Improving Accessibility of Under-bed Storage in T@G

Adding a strut and hinges to the T@G under-bed storage opens this wonderful storage area to easy access, making it much more usable.

Our teardrop camper is a 2015 T@G XL from NuCamp. It fits perfectly in our garage and pulls like a dream with our Subaru Outback. The cabin fits a king size bed with small cabinets above the headboard and footboard.

There’s not a lot of space for things like hoses, tools, outdoor rugs, etc., so every square inch is important to recapture, and because it doesn’t require an investment in a tow vehicle or off-site storage, we’re gonna make it work. The magic lies under that bed.

The bed sits on a platform of two pieces of plywood split down the middle sitting atop 1×3 framing. The 3″ height of that framed area adds up to a lot of storage space which is only accessible by manually lifting the lid with the bed and linens on top. It’s difficult at best and discourages use of the storage area.

Solution: hinges and struts

Shopping List:

  • Hinges
  • Strut Mounting Brackets
  • Struts – If I had it to do again, I’d look for 80lb struts. The 100 lbs are a bit tough to push down to close. The 20″ length is important to stick to given the measurements I’ve provided.
  • Storage Bins

Tools Needed:

  • Power screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Another person to help hold the lid
  • A cocktail depending on who the other person is and how they behave when given instructions
  • Dremel tool to notch out the space for the strut — this is what I had. You may be able to do it with a wedge.

Step 1: Attach hinges to bottom frame

Tips to make it easier:

  • Take the lid off and move it out of the way.
  • Open the hinges – makes it easier to see the screw holes. If they’re already open, you’re in luck. They’re really tight!!
  • Install all of the hinges , aligning the top of the hinge with the top of the middle frame.
Hinges installed on bottom half

Step 2: Install the strut mounting bracket

Don’t overthink the struts. They work even though they defy logic.

  • Install the mounting bracket (the one that is a flat triangle) to the bottom frame first. About 3.25″ from the middle (left edge in picture) and flush with the top edge.
  • Install the other one to the lid. It’s best to do this outside on the ground with the lid upside down. Come down about 7.25″ from the top edge and 29.25″ from the right edge and align the top of the cleat to the 7.25″ mark. TIP: Don’t screw in fully as they pierce thru to the outside of the lid.
Underside of lid from passenger side of camper
The top of the bracket should align with the 7.25″ mark with the ball face toward the middle of the lid.

Step 3: Attach hinges to the lid

This step requires a helper to hold the lid steady. The hinges are like miniature little crocodiles and the lid tries to jump out of the way when the screw approaches.

You may need your cocktail in this step. Tools are much easier to direct than people.

  • Set the edge of the lid down the middle of the frame on the opposite side of the hinge.
  • Close the hinge so it snaps to the lid.
  • Have your person put pressure on the bottom of the lid so it doesn’t move as you screw the hinge in.
  • Screw in all four screws.
  • Try closing the lid to be sure you’ve got it seated correctly.
  • Repeat for the rest of the hinges.

Step 4: Attach the strut

You’ve now got all the hinges and the strut mounting bracket installed. All that’s left is to put in the strut.

  • The connection of the strut to the cleat requires the use of a flat top screwdriver to wedge the brace open. It’s a little tricky unless you have three hands.

Step 5: Notch frame to give Strut space to close

If you try to close the lid the strut will bump into the frame. You can see the little notch I carved out to allow it to close. I used a Dremel tool.

Happy Camping!

How to Process an Advance to a Contractor

Let’s say you have a contractor who regularly provides services to your company and she has requested an advance of $200 on her future services. Two weeks later she submits a request to be paid for $400 for services performed.

This post details how to process this scenario in Quickbooks Online . It will meet the following requirements:

  • The advance is reflected as an asset — like accounts receivable — in the company’s books.
  • The advance, once paid back in services, is counted towards reportable income to the contractor on their year-end 1099.
  • The amount of the outstanding advance is visible to the company so when processing the re-payment they know how much is outstanding.

Set Up

  • Holding Account: If you don’t already have one, create an Other Current Asset account named “Contractor Advances.” This account will hold the advance amount. When it’s paid back, this account balance should be 0 for that contractor.
  • Custom Report: Create a Custom Report to display the balances by Vendor. Note: Your contractor is considered a Vendor in QB parlance.
  • This gives you a way to see what balance is left when it comes time to pay the contractor for their services performed.
Click to view sample

Pay Advance to Contractor

  1. Write a check to the Contractor.
  2. In the Category drop-down select the Contractor Advances account.
  3. In the amount enter the advance amount. In our scenario we’d enter $200.
click to view sample


  • A $200 check is written to the contractor.
  • The Contractor Advances Account has a $200 balance and displays on your Balance Sheet as an asset.

Contractor Provides Services Toward Advance

Two weeks later the contractor advises they’ve provided $400 in services.

