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256  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Which model is best for us? on: September 07, 2013, 11:34:49 am
Guess I don't have to wonder about that indent anymore!  ThumbsUp  Amazing.....

 - Mike
257  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Which model is best for us? on: September 06, 2013, 12:27:37 pm
I'm not that crazy about the graphic either.  Wonder how hard it would be to remove (or replace with either a Yankees logo or "You're following the best RV on the road")  Grin

We wondered about that curved indentation the back that sweeps around the exterior storage compartment and spare tire. One of the factors (a small factor) in our decision to get a PC was the overall styling and general good looks, and I guess that indentation is aesthetically pleasing, but I wonder if its there for other reasons....can't imagine what though.  Seems you can gain a relatively large amount of interior (bathroom) or exterior (storage) if you lose the indentation.

  - Mike
258  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / 50 things to grill in foil on: September 04, 2013, 09:35:36 pm
All of it looks good, but I've only tried the paella, which was delicious.....
259  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Problems accessing forum? on: September 04, 2013, 09:19:15 pm
No problems here.
260  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Macerator helper on: September 02, 2013, 11:02:58 pm
 Thanks for posting this!  Very helpful!

  - Mikeq
261  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Meals - in RV parks and dry camping on: September 01, 2013, 01:59:47 pm
Oh, and was wondering if a 9x13 baking/roasting pan will fit in the convection microwave?  We found a nice set of nesting pans which we might invest in, but two pieces are that size.

  - Mike
262  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Meals - in RV parks and dry camping on: September 01, 2013, 12:44:21 pm
I really use the heck out of our electric pressure cooker at home since its so versatile, so I looked into the Fagor stovetop version, as suggested by Anne/Bob.  Saw it at Bed, Bath And Beyond and it looks to be very well made.  It is also magnetic-induction compatible, so it will work with our portable magnetic-induction cooktop (also a Fagor).  We did already buy the Magma nesting cookware, which is awesome (high grade stainless, heavy duty, magnetic-induction compatible and nests into a very compact bundle). I have never really used a crock pot or slow cooker before, but I'm sure I'll be remembering all these posts once we've been camping a few times and may end up with one. That Ninja Cooker looks amazing.  Just a bit worried about the overall size and power draw, but that shouldn't stop me from getting one for home to test out!  nod And, of course, my Foodsaver is going with me. All of the wonderful things you folks have made on the road! Everything from pizza to prime rib!  If I was worried about the versatility of a relatively small RV kitchen, I no longer am!

 - Mike

263  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Are you a complete newbie like me? on: September 01, 2013, 12:01:17 pm
Tom - Good points.  And CoachNet does look like one of the best, thanks.  They've certainly been around a heck of a long time.  I remember Mad Magazine from my junior high school days (particularly liked Spy vs Spy), so you must be just a few years older than me. I look forward to referring to myself as 'an old fart' too in a coupla years!  LOL

Sparky - Thanks for the offer.  I may take you up on that sometime!  No, we aren't picking up the PC from the factory. We thought about initially, especially since it would be nice to be around the factory in case there are any issues, but we decided we weren't brave enough to drive it 2200 miles without any previous experience or initial provisions.  I can't imagine being somewhere between Cheyenne and Salt Lake City in the middle of October with low tire pressures and jumping on this forum saying 'Help...we are at a Chevron station in Rawlins Wyoming with a coupla flat tires and their air pump doesn't put out enough pressure...what now?'  We do plan to make a trip out there at some point to see where our new 'baby' was born, though.  Must be an interesting place.  You go by 'Sparky'....are you an electrician?

- Mike

264  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Are you a complete newbie like me? on: August 31, 2013, 11:50:56 pm
Yep, lots of stuff there :-) When I look back on it a few years from now I'll probably wonder what I was thinking, so for my own future benefit here was my thinking..for someone, like me, who has never owned an RV you don't know what you don't know.  It can be very intimidating.  So you might start the search for what you might need to know. Then you realize there is alot you don't know, but all the info is completely scattered.  The most useful things for me were the FAQ sections of forums, like and the Phoenix Forum here.  Lots of general issues indexed. Not so much the detail of any one thing, but just the vast spectrum of the knowledge required to happily and safely own and use an RV.  This is one reason we chose to have our rig delivered rather than pick it up and drive it from Indiana to California without all the (at least basic) info we needed.

