Underbed Storage Shelf & Winterizing Kit

Underbed storage shelf for books. As you can see, I am NOT a carpenter!

This evening I got the book storage shelf  under the rear twin bed finished, except for sanding and protecting with a couple of coats of polyurethane.  The bottom of the shelf legs had to be cut out to accommodate all the water and electrical lines beneath it.  I will secure the sides to the fiberglass benches with a square of 3 M foam tape to keep them from sliding.  That will be easy to remove whenever I need access to the plumbing and electrical below.

I decided to leave the bottom open so warm air can circulate underneath in winter.   That should help keep the water lines from freezing when we are cold weather camping.  But I did add a strip of molding to protect them from getting bumped.

When we travel, I like to take my wild mushroom reference books.  I don’t need access to them unless I happen upon mushrooms I want to identify.  But I dearly love having them with me in case I need them.  We will continue to keep our clothes storage baskets in front of the shelf.  We will still have plenty of room for them because the shelf protrudes a couple of inches less than the old slanted raceway board did.

The reason I decided to put the shelf back there is that the tongue weight of our trailer is awfully high.  This will move a little more weight off the tongue, while still leaving plenty for towing stability.

Winterizing kit installed. I’ll just remove the little brass cap, and screw on a hose to the jug of antifreeze.

I had thought I needed to install a hot water bypass kit.  But I discovered that I already had one.  I just didn’t recognize it because the bypass lever is in the back of the valve so you have to locate it by feel.  (Thanks for telling me about that, Lynne!)

So all I had left to do was install the winterizing kit.  It was a very easy, intuitive installation.  So now, when it’s time to winterize, all I have to do is bypass the water heater, remove the brass cover in front of the winterizing kit valve,  screw on the hose to the jug of antifreeze,  turn the valve on the winterizing kit to bypass (the lever for it is also in the back), and turn the pump on.  It will pump antifreeze through the system directly from the jug.

Sure beats having to use 8-9 gallons of antifreeze to fill the water heater like I did last year…. only because I didn’t know I already had a  hot water bypass!


  1. Dedra

     /  November 2, 2012

    Thank you for sharing.
    I didn’t know that.


  2. Another job well done Sharon. You book case looks great. I could never build anything like that.


  3. No way can I do stuff like that … Wish I would care to learn ! Looks great!


  4. Maybe a carpenter could tell that you are not a carpenter, I can’t. I would not know how to cut the wood or operate the saw.
    What a great informative post. Bet you are glad to get it done!


    • I was thrilled to get it done. I procrastinated as long as I could. 🙂

      I realized it needs a little beefing up to take the slamming it will get when books jostle against it in transit, so that’s on my list for today.


  5. That’s one sweet looking bookcase…told Jerry he needs to think about deleting our slanted boards! And made sure he read about your winterizing!! Just checked out Gayle’s van redo..I missed that somehow…amazing! Happy Sunday!


    • Gail’s van redo just blows me away. I’ll see it again in person at Mom’s house over the holidays!

      The slanted boards are fine most of the time. I just needed to use that space for something else!


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