by lightly sanding the post and it’s end-caps I purchased from Home Depot. Then I rinsed it all down to remove the debris followed by a test swipe to make sure it was squeaky clean. It took about 5 minutes to dry in the blazing Central Valley, CA sunlight.

Just as the bumper’s stock end-caps have ventilation, I decided to create my own by drilling some holes in the end-caps for the post. I used the paint can lid centered on the end-cap to mark the areas to drill ventilation holes in both of them. After drilling, I used my machinist’s deburring tool to clean up the plastic slag. Later on, I may retrofit the fence end-caps to incorporate the original bumper’s end-caps.

Here’s the paint I used. I noticed that if you build up too many layers the top coat will just rub off on your hands or clothes. There’s no point in over doing this paint.

The stainless steel spring loaded clasps hardware I chose to hold the end-caps on is really nice and inexpensive. I chose aluminum rivets to attach all the hardware rather than risk splitting the PVC with threaded fasteners. Both won’t rust though and that’s a good thing!

I painted several light coats at a time letting it dry and then painting again until full coverage was achieved. Which didn’t take long since it was 107-degrees outside! I guess I’m a gluten for punishment. FEEL SORRY FOR ME, please? Haha j/k

In order to accommodate the rivets in the end-caps, I had to cut out half circles in the post ends. I simply used a paddle bit wide enough to accept the two rivets on the stationary clasp anchors.

For the spring loaded clasps, I drilled and then riveted them to the post. The spring loaded clasps have two holes for rivets, I secured the rear hole first so it’d clasp and “center” itself and I could then finish with the final rivet.

Now comes the challenging part, because, apparently I like to put my projects on “hard-mode.” Many of the installs I’ve seen mount the post to the RV externally with a few different methods. One way that seems odd to me is using plumber’s strapping tape, which is just bare metal and will eventually rust. Also, (no offense) it looks unappealing. So I decided to mount ours internally for that clean “next level elitist” look (LOL).

However, to be able to do so I needed to drill extra holes on the bottom of the post so I could fit drivers through to reach the fasteners, as well as (you guessed it) drill and tap the I-beam of the RV. But first, I noticed that the fasteners holding the laughable “Arctic Barrier” are hitting the top of the post and not allowing it to affix to the I-beam flush. With the post pressed against the frame, I wiggled it to make scratches in the paint so I could tell where to make relief cuts for the existing fasteners. I also scribed lines on the post so I’d know where the edge of the RV frame lines up in relation to the post.

With the necessary relief holes to allow the post to sit flush against the frame, I moved on to drill the holes I’ll need to allow me to put a screwdriver through the bottom of the post for the fasteners. I used the point of another paddle bit to mark where I needed to drill larger holes on the other side. You’ll also notice that I use an internal bracing “L-bracket” aluminum hardware to keep the post from flexing as well as spreading the load over a larger area.

Since I scribed lines on the post while it was pressed against the frame it was easy to center it again and determine where the holes in the frame should go. I reached through the new holes in the bottom of the post and used a center punch to mark where to drill on the frame. I then drilled and tapped the necessary holes while laying underneath the RV.

Here’s the hardware I chose to use, which are left-overs for mounting an RV vent cover to the roof (which was wrong for the initial application). I simply had to widen the holes so it’d accept the larger fasteners I’m using to attach to the frame.

Here you can see how I utilized the holes in the bottom of the post I made to secure it to the frame internally with the L-bracket hardware. The fasteners are coated with an anti-rust material and should last longer than the PVC post itself.

And of course… Loctite on the threads, which is a bit overkill since the frame is tapped, and adding nuts will help secure it in place alone. 20170728_160519

Overall it took about 4 sweaty miserable hours for this project. Here’s the finished product.20170730_14170820170730_14173820170730_141714_HDR20170730_133728_HDR20170730_13351320170730_133630

The end.

Check out our other upgrades! Have any questions about this project? Please chat below and I’ll try to respond in a reasonable time. Remember, we have full-time careers and this blog is just a hobby. ☺️

Best regards – RVTherapy

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