Show Posts
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 9
16  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.,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.

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.

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.

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.  


17  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.

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

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.

19  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

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.

20  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. 

21  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.

22  Main Forum / General Discussion / Macerator pump leak and door strut failure on: August 25, 2015, 09:58:32 pm
Today was the day to work on the macerator.   At the end of a three week trip two weeks ago, the pump started leaking whether running or not when the valves were open.  I closed both gray and black valves after dumping in Amarillo, Texas and drove on home to Oklahoma City (about 260 miles).   I got the rig out of storage today and took a look.   It was leaking at the connection where  the pump  bayonets to the black discharge line.  I removed the pump and checked it out, halfway guessing the housing was cracked.   No cracks.   I took out the flat ring and o ring seals, cleaned them and their seats and re-installed the pump.  Still leaking.

Now, this is a pretty simple setup.  The pump simply twists onto its receiver and leaks are prevented by the two rings.  What could be wrong?  Well, here is what it was:

     The pump is secured with its bayonet fitting and is supported by a U shaped support which is bolted through  the bottom of the storage area for the Sani Com system. Other models may differ from my 2350 in specifics of where the pump is located.   I noticed that the pump was not really in line with the black sewer pipe that fed into it.  When installed, the pump was pulled upward by the U support about a half an inch, putting strain on the mounting at the bayonet.  Over the three years since the rig was made (purchased in September 2012) that stress created by the misalignment had caused a small amount of distortion in the pump and the excess and uneven compression caused the o ring to no longer seal properly.  

The solution was to lower one end of the U support  a half inch by using a longer bolt and spacer to allow the pump to align.   Since the pump is only about 12 inches long, a half inch upward pull on one end is significant.   The installation manual for the pump indicates that the end should be secured in a way to support it with some flexibility.   It is a long way from a little flexibility to being essentially bent upward a half inch and rigidly installed.   No leaks now.  I filled both tanks and dumped them using the pump and all is well.   When something doesn't fit, forcing it to do so can result in a heck of a mess and problem sometime later for the owner.  

Also today, I fixed one of the struts that hold up the back storage area access door (where we store our hoses and the power cords on all PCs).  It had come loose from the door and all three screws had popped out.  No wonder.  When it was installed the bracket at the base of the strut was installed to a support that apparently had missed a screw or rivet and was flexing.   Who ever had installed it at the factory must have known of the problem because there were two sets of three holes, the sets being about 3/4 inch apart.  At first if it doesn't work, just move it over!   Glad Boeing doesn't do that building planes sad

I reinforced the strut bracket mounting so it would not flex, re-installed the strut in the proper location.   I replaced the screws on both struts where they mount to the door with screws both slightly longer and with a larger diameter to decrease pressure on the mounting.   One size screw just doesn't cut it everywhere a screw is used Cry

I report both of these repairs to my fellow owners so that if you have these problems you can  profit from my experience.  If the macerator leaks, check the alignment.   You might also check your two struts to make sure they are properly secured.  

Phoenix Cruisers clearly enjoy a built quality much higher than most Class C motor homes.   But regardless of that, just a simple error or "hurry up" on the production line can cause a real pain in the fanny for the owner sometime in the future.   A couple of minutes saved is a couple of hours spent by the purchaser repairing a problem that should never had occurred.  


23  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: No Flame Warning on Refrigerator on: August 25, 2015, 08:51:31 am
I suspect we are all prejudiced by our personal experiences regarding most things.  Me?  I have always preferred to go down the road on DC and have done so for most of my 30+ years of owning motor homes.  Our unit prior to owning our PC, we got over six years service on our set of coach batteries and always ran down the merry lanes on DC.  I replaced the coach battery after six years just because it was original and figured it was time.   The coach and chassis were never taken back to any dealer for service or problems after I drove it off the sales lot after buying it new.   So, I would conclude that for me the DC worked just fine.  Plus, on propane you always have to remember to turn of the refrig when gassing up.   Boom is a bad word.

24  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: No Flame Warning on Refrigerator on: August 18, 2015, 04:59:16 pm
Interesting posts.  Thanks to all.

