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196  Main Forum / General Discussion / Ford Emissions Recall 15E05 on: July 06, 2016, 01:30:25 pm
We just received a recall notice for our 2013 E-450 Econoline. It states "Your vehicle's powertrain control module needs to be reprogrammed in light of changes to government test procedures. Failure to have the reprogramming performed may affect your ability to renew your vehicle's registration."

It states that the vehicle may not pass emissions tests, our state may not renew our registration and our emissions warranty may be reduced if the service is not performed.

The letter states that California and Massachusetts will require the "Vehicle Emission Recall Proof of Correction certificate" in order to renew your registration. The dealer gives this to you when you have the service done. 

I did a quick look online and it looks like the recall includes some E350's also and spans several years so a lot of you will be getting your own recall notice.

We'll be waiting on this one as we have only one car and the motor home and the Subaru is in the shop for next couple of weeks having the engine rebuilt. We have a loaner car but are operating on the principal of ONE THING AT A TIME.
197  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Surge Guard on: July 03, 2016, 08:23:10 am
Carol, just out of curiosity, did Phoenix know about your microwave switch work around when they had it in the shop or did you figure that out after?
198  Main Forum / Photos / Re: Level Phoenix Cruiser on: July 01, 2016, 08:41:51 am
Someone once posted here that they used the cabinet doors as indicators. If the doors stayed open when opened, and stayed closed when shut without latching, level enough had been achieved. We've used that method as well as setting a water bottle on the kitchen counter. We have a little level somewhere but keep losing it. We don't want to stick one on up permanently. Don't know why, just don't. When our cat was on board, we knew we needed to level better if her water bowl overflowed on one side or her play ball rolled past us on it's own. I don't like sleeping with head below my feet so we try to level enough to avoid that. I also like the cook top to be mostly level so food doesn't slop out of the pans. Other than that, not too picky. We were crooked enough side to side once that I kept pitching out of bed so it's good to avoid that if possible. It's difficult to sleep and hold the edge of the mattress at the same time (we couldn't use jacks there).

All that said, my impression of the original post was the owner being pleased with their jacks and how easy it is level with them on a crooked site, not necessarily a comment on leveling perfection.
199  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / 2016 Phoenix Rally - Washington DC on: June 29, 2016, 10:51:26 am
I have been remiss. I was asked to post info for travelers coming into the DC area for the annual rally of the Intevec-Phoenix Travel Club in September. I am now giving it a shot. I included some ideas and links because there is way too much to cover here. I encourage others to post here with suggestions.

Washington DC bound

There are so many things to see and do in the DC area, you could spend months here and just scratch the surface. Civil War sites abound (http://www.civilwartraveler.com/) as well as monuments and museums and natural spaces. You can drive from the cool splendor of the Appalachian Mountains, across the rolling hills of the Piedmont with wineries, farms and gardens, to the beautiful Chesapeake Bay with all its wild and wonderful estuaries, then on across the bay bridge to our flat and sandy Eastern Shore with more farms and more history then roll on until you reach the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean and you can drive all that in under 5 hours.

There are beautiful campsites all around, but few really close to DC. If you plan to wander DC, stay at Cherry Hill so you DO NOT have to drive in DC or around the beltway. Traffic here is evil and many people drive aggressively. Metro is safe and clean and gets you around quickly with little fuss. They have a trip planner so you know how to get from point to point http://www.wmata.com/ and the Metro map can be printed online or picked up at the stations. http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm  NOTE: on Metro escalators the unwritten rule is walk left, stand right. This means you stand on the right side so those in a hurry can race up the escalator past you on the left side. There are lots of people in a hurry in DC. Also, NO food or drink on Metro this includes water. You may carry it closed but dont eat or drink on the trains or in the stations. You will get a ticket.

Finding your way around the highways: John rolls his eyes on this but the way I describe the area above DC is this: Think of DC as the head of an alien. The beltway around DC is the aliens head. It has two antennae: One goes north-east and is I-95 with Baltimore at the top of the antenna. One goes North-west and is I-270 with Frederick at the top of the antenna. The two antennae are connected east/west by I-70, thus forming a triangle. Item to note: there are no tolls traveling east to west on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or the bridges over the Susquehanna River (northeast MD). Youll pay $8-24 going west to east depending on number of axles.

