Well-known member
It's been long road, but here is the follow up to In the Belly of the Beast Part 1.

What started out as taking care of some rust, turned out to be much more involved. Then throw in a few Mods and it turns into a project.

Things done:

1. Sand, treat and cover frame with POR 15.
2. Add supports to reduce sag.
3. Clean up wires and general mess to under belly.
4. Add temp sensors to belly and basement.
5. Fill holes around frame that let cold air and water in.
6. Make the basement wall more insulated.
7. Add SeeLevel II tank guages.
8. Add Charge Wizard to make use of chargers features.
9. Fabricate seals around slide pistons to prevent water getting to under belly.
10. Add Golden rod to provide some heat to the underbelly.
11. Insulate water hoses.
12. Insulate heater hose in basement. Seal up basement and drop frame areas.
13. Fill various holes in basement.

Here is the progress so far.



AFTER: Notice those nice shiny rails.






Notice the new support bar added.

Here you can see I added 2 temp sensors. The one on the right goes to the basement. The second goes to the main underbelly with freeze alarm. I added a Golden Rod between the Galley and fresh water tank. I hope it's enough to keep it above freezing. The third gizmo is a add on to the charger, it's called a charge wizard. With this thing I can make the charge go from Normal to boost or storage with an off gas cycle.


Between the main frame and the drop frame is an area with a BIG open space. Since the underbelly is not heated the heater draws from this area as well as the main living area. To slow that and have the heater draw more from the main area, I sealed the area the best I could. It's not air tight but it's better. I also bunched the wires on the curb side and stuff insulation around it. It's about 95% blocked off.





The basement is also not heated and only thing between the heater/living area is some press board and carpet.

I added some foam board with reflective surface. I then sealed the top gaps. I will also cover the vent in the basement for winter use. Hopefully this will eliminate some heat lose. The insulation was a whopping $7 for a 4x8 sheet and one sheet was more then enough.



Here is where the plug for the golden rod enters the basement.


That's the update so far. More to follow.


Well-known member
Just an added mod.

The drivers side slide mechanism drags on the rear heater vent hose. It was actually tearing the hose.

I taped the hose and then added a piece of galvanized aluminum tube to prevent it from tearing any further into the hose.



Well-known member
Just another example of excessive waste. This is a 4 ft section of vent hose I cut out. It runs from the heater to the vent just below the stairs. Which is all of 3 feet away.


Lots of waste at heartland. You could improve the bottom line by a LOT if you would eliminate the tons of excess waste. I have to say I have SO much excess line for the tank sensors I had to bunch it up in several places. What does it cost a foot? heater hose per foot? I have at least 10 feet in excess hydraulic hose.


X-Rookies Still Luving it
Creeper you are awesome. I wish I understood half of what you said and showed. It sounds to me you could make a fine living traveling the country and modifying Heartlands so they are the best they can be. Too bad you are in Georgia, or I would be at your front door. Long way from SoCal. Very impressed.

JimBo, you ought to send to the factory head honchos Creepers great mods. Could probably save alot of people their hard earned money, and improve the performance of our rigs.


Well-known member
Quite A Job!

Creeper: I wish I was that handy in tackling a job like that. I'm sure you can really enjoy your coach now knowing that everything is up to par. And since your coach is a 09 model, I'm really surprised about the rust on the frame, plus the access material. Just wondering; approximately how many man-hours did it take to do all of this? I'm with Larry. To bad you're so far away. Good Job! Enjoy your coach.


Well-known member
JimBo, you ought to send to the factory head honchos Creepers great mods. Could probably save alot of people their hard earned money, and improve the performance of our rigs.

Trust me Larry, Creeper's work has been sent to the factory :)

He does good work. Maybe a good thing for him none of you live close. He'd be living on a creeper all the time, slid under someone's trailer :)



Well-known member
After this job is done, I don't want to do another. :) :)

As far as rust goes I don't see how anyone can avoid it. Based on design it's just a matter of time. Open holes for water to get in and no where to go, then add that the material bolted tight against the frame is a recipe for rust. I plugged a bunch of holes and sealed the bottom off the bottom(does that make sense?), where the top of the frame meets the bottom.

Man hours is tough to figure. I have a bad back and bad knees, so I work slowly and only a couple hours at a time. After that I'm done. I've done over a number of days. I need to be buttoned up by Dec. 19th. Started putting the bottom on last night.

Wife is still waiting for that Heartland Apparel for my frame warranty donation to Heartland. :) :) She really likes hats..