Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Living in the Roadtrek - Quieting the Ride Part I

From the test drive we knew that when the Roadtrek is driven there is going to be noise from the interior of the van while driving. It is important to understand that you are driving a house - and not just a van. A van does not normally have cabinets, a toilet, a TV, shelves, a refrigerator, etc. Your Roadtrek does. If you put your house on wheels there are going to be all types of noises that you are going to hear as you roll and bump down the road. This is no different. But with a little study of where the noises come from and a bit of modification, you can eliminate almost all of the noises that result in the rattle, bang, and knock that you might hear as you drive in your Roadtrek (or any Class B or RV).

At first I received a lot of suggestions reading the Class B and Roadtrek forums. I always look to what others have done to resolve a problem as there is no sense in re-inventing the wheel over and over again. Some of the tips that I am going to share I got from those forums and some we came upon on our own. How we approached and resolved quieting the inside of our Roadtrek may be different from how others have gone about doing this - but the bottom line is whatever works if fine.

The obvious way to start is to walk around the inside and find whatever moves. Check all of the simple things first. Do you have the counter top insert sitting in top of the sink. Take it out when you are traveling and put it in a cabinet under something that will hold it securely down. Check the glass lid on the stove. There should be rubber bumpers on the corners of the glass. Look in every cabinet at what you have on the shelf. Can these things move or rattle around? You can buy a bar made for RV refrigerator shelves to hold things in place. These work just as well in cabinets. Also, a tension curtain rod works just as well and costs less than half. If it can move it will make noise unless it is made of something soft and silent like fabric or foam.

Most cabinet doors have latches and do not move or vibrate while the Roadtrek is in motion, so they remain quiet, but there are some less obvious doors that do not have any latches. In our Roadtrek without the power bench/bed in the rear, our bed is made up on top of cabinets that run on each side of the third rear of the inside of the van. There are doors on those cabinets both on the top and the bottom. The tops do not have anything holding them down, except the weight of the cushions - and on a bumpy road, those cushions, even when made up into the king bed, are not heavy enough to keep those doors from bumping up even slightly. We bought a few packages of Velcro ties to secure things like these doors. Here is a photo of what we purchased. They should be cheaper than they are but they are well worth what you pay for them. They can be doubled together to make them. They are sold in two sizes. These are the longer ones which are 10 inches long and there are six in a package. We found them in Walmart in the electrical department.
The doors in the rear under the bed have a hole in them to grab to open them. We used these holes to secure the doors closed using these strips. Two strips joined together were needed for the length. This is a photo of one of those cabinets and it is next to the refrigerator. Inside this cabinet is water valves and the hot water heater. You are seeing the bed/seat cushion above. The white is the rear table in storage and the yellow below that is another quieting device - a foam pad. Go around the back and secure the doors like this. What you are securing is actually the door on the top and not the one you are seeing in the photo which closes with a latch. We used that door to hold the other door down with the Velcro strap. This is a photo of the cabinet opposite that shows the upper door attached. This is the cabinet that contains the electric inverter.

The foam that we put under the table is a piece of one inch thick foam that can be purchased in a fabric store for upholstery. We had a small quantity of foam bought years ago. At this point we have just about run out of it. When I went to a store to buy more, I was surprised to see how expensive it is. It does resolve a number of noise problems around the inside of the Roadtrek, so it is worth getting - and we used two different thicknesses. The table sits on top of the cabinet and under the cushion. There is a hole in the top of the cabinet for the round metal dish that attaches to the table's upright support pole. I put the foam on top of the table and drew the outline of the metal dish and cut that out, so that the table would still lie flat and not be pushed up by the foam.

There is a lot more to do and that will be covered in Part II - next week.

End of Part I.


  1. where can I find a hose for macerator on my 190 roadtrek

    1. Any Roadtrek dealer can order one for you. Some dealer's with accessories shops stock them. I have seen them at Fretz RV in Souderton, PA. If you have one of the older RTs the hose RT now uses is green and is stronger and more durable than the old hose. I have also heard that hoses for other macerator units will fit.