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1  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Swapping out the inverter... on: Today at 10:30:41 am
We are far and away so we can't test this but could we hit the battery kill switch to lock out that power, plug in to AC power, then see if there is power to the inverter outlets?
2  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Swapping out the inverter... on: Today at 07:33:01 am
Our cell phones died on inverter power. We pulled batteries and were lucky that they reset. Kermit said it was the charger cable that couldn't handle it and that the larger charger cords/wall warts (like those for laptops) should be fine. We haven't had problems with the laptops on the inverted outlets but we now charge the cell phones and Kindles directly from the round twelve volt outlets - two in the truck dash drawing from the truck battery and one in the forward cabinet drawing from the house battery. We bought a little multi port charging station that lives in that front cabinet and has two USB ports as well as a couple of round ones. So far it works for us.

However, that pure sine wave inverter is on my wish list also so I am very interested in how your swap out goes.

3  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 14, 2014, 01:55:21 am
Hi Bruce! We hadn't realized you lived right there until after we had moved on up to Napa Valley. Then Mike told us we should look you up and we realized we had been within a mile of you. We now have a mental image of where you are and will try to touch base next time we roll through. I'm glad to hear your house came through unscathed. It's never good to hear about problems when you are away.

We got hit with one of those heavy storms and are glad to report that all the pieces of the Phoenix were still attached when it stopped blowing - we checked. A couple of those wind gusts felt like they could roll us right over. I had John make sure all the wheels and the jacks were solidly on the ground for maximum stability. Then we just sat it out. We were snug and dry and though there were branches and stuff down all over the campground, none of it came flying at us. The next day was clear, blue and beautiful with massive swells and crashing waves on the ocean. We're just outside of Newport, OR right now.

Enjoy your warm dry air and sunshine! We're actually enjoying our rain - the gentler stuff, not that monsoon thing that hit us.
4  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: GO NAVY on: December 14, 2014, 01:43:06 am
Well, gee Tom, isn't that the Army's job? To get in there and get the job done but make the more "delicate" branches of the armed forces look good? It sounds like they succeeded once again.
5  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 13, 2014, 10:09:57 am
Sorry Ron! I don't know if this will be comforting or not but you'd probably have to give up that beautiful house and all the special things you have in it to do what we did. Ours is rented out but we aren't going back. It will stay rented as long as it keeps paying for itself and then will be sold. We've realized it's too big and the area we lived in (to be near decent jobs) is too expensive for retirees. Our next house, once we don't want to wander anymore, will be small and in a quiet, less expensive area.

Another thought, that may or may not comfort you, is that we envy you. You have all these creative and repair type skills (like the kitchen) that we are sorely lacking. You also have the motivation to keep getting stuff done. We're pretty bad at that.

As for destressing, even if it in place - find a way to do it. I have health issues now that can trace directly to the stress in my former job. I didn't quit when the doctor told me to. I had outside volunteer activities that ate up my time and my sanity. I was wallowing in stress and was miserable and grabbed that life ring when John offered it. It scared the tar out of him at first but we don't regret it and are NOT looking back. 
6  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 13, 2014, 12:59:51 am
Thanks for the great input on the blog. A few comments on camping the Pacific Coast, all of which need verification.
- We were told by a California resident that you can legally pull off any state highway (NOT interstate) and camp for up to three days. We did see RVs lined up on a road running parallel to Rte 1 when we were north of Monterey. Someone here on the forum said there were signs designating boondocking areas down by Big Sur, south of Monterey. Most of the pull off areas we saw along Rte 1 were posted "no overnight parking" so those were out.
- We ran into two couples that were surprised at the signs in California. They said they had just boondocked ALL the way down the coast of Oregon by simply pulling over and setting up. With this in mind we started watching the pull offs along Hwy 101 and saw quite a few really nice paved or gravel pull offs or full parking areas with gorgeous ocean views that DID NOT have "no overnight parking" signs. We also saw some areas that had the signs so it implies that areas without the signs are good to go. We did see motorhomes pulled over with slides and steps out, etc. but as we were traveling mid-day, we can't be sure they weren't just there for a rest stop.
- Some of the pull outs in both states are designated for slow moving vehicles to use to allow passing so you would have to watch that.
- There are a LOT of national forests out here so disbursement camping is a possibility. We just didn't check into it this trip.

We have primarily camped in state parks since we hit the coast. California was about $35.00 night with no hookups. Oregon is about $24.00 for water/electric and $26.00 for full hookups. Both states have beautiful parks. As we get deeper into winter we are angling for at least electric hookups to deal with the cold and wet but are pleasantly surprised that the temps are mostly in the 50's  and 60's both day and night with a few bright sunny days tipping us into the 70's. We hit near freezing a few nights down in the redwoods but that seems to have been an unusual drop for that time of year.

