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46  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Check your macerator pump on: February 25, 2017, 07:39:35 am
2Frazzled,  could you please elaborate on the Onan generator fuel pump issue you referenced?  I am aware of water intrusion and circuit board issues with the Atwood furnace.  Was your igniter problem related to these defects?
Re: Atwood Furnace - no, though I suspect some people got stuck paying for new circuit boards when it was the igniter itself. Our igniter was either bad or not placed well. We never clarified, they just replaced the igniter and adjusted things and it's worked ever since. Several folks on this forum have posted that they had pinholes in the ceramic on the igniter which allowed the electricity to arc so they didn't get the spark at the end. Others had igniters that sparked but too far outside the propane gas chamber to ignite. Ours would ignite at warm temps so we suspect the placement was partially our problem.

Re: Onan generator - again, we just took it in and they fixed it. Folks on the forum told us they had read about bad Onan fuel pumps so we used those words when we signed up for service "we think the pump is bad, it isn't running" - this got us a warranty repair instead of a mechanic saying there was varnishing that required a full rebuild. Our genny worked fine once then the next time, nothing. Our wonderful forum told me to go out and stick my head near the generator when we tried to turn her over and listen for the pump to kick on. It never did so we knew that was the problem.
47  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Washington DC on: February 22, 2017, 03:33:47 pm
This is an old post but I thought I'd add to it. We are having gorgeous weather here in the DC area. We did a run away for the long weekend (a whole hour's drive) and camped at Cherry Hill. We were here in September for the Intervec-Phoenix Rally this past September so we knew it was a nice campground. They are open all winter with limited sites. They have heat strips on their water lines so you can have full hookups and enjoy DC from your rig. The public bus still stops here in the winter and the College Park Metro station is a few minutes away if you prefer to drive and take the train in to town. We do not recommend you DRIVE into DC. Even the locals try not to do that.

Cherry Hill in winter has: full hook up sites, bus transportation, manned office/camp store, mini-golf course ($1.00 person, goes to Children's Hospital), Cafe open from 8-1 (limited menu but several decent options for breakfast or lunch), adult outdoor exercise area, children's playground, laundry, indoor hot tub, indoor exercise room, TV room/lounge, game room, heated bath houses (so clean, so nice). You do get traffic noise but you can't camp any closer to DC. We were camped in front of their Conference Center building but most of the rigs were in a loop next to the bus depot. They also have full houses you can rent as well as several different level of cabins so if you don't want to bring your rig, you can get a group of people together and enjoy the area. The campground is a half hour from Baltimore (inner harbor, MD Science Center, National Aquarium, Fort McHenry, Little Italy and more), a half hour to the National Zoo if you want to drive, and probably a half hour to downtown DC using public transportation. There was nothing about electric heaters in their paperwork. We ran our propane heater and a little electric heater for the overnights.

If you are thinking of playing here in the winter/early spring, another worthwhile stop with winter hookups is the KOA in Harper's Ferry. They are very close to the upper visitor center where you catch the bus down into Harper's Ferry or you can drive in.

We had balmy weather with a few dips below freezing overnight. I don't know how it would have gone if we camped long term in below freezing temps. You might need one of those hoses that plug in so they don't freeze.

A few upcoming events:

Cherry Blossom Festival 2017 Opening Ceremony – Saturday, March 25
Blossom Kite Festival – Saturday, April 1
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® – Saturday, April 8
Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival – Saturday, April 15

 
48  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Foil packet cooking and the magic of frozen bread dough on: February 22, 2017, 03:13:50 pm
I found a few other camp recipe sites I want to share.

http://markingmyterritory.com/camp-recipes/
My granddaughter can be a somewhat picky eater and she liked the Pineapple, Ham and Sweet Potato Foil Packet dinner (without the red bell pepper and red pepper flakes - picky doesn't do those).

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/07/20/cooking-around-the-campfire-9-easy-and-delicious-foil-packet-recipes/ Again, little miss picky really liked the Chicken Casserole (without the ranch dressing).

If you aren't camping this time of year, you can always try these and other foil dinners out by wrapping in foil and baking in your regular oven on a baking sheet. It's a good way to test and fine tune your foil dinner recipe (and practice the foil packet wrap). If you are customizing them for each individual, use a permanent market to put your "brand" or initials on the outside of the packet before cooking, just be careful not to puncture the foil. Air tight is key as the steam is what really cooks these and keeps things moist.

I'm sure there are tons more if your browse online using "packet cooking" or "foil dinners" as your search. Just be prepared to hit some really weird ones.

here is an updated link to Reynolds recipes  http://www.reynoldskitchens.com/recipes/packet-cooking/

And I think I put this one on here before but figure I'll throw it in again - King Arthur Flour  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/
They have quite a few gluten free recipes on there and we love some of their no cook energy bites.

49  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hose length on: February 22, 2017, 09:08:41 am
We carry a 25' and a 10' round hose. We've only hit one campsite where we couldn't hook up water or electric, even with our extension cord and extra hose but we were able to switch sites so we didn't have to go out and buy more gear. They all store easily in the rear cabinet.