So, I'm hoping that in one post (albeit a long one), others with absolutely no knowledge will have a snapshot of the things that they might need to think about.  I don't think the process is very different for anyone, except for the very brave.  Research as much as possible, make as much sense of it as possible and then dive in.

As helpful as people are on many forums, especially this one, there are just too many questions that someone like me would would have to ask of you all.  And trust me, I will probably be blasting questions out to y'all for quite a while once we finally have the new home in our impatient hands.  :-)

I agree that an alignment, or other suspension/steering tweaks, may or may not be necessary....but I think it's good to know that others have had issues and what the general ideas were to solving them (while crossing your fingers that you don't experience them)

Now that I think about it, alot of my general trepidation might be due to the fact that although I live in a very large metropolitan area (S.F. Bay Area), there are NOT alot of RV resources here locally.  It took me weeks to locate places to buy propane, dump tanks, fill tires, repair/maintain the Ford, repair the coach, store the rig (can't park it at our home, or in front of it), etc.

Always reassuring that PC owners are so helpful and supportive!  I'll try not to be too much of a pita! Lol

 - Mike
265  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Are you a complete newbie like me? on: August 31, 2013, 12:30:49 pm
I have yet to receive delivery on my very first RV, a Phoenix Cruiser 2552.  While researching everything under the sun having to do with PC's and RV'ing in general, I made lists of resources along the way.  I thought it may be helpful to other 'newbies' if I posted some of what I learned or found to this point.  If anyone has additional or better info, or if I misstated something, please post a reply to this....I wont be offended!  PLEASE remember a couple of things.... I do not know anything (yet) about RV's or RV'ing.  Everything listed below is a fraction of the info available out there.  Everything listed below is, for the most part, opinion.  If there is anything here that has anything to do with laws, do not rely on them....find out for yourself.  Things change with time, so alot of this will be outdated in short order. I am not affiliated with or biased toward any of the companies listed.  Good luck...and wish me luck, too!

Let me get this one out of the way first....Can you have open alcohol containers in your RV, especially when it's underway?  This was and is a tough one to decipher, legally.  I'll tell you what I'm going by after alot of research, but I'll also tell you that you shouldn't listen to me!  I feel like I'm going out on a limb here, just broaching this subject. Look up the open container laws for each state yourself!  (I am treating an open bottle of wine which has been recorked and stored in the cabinet the same as a passenger in the coach area with a drink in his hand). From what I can tell, it appears that the vast majority of states allow open alcohol containers (or bottles with the seal broken) in motorhomes if the alcohol is not within reach of the driver.  It appears that the exceptions may be in: Wisconsin (no way, any way),  South Carolina (very strange laws, to me...need more research), Florida (ok if the motorhome is over 21' long), Tennesee (state law may say ok, but counties may differ), Louisiana and Wyoming are vague enough for me to look into it further. Again, look up the laws yourself, and never drink and drive!

Public Scale:
- Check for local Public Scales in yellow pages (or Quarries, Moving Companies)
- Appears that in some states it's ok to use truckers scales on highways, moreso if they are not busy.

Front End Alignment:
- Some Ford Truck dealers
- Try local companies that service busses, ambulances, etc.

Ford Warranty And Ford Repairs Dealership:
Ford Motorhome Assistance Center 1-800-444-3311

Ford ODB2 Codes:

Generic ODB2 Codes:

General Truck and RV Repair:
- RV Service Reviews (
- Mechanic Advisor (

Coach Area Installations and Repairs:
- Some RV dealers also service
- Camping World (

Phoenix Cruiser Equipment Info:
Phoenix USA
Ford Quality Bulletins
Ab Lifestyles (bedding/mattresses)

RV Storage:
- In my area (Northern CA), the range is between $50/mo for outside/uncovered to $175/mo for indoor storage with valet service and wash included.

