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16  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: OUR TOAD on: April 28, 2015, 10:31:45 pm
Joseph and all,

Here is my equipment (I think the models are correct.  All the manuals/receipts are in the PC in storage, but I am sure this right.  


https://smibrake.com/towed-vehicle-braking-systems/stay-in-play-duo.php           brake
 
    http://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bars/Roadmaster/RM-520.html                            tow bar  Falcon 2
 
http://roadmasterinc.com/products/brackets/bracket_type.html#ez                        E5 base plates.  No crossbar needed on mine.  My plates just replaced the factory tow hooks that were in the same place.

I couldn't be happier with this combo.  By the way, the guy that installed it called me while I was going down the interstate towards New Mexico to ask how it was doing and if I had any questions.  Talk about service!   Gave me his cell and told me to call him anytime if I had a question or problem, weekends or evenings included.    You can afford to pay a little more to a guy like that and call it insurance. 

Paul
17  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: OUR TOAD on: April 28, 2015, 08:15:17 am
I love that SUV.  You will have a blast with it.  I almost bought one a couple of years ago, but I guess Jeep is just part of my soul after driving them for over 25 years.

I had never towed four down in my life until last year.  I spent a lot of time on the various forums learning about towing four down.  RV.net forums has a special forum for this very category with a lot of really experienced folks on it.  I researched various types and brands of equipment.  Usually, I do virtually all the work on rigs myself and enjoy it.  

I came to the conclusion that if I bought and installed the towing equipment myself, since I have never towed and had no knowledge other than what I had read and discussed, it would be my first experience doing this.  Can I follow instructions?  Normally, yes.  Do I want to be a first timer then pulling a 4000 pound brand spanking new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk  behind my new PC?   I can learn to do that.  Will I really trust my installation of all the parts and have high confidence I installed everything exactly correct and will it function to its maximum ability in an emergency situation?  No!!

So, I went to a highly recommended local, independent RV service technician shop.  Three bays and four guys that two had worked on RVs for over thirty years each.  I sat down with the guy that owns the place and told him what I wanted to do and how I would use the toad and all the details.   He said "Here is what you need".  I said how much.  It was about $3500 total out the door.   I have an integrated brake system, an easy to use towing bar that releases properly and a good hard wired indicator on the PC dash showing the system working.  He went over the system several times with me and my wife and then made us hook it all up while he watched.  The hitch equipment he installed is really heavy duty and not the Walmart Reese thickness (which is fine for most things and I have used it for decades).   Safety first and last.

I didn't tell my wife, because the Jeep was brand new and her baby, but I dropped by and watched them install part of it.   I never could have done it properly.  They had the whole front off the Jeep and when they finished you could see not a scratch or problem Number One.   They did a perfect job.  

I flip a switch under the Jeep dash and my towing brake system comes on.  Hook it up and off we go. We both check and double check the "hook up" process before we pull out.

Our first tow trip was from Oklahoma City to the mountains of Northern New Mexico, about 600 miles.   Interstate, state roads and winding mountain roads, including a 9000 foot pass.   No problems whatsoever.  

SO, I write all this recent experience to share my conclusions:   get good equipment.  This is not a place to try to save a few bucks IMO.  Have a pro advise you and have a pro install it.  Don't allow some Billy Bob at Camping World or somewhere that maybe has a month's experience to take on this job.  Safety is just too important to compromise.

Paul



18  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2350 Tire Pressure on: April 25, 2015, 09:26:36 am
Here is the results of my tire pressure experiment outlined above in my earlier post.  We drove from Oklahoma City over to NW Arkansas to a state park, mostly on an interstate highway, then on twisting mountain roads in the Ozarks for about a hundred miles total, then back to OKC mostly on a turnpike.  So, we traveled on a variety of roads.  We traveled with our fresh water tank full, quite a bit of stuff and so were fairly well loaded.  Driving speeds were between 65-70 on the interstate and pike and in 40s mostly on the mountain roads.  

Tire pressure wise, I tried a few variants and ended up with 65 psi on all six tires.   I must say, for the first time since we bought our PC about 19 months ago from the first owner who put a little over 7000 miles on it, it really drove much smoother than any other pressure combo I have tried.  The difference between 75 psi in the rear and 65 really made a significant difference in the ride, and reducing the fronts to 65 also improved the handling and ride.  I was very pleased with change in ride after settling on 65 all.  

I don't know about a 450 chassis, but the 350 really was greatly improved with this pressure.  Rough roads were simply much smoother with 65 psi vs 75 on the rear and 70 on the front.  I am really going to watch for any wear patterns on the tires, which are new due to the MS recall and replacement with MS2.  

