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1  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Question About Toad Hookup on: April 23, 2016, 05:57:34 pm
Tom, sounds like you and I share the same story:  Grand Cherokee for us and a Trailhawk for our wives.  Both of ours are red!  They look like big and little brothers setting in our garage.  We also have the same braking system.  I think it works great and is worth the money. 

Paul
2  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Question About Toad Hookup on: April 23, 2016, 08:52:18 am
JoeyD, yes it IS a problem!  

First of all, congrats on your Trailhawk.  We pull a Trailhawk behind our PC2350.  I have driven Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees almost exclusively for over 25 years and the Trailhawk is probably the best we have owned.  I say "we" because I drive a Grand Cherokee and the Trailhawk is my wife's.  I can prove it is her's and not mine:  just ask her rolling on the floor. We go to the Rockies for an extended time each summer and I am amazed at the power and ability that engine/transmission generate.  And it is a snap to tow, connect and disconnect.  

All that said, your towing gear should be as  level as possible.  The construction that makes the PCs look so cool also makes the receiver lower than on most Class Cs.   So, you will need a riser to raise the tow bar to a level position.  Something like this:  http://roadmasterinc.com/products/accessories/hitch/hitch.html

They are called risers or hi-lo hitches.  Don't buy a light duty one because you need a really stout, well made riser.  Measure height from level ground to the hitch plates on the Trailhawk and height from the ground to the PC receiver and get the appropriate riser.  

Warning from my personal experience:  make sure your safety cables are long enough after you install the riser.  You may need longer cables.   If this is your first shot at this, you might have someone check all this out before towing.  If the cables are too short, they can bend your tow bar and cause a real mess when you make a sharp turn (like 90 degrees around a city street corner).  I won't detail my experience on the cable length issue, lets just say it was not a good day. Help

Paul
3  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Quality on: April 13, 2016, 07:41:09 pm
Chuck, like you we came to the PC world from Class Bs.   We had a 1996 Roadtrek 190P and a 2007 Roadtrek 210P, the 190 on a Dodge and the 210 on a Chevy.  Of course, class Bs are not made on a production line but a cleaned out van which is often extended, raised or lowered.  So, making them is an entirely different process compared to a C.  

We researched for a time for a small Class C.  We had seen PCs many years ago and after careful research decided a 2350 was for us and were preparing to order a new one when we found one ten months old with 7700 miles less than five miles from our house!   We have been pleased with our PC and find the quality better than on most Class Cs.   That being said, we never expect to have another rig with the quality of our old Roadtreks.  Your Pleasureway  would fall in the same category and Class Bers have argued for twenty years about PW vs RT.   They are, in fact, very close to the same quality Canadian build.  Excellent!  

Now, let me add that new Roadtreks (and I assume PWs) seem to have more problems than the ones a few years ago.  I don't know about PW, but RT has had three different owners in four years.  Until the first sale, it was owned by the same family that started it about 1979 and was being run by the second generation.   I look at the new ones and the quality in my opinion has deteriorated  since my 2007 was essentially hand made.  

I think a lot of the problems in the RV industry today are that the parts they must  purchase are just not as good a quality as what was available a few years ago.  Things that were made in the US or Canada are now mostly Mexican or Chinese and they are simply not to North American standards of durability.   I think we all know that whether it is a sorry RV cabinet hinge that looks just the same as it did ten years ago except now it is stamped "China" in very small letters and breaks way too often or electrical components that should last years and fail in months.   How sad.  But a fact of contemporary life.  

I am so sorry you have had the problems with your new rig that you have experienced.   Candidly, those of us coming from Class Bs to Class Cs just notice a lot of things.  Your problems seem to be excessive.  The good news is that Phoenix Cruiser seems to take care of their  customers much, much better than about anyone still left around.  The fact that the company is owned by folks that are there every day is a real plus.  The PC guys started out in the RV business actually building a real neat Class B called Intervec Horizons and Falcons and I can see the B quality carried over across those decades  If I call up Roadtrek today in Kitchener, Ontario, the person I will talk with now works for a European owned company.  This is my second unit these folks built if you count my Intervec Horizon many years ago.   I loved it, too.  

Hopefully all those problems are behind you now and you can really enjoy your 2350.  We feel like we are in a mansion in our 2350 compared to the Roadtrek!   And a lot of the stuff in the 2350 is simply superior to what was in our Roadtrek, but the cabinetry is sure not the same but it is close enough to provide us many years of good use and service.

Good luck my wish for you is that you get your problems resolved and enjoy your PC like we enjoy ours.  

