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151  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Emergency preparedness on: May 08, 2016, 07:20:53 am
I'll be honest and say we don't have a set kit put together but when a tornado was bearing down on us on the Natchez Trace, we did quickly grab basic items that we always have handy. John and I have had survival training so it's kind of funny but after the bare basics, most of what we brought was to keep the cat happy, or as happy as a cat can get locked in a stinky cinder block bathroom with a bunch of strangers while a storm screamed through.

Part of what you need for your kit will be determined by your own skills and where you are. Short term the cell phone, charger (solar charger is even better), weather radio, cash, passport and/or driver's license, credit card, check book, flashlight, first aid kit, water bottles etc. are great. Several of these assume you are somewhere with signal or power or stores where you can use them. That night on the Natchez Trace, we knew there might not be a Phoenix to go back to. The tornado swung overhead and touched down just a few miles away... but it WAS a few miles away so all was well.

Remember that if you need medications, those have to be with you. You don't know when you will get more. Never let your prescription run down too low.

If you are in a MAJOR disaster, you should be prepared for basic survival. You can go several weeks without food. You can only go three days without water. You need shelter. I recommend everyone tuck contractor weight trash bags (2 per person) into vehicle glove boxes or emergency kits. You can wear one to keep in heat and keep out rain, you can tie a string between two trees and make one or two into an A-frame tent, you can use one as a sun shield. Quick, easy, light weight shelter. They can also carry water or capture water when it rains. A mylar emergency blanket can do many of the same things as well as being shiny enough to attract attention from rescue teams.

Water. If you remembered your water bottle and are not in the arid desert (different skills needed there), you only need one more item: iodine tablets. I have strained pretty murky water through my bandanna (or t-shirt), treated with iodine, and drank it. I'm not dead. They sell a two bottle set that has iodine tabs and something that makes it taste less nasty. I find that worth the extra cost. Another option is a Lifestraw that will clean hundreds of gallons of water. We have a full fledged backpack water filter but these other items are better suited to a go bag. Whatever you get, make sure you know how to use it. The iodine tabs are tiny, the Lifestraw is super handy but takes more space.

Next up is fire. Get some of those magnesium sticks that shoot awesome sparks and stick one in each kit. Make sure you practice with them first. You need dry tinder (tiny burnable stuff, pine needles, cotton pocket lint, little strips from inside broken sticks (when it rains, wood is wet on the outside, dry on the inside). Get out your pocket knife and learn how to make wood shavings. Then build fires. Small, hot fires are best. Practice the skill before you need the skill.

I have a Boy Scout cap that says "Attitude, gotta have it." This is so true. The most important thing you can have is a good ATTITUDE. The best way to get a good survival attitude is self confidence... which you get by knowing what you are doing. There are classes, books, internet sites, etc. that can get you to that point. Hands on is the best way to get it into your brain. Challenge your friends and family. Have contests and build fires, purify water, build shelters using the items in your survival kit. Test different ways to do each thing. Then put together your kit, kick back, and enjoy the world.

152  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: questions to ask during walk-through of new PC on: April 26, 2016, 07:45:01 am
Take her for a drive on the highway AND on the back roads. There will be some little rattles and squeaks which is normal when you have what Ron calls a rolling earthquake but by getting her up to speed and also taking some curves and bumps you will quickly know if there are extreme noises that need to be addressed. Sometimes it is as simple as a screw missing somewhere or loose latch but KNOWING what it is and having Phoenix quickly fix it makes a world of difference. As someone stated, there are a whole lot of different parts from different manufacturers all knitted together to make your new motor home. Phoenix does an awesome job but there will always be little adjustments that need to be made and it is better to get them done up front. We had no idea why a few things weren't working right, but Bobby at Phoenix knew right off what needed to be tweaked. For example, the sliding "curtain" door in our 2552 snagged part way and you needed to exert extra pull to run it across the hallway - simple fix was to back off the screw mid-track as over tightening caused the track to fold in or crimp. I had no clue it was that easy but Bobby immediately identified and fixed it. 