Paul
19  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2350 Tire Pressure on: April 17, 2015, 11:07:36 pm
Well, I think I will play with this on our upcoming short trip.  I will keep the rear at 65 where the tire guy put it when the alignment was done last week, and I will put the front at about 65 and drive a couple of hundred miles. Then, I will drop the 65 to 60 and see if I can detect any ride difference.   This will be interesting.   We will be driving less than 600 miles total and so it will be easy to feel any significant difference.

Thanks for all the input.  This is really counter intuitive for me, but am going give it a shot.  One thing about it:  it is easy to let it out and put it in and air is cheap (if you carry your own compressor Cheers)

Paul
20  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2350 Tire Pressure on: April 16, 2015, 10:24:43 am
Tom, I bring this up because yesterday I was getting ready for a trip and checking tires.  I had my front end realigned at a great local tire shop last week (independently owned, AAA Certified, two RV bays.....owned by the same family for fifty years).   When I checked my tires yesterday, which I meticulously do on all of my vehicles, I was shocked when I started at the back and got 65 on the dual.  I thought I had a leak!  Then I checked all the rears and got 65 exactly.  Checked the front:  75.   So, I checked the PC sticker on the driver's post and sure enough, that was what was on it.  Like you, I have always done the exact opposite.   I don't know if the pressure is set that way because it is an E350 and is different than an E450 or not???   The local guys just matched the sticker.  They know RV folks are always pretty anal about their personal preferences, and with good reason:  rig specific experience.

I have used 65 front and 75 rear since I got the PC about 18 months ago.  So, I asked the experts here.  65-75 was what I used on my previous Class  B (two front and two back and weighed out at almost 8800 on a Chevy 35 modified chassis) and that is what I have used on my previous two E450 Cs.

Ron's comments are really inline with the local tire guy's setting and the PC post.   Interesting about Ron's experience with the ride quality at the lower pressure.  

I am going on a short trip for a few days and will drive only about 600 miles round trip, mostly Interstate, so I am going to pop the rears down to 65 and just see how they handle.  Ron is on target again: those babies look a little underinflated to me, but so do all low profile car tires.  You just can't go on looking anymore.

I carry three things always regarding tires:  a good (and old so made in Ohio) trucker's gauge, a 110v compressor I can run from the genset and an infrared thermometer with which I check tire heat after driving a while.  I use the thermometer  to detect any internal tire problem that may not show up on a pressure check.

I will look forward to others comments and maybe a consensus will develop.   There has been a bunch of postings over the years on rv.net about this question but I am interested in PC specific responses and particularly focused on the E350.  

Paul
21  Main Forum / General Discussion / 2350 Tire Pressure on: April 16, 2015, 07:29:07 am
OK, I searched the forum and read some information about tire pressures.  

Here is my question:  on a Phoenix Cruiser 2350 Ford 350 with slide and fully loaded (water, gear etc) what tire pressure are you using?  

The sticker shows 75 front, 65 rear.   Now, I know to be technical each axle should be CAT weighed and to be really technical each of the surface contacts should be weighed separately.   I just need to know this:  what pressure do folks with this specific unit use?  65 rear seems low to me and 75 front seems high, both by five pounds or so. 

This question is really specific to Ford 350s.  I have owned 450s in the past but this is my first 350.  The tires are new MS2 thanks to the recall.

Paul

22  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Adding a reverse switch to the fantastic fan on: April 13, 2015, 07:45:38 pm
I would love to add a rheostat to our fan.  Even on low, in a coach the size of a 2350, it is pretty loud.  It would be nice to be able to slow it down to just pull a small draft from an open window at night.  Anyone done that?
23  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Thinking about our next RV . . . on: April 09, 2015, 12:42:29 pm
The slide in a smaller unit makes an incrdible difference, particularly when camped for an extended period of time.  The generator:  never leave home without it.  It is an absolute must for us because we mostly boondock.   Last summer I installed  200 watts of solar (Renogy panels from Amazon, 100 x 2) to keep up the twin batteries while boondocking.  I have wanted solar for years and it is great!

24  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC Quick Look on: April 01, 2015, 05:42:19 pm
We have had our 2350 for about 18 months now.  We go some pretty off the beaten path places and it really works well for those boondocking experiences, mostly in the National Forests.  We slapped two hundred watts of solar on the roof and we are happy little campers!  This summer, we will escape the Oklahoma heat and head for the Northern New Mexico mountains back in the forest campgrounds.  The 2350 is like incredible luxury space wise for us, except for the limited exterior storage.  We came from the Class B world having had three Bs:  two Roadtreks and many years ago a Horizon which was made by Intervec, a company with a very close relationship and heritage to Phoenix Cruiser.  

