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301  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: DW missing Class A on our new lot on: March 18, 2014, 10:05:33 pm

The PC requires a little extra planning on our part in that regard.  No nightmares yet.  We love our PC.

We tow a Subaru Forester behind our 2552 and yes, we do advance planning for gas stations. We use the "gas buddy" app to find best prices along our route. I then select that station, pull it up on the map screen and zoom in. I can frequently tell if the layout will work for us or not. If it looks bad, we pick another station.

We've gotten into and out of a couple of tight squeezes and had to drop the tow vehicle only once, though we could have made the turn at that station, we just weren't paying good attention and didn't swing far enough on the way in. Using the map method you can also figure out a way around divided highways and construction zones that route you away from the highway instead of back onto it after you fill up.

There are times we do the slow approach, eyeball the layout, and drive on by. Even the easy access ones become impossible when the Coke delivery guy parks his truck across the exit lanes you need to use. If we ever get desperate for gas and there are no easy access stations, we'll drop the Subaru on a straight away, fuel up, then hook up again. NOT something we want to do, but it might be necessary for those out-of-the-way, itty-bitty gas stations that try to cram 8 fuel pumps into the space that was designed for 2.
302  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Lazy Furnace on: March 14, 2014, 08:24:12 am
Tom called and recommended we first call Atwood then do a drop in at Camping World in Winchester VA and ask if they can take a quick look. Atwood said it sounded like our propane regulator needed adjustment (Special tool needed to test pressure). We walked in to camping world with massive wind gusts and freezing temps and looked pitiful and cold. The girl at the counter said no quick look, you need an appointment but the service manager walked in just then and took pity on us. He said yes we need an appt. And he could take us right away. The diagnostics showed the ignitor was giving one spark. If we were lucky enough to ignite with one spark, we got heat. We assume it is easier to ignite when it is warm so cold killed our chances. There is a device on the circuit board that controls the igniter and it is faulty. They think we heard a switch click for each ignition attempt instead of a series of clicks made by a normal igniter. They are ordering the part and hopefully it will be here in a week, otherwise we will be stuck in Maryland again.
303  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Lazy Furnace on: March 13, 2014, 08:29:42 am
Update on furnace. We pulled the outside cover again and John watched for the little fault lights on the left wall. He could smell propane when it was trying to ignite so we know some propane is getting there. The fault lights were for "ignition fault lockout". We spoke to Kermit and he said if there was a low pressure situation with the propane, it's the refrigerator that gets finicky first and ours works fine as do the water heater and stove. We figure it is something inside the furnace that prevents the ignition during cold temps OR a something restricting the flow to the point it doesn't work when it gets cold. Kermit made it clear he will reimburse for the repairs if it is something Phoenix did. We are in Staunton, Virginia and topped off the tank with 4.7 gallons of "northern" propane just in case. The furnace ran fine - turning on and off and igniting without a problem for an hour or so then refused to ignite at all as soon as it hit around 45 degrees out. It wouldn't light this morning either. (Darn nippy in here even with the heat strip and space heater- got her inside temp up to 48 so far).

Now we just have to land in one place long enough to get the furnace looked at. We called around down in Georgia and one repair shop said they'd need to keep it 3 or 4 days for testing - not a good option when we live in it and don't have any relatives nearby to go Gypsy on. Camping World there had a two week wait for an appointment. Couldn't do that either since we had to run for Maryland. So, once we get to run south again, we'll try to find a certified Atwood repair shop. We prefer to be in a warmer climate so we don't have to winterize and drag all food and freezable products out of the coach.

Just a heads up to anyone thinking of going full time - any time you have to leave the coach where it can potentially freeze you have several steps to take. We stow the dry goods in bins, pack the refrigerator and freezer contents into a collapsible cooler and insulated bag that we carry, go through every cupboard and bin and pull out everything that can freeze and burst or be damaged by cold, then winterize the rig (easy part). We can do all that and pack our travel bag and the cat in about two hours. All but the dry goods go in the car with us and into whatever heated space we are staying in. Then we find a hotel or cabin that allows pets (critters narrow down the options considerably). Our preferred solution is to find someone that lets us camp in their parking lot with electric hook up if possible or get the rig back each night and book a site nearby.

