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241  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Cleaning the Gray Tank on: April 23, 2014, 08:55:04 am
We've had misreadings on our tank monitors several times. We full time and use our on board toilet exclusively if we are anywhere near camp so it gets a lot of action. We use the flush sprayer whenever we can which is usually at a dump station IF they have an attachable hose. Some cut off the threads on their hose so you can't screw it on the rig and the water thief thing doesn't work (John got an extra shower that day - incoming water not tank water). John likes to flush each tank three times if he can. The flush sprayer frequently gets us to good readings but occasionally that doesn't work and we move on the the GEO Method found here: -- I found it somewhere else and that site said to us Dawn dish soap so we did, and we had the sudsiest waste hoses in town. We've cut the recipe in half due to smaller holding tanks and plan to switch over to powdered laundry soap to go with the water softener. We use this method if we can dump before driving, pour in the stuff AND add gallons of water, then have full hookups at the next site. The idea is you dump and clean as well as you can, pour in the solution with lots of water to make sure it swishes up the sides, drive around, then use the tank as usual and dump when full. It takes a little planning but you usually get nice clean tanks. Sometimes it takes two rounds but it gets there.
242  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Does PC-USA Offer A Memory Foam Mattress For Their Permanent Beds? on: April 22, 2014, 07:51:52 pm
Ron, John and I have the newer mattresses like Tom has. We've slept on them every night for eight months so far and are quite comfortable with them.We weigh around 140 and 175 and sleep on our sides with no hip pain/pressure spots. I've always preferred a firmer mattress and John likes it a little softer but we are both happy with the one Phoenix uses now.
243  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Why PC? on: April 17, 2014, 09:02:27 pm
We agree with all of the above and have one addition - just about everyone that has seen ours, wants one. People walk past at campgrounds, take pictures and stake out a spot near our campsite and wait for us. We've also been stopped at gas stations, restaurants, and shopping centers. The Phoenix is beautiful, extremely well outfitted, easy to drive and maneuver and generally "right-sized". When people come inside they are surprised at how much space we have and how livable it is. Some just don't want to leave and others don't want their spouses to see it.  As our boss put it - "you've hit the sweet spot!" and we certainly feel that we did.

John and Holly

244  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: San Con - Auto Drain Valve Motor on: April 15, 2014, 02:02:32 pm
Another helpful from us. When people put all these solutions on here, I dutifully download them for future use but secretly pray we'll never need them. I'm always amazed when you guys calmly disassemble these things, fix them, then put them back with no problems. I'm sure many bad words will be involved if John and I ever have to give it a go. Of course, we didn't actually know this part existed so the learning curve would be MUCH longer.

Thanks Barry!
245  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Kitchen sink vent - aka "What smells bad?" on: April 14, 2014, 04:29:06 pm
Thanks Tom, but it was not propane. I'm real sensitive to smells and knew it wasn't propane but we couldn't figure out what it was. I've never heard of instant-flow. Is it safe for RV pipes (pex)? The drain wasn't plugged, I think we just had gooey stuff in there that we percolated. I figure some black lagoon type creature would have crawled on up if we hadn't flushed it out. True kitchen science. We're going to try to avoid creating new life forms from here on out.
246  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Macerator compartment labels on: April 14, 2014, 10:59:01 am
The tanks are reversed on the two main styles of units. Some units have a smaller grey water tank and larger black water tank. Others have a smaller black tank and larger grey. It has to do with the way the tanks fit under the rig with the different bathroom configurations. It's possible this tank location change is the reason the valves may be swapped.
247  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Kitchen sink vent - aka "What smells bad?" on: April 14, 2014, 10:54:52 am
We are always pretty frugal with our grey water and use Tubtrugs for dish washing so most of our nice soapy water is then dumped down the toilet to the blank tank. We decided to practice extreme water management recently while boondocking just as practice for our two weeks in Acadia with no hook ups. All went well until we kicked the propane water heater on for a few hours (we only turn the hot water on when needed).

We started getting a really funky smell that we tracked down to under the sink where the hot water heater lives. We were afraid something melted, burned, died, decayed... something! After dismantling the lower cabinet around the hot water heater (and finding a nice wrench that Phoenix lost in there) and much sniffing of random objects (definite ewwww), we guessed it was the vent for the drain pipe. We figure whatever sludge was in the pipes got heated up and fermented or did something and the odor was wafting out the little metal screen under the sink.

We promptly dumped a bunch of baking soda down the drain and hit it with vinegar to bubble out as much as we could. It still smelled, though not as strong. We then filled the sink half way with warm water and put in about 10 times more Dawn dish soap than I usually use and pulled the plug to give a good whoosh down the drain. When we got up this morning the smell was gone! We will try to remember to do a good drain/trap cleaning before we boondock to avoid the stink in the future.

So if anyone gets a weird smell under the sink (but not from the top drain), try the super cleaning tricks before you dismantle your cabinets. It's so much easier.