You must be getting really excited. Enjoy your new Phoenix, we are sure you're going to love it!
153  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: House battery's on: April 24, 2016, 06:11:13 am
We ONLY turn our inverter on if we have no other power source and need 110 power. The converter automatically charges our battery when plugged into shore power. We don't touch the inverter switch. As stated above, the truck charges the battery when we have it running and we can always charge with the generator - again, without turning on the inverter switch. The magic inside the Phoenix handles all that charging stuff without our help... thankfully!

My understanding is the INVERTER takes battery power and transfers it to 110 power, so always going from battery to outlets with nothing to do with power going INTO batteries.

Ron's Trip Lite works differently.
154  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries - AGM, LFP, and Flooded Cell on: April 19, 2016, 07:14:18 pm
The only thing that you have to watch is the propane isn't  very efficient at those temps and if your tank falls below 1/4 you will run out of propane.

I'm not sure this is pertinent or works the same but we discovered on Boy Scout outings that the propane froze in the line between our 5 or 10 lb propane tank and camp stove. We started turning the propane off at the tank and leaving the stove or lantern run until it "burned out" from lack of propane. If you are not using your propane heater overnight, you could try that and then open the tank in the morning when you want to cook. If you are running on electric space heaters, this might keep your stove alive during daylight hours.

We also learned to fill a pan with water before bed so that once we got that stove going, we could melt the water and make coffee since the water jugs were all frozen. Ah, the memories. We are sooooo happy we have the Phoenix and have agreed that we don't ever want to camp in a tent in weather that evil again.
155  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: A couple of hot water heater questions on: April 15, 2016, 06:19:30 am
I also agree with the wicked hot 152 degree concern. I suggest you call the hot water heater manufacturer and ask what the preset temperature is supposed to be. Yours might be out of wack. Your post made me wonder about the effect of that temperature on the plumbing but a quick check of the internet pulled up this information ( on PEX tubing which is what I THINK Phoenix uses:

Maximum Safe Temperature

The tube can withstand a maximum heat temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit for applications for heating. In a plumbing project, the PEX is able to stand a maximum heat of up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Usually, the highest temperature limitation is listed on the PEX tubing in small prints. All of the PEX tubing systems are tested, and you can use them with the standard P and T relief valves, which are able to be used at 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

The corners and connections are brass piping so no worries there.
156  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 15, 2016, 06:13:08 am
We have several postings on Capitol Reef on our blog (see below). Just search "Capitol Reef"

This is a first come, first served park and you have to get there early. Sites were filled by 10 when we were there. They do have overflow on BLM land that the rangers can direct you to. There are no hook ups in the park but they have nice bathhouses, generator hours to recharge batteries and convenient water fill and dump station area. We rolled in for a night or two and stayed the maximum allowed. It is an awesome oasis in a sea of gorgeous rocks. If you hit the right time, the apples are ripe in the orchards and you are welcome to go in and eat your fill or pick a bunch, weight and pay at the honor box and head home to your RV just a few steps away. Many of the sites were shaded and we were there when it was cool so we were fine tucked into the beautiful campsite without AC.

If you have to have hook ups, there was at least one full service campground in town right near the very nice visitor center (free wifi at the visitor center and cell signal). Just keep in mind it is a longish drive from town to the park if you are planning any early morning hiking.

This is the one park you really need to load the supplies for. The little town is nice but VERY small and since we hit at the end of tourist season, we were met with VERY empty shelves (not too many grocery shelves to start with - townies make a once or twice a month drive to hit the bigger cities 250 miles away to stock up, do doctor and dental visits, car repairs, etc.)

Some don't miss items: Fremont Petroglyphs, a drive down Capitol Gorge and short walk to see the Pioneer Register, Panorama Point, and pie at the Fruita store. If you can pull off a hike to experience the view from above, do it.

As a side, some of the parks out there sell water bottle slings and I recommend you snag a few. We didn't go anywhere without water. We took more on hikes but we wore those water bottle slings even on car trips. I felt like all the water was sucked out of my body out there and we were there in the cooler season. You have to keep rehydrating or it hits you with headaches, muscle aches, nausea and overall tiredness. 