Depending on when and where you go, you might want to consider a dehumidifier. We bought a small Eva-dry shortly after hitting Oregon. We need it just to dry out our rain gear. Otherwise we fog up the windows inside.

Speaking of windows. The ultimate test of whether the thermal windows make a difference - YES! Our nice warm house meets the cool, outside air at the glass. Our humidity is frequently high in here after having the door open and dragging in our wet gear. The house windows are clear and dry but the condensation is dripping off the inside of the truck windows. If we haven't run the heat and dehumidifier, we have to mop the truck windows off before driving because we can't see out. I'll know I've succeeded in insulating the house from the cab when I stop the condensation. I'm on a mission.
7  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 12, 2014, 07:30:10 pm
Bruce, yes our blog is created through WordPress but is on our own domain spiritofthewoods.net  Anyone with internet access can read the blog. You can also comment on the postings. We are still learning but we believe we fixed the settings so you can comment without putting in your personal information. So, if you do comment, you have to add your screen name or something at the end or we don't know who it is (which is also OK). One friend commented and showed up as "anonymous". We only knew who it was because he mentioned a tennis ball I gave him. Comments are held until we approve them so there may be a delay before they show up. This is a spam control thing.

We post to the blog sporadically though we try to date the postings to when things actually happened. We still have to go back and fill in our first year on the road, what it took to flip our lives over and go on the road, info on our Phoenix, info on the toys we bought for the Phoenix, etc. We play more than we blog but do hope to buckle down soon. We do not tell people exactly where we are for safety reasons. We hope to have a private page that requires a password so family and friends can see more up to date info in case they want to come out and play with us.

Note that the initial(s) at the bottom of each posting tells who wrote it J, H or J&H. We have VERY different styles and perspectives. I hope you find the blog interesting. Maybe you'll find a place that is calling for you and your Phoenix to come out and play! 
Holly
8  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC Friendly Folding Table - Sale Alert $20 on: December 12, 2014, 07:12:16 pm
Thanks Ron! We coveted your table for quite some time and finally got into Menard's area a few months back so we could buy one - at straight price  :(
Nice table though.
   Holly
9  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: December 12, 2014, 07:10:04 pm
David, I sent you a personal message with our contact info.

Everyone in the MD, VA, DC, DE, PA area, or anywhere else for that matter, that will be in or around Frederick Maryland on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 - You are invited to an "After the Holidays" open house at our son's house in Frederick Maryland from 3pm until whenever. We will put out a bunch of food and beverages and miscellaneous people will wander through, hang out, eat, drink, and be merry. There will be no gift giving, no caroling, no family drama (my standing rule of "play nice or go home" has worked well over the years). Just people meeting people.

We do not require RSVP's but you'll need to send me a personal message to get the address as I don't want to post it publicly AND it gives us a ballpark headcount for planning purposes. This is a totally relaxed affair. Our son loves to cook food and hang out with people. We want to touch base with people that are gone or busy over the holidays. I'm posting this here because we'd love to see all our fellow Phoenix owners that we've met or have yet to meet (if we haven't met you and you're a cranky person, please note the "play nice or go home" rule stated above).

Hope to see some of you there.

I wish a safe and happy holiday season to all!
     Holly

(to answer the unasked - no, I am not a Christmas baby, I was born on the first day of summer, my mother was... confused)
10  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 12, 2014, 06:12:52 pm
We've lived full time in our Phoenix for over 15 months now and have corresponded with many other owners and soon to be owners. One question that has come up is "would we get the custom desk/cabinets again if we were to buy another Phoenix?" This is a tough one. We requested the desk because we were both working half time when we went on the road. We needed space for two people to work on laptops for hours at a time with room for the mouse and assorted paperwork spread about. We also occasionally needed to set up our little printer alongside one of the laptops. This custom desk worked great for us while we were working. We worked outside at picnic tables when the weather was good but we were fully functional working inside with the desk. One person was on the desk and the other sat on the couch or bed with a nifty little lap desk holding their computer. We retired a few months back so the desk doesn't get used as much (though John is sitting at it now while he works on our blog). We talked about this and came up with the following analysis (hey, he's an engineer and IT guy - we analyze):

Pros: Lots of storage space. We keep all of our office supplies, first aid kit, flash lights, pocket knives, printer paper, Good Sam and other campground books, receipts to be entered into the computer, DVDs, CDs and more in those cabinets. They are handy for the "quick grab" stuff that you want near the door. We stuff computers or bins of off season clothing in the big space at the bottom. We can use the desktop/table to dine on or as a quick work surface for meal prep. It is still John's preferred workspace for lining up all the receipts and notebooks and plugging away at the computer.