Paul  
4  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: A couple of hot water heater questions on: April 08, 2016, 10:49:25 pm
JJ, I had a hot water tank a few years ago (propane only) that made water simply to hot to be comfortable or safe.   I seem to recall it was a Suburban brand.  I called them and they sent me another thermostat....free!   This was on our 2007 Roadtrek we owned prior to the PC.  The thermostat screwed into the tank on the exposed front side and had a couple of wires plugged into it as I recall.  In any event, it lowered the temp 25 degrees or so, which was perfect.  It must have been a common problem back then because they immediately knew and were sympathetic to my problem.    So, your problem may be about the same and if so I would explore getting a new thermostat with a lower set point. 

Paul 
5  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Which Trip Planning software for 2016? on: April 08, 2016, 08:56:22 am
Golly, you folks make me feel old fashioned sad!   I love to buy a new atlas every year or two and use it along with my most favorite trip planning tool:  official state maps available at most welcome points on major highways entering our states.   I just enjoy the look and feel of maps.  I have a collection of maps in our library and I enjoy looking at fifty and thirty year old maps of the US and seeing how things have changed.   It makes me attentive to and appreciative of progress.  

OK, I will "fess up".  I do use google maps (the new version is inferior to the older ones IMO), google earth, a complete set of DeLorme topo maps on my desktop, IPad and laptop, the GPS on my IPhone, a Garmin GPS in the Phoenix Cruiser and a few apps to find dump stations, campgrounds, etc.  

All that is nice and fun, but nothing for me takes the place of a good map with all its color and character...and coffee stains from planning and looking forward to the journey.  

Paul
6  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Might Look At 2400 Used on: March 31, 2016, 02:11:40 pm
Ron said: Fashion a small 12V pump somehow and then nothing heavy ever gets picked up.  Thanks for sharing that.


That is exactly what I do.  My first pump was a simple small marine bilge pump from Academy for about $15.  I cemented a hose connection to the discharge and added a 20 foot electric cord to the wires and put alligator clips on them.  Then, simply hook it up to the batteries when I wanted to pump out my wheelie tank into the RV tank and use my rv hose, drop it in the tank and pump.   That was with our Roadtrek.  Now, I have this: 

http://www.amazon.com/Docooler-Diesel-Transfer-Submersible-Stainless/dp/B00F2LANF4/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1459447409&sr=8-7&keywords=12v+submersible+pump

It works even better.  I use a 3/4 inch by six foot piece of vinyl clear tubing (Lowes or HD, about $3 or $4).   With this arrangement we can really pump water!   Since we boondock mostly in the National Forests in the Southwest and West, they allow grey water to be dripped because the forest appreciates the moisture and it is really just recycling the water.  So, with grey water not a storage problem and the extra large black tank of a PC2350 we are good to camp without moving for quite a while. 

Paul
7  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Might Look At 2400 Used on: March 31, 2016, 09:07:24 am
We have carried one of these for ten years.  Since we use National Forest campgrounds much of the time, we refill it often at hand pumps and please notice the large opening to fill it.  I have pulled this down many gravel and dirt roads and paths for all those years and the wheels have proven to be remarkably durable.  Eight gallons is a lot and the container is well made in Canada.....probably the reason it has lasted so long as compared to cheap Asian products.  I slip it empty into a plastic garbage sack and store it in the shower when in transit.  Here is the math:  70 (years old) plus 70 (pounds of filled container) equals ....wheels!

By the way, I have a small sheet of dense foam that was a packaging protection piece when I ordered our Renogy solar panels for the PC.  I cut it to size and use the piece on the bottom of the shower to protect the shower pan.  We carry large fold up camping chairs stored in plastic garbage sacks in the shower as well.   Works well for us and the bags protect the shower walls.

http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Products-Hydroller-Wheeled-Container/dp/B001QC78GK/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1459429133&sr=8-11&keywords=reliance+water+containers

Also sold by Walmart in their camping stuff area in many large super centers.