So, as Bruce and Sharon said, put Capitol Reef on your list. It is one of the places we plan to return to.

157  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: A couple of hot water heater questions on: April 09, 2016, 08:18:13 pm
Having the water heater temp set higher in the RV gives you more bang for your buck. I could probably shower at close to your 125 degree home water temperature. If the water is hotter, you mix in more cold and use less hot; which works best with a smaller water tank.
158  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Which Trip Planning software for 2016? on: April 09, 2016, 09:20:12 am
We also have a Garmin GPS with lifetime updates but as you implied, you have to download the maps by area. When we were touring the Vicksburg, MS area, we spent some time in a campground across the river in Louisiana. As we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi, the Garmen blanked out and showed only the main highway and a couple larger city names. We thought it broke but eventually figured out we had crossed the Map downloaded/No map downloaded line. Since the next area was a huge download, we couldn't afford the data hit AND we weren't planning to stay in Louisiana long, so we reverted to paper maps and spent some time lost wandering back roads of Louisiana. Granted we had gone off the beaten trail to visit the Poverty Point Indian Mounds so we were on quite a few farm country roads out there but we eventually made it back to camp. We played Gypsy at my son's house and used his unlimited internet to download the maps so we will be good to go next time. We bought a memory card for the Garmin so it can hold more maps.
159  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Curious PC lookers! on: April 09, 2016, 09:07:55 am
I see you just got your Phoenix this year so the "Phoenix Cruiser Admiration" is new to you. Get used to it, and continue being cautious. We've had people approach us at gas stations, restaurant parking lots and campgrounds. We often return to the RV and find people walking around it, checking it out. My best story is from a campground in Tennessee. I was cooking and cleaning up one day and saw a man walk his dog past several times within just a few minutes looking our way every time (almost like he was on sentry duty - back and forth, back and forth). Since I was busy, I didn't go out to greet him... until I realized he was standing just outside the camp site "property line" - just standing there with his dog watching our door and waiting for someone to come out. We gave the tour to him, his wife and another couple they were camping with them. The second couple had just spent one night in their brand new class C and loved it so little that after seeing ours, they swore they were taking it back that day and were going to check out the Phoenix. We were also approached by owners of a new Lexington at the same campground and after they told us how much trouble they had with its handling, they headed off to check out the Phoenix also.

As for caution, my parents had a tiny Class B and my mother loved showing it off... until one half of a couple stole her purse from next to the front seat while she was  showing the back of the van to the other half of the couple. They were a good bit down the road before she realized. Luckily only one gas charge went on her card before she shut it down but then they were on the road with cancelled credit cards. I am always careful to have valuables tucked away before inviting someone in or we have one of us stand in the cab area, smiling, answering questions and keeping an eye out - friendly, but cautious.

Enjoy your PC!!
160  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Woodalls/AAA campground guide on: April 08, 2016, 06:30:49 pm
Awesome! We belong to AAA and will be checking that out. Thank you for the info.
161  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Which Trip Planning software for 2016? on: April 08, 2016, 09:11:07 am
Paul, we have all the electronic mapping toys and having a program calculate the distance and time it takes to travel a given distance is awesome. but the paper Atlas rides in the seat pocket wherever we go and the dog eared pages tell the tale of its use. Many places we go don't have signal so the paper map is all that works at that point. However, I LOVE topographic maps and check them out whenever the parks have them. We restrict ourselves to buying them ONLY if we are doing extensive hiking in a given area so I usually have to love them and then leave them at the visitors centers we pass through. 
162  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Phoenix After Sales Support on: April 08, 2016, 09:04:20 am
I believe they shut down for a week or two in the summer so employees get a vacation. It's possible you hit that week, but I'm surprised you didn't get a call back once they returned. Definitely give it another go. If you know you are going to be there at a certain time, call before hand so they can schedule you in. While they are very accommodating of short notice service, I know we've messed up their schedule by doing that - but they managed to fit us in and take care of everything anyway.