When you come from Class Bs to a 2350, you have gone big time interior space wise!   From a wet to a dry bath, from a narrow aisle of 30 inches to a nice slide, from small twin beds that my 5' 8" body was really too tall for to a corner bed that is essentially a full size bed.  So, we love our 2350 and have no desire for something bigger after all those years of Bs.   The last B we owned was a Roadtrek 210P and it was a beauty, 22 feet long, totally tricked out and only 8' 4" high.  It had more inside and outside storage than the 2350 and got about 14 honest mpg.  It drove just like what it was:  a big van.  Our traveling style has changed from mostly touring to mostly camping for a couple of weeks in one spot and seeing the area with our toad, a Jeep Cherokee.  For this stage of our life, the PC is perfect.  We solved the camping gear storage problem by just flipping down the back seat in the Jeep and filling that baby full of "stuff", most of which we will never or very seldom use, but we got it if we need it.  Incidentally, our Cherokee Trailhawk is automatic and tows nicely four down.  The PC handles it just fine and it weighs about 4100 pounds with our stuff in it.

We have had two close friend couples sell their big Class A motorhomes in the last few months.   Just toooo much hassle and, although they wouldn't openly surrender the truth, scary to drive.   The Phoenix Cruiser products are a perfect compromise between too big and too small.  Like Goldilocks, just about right.  We couldn't be more pleased with our rig.

I congratulate anyone with the courage to have a large or small trailer.  I could never have one because my wife's screams when I tried to back up that puppy would probably eliminate
what little hearing I have left exactly!!!

Paul
25  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: trasfur swith on 2551 year 2009 on: March 17, 2015, 11:51:26 am
So THAT is why the carpeted screwed on panel is back there.  I was working on my 2350 yesterday and wondering "why was this built this way?".   Thanks.  That is great info for all of us.  I have had this unit now for 18 months and am still discovering!!

Paul
26  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Weight and Tire Pressure, Good News on: March 17, 2015, 11:48:13 am
Mike, you mentioned how the pressures go up when driving.  For years I have lowered my tire pressure seasonally.  It gets hot here on the Southern Plains and in the Southwest.  Driving highway speeds for a few hours during July or August, it is amazing how much additional pressure is in your tires.  I don't have a monitor system but I carry a quality guage and a laser thermometer.  I check the temps every few hundred miles on long trips because some tire problems are most evident by increasing temperatures and will not necessarily be reflected in pressure.   Or at least, that is what a couple of really good tire dealers have told me. Just a thought to pass along. 

I also lower the pressure in my Jeep Grand Cherokee for the summer months.   

Paul
27  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fluorescent light failure and melted housing on: March 09, 2015, 07:51:54 am
bobander, thanks for this posting.  That is indeed scary!  It teaches me to replace those tubes when they first start showing any sign of blackness at the ends.  Apparently, you experienced an internal partial short that caused all the heat.  I am surprised the fuse didn't blow before it got to that point, but who knows what happened.

The reading lights in my PC are just simply not useful.  I replaced the bulbs with LEDs because the originals were halogen and got the fixture so hot it would burn you to the touch after a couple of minutes of operation.  Not good.  The other problem is they do not swivel sufficiently to properly light the reading material.  They really light my bald head well, but not what I am reading.  SO, I am going to replace all of them, probably with these:

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-GW21500-Reading-Chrome/dp/B00AQKC7LO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425901556&sr=8-2&keywords=rv+reading+lights+led

If anyone has a better suggestion for the replacements, please let me know.  

Paul
28  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Help. TV/DVD, under kitchen sink and GCFI not working. on: December 01, 2014, 07:34:34 pm
That is certainly good info to have and remember.  Incidentally, since rememberiing becomes more challenging for me each year I make it a habit to take pictures with my IPhone of everything I am working on before I start taking stuff apart.  That way, I can have the "before" pics right there and can enlarge them on the screen to see what I need to see and remember.  The resolution of these camera phones really is great these days.

When my wife wants me to pick up some replenishable item at the store I take a picture of the old one's box or case or bottle so I can get the very same thing.  Then, I just delete the pictures after I get home and She Who Must Be Obeyed is satisfied and approves that I done good HiThere
29  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Help. TV/DVD, under kitchen sink and GCFI not working. on: November 29, 2014, 09:27:44 pm
Tom, electricians on commercial projects in which I am sometimes involved tell me that GFI failure "right out of the box" is not that uncommon these days.  One guy told me he had two in a row bad from the box.  The third time was charm.  So, it certainly is possible you got a bad replacement. 

Paul
30  Main Forum / General Discussion / How many Phoenix Cruisers are on the road? on: November 21, 2014, 08:50:26 am
We have now owned the 2350 for a little over a year and have made several trips in it, two were over 1500 miles round trip.  Occasionally, someone on this forum will report spoting another PC.  Since we seldom see other PCs, I ask this question:  does anyone have any idea how many PCs are out there?  Has PC ever released to the public their production unit numbers?   It is so seldom we spot a fellow traveler in a Phoenix Cruiser, I just wonder about these numbers.

Paul
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