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1  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dip stick on: November 14, 2015, 08:23:49 am
After following Ron's steps, lay the dipstick on a clean paper towel. The oil transfers to the paper and you can see the difference between wet and dry zones even with clean oil.
2  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Cruiser sighhtings on: November 11, 2015, 06:37:50 am
Spotted my first PC today while driving east on Monocacy Blvd  The PC, probably a 2551 or 2552 was westbound heading for RT 15.
Probably Tom Hanlon. We're in Frederick but our baby is in storage right up the road. We drove that route last week on the way to emissions test station. They don't test over 25 feet or so but you have to take it in for them to look at first. We now have a waiver for life... or until we change our legal address.

We'd love to meet another Phoenix owner. If you feel the same, send me a personal message and we'll work out a time and place.
3  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Cruiser sighhtings on: November 06, 2015, 06:11:34 am
I'm glad you made it to the Trace. We enjoyed our run down it last year and met another Phoenix owner at one of the campgrounds we stayed at. I'm guessing you camped at Rocky Spring. That's where a tornado passed over us and touched down a few miles away. We had heard the warning on the weather radio and alerted the other campers so everyone was huddled in those cinder block bathrooms, even our cat (who seriously did not like the smells in the men's room). We had massive wind and rain but the camp was in pretty good shape after it passed. As we drove out on the Trace the next day, we saw where they had already cut and moved downed trees and branches. It is a very well maintained road.

I hope you had some fall colors. It would be gorgeous driving through them. I'd also like to drive it when some of those trails are blanketed in spring wildflowers. Thanks for triggering some great memories.
4  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Winterizing on: November 04, 2015, 05:56:32 am
That is quite a comprehensive list. Thank you for posting it. John does not want to put pressure on the system by blowing out the lines so we follow the winterizing video Earl has on the Phoenix site. This will be the first long freeze time that we are not in the rig so I guess time will tell if our system works. We have stored up to a month of freezing weather and have been living in her for shorter freeze times where we do a partial winterization to protect the Macerator and tanks.

We also pull out our more delicate electronics and all little batteries - weather radio, walkie talkie, GPS, remote thermometer, battery charger with batteries, little solar charger, etc. We have a little bin they live in until they go back in place.

And I pull the mattresses a couple inches from the wall to avoid condensation there and open one vent a bit.
5  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Need The Strength Of "THE HULK" To Work Your Shower Head? If So, Read This. on: November 04, 2015, 05:39:10 am
From reading your posts I gather this advice may not apply to you, but one can never be sure.

AVOID death by chair!   It is so easy to settle into a routine of sitting and thinking, or reading, or watching TV. Sure, retirement means slowing down but that comfy chair will pull you in and suck the life out of you.

I know you are active in your church and community so that will help... but leads to more advice: learn to say no. If you don't, you'll wind up with a full time job that you don't get paid for. Now is a good time to make that "Bucket List" for each of you and get to it.

It will take time to adapt but I think you're going to love being retired. I was beyond ready but John was not. He was happy at his desk and in his chair. Within two months on the road, he was totally into it. So, congratulations, relax and enjoy!
6  Main Forum / Photos / Re: Milky Way over PC2100 on: November 04, 2015, 05:26:36 am
Wow! That is beautiful!
7  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Need The Strength Of "THE HULK" To Work Your Shower Head? If So, Read This. on: October 25, 2015, 05:54:32 am
We bought the Oxygenics and have it under the bed waiting for us to motivate into fix-it mode. We are so bad at this stuff, we dread it. The shower works with muscle on that button so we put it off. I get jealous reading some of the posts you all put up here. You are so good at fixing things. It's winter now and we tucked our baby away so the shower head will have to wait for spring.
8  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours on: October 25, 2015, 05:44:22 am
We carry a small tube of clear silicone caulk in our repair kit just in case. While it might not be the best product for every job, there may be times we are far from a store and need a quick repair. It may wind up on our roof one day until we can get the Dicor.
9  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: October 24, 2015, 05:44:33 am
Welcome to the forum  Cheer, I see you had a Phoenix before so you must already love them so I'll move on to events. You are far enough west to join in with the west coast group. They do several Phoenix gatherings every year and the entire club has one large gathering each year. The next full reunion is in September 2016 in Washington DC. It would be awesome to see you there!

Enjoy your travels,
10  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Full-timing in You Phoenix Cruiser? on: October 24, 2015, 05:38:34 am
We were full time for a year and a half. The first year we also worked half time out of the coach via the internet. We are temporarily grounded while we care for our granddaughter but are both ready to go again as soon as we can get back on the road. We then plan to stay on the road in our Phoenix until we either can't do it anymore or don't want to. Part of our travels can be found on our blog The ads were stuck in there by wordpress, we apologize for them.

The Phoenix has performed wonderfully. It took us a long while to slow down our travels and to feel comfortable with life in an RV but we now realize we can go just about anywhere, do anything. We chose the 2552 for two main reasons. 1) length: some state and national parks have a 30' limit. That said, many can accommodate longer rigs so we don't know how much a 2910 or 3100 would have limited us. A few times, we barely fit in the sites. 2) weight: the added slide in the 3100 takes about 1,000 lbs off your possible payload. We have not weighed our rig yet so we can't say if that would have been an issue but I'm pretty sure it would. We did add a bank of cabinets behind the passenger seat with a flip up desk and a few other weight adding items plus we carried a full office for the job - small printer, mini scanner, two laptop computers, cell phone booster with interior and exterior antennas and all the office paraphernalia of paper, pens, notebooks, etc.