RV Mods and Stuff:

- Many UHaul locations provide propane
- Some RV campgrounds and parks also provide propane
- Some truck stops provide propane

Dump Stations:
- Our city sanitation department provides free RV dumping
- Some RV parks and campgrounds provide dumping to non-guests for a fee (which around here range from $5 to $20)
- Creating your own at your house may be an option

High Pressure Air:
- Many regular gas stations do not provide high pressure air req'd for RV's
- Tire Shops usually have high pressure service, some may charge.
- Carrying a compressor is an option (Porter-Cable CMB15?)
- Carrying an air tank is an option (

RV Insurance:
General Info

RV Roadside Assistance:
- Good Sam Roadside Assistance
Dispatch: 1-800-947-0770
Membership Questions: 1-800-842-5351
- Allstate Roadside Assistance
- AARP Roadside Assistance
- Progressive RV Roadside Assistance

Basic RV How-To's:
Dump Gray/Black Tanks
Sanitizing Freshwater Tank

RV Tips and Info:
RV Doctor
RV Education 101
PC Gas Gauge/Tank Info
RV'ing Videos
New RVers
Inspect/Repack Wheel Bearings
GoodSam General RV FAQ

RV Products and Goodies:
Camping World
Camco Products
US Gear D-celerator Braking System
Saf-T-Plus Steering Controls
RV Mall
RV Parts & Accessories
RV Parts & Accessories (search for 'RV')

RV Clubs and Forums:
Yahoo PC Forum
Phoenix Cruiser Owners Club
Good Sam Club
Good Sam Forum
Campground Clubs and Systems
Encore & Thousand Trails Club
Motorhomes Forum
Family Motorcoach Association
Passport America

Pet Info:
Pet Travel Center

Dinghy/Toad Towing:
Downloadable Dinghy Guides -
General Dinghy Guide -
2012 Dinghy Towing Guide -
Remco Towing Products -
Toad Braking Requirements by State

General iPhone/iPad Apps:
Wunderlist ToDo and Task List -
Woodalls RV & Camping Copilot -
GoodSam Camping -
RV Parking -
Mobile RV'ing -
Sanidumps RV Dump Station Locator
USA Rest Stops
iRV2 Forum
RV Checklist
RV Pocket Reference
RV Pro Magazine
RV Care Network
Motorhome Magazine
AllStays Camp & RV
Trapster Speed Traps & Accidents
Fiberglass RV Owners
Firewood Buddy
Bill Dance Fishing
State Lines (taxes, laws, bans, fees, towing)
State Lines Alcohol Laws
Coverage? Cell Coverage
Dark Sky Weather Radar
NOAA Radar Cast

RV Camping and Campground Sites:
- Campground Videos
- Campground Videos and Info
- Encore and ThousandTrail Campground Videos
- Passport America
- Casino Camping
- RV Golf Club
- Harvest Hosts
- Boondockers Welcome
- ReserveAmerica
- GuestFirst RV Resorts
- RV Park Finder
- RV Park Reviews
- Oregon RV Goddess
- Park Maps
- Free Campgrounds
- Woodalls Campground Videos
- Overnight RV Parking
- Camp California
- Entire CampCalifornia Guide

- State Towing Laws For RV's (
- Tankless Water Heater (
- Work Camping  (
- Work For Rv'ers (
- GVW Calculator (
- Travel Trailer Weight Calculator (
- State Open Container Laws  (
- State RV Rules Of The Road  (
- National Traffic and Road Closures  (
- RV Mountain Directory  (
- Camping Recipes  (
- Technology Enabled Nomads  (
- TripCheck (Orgeon Road Conditions/Weather)
- Frommers Guide

Some Advice I've Been Given.......