In a recent trip to New Mexico we boondocked three weeks.  For a couple of days it rained and our solar was not as effective as normal.  It works pretty well for us with just four or five hours direct exposure.  In any event, I got the same default signal, checked the gas, checked the normal stuff...most of what I checked was mentioned in the posts above.
Lo and behold, my batteries were discharged but only to about 11.7%, which is still a significant discharge in percentage of 100% charge.  Solution was simple.  I started the chassis motor and ran it for a few minutes, got a quick shot on the coach batteries and fired up the genset.  Ran it for an hour.  No more problems with the refrigerator.  

These newer refrigerators have their advantages.......and disadvantages.  Personally, I think they are much more "picky" than they were a few years ago.   Read your manual on leveling.  I forgot what ours calls for, but it seems way to tight a spec for me.  Our old Dometic in our 2007 Roadtrek would freeze up the refrig on a low setting when it was several degrees out of level.  

The lesson for me:  my refrig defaults at a battery drain of just a little under 12 volts, apparently.  

By the way, my refrigerator is two way only.  I do miss the DC setting on my old refrig.  

25  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Mice in the coach. on: August 15, 2015, 08:35:07 am
I searched to see if I had commented about this in an earlier discussion, but did not find my comment so I guess it was made about this subject on forums.  In any event I hope this is not a repeat here.

We store our PC in an enclosed RV storage unit near our home.  The facility is located in a heavily wooded area and is at the edge where the city meets the country. 

There is a product called Tomcat which you can buy at Lowes, HD, Tractor Supply, etc.  It is a package of green blocks about an inch square and two inches long of mouse/rat poisoning and is effectively used by farmers and ranchers.   

I put one block on either side of each wheel on front and each set of wheels in the of eight blocks.   I have never had a mouse or rat problem.  They obviously have to get up to the coach and the only thing touching the ground is the tires.  Now, if you store outside that is a whole different situation and if you use it out there, you may kill some unintended critters.  You can buy little boxes to put the stuff in with a hole only large enough for rodents but I wouldn't want to chance it with a dog in the yard.

By the way, I keep a couple of blocks in the garage at our home and a couple in the attic just to be safe.  Our home is built on a slab and when we had a crawl space floor, I kept some under there as well. 


26  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fridge door fell off on: July 11, 2015, 11:28:32 am
Yesterday I installed the support kit to make sure the infamous door falling off problem was prevented.  Also - thanks to some posts here on this forum - I filled the hinges on the door with J&B Weld.  I also went ahead and filled the freezer door while I was at it.  It seems highly improbable that the freezer door would fail, but I did it anyway because I was rather shocked at how poorly designed the thing is and, yes, it is hollow and not webbed on our coach .  Filling it with J&B can't hurt and sure could help.  I took a plain old waterproof laundry marker Sharpie and "painted" the gray J&B and it is totally unnoticeable.

I post this report just to pop the topic back to the top of the forum in case someone sees this thread  now that missed it earlier.  I really appreciate the contributors to this post or I would have never known about this potential disaster........until it became fact for me.  ThankYou

27  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: DC power Use and Store switch on: July 11, 2015, 11:16:47 am
Thanks for your responses.  Since the switch is currently engaged and working (latched mechanically in the "on" position in the solenoid apparently) I think I will just forget about it and as suggested call Intellitec if it goes out on this trip.   When you boondock like we do, at times you don't have a cell signal for quite some time.  SO, we always prepare for the unexpected as best we can and hope for the best.   

Thanks again,

28  Main Forum / General Discussion / DC power Use and Store switch on: July 10, 2015, 05:17:22 pm
Our 2350 has a Intellitec BDO power switch to turn the 12 volt DC circuits on and off.  It is located just above the inside step coming into the unit.  I think all PCs are laid out about the same.  On two  occasions lately, I have had the solenoid fail to engage properly thus when I push the "use" denying the coach DC power.  Thus far, I have been able to turn it off and on a couple of times and get it to catch.  On line research indicates this is a simple power solenoid with an electrically operated latching switch to turn on the DC.  That is assuming this non engineer is guessing and interpreting with a bit of luck.  Help

The online graphics show two wires coming in from the switch by the door and then a large heavy duty terminal on either side for the  DC source from the batteries in and out, thus just four connections.  The switch and light at the door appear to be a simple pilot light display and a DPDT or some similar switch to send DC to activate the solenoid and deactivate it by reversing polarity.

