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Old 06-20-2019, 08:26 PM   #1
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Added two grab rails to step-well

I posted a couple of days ago asking how to get into the back of the step-well area so I could install a grab-bar. Dutchstar Don told me how and I've done it. And while I was at it, I added another one above the original on the other side.

This was on our 2008 Kountry Star Diesel Pusher. I saw one on a 2018 DS and wanted something similar. The Newmar service place in Paso Robles said they couldn't do it. So I did it myself.

This is how it was and the green line is where I wanted to add a handle.
Click image for larger version

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There are four screws holding the panel in -- all on the bottom. Three of them are where the black kick-plate is at the bottom. If you feel along the bottom, you'll feel them. Two are on the right side, one is on the left side, and the fourth is inside the center console. You have to pull out the bottom drawer to see and remove it. You can see the screw here almost all the way out.
Click image for larger version

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And here's what's behind the panel -- in case you wondered. Somebody asked me what supports the dashboard. There's 1/4" plywood under the horizontal plastic, blocked with 2x2 lumber.
Click image for larger version

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The panel rests on top of the black metal kick-panel on the floor. The screws go up through tabs into the bottom of the panel.
Click image for larger version

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Here's what the back of the panel looks like. The straight parts are framed with 3/4" x 3/4" lumber or plywood and faced with 1/8" plywood. The curve in the middle is plastic with 3/4" plywood curves top and bottom. The plywood curves are edged with matching curves cut from aluminum and stapled to the plywood frame.
Click image for larger version

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I filled in between the vertical stringers with 3/4" ACX plywood -- glued in with Gorilla Glue and held down by about 75 pounds of tools and stuff. As you can see, I did this project while on the road and in a RV Park. Our picnic table was my work bench.

I through-bolted the handle with stainless steel bolts and fastened with SS Nylock nuts and big SS fender washers.
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And here's the result.
Click image for larger version

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I also added a second vertical grab handle above the original Newmar one. It makes leaving the coach soooooo much safer and secure -- particularly for right-handed people (my wife for example -- I'm a leftie).
Click image for larger version

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I used 24" Delta brand bathroom "Assist Bars" because that's what I found. They're rated at 300 lbs. I ordered a bent curved handle similar to the Newmar original through Amazon, but didn't like it. So I got these at the local Ace Hardware store.

My only complaint is that they look like bathroom towel racks -- and don't match the original Newmar rail. But I wasn't ready to have custom ones made. These are cheap and work well and look OK to me.

And now that we have them, we LOVE them! How did we ever get by without them?
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:41 AM   #2
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Nice MOD Woody. Looks great. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:45 AM   #3
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Very nicely done. Makes you wonder why this isn’t a dealer option.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:47 AM   #4
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Looks great.....I use mine all the time because of my bad knees (soon to be rebuilt). Your coach is much different than the newer models. On yours, it looks like you have quite a bit of wood structure in the panel. The newer ones are all plastic.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyS View Post
I posted a couple of days ago asking how to get into the back of the step-well area so I could install a grab-bar. Dutchstar Don told me how and I've done it. And while I was at it, I added another one above the original on the other side.



This was on our 2008 Kountry Star Diesel Pusher. I saw one on a 2018 DS and wanted something similar. The Newmar service place in Paso Robles said they couldn't do it. So I did it myself.



This is how it was and the green line is where I wanted to add a handle.

Attachment 250572

There are four screws holding the panel in -- all on the bottom. Three of them are where the black kick-plate is at the bottom. If you feel along the bottom, you'll feel them. Two are on the right side, one is on the left side, and the fourth is inside the center console. You have to pull out the bottom drawer to see and remove it. You can see the screw here almost all the way out.

Attachment 250571

And here's what's behind the panel -- in case you wondered. Somebody asked me what supports the dashboard. There's 1/4" plywood under the horizontal plastic, blocked with 2x2 lumber.

Attachment 250565

The panel rests on top of the black metal kick-panel on the floor. The screws go up through tabs into the bottom of the panel.

Attachment 250569

Here's what the back of the panel looks like. The straight parts are framed with 3/4" x 3/4" lumber or plywood and faced with 1/8" plywood. The curve in the middle is plastic with 3/4" plywood curves top and bottom. The plywood curves are edged with matching curves cut from aluminum and stapled to the plywood frame.

Attachment 250566

I filled in between the vertical stringers with 3/4" ACX plywood -- glued in with Gorilla Glue and held down by about 75 pounds of tools and stuff. As you can see, I did this project while on the road and in a RV Park. Our picnic table was my work bench.



I through-bolted the handle with stainless steel bolts and fastened with SS Nylock nuts and big SS fender washers.

Attachment 250567

Attachment 250570

And here's the result.

Attachment 250573

I also added a second vertical grab handle above the original Newmar one. It makes leaving the coach soooooo much safer and secure -- particularly for right-handed people (my wife for example -- I'm a leftie).

Attachment 250568

I used 24" Delta brand bathroom "Assist Bars" because that's what I found. They're rated at 300 lbs. I ordered a bent curved handle similar to the Newmar original through Amazon, but didn't like it. So I got these at the local Ace Hardware store.



My only complaint is that they look like bathroom towel racks -- and don't match the original Newmar rail. But I wasn't ready to have custom ones made. These are cheap and work well and look OK to me.



And now that we have them, we LOVE them! How did we ever get by without them?
Very well done
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:43 AM   #6
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Thanks, something I have thought about.
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