Let’s assume you’ve forgotten how much you advanced them. To remind yourself, run the Advances to Contractors Report. It will show a $200 balance.

  1. Write a check to the Contractor.
  2. On the first line item, in the Category drop-down, select the account you use to report monies paid to contractors.
  3. In the Amount field enter 400.
  4. On the second line item, in the Category drop-down, select the Contractor Advances Account.
  5. In the Amount field enter -200.00. The net check is now $200.
click to view sample


  • A $200 check is written to the contractor.
  • $400 has been added to the contractor’s 1099 tracking account.
  • The Contractor Advances Account balance is 0.

Stay current with RSS

For a definition of RSS

RSS is a great way to have web content centralized so that when you have catch-up time you don’t have to visit numerous websites. There are many feed readers available and I have chosen to use the extension available for my browser.

To find an RSS feed reader that works for you, Google “RSS feed reader.”

I use the Chrome browser and the RSS Feed Reader plug in.

How to Follow an RSS Feed

Time needed: 5 minutes.

The steps below provide instruction on how to find and follow RSS feed(s) using a Chrome browser and the RSS Feed Reader plug in. This instructions assumes you have already installed both .

  1. Find the content to which you want to subscribe

    If, while visiting a website, you decide you’d like to stay up-to-date with new content, copy the URL. Or, if you don’t know an exact URL

  2. Click the RSS icon found in your Chrome browser

    This opens the RSS Feed Reader window.

  3. Click the + sign in the right corner of the RSS Feed Reader window.

    This step opens the Feed Reader website.

  4. Enter website URL or a search word/term to which you want to subscribe

    In the Search field enter either the URL of a website, or a specific RSS url, or you can enter a search term, or browse curated categories.

  5. Click the Follow button

    Click the Follow button for one or more sites you’d like to follow. The site will take a moment to gather what it needs and, if successful, the button will change to “Following.”

Understanding Invoices

QuickBooks™ Online Invoices update your Income accounts by virtue of the configuration of the Products/Services you select.   To change which Income account is updated you have to go to the Product configuration.  Within the configuration you can select whether to apply the change to historical Invoices as well

Another important concept to understand is that Invoices update Accounts Receivable when created.  Your checking/cash account is updated only when you “Receive Payment” against the Invoice.

Invoice and product explained

How to Review & Edit Transactions Are Posted to the Correct Accounts

Quickbooks Logo
Online Version

Scenario: You want to review all accounts to confirm the transactions are posted to the correct account.

  1. Click Reports.
  2. In the For my Accountant section select Transaction Detail by Account.  The report is generated displaying all transactions by Account.
  3. At the top of the report, confirm the Report Period is correct.  If it isn’t, fix it, then click the Run Report button again.
  4. If you need to move a transaction from one account to another, click the transaction date.  The transaction detail screen opens.
  5. In the Account column, select the correct account.
  6. Click the Save button.  The report is refreshed and re-displayed with the transaction grouped under the new account you selected.

How to Create a Deposit

Scenario: You have a stack of checks to deposit. These instructions assume the following:

  • no Sales Receipts exist, and
  • no unpaid Invoices exist.
Online Version
  1. Click the + in the upper-right corner.
  2. Click Bank Deposit.
  3. Click the Add funds to this deposit heading to expand a grid beneath it for each amount to be included in the deposit.
  4. Select the appropriate value in each column.
  5. Repeat step 4 for each item you have to deposit.
  6. When done, click the Save and Close button.
Bank Deposit

Be sure to select the correct Account so the income is posted properly!

Dynamics – How to Log In

Dynamics is a web-based application, so you log into it from a web browser like Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.  You do not need to install anything.

To Log Into Dynamics

  1. Open your browser.
  2. In the address bar, enter the URL of your Dynamics site.
  3. Enter your user name and password.

Bookmark the location and save it for quick access next time!

Controlling Dynamics Offspring

Dynamics_200If you have a requirement to limit the number of child records possible in a 1:N relationship, the Dynamics Rollup field is a handy way to achieve the restriction.

This solution has three parts:

  1. Two entities with 1:N relationship to each other.
  2. Rollup whole number field on parent entity configured to use the COUNT function which counts the child records.
  3. On create workflow on child entity with a condition to evaluate the value of the rollup field and stop record creation if it exceeds the allowed record count.


To Implement

(1) Create the rollup field on the parent entity.

Data Type = whole number

Field Type = rollup












Click the Edit button to configure the rollup.

You can also add a filter to limit the function to only count child records which meet a specific criteria; like, have a certain eye color.

(2) Create a workflow on the child entity. Configure it to run “on create” and as the very first step evaluate the value of the rollup field.  If it exceeds the number of records allowed, “Stop” the workflow as CANCELLED and configure an error message to display to the user.

note TIP: Add a step to call a forced calculation of the rollup at the end of the workflow.  This ensures it has the correct value at all times.  A plug-in to force a calculation can be found in Dynamics 365 Workflow Tools.