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136  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: RV Wind Generator on: December 31, 2016, 08:34:59 am
The first link gives the interview and includes the output. There is no controller. It states the charge is too low to damage the batteries. Here are the quotes on that:

"TCM: The Windwalker 150 generates 5 amps with 6.5 to 35 mph wind.  The Windwalker 250 generates 8.5 amps with 8 to 30 mph wind.  How do you monitor the charge?"

"Jack: The Windwalkers are designed to be wired directly to your batteries, like a trickle charger.  You could connect the leads from the wind generator to a tester to see the charge.  I use a weather station mounted on the wind generator mast that tells me the wind speed."

And now for Holly's two cents worth. I absolutely LOVE alternate energy solutions, however, mounting a wind generator to a building or camper causes all the vibration and noise to be channeled right through the unit. I've spoken with a guy that makes his living doing these things and he said he would NEVER attach a wind generator to his home again or even have it within 30 feet of the house due to noise. Contrary to the statements in the article, wind at 14-15 feet is NOT clean and undisturbed. It is swirling around the hills, the trees, the camping units. These wind generators have very specific wind speeds for "optimal" output so if you are not getting STEADY wind at those speeds, you will see little energy gain. The article states that the units have to be pulled down if wind or gusts go over 35 mph or your motor is toast so there is no built-in break-away to protect the unit like they have on big wind generators. And last but not least, the argument that these work better than solar panels because they pull in power day and night; unless there is a storm, night is the quiet time for wind. Once the air has settled after the sun goes down, there is little wind movement, certainly not enough to steadily power a wind generator. Besides reading this in many books, I have experienced it while sweltering in hot tents at night.

I'm not saying you won't get some power. I'm just saying there are a lot of drawbacks to consider. Personally, I'm planning on solar with proper controllers for when we return to the road. We'll just deal with the added weight by ditching more stuff we thought we'd use - but don't. You ALL know what I'm talking about there.

For those interested in alternate energy, I recommend hitting the Solar Decathlon if you have the chance. We were regular attendees up until they yanked it out of DC and moved it to California and other venues with actual sun... go figure. The 2017 decathlon is in Denver next October.

If we get free of this area in time we might have to hit the PC Rally in Oregon in September then slide on down to Denver for the decathlon in October. Just to clarify, the decathlon is a competition where ten college teams build energy efficient houses, not RV's but you can see all kinds of creative ways to live small and be energy efficient and some of those can transfer over to an RV. Besides, I love this stuff. When we finally quit the road our plan is to buy or build the most energy efficient house we can come up with so that our money is used for playtime and is not sucked down the black hole of utility bills. If Dan Chiras could live comfortably at 8,000 ft up in the Colorado Rockies with total utility bills of under $50/month (with half of that the delivery fee for propane), so can I. I just need an extra carport or shed for the PC.
137  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: More PC questions on: December 31, 2016, 08:05:09 am
The size of the tank is also determined by the model/location of the bath, etc. Sometimes the black and grey are swapped. The online specs for each model will list the size of each tank. We frequently equalize as stated above by opening the valves as our black fills far slower than our grey. I also do dishes in a Tub-Trug and dump that water down the toilet so it goes into the black tank. If you do this, be VERY careful and make sure you don't dump utensils or other non-macerator friendly items. I like to dump into the toilet THEN open the blade to allow the water to go down. Just one extra chance to catch something I missed and it adds a little soap to the toilet bowl. Our 2552 with rear bath has a smaller grey water and larger black water tank. If we are on extreme water restriction, we also do bucket baths and that water goes down the toilet and into the larger black tank. We haven't camped anywhere we could let the grey water trickle. That would be a nice solution but so far we have had to keep everything in our tanks.

