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91  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Really? on: February 05, 2017, 07:52:22 am
Pictures during the build must be a new'ish thing or maybe in response to direct requests. We ordered our rig with many options, all typed out on the order form - signed on the dotted line, and waited. We did correspond a few times with the factory during the next three months about a few extra, never-been-done-before requests, but not on a weekly basis. A friend drove out and visited the factory to see his build - not once, but twice.

I can't imagine keeping up with weekly updates and photos to the customer as well as all the changes and requests. That's a whole lot of communicating for each and every rig on that line. It would be a full time job.

I hope you get your answers and your Phoenix is everything you dreamed about.
92  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: best rv park in elkhart when taking delivery of coach on: February 04, 2017, 07:36:48 am
We've never stayed in the Elkhart campground but it is the closest. People on the forum have warned the water is not good so you wouldn't be able to test that system if you choose to avoid their water.

We have stayed at several other campgrounds within a half hour of Elkhart and two that are farther away. In order of distance from Phoenix.
- Eby's Pines - we stayed in a cabin here while our slide was repaired but friends stayed near us in their Phoenix. We couldn't find a reasonably priced hotel that allowed pets so we went with a cabin. We had all the bedding and stuff on board so it was just a matter of moving the basics from the rig to the cabin. Very nice campground set back off the road with mature trees and friendly, helpful staff.
- KOA Middlebury - nice but sites are kind of close. They have a few walking trails and a pond with benches. Most of the sites are pretty open so you should get some sun... if there's any to be had.
- Shipshewana Campground North - we did our shakedown here. It was nice, decent size sites with mature evergreens on some. If it is the right season, there is a custard stand on site (huge plus for me). You can hear the highway noise at night... and the clop, clop, clop of Amish horse buggies.
- Twin Mills Campground - much farther east and large campground but well kept with nice sites.
- Potato Creek State Park - a good bit to the southwest. I don't think they have full hook ups and some of the electric posts are shared and are a good distance away from the site. We didn't have our extension cord yet so we had to switch sites to be able to hook up. We really liked the park due to the tree cover and hiking, swimming and boating opportunities. It's kind of far for the first overnight but if you want a few additional nights somewhere nice but not too far to go back, this is a good choice. 

We use Allstays http://www.allstays.com/Campgrounds/Indiana-campground-map.htm You can use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in to the Elkhart area then click each site to see what they have.

Friends have stayed at Shipshewana South and like it. This puts you very close to the shopping district in Shipshewana (Amish). Distance would place it right at Shipshewana North on the above list.
93  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Motorhomeless on: February 03, 2017, 12:57:38 pm
Judi & George, we add our congratulations on your new home and our thanks for all your help here on the forum. You both have been great and we're happy we had a chance to meet you. Maybe we'll meet again on the road sometime (though we prefer different northern coasts, anything is possible). From a boat to a Phoenix to a Newmar - whoa, you two have a serious case of Wanderlust. I admire that.

Enjoy your awesome adventures!
Holly and John

P.S. - please try to post some pictures of your new baby when you get it.
94  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Holding tanks how does everyone deal with the whole size of the holding tanks. on: February 03, 2017, 12:49:49 pm
How about for men going #1 using  one to two gallon plastic container and then dumping at a vault toilet or campground toilet. It would take awhile to fill it up so would need couple ounces of pine-sol to cover the odor when you unscrew the cap.
I don't know if we'll ever hit this level of conservation in the RV but it doesn't just have to be men. Female campers and backpackers can use this type of device: https://smile.amazon.com/Jobar-International-Travel-Urinal-Reusable/dp/B004ANM6C8/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1486143741&sr=8-3&keywords=lady%2Bj&th=1
Note that while this will allow you to pee into a bottle, it will not help you win the P*** up a stump contest - the guys ALWAYS win. There are also models with little hoses to make it even easier to use smaller bottles. I wished for one of these on many frigid nights camped in a tent in nowhere land but never bought or used one so I don't know if you can do a quick, low water rinse or if they smell. I must admit that if we are boondocking and I'm out in the woods away from everyone, I'll go behind a tree and pee on a rock before I'll bottle it. The bottle idea would work if our tanks are full and I need to go in the middle of the night but we hope to not reach that point.
95  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: back up camera on: February 03, 2017, 12:39:21 pm
Basic hand signals like they use parking an airplane (if you've ever watched out the airport window). At night I hold a flashlight in my left hand pointed at myself and then signal with my right. The only flashlights we carry are headlamps so I wrap the strap around my hand so I don't drop it.

