Many modern RV’s come with a central vacuum system and our 2017 Entegra Aspire is no exception. One of the most popular vacuum units found in RV’s and boats is the Dirt Devil CV950 and it’s more recent version, the CV1500. This vacuum unit is compact and powerful. In the case of our Entegra, the power unit is mounted in the cargo bay so it makes very little noise inside the coach.
As with all central vac systems, it requires a separate hose, wand and attachments which tend to be difficult to store and add a degree of hassle every time you want to use the vacuum. Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do was open a door, pull out the hose and turn on a switch?
Well, enter the Dirt Devil Vroom! This is an assembly that provides a suction powered retractable vacuum hose. The hose is basically the same as the original hose, but to use it you simply pull it out of the wall fixture. To retract it you just hold your hand over the nozzle and it sucks itself back inside the wall. Very cool!
Check out this video of the Vroom in operation, the basic capability is shown in the first 1:38. The rest of the video describes some of the installation details:
The remainder of this post describes how I modified my factory installed CV1500 plumbing to integrate the Vroom system. My coach is a 2017 Entegra Aspire 44B, but this mod should work on most any 44B regardless of model year and may work on other floorplans as well. Read on for details.
Note: even if you are not interested in the Vroom, you may very well be interested in the massive amount of potential storage available inside one of the interior walls!
Installation – Overview:
The photo below shows the basic components of the Vroom.
The hard part was finding a suitable installation location that can handle all that hose and is near the existing vac outlet. The 2″ tubing (the carrier hose labeled ‘Flexible Tubing’ in the photo above) is flexible but has limitations to its bend radius. My observation is the bend radius can be as small as 6″ – that is you can make a U shaped loop as little as 12″ wide. However, the larger the bend the better to ensure smooth operation, in the case of this project there is a U shaped loop 16″ wide.
On my 44B I decided to use the space inside the wall between the mid-bath and the bedroom. This wall is about 5-1/2″ thick on the inside and is almost completely empty except for a couple of vent pipes, plus it includes the factory installed vac outlet and the hose that runs to the CV1500. As an additional bonus, we made use of the deep wall cavity for extra storage and are currently using it as a pantry, mostly for canned goods.
Below are closeup photos of the nozzle assembly. Note the On/Off switch, the green locking lever and the nozzle cap.
Below are the Entegra engineering diagrams of the wall structure. Note the wall is partitioned into three sections by two ‘studs’ (actually 1/2″ plywood panels). The inner section closest to the center of the coach will contain the Vroom nozzle and will also be available for storage or some other purpose. The center section will contain the majority of the Vroom hose assembly. More about this later.
The only downside to this location is the carrier hose will be in a mostly vertical orientation, a horizontal route would be preferred to make for smoother extension and retraction of the suction hose. Nevertheless, we’ve been using it for about two years and it works just fine.
There are two major parts to the installation, making cutouts in the Cabinetry and the installation of the Vroom System itself. We’ll start with the cabinetry since the door cutouts are needed to be able to install the Vroom System hoses. It is suggested to read thru the entire post before cutting anything.
See the photos below, some kind of door will need to be fitted to the wall section where 10″ of it juts out beyond the bathroom wall. There are many ways to go with this depending on material availability and personal preference. In the photo below left, the lower part of the cabinet from the original vac outlet up to the bottom of the first shelf is reserved for the Vroom nozzle and storage for the vac tools. All the space above that is bonus storage. Each shelf in the photo is about 16″ wide and 5.5″ deep.
I chose to use two 7″ x 26″ doors as shown in the photos above. The doors are the same part used for the pullout tray in front of the sink on my coach as shown below.
If you can find or build one, a single door might be even better. I also considered making a pullout that would extend from the end of the wall, this might provide a little better access to stored items but would be a more complex installation.
The advantage to using a door panel that is already in use on the coach, is that it has a part number and can be ordered from Entegra. For my coach the particular style and finish is Jayco Part # 0241335 FRONT DRAWER NATURAL CHERRY 7X26. Note that Entegra woodwork is not a stocked item and will be manufactured to order, so it will take up to a few weeks to get it. My cost was $48 per solid cherry door prefinished to match our Natural Cherry woodwork with the edge treatment and style that matches all the other drawers and doors. I also ordered cup hinges (Jayco Part # 0226939 $0.95 each) and matching pulls (Jayco Part # 0253468 $1.46).
Note: If you decide to use the hidden cup hinges for the doors I recommend a jig like this to drill the cup holes. Caution: Depending on the door edge profile, with the small backset required by the Entegra hinges, the standard hole depth of the jig may be too deep and the bit might come thru where the door thins toward the edge. This was a concern with my doors so I added some washers under the Fostner bit stop ring to reduce the depth by about 1/16″.
I cut the door openings in the wall 3/4″ smaller than the overall size of the doors using a jig saw, that provides 3/8″ overlap on all sides of the door. The wall material is 1/2″ plywood with a thin finish panel overlay. After smoothing the cut edges I finished them with iron on real cherry wood edge banding and stained them to match.
The inside of the wall section had to be cleaned of protruding screws and numerous staples that missed their mark, I cut them with clippers then used a handheld grinder to smooth them flush. I then lined the back of the compartment with what I call headliner, but is sold at Home Depot as indoor/outdoor carpet. It is inexpensive, very thin and flexible and lends itself well to this purpose. It was applied using spray on contact cement.