248  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Natchez Trace Parkway - TN, AL, MS on: April 11, 2014, 03:45:34 pm
We are wandering the Natchez Trace Parkway and it is very nice. They have three campgrounds along the parkway that are free. There are no hookups but they have a water spigot to fill your tanks, flush toilets (no showers) and each site has a picnic table and shared trash can. They have a camp host on site and post the ranger's number if you have any problems. You pull in, pick a site and set up. No registration, nothing. Some are level, some not so much. I spoke with a local and he said campgrounds hardly ever fill up. We are in the Merriweather Lewis site right now and it is mostly empty. We've seen quite a few rigs from Quebec as the French Canadians head back north. It's fun hearing the copilot yelling at the driver in French. The arm waving is the universal language and your brain gets to translate the words creatively (unless you know French, then you are stuck with reality).

If you are in this area and want a laid back boondocking experience, these campgrounds should do it. They limit you to 14 continuous days at each campground with a total limit of 30... I assume per season or year. There is a town with KOA and private campgrounds nearby if something goes wrong and you need to bail on the boondocking. The scenery and overlooks are not as spectacular as the BlueRidge Parkway but the rolling hills of Tennessee are very pretty with farms and meadows, cows and sheep and a few little waterfalls to see.

The website is:  NOTE: there is a Natchez Trace Scenic Trail (with advisories on the website) that you can hike on. We are on the beautiful paved parkway watching spring pop out.

249  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Rig baths on: April 11, 2014, 08:52:41 am
Even campgrounds on city water balk at having rigs washed. City water fees are meant to cover the cost of the water going into the "house" and going into the sewer system to be cleaned after it leaves the house. Some areas allow separate meters for outside water use such as irrigation, sprinklers, car washes, etc. that do not put the water back into the system to be processed. That water is then charged at a lower rate. Since most campgrounds don't have that double meter thing (unless they set up a separate wash area), they would be paying a good bit more for the water spraying out onto all those RVs.
250  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Boon docking questions on: April 09, 2014, 08:09:10 am
Pisgah will be beautiful in the spring with the waterfalls and wildflowers. There is a Cradle of Forestry exhibit there that is very good. If you get a chance to run up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah Inn has awesome views from their dining room. Check with the Ranger when you go in to see if it is hunting season for anything. If so, and you like to hike our on the trails, they recommend you wear orange vests. We happened to roll in one time on the first day of deer season. At the recommendation of the Ranger, we rolled right back out to pick up a couple of inexpensive vests from Wal-Mart. We carry them in our day pack to this day. Better dorky than dead.
251  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Showing prospective buyers. on: April 05, 2014, 08:27:40 am
Mike, we showed our 2552 to someone considering a 2350. The front is the same on both models so it was a better match but they really wanted to check the quality of the build. There are a lot of companies out there with pretty pictures on the website but you only see what they want you to see and you can't tell how solidly things are built. This couple had poured over the website but wanted to touch one (cabinets, fixtures, etc). Now that they've seen the 2552 they aren't sure... They might be buying that instead (it's the lure of the bathroom and comfy twin beds). We also gave them a brochure. Since you seem to be showing your unit a lot I suggest calling Earl or Karen and requesting some. I know the same info is on the website but having it in your hands is better.

252  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Rig baths on: April 03, 2014, 08:42:15 am
We don't wash ours as often as we like but have seen a few truck washes along the way. We've yet to try them as it was usually too cold to play in water. Most of the campgrounds we've been in specifically state "NO WASHING OR REPAIRS" of the camping units but we are also usually in State or County Parks. Some private campgrounds allow it. One we were at said it was allowed for an added cost. Don't know what that cost was. I saw one gentleman doing "stealth" washing. He had a little spray bottle, small Tupperware "bucket" and sponge and would wash one small section at a time like the door of the truck or one area of the side back to a window, etc. I saw him out there every day doing just a bit. I don't know how he got a good rinse, though. Places that allow long term stays usually allow washing of the rig. We carry our own extendable brush, sponge and collapsible bucket.
253  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Wipers on: April 03, 2014, 08:34:07 am
Mike, we look forward to your future reviews on the wipers. Now if you want to really make gift giving difficult, go full time. Our family had to get really creative trying to figure out what to give people that live in a motor home. Our rule is: Consumables - gift cards for Cracker Barrel and other national chains, food we can open at the gift giving event and share, etc. The most creative was an awesome homemade cream/salve. THAT got a spot on board even though it is in a glass jar. Some things you just make exceptions for. If you plan to go full time sometime later, make that wish list now. We bought a ton of stuff to outfit our new home. If we had thought it through and planned early enough, we would have had an Amazon wish list for everyone to look at and possibly received some of our RV gear as gifts (instead of the very nice gifts we got that are in storage).
254  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: MICHELIN TIRE RECALL on: March 31, 2014, 09:15:19 pm
RUN AWAY! We finally ran back south and are so much happier. It's still cold at night but beautiful during the day and WAY better than the northern states. It took us two not too long days of driving to go from chipping ice in Harper's Ferry to hiking, lounging and exploring in central Tennessee. There has to be someplace you'd rather be.
255  Main Forum / Photos / Re: Maiden Voyage on: March 31, 2014, 09:05:01 pm
What awesome scenery for your maiden voyage. Those are beautiful pictures.
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