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16  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: RV Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance on: November 01, 2015, 09:46:48 am
 A lot of good points and viewpoints are being presented in this very interesting thread.  Several things come to my mind including that each of us has different skill and comfort levels to make repairs ourselves.  We each use our rigs differently and some are older than others.  So, each of our viewpoints is important.

I would make my "2 AM sweaty palms" comment:  if it is something that is going to worry you and take away your comfort and enjoyment of your RV, don't do it!  

Personally, I am totally comfortable without a warranty but I think there are a lot of us that should have one to fully enjoy worry free travel.  I enjoy the maintenance aspect of our rig and repairs are simply a part of the hobby for me.  I enjoy working on the thing!   I have been exceedingly fortunate in that I have taken only one rig in all my years of rving to a dealer for a repair.  I will not touch the chassis but that is another matter.  I do take the Ford part to a local shop I have been doing business with for thirty years and they have two bays for RVs under 30 feet to do chassis work.  I took the PC to a local independent rv repair shop  to have a towing/braking system installed because I don't know come here from sic 'em about doing that and didn't want to risk my life or someones life on my Billy Bob installation.

A service warranty is simply an insurance policy, no more and no less.  You have to read the fine and very fine print and think about it before you purchase.  Folks often get surprised when they find out a need is not covered under the extended warranty.  

The risk of not having a warranty is quantifiable.  How many years have you had your rig, how many more do you expect to keep it, how well do you maintain it and how many miles do you drive it?  How much out of pocket risk can you assume?  If for example, you had a $800 a year premium and hadn't used the warranty in five years you could have saved four grand.   Personally, I have a $1000 deductible on all my insurance policies.  In essence I self insure for the first grand.   To me, insurance is to cover the "biggies" I can't afford or control and the liability that is always present.  Having spent fifty years in finance, I finally figured out my Finance 101 professor was mostly right:  fear and greed where money is concerned are the only two emotions.  My greed just keeps me from turning over those extra bucks to an insurance company.   My fear always causes me to wonder if I am making a mistake by not doing that, so we are back to the first question:  what is your PERSONAL comfort level?  

Just my thoughts since like a lot of us I got us an hour earlier today LOL

Paul
17  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Traveling without our PC on: October 29, 2015, 09:05:27 am
Beautiful Ohio!  

We are heading out next week for Mount Magazine State Park over in Arkansas.  We have been there several times and usually make it our final PC trip of the year before blowing out the lines, filling them full of pink and taking all the freezable stuff out of the rig.  The foliage is usually very attractive there and we often drive the "Pig Trail" which is a state highway from that area all the way up to almost the Missouri line.  Lots of great maples and sweetgum along the way.  Only in Arkansas would they officially call it "Pig Trail".   By the way, Arkansas really solicits and supports tourism and it is a beautiful state, mostly undiscovered by people outside this area of the country.   Their state parks are absolutely second to none and the topography in much of the state is reminiscent of much of Vermont and New Hampshire.

We have had motor homes for a lot of decades now, but we still enjoy "fly and drives" and do them also.  We love both ways of travel.  Those bags and suitcases got a lot more compatible with my temper when we discovered these and we use them in our PC as well.  We have several each and find they really do organize stuff.   We were in Vermont this month for a fly and drive of almost two weeks and they really kept stuff organized.  

http://www.amazon.com/eBags-Large-Packing-Cubes-Denim/dp/B0013KGG90/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1446123603&sr=8-2&keywords=suitcase+bags

These eBags come in all sizes and colors.  I find the medium and large perfect and it is amazing how much stuff will go in the large one and how well and wrinkle free things stay.  

Paul
18  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: October 27, 2015, 09:11:57 am
Ron and Toni, looks like you enjoy about the same type of camping that we enjoy....and in some of the same places.  We bought our 2350 with slide when it was eleven months old and bought it from a guy less than five miles down the road.   We had planned on ordering exactly the same unit, but I doubt if we would have tricked it out as well as the first owner choose to do and we enjoy his choices.  