We are on the Atlantic Flyway so birders can find numerous spots to watch the migrating flocks http://www.visitmaryland.org/list/top-spots-nature-watching-and-birding; http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/birdingmd.aspx. If you are into bald eagles, we recently stayed at Elk Neck State Park and hiked Turkey Point (1.5 miles round trip, easy walking on gravel road). We had 20 eagles in the sky overhead at one time. We then drove over to their boat ramp (Rouges Landing) to check out an Osprey nest just 12 or so feet over our heads on a light post on the sidewalk with three little chicks watching us over the edge and one parent watching us even more closely. We had a beautiful campsite there with full hookups and the sunsets looking across the bay from the swim beach were spectacular.

Dinosaurs once walked this land. A real dino dig is going on not far from DC in Laurel MD. http://history.pgparks.com/sites_and_museums/Dinosaur_Park.htm The park is free and open daily with interpretive signs but paleontologists demo their work on the first and third Saturdays of each month (just in case you are arriving early or staying after the rally since the rally aligns wit the SECOND Saturday of the month). The public helps hunt for dino bones during these open houses.

For a nature day trip try Patuxent Wildlife Research Center https://www.fws.gov/refuge/patuxent/ with a tram ride (check days and times), visitor center, and lots of nature to see.

Washington, DC far too many things to list so Ill just put in a few links so people can browse: https://washington.org/things-do-washington-dc; https://washington.org/topics/free-attractions; https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g28970-Activities-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html; https://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Washington_DC/Things_To_Do-Washington_DC-TG-C-1.html; NOTE: references to the DC beltway are inner loop and outer loop this refers to the two parts of the same highway(s). The inner loop is the half going clockwise around DC. The outer loop travels counter-clockwise. Rush hour starts before 5:30 am and doesnt really end until after 7:00 pm. Depending on where you are, there is a slight let up between morning rush and lunch rush (maybe 9-10:30), then again between lunch rush and evening rush (maybe 2-3) but still busy. Government gets out at 3:30 and the rush is truly on.

Arlington, Georgetown and Alexandria all good places to see while in DC

Baltimore, MD beautiful harbor, science center, aquarium, street performers, shops, and more. Check out Little Italy (lots of Italian restaurants AND Vaccaros Italian Pastry Shop), visit the Taverns and Shops in Fells Point, wander the Inner Harbor (MD Science Center, National Aquarium, Phillips Seafood, McCormick Shop, USS Constellation, Pirate Cruises), get some history at Fort McHenry (where Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner), and so much more. The circulator buses are free so you can park then tour http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/. http://baltimore.org/events

Frederick, MD used to be known as a hick town but now a vibrant city with free concerts and events throughout the summer and fall. Beautiful Baker Park runs through the City with Carroll Creek Park lined with benches and trees and fountains for a beautiful walk right down town. City center has historic buildings and lots of lots of great shops and restaurants. Frederick has a very walkable downtown and your four legged friends are welcomed at many venues.  http://www.visitfrederick.org/

Gettysburg, Antietam, Harpers Ferry All great stop overs on the way in to DC from the north.

Williamsburg, VA Colonial Williamsburg is definitely worth a few days if coming or going in that direction. Besides the living history in the colonial area itself, there are numerous other things to see and do: Merchants Square, Yorktown Victory Center, Jamestown Settlement, Busch Gardens (European Village Theme, including a beer garden) http://www.williamsburgva.gov/Index.aspx?page=5; http://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/;   There are also tons of outlets up Rte 60 all the way to Lightfoot, VA.

Virginia Beach popular destination with ocean beaches, a long paved boardwalk, shops, resorts  http://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/visitors/things-to-do/

Norfolk, VA Naval Station. There is usually a ship in harbor open to tour as well as the base tour. http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrma/installations/ns_norfolk/about/installation_guide/visitor_information.html http://www.norfolkvisitor.com/norfolknavy/

Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, Monticello, Fredericksburg all great stop overs on the way to DC from the south or southwest.

Annapolis Maryland state capitol, Naval Academy, boats, historic shops and more. Good place to book a tour on the Chesapeake. http://www.annapolis.gov/visitors; https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g29494-s409/Annapolis:Maryland:First.Time.Visitors.html; http://www.visitannapolis.org/; http://www.usnabsd.com/for-visitors/

Chesapeake Beach, MD fishing charters on the bay. While Im sure they have them in Annapolis also, this is where the locals go to book a fishing trip. http://www.chesapeakefishingcharters.com/  Trophy bass (rockfish) season is in the spring so the fall limits are 2 per day, minimum 20, only one can be over 28. You can also go out on head boats here and fish for spot or other smaller fish.
 

200  Main Forum / Polls / Re: Cab Noise on: June 28, 2016, 07:53:54 am
House noise, same as above. I pick a noise, track it down and figure out how to silence it. Sometimes I win, sometimes not.