As for getting supplies: Walmart is ALMOST everywhere, camp stores usually carry potable water hoses (you may pay more but if yours blows out, it could be worth it) and if you have Amazon Prime, you can frequently have gear delivered General Delivery to a nearby post office - it may take two days but if you are far away somewhere, it might be the best bet. We've had equipment and even cat food delivered to a PO on our route and picked it up on the way through.

We like to sanitize the spigot with bleach, then turn the spigot on to flush it out PRIOR to hooking up the hose, tip a touch of bleach in our hose then hook it up to the spigot and flush THAT out before hooking the other end to our rig. It's extra steps but I've seen nasty stuff on spigots and we drink from our taps if we've sanitized the system before going out. When were full time on board, we knew our water supply was clean and good to go.

50  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Intro & order placed for 2552 on: February 22, 2017, 08:55:43 am
John regularly lifts the front tires off the ground. Many campsites slope away and down to the front for drainage. We only lifted the rear tires once... and rolled forward off the jacks. It was a serious HOLY COW moment and we've never done that again. I think part of our problem is we've never calibrated the jacks. I read somewhere you should do that. John is an engineer and if the control pad on the jacks says he needs to lift the front, he lifts it unless I can pull out a level and prove the control panel wrong (and after a mild discussion - NO, we are NOT level - it's lying to you again, look at the tilt - sometimes my argument works, sometimes not. Engineers go by the numbers.)

We don't mind mild tilt but there are some areas with enough tilt that the fridge goes into fault mode (like the driveway where we are staying). We have to get level enough for safe operation of the fridge. We've camped tilted to the side badly enough once that I had to hang on to prevent myself rolling off the side of the bed (we were not able to use jacks where we were). This does not make for a restful night.

We love having jacks and use them most nights but John really covets jacks that can be leveled individually as we frequently have one low corner and it's tricky raising and lowering front then side then back then side to get one jack lower than the others. It's all personal preference though.
51  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Check your macerator pump on: February 22, 2017, 08:42:39 am
We had one of the bayonets crack a few years back. We caught it when it had just a small leak as the parts started to separate. When we took it to an RV repair shop, they called Thetford and the parts and repair were free so I think this is another of those items that the manufacturer knows has issues but they either don't have a better solution or just don't want to deal with a recall. They fix them as they go... and as complaints come in. We hit the same deal with the Onan generator fuel pump, the Atwood Furnace igniter, the lense covers on the motion sensor for our outdoor light and then the Thetford macerator bayonet. They know there is an issue, they just don't recall them.
52  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: February 14, 2017, 08:13:05 am
Hi Joe and Gail! I agree on the weather radio and recommend a physical, Rand McNally type atlas be tucked somewhere on board also. We were nearly hit by a tornado when traveling the Natchez Trace a few years back. We were in a campground with no signal. We heard about the bad weather rolling in by accident while visiting a National Park - the volunteer at the desk was chatting with us and told us it was coming. We returned to our rig and dug out that weather radio. It went nuts that night with alerts of tornado sightings all over, like in Transylvania County... but we didn't know the area so we couldn't tell how close that was until we pulled out that map book (where the heck is Transylvania County? - next state over, but close enough). We were hunting counties and townships and cities and towns to see where the sightings were when the radio blipped and specifically named our campground as the expected site of touch down... whoopsy. We ran through the campground notifying fellow campers, packed the cat and hunkered down in the concrete block toilets. We were lucky, the tornado touched down about a mile away. While I am sure that block house was more secure than our Phoenix, the huge plastic skylight that made up most of the ceiling caused a bit of concern and we kept a close eye on it while the storm raged around us.

We have since used alerts on our phones and the radio when we are away from cell towers. There is no guarantee the radio will get signal but they have decent coverage for the alerts. It might help to read up on how to lock into a signal and practice before you have to actually use the radio in an emergency. We were learning as we went along. Thankfully the tornado waited until we figured it out.

After saying all of that, tornadoes can occur and touch down just about anywhere. They can decimate one house and not touch the one next to it. You cannot accurately predict. But you can prepare. The main difference between between being on the road and being at home is you are not familiar with the area and weather patterns so read up first and carry a physical map book.
53  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Flaking Vinyl on: February 13, 2017, 06:38:53 am
Our Phoenix is a purchased new, 2013 and we picked her up in May of that year. By fall we were on the road full time for almost 2 years. We were on that leather/vinyl a LOT. We've used the one side of the couch as a bed and it is my usual sitting spot. John lives in the euro chair when we are not outside. The seats have been seriously frozen and overheated on several occasions. We spent months in weather so dry my nose hurt inside and then months in so much moisture we bought a dehumidifier for the coach. All that said, we've had no problems. You can't tell the difference between the heavily used side of the couch and the other side.

I really hope I haven't jinxed us with this posting. We DO have our beach towels on the seats most of the time now just to avoid the dirt and sweat we drag in after hiking but from what I see in the pictures, the cracking isn't just where human sweat or cleaning products would be. We also close all the blinds and screen the front when we store the rig in the open so the sun doesn't beat into her.