138  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: New to forum on: December 24, 2016, 09:57:52 am
I suspect the unloaded RV weight will be different for each rig as so many of us have custom modifications done. Our 2552 has custom built cabinets with a lift up desk behind the passenger seat because we were both working half time from the Phoenix when we first set out full time. We needed computer space for bad weather days (otherwise we set up outside at the picnic table). We also added cabinet doors here and there, extra shelves, extra propane line, cell signal booster with antennas and cables and so on. While some of these items are nominal in weight, I'm sure if you put all the pieces in a pile and weighed it, it would be a good bit.

Our 2552 with slide has the electric memory foam couch and pull out pantry. We find the couch comfortable and I slept on it for 6 1/2 weeks one summer while the granddaughter was traveling with us. We traveled for 3 1/2 weeks another summer with our granddaughter without towing and did fine but we prefer traveling with our tow vehicle. It gives us a bit more freedom and we don't have to break camp to run off to hiking trail, the store, dinner with new found friends, etc.

Everything is a trade off and everyone uses their RV differently so it is a matter of preference... which doesn't make the decision any easier. So many cool things to decide on. Enjoy picking the build of your perfect RV.

139  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Slideout or not and Mercedes vs E-450 on: December 23, 2016, 08:48:17 am
The 2552 is the only RV we've ever owned but we love it. If you are considering the 2551, I suggest seriously considering the 2552, especially if you go with the dinette. The euro chair is John's favorite spot to sit ANYWHERE. If either of you has a favorite chair at home, you'll want that "favorite" chair in your motor home. I lounge on the couch facing whatever direction to read, watch TV, stare out the window and so on. Sometimes it is fully upright, sometimes partially reclined, sometimes the footrest is pulled out then rolled back flush with the couch so it holds my feet but takes less floor space. John moves the recliner to wherever he wants for reading, eating, watching TV. It has a flip up footrest so he is all set wherever he goes. The length between the 2551 and 2552 is nominal, both still under 30' but the extra space in the main living area and the euro chair is awesome.

I suspect that extra length will make a difference in your dinette also.
140  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Thanks to forum members. on: December 21, 2016, 06:42:41 am
Beautiful!! (the PC, not the snow - brrrrr) Congratulations on your new baby. I know you'll have many wonderful adventures together.
141  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC 3100 - What's not to like? on: December 20, 2016, 06:41:02 am
We were full time for almost two years and will be again after family issues resolve. We were RV newbies and I agonized over the choices. We love the rear bath and the twin beds that allow us to carry myriad people without making strangers sleep in the same bed. We manage fine with the space though if our granddaughter travels long term with us, it will probably feel tight. There are trade offs no matter what. For us, the final deciding factor was the payload. Add the extra weight and extra slide of the longer rigs and you lose about 1000 pounds of payload. The 2552 has about 3k to start with depending on options chosen. The longer ones have about 2k. I calculated the weight of water, gasoline, propane, people, pets, food, clothing, tools, toys, kitchen gear, outdoor gear, office equipment (we were working from the road), and just general "stuff" and quickly locked in on the 2552. We tow a Subaru Forester with a car top carrier and it acts as our extra gear wagon as well as our transport shuttle. We don't load the inside of the car too much because, again, we want to be able to carry extra people to the store, dinner out or just to a remote hiking or biking trail.

Ron, those blow outs are frequently due to overloading. I know a snowbird couple with a fifth wheel that blow out tires damaging their rig just about EVERY year. When they told me the story and I saw how much stuff they hauled I asked what their weight limits were and they had no clue. I can pretty much guarantee the weight they hauled was way over what those tires could handle.

Another note, the rear tire was dropped to qualify for some Ford specification for the extended frames. I assume it has to do with weight balancing but I don't know the specifics and can't speak on that. By dropping that spare tire, the Phoenix will get some "blessing" from Ford they didn't have before. I further assume competition has it and touts it so you may be able to find a reference and figure out the specifics by checking claims that way if you so desire.
142  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Shake down tour on: December 19, 2016, 08:30:10 am
Hello Garmp, I have no personal RV experience with that area (other than being military over at Fort Knox for a few years - no play time at the lake though.)

