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Old 09-30-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
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Default Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

At this years Westyfest II everyone was anxious to expand Westy's "garage space" by removing the plywood panels around the Black Waste Tank. I think Win had come up with this even prior to Westyfest I. I removed my plywood during Westyfest II and found a couple of inches each in front of, on top of, on the bottom of, under, to the rear of and to the right side of the black waste tank. Actually the space behind the tank is very useful. A few of us stood around and wondered if there was storage to be had behind those rear interior door panels. There is! And I quickly filled it up. Prior to this mod I was almost out of room in the rear for anything. Now I've added a few things and have almost my entire "trunk or garage" area open for whatever needs there are (like cases of wine purchased) All this space didn't come only from the opened door panels. I added some things seldom used inside my hard spare tire carrier, added some things inside the door of the hot water heater compartment, and stored a lot more things in front of the hot water heater door and the wardrobe door. Even one door shelf is also completely empty now. Maybe this will inspire you to organize and create more space to bring home more booty from your travels.

Wished I had taken some before pix or even better yet the pix of all my "luggage" piled in the yard while I completed this project.


Here's the wide shot of everything stored. Notice the open areas! They used to be filled with less stuff.
Westy13.JPG



This is a shot of the driver's side door panel removed. It's a little less space than the other door due to the license plate recess but useful nonetheless!
Westy10.JPG



In this shot you'll see a couple shelves of drinking water bottles. Used to carry a partial case of this in the rear storage area and it took up a lot of room. Hell, if you drink the sanitized water from your main tank you have even more space to use. Margaret and the dogs both insist on bottled water. I'm ok with the tank water myself. That's my big camping mat in that door cavity. That folded used to take up a good bit of my "tunnel" storage.
Westy7.JPG



A close up of that space shown above. I really like the area above where the camping mat is shown. Now all my little parts are in zip locks and easy to get to in one place.
Westy5.JPG



For me, this shot is the pièce de résistance! I like Win's idea of carrying around spare diesel just in case. It's not at all like carrying gasoline around with it's high volatility and high vapor pressure. When I get on the interstates I like to minimize stops when I have a lot of miles to cover in a short period of time. With diesel not being available every station I find myself stopping sooner than I might otherwise to keep from running out of fuel. A spare two gallons will give me the piece of mind I need to pass up a diesel station when down to a quarter tank. If I ever really get that low I'll add the two gallons before running it dry. It's a pain to get a diesel to suck fresh fuel after running it dry! Here's where I got my narrow profile, very heavy duty plastic diesel fuel container: http://www.thereadystore.com/2-gallo...esel-container Also note the empty door shelf up top. More detail about the storage around the diesel tank in next post...
Westy8.JPG
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:44 AM   #2
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Default Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #2 of 3

The comments labeled on the pic say it all. Forgot to take a before pic when panel first removed. Also not I've added a padded 2x4 under the diesel tank to provide a flat surface to preclude from damaging the tank on a sharp metal edge.
Westy6.JPG



Ditto here also. Love this Cabela picnic table and benches. Thanks Win for the idea! Win stores his in his "tunnel". Someone else at Westyfest II had one and stored it where I have mine. Here's the ordering details. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...set=ISO-8859-1 It's a great table and badly needed by us. NOTE: the hinge is totally unemcumbered by the "stuff".
Westy1.JPG



Here's the few things I store in the hot water cabinet; a tow cable leftover from my 4x4 Roadtrek days on the beach, an extra extension cord, and some misc. sewer connections I seldom need but have used them before.
Westy4.JPG



Before I closed up my spare tire carrier I stuck in yet another extension cord and a sewer hose extension that I've needed only twice in 2 years. But I needed it!
Westy2.JPG



The labels in the pix say it all! One more post following this to wrap this up mainly to show you how to remove the handle on the passenger side rear door which is necessary to remove the panel.
Westy3.JPG
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

Great write up
Richard
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:15 AM   #4
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Default Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #3 of 3