Will post again when we have resolution in case someone else hits this problem. Even if you usually camp only in warm weather, I suggest you test your furnaces when it is below freezing in case yours has the same problem. It would not be fun finding out it doesn't work that one time you get caught in a freeze.
304  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Roof top carrier on: March 12, 2014, 04:27:44 pm
Paul, if you really want to carry a hard top carrier on the roof, I'd call Phoenix. I've seen other posts where Phoenix has sent owners the diagram for the roof structure so they can mount solar panels, etc. Also, there are posts from Keelhauler showing how he had Phoenix add another cross bar to the roof rack configuration so that he can carry his kayaks up there. Kermit may have suggestions for stowing gear on top. You may be able to add standard short rails and cross bars the same as you would mount on a car. Whatever you decide just remember down the road that your rig is now taller than what it originally was and may not fit under all the bridges and overhangs you could go through previously.
305  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water in outside rear compartment on: March 11, 2014, 03:29:00 pm
Good tip on the hoses. Thank you! We'll give that a go. That and the wipe down should keep most of the moisture out of that bin. Just a side comment - we have our outside weather station sensor tucked up in the right outside corner of the back bin and the other day it read 105 degrees in there when the sun was full on the back end. It was about 65 outside. We know the sensors are not dead on accurate but probably get within 5 or 10 degrees and it was baking in that bin. John said "oh, I don't believe that" and opened the bin... then said "well, maybe - it's REALLY hot in there".
306  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water in outside rear compartment on: March 11, 2014, 09:20:35 am
Bob, we had our fabric pet pen in the rear bin and when we pulled it out recently it was wet and mildewed. We didn't see anywhere things were leaking and wondered if it came from the hoses either draining a bit more while we bounced along or possibly moisture on the outside of both hoses and electric cables. We wipe them down before stowing but even a little water can add up to a puddle if you have enough items draining in there. We plan to clear out the rear bin to see if water is gathering even when it is empty. This test phase has to wait until we are back down in warm weather in a few weeks. If we find a leak or find there is no leak and it is just drainage, we will post it here.
307  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Trip Planning via PA Route on: March 09, 2014, 06:51:57 pm
We liked Twin Mills Resort which is 40 miles east of Elkhart or about 20 miles east of Shipshewana We also stayed at Shipshewana North but you can hear the traffic on the interstate and it is a drive into town - unlike Shipshewana South... however, there is an Amish custard stand on site at the North campground so that makes up for a lot. We loved Potato Creek State Park but that is a trek from Shipshewana and it is difficult to get in on a weekend during the high season. If you hit Potato Creek, try to get into the renovated loops or plan on having an extra extension cord to reach the posts in the older loop. Your best spot all depends on what you plan to hit while you are there. If you plan to spend days enoying Shipshewana, then the south campground is the best location... and is very close to their giant flea market.
308  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: still enjoying the southwest in our PC on: March 06, 2014, 07:49:04 pm
Awesome pic. Stay warm for the rest of us.
309  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Lazy Furnace on: March 05, 2014, 08:37:21 am
Tom, John thinks we filled the tank outside of Asheville, NC back in October or November at a KOA. We peered into that little tube with a flashlight and it looks shiny clean (don't tell, the manual says you aren't even supposed to open the cover unless you are a certified tech). We'll see if we can pull the tube and check for critters farther in when it warms up a bit today.
310  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Lazy Furnace on: March 05, 2014, 07:21:08 am
Mike, stove works fine this morning and it's below freezing, fridge was on propane for about 6 hours the other day and it worked fine with no faults but it wasn't under 40 degrees. We haven't used the extra propane port yet. I know with propane it isn't necessarily the tank that freezes, it's the lines. Our Boy Scout troop had 11 lb tanks and woke one morning to frozen lines. We learned to turn propane off at the tank and let the stoves and lanterns go until they burned out then turn those off. That cleared the lines enough that the propane worked in the morning. Not as easy to do on the rig but might be needed in bitter cold weather.

I have the Trailer Life "The RV Handbook" by Dave Solberg 4th Edition and "Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook" by Gary Bunzer 4th Edition. However, I never thought to look there until you told me to. Thanks for the help, I'm off to read.
311  Main Forum / General Discussion / Lazy Furnace on: March 04, 2014, 07:46:27 pm
Our furnace is finicky. We thought it was a random intermittent problem but now we think it just doesn't like to run when it gets below around 35 degrees. We usually use a little ceramic space heater while we are plugged in with the heat strip as backup but are headed north and know we are going to be in some evil cold temps so we figure we'll need the furnace. We turned it on the other night and it fired right up, burned for a few minutes, then turned off. When it tried to turn back on it didn't ignite. We hear the fan, then the igniter, then the igniter, then it all turns off and we have to cycle the thermostat controls to turn it back on and it does the same thing. We tested it during the day and it worked fine (sometimes took two shots with the igniter but it did light). Then we tested after it got cold that night and it flaked out again. It usually runs once even when very cold but won't ignite a second time. We checked our propane and it is at 2/3 (on the tank meter, we didn't rely on the idiot lights). So we've had two thoughts, neither of which fit the scenario well: 1) something overheats so after the initial burn, it won't go again... but it tries to go; 2) the propane is freezing/liquifying in the lines so it isn't getting enough to burn... but it lights that first time.