Cons: The cabinet bumps the Euro Chair out an extra foot from the wall. Space between the Euro Chair and couch is tight when the slide is in (maybe a foot clearance, enough to get by). The desktop is too big to use as a side table to the chair so we have a little side table for holding John's Kindle, coffee, etc. when the desk is closed. The Euro Chair is designed for kicking back and lounging. It is a tad too short and sloped back so we have to use booster pillows to get to a comfortable height on the desktop. The front passenger seat rotates but it is WAY too low to use the desktop as anything other than a place to set things. You can't work on a computer from there. The height issue is the same for using the desk as a dining table. Doable, but not perfect.

So, our conclusion - no, we would PROBABLY not get the desk again, BUT we'd get the same cabinets that come in the 3100. We are used to the space constraints with the cabinet. John likes a desk. He likes to line up the notebooks, travel guides, receipts, etc. so that his workspace is organized before he settles in to computing. I think we would miss the desk even though it doesn't get used as much. I suspect that if we did not have the desk, he would be less happy when he worked on the computer inside. We are totally happy with our house so this isn't an issue we need to address any time soon. It is more a thought exercise to help out people thinking about getting the desk. Note that people viewing our Phoenix do not realize we are more scrunched up front. We've often heard the comment that we have so much space. WE know we are scrunched because we've been in PCs without the desk and know what we gave up to have it. We don't regret it.
 
I took a few pictures to show what the desk looks like. We move the chair around when we use the desk. Sometimes it is on the side so that you block the doorway. Sometimes it is at the end and we deal with the support post between our feet (and it blocks access to the cab). Sometimes John sits angled at the corner... I'm not sure why.
11  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: December 10, 2014, 03:40:04 pm
Welcome David and Sharon! John and I would also love to meet you. Our home base is Frederick (Ballenger Creek area). We'll be staying at our son's house in Frederick for the holidays. Maybe we can do a little PC People gathering.

Holly
12  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Santee SP, South Carolina on: December 05, 2014, 01:18:45 am
Beautiful spot! Be careful with those state parks. We were just passing through Georgia last year and wound up spending a month in their parks. It is easier to extend and stay on one site in Georgia as their reservations are not site specific. You reserve a type of site. For example 40 foot water/electric. When you get to camp you pick any matching site without a tag, clip your tag on and set up. If you see a better site open up the next day, you move your tag and coach and you're done. No processing back through the office. We liked it a lot.

I suggest you look up the Cradle of Forestry campgrounds also. We hit one of those outside of Asheville SC, and it was very nice and reasonably priced also.

You did get a late start on your journey south. I don't remember reading about any problems so is it safe to assume your winterizing while living on board worked out?

Holly
13  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: short time storage on: December 01, 2014, 04:55:05 pm
We'll be storing ours for a few weeks over the holidays as we did last year. We go through the full winterizing and power shut down  routine since there is a small possibility of freezing while we are gone. We were gone three and a half weeks last year, had some freezing temps where it was stored, came back and carried on as normal. We cleaned out food, drained hot water heater and holding tanks, added antifreeze, and shut off the propane. We also checked batteries and topped off the propane and gas tank. We hit the power kill switch next to the door just before we lock her up. Oh, we also open a vent a bit like Tom said and close all blinds.
14  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water under the slide on: November 28, 2014, 02:55:10 pm
Took some not so great pics while our coach was in for the leak repairs. Note that after several attempts to fix the leak with extra rubber strips, a little gutter on the sidewall, caulk, etc., Phoenix finally pulled off the entire slide, replaced the rubber strips and spent several days layering up the caulk you see in the photos. They gooped that puppy up with massive amounts of caulk. They let each layer set up and added another. She hasn't leaked since but it was a major repair. To remove the slide, we had to empty everything so they could pull the refrigerator, disassemble and remove the pull out pantry, unbolt and remove the couch pieces, remove all the nice wood trim, disconnect the slide awning and the scissor arms and disconnect all the electrical components. After they sealed and resealed everything they possibly could, they put it all back together. NOT a quick fix but you may be able to get a bunch of caulk in there to stop the leak without removing the slide. The idea is to build up a wall as high as you can without interfering with the slide mechanisms.

Hope the pictures help.

Note that if you are tilted far to the side opposite the slide during a heavy rainstorm, the water will most likely go up and over anything you have in there. It hits the slide side wall, rolls down into that flat area and fills up. It drains out the first place it overflows. The idea is to make sure that place makes it head OUT of the motorhome. Ours used to flow inside even when level or slightly tipped to the left. Now it flows out. If you expect torrential rain and cannot get level and KNOW it is going to leak in, pull in the slide.
15  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Happy Thanksgiving! on: November 28, 2014, 12:53:48 am
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I wanted to add that we cooked our first Thanksgiving dinner in the PC and it went really well. It takes a little staging but with John as chef and me as the assistant, we pulled off the full meal in our kitchen... except the pumpkin pie. We didn't shop early enough so we had an alternate dessert and the pie will be made in the next day or so. Oh, not only did we cook the meal but the leftovers fit in the fridge!

We love our house!
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