I'm hoping it is just a bad batch of material or they changed their process and need to change again. Are there postings on other forums with the same problem in other coaches?
54  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Battery CPR on: February 08, 2017, 03:06:21 pm
There have been a lot of posts about what happens if you are stuck with dead batteries. I am including this post as and INTERESTING ITEM and NOT as something I expect people to do. http://makezine.com/2017/02/01/return-makeshift-challenge-dead-car-battery/ This link takes you to an online magazine that has resurrected a column by the guy that created MacGyver (I love MacGyver). Their first reposting is how to resurrect a dead car battery. I hope to never need to consider doing it but I am finding it an interested read and hope some of you do too. AND I may start carrying aspirin in the glovebox... just in case.

Enjoy!
55  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Screen Door Latch on: February 08, 2017, 08:11:44 am
No problem with our 2013 - in fact a bump will pop the screen open. If no one else responds with the same problem, I suggest calling the factory. The screen manufacturer may have changed the latch to make it more secure... perhaps too much so.
56  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: best rv park in elkhart when taking delivery of coach on: February 07, 2017, 01:06:06 pm
I did a quick look on Allstays for northern Indiana and southern Michigan and found Pokagon State Park about 1 hour away - east, still in Indiana. They have a couple hundred electric sites, are open year round and some sites have 50 amp electric. I think that's it though, no full hook up and no water hook up (it was a quick look). If you plan to spend several nights in freezing weather testing systems, it would be nice to not have to run on a generator the full time. The sites are walk-in only at this time of year so I'd definitely call the park ahead of time for some idea of availability.

This park looks like a winter activity park with a tobaggon run, cross country skiing and so on.

I recommend anyone hunting sites to spend a bit of time on Allstays. There may be more options for winter pick up. I go to the state map and zoom in. Sometimes I open two state maps in different tabs in my browser so I can go back and forth between the two.

57  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Really? on: February 07, 2017, 12:43:19 pm
Didn't know that, thanks for the heads up.
58  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Really? on: February 06, 2017, 07:51:21 am
Our rig was also started sooner than we thought it would be. The main reason being the paint shop. I seem to recall that Phoenix told us that it can take 3-4 weeks to get her painted. They are at the mercy of the paint shop and how busy that company is. Since we had full body paint, they knew it would take a while. So Phoenix budgets their build time, plus the paint time, plus the time it goes to yet another shop to get the jacks installed (if so ordered) THEN they get it back to do final touch ups to interior, inspect to verify build matches order, adjust doors and bins for proper closure etc., and they include time to do a thorough cleaning inside and out, right down to flushing the tanks. There may be other steps in there also that I don't know or recall.

We also sent parts to Phoenix to be installed but I ordered them and shipped them immediately after signing the order for our rig so that they were on hand and ready to go when Phoenix reached that point in the build. They were running antenna cables for us so I had to have them there before the electrician did his thing, which is early in the build.

My advice to those who are planning to order or just ordered, is to assume the build starts soon and get the parts to Phoenix. There is probably a two month lead time on rigs with full body paint. I don't know how it affects those with lower body paint.

hutch42 - the "average years experience" for Phoenix doesn't reflect that many key employees have been with Kermit for over 30 years. They oversee those other folks.
59  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: West Coast PC Reunion 2017 on: February 05, 2017, 02:58:47 pm
Bill, it sounds awesome and we really, really wish we could make it out there to meet everyone and see you and Diane again, but that isn't happening. One of these years, WE WILL BE THERE!! For now, all I can do is wish you a really wonderful time. I hope you all have great weather and make cherished memories.

ENJOY!!
60  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Ford E-350 Instrument Issues on: February 05, 2017, 11:01:00 am
We have not had that problem with the Phoenix but I had a similar problem with a Volkswagon Rabbit many, many years back. It eventually was recalled and fixed free. The problem was the seal on the antenna did not prevent water intrusion. Water tracked down the antenna wires and ran into my fuse panel. Fuses and connectors rusted. After many trips to the dealer with the "nothing wrong that we can see" response, one VW dealer found the damage and swapped out the fuses. This was a short term fix since the entire fuse box assembly was rusted so they eventually replaced it all and replaced the flange thing that was supposed to seal the antenna. I don't know if your problem could be something similar or not but the water made connections randomly then the rust broke connections randomly. It all came to a head on a dark and rainy morning flying down the highway when I lost my radio (huh), then my headlights (whoa), then my windshield wipers (oh, sh*t)... by then I had pulled to the side of the road before anything else quit and had a chance to take me out.

I suggest a close look at the front and back of your electrical panels to see if water gremlins have gotten in there and wreaked havoc. You don't want your power steering, brakes, or other critical control systems to give out while you're driving. Those little computer analysis ports are cool and can diagnose a lot of things but NOT everything. My little Rabbit was pretty mechanical so not too much was going through those fuses but the newer vehicles have some major components that rely on the electrical connections.

I hope you find the solution quickly.
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