After taking delivery of RV:
- Check all fluid levels, including generator
- Test all components and equipment
- Check tire pressures
- Load RV (incl. propane, gray tank, fuel, additional weight for people, etc)
- Weigh RV
- Ensure RV is rated for that weight
- Check Tire Pressures
- Use load and inflation tables of tire manufacturer to determine proper air pressures (such as:
- Get Alignment with full load (except black tank)

Notes about alignment (sorry, I don't know the original poster):

There are three alignment angles (caster, camber, toe). The specs express all three as ranges. I think that instead of trying to reach the middle of those ranges, which are probably ideal for vans, the RV chassis will drive better with all the angles set aggressively. Caster and Camber toward the high positive. Toe In and not Zero. I feel strongly about Toe. The slightest bit Out and the vehicle wants to dart to one side or the other. Zero may be ideal, but the slightest component wear sends toe Out. Ours went from Zero to 1/8" Out wiht only a few hundred miles on new parts and we could feel it wander. When I set it back to Zero it was OK again. I decided to go on to 1/8" IN and it did three things: Sharpened steering response, Improved tracking, Restored steering wheel centering.

  Another poster says: Since installing the extra +2.0 degrees of caster I have driven this E450 about 4500 miles, it definitely handles like an SUV. I cannot say enough about the difference in handling.
If you are not a DIY owner I would suggest you purchase a set of INGALLS 594 Camber/Caster sleeves then make an appointment with an alignment shop. Be very specific in your instructions asking them to install these sleeves SET TO 0.0 Degrees CAMBER and +2.0 Degrees CASTER then align the TOE IN to be within TOE spec while accepting the resulting CAMBER and CASTER AS IS!  Trust me, it will be well worth the effort IF you own a wandering E350/E450.
Also, Our 2004 E450 28 Foot handled terrible until we added additional + Caster to the front wheels.
The Ford Spec for front end CASTER is:
LH +1.3 to +6.8 Degrees
RH +1.8 to +7.3 Degrees
Our unit was:
LH +3.3 Degrees
RH +3.5 Degrees
We added + 2.0 degrees, so we are now at:
LH +5.3 Degrees
RH +5.5 Degrees.
Alignment problems on the E series follow the 80/20 rule in the sense that TOE and CAMBER is 20% of the story while CASTER is 80% of the story. TOO LITTLE CASTER will amplify any external force many fold to the detriment of stability.
If your unit feels like the steering box needs to be tightened up it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If cross winds and wind gusts cause havoc it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If you think the tail is wagging the dog it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If you are needing to drive it all day and never relax it is because of TOO LITTLE + CASTER.
If your unit drives GREAT, like an SUV, it is because you have a proper amout of + CASTER which I am guestimating to be about +5.0 degrees or more.  (Note: The RH caster is always more then LH (CROSS CASTER = LH - RH))

If there are handling issues after the alignment,  try these, in order:
- Rear h.d. sway bar w/ polymer bushings (Hellwig or Roadmaster?)
- Front stabilizer (Saf-T-Plus)
- Front h.d. Sway bar w/ polymer bushings (Hellwig or Roadmaster?)
- Rear trac bar (Henderson?)
- Replace shocks (Bilstein or Konica-RV)

About tire pressures:

Tire pressures should be between what is listed on the certification tag and what is listed on the tire.  Certification tag shows tire pressure based on when the rig was manufactured.  Pressure listed on the tire is the maximum you should ever inflate tires.  Weigh the rig at each tire and use the load and inflation tables from the tire manufacturer, but always have the left and right tires at the same pressures....balance the load better if you need to in order to achieve this.  If cant balance them totally, then use the pressure on the side with the highest load for both sides.
REMEMBER that rv's use higher pressures than cars, so many gas stations don't have the equipment to provide these higher pressures.  Check truck stops and especially tire stores!

RV Sewer Evacuation Procedures:

According to RV maintenance experts, here's how to safely and completely evacuate RV holding tanks (with 3" gravity sewer hose)......

