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1  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Minnesota/North Dakota on: May 28, 2014, 04:39:57 pm
 ;)We were in the Dakotas last fall and traveled up from the south and joined I94 just east of Bismarck, the Capital.  Coming from the east you first travel from Minnesota to North Dakota at Fargo - Moorhead.  Remember the movie "Fargo"?
North Dakota slopes up from the east to the west starting around 900 feet above sea level on the east side and reaching over 3,000 feet above sea level on the west side.  Don't expect great fuel economy; it looks very flat, but you are traveling up hill all the way.

There are some historic sites all the way across the state, but the Bismarck - Mandan area is really like an oasis.  The Missouri river divides the two cities and the view from the observation deck at the state capital in Bismarck is spectacular.

The Medora area is in the Badlands and is very interesting.  Teddy Roosevelt loved the place and ran cattle there.  The Marquis de Mores and Teddy did not get along and the history of their relationship is very interesting. 

One word of caution;  the west side of North Dakota and the east side of Montana where they meet is deluged with oil rigs since they have discovered relatively  easy ways to extract the oil.  The research indicates there is 4 times as much oil below the surface there as under the richest Saudi oil fields has led to  massive influx of people and equipment.  The infrastructure is taking a real beating, but it is still quite interesting.  Make every effort to secure your rig before wandering about.
2  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: First trip on our 2350: a report on: November 22, 2013, 11:37:07 pm
 ;)Congrats, Doneworking!
We lived in OKC for 10 years and moved to Hurst, Texas, in 2000.  Over the years we have had a number of vans, campers, and motorhomes, and are now on our third PC.  We started with a 2400, went on to a 2551, and in February of this year we went to Elkhart to pick up our new 2552.  Kermit is the greatest guy to work with and a neat person once you get used to his dry sense of humor.
Gas mileage has always been a concern since we regularly pull a fully enclosed trailer rather than towing a vehicle.  Yes, pulling a trailer can be a hassle, but we can back-up and Kermit installed an additional camera on the trailer for us. Neat!
The E350 in the 2400 did OK, but the E450 is really much better. We had the Roadmaster system and Bilstein shocks installed on both the 2400 and the 2551 and it really improved the handling, particularly in strong crosswinds.  The 2013 chassis already had beefier sway bars and better shocks so we did not see the need to add those. We did add the Banks system to the 2551 for $3400.00 and got about a half mile to the gallon improvement and some better mountain performance.  The 2013 seems to have about the same performance as the 2009.  We can get over 9 mpg without the trailer, but 7 is about the best we can do pulling the 8,000 lbs trailer with the Jeep inside. I am looking into a diesel conversion from a company in Montana and would love to see the Cummins 5.9 Liter engine in this chassis. 
You will enjoy the PC and if you haven't already been there, you should go to Elkhart and meet Kermit and the office boss, Karen. They are terrific people and we have enjoyed visiting with them.  PC owners are a good group and are willing to offer advice and help if possible. And all of us love showing our PC, especially the little modifications we manage to talk Kermit into doing for us.
3  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: ENGINE COWLING on: October 05, 2013, 10:12:22 pm
Sparky,  We removed the cowling and is was not difficult.  If the rubber gasket comes off make sure you index it correctly and put it back on exactly where it came off - that will insure that the cowling reseals properly.  We added insulation and reinstalled it only to discover I had misaligned the gasket. Off it came and some serious moments spent insuring it went back on correctly.

That was on our 2009 2551 PC, which was the second PC we owned.  We picked up our 2013 2552 in February and will be doing the same to the new engine cowling.  We already insulated under the hood and that helps immensely.  The insulation kit came from J.C. Whitney and is heat resistant and the only one I could find that was recommended for use in engine compartments.

We will try to get some pictures into the forum soon of the installation and some of the other mods Kermit accomplished for us.  He is terrific to work with and managed to get all of our utility hook-ups in the trunk so our PC has smooth sides except for the fuel door.

Good luck.

