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46  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: January 28, 2016, 06:48:07 am
Welcome, Dave and Lenore!  We also took a 5 hr drive to look at a well-used 2551 before buying our 2552.  Nothing beats seeing one in person.  Congrats on your purchase!

  - Mike
47  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Surfing the States on: January 24, 2016, 07:55:47 am
Holly/John:

Hope you are able to shovel out soon and get back on the road!  Here is my contribution to the thread....more as I wake up a bit and remember other places and resources.

A guide to unique, offbeat, quirky attractions around the country: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

Another guide to the unusual things we never knew were out there: http://www.atlasobscura.com/

RV Blogs are great resources for where to go and what to do/see.  Here is one of my favorites (these folks are pretty tech-savvy and full timers): http://www.technomadia.com/

Travelers reviews of thousands of cities, towns, areas of interest and what they offer: http://www.virtualtourist.com

Good resource for scenic roads with maps and descriptions: https://scenicbyways.info/

Great resource for the State of Oregon including weather, traffic, events, and such: http://www.tripcheck.org/

Short drive-through video clips of campgrounds and RV parks (they continuously add more, but definitely don't have most yet): http://www.campgroundviews.com/

As for some specific pin-it locations we've enjoyed:

Oregon: Bend - Overall great town. Awesome 'beer trail' of microbreweries.  Great restaurants and shopping, amazing natural beauty and sights (drives, trails, museums), interesting micro-distillery (Cascade Alchemy)

Vermont: The whole Woodstock/Quechee area - Quintessential New England with many things to see and do.

South Carolina: Isle of Palms - Beautiful beaches, great bars, restaurants, live music, close to Charleston.

California: Napa Valley/San Francisco - Stay at Napa Expo RV Park (higher end) or Skyline Wilderness Park (rustic, but has hookups) and explore Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and Calistoga.  Short drive to Vallejo to catch the 1-hr scenic ferry ride to Fisherman's Wharf area in San Francisco (great public transit from there)

    - Mike
48  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Safe Motorist Course on: January 09, 2016, 09:31:02 am
National General Insurance (through Good Sam) offers 5% discount for "older driver safety program" completion as well, last I checked.

    - Mike
49  Main Forum / General Discussion / Mattress alternatives on: January 06, 2016, 09:19:24 am
I have no experience with this company and we aren't looking to replace our mattresses, but I ran across this and it looked interesting.  The company custom makes just about any size of Tempurpedic mattress for RV's, boats, planes, etc....

http://artisansmattress.com/

    - Mike
50  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Electronics Options on: January 04, 2016, 02:44:22 am
The Wirie is a WiFi booster originally designed for marine/boats, but works well for RV applications.  It finds WiFi signals that are distant and allows connection (I believe they say up to 5 miles, but we've brought in signals further on occasion). It creates a WiFi hotspot to connect to it remotely and also has Ethernet hook-ups to connect directly.  Works especially well when trying to connect to an RV park's weak WiFi system.  It's a bit pricey, but it is extremely well made.  High quality materials and totally waterproof.  When we bought ours they had just the WiFi booster (model AP+), but now I see they sell a combination WiFi and 2G/3G/4G Cell booster (model 'Pro'). Great customer service, too. More info can be had here: www.thewirie.com

    - Mike
51  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Electronics Options on: January 02, 2016, 08:50:46 pm
Did you already specify a type or a brand of both cell and wifi booster? 

My opinion on this is that this type of technology changes so quickly I would be hesitant to install something more permanent.

We had a need for a wifi booster and opted for a separate 'Wirie' wifi booster that we can easily attach to the back ladder. Works great and if technology outpaces it we can more easily upgrade or change.

On the other hand, we did get a permanent roof mounted satellite dish, so I guess we are wishy-washy on all this.   LOL

I wouldn't worry about the factory installing such things.  They do it all the time....  Some friends had the factory run coax the length of the rig in order to install a ham radio antenna in the rear.  We had the factory hard wire a 50amp Surge Guard unit (I think Kermit said it was the second one they ever did)

   - Mike


52  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Remote Communications on: December 28, 2015, 08:33:22 am
Throughout some of our trips we've been in some isolated areas with no cell service, wifi or other means of communication.  Recently, we saw a handheld device that uses satellites for two way text communications and decided to give a try, mostly for potential emergencies.  It's a Delorme Inreach (model SE) and costs about $250, plus service subscription.  The plans range from about $14/mo to $100/mo depending on features.

Our unit works as advertised and purportedly has 100% global coverage.  It even worked in the house.

It has an SOS button which sends a verified message directly to Search and Rescue, syncs with your mobile devices, sends messages to multiple email addresses or phone numbers, allows others to 'ping' your location, has a trip mapping feature, topographic map capability and optional route guidance.

When we are on the road we usually blog daily and if family or friends don't see the blog posting they tend to get a bit concerned.  This device would allow us to send out a message to them all at once saying that we are out of cell/wifi service range.

For us it looks like it will be worth it for the peace of mind of the SOS feature.  Thought others might want to know that such a device is out there....especially all you hikers.

    - Mike
53  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: AC not cooling on: December 25, 2015, 03:00:36 pm
It's kinda nice that it failed when the outdoor temps are around 70 and you'll no doubt be heading into colder weather on the way back to PA!  Sure beats losing a/c in July in Phoenix or Havasu!

   - Mike
54  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: AC not cooling on: December 25, 2015, 11:03:00 am
Dave:

Could be many things....some more likely than others; however, when I had an issue with our a/c it turned out to be a loose wire nut in the control section of the rooftop unit.

