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361  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Even the critters want a Phoenix on: May 04, 2014, 10:58:25 pm
Earlier we saw them moving leaves and sticks around in that front opening of the grill on the Phoenix. They also were up on all the tires and the undercarriage of the car and the Phoenix and tried to fly in up under the open/slanted window glass. We are in the woods with lots and lots of other places for them to build but they have chosen us. We leave tomorrow and will try to remember to add "check for birds" to the task list for breaking camp. We don't want to have them tucked in the engine braving 50 mph winds and wondering what the heck just happened to their newly built house. They are certainly persistent.
362  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Right Mirror on: May 04, 2014, 10:29:58 am
Mike, I saw a Phoenix with the side view cameras at the Rally last year. They were mounted on the truck fenders. I thought they looked very cool but wasn't sure how well you could see around the wings of the Phoenix let alone the awning rail. I would think mounting them high on the widest part of the motorhome would make more sense but I really don't know how they work. Does anyone on the forum have them? If so, care to weigh in on how much they help?

I've also seen those "attachment" mirrors for trailers that you hook onto the existing mirror somehow. It sticks out another 6 or 8 inches. While it might look dorky, it could be helpful if you are expecting to be traveling through a lot of traffic. I haven't looked into those yet either, I just saw them in ads.

I would never give up our awning. There have been many times that little shade over the open windows was all that made it bearable (and often quite comfortable) when we are forced to camp in full sun. We love sitting out under the awning enjoying the cooler air in the shade.
363  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Insulated Glass on: May 04, 2014, 10:21:04 am
Ron, both the fixed top and operable bottom panes are dual glass/thermal. While the outer pane sits flush against the outside, the inner pane is smaller and tucks into the window frame when closed. In the photo you are looking at the full size outer pane on the right, a thick air pocket seal, the smaller inner pane (looks sort of green in the pic), the metal track for the window crank mechanism. I know you'll have to stare to make it out but it isn't totally photogenic.

The main thermal breaks in the Phoenix are then: 1) the cab, 2) the ceiling vents (large openings with plastic lids), 3) the house door frame (metal conducts heat and cold)
364  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Insulated Glass on: May 03, 2014, 01:46:05 pm
This should be a good time to visit DC. One recommendation - Take Metro!! Do NOT drive in DC. There is very little on street parking and the parking enforcement is quick and strict. The parking garages are high priced. People drive like maniacs and some of the roads are very confusing. You can easily get around DC using Metro and I'm pretty sure I read that Cherry Hill shuttles you to the nearest Metro station.

We also never did the tour trolleys but wanted to. You pay one price to get on and off all day at the different monuments, museums, etc. Their tours run every so many minutes so you just catch the next bus when you are done with an area. We've done a lot of DC walking and it can be a TON of walking. There are so many wonderful places to see but there is a lot of physical territory to cover to get to each of the sites. I've also done the walk over to Arlington Cemetery and don't recommend that walk either. Metro will hop you over there in a heartbeat and you still have enough energy to actually tour the place.

Enjoy your time in DC!
If you get a chance Baltimore's inner harbor is another great place to spend the day... as is Annapolis.
365  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Even the critters want a Phoenix on: May 01, 2014, 06:38:06 pm
Beats the heck out of going to "somewhere" in a handbasket
366  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Even the critters want a Phoenix on: May 01, 2014, 03:09:15 pm
We were doing some cleaning and organizing and left the large bin open. I noticed a little bird scope out the bin and fly off. Within minutes his/her mate came back to check it out and they started to fly back and forth with sticks and leaves. Someone came by to chat so it was another half hour before we got over there to evict them and they were pretty well settled in by then.  It just goes to show the livability of the Phoenix. Even the critters want to move in. Maybe Kermit could add a special birdhouse bin so they can have access to their nest and travel with us. They could sing us awake each morning and clean up all the crumbs around the picnic table each night.
367  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Minnesota/North Dakota on: May 01, 2014, 12:25:18 pm
We have no first hand knowledge, however, our scenic drive book lists one for North Dakota and two for Minnesota.

North Dakota starts at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park near Mandan, heads up and around on 1804 hitting lots of stops including the Audubon Wildlife Refuge, Knife River Indian Villages, Garrison Dam (last two on by looping west on 200A then 200 then back onto 1804) up to Lewis and Clark State Park, a side spur to Fort Buford then down 85 through Theodore Roosevelt State Park North Unit, Little Missouri National Grassland, Theodore Roosevelt South Unit with nearby Medora on 94 west that Tom mentions. It then rolls back east on 94 to the starting point. I can't list everything but it says "Not to be missed": Medora Musical, a Western-style review (Jun-Sep) in Medora; Mandan Rodeo Days in July in Mandan; Lewis and Clark weekend (Aug) at Cross Ranch State Park; United Tribes Powwow (Sep) Bismarck. Full loop is about 400 miles.