Now, if doing it all over and ordering new as we originally intended we would get the 2351 like you choose and we would pay the upcharge for the 450 chassis.  We also, like you, pull a Trailhawk.  I think you will be very pleased with your PC for the type of camping you enjoy.  That black tank on ours is much larger than the black tanks on similar models from other brands.  It allows us long term stays in National Forests for camping and hiking.   You will find the 450 a real benefit IMO.  And you will certainly be pleased with the quality of the build.  Think about adding twin sixes on the batteries and solar for your boondocking.   I did the solar add on myself and two hundred watts is ample for long term in the boonies if you get reasonable amounts of sun.  

Of course, we may enjoy the same places and you don't boondock and stay in town.  Either way, those states are great choices.  Think about New Mexico as a possible addition to the list.  It is our First Choice .....Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado are not as crowded as the better known spots. 

Paul
19  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Need The Strength Of "THE HULK" To Work Your Shower Head? If So, Read This. on: October 26, 2015, 09:41:28 am
Ron wrote:  I have the white plastic shower hose off as well, going to home improvement centers with it to find a more flexible one.  I am thinking about one of those plastic braided type like we once had at home for the kitchen sprayer.

That is exactly what we use, including the spray head.  A simple, very flexible kitchen sink sprayer.   When you release the trigger, it is OFF and you don't drip water.  That is important when boondocking and you may be getting water from a distance and trying to get as many days possible out of your tanks.   A whole bunch of Class B folks (the land from whence we came) have used these for years because they shut completely off when you release the trigger and Class Bs generally have small tanks.   Disadvantage is you cannot adjust the shower spray and it comes out forcefully, which is fine for a lot of us. 

Paul
20  Main Forum / Polls / Re: unsatisfied with performance of Air Conditioner? on: October 25, 2015, 06:46:21 pm
I know what hot is and that is for sure.  We live in an area that can get very hot and we owned Class B motor homes for years and years.  They have lots of windows and very little insulation since they are a van conversion.  Our Roadtrek was 21 feet long and had an 11,000 BTU heat pump unit and it was virtually ineffective in the hot summer.  The nature of the beast is hot HOT and HOTTER.   Here is something that Class B folks swear by:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_13353-56291-ST16025_1z0ueyrZ1z0uh9aZ1z0uk7m__

You cut out pieces of this stuff just slightly larger (1/4 inch or so) than the dimensions of a window and just pressure fit it into the window frame on really hot days, then you pull all the curtains or close all the blinds as the case may be.  For the front part of the cab, the side windows and windshield is the culprit.  You make the cutouts a little larger on the side windows on two sides and bottom and a little smaller at the top leaving a gap at the top and you lower the side windows slightly (1/4 or 1/2 inch) thus providing an escape hatch for the hot air.  The windshield can most effectively be dealt with from the outside by using one of the commercially available covers available. 

Instead of shuttering the vent fans, try cracking them slightly.  That will allow hot air to exit since hot air rises, cool air settles. 

One of the reason we got away from our beloved Roadtrek was simply the heat making summer camping in it a sometimes impossible situation on bright sunny days.

This Reflectix stuff is cheap and can be purchased in various size width rolls at Lowes or HD.   You might give it a try and see how you like it. 

By the way, all those cutouts of Reflectix we stored by simply putting them under the mattress.  The stuff is only about  1/4 inch thick.   You can also use it to line other areas that have heat problems, like the back of cabinets that get hot from the outside walls. 

Here is some other options for the front:   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_2/182-1275766-7420717?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Arv+windshield+cover+class+c&page=2&keywords=rv+windshield+cover+class+c&ie=UTF8&qid=1445812921&spIA=B00E5HGF5I,B00E5HGBSY

Paul
21  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Why we all love our Phoenix Cruisers on: October 18, 2015, 08:25:08 am
Denny and Barb wrote:

We chose the Ford, (where service is almost everywhere, as we travel in remote area's), and PC for their quality. Does this make sense to anyone? It does to us...  Thanks for reading.


Ditto! 

We have, for example, an authorized service center for MB Sprinters that services motor homes about thirty minutes from our home.  Heading west from Oklahoma City, the next nearest warranty repair is in Albuquerque. That is 575 miles.  Heading north from Albuquerque, next stop for warranty is Denver....almost 500 miles.   We go to remote places and in the West it is a far distance between service centers. No service center (last time I looked) in the entire state of Kansas, for example.