Making that "Honey Do" list mentioned elsewhere is also a good plan. There are lots of little things that we break or want to add that they can handle all in one appointment IF we have them on the list. Sending the list in advance helps since they can get any parts that they may not have in stock.

If you are a "Do It Yourself" kind of person, Phoenix ships parts quickly. We broke our door thingy (the hydraulic type tube thing that keeps the door from slamming open - cannot handle gale force wind - knew that, forgot, broke it). One phone call and a couple days later and we had a new door thingy with instructions for installing it. We sent Carol pictures of what we had and how it attached and she matched it perfectly. You might want to give her a call and see if she can ship a new ladder and roof rack.

163  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Phoenix After Sales Support on: April 07, 2016, 09:54:03 am
Hear! Hear! We have had the same experience with Phoenix. We have also talked to many owners of other brands of RV and while I am sure that there are other manufacturers out there with good service records, none of the stories we've heard have come close to describing the service and quality we get at Phoenix.

Another point is that many RV owners told me that they are constantly fixing things "but that is what being an RV owner means, something is always breaking". They seem to think a constant cash bleed and life at service centers is part of the deal. Once we got past the initial items that needed fixing, we haven't had hardly any problems (and most of those were user error). Sure, there is a certain level of maintenance due to the large number of mechanical items woven together into one unit, but not the "consistently falling apart" issues some other people talk apart. I feel kinda bad during these conversations. They are looking to commiserate with another "poor RV owner" but we can't relate. Strapping things back together and finding service centers on the road seems to be their hobby. Our hobbies are hiking, touring, lounging and reading... and replacing one or two of those stupid door latches every so many months. They definitely have a finite life span and opening and closing them a couple hundred times sort of helps them along. Of course I keep the spares and a little screwdriver in a baggie so after my 5 minute repair job, we are off to play again. We love our Phoenix!
164  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: April 06, 2016, 08:09:51 am
I have seen Gradygal's Phoenix and agree that the big windows and two euro chairs are awesome. I know they (and I believe others) were hoping to get the back end of the 2552 (with the rear bath, full wardrobe and twin beds) combined with the front of the 2910D with the double euro chairs and big windows. That would be pretty close to perfect for us also now that we aren't working from the rig but it can't be built that way. Their custom floor plan is really nice and works well for their three or four month jaunts. I don't know if it would have enough cabinets for us full time with the grandchild on board. We carry all season wear so have a lot more than those that know pretty much what weather they'll hit for their trip. That doesn't stop me from thinking about the different configurations though. I read something once that might help: "the decision you make is the best one you could make with the information you had at the time". So, get as much information as you can and make your best decision. If you are like me you'll continue to second guess yourself but I keep coming back to the undeniable fact that we love our Phoenix and she works for us.... ahhh, but those nice big windows...
165  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: April 05, 2016, 10:52:15 am
I'm sure I've posted this before but it fits here so I'll stick it in again. The reason we went with the 2552 instead of the 2910D was twofold: length and weight (we also really liked the rear bath but it wasn't as important as the first two).

Weight - The extra length and extra slide was estimated to add about 1,000 lbs - thereby reducing my potential payload by 1,000 lbs (approximately 1/3 by my estimate). I'm not sure how the weight of the 3100 compares to the 2552. I believe it has a longer slide with the added weight of the dinette. I know weight changes with the options you choose for the build but I was going for ballpark numbers. Since we were full time and planned long chunks of time with a third person on board (granddaughter), we opted for the smaller rig and more carrying ability. I still stare at the 2910D floor plans on occasion though. Love the big window and double euro chairs.

Length - I wanted to stay under 30' as that is the limit listed for many National Park campgrounds. The 3100 and 2910 are not a whole lot longer than the 2552 and will probably fit in most of the campgrounds even though they are over 30' long. We've only hit a few spots where we would have problems with a longer rig. Cramming the toad on the site is sometimes a bit of an issue but we've always managed.

Again, this is all a personal choice. Figure out what is absolutely important to you and go from there.
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