Minnesota has a loop drive listed that is pretty far north. It starts in Grand Rapids, up 38 to Effie, west on Rte 6 then Rte 1 to Northome then south on 46 and then Rte 2 back to Grand Rapids, It takes you through Chippewa National Forest with numerous lakes and rivers and refers to it as the "watery, wooded reaches of northern Minnesota". Length of the loop is about 140 miles. Features good fishing, some old growth pines over 12 stories tall, hundreds of lakes. Just realized the book has you driving the opposite direction, don't know if it matters.

Minnesota also has a lake drive listed on Rte 61 running along Lake Superior from Duluth to Grand Portage passing through numerous state parks and small towns. A portion of the northern section is in Superior National Forest. Nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area lies along the Canadian Border. There is a 3 hour boat trip to Isle Royale leaving regularly from Grand Portage. This drive is about 150 miles one way. The book notes that Rte 61 is the state's busiest highway so leave plenty of time for the trip. .. and don't drink from the waterfalls. A quick scan of the listings shows notes on spectacular overlooks and vistas, waterfalls, hidden harbors, etc.
368  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Natchez Trace Parkway - TN, AL, MS on: April 29, 2014, 03:21:53 pm
A few items of note on the Natchez Trace:
1) there is no Verizon signal at the Rocky Springs Campground. There is no AT&T signal there either but our neighbors were able to drive to the top of the hill and use their AT&T phone to check weather. Our Verizon pretended to have coverage but never made it to a functional state. The other two freebie campgrounds Meriwether Lewis and Jeff Busby had good Verizon signal.
2) Tishomingo State Park is right on the trace and we stayed there as well as staying the free sites. It was nice but we did get power surges on occasion so use a power manager there. Sites are very level and most are right on the lake. There's a large goose that comes to dinner. Camp fee was 18/night for water electric and they might have a senior discount.
3) The trace is apparently in tornado alley. We had bad storms yesterday and tornadoes touched down within 60 miles of us north and south and within 10 miles to our east. We were in the cinder block restrooms at the time (with the cat and the rest of the campers). Word to the wise, carry a weather radio.
4) The campgrounds are weird with overlapping pull through sites or two or three sites per pull through. Sometimes you have to get out and walk and look at where the picnic tables and fire rings are to figure out if there is a site open. None of the three have been full while we were in them. All three have flush toilets and potable water spigots.
5) There is a good local owned restaurant in Eupora about 10 miles from the Jeff Busby campground - Central Service Grill. Good BBQ, good hand scooped ice cream milk shakes, good service and decent prices.
6) It is my opinion that the Trace is a beautiful drive but not necessarily a "destination". There are little towns near the trace to explore as well as bigger cities to play in but most of the pull offs on the Trace are exactly that, pull offs with a sign telling you what used to be there. It is a beautiful drive on a nice road through the woods. They refer to the "view shed" which shows they work hard to keep everything you see "bucolic" - if there is an industrial area nearby, you won't see it, they planted trees. We enjoyed some of their short nature trails and read most of the signs. We also ventured off to Shiloh, Vicksburg, Jackson, Natchez, Florence/Tuscumbia/Muscle Shoals AL (Helen Keller Birthplace, Frank Lloyd Wright House, etc) and little towns like Cherokee (The Coon Dog Cemetery - look it up) and into Eupora for food. Time on the trace is driving, camping in the quite woods or getting off the trace to tour. We are good with all of the above.
7) It is listed in "The Most Scenic Drives in America: 120 Spectacular Road Trips" from Reader's Digest. An interesting book with just enough tidbits on each of the road trips to get you going but definitely not in depth. You have to go explore on your own.

369  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drivers Side Propane Connection? on: April 29, 2014, 03:00:32 pm

You can have it delivered to my house. I will even take it camping with our club and make sure everything works. Bruce will fix breakfast, Jim and I will cook lunch and the ladies will cook dinner on it. We have four campouts before I would deliver it to you at the reunion in September so it would get tested real well.

Tom, that is an awesome offer and we'd like to take you up on it but we really would like to start grilling before September so I'm afraid we'll have to decline. We're going to try to get it delivered to a nearby post office so we can go and pick it up. Unfortunately, that means we'll have to break it in and test it ourselves, bummer.
370  Main Forum / Polls / Re: Does your Phoenix Cruiser have a slide out? on: April 29, 2014, 11:27:48 am
1. Does your Phoenix Cruiser have a slide out? -- Yes, one slide with fridge and couch on it