We plan to call the factory but figured we'd hit the owner pros first to see if you can shed light on the problem. As always, your help if VERY greatly appreciated.

312  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Decisions Decisions on: March 04, 2014, 07:29:06 pm
I can't speak for the ACE or other smaller A's (though we crawled in and out of most of them) but I can make note of a few things that put us in the 2552 instead of the 3100 - size and payload. Some national parks and state parks have a 27 foot limit. Many have a 30 foot limit. We expect to spend a lot of time in both types of park so we refused to even look at anything longer than 30 feet. When we were ordering our Phoenix, Stuart tried to talk us into the longer unit with the belief we'd just be trading in for a bigger one in a year anyhow. The extra space would be awesome but I questioned what the extra length, slide and dinette would cost us in weight. I didn't get a tried and true figure since every rig is different but it was in the range of about 1,000 lbs. I believe the payload on the 2552 is about 3k so we'd lose a full third. That may be OK for short trips or even a few months with a loaded car tooling along behind but to carry everything we would need as full timers (plus what we need in office gear for the work side), we just didn't think it was enough.

We did three days at Hershey two years ago to narrow down our choices. I recommend you spend a lot of time up front and make a list of maybe five things you HAVE to have. We were dragging by day three of the show but we left with a list of (and brochures for) 4 or 5 possible units. THEN we were at the decisions-decisions point. Our five points would have been: 1) length; 2) payload/weight; 3) functional bathroom; 4) functional kitchen; 5) room for two people to work. Everyone will have a different list depending on how they like to travel, where they like to stay, and what they do when it rains for 5 days and they are stuck inside.
313  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Gulf Islands National Seashore FL on: February 26, 2014, 05:44:34 pm
Thank you Judi! We couldn't get into Loop A but it did look like the better spots. We came in after a big rainstorm so there was a lot of standing water. It drained off in time for it to rain again. We watched the neighbor's stuff float by this morning but it is a matter of attitude - how often do you get a moat around your castle? The concrete pad keeps the rig high and dry. The water is already draining off and the sun is due out again just in time for us to leave tomorrow. We did have two gorgeous days to explore here so we're happy. I am so impressed at how you track all the site numbers. We can't even remember what site we're on while we're sitting on it.
314  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: New York's Amazing Adirondacks on: February 26, 2014, 08:34:53 am
We can't give personal recommendations as we haven't been there yet but we met a couple that toured all up there and gave us a list of places they stopped and loved. Three were in New York: Letchworth State Park with beautiful campground, stone trails, waterfalls, lots of CCC work; A nice private campground in Wilmington in Adirondacks, on a lake, they explored Lake Placid and Nat'l History Museum of Adirondacks, said it was great (didn't have the name); Ausable Chasm - narrow canyon you can get narrated float trip and hike near Lake Champlain. You'll need to research these but it's a start. The couple were youngish, outdoorsy people that spent a lot of time exploring on their bikes and watching nature when we met them in Florida so their perfect spot may or may not be your perfect spot.
315  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Gulf Islands National Seashore FL on: February 26, 2014, 08:26:47 am
For all you snowbirds that dont want to return to the frigid north yet, but need to at least start the journey, I recommend Gulf Islands National Seashore Fort Pickens area (just outside of Pensacola, FL). It has soft white sand beaches with emerald water, a fort to tour as well as numerous military batteries, lots of bicycle opportunities, a fishing pier, and nesting osprey and Great Blue Herons right next to the campground. The campground is basically a line-them-up type but there is decent space between each rig. The bathhouse in E loop looks brand new and is well kept. The camp store is only open on weekends so shop first. This is a National Park so those with the Federal Pass get in free ($8.00 otherwise) with $13.00 per night camping fees for water electric ($26 otherwise). You are allowed to take shells and driftwood. There are trees in the campground but you will get a lot of sun in most sites. It is a short walk along a boardwalk to the beach or you can drive to the public beach with accessible bathhouse and picnic shelter and park just inside the first dune. A 15-20 minute drive gets you to Pensacola Beach and Gulf Breeze with lots of stores. Another 15 gets you to Naval Air Station Pensacola with an awesome free Naval Aviation Museum, Lighthouse and another fort. We have been around 50-60 at night and 75-80 during the day but we are going to drop into the 40s tonight so this is not the sit and sweat Florida weather but it beats the heck out of those single digits up north.
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