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Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Doneworking on November 11, 2013, 11:12:43 am

Title: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Doneworking on November 11, 2013, 11:12:43 am
We bought a 2013 PC2350 from a guy less than three miles from our house two months ago.  Unfortunately, circumstances delayed our using the new unit until last week.  During the intervening time, I checked out all the systems thoroughly.   Just thought I might share with the forum a few observations.

Our previous RV was a 2007 Roadtrek 210P dollied out with all the options and goodies.   We loved and still do love our RT.   We just decided to try something a little bigger and see how we did with it, now that I am retired and have more time to spend traveling.  We have owned small Class Cs in the past, the most recent experience being a Gulfstream BT Cruiser until we bought our RT in 2006.

This trip was a total of a little less than six hundred miles from Oklahoma City over to Magazine Mountain State Park in Arkansas, the highest point in the state and a state park we have enjoyed for years.  If you ever go, get reservations!  Only 18 sites for camping and a view from the top of 50 or 60 miles in every direction.  The foliage, by the way, was at its peak and about the best year for leaves we have seen in AR in a very long time. 

We were surprised at how well the PC drove and handled.  I had read several posts on this forum about wondering and stability problems, but experienced none of that.    About 450 miles of this shakedown cruise was on Interstate 40 and the crosswinds were 20+ most of the time, broadside, and of course truck traffic is relentless on that road.   The remaining trip was twisty/turney Arkie roads, all very well maintained but typical hilly/mountain head spinners to us flatlanders.   The PC handled much better than anticipated.   I did find the steeper grades to be a bit of a challenge, but that is what downshifting an automatic with your foot is all about.  We spend a month or so in the Rockies in the summer so that will be interesting to see how grades are handled at 10-12,000 feet.   Gas mileage?  I didn't calculate because of an error in filling the tank prior to departure, but I would guess around 9+ and I was driving about 65mph on the Interstate.   That is about 40% less than we would achieve in our Roadtrek. 

Laying in the corner bed the first night, my wife declared it was a quarter mile to the dash!  After seven years in a RT, it did seem like a far piece up there!  We arrived in a dense fog and experienced that same weather the next day.  That made the additional space in the PC a real luxury to us former B people.  A bad weather day or two can get quite dicey in a B.

We found the luxury of a dry bath simply that:  a luxury.   We did confirm what we thought we knew all along and that is that the inside storage in the 2350 is, believe it or not, less than the storage in the RT 210 and not quite as useful for our needs.  The RT was equipped with the armoire option.   The outside storage for camping was not quite as good, IMO, as the RT.  We knew that going into the purchase so no surprise, just confirmation.   My wife claims that the interior storage is about the same, just much differntly arranged.  RT is the only manufacturer I know that states the cubic volume of the storage for each model on their specs.   The solution is simple:  I am going to convert one of the two wardrobes in the 2350 to shelves.   We prefer to store our clothing folded and flat, finding that more manageable than a crowded small closet.   We did the same thing in our RT when we got it and it made a world of sense to us and worked out very well.  Some folks would not find this to be true, I am sure, so it is just a matter of personal preference.   Adjustable shelves in most of the cabinets would make a lot of difference in useability for us. 

As to fit and finish, the RT wins the race.   Class Cs are just not finished to the degree of Class Bs from what I have seen over the years.   The PC is nicely finished, just less so than the RT in my personal opinion.  HOWEVER, it is much better built and finished than most Cs we have seen.  Now, I have been a wood worker all my life so my standards are a little higher and more peculiar than most.   By the way, looking at new RTs at RV shows, I don't think their fit and finish is nearly as good as our 2007 model.  Roadtrek is  building more and more units and that is the inevitable price of volume.

What we have is, as expected, a trade off:  more personal space and room in the PC than the RT.  The cost of that is less convenience of parking and driving and higher operational costs.   Since we plan on boondocking virtually all the time, I can see a toad in our future (probably a good used Wrangler). 

Yesterday was a beautiful 65 degree fall day.  Tuesday night it will be down to 23 so Sunday was the time to first winterize.   Our Roadtrek had lived in a HVAC controlled garage at our house for seven years and we never had to winterize.  Having owned Cs in the past, I could recall the drill.   I prefer to use my air compressor to fully evacuate the lines and then use the "pink stuff".  Boy did I do overkill this first time!   I don't want to take any chances.   