It looks like the COE built the lake but the campgrounds and land around it are run by the Forest Service - Daniel Boone National Forest. I pulled your lake up on Google Earth where you can see the camp loops and most of the sites, the beaches, some of the topography around the area and location of services. Zilpo is out there while Twin Knobs is a hop, skip and jump into town as well as close to a marina. I didn't check in depth but a lot of Marinas offer tours of the lake or boat rentals if you are into that. The one with easy access will see heavier use.

I then pulled the campgrounds up on and linked to the USFS site for Zilpo which is open Mid April to Mid October and Twin Knobs which is open Mid March to end of October Your pick-up date might determine your campground since you may be too early for Zilpo. You can link to reviews from Allstays also but be aware Allstays simply does an internet search for that name and random stuff occasionally comes up. Make sure you're looking at the right campground. I like reviews from RVparkreviews and tripadvisor but sometimes check other sites that come up. Remember there are all types of RV'ers so a one star review from someone that doesn't want their feet to ever touch soil may not be a negative for you. Some people are comparing the campground to a resort hotel. We compare it to a tent in a primitive area.

If I have a good internet connection I like to look at the Allstays map for the state and zoom into my chosen area. Sometimes I find another campground nearby that I prefer. In this instance, I'd be in the forest where you're looking but many people would want the full hook up campgrounds nearby. It just depends on your kind of camping. I also use the map to track along my planned route. Sometimes we don't make it as far as planned and sometimes we decide to just keep on driving. Early spring will narrow your choices though.

Good luck on your planning and enjoy your shakedown. I know when we first hit the road, John needed to know where we would be staying every night for the next few weeks out. But it didn't take us long to start winging it. Many campgrounds have first come first served sites for those without reservations. We call the park and usually get in somewhere. If not, there's always Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Sam's Club, REI, etc. We call ahead, ask if we can stay and they tell us where to park. Not ideal but works as a back up. Many parks have overflow lots also but if it is really cold, you'll be running your furnace and draining your batteries at night then running the generator to recharge during the day... or driving, or plugging in. It's nice to have electric hook ups in cold weather.

We love our Phoenix; it's truly Adventure Anywhere. We were campers also and absolutely love the luxury "camping" we do now. John swears he won't sleep in a tent again (but we carry one just in case we decide to go where RVs can't go.) So life is about to get incredibly sweet for you - ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!!!!
143  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water filtration for our PC on: December 13, 2016, 09:12:43 am
We do the same: Slim Brita pitcher in the fridge, Camco inline water filter between hose and rig, pressure regulator at the spigot (need a new one, ours died) AND we spray bleach on the spigot then flush prior to hook up. Critters like to lick the water out of the spigot and I prefer my water to be spit free. We have hit campgrounds with nasty tasting water once or twice and resorted to buying bottled water then but we normally do not use bottled water. We also have collapsible water jugs we fill if we are going to camp without hookups and haven't bleached our holding tank in a while.

Just a reminder that you want to regulate your electricity also. We use Progressive Industries 30 Amp portable EMS hooked at the post and lock it on with a bicycle cable and padlock (when possible).
144  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Scangauge on: December 06, 2016, 10:39:11 am
I was browsing sites for a school STEM lab and hit a gift idea that sounds intriguing. Has anyone heard of this, researched it or used it? It sounds like a scangauge type connector that feeds to your cellphone or table with downloadable apps. I found the reference here:

the item description is:

OBD II Bluetooth Reader
Most cars in the US produced after 1996 are equipped to tell you a great deal about the engine and other components. Without a 'reader' there's no way to get this info. This Bluetooth-enabled OBD II reader plugs right into your vehicle's OBD port and sends its data to your phone or tablet. Freeware apps allow you to create incredibly detailed real-time dashboards of all kinds of fascinating things. If your vehicle's been worked on and has to pass an inspection, but needs a particular driving pattern for the code to clear, this unit is indispensable. I always leave one plugged in to each of my cars.