I am sure this will change over time as MB is in the process of expanding dealer networks.   In the meantime, there is somebody in every county seat and most smaller towns in America that can work on a Ford or Chevy.   We would have loved to have had a MB chassis, but that service was a concern.   Incidentally, I called the local MB folks (fifteen minutes away) and they declined to service Sprinter motor homes.  I called a few more around here and they all declined.  Cars only.   Now, if we lived and mostly traveled on either coast, I would probably have one because service centers are acceptable distances from most locations.   

So, my wife and I concur with your concerns.   This is certainly no knock on Sprinters because I think they are cool as can be and I would love to own one.   Except.......

Paul
22  Main Forum / General Discussion / Why we all love our Phoenix Cruisers on: October 16, 2015, 07:28:10 pm
I went to the Oklahoma City Fall RV Show yesterday.  This is trailer country, big fifth wheels being the main event at the show.  Still, quite a few Class Cs were there from several manufacturers.  Some of the Cs were so poorly built I suspect a thousand mile trip would require a full set of skills and tools for repair.   I mean CHEAPLY BUILT, obviously thrown together.  I won't name manufacturers, but they included some of the leading brands.  "B+" Cs were in supply and I checked them out carefully.  The floor plans and layout on a few were pretty interesting and attractive.  Virtually all Class Cs are on a Ford or MB chassis, with a few Chevrolets every once in a while.   So I am not commenting on the platforms, just the coaches themselves.  

The problem:  the construction.  I looked behind cabinets, pulled out drawers and inspected reinforcement of floors on the coaches and in the cabinets.  I looked at trim, quality of components and I got down on the floor and looked those babies over carefully.  On one small C I opened an outside door and admired the storage area, carefully closed the door and it fell half off!  I just walked away shaking my head.

I have done all the coach repairs and additions on my motor homes for thirty years and only took one to a dealer one time.  I do not service or repair the chassis stuff myself unless it is pretty minor.  That being said, I have more than a passing knowledge of construction and possible sources of problems on Class C and Class B rigs.  

Compared to our PCs, no other brand I saw passed muster.  There were no Carriage House or Born Free products but they are like Phoenix....mostly available straight from the manufacturer.  

I researched Class Cs for two years on line and in person before we decided on our PC.  Boy, did we make the right decision.  

Thanks, Phoenix Cruiser!!   Thanks for the design and the general quality of your products.  

Paul
23  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 21, 2015, 11:10:21 am
That would be a great idea, Ron.   I envy you with the location you have for your panel.  Ours (2013 2350) is located behind the driver's seat and is a pain to lean down and read if the light is not just right.  Probably, the hood has changed over the years not allowing such an arrangement.  We stack and store a lot of stuff between the driver's seat and the couch and that makes it sometimes a little more difficult to monitor the monitors.  Not a big deal, but still having the info out in the middle of the coach is much better IMO. 

By the way, you might consider also a wireless thermometer in your refrig with the monitor on that panel.  We really love to be cognizant of that temp at all times without opening the door.

Paul
24  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 17, 2015, 05:57:18 pm
Here is the chart I follow.  It has been around a long time and I find it useful:

Voltage and State of Charge percentages
12.6+ volts
100%
12.5 volts
90%
12.42 volts
80%
12.32 volts
70%
12.20 volts
60%
12.06 volts
50%
11.9 volts
40%
11.75 volts
30%
11.58 volts
20%
11.31 volts
10%
10.5 volts
0%

This comes from this website  http://www.marxrv.com/12volt/12volt.htm and I think that website has some really good information.  It has been around for a long time, but so have volts and amps  Wink

Paul
25  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 17, 2015, 12:47:32 pm
Ron and others, thought I would share with everyone my boondocking and battery charging management setup on our PC 2350.  

First of all, we seldom ever go where there are hookups. The exception being on the way to or from somewhere, but we usually stay in National Forest, BLM and Corp of Engineers campgrounds.  Now, a few of them have some services but not most.   In the western NFs, you are generally welcome to "drip your gray".   This entire area is obviously suffering a long term drought and it just makes sense to return to the earth the gray water, at least to the campers that love the western forests and the rangers that run them.  

We only run the genset to power the AC or the microconvection oven.

So, for boondocking and power management, here is our stuff.