In summary, we really love our new 2350 and look forward to many happy years of use.  I have compared it in this post to our old Roadtrek as a reference because I know a lot of B owners that yearn for more and C owners that yearn to just pop into a parking place anywhere.  A B or small C is just a matter of personal preference and each has its virtues and limitations.

 I would constructively suggest to PC that they update and expand their manual.  RV manuals are usually pretty generic, but the PC manual really needs an upgrade.  I feel sorry for any purchaser that has no previous RV experience.   He or she better have a good friend in the neighborhood that is an RVer!  Again, the Roadtrek experience spoiled me because the manual is very specific and expanded, including electrical schematics and blownup schematics of plumbing showing every connection.   Of course, in a B getting to anything to work on requires a contortionist and a two foot tall one at that.   Working on the PC will be a breeze after those experiences. 
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Barry-Sue on November 11, 2013, 02:40:10 pm
Congrats on becoming a PC owner.

When we had the 2350 we converted the smaller closet from hanging to shelves and it worked out great.  In the 2551 both small hanging closets were converted to shelves.

One of our favorite state parks in Arkansas is Crater of Diamond State Park.   Very interesting to mine for diamonds even though it is alot of work.

Enjoy your adventures in you 2350.

Barry and Sue
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Bruce on November 11, 2013, 02:45:44 pm
Great report on your first trip!
Thanks for posting,
Bruce and Sharon
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: RheaNL on November 11, 2013, 06:00:43 pm
Congratulations on joining the PC family. Two comments.
As to the manuals...Since you purchased used you may not have gotten all the manuals. While the one produced by PC is not extensive, when paired with all the manuals on each component that we received when purchasing new, I have never been unable to find the information I needed. So, maybe you can download some of the missing manuals. Also, the factory is wonderful. Doesn't matter if you purchased a used unit, they will answer you questions and help you to address any problems.

As to your trip to the Rockies....We live in the mountains 80 miles west of Denver and camp extensively in the state. Also traveled up the "spine" of the Rockies this summer as far north as Jasper in Alberta. Our PC 2100 does great on all the mountain roads. Any questions or suggestions are welcome. If you are in our area (Dillon), let us know and we can compare notes.

Nicki Loth
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Sparky on November 11, 2013, 10:42:12 pm
Welcome to the PC family,,   your lucky we purchased our 2350 out of Seattle,, but got a great deal only had 7800 when purchased,,,,  we too previously owned a RT 210,,,  I assume you have read all the tips  on the PC,,, bunch will help with storage problems... interesting comparison, I feel like we have a ton more room in our 2350 than the RT,,,,  we also moved up to the 2350 for something a little larger and really love the size,  your right about the mileage,, 14 to 15 on the RT,,,, also a little easier to handle in the city,,,, but we have no problem driving in around the city,,, we do miss parking on the street though haha which we could do with the RT...  we have the dinette and the extra room to sit down and having a permanent bed were so welcomed,,  anyway good luck   I know Ron lugs around a toad and can give you some tips,,, we use bikes that I have stored under the dinette hehe
David Sparks
2008 PC 2350
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: lmichael on November 12, 2013, 11:45:31 am
For some strange reason, PCs are also considered class B--not C.
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: dickreid1 on November 12, 2013, 12:07:04 pm

From the official RV manufactures categories there is only: Class A, B, C... Chassis, Van, Truck.  Accordingly, we drive class C RV's. 

From a sales and marketing perspective, differentiaton is a driving force therefore the creation of product descriptors like class B+ or C- or super C.

Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Doneworking on November 12, 2013, 04:02:20 pm
Barry and Sue, in regard to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas:  we had a little 14 year old gal from Oklahoma City find a pretty impressive stone about three weeks ago.    Would you believe 3.85 carats!  They were going to sell it and put the dough in her college fund.   We have never been down there but now that we have a dry bath we have that on the list   :lol

Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Sparky on November 12, 2013, 09:38:11 pm
class c  class b b+

   I thought the C's always had the step up to the back/bed area,,, and b's did not  that's why I thought even the big PC's were B+   


Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: 2 Frazzled on November 13, 2013, 07:14:42 am
Sparky, I don't know the answer to your question but I know that when I first started comparing motorhomes one of the magazines (Motorhome Mag?) had a footnote that stated the Phoenix Cruiser had been classified as a "B" until recently when they changed it to the "C" for comparisons. Come to think of it, Motorhome Mag may be the place to search, be back if I find anything.
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Doneworking on November 13, 2013, 08:44:49 am
Over  thirty years of owning small motorhomes, my understanding and recollection in the B, B+, C discussion is one of marketing as opposed to manufacturer's classifications.   In the most pure and proper sense of the word, a Class B starts out as a van chassis.   Originally, Chevy 2500 and 3500 vans were the most popular to use for this purpose, along with the old Dodge vans of the same series numbers.  Fords were used by some companies but in fewer numbers because of the structure (layout, design) of the chassis made conversion more difficult, particularly if the unit was lowered.    In the larger (longer) Bs, the 3500 series was lengthened but stayed in character as a van.   Any true B is a van conversion and it may have been raised, lowered or lengthened.  

Class Cs traditionally had a bunk over the cab.   They were built on either a Ford (most popular), Chevy or Dodge TRUCK chassis as opposed to a VAN chassis.  There were a few exceptions or "exotics" like the little Toyota Dolphin.   Still, over the cab was a bunk (hopefully not the only bed because it was no fun to crawl up into that thing and sleep unless you had served in the Navy on a submarine).  

About a dozen years ago a new design of interior layout came out in a couple of models, most notably Trail Light and BT Cruiser lines.   They took a C of any size, provided sleeping accommodations on the deck, and used the area over the cab as an "entertainment center" with storage on either side of an analog tv.   Thus, no over the cab bunk.   They also rounded the corners to spiff up the exterior design appeal. To market this design of what is only a modified C, they came up with a generic designation that reflected the change and created a marketing buzz:   B+.    Sounds like something new, but really only a C with a different configuration.    Additionally the new design was built with a more aerodynamic skin than the traditional C.   Cs had mostly 90 degree corners and the new design rounded the corners at the top and on the forward sides of the shell.   Thus, this design was called B+ to differentiate it from the old square, bed over cab C.   But you could call it a monkey, a Z, or a was still according to RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) designated a C.

I owned three Bs over the years and all the B forum guys go nuts when someone uses the term B+.   They tend to be purist and just go bozos when someone uses the term B+

To complicate the issue even more, the Sprinter chassis came into vogue and it comes in a Van (B) configuration for conversion and a Truck (C) for conversion.  

We researched small motorhomes for two years prior to making the decision that we wanted to buy a Phoenix Cruiser.   The design is, in a word, cool!   A few inches less wide than most Cs, more attractive overall design, well constructed and finished and certainly not as tall as most Cs which look like a Premium Saltine Cracker box sitting on six tires.  

I have laughed for a decade at all the animated conversations about these designations on the B forums.   My view is simple:  get what fits your pistol, go out on the road and enjoy North America!
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Barry-Sue on November 13, 2013, 09:30:57 am
You may be "Done Working" but this was a job well done.

Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: TomHanlon on November 13, 2013, 10:01:04 am
"Done Working",

 You are correct on most of what you said with the exception of the trail lite. The trail lite was a copy the the Chinook (Trail Wagons) class C motorhome, only much cheaper.  Trail Lite did come up with the B+ for marketing.
Up until then the classes were:
Class B was build from a van. They took the whole van and built inside it, then the started adding height and then length and then width to it, but always starting with a van.
Class C started with a van or pickup truck cut away. It bought the front part until they got to behind the front seats and the frame down. The first ones had a bed over the cab, then they started putting a TV in place of the bed. Finally they reduced the overhang and just put the TV up there. In the early days they were 96 inches wide, about the same as the PC is today, then they went to 101/102 inches wide to better accommodate the side outs.
Super C is a class C built on a large truck chase.
Class A is built on a truck chase by adding the whole box.
Pickup camper is a box that is built stand alone that is meant to slide into the bed of a pickup. Most all have an overhead bed.
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: 2 Frazzled on November 14, 2013, 06:40:55 am
So what is this one? I found the picture on the internet but we saw one at a campground last week. Actually they had a car with the tent on top and the car was pulling a trailer with a flip out tent on top. They had a whole herd of people. We think some were sleeping in the car, some in each tent AND more in two tents on the ground in the next site. This is legit by the way. It mounts on your roof rack and flips closed then zips into what looks like a car top carrier bag.
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Doneworking on November 14, 2013, 10:04:27 am
I think those car tents are for folks that don't know what a bear can do to a tent! :-D

