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196  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.
197  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.
198  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!!
199  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.
200  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. 
201  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.

202  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!
203  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...
204  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.
205  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Utah - Zion and Bryce Canyon on: April 05, 2016, 10:38:03 am
Youve probably already read our notes for these parks on our blog but maybe these comments will trigger thoughts from other people that have been there.

Zion We ate at Caf Oscars in Springdale which is the town that butts up to main entrance of Zion. It was a good Mexican/American mix and we would recommend it. We camped in the park itself and spent most of our time hiking so this was our only activity outside the park. We camped in Hurricane for a bit, down the road from Zion, while we took care of vehicle maintenance and such in St. George but cant recommend any of the places we ate there. Im sure they have better restaurants we just werent lucky enough to hit them. St. George is the nearest city with all the stores, malls, strip malls, service centers, etc. We also drove through the Zion Tunnel with the Subaru. We saw RVs going through the tunnel but they have to stop all traffic both ways then send them through. We opted to forego that. There are lots of interesting rock formations on the other side of the tunnel but not always a lot of places to pull over. We wanted to hike up to the top of the tunnel but the parking lot was packed both times we passed it.

Bryce We stayed in the park most of the time then stayed a few days at the Bryce Pines Resort on Rte 12. We ate at the Bryce Pines Restaurant on Rte 12 and it had good home style food with ample portions and reasonable prices. We also ate in the town of Bryce itself at Rubys Inn which is a decent buffet but also the main tourist stop where all the tour buses go so timing is everything. They have a general store, gift shop, etc. attached to the Inn. There is a general store in Bryce National Park itself where you can get soup, chili, hot dogs, ice cream, etc. Everything out there is a long drive so this was the place we hit when we were in Bryce. You can spend a full day just checking out the visitor center and then driving to all the overlooks at Bryce but YOU HAVE TO hike the hoodoos. The view from down in the canyon, surrounded by the stone people is AWESOME! They also have horseback rides down into the canyon and back if you dont want to hike it but I definitely recommend you hike.

Are you trying to hit both parks from the one campground? If so, that is some hefty driving.
206  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: April 04, 2016, 05:58:45 pm
WELCOME!!!   MeetYa
John and I full timed in our 2552 for a year and half before we were temporarily grounded by family issues. We absolutely loved it, miss it, and plan to hit the road again as soon as things are settled here and then stay on the road until we can't do it anymore. You can click our name to see our posts on this site and our blog name is below my signature on this post. We have not put our first year up on the blog yet mainly because we've been lazy and consistent blogging feels too much like work. There seems to always be something more fun to do.

I do have a few basic things that make it work for us: We carry two weeks worth of clothing... PLUS. So two weeks of slacks and tops, two weeks plus a few extras of everyday socks and undergarments. So far we've always been able to hit a laundromat in a town or campground before we ran out of clean clothing. We also carry the "specials": Cold weather - thin base layer/long underwear, wool sweater or fleece top, warm socks, winter jacket, gloves, warm hats; Hot weather/water sports - wide brim hat, swimsuit and light beach towel, flip flops (double as shower shoes), strap on water shoes (rafting/kayaking), wicking shirt, pants and underwear: work clothing: one set each of something that can get all the goo on it and you are willing to wear crawling under the vehicles - we recently bought Tyvek overalls for something else and think those will be our work coverup when we go back on the road; rain gear - we each have a full rain suit; hiking: hiking boots, socks, trekking poles.

Our kitchen has a full set of decent knives, nesting pans, nesting bowls/colander/strainer/measuring cups, a set of silicone bakeware that mostly nest, etc. The nesting items save an enormous amount of space and it is easy to find things. Most of what we have on board can serve more than one purpose.

One thing I did for months before moving into the RV was to put a paper and pencil in each room of the house - usually taped to the wall or set on a bedside table. Pack or stash all but what you think you will need in the RV then live with it. Pull things out and add to your active items only if necessary. After a while, look at what you started with, what you used and what you added and make sure your "zone" lists are up to date and contain only what you actually need. For example, my bedside table had tissues, chap stick, water bottle, e-reader, neck brace, bandanna (eye cover). All the other stuff that cluttered my night stand weren't necessary so when we moved into the RV, only those items I used regularly went with us and I planned in advance for where they would be stored. We did this for every room. You would do it for your animals also (we did this for our cat - she had a long list and we wound up dedicating a full shelf, plus, to her).