Hand signals are hard to type out but I'll give it a go (note that the double hand signals go to single hand at night due to the flashlight):

Hooking up the toad:
Light check is performed with me standing behind and to the left of the back end of the tow vehicle. John is leaning in and out of the driver's door working the lights and brakes and looking back at me. He can also be inside and watching out the mirror in bad weather. John turns on one signal and waits for my response to verify it is working.
- right hand signal means passenger side and left hand is driver's side (I'm standing so this makes sense, I am the tow vehicle - facing John)
- right hand up opening and closing like a sock puppet talking means the right / passenger side blinker is working
- left hand up opening and closing like a sock puppet means the left / driver side blinker is working
- both hands up opening and closing mean both are blinking - hazard lights
- two hands up, palm toward John means brake lights are working (same signal as "stop")
Second tow vehicle check is to verify the lock in of the tow bars. For this I stand on the passenger side so I can see the tow bars and the passenger side mirror where John's little face shows. He is in the driver's seat. DO NOT stand between the vehicles. At this point we've been in the toad to verify the ignition is set to accessory, the display panel is off so it doesn't suck power from the car battery, we are in neutral and the emergency brake is off. If we are using our brake assist, we throw that switch. When I give the signal, John pulls forward slowly until we are locked on and I walk and pace the vehicles watching the lock on levers for the tow bars.
- right arm with pointer finger out cocks up at the elbow then points to the front of the rig, this means "go" - start moving forwards slowly to lock on
- pointing toward the street/drivers side means turn that way
- pointing back at me, passenger side means turn my way
- left thumb up means left side is locked on
- right thumb up means right side is locked on
- two thumbs up means good to go - John stops moving, I check the house door on the way by, hop in the passenger seat and away we go.

Backing in - very similar - NEVER stand behind the rig.
- two hands up, palms out means STOP - fast "pounding" of those flat hands on an invisible wall means STOP NOW!!!! (John is really good at this)
- rolling the left arm toward myself in the air in a not so sexy "come hither" movement means back her up (John has already set the wheels to turn into the space)
- point to the rear of the rig and use to hands to "push" the back end away from me means turn harder to shift the tail away from me
- point to the rear of the rig and use hands to "pull" toward me means shift angle of tires to move tail toward me
- holding one arm up with finger pointed to the heavens and rotated like I am twirling a lasso means turn harder (combine this with the pushing or pulling motion first to indicate which direction you want the rig to turn if you need to angle a different way
- two hands with fingers pointing to the heavens moving forward then back means ease her back straight (no more turn on the wheels)
- "stop" signal followed by "go forward" signal (cocking arm then pointing toward front of rig) mean pull forward a little to try again or adjust
- as we near the stopping point (and well before we hit anything) I face him and hold my arms apart to indicate 3 more feet, 2 more feet, etc. and he eases back
- the "stop" signal (two hands up palms out) followed by one finger up means "give me a minute" - he puts the rig in park and waits until I return to his mirror view. I walk the back of the rig, check the picnic table side, double check branches, the alignment of slide to power post, etc. If I need to talk to John, I go to his window and we discuss any issues with placement. Then I return to either shift him to our agreed upon location or he shuts her down.
- two thumbs up, all is well, shut her off

I hope this helps. Note that I stop John before each major "jog." We backed into one difficult "Z" shaped site, at night, tight with trees and branches and passing less than 5 feet from the rig with open windows on a buddy site and they were totally shocked - they never heard us come in. That was one of our toughest sites to date.