2. If you have a slide out, do you have any problems with it? -- Yes, it leaks

3. If you were to get another new Phoenix Cruiser, would you or would not get the slide out? -- WITH slide

4. I you where to get any new motorhome, would you or would not get a slide out? -- WITH slide

Clarification. Our slide out was one of the first touchless slides Phoenix installed. It leaks. They quickly figured out there was a problem with the new slides and changed the installation method so I think we were in a very small window of units that leak (the luck of the draw yet again). We thought the little gutter thing Kermit put on fixed the problem but it still leaks. We now tilt down or that side or pull in the slide during rainstorms. We had torrential rain and wind last night with the slide in and no leaks. We will be headed back to Phoenix next month to get it fixed. We've already spoken to Kermit and he said to bring her in. Phoenix has been very responsive about the problem and the delay is due to our travels and our preference to have them do the work rather than some random RV place.
371  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Lap Desk on: April 26, 2014, 10:06:26 pm
This is another "probably shouldn't have" but working on a couch or bed gets tiring with a big laptop balanced on your legs. Add in the excessive heat off the bottom of the computer and it can be unpleasant. This laptop desk has adjustable legs that can be rotated 360 degrees and locked at every 15 degree increment. You quickly set the angles for the way you work and you are good to go. I wrote down my favorite settings so I can get it back quickly - I have no memory. You can't lean on it but you can put a decent size laptop or tablet computer on there and have it angled just right. It can also be used as a bed tray for sickies. John and I have both used it and are pleased with it. It folds flat again in no time but feels like the top could crack with a good knock so I pop it back into its original box and slide it down behind the couch until I need it again. Eventually I will make it a padded case with a rigid back to protect the tray top. My 12-13" wide laptop fits on it but no room for the mouse. This is another item that has many brands, some cheaper. I got mine on a deal of the day but sales can be had if you shop around.
372  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Storage Organization - Sofa Butler on: April 26, 2014, 09:53:21 pm
We have the couch instead of the dinette so during bad weather I usually work and play on the computer either sitting on the couch or on the bed. We've found the Sofa Butler works well for that. It takes up a chunk of the middle of the couch but I usually have my feet angled off anyhow. If you sit straight, it can go on the side or in the middle and it tucks down next to the mattress on the bed. There are several different brands (many cheaper) but this one has a deep pocket that is about 1/2" wide at the bottom and 1" wide at the top where I can put papers, a notebook, my kindle, etc. It has two cup holders with cut outs for mug handles and a center pocket for your cell phone or remote. It's one more thing to haul and store but it is also one thing we use every single day. It does not shift or move when tucked in the couch no matter how many times I get up and down.  If the mattress is snug against the wall, it doesn't move in the bed either. We don't leave it in the bed when sleeping. The cup holders are big so little cups might rock in it. We use travel mugs so no spills there.

373  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Storage Organization - Neo Cubes on: April 26, 2014, 09:28:50 pm
I found these at the Container Store and I admit that I wanted them first... and figured out how to use them later. I have two in the cabinet over the passenger seat with a bluetooth keyboard, portable solar charger and the remote controls. The second one holds our cable for the cable connection as we prefer to store it inside. They snug side by side, front to back along the outside wall of the cabinet and keep these items from wandering like they used to. They are lightweight and attractive and I plan to use them for service bins for fancier occasions. They would hold napkins, silverware, etc. Not shown is a shallower, double wide one that we have on the shelf in the shirt closet to hold our snack food (we swore we wouldn't allow junk food on board but there it is... in a very attractive tray). They are called Curver Neo Squares. Manufacturer is here but only US seller I found is Container Store with two color choices, brown and green. The squares measure 7.75 x 7.75 x 5.5 high.
374  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Storage Organization - craft boxes on: April 26, 2014, 09:20:53 pm
I found these "Creative Options" craft boxes at Costco then again at Michael's Crafts. They measure 14" x 14.25" (hinges) x approx 3.5" deep. They fit on the shelf in the shirt closet, the bin next to the batteries, and (tilting to get it in there) in the front cabinets over the driver's seat, and under the bed. John has two for tool type stuff, we use one for electronics (cables, tags for cables, adapters, little speakers, etc.) and one for fix it stuff (command strips, felt pads, mini-screwdriver kit, sewing kit, etc.) The one in the front cabinet with seldom used cables and such has become the new "floor" of the cabinet and we put the other stuff on top of it. They come in different colors and run about $5.00 each unless you get them at Costco in the 5 pack for $20.00. They have snap down latches that hold well.
375  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Storage Organization - literature/membership on: April 26, 2014, 09:11:44 pm
Literature / Membership - for all that paperwork, we use an old zippered pouch I had. It goes where we go. Whether in the Phoenix or Subaru, it sits next to the passenger's feet. It has two compartments. The large one easily holds a spiral notebook, full size brochures and all those little flyers and tourist stuff we pick up along the way. Campground maps also go in there. This is the temporary storage. When it gets fat, we clean it out. Keepsake papers get put away elsewhere and the rest goes in the trash or starts the campfire. The smaller pocket holds our "keeper" items that we want with us. This includes our National Park Passport book, Georgia State parks camping club (green stamp type program to get free nights), Georgia's geocaching brochure where we are collecting stamps, and a wallet holding all those membership cards: National Parks annual pass, Good Sam, CoachNet, Passport America, KOA, AAA, AARP, etc., etc., etc. John originally had them in his wallet but it was reaching critical mass so we bought a wallet just for the cards. We plan to get another fan fold insert because the wallet is already full. This keeps everything together and with us.
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