Next, it will be necessary to gain access to the center section of the wall (see diagram) to manipulate and secure the Vroom hoses. This can be done from the bedroom side or the mid-bath side. My mid-bath had a mirror mounted on this wall making it an easy choice. I removed the mirror and reinstalled it with a piano hinge so it swings open like a door. Behind the mirror, I drilled a 4″ hole in the wall so I could get a look to see what was in there and check for clearances, then marked the cutout and cut the opening with a jigsaw.
This middle wall section contains two 1.5″ vent stack pipes for the black and grey tanks, but there is still plenty of room for the Vroom hose. The photo below is looking downward from the new opening. Note the factory vac hose at the bottom.
One decision you will need to make at this point is if you want to retain the function of the original vac inlet or not. The plumbing will be much simpler if you don’t and no additional PVC fittings beyond what comes with the kit should be required. The original vac inlet will become a dummy, but the vac pan (sweep fixture) will still work.
If you do want to retain the function of the original inlet like I did, a few extra parts will be needed:
- 1x – Sweep T
- 1x – 90 degree short elbow
- 2x – Spigot fitting
- 1x – Inlet reducer (Note: this part was a slightly loose fit on the factory installed vac inlet, I used a layer of thin tape to make up the difference, YMMV)
Below is a closeup photo of the plumbing assembly I used to retain the function of the original vac inlet. The factory vac hose will go to the bottom fitting (note: the vac hose simple ‘screws’ into the fittings provided in the Vroom kit using a left hand thread). The small piece with the blue glue is the original factory fitting and could not be reused because it was glued together. I did not glue my assembly in case it needed modification, but simply taped the joints with Tyvek tape (I had that on hand) and that works great, the tape or glue probably isn’t even really needed.
Below is a video of the complete Vroom layout including the extra parts used to retain use of the original factory inlet.
As mentioned previously there are three sections to the wall (see diagram). The Vroom hose will start in the inner section of the wall where the existing vac outlet is located, then proceed to the far side of the middle section, curl up to the ceiling then loop part way back down against the other partition. The graphic below shows the basic layout.
- The blue line is the factory installed 1-1/2″ vac line that goes from the vac inlet to the cargo bay and CV1500.
- The red line is the 2″ carrier hose.
- The green line is the 1-1/2″ interconnection hose which goes to fittings that tie it into the original vac line. A generous 9′ length of this hose comes in the Vroom kit, this hose will be cut to fit. I needed about 5′.
- The actual vacuum hose is contained within the carrier hose (red line) and is not shown.
Below is a augmented reality view of the hose routing as viewed from inside the bathroom. The color coding is the same as the above diagram. The thin black lines are the approximate location of the partitions or ‘studs’ inside the wall.
Inner Wall Section:
Two new holes will need to be drilled in the partition between the inner wall section and the middle section to accept the two new hoses, this is easily accomplished once the cutouts have been made for the doors. Drill a 2″ hole for the 1.5″ OD vac hose (lower empty hole) and a 2.5″ hole (upper empty hole) or larger for the carrier hose. These holes should be aligned to match your plumbing and Vroom outlet so be sure to plan where the Vroom outlet will be mounted, then measure and test fit everything before drilling. The photo below shows the layout I used, the hose at the bottom is the original factory vac hose.
Below is a photo of the installed assembly.
The wiring is very simple, the original vac inlet will have two wires, if you are not retaining use of the original vac inlet, simply move the wires to the Vroom outlet. If you are retaining use of the original vac inlet, simply parallel those with the vroom switch.
Middle wall section:
I didn’t have any significant trouble snaking the hoses into the middle wall section and arranging them. The opening in the bathroom wall gave good access to manipulate them. I did try various configurations to find one that worked the best so you may want to experiment. The photo below shows the middle wall section looking up. I secured the carrier hose at the top and on each side using zip ties and screw on zip tie anchors like these. The hose should be securely fastened as it not only needs to support its own weight but the weight of the vac hose.
The photo below is looking down in the middle wall section. Arrange the hoses so the 2″ carrier hose (photo right) has minimal bends. The 1-1/2″ interconnection hose (photo left) is much less critical.
- Because of the vertical oriented loop, when you first begin pulling out the hose there is a little resistance, then as the end of the inner hose clears the loop it is all downhill from there and it tends to accelerate and come out on its own. This scares the crap out of our cat, who hates vac hoses to begin with – Sparky is incredibly friendly and the only thing he has ever hissed at is the vac hose.
- When retracting the hose it will slow down as it gets near the end and encounters the loop, but there should be no problem with it retracting fully.
- The green locking lever is intended to lock the hose in the fully extended position so it doesn’t try and retract itself while vacuuming. In practice we have never needed to use it but YMMV.
- The cap needs to be placed on the end of the hose after retracting. Otherwise there will be no suction if you try to use the floor pan or vac inlet in the cargo bay.
- The on/off switch works fine, but you may want to consider installing a remote control like we have. This makes it much more convenient to shut off the vac while vacuuming. A remote involves installing a module placed at the plug for the CV1500 in the cargo bay, here is one example, just ensure whatever product you chose is rated to handle 12 Amps or more. In the event that you do use a remote, the Vroom switch should be left in the ON position.
- The vac hose in the Vroom is about the same length as the original vac hose and there is no issue reaching all parts of the interior. However, the same horrendous screeching noise when it is fully extended is still present. Save the old hose and use it to extend the Vroom hose when cleaning the dashboard area to eliminate the squeal.