Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby bigbadbarty » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:35 am

PCO6 - I get it, all that work and effort to craft something awesome and she prefers the off the shelf trailer. ;) Brutal, but I get it.
Yeah, the audio is terrible. I'll have to do my research and find the best speakers for the application. The mounting depth is very shallow so the upgrade may not have a tremendous amount of impact. The big impact is having audio outside. I had a 1976 Jaco Jay Cardinal that I did audio in. I had a pair of speakers inside, similar to the Clipper but I added a pair of Kenwood 6x9 in carpeted boxes that I stored in the cargo area. I had them on 20 feet of speaker wire so I could either open the cargo area and point them out or pull them way out and aim them. The best part was with them playing while locked up in the storage area they added a ton of bass to the interior. 8) I'd have to fade them to the interior speakers only at night to be sure not disturb other sites.
Back to the Clipper. I added magnetic door hold opens. One for the storage pass through and one on the entry door. What a difference.
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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby PCO6 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:53 am

Great idea on the magnets. I was looking at some 2 piece clips but those are a lot cleaner looking and would probably hold up better. Do you have a link for the ones that you used?

They look to be about the same size as the rubber stops that are used to retain the interior rail that holds up the rear of the tent. The rail sailed right past mine and dropped on to the top of the thermostat. I had to replace the thermostat. I replaced the stops with larger rubber ones and there's no way the rail can get by them now. Here's what I used … https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/ ... -p8510331e

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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby bigbadbarty » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:35 am

I'm not sure why Coachmen used those little stops with a downward angle on them? They're just asking for what happened to you. A flat top like you used makes more sense.

I was looking for magnetic hold opens when I found these. I originally only saw white but kept searching and ran across the black ones. Glad I did, they look like they came on the trailer. I especially like the one on the cargo area. It keeps the latches from hitting the window when opened. I ended up buying them from amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N6 ... UTF8&psc=1

Price is pretty steep I know. I thought about buying some magnets, platicoating them and using some 3M body molding tape to stick them on. Then I figured by the time I bought them and bought the can of plasticoat I'd probably be at the same cost. It's crazy what RV parts cost. Like the 5lb propane tank vs. a 20lb. Why would a tank 1/4 the size cost twice as much? :thinking:

I was looking at the Torklift battery box for the tongue. My plan is to use it for one battery and put wheel chocks and stuff in the other half. They are just crazy expensive. Guess I'll keep looking.
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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby PCO6 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:05 am

Thanks for the link for the magnets. You're right, they look correct for the trailer. I like that they have adhesive backs and don't require drilling. I'm not opposed to that but the less holes the better … especially when you're not sure of where the wiring harness is!

Up here a 5 lb. propane tank costs $3 more than a 20 lb. tank. It seems crazy but I'm sure it has to do with the numbers that are made and sold. I'm probably way off but I wouldn't be surprised if there are 500 large tanks for every one small tank.

I used a Larin storage box for mine … https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/lari ... 2087p.html . They're not cheap either but they go on sale for 25% off fairly often. This is the second one I bought at $150 CDN. That would be about $110 US. Both have sat and been driven in the rain and I haven't had any leaks. They're a good quality box but lock isn't the greatest. I'll be replacing it with a security type lock (round key).
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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby bigbadbarty » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:01 am

After spending 5 days camping at the beach over the 4th of July holiday, I realized the trailer needed a couple of upgrades. Yesterday I swapped out the speakers. Because of the shallow depth of the wall, I had to use spacers. They are in at an angle because the factory speakers are mounted at a 45 degree angle or so. They did that so 2 of the screws would hit the 1x wood in the wall and not just attach to the fiberboard. That little swap made a huge difference. :thumbsup: Whizzer cones just don't compare to a coaxial.
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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby bigbadbarty » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:20 am

I also added a 12 volt charging station to the passenger side of the headboard. The factory location of the USB ports couldn't be worse. If you lift the bed for storage you hit the usb cables in the charger, plus at night your sheets or feet end up hitting the cables. It was only a matter of time before either the port or a cable end was going to break. Beside that, who wants to charge their phone at the foot of their bed? So, I added a charging station that has a dual USB/volt meter at the bottom, a 12 volt CLA port (I put a dual usb plug in it) in the middle and an on/off switch up top. I also added a couple of mesh pockets above the windows. The cable run was a little wonky because I wanted to drill as few holes as possible. I'm waiting on zip tie anchors to finished holding the wiring in place, you can see the run in the speaker pictures. The entire run goes through nylon finger cuff loom. I ran from the headboard down the the bed platform, into the under bed storage, then into the passenger side cabinet where I tapped into the existing 12 volt power behind the factory 12 volt power station. Now we have charging for 4 USB devices instead of 2 and a built in volt meter.
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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby PCO6 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:08 am