For battery management we have two little DROK digital voltmeters.  They are cheap and work fine for me.  I have checked them against a really good test meter and they are accurate.  

Several pages of these in different sizes, colors of display and some are weather resistant to use outside.  I have one mounted on a panel I constructed attached to the front of the battery compartment pull out.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Adigital+dc+volt+meters+drok&keywords=digital+dc+volt+meters+drok&ie=UTF8&qid=1442506939&spIA=B00NWGZ3A6,B00NWGZ4XC,B00KHP6EIK,B00NW62L88

We recharge our batteries with a couple of these which I mounted to our roof using 3M high capacity exterior double sided tape.  

http://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-Volts-Lightweight-Monocrystalline/dp/B00IK19VF6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1442507021&sr=8-2&keywords=renogy+flexible+solar+panel

Next, we haul water from the campground spigot or hand pump with one of these.  We store it, by the way, when traveling in a plastic garbage sack and put it in the shower.  The sack protects the floor and walls of the shower.

http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Products-Hydroller-Wheeled-Container/dp/B001QC78GK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442507096&sr=8-1&keywords=reliance+hydroller+wheeled+water+container+8+gallon+9600-03
 

Over the decades of rving, I have rigged several ways to pump water up into an rv tank from a container.  This is the best rig I have found.  Just buy a few feet of clear plastic tubing at HD or Lowes, stick it on the end of the pump and put the other end into the fill on the PC.  Drop the pump into the hydroroller, hook up to the batteries in the pull out compartment and pump 8 gallons in a couple of minutes.

 
http://www.amazon.com/Docooler-Diesel-Transfer-Submersible-Stainless/dp/B00F2LANF4/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1442507205&sr=8-23&keywords=12volt+pump&refinements=p_72%3A2661618011

Our 2350 is absolutely perfect for our boondocking.  We can get into places any unit much larger simply would find difficult.  We spent a month in the Sangre de Christi mountains of Northern New Mexico this summer in national forest campgrounds and never missed hookups.  The 2350 has an extraordinary large black tank for a small unit and two people can easily spend  about two weeks on one black tank.  We dumped only once in that four weeks, and of course at the end of the time period before we started home.  

Paul


26  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Towing cruise control questions on: September 04, 2015, 07:39:54 pm
Janey, one more thought specific to your 2350 PC.

Since the 2100 and 2350 is on a Ford 350 chassis and the longer models are on a Ford 450, be mindful that the hitch on the 2350 is pretty low to the ground compared to the longer models.   The tow bar needs to be pretty level from the towed vehicle to the hitch receiver on the PC.   If it is not, you have to use a hitch attachment to raise or lower it to make it level. Not perfectly level, but without the riser my Jeep at the end of the towbar was a full six inches higher than the receiver on the PC.   Any place that sells hitches or towbars can help you with this.   Get a good heavy duty one.  Your CRV is lower than my Jeep so it may not be a problem or if it is a problem, probably a much less rise is necessary.   Just guessing on that.

Paul
27  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Towing cruise control questions on: September 04, 2015, 12:09:15 pm
Janey,

I think you will get lots of different opinions expressed about this subject.  I will share my personal observations since we also have a 2350, a year older model.

First of all, we are towing a Jeep Trailblazer and it weighs about 4100 pounds.  So, that is two tons (or more with the junk we always seem to carry) wagging back there like a big tail on a medium sized dog.   Your CRV probably weighs around 3300 pounds per specs, so it is about 800 pounds or so lighter and that is a lot and will work to your advantage. 

I think the speed is totally dependent upon many factors just like regular driving speed should be dependent.  Weather, road conditions, traffic, terrain, etc. 

On interstate highways with a 70-75 mph speed limit, I drive about 65 when towing but I may bump it up to 70 on long stretches of open road with light traffic.  On good two lane roads I drive about 60 mph.  I very seldom tow using a cruise control.  I prefer to have the "feel" of vehicle in my foot at all times.  The exception is great weather, great road and very little traffic.   Then, I will occasionally use the cruise control for short distances just to stretch my right leg and move it around a bit. 