1. Always wear disposable protective gloves when handling any waste system component and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

2. Connect the sewer hose. Begin by inserting the nozzle end of the hose into the campground sewer inlet or dump site, and open the valve on the nozzle. Walk back towards the termination assembly on the coach extending the hose only the distance required. Always avoid snaking a full-length hose back and forth on the ground. If more hose is needed to reach the coach, simply attach an extension hose when necessary. All quality hose makers will have extension hoses and connectors. To complete the connection, remove the protective cap or plug on the RV end and attach it to the termination outlet. Be sure to maintain the proper slope of the drain hose from the termination outlet to the sewer inlet.

Known as the first in - last out rule, inserting the sewer end first and removing it last will guarantee no release of waste water and avoid further contamination on the ground. Note: this is only applicable if the hose has a positive shut-off valve on the sewer end and a cap or plug on the coach end.

3. Only evacuate a holding tank (black or gray) when it is over 3/4 full. Yes, contrary to what some veteran RVers may tell you, this means leaving the gray valve fully closed while in the campground. Filling each tank to a level above the 3/4 mark before evacuating will ensure youll have enough volume (and velocity), to thoroughly drain the tank and flush the hose.

Heres another reason for keeping the gray holding tank valve completely closed except during evacuation. Ever walk through a beautiful, scenic campground and catch a whiff of sewer odor wafting through the park? Kinda ruins the moment, right? All coaches with the gray tank valve in the open position (sewer hoses obviously connected), are simply acting as a direct conduit to the parks sewer system. Each coach becomes a mini-vent of sorts, in parallel with the septic system of that campground. No wonder sewer odors still abound in the nicest of destination sites.

Follow the logic; a large septic system in a campground will have fundamental venting designed into it, but with numerous RVs connected to that system with their gray tank valves open, odors can rise up through the parks septic system, through the sewer hoses of those coaches, through their empty gray holding tanks and up the vents of those holding tanks. Remember, it may be your gray tank, but its the campgrounds black and gray odors coming up and through it. The only problem with this scenario is that the gray tank vents on the RVs are a lot closer to the ground and more prominently located than the park sewer stack so odors are more noticeable. By keeping the gray tank valve closed until the tank is almost full, you will eliminate the localized venting of the campground sewer gasses at your particular site. The more RVers who follow this precept, the less likely well have to endure septic odors in and around the campsite.

4. Evacuate the black tank first. This is pretty much standard procedure and something most all coach owners are aware of, but its worthy to mention it again.

After the black tank empties flush it out with a large amount of fresh water when connected to city water. Simply keep flushing the toilet while the termination valve remains open. If you opt for the Polychute or Drainmaster hose, monitor the cleanliness of the water through the integral Clear-Vu fitting as it drains. There are other clear fittings available for the bayonet-type hose adapters as well. When the draining water is relatively clear, stop flushing, close the gate valve and cover the bottom of the black tank completely with fresh water.

Permanently installed holding tank spray kits are available in the aftermarket that attach to each holding tank thereby allowing fresh water to be directly induced into the tank after dumping, but Im hesitant to drill mounting holes into holding tanks. Plus I like to flush all components of the waste system including the toilet, sink drains, etc., so I prefer to simply flush the toilet and run water through the sinks.

5. Evacuate the gray tank last. After the black tank has completely emptied and its termination valve properly closed, open the gray tank valve and empty that holding tank. Be sure to rinse this tank as well. Dumping the gray tank last utilizes its liquid contents, as well as the fresh water induced after dumping, to help wash away any solid waste that may remain in the sewer hose.

6. Drain the sewer hose. After both tanks have been emptied for the last time at that location, take the time to thoroughly rinse the sewer hose with fresh water until clear water is viewed through the Clear-Vu fitting on the sewer hose. After closing the gray termination valve, remove the sewer hose from the termination outlet on the coach and, if so equipped, secure the plug to the hose and the termination outlet. Then begin milking the hose. In other words, raise the hose at the coach end and walk it towards the sewer inlet. Keep raising the hose as you walk, thereby milking the hose and emptying it completely of water. Even a properly sloped flexible sewer hose may have residual water and waste particles left inside. These particles will become an odor generator over time, so it is imperative to completely remove as much moisture as possible.