Recommended by Tim Deagan, Fire Whisperer and Make: Contributing Author

145  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Length and Width Restrictions on: November 28, 2016, 07:34:13 am
I forgot to mention that we did consider the length of the 2552 and some of the road restrictions out west. While we know we can't go on ALL the roads, it is our intent to drop the tow vehicle and drive separately on a some of them that don't allow trailers or that have 30' restrictions. Some of those restrictions only apply to a short section of road so we'll unhook, drive separate, and hook back up.
146  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Length and Width Restrictions on: November 27, 2016, 08:09:51 am
We've only really had an issue once and it was because of the placement of that road restriction sign and not our willingness to follow them. We drove the Blue Ridge parkway just after the government closed a bit back. Since the Federal campgrounds on the parkway were closed, we had to find our way off to a private campground. We used AllStays, found a campground, verified space and headed off the exit... only to find a road restriction sign AT THE END OF THE EXIT RAMP... We couldn't back back onto the parkway and we couldn't take the road to the left (can't remember why). There was no ramp back on to the parkway so we went down the restricted road. There were a few seriously tight switchbacks and our 2552 with Subaru trailing behind was definitely stretching from the drop off, over the yellow line and nearly brushing the inside wall of the road. I leaned out the window to tell John when the tire was getting close to going over the edge. As we angled down toward one particularly tight turn, we stopped and waited and watched a semi truck come close to jackknifing on the turn. Once he cleared, we gave it a go and mentally noted we would never take that exit again (no, I don't remember which one, which makes it hard to hold true to that promise) AND we both blew out a few choice words for the guy that decided that restriction sign should be a couple hundred feet past the point of no return. I suspect the guy in the semi had done the same.

Any other close calls were due to creative directions from the GPS. Ghost roads... on the maps, on the GPS, invisible to us. 
147  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Barbecue hardpipe location on: November 23, 2016, 06:52:13 am
The standard propane hookup is in the propane tank bin on the driver side. If you had Phoenix add a quick connect on the passenger side, it is installed in the first bin back from the door. Please remember that hookup will be low pressure and may not work well with a standard camp stove.
148  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selling your PC 2400? on: November 20, 2016, 05:03:55 am
Ron... you worry me sometimes. Only a car guy would say vehicle emissions smell "friendly." I can't even begin to put fumes and friendly together in my brain.
149  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: M&G Engineering Hydraulic Brake System on: November 18, 2016, 05:07:10 am
Double check how the lights in the toad work. Our Subaru Forester couldn't be wired directly into its existing light system so our installer put additional bulb lights inside each existing rear light unit on the toad. They are difficult to see except at night. We've had people tell us we have NO brake lights on the toad but when we check they work fine... you just can't see them well in daylight. I don't have a workaround yet. I've considered the wireless magnetic light bar but that's one more thing to store. I'd prefer to upgrade the bulbs in some way to have them brighter or reflect better.
150  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Cruiser Sighting on: November 18, 2016, 05:00:13 am
I'm not sure of the etiquette in campgrounds either but have strolled past PC's repeatedly watching for human activity (I do frequent "walk abouts" when in camp anyhow so I just direct them in that direction", I've called out to say hello to see if anyone answered and once knocked on a door and left a note. I try to stay below the level of stalker. Only once was an owner not thrilled to meet and chat with me and they were having an electrical situation with potential wiring meltdown so I'm blaming it on that. At the Intervec Phoenix Travel Club Reunion in DC we spotted a cruiser that wasn't with us and after several wanders past it I left a note but not no reply so I figured anything further would be stalking and so I never met those folks.

Personally, I LOVE meeting other Phoenix owners and would be happy with a knock on the door or note letting me know where to find you. I figure the RV is my home and friends can drop in and say hi any time. Even those friends I haven't met yet. If it's bad timing I can always say so.
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