I am working on a cabinet by cabinet, bin by bin inventory of what we carry in our 2552. If you are interested in receiving a copy when I am done, I will be happy to share it with you. Everyone is different but sometimes seeing someone else's list will trigger a thought and plan for your own.

I really like the term "Pilgrimage to Elkhart". Evokes a feeling of wonder and hope.

Enjoy your PC planning and have an awesome life on the road.
207  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: March 27, 2016, 06:29:05 pm
I am looking for a small unit (2100,2350.2351,2400)

Jan, I would recommend a full time bed. Several of the smaller units require making up the bed each night and cleaning it up in the morning. You then have to store all the bedding. While it seems like a small thing, it can get old fast. The 2350, 2551 and 2552 have full time beds (corner, twin, twin) and the option to have the electric couch that reclines to any angle and can make into a bed. I personally slept on one half of the couch for 6.5 weeks (and had to make it up and take it apart each night - easy to do, but still...). John and the granddaughter had the twin beds. I was fine on the couch and slept with my head slightly raised instead of putting the couch flat down. This worked well for me.

John and I full timed for a year and half in our 2552 (working half time from the rig) and had periods when we had our granddaughter along with us. The full time bed allowed one of us to lay in bed sick while the other drove when we had to check out of a site (bad bout of the flu at one point). The 2552/2551/2350 configurations also allow one person to be in bed while the other has use of the front of the motorhome (coffee, tv, cooking, computer work, whatever). If the only bed is the convertible couch, you do not have that luxury. While this wouldn't matter if you traveled alone, it will make a HUGE difference if your mother is along.

The twin beds are far easier to get into and out of than the corner bed (again, thinking of your mother). Any of the units are small enough to navigate in even if you are unsteady on your feet. They are all easy to drive. The controls for the awning, slide, water heater, pump, generator, etc. are all push button.

We are temporarily grounded but hoping to get back on the road before long. I will likely have knee surgery before that happens and will still be rehabilitating it. I mention this because I've already thought about how that will affect traveling in the RV when I have limited leg function. The only potentially difficult spot will be the house steps but Phoenix has a long, lighted handle to hold onto to assist in getting in and out so I don't think that will be an issue. It will be easier than the stairs at the house we are in.

If you have specific questions, ask away. If you want privacy, you can send personal messages to any member. I found everyone to be extremely helpful and responsive when I was considering a Phoenix.


208  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / No Bake Energy Bites from King Arthur Flour on: March 15, 2016, 08:30:43 am
I ran across this recipe and tested it out yesterday. It's a winner. I figure we'll be making these while stationary here in Maryland and when we get back on the road. It is a pretty basic recipe and you adapt it to your tastes with the add ins. I used peanut butter as the nut butter and vanilla protein powder in place of the dried milk (it's what I had on hand) and used sweetened coconut, mini chocolate chips and a bit of Grape Nuts as the add ins. I also put in the 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder to make a nice chocolate hit. These are goooood. They will make a nice, quick breakfast or road snack for when we are avoiding cooking. The link is

They do take space in the fridge but I put almost thirty in one little tupperware type container so they don't take that much space; just layer them with waxed paper. Enjoy!
209  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: towing. is it worth it for a 24ft? on: March 14, 2016, 07:50:31 am
The answer is going to be based on what you are willing to do every time you want to run out and how good you are at keeping stuff stowed. Breaking camp requires the following: unhook water and electric and store the cords, hoses and any metering/pressure control devices. Stow the jacks and jack pads. Pull in the slide and awning. Stow any outdoor gear you don't want left on site like grill, etc. Crank down antenna. Pull off and stow windshield covers. Lock down all outside bins. Stow all movable items inside. Close all inside cabinets. Lock down inside doors and front curtain. Double check and hit the road.

It sounds like a lot but John and I can break camp in less than 15 minutes, working as a team.

If you truly move every night a tow vehicle might not make sense but our experience was that once we got past the sense of urgency to hurry, hurry, hurry from site to site, we realized how awesome it is to settle in one spot for a while and really check out an area. Our tow vehicle gets us out to dinner, down to the beach, around those restricted roads with tight curves or weight limits, down rutted roads we don't want to take the Phoenix on, etc.

The flip side is that towing a vehicle changes your parking options while you are touring so it is totally based on your style.

All that said, you can wait and see. The hitch will be there if you decide to tow later.
210  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Just introducing myself on: March 08, 2016, 06:10:18 am
 LOL. Ron, don't ask them. In situations like these it's best to make the decision yourself - go with blessing and be happy inside.
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