The Hump. That is the non-technical term for the engine cover or console. If you are still not sure what this part is, it is the item that sits between the two captain chairs in the cab. Many RV owners forget or ignore this item when they redo the rest of their RV and that is a shame.
The engine cover or console can look fairly unattractive when it comes from the factory. Not a lot of thought is given to this piece of vital equipment. Its duties are simple, cover the engine and hold the cups. But with a makeover, you can enhance the look of your RV significantly.
To learn about the ways to remake the engine console, just continue to read our article. It provides the information you want to know about for when it is time to give your RV cab an upgrade and updated look. It is a forgotten RV item.
While many people do not give this vital RV part a second thought, it does play an important role when you are driving. Where else would you place your cups of tea, juice, napkins, pens, eyeglasses, and so on?
For the most part, these engine consoles are very basic in design, unattractive, as well as large. In many cases, they are made from plastic and given a cloth cover because that is the lightest option RV makers have.
Even when dressed up, these engine consoles or engine covers, still are made of plastic and still look tacky for the most part. While they look good with the original flooring in the rest of your RV, once you upgrade that flooring, do not overlook the console.
To keep your RV looking great, you should include it in any renovation or remodeling plans. While it only covers the engine, it still is a big help to drivers and passengers. It provides extra needed storage space as well as makes driving a bit more relaxing.
Also, when you upgrade it, make sure the upgrade includes sound-absorbing material as no one wants to listen to the engine as they relax in the back of the passenger seat of the RV.
One way to get ideas is to take a picture of your current engine cover and then compare it with what you can find in the search engine’s images or on Amazon and other websites.
This will help you determine what you need, how large the replacement should be, and what design will work best for you. With that said, there are myriads of designs you can build to make your RV cab look better than ever.
One couple designed a two-step look for their engine console. The first step could act as a little spare seat while the second step helps all the important items. That first step also acted as an entry and exit point for the driver and passenger.
It upgraded the look of their RV and tied the cab into the rest of the vehicle. Instead of using plastic, the couple went to wood exterior and plastic edge covers to make their design neat and tidy.
On top of the second step, they placed an oak cup and other item holder and coupled that with a plastic base that was dark and hidden from view. Another couple went a little more elaborate with their redesign.
They kept a low profile look while going with a fiberglass base. The base covered about 2 feet by 1 foot in size and they insulated it with stick on sound absorbing material.
Then to keep access to the transmission or engine, they placed an aluminum diamond plate access door in the middle of the base. On top of that, they placed a particle board console that held 4 cups and had little storage areas for small items.
Once they were done it looked great and it made sure both the driver and passenger did not trip when moving from the cab to the rear of the RV. Other owners were not so elaborate in their work or design.
Some just recovered the hump with carpet and then placed a cup holder over it. They used either real or faux wood cup holders to finish their work. Still another design, another RV owner went simple for their console.
The image does not show the base too well but they may have turned the hump into a flat floor and then installed a folding table or shelf console. The woodwork looks nice but the shelf does not seem to be that practical.
Finally, one RV owner lowered the hump and put a big enough storage box on top of it, and turned it into their Yorkie’s bed. You have many options and you are limited by your own creative talents as well as space.
The building process depends on the materials you are using as well as the design of the console. For the dog bed, all you need to do is use some carpet to metal adhesive and professionally lay the carpet over the entire floor of the cab including the hump.
Then attach the wood or plastic storage box to the hump with some screws and you are done. This is a very simple construction project. The two step design is more involved and you will need the following tools and materials:
1 x 2 Pieces of Wood
1/4 Hardwood Plywood
Outside Corner Moulding
Compound Miter Saw/Circular Saw
Airstrike Nail Gun
Step 1- Remove both captain chairs so you have room to work and then remove the old carpeting and console
Step 2- Pull the fiberglass cover remove the old insulation and re-insulate it
Step 3- Using your skil saw cut the new flooring pieces to size. Then use your drill to attach those flooring pieces to your RV’s floor.
Step 4- Cut the frame pieces to size and then build your frame attaching it securely to the new flooring material.
Make sure to buy some plywood board, which every type you prefer, and cut it to size to fit the frame.
Step 5- cover the plywood with laminate floor boards to give it that nice wood look
Step 6- clean up the mess and reinstall your captain chairs.
Keep in mind that due to space constraints, these are annotated instructions. The key is if you are handy with tools and know how to build other items, you can build a new console that looks good and is very practical.
These instructions are just to get you on the right track and give you a starting point.
As you know, your budget is going to have a major role in your design ideas. It would be nice to be able to build a nice console out of expensive cherry or other hardwoods but that is not budget-friendly.
One way to get good ideas for your console remodel is to search the internet and see what other people have done. There are threads on the different RV discussion forums where RV owners ‘brag’ about their project and what they did.
