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46  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 13, 2014, 12:59:51 am
Thanks for the great input on the blog. A few comments on camping the Pacific Coast, all of which need verification.
- We were told by a California resident that you can legally pull off any state highway (NOT interstate) and camp for up to three days. We did see RVs lined up on a road running parallel to Rte 1 when we were north of Monterey. Someone here on the forum said there were signs designating boondocking areas down by Big Sur, south of Monterey. Most of the pull off areas we saw along Rte 1 were posted "no overnight parking" so those were out.
- We ran into two couples that were surprised at the signs in California. They said they had just boondocked ALL the way down the coast of Oregon by simply pulling over and setting up. With this in mind we started watching the pull offs along Hwy 101 and saw quite a few really nice paved or gravel pull offs or full parking areas with gorgeous ocean views that DID NOT have "no overnight parking" signs. We also saw some areas that had the signs so it implies that areas without the signs are good to go. We did see motorhomes pulled over with slides and steps out, etc. but as we were traveling mid-day, we can't be sure they weren't just there for a rest stop.
- Some of the pull outs in both states are designated for slow moving vehicles to use to allow passing so you would have to watch that.
- There are a LOT of national forests out here so disbursement camping is a possibility. We just didn't check into it this trip.

We have primarily camped in state parks since we hit the coast. California was about $35.00 night with no hookups. Oregon is about $24.00 for water/electric and $26.00 for full hookups. Both states have beautiful parks. As we get deeper into winter we are angling for at least electric hookups to deal with the cold and wet but are pleasantly surprised that the temps are mostly in the 50's  and 60's both day and night with a few bright sunny days tipping us into the 70's. We hit near freezing a few nights down in the redwoods but that seems to have been an unusual drop for that time of year.

Depending on when and where you go, you might want to consider a dehumidifier. We bought a small Eva-dry shortly after hitting Oregon. We need it just to dry out our rain gear. Otherwise we fog up the windows inside.

Speaking of windows. The ultimate test of whether the thermal windows make a difference - YES! Our nice warm house meets the cool, outside air at the glass. Our humidity is frequently high in here after having the door open and dragging in our wet gear. The house windows are clear and dry but the condensation is dripping off the inside of the truck windows. If we haven't run the heat and dehumidifier, we have to mop the truck windows off before driving because we can't see out. I'll know I've succeeded in insulating the house from the cab when I stop the condensation. I'm on a mission.
47  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 12, 2014, 07:30:10 pm
Bruce, yes our blog is created through WordPress but is on our own domain spiritofthewoods.net  Anyone with internet access can read the blog. You can also comment on the postings. We are still learning but we believe we fixed the settings so you can comment without putting in your personal information. So, if you do comment, you have to add your screen name or something at the end or we don't know who it is (which is also OK). One friend commented and showed up as "anonymous". We only knew who it was because he mentioned a tennis ball I gave him. Comments are held until we approve them so there may be a delay before they show up. This is a spam control thing.

We post to the blog sporadically though we try to date the postings to when things actually happened. We still have to go back and fill in our first year on the road, what it took to flip our lives over and go on the road, info on our Phoenix, info on the toys we bought for the Phoenix, etc. We play more than we blog but do hope to buckle down soon. We do not tell people exactly where we are for safety reasons. We hope to have a private page that requires a password so family and friends can see more up to date info in case they want to come out and play with us.

Note that the initial(s) at the bottom of each posting tells who wrote it J, H or J&H. We have VERY different styles and perspectives. I hope you find the blog interesting. Maybe you'll find a place that is calling for you and your Phoenix to come out and play! 
Holly
48  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC Friendly Folding Table - Sale Alert $20 on: December 12, 2014, 07:12:16 pm
Thanks Ron! We coveted your table for quite some time and finally got into Menard's area a few months back so we could buy one - at straight price  :(
Nice table though.
   Holly
49  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: December 12, 2014, 07:10:04 pm
David, I sent you a personal message with our contact info.

Everyone in the MD, VA, DC, DE, PA area, or anywhere else for that matter, that will be in or around Frederick Maryland on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 - You are invited to an "After the Holidays" open house at our son's house in Frederick Maryland from 3pm until whenever. We will put out a bunch of food and beverages and miscellaneous people will wander through, hang out, eat, drink, and be merry. There will be no gift giving, no caroling, no family drama (my standing rule of "play nice or go home" has worked well over the years). Just people meeting people.

We do not require RSVP's but you'll need to send me a personal message to get the address as I don't want to post it publicly AND it gives us a ballpark headcount for planning purposes. This is a totally relaxed affair. Our son loves to cook food and hang out with people. We want to touch base with people that are gone or busy over the holidays. I'm posting this here because we'd love to see all our fellow Phoenix owners that we've met or have yet to meet (if we haven't met you and you're a cranky person, please note the "play nice or go home" rule stated above).

Hope to see some of you there.