 
96  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Holding tanks how does everyone deal with the whole size of the holding tanks. on: February 02, 2017, 07:20:52 am
Regarding the spaghetti comment, we carry a large scraper to clean plates and pans. After scraping the solids into the trash can, we use our used paper napkins to wipe the rest of the stuff off and trash those, THEN we go to the foaming Dawn dish soap and rinse water running into a tub trug that then gets dumped down the toilet. One caveat, you do have to run some water down the sink drain on occasion or it gets stinky so I'll do the soapy water down there every so often.

Regarding keeping both tanks open... if your tanks get full that stuff is coming up your shower drain... just saying.
97  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: back up camera on: February 02, 2017, 07:14:14 am
We tried the open window with (loud) voice commands, we tried the walkie-talkies, and we watched other people yelling and fighting as they backed into their sites. We made a deal that we would NOT entertain the campground and we have developed hand signals. John DOES NOT back up unless he has eye contact with me in his mirror. When he loses sight of me, he brakes and waits (my fault, I move out of view). Then he follows my hand signals exactly and immediately (This means hitting those brakes instantly if I give the "stop" signal). We've gotten really good at it and have maneuvered silently into some really tough spots (seriously, how many sites need three hard turns while backing between trees and under branches... in the middle of the night?) It works for us. I won't say we have NEVER had conversations that entertain other campers but most of the time they don't even know we've rolled unless they are watching at the right moment.

We also NEVER let anyone else direct us in. If they insist (and some have), I stand beside them and John follows me, not them. They might not like it but we've seen helpful camp hosts back people into tree branches and off the camping pad. We know our rig and we know where we want to sit in a site so we are the best people to direct her in.
98  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Beware the Emergency Window on: January 28, 2017, 01:47:01 pm
Dave, I've been told that glass is more likely to shatter when it is cold. I had to replace a sliding glass door on a rental house once and the tech said it was due to a gentle impact on very cold glass. The tenant was running a day care out of the house so I wasn't convinced it didn't get clocked hard with something but the repair guy said it happens a lot in the winter. It's possible you hit one of the Bermuda Triangle trifectas and combined flawed glass with cold weather and an unusual impact or torque and away it went. I haven't heard of anyone else's emergency window shattering on them.
99  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Tip On Battery Care on: January 27, 2017, 08:57:40 am
Walmart sells the red goo. They have packages with just goo, just felt type rings and a combo pack - which is what we bought. You spray the goo, put the rings on, spray the goo and done. I'm sure it doesn't last forever but the little spray bottle of goo is small so we carry it along.
100  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: euro chairs on: January 25, 2017, 08:15:11 am
I haven't had a couch with a foot rest that comes up on its own so I can't truly compare but I have found that the Phoenix double reclining couch works well for us. You do have to pull it out yourself and then recline the couch to make a bed but I can partially recline the couch to keep my head raised and still have the foot rest fully out to support my feet. I don't notice the little gap this leaves between couch seat and footrest while sleeping. My weight doesn't rest in that spot. I also like to pull out the foot rest then push it back in to touch the slightly reclined couch for lounge lizard time. I don't lock it out, just lift it up and lock into the upright position then slide it back toward the couch. I find this gives me the chair recliner type setup without blocking as much of the floor space. John can easily move through and around the living room and I have a comfy lounge spot. I don't know how the one piece couches would work in that situation.
101  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: A measurment needed! on: January 24, 2017, 08:40:30 am
I would definitely pad the edge of the deck. I've also seen garage helps where they hang a tennis ball so that it touches the front window when you have gone as far as you should. You could probably hang one a joist or two back on the deck. CAREFULLY park the rig where you want it under the deck then hang the tennis ball so it touches the front window of the rig a bit sooner than the OOPS-should-have-stopped-point. In theory you would pull in slowly, the tennis ball would contact the glass and you would stop, perfectly positioned without ever touching the deck.
102  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Radio wiring and control on: January 23, 2017, 07:49:02 am
first click on the ignition is auxiliary and activates power to your radio, back up monitor and more. The charging outlets work with the ignition totally off. Check your Ford manual. It should explain.
103  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Winterizing your Motorhome - factory video on: January 23, 2017, 07:46:03 am
I agree with Tom. Look where the water pump is. I've never heard of a Phoenix without the valve and clear hose to siphon the pink stuff into your lines. It doesn't have a huge valve handle like the one on your link but it is there. If the hose is too short, buy a new one at the fish store or hardware store. We set something under the jug of pink stuff to raise it off the floor and the hose reaches to the bottom of the jug. It can be done solo but is easier if one holds the jug and hose and the other plays with faucets (including outside shower and valves for macerator. It takes minutes to do the whole procedure - Drain the hot water heater then BYPASS it. You don't need the pink stuff in there.   