These threads are usually accompanied by photos of each step, usually, so you can see how they did it. Or you can go to Amazon and see what designs are on sale at that marketplace. Who knows, you may skip the hard work and expense and just buy one of those and install it.
But, it is better to just find the designs you like and then look for any plans that may be available. Of course, you can go to your local library and take out any handyman books that address building your own engine console.
They are full of good ideas and they usually include the plans to follow. That may be the easiest. Or you can just design your own after taking accurate measurements of the space you have to use.
Keep in mind that whatever design you go with, not everyone will like it. Just build the one that you like so you get what you want.
Engine cover insulation has a dual task. It protects the cab from the heat the engine produces and it helps absorb the engine noise. This product is usually made with self-adhesive properties so you do not have to worry about the insulation falling off any time soon.
The original engine cover in your RV is called the doghouse, for reasons that escape everyone. You will see that term when you are looking for RV engine cover insulation.
The good news is that you can buy this insulation in rolls of varying lengths and depending on the brand and size you need, the cost is reasonable. The majority of the options we saw were under $50 at Amazon.
You will not need that much insulation to do the job or heat and noise proofing your RV. When you have cut it to size, you just pull the protective layer off the insulation and then stick it to the underneath side of the cover.
Getting the console and the cover off is only a matter of removing a few screws. It takes no time or real effort and once the insulation is in place, you simply reverse your steps and re-install the cover.
When you buy this insulation, you should buy a little extra just in case you make a mistake. Then buy the thickest option available. In this case, less is not more.
Do not forget to use some sealant or a gasket around the edges when you re-install the cover. You want to seal all cracks and screws to keep any exhaust from finding its way inside.
In some of the images we saw, the owners did not show the latch, if they had one at all. This may be a part that would depend on the design of the engine cover.
Some models look like one piece that is screwed in place and then has an access door. The access door may have a latch and some hinges but again that would depend on the design of the cover.
If yours is broken or damaged, then all you need to do is pull it off and take it with you to the hardware store or to an RV parts outlet. Match it up with one they carry and then reinstall it.
When you go to build your new console, consider putting in an access door. That would come in handy as a big, heavy console may be difficult to move when you need to work on that part of the engine.
This is an accessory that has become a necessity. Many years ago no vehicle of any size had a cup holder and the original ones made could not even hold a cup steady. They were also placed in glove boxes so your knees could bang on the glove box door and spill your drink.
But these are modern times and cup holders have progressed to being very artistic, creative, and innovative. What that means is that you have more options to find a good design than you would with the engine consoles.
You can have adjustable sized holders, ones that hold your cell phone and a cup or you can get those cup holders that come with lots of storage space. How you want yours to look depends on your needs, space, and preferences.
The good news is that you will find these cup holders just about anywhere including Walmart, Home Plus, or even your neighborhood hardware store. Not to mention the internet.
When it comes to blocking the heat from the engine, you again have a lot of choices available. There are many different brands that make this product and it will just take time to filter through them to find one that you like, will do the job you want, and cost you what you will pay.
Heatshield Products is just one company that makes these heat mats for Class C RVs. The trick is to make sure you find a heat mat and not a heating mat. If you find the latter, then you have defeated your cause.
A heating mat is good for winter when it is cold outside and does not block heat but produces it. A Heat mat does the opposite and many people may sell you engine cover insulation as a heat mat and that product may work. But it has to be installed correctly to be effective.
Most of these items should be made from fiberglass. The reason for this construction material is that it is light, and does the job very well. It should be insulated to protect you from the heat and the noise.
To replace these covers, you may have to go through your local dealer to make sure you get it model-specific. After-market options may be off slightly but that is not always the case. Yet, it would take some time to find one compatible with your RV.
The next best place to find this item would be those RV parts and accessory outlets. Not many marketplaces carry these covers and it is best to stick with RV-related stores to find one.
Check the junk and salvage yards to see if there is a good used one in stock if you cannot find one elsewhere.
The older RVs, pre-2000, may not have insulation in this spot. To check to see if yours is missing insulation, you will have to remove the carpet, the console, and the cover.
Once the cover is off, turn it over to see. If it does have insulation, check to see if it is worn out and in need of replacing. If it does, then buy some new insulation and replace the old with the new.
If it doesn’t have any insulation, then buy some of the best you can find, and make sure it is thick, and cut to size. Once it is cut to fit, just peel the backing off and stick it on. Then all you need to do is put the cover back in place and you are done.
While the engine cover and console are often overlooked when RV owners remodel their RVs, they are two items that are easily replaced or redesigned. You will have more options than you know what to do with.
When you do it yourself, you can decide on the best design that will fit your driving and relaxing needs. The sky is the limit but this remodel is also restricted by space. Do accurate measurements so you do not have to redo any work.