I wish a safe and happy holiday season to all!
     Holly

(to answer the unasked - no, I am not a Christmas baby, I was born on the first day of summer, my mother was... confused)
50  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Custom Desk in the 2552 on: December 12, 2014, 06:12:52 pm
We've lived full time in our Phoenix for over 15 months now and have corresponded with many other owners and soon to be owners. One question that has come up is "would we get the custom desk/cabinets again if we were to buy another Phoenix?" This is a tough one. We requested the desk because we were both working half time when we went on the road. We needed space for two people to work on laptops for hours at a time with room for the mouse and assorted paperwork spread about. We also occasionally needed to set up our little printer alongside one of the laptops. This custom desk worked great for us while we were working. We worked outside at picnic tables when the weather was good but we were fully functional working inside with the desk. One person was on the desk and the other sat on the couch or bed with a nifty little lap desk holding their computer. We retired a few months back so the desk doesn't get used as much (though John is sitting at it now while he works on our blog). We talked about this and came up with the following analysis (hey, he's an engineer and IT guy - we analyze):

Pros: Lots of storage space. We keep all of our office supplies, first aid kit, flash lights, pocket knives, printer paper, Good Sam and other campground books, receipts to be entered into the computer, DVDs, CDs and more in those cabinets. They are handy for the "quick grab" stuff that you want near the door. We stuff computers or bins of off season clothing in the big space at the bottom. We can use the desktop/table to dine on or as a quick work surface for meal prep. It is still John's preferred workspace for lining up all the receipts and notebooks and plugging away at the computer.

Cons: The cabinet bumps the Euro Chair out an extra foot from the wall. Space between the Euro Chair and couch is tight when the slide is in (maybe a foot clearance, enough to get by). The desktop is too big to use as a side table to the chair so we have a little side table for holding John's Kindle, coffee, etc. when the desk is closed. The Euro Chair is designed for kicking back and lounging. It is a tad too short and sloped back so we have to use booster pillows to get to a comfortable height on the desktop. The front passenger seat rotates but it is WAY too low to use the desktop as anything other than a place to set things. You can't work on a computer from there. The height issue is the same for using the desk as a dining table. Doable, but not perfect.

So, our conclusion - no, we would PROBABLY not get the desk again, BUT we'd get the same cabinets that come in the 3100. We are used to the space constraints with the cabinet. John likes a desk. He likes to line up the notebooks, travel guides, receipts, etc. so that his workspace is organized before he settles in to computing. I think we would miss the desk even though it doesn't get used as much. I suspect that if we did not have the desk, he would be less happy when he worked on the computer inside. We are totally happy with our house so this isn't an issue we need to address any time soon. It is more a thought exercise to help out people thinking about getting the desk. Note that people viewing our Phoenix do not realize we are more scrunched up front. We've often heard the comment that we have so much space. WE know we are scrunched because we've been in PCs without the desk and know what we gave up to have it. We don't regret it.
 
I took a few pictures to show what the desk looks like. We move the chair around when we use the desk. Sometimes it is on the side so that you block the doorway. Sometimes it is at the end and we deal with the support post between our feet (and it blocks access to the cab). Sometimes John sits angled at the corner... I'm not sure why.
51  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: December 10, 2014, 03:40:04 pm
Welcome David and Sharon! John and I would also love to meet you. Our home base is Frederick (Ballenger Creek area). We'll be staying at our son's house in Frederick for the holidays. Maybe we can do a little PC People gathering.

Holly
52  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Santee SP, South Carolina on: December 05, 2014, 01:18:45 am
Beautiful spot! Be careful with those state parks. We were just passing through Georgia last year and wound up spending a month in their parks. It is easier to extend and stay on one site in Georgia as their reservations are not site specific. You reserve a type of site. For example 40 foot water/electric. When you get to camp you pick any matching site without a tag, clip your tag on and set up. If you see a better site open up the next day, you move your tag and coach and you're done. No processing back through the office. We liked it a lot.

I suggest you look up the Cradle of Forestry campgrounds also. We hit one of those outside of Asheville SC, and it was very nice and reasonably priced also.

You did get a late start on your journey south. I don't remember reading about any problems so is it safe to assume your winterizing while living on board worked out?

Holly
53  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: short time storage on: December 01, 2014, 04:55:05 pm
We'll be storing ours for a few weeks over the holidays as we did last year. We go through the full winterizing and power shut down  routine since there is a small possibility of freezing while we are gone. We were gone three and a half weeks last year, had some freezing temps where it was stored, came back and carried on as normal. We cleaned out food, drained hot water heater and holding tanks, added antifreeze, and shut off the propane. We also checked batteries and topped off the propane and gas tank. We hit the power kill switch next to the door just before we lock her up. Oh, we also open a vent a bit like Tom said and close all blinds.
54  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water under the slide on: November 28, 2014, 02:55:10 pm
Took some not so great pics while our coach was in for the leak repairs. Note that after several attempts to fix the leak with extra rubber strips, a little gutter on the sidewall, caulk, etc., Phoenix finally pulled off the entire slide, replaced the rubber strips and spent several days layering up the caulk you see in the photos. They gooped that puppy up with massive amounts of caulk. They let each layer set up and added another. She hasn't leaked since but it was a major repair. To remove the slide, we had to empty everything so they could pull the refrigerator, disassemble and remove the pull out pantry, unbolt and remove the couch pieces, remove all the nice wood trim, disconnect the slide awning and the scissor arms and disconnect all the electrical components. After they sealed and resealed everything they possibly could, they put it all back together. NOT a quick fix but you may be able to get a bunch of caulk in there to stop the leak without removing the slide. The idea is to build up a wall as high as you can without interfering with the slide mechanisms.