4  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Propane/carbon monoxide detector on: September 02, 2013, 11:16:28 pm
 ;)Have had similar problems with a number of other RVs and always considered the propane gas detectors a nuisance until the new 2552 came home.  My neighbor heard a noise and alerted me. I checked and could not detect anything, but when I looked at the propane tank gauge it showed consumption since I had it filled and we had not used any propane appliances.  A squirt bottle revealed the regulator was leaking badly enough to trigger the interior sensor.  Have much greater respect for that monitor now.  PC (Kermit) replaced the regulator and line and did a leak check last month. OK now.
5  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: backup camera on: January 09, 2013, 01:22:04 am
 ;)We had Kermit install a switch in the dash to select either the Phoenix camera or the one mounted on the rear of our enclosed car trailer.  Worked just great and Kermit is installing the same system on our new 2552.  Other than minor hiccups, the in-dash Tom-Tom/Back-up camera/radio control always performed as advertised.
6  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 3100 impressions on: January 02, 2013, 08:17:25 pm
We will pick up our 3rd Phoenix in February.  We have had 15 RVs from slide in pick-up campers to full size class A diesel pushers (3 to be exact) and have found that the Cruisers are the best for the buck, particularly when considering the outstanding factory support. There will always be little annoyances, but Phoenix factory and personnel support have always supplied answers.  

The cabinet and drawer latches have a capture mode that can be defeated by partially closing the door and reopening without allowing the latch to engage. It only takes a second to "re-spring" the latch and normal operation resumes.  I neglected to do this properly one time and had to re-attach the latch with filler and new screws.

The slides are heavy, but are generally not problematic.  The carpeting usually fluffs back up for us, but if the PC sits in storage more than it is used it is understandable that some indentations may be more stubborn.  Buy a Phoenix to use it as often as you can and the wear points are smooth, consistent, and predictable.  We are on our third Phoenix and like the improvements on succeeding models, so our concern over the little things that show up as a Cruiser is used is not important to us.

Enjoy the Phoenix - there is nothing on the market like it.
7  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead starter battery on: September 02, 2012, 04:07:44 pm

Sounds like you have an "electrical leak". Something in your chassis (Ford) is sneaking enerygy from your battery.  Disconnect any extra wiring that may be attached directly to your battery such as a brake controller and see if the battery will stay up.  You obviously are buying good batteries, but you may have to temporarily connect an ammeter in line with your battery wire to see if the leak still exists after you remove everything else.  Our chassis battery has never given us a moments problem so I think this is a serious matter.
8  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Alignment experience on: August 21, 2012, 12:50:12 am
 Wink We had our 2551 aligned as soon as Phoenix completed the coach in 2009 by a shop in Elkhart recommended by Stuart.  It was one of the best alignments we have ever gotten and it drove perfectly.  Our 2009 PC 2551 is our second Phoenix and the 15th camper we have had.

9  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Who's going to be in TX between now and the reunion? on: August 21, 2012, 12:31:10 am
We will be going to Kerrville on September 6th - it is an easy one day drive for us.  Anyone who lives in this area or will be traveling through is more than welcome to come by.  Our driveway will be full the day before Kerrville as we will be loading both the PC and its matching trailer for this adventure.

Chuck & Judy Schaffer
Hurst, TX
10  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: August 19, 2012, 11:14:28 pm
Hello fellow PC ers!

Rotorbrain is now onboard!

We have a 2009 2551 custom put together by the infamous Stuart and like our previous 2006 2400 PC, it is doing very well.  Phoenix is the only place to get an RV as far as we are concerned based on quality and the absolutely fabulous service and support from the entire Phoenix staff.  Our first visit to Kermit's shop was more out of curiousity but we came away with a tremendous amount of respect for Kermit and his staff.  Bobby is terrific at resolving little problems, Karen is gracious and polite in the front office.

We equipped the 2551 with the Roadmaster Heavy Duty sway bars and Bilstein shocks and highly recommend them for anyone anticipating strong crosswinds.  We also have the Banks Power System and that is a must for anyone considering towing.

We are now working with Stuart and Kermit on putting together a 2552 and will be at the rally in Kerrville in September.

Hope to meet some of you there.

Chuck & Judy Schaffer
Hurst, Texas
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