As to the tow mode, I simply don't use it that much although many people prefer to just use it as you describe.   I simply, again, like to "feel" the transmission and engine and I shift manually if need be to a lower gear.  Now, at times I use it and then it is mostly when descending long and declines in the roadway.  For example, coming down a mountain pass for miles at a time.  The braking action works very well.  However, I personally find the Big Surprise of it suddenly shifting down and the tach showing significant increase in RPMs just a touch unnerving.   So, being old and set in my ways I guess, I like to control those functions myself and not rely on some preset standard established by some engineer guru that has probably never driven a RV pulling a toad and has never in all highly likelihood ever been on the particular road I am driving under those conditions. 

Here is an exception:  I find the Ford to be a bit cold natured when first started and I find the tow mode useful to compensate for that for the first few miles from a cold start.

Before many disagree with me, please reread my first paragraph rolling on the floor.   Each of us will have definite opinions and experiences and each driving pattern/habit will be best for them.  I just share my experiences.  We drive mostly in the Plains and in the Rocky Mountain West, so I encounter a lot of very different circumstances and conditions. 

Most importantly, find what is the most comfortable driving technique for you and your rig and only observation and experience can tell you.

Paul 
28  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure on: August 27, 2015, 01:56:59 pm
Here is the use for the Bypass copied and pasted from the manual.  Essentially, as I understand it, it simply allows the gray to run out by gravity.  "Dripping Gray" is acceptable in some National Forests and BLM lands in the West.  I have had forest officials tell me out there that it is helpful because of the drought.  It also allows you to drain your gray tank without running the pump.  


Using the Gray Water Bypass

Caution: To avoid the risk or the
pump running dry, do NOT turn
the pump on to use the gray water
bypass, as the gray water bypass
relies on gravity.
!
1. Make sure that the black and gray
water RV dump valves are closed.

2. Point the nozzle upward and remove
the nozzle cap.

3. Insert the nozzle into the sewer
connection and give it a half-turn to
lock the nozzle into the connection.
Note: The nozzle has a 4 in. (10.2 cm)
and a 3 in. (7.6 cm) threaded
section that adapts to 4 in.
(10.2 cm) and 3 in. (7.6 cm)
threaded sewer pipes.
Note: If the sewer pipe is non-threaded,
use the tapered press-fit section
on the nozzle to connect to the
sewer.

4. Open the gray water valve to let the
gray water drain into the sewer.

Obviously, with the kink many are experiencing she be a no-go until the kink is removed.  I carry a 15 foot garden hose (called a "remnant hose at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) and hook it up the standard "emergency drain" on my rig.  In case a kernel of corn or something goes down the sink, I suspect that little bypass tubing on the pump might be vulnerable to being clogged.  Works good for me on this and previous units.

MODIFICATION:  I posted this seconds after TomHanlon made the same post.  Sorry for the same info twice.

Paul
29  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure on: August 26, 2015, 08:54:50 pm
John, I forgot to mention that in my original post.  Yep.  Mine had a crimp in it also.  Assuming they are all cut to the same length, I would be surprised if everyone didn't have or will have that problem. 

Paul
30  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Macerator pump leak and door strut failure on: August 26, 2015, 05:01:29 pm
Thanks, Denny.  I find this forum to be most helpful to me.  Every brand and every model has specific quirks and tendencies it seems.  We need to share them so we can be prepared or perhaps avoid a problem.

My best example to date was the posts a couple of months ago about the darn refrigerator doors falling off!   I read the posts, ordered the support kit from Amazon and went on a long trip boondocking far off from civilization and cell phone service.  Now, wouldn't that have been a real hoot to have the door fall off thirty miles from civilization?  Those posts probably saved me some real agony.  When I examined the design of the door hinge on the refrig, I was shocked.  When I researched it further and found out it had been a known problem by the refrigerator manufacturer for years I was more shocked.   Such is life in the world of 2015. 

By the way, the O ring in the macerator is simply a 3" ID standard sized ring.   I went to four stores to buy a couple to replace the existing one and have an extra.  Tractor Supply, Lowes, Home Depot and a large Ace Hardware.  None sold O rings except plumbing rings for household plumbing repairs.   I was shocked.   The reason, one guy told me was because "most people don't repair things anymore, they just replace them".   That was a sad indictment of contemporary attitudes, but true I guess.  Now, I am going online and buy a couple to have for the future.  I just lubricated the existing ring and replaced it.

Paul
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