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181  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.
182  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.

183  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?

184  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.
185  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.
186  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!
187  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water under the slide on: November 28, 2014, 12:43:50 am
We had that problem. I'll try to describe what needs done. If the slide room was removed, you would see a base board area along the edge of the coach. This board is tilted slightly toward the outside so that any water that hits the side walls of the slide room should roll right out. However, the first six inches or so on either side are not sloped because that is where those brackets go that scissor in and out with the slide. Water can fill up the flat area and overflow into the coach. Phoenix builds an additional wall of caulk around the inside corners of this flat area to keep the water out. First watch the bottom front edge while you are putting your slide out. Stand inside while pushing the button and watch the floor under the scissor bars. You can see your caulk wall there when your slide is part way out. You most likely need to add to or repair that caulk.

If you are on the road, you can tip the coach slightly to the side that is leaking to keep water out until you can fix it.

Hope this helps,
188  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Rear view monitor position on: November 23, 2014, 05:11:35 pm
Bruce, please add us to the dense list. That's a pretty nice pivot it is mounted on... and so easy to adjust. A helpful to you for saving us a lot of neck twisting. I drive close to the wheel so the monitor was behind my line of sight. Now I can just turn my head. This is just one more thing to remind me to pull out all those manuals and read through them... some day.
189  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: November 06, 2014, 12:14:29 am
Replacing the pleated curtain with a long, flexible, thermal one would probably work for us IF the curtain bar can support the extra weight. We have the rubber floor mat so that reduces the heat exchange through the cab floor. I'm not sure how that would work with a noninsulated floor. I'm also not sure I want to deal with all that curtain every time I shutter the front. A floor length curtain that wraps the entire cab would likely be cumbersome. We only need the extra wrapping when we camp really hot or really cold and we do try to avoid the extremes. We just aren't all that good at it.

The idea is food for thought, though. If I could just find a nice, smooth flowing, good looking, light blocking, thermal fabric, we'd be good to go.
190  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: November 04, 2014, 11:58:04 pm
Ron, we've draped a "Neat Sheet" across the front from the curtain bar on each wing wall (mainly because it was already on board and wasn't too heavy - we attach with clothes pins). We make sure it is pushed up against the wings and touches the floor. It droops to about the height of the seat backs. We can reach over it to access things in the front. We also close the pleated curtains and vents. This traps a good bit of the cold air up front but it isn't the perfect solution.

My next attempt is a compression curtain rod with clips to hold a thin, silver emergency blanket from ceiling to floor in the same general area that Bill's curtain is. It will need to be pinned to the wing walls somehow (probably clipped to the existing curtain bar). This will block the TV but we seldom watch it anyhow. It will be two curtains overlapping so we will be able to access things up front but will let cold air in when we do so. I considered true thermal curtains but the ones I've found are too heavy and bulky so the Mylar emergency blankets will have to do until something better comes along. I bought a pack of four or six on Amazon.

I'm still eyeing the trim areas and trying to figure out if I can hide some sort of clips or magnets up there so I can hook the Mylar up so it runs under the"cap" ceiling thereby leaving the TV and front cabinets accessible... then I read those cabinets are possibly not insulated. Insulation up there may be another step on my weather defense list.

Now that I've snuck a few tidbits into that analytical brain of yours in the hope that you'll come up with the attachment solution, the short answer is yes, a drape helps but it doesn't have to be a big quilt. Just something to block the air flow.
191  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selling our 2551 mattresses on: October 31, 2014, 09:25:48 am
Make sure you post exact dimensions.  That mattress may fit in the back of an SUV or on a cabin bed platform. I wouldn't list it as just for an RV. Even dorm beds are frequently narrower than normal. Good luck!
192  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Another New Model Being Offered, The 2450 on: October 28, 2014, 09:02:52 am
Note that this model has officially been named the 2351. Earl wrote an article for the Intervec-Phoenix Travel Club explaining this and giving the floor plan options. The slide is identical to that on the 2552 so couch, dinette, and pantry options are the same there. The extra space on the passenger side allows for a second pullout pantry or a longer corner bed. (Sorry Ron, your dream of a larger bath isn't one of the options but I figure this is good because it won't fit in your garage anyhow).
193  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: California Cruising on: October 21, 2014, 10:11:43 am
That speed limit its very good to know. Thank you Mike! John would probably have been OK, but I would have gotten a ticket.
194  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: California Cruising on: October 20, 2014, 09:52:35 pm
Mike, re: Lake Tahoe - we spent a week on the south shore about 6 years back (in a timeshare we had traded into). We drove around the entire lake and took that paddle boat cruise and hiked several trails with our 2 year old granddaughter strapped to John's back, and checked out the just closed ski resorts (my son would have loved to have gotten there a week earlier). It was a beautiful place and a great trip.

We also found the world's best hamburger (at least the best I've had so far). I'm a bit of a hamburger purist. No cheese or bacon or goo to cover the flavor. Just perfectly grilled beef with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and dill pickle slices - heaven. AND my favorite to date was found at the Bridgetender Restaurant in Tahoe City, CA.

Tahoe would be a heck of a detour from our planned route... but they have those great hamburgers. I might have to try to whisper in John's ear while he's sleeping and see if the idea takes hold.
195  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: California Cruising on: October 20, 2014, 09:23:11 pm
Those state park restrictions sound a whole lot like boondocking. While we don't mind boondocking and prefer to do it a woodland or parkland environment, we would object to paying for facilities that are not available. Are they still charging full fees to camp there?

Ron, I'm surprised at your answer. We have spent a week to ten days with no outside water or facilities. We don't behave like we are on full hookups, of course, but we do just fine. We are extremely frugal with water, carry extra jugs for drinking, use disposable plates etc. to avoid needing to wash dishes, take lots of sponge baths (or find a nice lake to swim in) and do just fine. We are on full hookups now and it feels like luxury. I hope we don't get spoiled.

 I thought you guys spent a good bit of time in BLM sites which are usually full boondocking.
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