Paul
8  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Finding out the hard way! on: March 30, 2016, 03:00:59 pm
We had a BT Cruiser ten years or so ago that always seemed to have run down batteries.....chassis and coach....when it had been stored several weeks.  I bought one of these for each battery.  It is a simple, cheap solution to parasitic or unidentifiable drains.   You have to remember that when you disconnect the battery on the chassis you may lose a lot of settings and as I recall on the older Fords the engine had to go through a "learning curve" for the first fifty miles after a disconnect to get itself set properly.  I have no idea if newer trucks suffer that consequence.   We all remember losing our radio settings when replacing batteries in certain cars.   

http://www.amazon.com/NOCO-ID220S-6V-24V-Battery-Disconnect/dp/B006EH9WUC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1459363967&sr=8-2&keywords=car+battery+disconnect

That little disconnect is cheap and effective.  I also have seen them from time to time at Walmart for five bucks, almost identical.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Everstart-936W-Everstart-SWAN-Terminal-Disconnect/16006670

Paul
9  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Finding out the hard way! on: March 29, 2016, 10:42:59 pm
Marshallu, take a look behind the driver's seat on the slanted wall where the controls are located (generator starter switch, slide out if you have one, indicators for LP, fresh water, black water and gray water tank levels, etc.)  The Xantrex switch has a green on/off button and is located there on my 2350 and I think you will probably have the same positioning for those indicators and switches on your 2100.  

Someone that has a 2100 can correct me if that is an error.  I bet all PCs have those items in the same place, but don't know that for absolute certain.  

Paul
10  Main Forum / General Discussion / Finding out the hard way! on: March 29, 2016, 07:59:49 am
Two weeks ago I went to the place we store our PC2350 (lucky for us, completely enclosed and less than three miles from our home), drove the rig home and started doing some getting ready for camping this spring.   I checked out all the systems after dewinterizing and drove back out to the storage center.   Mission accomplished.

Yesterday, I went to retrieve it for another round of getting ready and making a few modifications.  When I opened the doors to the storage unit I heard a faint electronic beep...somewhere?....and opened the door to the 2350.  Well, the beep was the emergency warning from the Xantrex Pro XM1800 inverter control on the wall.  It was showing 10.5 volts input!!   

I always am very cautious to turn off the DC power locking switch located by the door that disconnects the coach batteries from the rig.  I DID NOT KNOW that disconnecting that switch did not disconnect the Xantrax.  We seldom use the inverter.  I had turned it on two weeks ago to test it and had forgotten to turn it off.   I was shocked to discover it was not subject to the power cutoff of all the other systems.   As I thought about it, I concluded that is because it requires a lot of input juice and thus is not wired through the system locking switch by the door.

News to me!!   Moral to the story is don't forget to turn off that switch!  My assumption that all is off when the door 12 volt system switch is deactivated is simply very wrong.

Lucky for me, yesterday was a picture perfect day with clear skies and full sun, 72 degrees for a high.  That was enough good source for the 200 watts of solar on the roof to bring the batteries back up to snuff after a full day setting out there in the driveway.  I will be getting it out again in a couple of days to complete my tasks and I will plug it in for max charge for a couple of days here in the driveway.

I am probably the only one that did not know to check that Xantrex switch separately from the main power switch.  I won't forget the lesson and that is for sure. 

Paul
11  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Solar Panel Question on: March 19, 2016, 09:21:36 am
I was not as sophisticated or complicated as others that have commented.  

I simply bought two Renogy 100 watt panels, the Renogy wire and a simple controller from the same maker.  I installed the panels on top of my 2350, ran the wire to the battery compartment and installed the controller on a faceboard I made for the front of the battery area.  I also installed a small cheap digital voltmeter on the panel so I could make sure how everything is working and an automotive type on/off switch of 50 amp capacity.  I have now used this system for over a year, it works well and allows us to boondock for long periods.  Obviously, it would be better to have installed the meter and the controller inside the coach but that made it a much more complex modification and I just "country boyed" it.  

I bought all this gear from Amazon and the entire project was about five hundred bucks.   Now, this is on a PC2350 and the OP is looking at a unit almost exactly four feet longer, so I would conclude there is plenty of room for two panels on a 2552 model.

Incidentally, I installed the second panel a trip or two after the first.  I wanted to see from a practical standpoint how 100 watts and the system would work before I installed the second panel.  The cables I purchased also had Y connections available for multiple panel arrays.  Solar isn't rocket science any more.  The key I found was to just be sure to use adequate gauge wire and a controller which keeps the batteries from frying and overcharging.  

Paul  
12  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: towing. is it worth it for a 24ft? on: March 14, 2016, 08:48:26 am
We had Class Bs for years.  They can pretty much go anywhere and park most places.  When we got the PC 2350 a few years ago, we decided to change our style of camping and spend a lot of time at one site most of the time.  So, we got a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to pull behind it.   We love the flexibility of having both vehicles with us.  Now, we are able to see a lot of things that we would not otherwise see.   We had never towed before (over thirty years of owning Bs and small Cs) and find the experience of towing rewarding.  We set up our camp (usually in NF campgrounds and boondock) and then see stuff for fifty or more miles around our location.  