If you got the manuals with your new-to-you rig, check for the one for the water pump. They have instructions there for winterizing also.
104  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2351 Corner Bed Opening Windows on: January 21, 2017, 09:43:14 am
I'm not sure if this is the exact kit we bought back in 2013 but here is a similar upgrade kit http://www.adventurerv.net/fantastic-vent-upgrade-kit-6600-wireless-remote-p-5257.html?gclid=CjwKEAiAqozEBRDJrPem0fPKtX0SJAD5sAyH6wbKa1GZzXYNa0AZmDPSS468yG2OheGeTS2ASo_AJRoCxFnw_wcB&utm_campaign=partsfeed_ppc&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=Froogle . We had it shipped to the factory and they installed it before we picked up the RV. They had a deuce of a time getting it up there (the steps are laid out in the manual and customer service at Fantastic Fans can help over the phone). Our upgrade doesn't have the wall cradle so we set the remote wherever and will probably put it in a Command bin at some point. What you need to achieve with an upgrade or fan is going to depend on what you have already. It would be easier to upgrade to the better fan when ordering a Phoenix instead of them installing their standard Fantastic Fan then struggling to upgrade. If you have an existing fan, you can check what model you have and what level of whistles and bells you want and upgrade accordingly.

Our upgrade bought us that air in/out, automatic closing in the rain (it reopens and turns back on once it dries out), and the remote control with temperature setting which we placed at people level. We upgraded because we had a cat on board and wanted to moderate the temps in the rig without getting rain in. We were often out for the day or in parking lots while shopping, etc. and wanted to keep the rig as comfortable as we could while on battery power. We also have the Fantastic vents that stick up a good bit (not higher than the AC unit) but allow the vent to open pretty much all the way. They are not as sleek looking as the MaxxAir but they work great. Our cat is gone but we still use the fan to keep the rig comfortable when we are out. You just push the button the remote and walk out the door.
105  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2351 Corner Bed Opening Windows on: January 20, 2017, 06:28:14 am
 I read somewhere (maybe the Fantastic Fan manual) that the best way to control your air flow when using the fan(s) is to open only those windows near you (living room while chilling there, bedroom at night) and only open part way. This forces a decent volume of air to be pulled in to flow over you and cool you. Of course, if it is beautiful weather and you aren't sweating away in a dead calm, the fans aren't needed at all. We open the windows and fan vents and let the air do it's thing.

We also (inadvertently but advantageously) purchased a Fantastic Fan kit that closes in the rain AND has a switch to change from pulling air out to pulling air in. I knew I was buying the rain thing but not the in/out thing. The "in" function gives a really nice air flow wafting down from the ceiling. When needed, we turn the bath fan on low (pulls out) and the living room fan set to draw in and we can "flush" the air through the rig fairly quickly. We did not do the fan in the bedroom. I wanted fewer roof openings and space for future solar panels.
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