BUT, as for cab noise... that will vary. When we first bought our Phoenix we had evil noise. We had to yell loudly and often repeatedly to each other to be heard across the cab. After several trips to Phoenix and many days living in a hotel while our Phoenix lived at the Ford dealership, we wound up with no solution. The dealer tried to get approval for a complete rebuild of the transmission and housing to locate what they thought was a wandering screw caught in between metal parts somewhere but Ford denied the request as there was no solid evidence that it was the problem and all their other tests came back negative.

We then took someone's advice here on the forum and went to a drive train guy in the panhandle of Florida who used to be the service guru that found and fixed noises for different automobile manufacturers. His answer was it is probably some kind of wind noise that kicked in when you got up to a certain speed. He explained that to reduce costs, manufacturers reduced the number of screws used to hold different parts. Those parts can now catch the wind and sing. We happened to get one that roared. You can test this "loose parts" theory by opening the hood and trying to wiggle those plastic shields and such in there. There are a lot of possibilities.

I am happy to say our growling rumble died down to a good degree. I'm sure we've become somewhat accustomed to it but we know it is also quieter as we have to talk loudly over the truck noise, but no more screaming "LEFT TURN!!!!!!" over and over. We even listen to the radio now, turned up more than in the Subaru, but at least we can hear it.

So, it will vary. It is a truck. The truck cab itself has a certain amount of wind and road noise. It is hauling a good load up and down and around the country which sometimes makes her rumble AND there is always a chance that yours will "sing"... but I sincerely hope not.
201  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2016 - 2351 Options and Modifications on: June 25, 2016, 07:25:59 am
Ron, we have the Ford rubber mat "installed" over the carpet. I believe the pricing for the mat was somewhere around $400. Ours is used. Phoenix put it in when we were having so much trouble with the noise in our cab right after purchase. They had pulled it out of a chassis that came in to them so it is damaged in some spots from the removal (I assume it was glued down previously and they just ripped it out to ready the cab for the "Phoenix touch"). They offered it to us when Ford said they couldn't do anything for the noise. I hope to eventually pull the seats, remove the mat, remove the carpet, and then reinstall the mat. My concern is water. Any water that gets in around the openings or edges of the mat will go into that carpet and stay there. NOT good for the floor. There are decent size openings around the seat bases that concern me. I don't know if you would have these openings with a new mat or if it is because it was cut to fit a different pedestal. If the openings are pre-cut, I'd suggest coating the floor with some sort of waterproofing in that area before installing the mat. The mat is thick and squishy so I don't know how it would work to install carpet over it. I'd check with Ford first to see how they do it. I think they have a flatter insulation mat that goes under carpet. The rubber one we have is from an ambulance or something.

I considered having that spray on truck bed stuff installed but we got the mat and that ended that. Someone suggested finding an installer and arranging to be there when they sprayed a truck bed as they may be able to add on coating the cab of the rig for a fraction of a single install price. I have no idea how long it would stink in there if we did that but it's an option.

We LOVE the Ford mat. It cut down on heat, noise and serious mess. I just sweep it out and occasionally wipe it down. We do have WeatherTech mats on top of it each side to catch the big chunks of crud so we can just tip those out for a quick clean but the passenger side mat moves around a lot. Tom, do you have the mat to fit across the entire cab as one piece? The website didn't list the E-Series and we were not sure if the F-Series mat would fit. We bought the WeatherTech side window deflectors for the F-Series F-450 and they DON'T fit. I haven't attempted to cut them down to size yet so they are in our storage unit, taunting me.