Still, at times on short trips, we don't tow.  Sometimes we just go to some state park and camp three or four days and hike from the camp.  It all depends on how you use your rig.  We love the flexibility of having the Jeep.  AND, we love the additional room of having the 2350 compared to our Bs.  One big advantage of towing is that we have the Jeep to transport and stuff a lot of gear in on our way to these multiweek outings.  Put the backseat down and have a cave to fill full of our junk and maybe buy a few treasures along the way.

I suspect at some point in the future we may go back to a small Class B and just tour the country, staying anywhere we want or checking into a hotel every now and then.  As we have gotten older, we have gotten lazy and just hate "breaking camp" everyday and driving a couple of hundred miles to the next miracle.  So, for now at least, we love our 2350 and our Jeep combo. 

Here is the biggest danger for us and anyone once you hit your senior years:  you are running low on time.  If you want to do it, do it.  We no longer have the luxury of a twenty year time horizon.

Paul
13  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC on new Ford Transit 350 chassis? on: March 12, 2016, 07:23:47 pm
Great pictures, Ron.  Thanks for posting them.  That convinces me I am on target in my thinking posted above:  great opportunity to make a true, small Class B campervan.  When you look at those pictures and I think of what's under my PC, I really appreciate the "iron". 

Paul
14  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC on new Ford Transit 350 chassis? on: March 12, 2016, 11:26:25 am
I saw one of these new units at the Dallas RV show a couple of weeks ago.  If you go to the three announced manufacturers' website you won't find these units, except for I believe (?) the Winnebago.  It came out in January.  I have seen the Winne and the Coachman.  Yes, it can be done.  Many of us don't have a Sprinter based chassis because of service center concerns.  Most MB car places won't service Sprinters, apparently, according to other forums and my own inquiries.  If you plan on being out in the boonies of the West, that can be a problem.  For example, the MB site shows no authorized serviced centers for a guy like me once I leave Oklahoma City until I get to Albuquerque (570 miles).  From Albuquerque north, next stop is Denver, about 450 miles.   The appeal of the small Ford diesel will be that Ford is in most towns in North America.  And the price.

We are going to see a lot of changes in the RV industry for sure.  The new Ford and Dodge chassis are offering a whole lot of additional selection and have a market.  For folks like me, I just don't want to give up my tried and true V10 and the ability to load that baby to the gills with stuff and still pull a 4000 pound Jeep behind it.  These new Ram and Ford products will be really neat for a true Class B coach in my opinion.  We will know more in a couple of months, once the notoriously slow manufacturers update their websites to show their new products.  I have always thought that a rather strange approach to marketing in this day and time.

By the way, Gulfstream has brought back the BT Cruiser and I saw a 2016 5230 in Dallas that was identical in layout to the 2003 we bought new thirteen years ago.  Some designs are just successful and don't need to change.  That is my opinion of Phoenix Cruisers.....a small niche market for a cool, really slick looking, high built quality rv. 

The nice thing about going to three RV shows in the last few weeks is that I always leave smirking a bit because none compare to what we own for our use and likes. 

Paul
15  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Storage behind the driver's seat on: March 09, 2016, 08:36:45 am
My conclusion...........

I built a cardboard model of what cabinets would look like.  There is nothing like the reality of three dimensions to really make sure how something will work.  My model was a bit too large so I cut it down a couple of inches in width and depth.  I still had plenty of room for me behind the drivers seat and was able to recline the back adequately for my driving comfort.  Then, I compared this modified model to our current storage system we use behind the seats which is using some really neat canvas storage boxes with wire reinforcement for stability (wires are actually more like small steel rods about 1/8 inch in diameter in a folding arrangement).  I concluded that building the cabinet was "too much sugar for a dime" as the old expression goes.  We bought a set of these containers on a "one time special" at a discount store, probably seven or eight years ago and have never seen any others that were as nice.  The have a top that velcros to the sides and front and are very well made. 

What would be lost is the inherent flexibility of the current system.  Use how many of the containers you need for a given trip, or none and store our outdoor chairs and a few doggie supplies there when in transit.  Or, store nothing at all for short trips.  Flexibility won over building much more attractive cabinetry and an enjoyable project.

The most difficult thing about canceling this modification was the moment of truth of admitting that She Who Must Be Obeyed (aka as my wife) was right about this all along!   rolling on the floor

The upside was a nice bowl of soup and a nap instead of an afternoon in my shop.   Ahhhh....benefits of being "doneworking"!

Paul 
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