Taking off the Passenger side rear door panel. You have to remove the interior handle assembly to take the panel off. Then reinstall the handle. Even though we have no way to use this handle from the inside, it's part of the automatic door locking mechanism. I'd put it back. Once you get the door grab handle cover off (which is a little tricky), you'll expose 2 screw holes for a T-27 Torx bit screwdriver. Remove those and the handle comes off. To get the cover off... In this pic I had already removed the panel before I came back to document. So ignore that fact. In my hand I'm holding the cover close to the position where it came off. It takes two motions to "unlock" it. I also used a narrow putty knife to explore my options here. Although I forced the left and right attachment points (you can only see the left on in the pic) with the putty knife, it looks like it was made to slide to the right to release the tabbed attachment points from the only 2 rectangular holes pictured. Once it slides to the right about 1/2 inch, the tabs should pop out more easily than the way I did it. Once the top left and right tabs are out of the rectangular holes, then the whole cover comes off by pushing it vertically. It took some doing and with the help of the putty knife it came lose.
IMG_0715 (Medium).jpg



This is a view of the door pull with the cover removed. Note the two holes, left and right and under the rectangular openings. This is where you insert your T-27 torx bit screwdriver and remove the screws. That's it. BTW, regarding removing the door panels, if you haven't removed them before to install a rear spare time carrier, pop off each attachment point with a little help from a narrow putty knife.
IMG_0712 (Medium).jpg



This is a great spot to mount the awning tools (the crank and the center rafter). My Westy was delivered with the attachment clip for the center rafter but not for the crank attachment. I emailed Bob Synder fiamma1@fiamma.com. The crank handle clip set is part number 98655-095 and cost $4.20 (2 pcs) with $3 shipping (ask for postal shipping otherwise shipping is $10. Orders can be placed directly from Fiamma at 407-672-0091. I mounted both tools a far to the rear edge as possible to preclude interference with either the outside shower attachment or opening of the wardrobe from the rear.
Westy9.JPG



And lastely a pic of the assembled Cabela picnic table if you didn't see it by following my ordering link above. It sets up in about 45 seconds! Great design and pretty heavy duty.
Westy12.JPG
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

This is great! I've been toying with the exact same idea. How did you get the pins out of the perimeters of the panel?

I also have that table, but we got it from Coleman. Works great. However, we use a table/bench from Kelsyus, that folds up and fits in the tunnel, from the front (just barely). The pros are that it's actually a little bigger than the Coleman/ Cabela's table. The cons are that it has a mesh top, that although tight, is not as rigid as the metal top. I plan to make a plexiglass top to clip to it, to get the flatness back. Not a super high quality unit, but it has served us well this summer...

http://www.swimways.com/kelsyus/prod...-6D3EE0A0CDB7#

I like that fuel tank idea, especially since I was thinking about toting my little Yamaha generator, which is worlds quieter than the Onan...

Oh, and I finally got around to talking to the guys at Sterling, to weld me up a front hoop in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks Tim.

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Old 09-30-2009, 08:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

The panel retainers are a two part plug - just prise the centres out first then the panel will come away.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

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Originally Posted by mean_in_green View Post
The panel retainers are a two part plug - just prise the centres out first then the panel will come away.

I figured that, but on mine, the center pin is flush with the outer part. A few of them are even recessed. I was thinking about drilling them with a tiny hole, then screwing something small to extract the center pin...
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfrazie View Post
Here's where I got my narrow profile, very heavy duty plastic diesel fuel container: http://www.thereadystore.com/2-gallo...esel-container
Tim -

Muchos kudos for this thorough, clear, and concise description of how to gain a lot more storage in a Westy!

In particular, thanks for the link above re: the narrow diesel fuel container. Definitely on my wishlist!

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Old 09-30-2009, 02:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

Tim - Wow! Thanks for posting this! The efficient use of every cm of space is certainly in tune with the Westy feel. My friends like to call it the "swiss army knife" of campers and you just bumped it up a notch. Just added some things to my Christmas wish list!
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Expanding Westy's Rear Storage using Rear Door Panels - Post #1 of 3

This is awesome - we are rapidly filling up every nook and cranny so I can definitely see us doing this.

I don't see any mention of leveling blocks. Is that something you just don't bother to carry? Or has RV technology marched on so that there is now a better way to get level? I remember my dad driving up on a pile of boards and cussing up a storm when I was a kid. :)
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