I will now be looking into the QuietRide Solutions for the doors and such. Insulating that cab would be helpful. (Don't tell John I'm shopping for RV stuff again - I'll break it to him when the time is right... like when it's over 100 degrees out and the AC struggles to keep up... THEN he'll think the insulation is a brilliant plan).
202  Main Forum / Polls / Re: PC with TOAD or Others on: June 25, 2016, 06:42:24 am
We have both a TOAD and bicycles, however, our bike rack usually rides on the TOAD. We did get the larger hitch receiver installed on the Subaru and bought the matching bike rack (had the option for either size hitch) so we can move the bike rack to the Phoenix and leave the car. If you have a smaller hitch on your bike rack, it can still move to the Phoenix if you buy an adapter but I've read it rattles more. We use the "quiet hitch" type things on both the tow bar for the car and the bike rack. It seriously reduces the wobbling at the hitch receiver.
203  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Suggestions for modifications on: June 16, 2016, 09:20:22 am
AWESOME! Thank you again, Barry. I gave you yet another helpful/neighborly. I can't imagine how we would have done with our first RV if we didn't have all of you here on this forum. Even with the quality of our Phoenix, there are still so many things we would have been clueless about. I expect we would have gone repeatedly to repair shops for things that we could do ourselves if we had a clue. And now we have a clue... and a very nice file of instructions to try to keep us out of trouble with the rig. We love our Phoenix AND our Phoenix family here on the forum.
204  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Refrigerator Cooling on: June 15, 2016, 07:32:13 am
Same with us. We spent about a month and a half or better in the Rockies. I don't know exactly what altitude but we never did anything special and never had any problems. I do know we were up high enough that altitude affected our breathing - but not the refrigerator or freezer in any noticeable way. We also have the 2552 with fridge in the slide and vents on vertical wall.
205  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Suggestions for modifications on: June 15, 2016, 07:28:10 am
The Starlights is also LED. We just don't like lights on outside most of the time. The Starlights 1000 uses toggling to change the mode of the light. Turn the switch on once and the light is on until you turn it off. Turn the switch on-off-on in succession and it goes into sleep mode (with a tiny blue light that blinks periodically so you know it is set). It wakes and turns on when two things happen 1) it is dark enough as determined by the built in daylight sensor; and 2) something large enough trips the built in motion detector. We like to set it to sleep mode when we leave camp so that our site stays dark until we return. As soon as we come along the side of the Phoenix, the detector picks us up and turns on the light. When we forget to turn it on, we stumble into picnic tables, the step, chairs, etc. If there is no motion for awhile, it turns off again. We love our light.

Tom Hanlon commented that the blinking blue light could make people think we have a security system. Having the light snap on when they get close would help reinforce that.
206  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Suggestions for modifications on: June 14, 2016, 09:08:51 am
Thanks Barry, that's the way we'll go if we toasted the one we have. We taped over it and will call today to see if they'll send the lenses for the sensors. Then comes cutting the paint and caulk to get her off. Seriously NOT looking forward to that part but we recently caulked a few items on the rig so we have the caulk ready to go when we put the light back on. We are out again all next week so we'll be camping with no light if it shorted out. So sad. We have full hookups and would have left it on every day when we went out so that it lit up for us on the way back in. We love having the light kick on automatically. Guess we'll tote our flashlights each day... or, more likely, forget our flashlights and stumble around trying to find the door. We've got experience in that too.
207  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Suggestions for modifications on: June 13, 2016, 04:06:30 pm
Thank you! We will tape it today but it has rained since they were broken out. Hopefully the light hasn't shorted and all will be well.
208  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Suggestions for modifications on: June 13, 2016, 02:57:45 pm
We also bought the StarLights smart light 1000 porch light (motion detector with daylight sensor), and shipped it to Phoenix. They installed it prior to the paint phase. Once we got it, we replaced the clear lens with amber. If we remember to turn it on, it lights up as we approach so we can see to get into the house safely. http://www.starlightsinc.com/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=11&idcategory=4

We posted the above note way back when. An update is that we still love our StarLights smart light but are now in a bit of a pickle with it. As stated above, we shipped it to Phoenix before the paint phase and it is painted with matching full body paint. Well, somebody smashed the lense covers over the motion detectors and it doesn't look like just the plastic covers can be replaced. They didn't smash the amber lense over the main light (which would be easy to replace), just the little squares over the motion sensors (and possibly the sensors themselves, we're still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't). It happened at our "secure" storage site (we know because we had the rig out, washed her, camped in her and used the light then returned it to storage for a week, and they were broken out when we picked her up again). I can see the caulk line around the light so it's possible they painted the rig and painted the light and then installed the light. If so, we can replace it or take it apart and maybe fix it. If we replace it with an identical light, our choices are white or black, either of which will stand out on the coppery brown background. If the rig was painted with the light in place, and the new light doesn't match the footprint of the old light, we will have a white area around the light. Argggg.

We figure someone was doing something they shouldn't and thought the motion detectors were security cameras so they smashed them. We didn't find anything missing on our rig (so far). We just returned from a trip and will report the vandalism to the storage facility. Maybe someone was doing something to the rig next to us.
209  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Cleaning exterior of PC on: June 13, 2016, 07:33:21 am
See Ron, there is always a solution. Yours would be more functional and graceful. If you build it, upload a picture for the rest of us. If anyone tries the Peter Pan routine, upload that one too.
210  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Campground Host on: June 12, 2016, 09:02:20 pm
We would definitely be up for it if we weren't still stuck in Maryland. Mid-nineties this past weekend and humid. Gotta love it. We hope to be back out on the west coast by the end of next year and will be looking for camp host jobs. I hope you find awesome host buddies. That would be the icing on the cake for what sounds like a great hosting job.
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