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16  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 12 volt air compressor on: May 04, 2015, 03:24:14 pm
Consider buying a small tankless 110volt compressor.  You can find them on Amazon and I bought mine a couple of years ago at Home Depot.  Mine is well made and has reasonable power and speed for a truck tire.   It was on sale for less than fifty bucks.  I always found that the 12 v were always slow, got very hot and had difficulty getting up to 75psi.   I carry a 25 foot 12 gauge extension cord regardless of consideration for the compressor.  I just start the genset, plug in the extension cord and use that for my drop to power the compressor.  My compressor is small, less than six inches high and about ten inches long, three or four inches thick.   In the original box it fits in the PC in the back storage where the power cord goes.  I just put it at the bottom next to the jack. 

Paul
17  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Newbie - First Trip on: May 01, 2015, 05:38:25 pm
Tom brings up a great point:  I had to use a six inch riser to get mine properly aligned.   The 2350 on the F350 is really pretty low in the back.  So low, in fact, I am mindful of the gasoline tank when backing into a camp site with a concrete barrier at the end of the pad.  Six inches is really big, but that is what it takes to get it level. 

Paul
18  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Newbie - First Trip on: May 01, 2015, 11:54:50 am
Bob, I have no problems with sway or wind with my setup.  You might read the post down the list on this General Discussions part of the forum from several days ago.  We talked about tire pressures and a 2350.  I have been doing it wrong and you can read about my recent "experiment".   As to alignment and camber, you are right on target.  A lot of posts over the years over in rv.net/forum about this and many guys swear by a higher camber.   I took mine to a great local tire shop that is family owned.   They have two or three bays large enough for 350 and 450 Fords and do work on commercial trucks in this end of town.  I have been using them for thirty years so I have a lot of confidence in them.  They put that puppy right in the middle of Ford specs, which are very wide.   Apparently, the first thing that an owner should do when a 350/450 is completed by the builder is for it to be aligned.   My first owner guy didn't do that and I assumed it had been done....not good and really dumb on my part to make such an assumption.  I made it because it drove fine.  After all, these are trucks.

Last week, I drove it about six hundred miles and the difference with the corrected tire pressure and alignment was significant.  That being said, last year we have made several trips down Interstate 40 from OKC out to Amarillo, about 250 miles and the road runs due east and west.  Cross winds of 25-35 mph directly out of the south are common in far western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle on that roadway.   Even so, I never had a significant problem from wondering or blow by from semis.  I suspect on our upcoming trip to NM I will think I am driving my Grand Cherokee on cruise control it will be so smooth with the corrections being made to the 350.

Take a look at the posts in OUR TOAD just below on this forum and you will find a post by me in which I list my hitch and braking equipment. That may be the reason, even with the alignment off and pressures out of kilter that I have had great experiences pulling the Trailhawk.

Paul  
19  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Newbie - First Trip on: May 01, 2015, 08:57:41 am
Bob, enjoy your 2350! 

Our experiences are similar. We were going to Elkhart and trick out a 2350.  We had spent a year researching to determine just what brand and layout would work best for us.   In the fall of 2013, a (2013) 2350 with a little over 7000 miles popped up for sale four miles from our house....with many more goodies than we would have ordered.  We made a deal in about thirty minutes with the owner!  It had lived in a HVAC controlled garage and been on two trips.  They had never taken the plastic wrap off the floor mats and tags were still hanging from the genset!!

To go with it, we got.....get ready.....a Trailhawk!   Seems we share an almost identical experience and tastes.  Last summer we spent a month in our rig in NM and CO.  We boondock mostly in NF campgrounds with no hookups and have done that for thirty years.   The tipping point for the 2350 decision for us was the black tank.  It is very large for this size unit and great for boondocking.

You will love your Trailhawk.  I have driven Jeeps for 25 years and it is the best one in most respects we have owned.  It is my wife's daily driver and I drive a Grand Cherokee....two Jeep family. 

Last week was spent in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas for an early spring shake down before we head out to NM in a few weeks.  For the first time, I equalized the tanks.  I had forgotten what I had read about how to do it, but found the information in the Sanicom manual that came with the unit. 

Since we love to boondock, I installed 200 watts of solar I ordered from Amazon.  Now, we can be in the same spot without moving for days at a time and use the genset only for the microwave/convection oven.   

Like you, we found the 2350 with Trailhawk in tow went over significant passes with relative ease.  We have had 450 Fords in rigs in the past and I think the 350 seems a little less trucky, but the difference in the rear end ratio does make a difference on some of those passes.   

Enjoy that new baby!!   It has a brother rig down the road in Oklahoma City!

Paul
20  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: OUR TOAD on: April 29, 2015, 08:43:24 am
Joseph, you can't win 'em all!! rolling on the floor rolling on the floor

Actually, the Invisibrake is very appealing.  I took a close look at it and just decided to go to this route.  Our Cherokee Trailhawk is off road rated and weighs over 4000 pounds.  We pop down the back seat and fill that baby with gear because we boondock in National Forest Campgrounds for weeks at a time.  So, we are pulling quite a bit of weight for a 5000 pound hitch and want the most margins of safety we can get in our equipment.  How and where you use your rig and toad has a great deal to do with these decisions.    We climb up and down a lot of 10,000+ foot passes ever year and I need all the help I can get. 

Paul
21  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
22  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



23  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
24  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
25  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
26  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

27  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?
28  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!

29  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
30  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
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