Hope the pictures help.

Note that if you are tilted far to the side opposite the slide during a heavy rainstorm, the water will most likely go up and over anything you have in there. It hits the slide side wall, rolls down into that flat area and fills up. It drains out the first place it overflows. The idea is to make sure that place makes it head OUT of the motorhome. Ours used to flow inside even when level or slightly tipped to the left. Now it flows out. If you expect torrential rain and cannot get level and KNOW it is going to leak in, pull in the slide.
55  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Happy Thanksgiving! on: November 28, 2014, 12:53:48 am
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I wanted to add that we cooked our first Thanksgiving dinner in the PC and it went really well. It takes a little staging but with John as chef and me as the assistant, we pulled off the full meal in our kitchen... except the pumpkin pie. We didn't shop early enough so we had an alternate dessert and the pie will be made in the next day or so. Oh, not only did we cook the meal but the leftovers fit in the fridge!

We love our house!
56  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water under the slide on: November 28, 2014, 12:43:50 am
We had that problem. I'll try to describe what needs done. If the slide room was removed, you would see a base board area along the edge of the coach. This board is tilted slightly toward the outside so that any water that hits the side walls of the slide room should roll right out. However, the first six inches or so on either side are not sloped because that is where those brackets go that scissor in and out with the slide. Water can fill up the flat area and overflow into the coach. Phoenix builds an additional wall of caulk around the inside corners of this flat area to keep the water out. First watch the bottom front edge while you are putting your slide out. Stand inside while pushing the button and watch the floor under the scissor bars. You can see your caulk wall there when your slide is part way out. You most likely need to add to or repair that caulk.

If you are on the road, you can tip the coach slightly to the side that is leaking to keep water out until you can fix it.

Hope this helps,
Holly
57  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Rear view monitor position on: November 23, 2014, 05:11:35 pm
Bruce, please add us to the dense list. That's a pretty nice pivot it is mounted on... and so easy to adjust. A helpful to you for saving us a lot of neck twisting. I drive close to the wheel so the monitor was behind my line of sight. Now I can just turn my head. This is just one more thing to remind me to pull out all those manuals and read through them... some day.
Holly
58  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: November 06, 2014, 12:14:29 am
Replacing the pleated curtain with a long, flexible, thermal one would probably work for us IF the curtain bar can support the extra weight. We have the rubber floor mat so that reduces the heat exchange through the cab floor. I'm not sure how that would work with a noninsulated floor. I'm also not sure I want to deal with all that curtain every time I shutter the front. A floor length curtain that wraps the entire cab would likely be cumbersome. We only need the extra wrapping when we camp really hot or really cold and we do try to avoid the extremes. We just aren't all that good at it.

The idea is food for thought, though. If I could just find a nice, smooth flowing, good looking, light blocking, thermal fabric, we'd be good to go.
59  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Pleated Front Curtain on: November 04, 2014, 11:58:04 pm
Ron, we've draped a "Neat Sheet" across the front from the curtain bar on each wing wall (mainly because it was already on board and wasn't too heavy - we attach with clothes pins). We make sure it is pushed up against the wings and touches the floor. It droops to about the height of the seat backs. We can reach over it to access things in the front. We also close the pleated curtains and vents. This traps a good bit of the cold air up front but it isn't the perfect solution.

My next attempt is a compression curtain rod with clips to hold a thin, silver emergency blanket from ceiling to floor in the same general area that Bill's curtain is. It will need to be pinned to the wing walls somehow (probably clipped to the existing curtain bar). This will block the TV but we seldom watch it anyhow. It will be two curtains overlapping so we will be able to access things up front but will let cold air in when we do so. I considered true thermal curtains but the ones I've found are too heavy and bulky so the Mylar emergency blankets will have to do until something better comes along. I bought a pack of four or six on Amazon.

I'm still eyeing the trim areas and trying to figure out if I can hide some sort of clips or magnets up there so I can hook the Mylar up so it runs under the"cap" ceiling thereby leaving the TV and front cabinets accessible... then I read those cabinets are possibly not insulated. Insulation up there may be another step on my weather defense list.

Now that I've snuck a few tidbits into that analytical brain of yours in the hope that you'll come up with the attachment solution, the short answer is yes, a drape helps but it doesn't have to be a big quilt. Just something to block the air flow.
60  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selling our 2551 mattresses on: October 31, 2014, 09:25:48 am
Make sure you post exact dimensions.  That mattress may fit in the back of an SUV or on a cabin bed platform. I wouldn't list it as just for an RV. Even dorm beds are frequently narrower than normal. Good luck!
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