Jeep came out a few years ago with an "official accessory" of a tent that fastened to the back of the Grand Cherokee.   You flipped the rear seats down, slept in the vehicle and set up camp in the tent.  Vans have had similar accessories that clip a tent to the opened side door.   I think a lot of variations of that theme are availabe for various vehicles.   Me?  I have had too many bears, skunks, bob cats  and other assorted critters in my camps over the years to not require a hardside between me and nature.   Age, alas, rejects canvas.  Those walls on our PC sure give assurance.  By the way, we never travel without bear spray...........good for two legged ones also. 
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: TomHanlon on November 14, 2013, 01:34:00 pm
It is a twinkee, soft on the outside and gooey inside. Bears love them.
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Denny & Barb on November 14, 2013, 07:01:39 pm
Barb and I prefer to camp were the nearest camper is miles away. So we prefer our 2350 and her 9mm and my 40cal.  ;)  The latter is our pepper spray / cougar spray.  :)
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: 2 Frazzled on November 15, 2013, 08:45:39 am
After many, many years in a tent (or no tent at all), I am very happy to have the security of the hard sided MH. While those critter noises still wake me up, I do not lay awake wondering if the next noise will the entry of an unwanted guest. Something pushed up against the Phoenix the other night and rocked us a bit. The first reaction was WHOA... bear, deer, really big raccoon, human? Then, after a mental inventory of what was outside and accessible AND that I had checked all locks, it was "don't care - going back to sleep". Whatever it was went away.

We don't have bear spray yet but it is on the list. Just as a heads up, it is actually illegal in some states so you don't want to flaunt it. I will, however, still clip it to within easy reach on my pack straps when hiking in bear country and risk a fine. I also plan to get bear bells. I'll put a friend's bear story in the around the campfire posting.
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: BarbRN on November 21, 2013, 07:33:35 pm
Great write up.   2o2

I agree on the manual.  It needs updating and more detail. 
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Ron Dittmer on November 22, 2013, 09:46:11 am
Welcome aboard Done Working.  I won't be able to change my name to "Done Working Too" for another 10+ years.

Regarding Class A, B, C, they are categorized by the chassis the RV manufacture starts with, not the end result.

Class A starts with a stripped chassis like this.

Class B starts with a cargo van like this.

Class C starts with a cut-away chassis like this.

Keep in-mind that the chassis manufacture offers RV specific option groups which delete the seats, side mirrors, adding electric windows, door locks, a/c, chrome grille work etc, some of many variances compared to a chassis marketed for commercial use.
Title: Re: First trip on our 2350: a report
Post by: Rotorbrain on November 22, 2013, 11:37:07 pm
 ;)Congrats, Doneworking!
We lived in OKC for 10 years and moved to Hurst, Texas, in 2000.  Over the years we have had a number of vans, campers, and motorhomes, and are now on our third PC.  We started with a 2400, went on to a 2551, and in February of this year we went to Elkhart to pick up our new 2552.  Kermit is the greatest guy to work with and a neat person once you get used to his dry sense of humor.
Gas mileage has always been a concern since we regularly pull a fully enclosed trailer rather than towing a vehicle.  Yes, pulling a trailer can be a hassle, but we can back-up and Kermit installed an additional camera on the trailer for us. Neat!
The E350 in the 2400 did OK, but the E450 is really much better. We had the Roadmaster system and Bilstein shocks installed on both the 2400 and the 2551 and it really improved the handling, particularly in strong crosswinds.  The 2013 chassis already had beefier sway bars and better shocks so we did not see the need to add those. We did add the Banks system to the 2551 for $3400.00 and got about a half mile to the gallon improvement and some better mountain performance.  The 2013 seems to have about the same performance as the 2009.  We can get over 9 mpg without the trailer, but 7 is about the best we can do pulling the 8,000 lbs trailer with the Jeep inside. I am looking into a diesel conversion from a company in Montana and would love to see the Cummins 5.9 Liter engine in this chassis. 
You will enjoy the PC and if you haven't already been there, you should go to Elkhart and meet Kermit and the office boss, Karen. They are terrific people and we have enjoyed visiting with them.  PC owners are a good group and are willing to offer advice and help if possible. And all of us love showing our PC, especially the little modifications we manage to talk Kermit into doing for us.