7. After milking the hose and as you reach the campground sewer inlet connection, close the positive shut-off valve on the sewer nozzle and disconnect it from the campground sewer inlet. Remember the first in - last out rule! With the cap on the coach end and the nozzle valve turned off on the sewer end, all remaining odors stay inside the hose. Cap the sewer inlet and then stow the hose and add an enzyme-based additive to all holding tanks.

8. Check the P-traps. Unless you upgraded to HepvO waterless sanitary valves, every month or so, look down each sink drain and the tub/shower drain to ensure the water seal is still there. In some waste system configurations, a quickly draining tank can actually cause the water lock to be siphoned out of the trap. Youll probably have to use a flashlight, but it is essential that a water lock remain at all times. Remember, this is the primary method of preventing gray holding tank odors from entering the interior of the coach. Bottom line; a dry P-trap is nothing more than a shortcut for odors to gain entry into the RV.

9. Be sure the toilet bowl contains water at all times. If water eventually seeps past the seal and the toilet bowl empties, its time to make an appointment at your local service center. An empty toilet bowl will permit black tank odors into the coach. If water can leak past the seal, odors can also!

---- From Phoenix forum:
With the san-i-con, I crack the grey tank first just to insure it's working and no leaks (don't want the black tank leaking   ) Then I open the black tank and turn on the macerator to get rid of the solids; next turn off the macerator; then open the grey tank and wait until both tanks equalize. I turn the macerator back on until both tanks are empty.
I used to use the sprayer after dumping the black tank; but, by letting the soapy water from the grey tank clean it, I seldom use it.

If any of this has been helpful, I'll post more info as I make my way through the learning curve of general RV'ing and PC RV'ing.  Thanks to ALL the helpful folks on the Phoenix Cruiser Forum!  You are the best!

- Mike
266  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: August 30, 2013, 12:17:32 am
"I must say that this owner's group was a huge deciding factor in our purchase.  I spent a lot of time here before the purchase reading about the good, the bad and hardly any ugly.  I thank you all for participating in this forum and helping me and, I'm sure, countless others."

DITTO!  exactly!

......and WELCOME!

- Mike and Joni
267  Main Forum / General Discussion / Length of sewage hose? on: August 25, 2013, 11:30:23 pm
What is the longest length of sewage hose you've had to run from the PC, normally.  I know there are those times that would be extraordinary, but in general, what length of hose would you be comfortable with 90% of the time?  Will it vary that much from site to site or camp to camp?

268  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Meals - in RV parks and dry camping on: August 24, 2013, 03:52:53 pm
Great ideas! Makes sense to use the electric skillet outside due to splatter and odors.  I kept thinking about my very large electric skillet and not a smaller one.  The small milks that don't need refrigeration is something I probably wouldn't have thought about for months, if ever.  The Ninja cooker and pressure fryer sound tempting!  I'll definitely look them up!   ThumbsUp

269  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Meals - in RV parks and dry camping on: August 24, 2013, 10:42:08 am
That's so interesting....All the comforts of home (electric skillets, crock pots and toaster ovens)! And here I am wondering if I should put my spices in tic-tac containers! LOL  Would love to bring my pressure cooker with me for stews and pulled pork. Is the PC stove limiting enough in size that you both have the electric skillets with you?

We don't bake much, so we'll have to find someone like you around us that we can barter some fish tacos for a slice of pie.

Looking forward to all the different local produce! When our avocados and strawberries are in season, they are so inexpensive and good!  Lots of fresh salmon and crab here too, but we can almost never get fresh shrimp, and rarely even good clams or mussels.


270  Main Forum / General Discussion / Meals - in RV parks and dry camping on: August 24, 2013, 12:07:42 am do you all manage meals on your trips?  Are there tips or techniques when you are at a campground with hookups vs dry camping?  Do you BBQ alot or mainly use the PC kitchen?  Eat at restaurants part of the time? Prep frozen foods before you leave and freeze them? What are the 'staples' that you carry?  I love to cook, and am trying to visualize how things might work.  I do realize that some may dry camp alot (Ron) and experience in that area would be a great baseline.
  - Mike
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