Other possibilities include:

- iced up due to fan not working or a clogged filter/fins
- lack of freon (leak somewhere?)
- bad/stuck compressor
- burned out component like a capacitor
- frozen/stuck reversing valve (if your unit is a heat pump)
- a/c compressors use a lot of power, especially on startup....are you on generator or shore power?

I would take a quick look at the rooftop unit and see if there is any obvious problem (burned areas, loose wires, unusual noises)

Many a/c problems can be identified with a volt-ohmmeter and a troubleshooting guide, if you have access to those.

The good news is that an RV a/c unit is like any other and any HVAC company can help you out.

Strange problem to have on Christmas!  Happy holidays!

    - Mike
55  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: New transmission on: December 18, 2015, 08:30:23 pm
Congrats and welcome!  Good to hear the new transmissions feel right!

  - Mike
56  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water pressure on: December 18, 2015, 06:43:15 am
Sorry, Paul....I was responding to Janey who has a 2014.  The 4-way valve wasn't installed until 2013 on the 2014 models (I believe), so you wouldn't have it on your rig.  In a nutshell, this valve is installed on the drivers side and has a hose connection to hook up to city/campground water supply.  In essence, the four positions on the valve are: Use City Water, Fill Tank With City Water, Use RV Water Pump, Winterize. Here is a schematic from the manufacturer as to how different portions of piping are engaged when a selection is made...

57  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Water pressure on: December 16, 2015, 10:23:13 am
And is your four way valve (next to where the hose is attached) turned to the proper setting?

   - Mike
58  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: New transmission on: December 05, 2015, 07:48:21 am
I've also been reading about the new 2016 E-Series and noted some interesting stuff.  First, apparently Ford has stated that they'll continue the E-Series for a while yet.  Responding to if they would be dropping the E-Series in favor of the Transit:

"According to a report from PickupTrucks.com, however, that's not the case, the report claiming that the highly modifiable E-350 and E-450 stripped chassis and cutaway versions will continue being produced in Avon Lake, Ohio until near the end of the decade.
Being decades old, the be-cabbed E-Series platform has found its way under an army of heavy-duty shuttle buses, work truck and ambulances. Ford spokeswoman Jessica Enoch verified the production horizon, telling Autoblog that the continuing E-Series configurations "are a higher GVWR than the Transit chassis cab and cutaway (available this summer), which is more Class 2 and a new segment for us." So there you have it."

As for the new E-Series....

The 2016 E-Series Cutaway Brochure:
http://www.fleet.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/brochures/2016/2016+E-Series.pdf

Ford site now listing the motorhome packages for the 2016.  Interesting items include: Ford Sync, User Defined Upfitter Switches, Telescoping Trailer Tow Mirrors, and Trailer Brake Control System.

The available factory-installed integrated trailer brake controller (TBC) works in conjunction with the Anti-Lock Brake System and synchronizes the vehicle and trailer brakes for seamless braking while towing even the heaviest of loads. (TBC is compatible with electrically actuated trailer drum brakes only.)

The Upfitter switches make it easy to use add-on systems.....
Four switches can operate high-power relays for accessories
Two 30-amp, one 10-amp and one 15-amp circuits provided
Smartly integrated into the instrument panel
Prewired and ready to go
Requires optional alternator

The 2016 line also has available alternate fuel packages like propane and CNG.

It seems the new Triton engines in this line have also been detuned and are now at a lowered 305 hp? 

Lastly, I don't know if it was available prior to this or not, but the 2016 has a factory option for 40 gallon gas tank (vs 55 gal) which would possibly free up room for increased fresh/black/grey tank capacities, or at very least allow greater carrying capacity.  Unsure if this option is only on the E350 or not.

All that together with a better-gas-mileage-transmission and the future looks hopeful!

   - Mike
59  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Full Timing? on: November 29, 2015, 09:26:28 pm
While crawling under our 2552 I did notice quite a bit of space on the passengers side just to the right of the electric step.  Might be too far from the water plumbing to be of use though....

   - Mike
60  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC 3100 and PC 2351 Owners ... purchase dilemma on: November 29, 2015, 09:22:55 pm
Steve / Jennifer:

Joni and I have neither model you are considering (we have a 2552), but I don't think you mentioned if you previously owned an RV and if so, if you ever towed.  Our PC was our first RV and (obviously) the first time towing.  We went back and forth about whether to tow or not, and whether renting in certain cities would be more beneficial.  We opted to tow and are glad we did.  It didn't take that long to streamline the process of setting up at a campground/park and conversely buttoning things up, however we now know we would not want to do it on a regular basis to go sightseeing, the grocery, the RV parts store, the restaurant, etc etc.  Also, aside from the setup and tear down, there is the additional gas expended in a low MPG vehicle using the RV for those side trips. One other benefit of towing for us has been the ability to stop much quicker, since there is an auxiliary braking system in the tow vehicle.  This comes in handy much more often than I would have imagined.  Last positive aspect of towing is the additional space you have in the towed vehicle for 'stuff'.  We generally keep beach-gear, chairs and our home-made dog anchors in there which is helpful given the finite storage space in a class B+.

The down-side to towing (for us) has been additional gas expended while normally towing (and especially uphill) and the additional expense for the gear (aux braking system, tow bar, brake/turn signal system, baseplate, etc.)  I guess we should include wear and tear (tires) but no additional mileage racks up on the odometer.

Lastly, we've really become proficient at connecting and disconnecting our tow vehicle.  Takes us about 2 minutes.  This is with a Blue Ox tow bar/baseplate on a Ford Edge LTD.

Of course, the towing option is always available to you later if you find you'd really like to have it.

- Mike
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