My recommendations if you are seriously considering full time: 1) Do it now - that was the one regret of pretty much all the full timers we've met - they waited too long (mostly to hold on to what they have and know: the house, the stuff, the garden). You never know when something will happen that stops you or limits you. Do it while you can. 3) Reduce now while you plan. Get rid of or pack up all that stuff in the closets and kitchen cabinets and basement. Label it clearly. Use your kitchen with the stripped down "RV stuff" and see how you do. You'll find a couple good knives can replace a whole draw full of gadgets. If there is something you really miss and know you will use a lot, go dig it out of that box and add it to your RV kitchen gear. Do it in steps. One pass through each room to get rid of the "low hanging fruit" or easy pickings. A second pass to part with things that you thought you wanted the month before. A third pass to get down to the hard core necessities. If you are holding onto it for your kids for after you die, give it to them now. You can always borrow it back if you have to but we found they don't want most of what you have. They already set up a house with their own tastes. Our son wanted a few keepsakes and that was it. 2) Sell the stuff. We paid a bunch of money to store stuff thinking we would come back and settle again. Within two months on the road we knew that was a mistake. When we stop traveling it will be to settle into a much smaller house in an area with a much lower cost of living... with room for our RV. We are actively selling off almost everything we stored. We don't want to pay to store it anymore, we don't want to pay to move it across the country, and we figure it won't fit in our planned little retirement house. It would have been soooo much easier and cost effective to get rid of it up front.

Hopefully we'll get the blog updated this winter so it shows our first year and the explains why we did what we did and how things worked out. We want to show all the things we carry in the RV and how we organize and store stuff but we just stripped it all out for the winter so that will have to wait.

If you have specific questions, send me a personal message through the forum and I'll do my best to answer them.

Enjoy the dream!
11  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Inspect Your Roof, It Might Need A Touch Of Caulk Here And There Like Ours on: October 24, 2015, 05:07:45 am
Ron, I know you only get a few weeks a year in the Phoenix but your posts look like most of those weeks are in the southwest. I'm wondering if the dry air might have an added affect on the sealant. I know when we were in Colorado and Utah, the dry air was killing my sinuses and skin so I figure it would do the same to the rubber and sealants on the rig. Just a thought.
12  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Halloween Food - Pumpkin Pasties on: October 20, 2015, 11:19:10 am
Update on the pumpkin pasties. You can make ahead, freeze, then bake and they are still awesome! I assembled them, cut the vents, then immediately froze them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Once frozen, I put them in a zip lock baggie then into a box (to avoid crushing when we dug through the freezer). To cook, take them out of the freezer, put on parchment on baking sheet, coat with egg wash to get a beautiful golden brown, then bake according to the recipe. DO NOT THAW first - they get squishy. It may take a little longer to bake since they are frozen. I just kept checking. You only need to bake long enough to cook the pie crust and get the filling heated. We will be cooling ours before serving so no one burns their mouth. Our granddaughter, Chloe, designed the vampire faces since these are for Halloween. We like them a lot.

These pasties have a high crust to custard ratio so you need more pie crusts than usual for a can of pie filling. I kept running out then decided to cut costs and make my own (first time since high school Home Ec class, I think). I used this recipe and it was great. BUT since it is lighter and flakier, the pasties are more delicate. On the road I will use frozen or refrigerated crust since I don't carry a pastry cutter with me.

The picture shows them assembled and ready to freeze but not baked yet.
13  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Sold and Sad on: October 03, 2015, 07:37:32 am
I too have enjoyed your posts. With all your years of travel you must have a wealth of information in your head to go along with those wonderful memories. Perhaps you can draw on that knowledge from time to time and tell us where to go... but in a good way.

I wish you well with all you do.
14  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Halloween Food - Pumpkin Pasties on: September 27, 2015, 08:02:51 pm
While testing foods for a Halloween party, I ran across this recipe for Pumpkin Pasties - these are goooood. Being efficient (or lazy), I took the easy route with Libby's pumpkin pie filling and packaged pie dough. You mix and cook the pumpkin custard first, not in a pie shell, then cool it before putting into the pasties. I made some of these with a pumpkin cookie cutter as well as the fold-over circles shown in the recipe (and with a ravioli maker but didn't like the custard to pie dough ratio on those). This is easy enough to make in an RV using the prepared foods I used and you are supposed to be able to get put them together and freeze them then bake them later. I'm testing that and will let you know how that goes once we've thawed then baked those. Instead of slits to vent the steam, I cut little faces into the tops to help with the Halloween theme.

I thought this would be a great way to turn pumpkin pie into finger food AND allow for portion control... until I ate some, and then some more and then had to force myself to stop from eating ALL of them. So make lots and have fun!
15  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Picker Upper on: September 27, 2015, 07:19:06 am
I periodically check to see what's out there. Just looked. Interesting pure volunteer opportunity to do from home is working on"The National Map"

I plan to spend some time checking out all that map site has to offer.

Another Oregon position is in Welches which is at a day use area on the western slope of Mt. Hood. We stayed in Welches when we first fell in love with Oregon. You do clean bathrooms but you get your final full hook up site plus they pay $8.50 a day per couple and you work 4 days on then 3 days off together so you can use the money for gas to explore a gorgeous area. Or save the money and hike some amazing trails. Just watch out for the banana slugs. Those babies are BIG!

If you are thinking about camp hosting, check out - you can put in the filter that you need an RV site (or housing for those that don't have an RV at the moment) and a state and even narrow by type of job. John and I would prefer "interpretive host" to camp host just because we like to learn and teach but I expect we'll be doing everything once we get into it.

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