Nice job on the speakers and I like how you did the charging station and mesh pockets. I couldn't agree with you more regarding the original location of the charging station. It makes no sense. I was thinking of adding one in the vicinity of the radio and another one on the outside likely in the utility box. I have 2,000W inverter for it and that has the necessary ports. At the head board makes good sense though.

Another thing that doesn't make sense is that the switch for the lights over the bed are on the passenger side of the trailer. It should be in the middle. One more thing that I plan to change.
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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby PCO6 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:25 am

We were away last week too. It was the first time both of us slept in it and we found it to be very comfortable. Each day was hot and sunny but it absolutely poured on 2 of the nights. No leaks so we were happy about that!

I finished making a kayak rack before we left. The front looks like and acts as a regular roof rack. I will take the trailer on "non-kayak" trips and I doubt I will ever need it for storage. It supports the bows of the kayaks and holds a water proof bag. We keep our kayak seats, PFD's and assorted kayak things in there. it's mounted permanently to the trailer. The factory rack on the V-PKG model appears to sit on top of the trailer and it is presumably fastened through the top. I doubt it's a leak risk but I decided to attach my rack to the side walls. I think it's stronger this way too.

The back is a basic 2 piece t-bar. The vertical piece goes in to a 2" hitch receiver I made and the horizontal piece fits it to it at the top. Both pieces and the hitch insert come off in about 2 minutes. The whole thing is rock solid. I secure the kayaks with ratchet straps. I can't see the kayaks in the rear view mirror and I hardly know they are there where travelling.

BTW ... we stored 2 adult size bikes inside on top of the bed and it worked great. We simply walked them in through the back door and put them on top of a moving blanket.

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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby bigbadbarty » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:42 pm

Do you have pictures how you welded the hitch? I’m thinking about adding a 1.25x1.25 hitch and lowering the step just enough to clear it. Curious how you attached yours to the flimsy frame. :)
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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby PCO6 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:13 am

Apart from wanting to add a hitch for the rear T-bar for my kayak rack, my goal was to stiffen up the rear of my frame. I plan to stiffen the entire frame but this is where I started. It's mainly 3 pieces that are bolted together and then bolted to the frame.

I started by welding a 1/8" plate that I cut to a 2" receiver tube that is 18" long. I also cut, bent and welded what looks like a "chain" strap out of 1" x 0.25" steel and welded it to the receiver tube. The other 2 pieces are angle iron and square tube.

Pic 1 shows the 3 components which are ...
- a 2.5" x 2.5" x 1/4" length of angle iron that bolts to the back side of the Clipper frame (back bumper)
- the 2" receiver tube referred to above
- a 1.5" x 1.5" x 1/8" square tube that bolts to the C-channel that is next closest to the rear bumper.
I'll be adding angle brackets to attach the cross bars to the side rails of the frame. This will further stiffen things up.

Pics 2 & 3 show everything bolted in place. The 2 side by side bolts on the bottom of the receiver tube are anti-rattle bolts for the kayak rack T-bar. Note also that I've started to hide all of the wiring in corrugated loom. As you know, the wiring is a bit of a mess on these things … and many other trailers when they come from the factory.

Pic 4 shows the rear "bumper". The angle iron is attached with 1/2" eye bolts. I've since added a bolt in the centre. I use the eye bolts to latch down the kayaks. The "chain" strap is simply to bolt the rear of the receiver tube to the angle iron. There's obviously no need for safety chains on the rear of a trailer. It does provide another latch point though.

You'll be happy to know that I can still bolt the original rear step assembly to the rear bumper without modifying it. I took it off though to save a bit of weight. We just use a small folding plastic step that I picked up at Walmart.

I hope this helps!

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Re: Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD V-PKG

Postby bigbadbarty » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:56 pm

Thanks for the pics. That may be a springtime project for me. My next projects are a mount for my new 5lb propane tank and wiring up a solar charge controller.
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