Here are my questions:  

1.  Has anyone else had any problems with this use/store switching device?  

2.  Have you replaced the solenoid?  

3.  I think it is located under the bed and it will take the help of my wife to turn it off and on before I can tell for sure.  Does anyone know where it is on a 2350?

We are leaving on a  boondocking trip in a few days and are going to be totally off the grid and DC dependent.

4.  Anyone have a thought if  - in an emergency - the switch and solenoid could be bypassed and the two power wires coming into and out off the solenoid just temporary spliced together to provide full time DC until our trip is over?   I don't have time to order the switch and install it or have it checked out by someone before we leave on our trip. AND it is now engaged and all is well......I just don't want that puppy to disengage and leave us without power a long way from anywhere and that is where we will be for a while.

I know nothing about this circuit because this is the first time I have ever experienced this problem in any of our rigs over the years.  It just seems logical but logic and  electrical can get a guy in trouble, so I ask for your input.

29  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Battery Maintenance 2015 on: July 07, 2015, 04:42:56 pm
Color me old fashioned, I guess.  Or maybe just prepared.  In any event, I check most everything on our rig before we leave on a trip.  That includes but is not limited to all the appliances to make sure they work with the genset and when plugged in and to make sure the heater, water heater and the refrig work on the propane.   I check the water level in the batteries...every trip.  Since we boondock most of the time, battery management is imperative.  And I do a walk around visual every time we stop on a longer trip, which is about every 150 miles or so between rest stops.  I check the tires visually at each of these travel breaks and use a digital laser thermometer to check all six tires.  That can reveal internal as well as pressure differences and takes literally about  a minute to check all six.  I check the pressure if I have time, otherwise I drive a few more miles before doing so. 

Distilled water is available at almost all grocery stores.  It is cheap and I keep a gallon (less than $2 in our area) in the garage.  I use a food baster to add the distilled water and that little $ 3 baster is for that purpose only.  I monitor the batteries several times a day when boondocking.  You can buy a keen digital meter for this purpose from Amazon like this for less than $8 and hook it up as a dedicated indicator using gator clips.   The parasitic draw is nominal.

These coach batteries are notorious for needing cleaning of the connections.  I use a spoon and put baking soda directly on the affected places and rinse with a hose.  The battery pullout on PCs is perfect to do this very thing.  Then, if necessary, I also disconnect and clean the connections.  Also, you can buy a small can of spray that will help prevent the white electrolytic growth you see on the connections.  Just clean the connections, spray them with this "red stuff" and reconnect.  Get it at any auto parts outfit or Walmart auto area back where they sell vehicle batteries.

Also ---- the old penny trick.  Put a couple of pennies near the connection and take a look a few weeks later.  It will attract the grunge and help keep the connections cleaner in my experience.   In any event, they don't seem to slide off going down the road and they are a cheap treatment.   Just through them away when they get white fuzzed or turn white and green and put down another four cents worth.

When you boondock for extended periods, you really become cognizant of the need to spend a little time with your power source.  With 200 watts of solar I added myself (Renogy from Amazon and a small controller from the same outfit) we can spend as much time in one spot as we wish.  I monitor my little digital gauge two or three times a day and first thing in the morning (particularly if we have been running the heater because it is a 12 volt hog) and if you don't let your voltage get down below 12.0 or maybe a little lower, your batteries last a very long time and you have plenty of juice for running your rig.  

Hope some of these ideas are helpful to someone.  I learned them over the years from others and from trial and error.  I prefer 6 volt golf cart batteries but my PC had 12s and they work just fine.  When they need replacement, I will go to Sams or Walmart and buy a couple of golf cart batteries and hook them together.  Hopefully wiring them in series Grin

30  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Fridge door fell off on: June 21, 2015, 08:48:42 pm
Sue, thanks.  I will order that baby and put it on as insurance.  We want to put reasonable amounts of stuff in the door but a six pack of coke  is 4.5 pounds and you can go from there. you can get up to fifteen or so pounds pretty easily and that is the weight of a bowling ball.   

I fully understand this is to prevent - not repair - the potential problem.   Reading these posts and thinking of the horror of a full refrigerator's door tumbling down is enough for me to take action.   Thanks to all that posted on this.

I suspect Norcold will correct this problem at some point in time...probably when several someones have a foot broken by a full door falling on them and they get dragged into court in a class action petition.

 Isn't that sad?

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 9