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1  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Electrical ? Issue on: October 26, 2014, 10:36:36 pm
Does the engine start ok after your cleaning job?  If not, you very likely have a loose connection on one of the battery posts.
2  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Oak Mountain State Park AL on: October 19, 2014, 05:19:37 pm
We stayed here too.  A very nice place.
3  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Do I Need A New Sanicon Macerator? on: October 19, 2014, 12:21:00 am
That looks surprisingly like the fresh water pump impeller on our old inboard boat engine.  We replaced the impeller biannually to prevent pump failure while offshore.  What you found sounds like blades from a well used impeller.  Should you decide to replace it, getting the impeller back in the pump can be an exercise in inventing new curse words.  However, there is an easy solution.  Tightly wrap the new impeller with heavy cord so the blades are bound as snuggly as possible against the brass center, but don't tie it off.  The impeller should now slide easily into the pump housing.  Once seated, hold the impeller in the housing with one hand and pull the cord off with the other.  It may take a couple of attempts to get it right.  Liberal use of curse words are optional but recommended.  It doesn't matter if you fold the blades in the wrong direction. They will quickly reorientate themselves to the right way.
4  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: vibration in driveline on: August 09, 2014, 10:38:59 pm
The service manager at my local Ford dealer was extremely helpful.  He went out of his way to ride with me and offered to send the driveshaft out to a 3rd party for re-balancing.  He rebalanced my tires, put the rv up on the rack and tried different spacers to make it better and charged me nothing for the services.  He told me he has rv's come in all the time with issues that don't fall under Ford's warranty or the coach warranty and he is caught in the middle.  I decided to move forward on my own, rather than try to fight with Ford over a frame modification warranty claim.  PC was helpful in troubleshooting, but it was made clear that even though my PC was only 7 months old, the warranty stopped with the original owner.  Buyer beware.
5  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: vibration in driveline on: August 02, 2014, 03:04:00 pm
Sounds like a good plan.  You might want to nail down the cost before you go.
6  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: New member on: August 02, 2014, 03:01:32 pm
I generally drive 62-63 mph and we always seem to get 9.2 mpg.  According to the scan gauge, mpg go up to 10 or 12 if you drive b/w 50-55.  I tried that, but we never got anywhere.  At 62 mph, I rarely pass anyone on the interstate.  After owning the 2552 for a year, our chief complaint is the sleeping arrangements.  We would prefer a dedicated queen size bed and really don't like sleeping on the fold out couch.   Right now, I'm building a bridge b/w the single beds so they can be rotated 90 degrees into a nice large bed.  Of course, this is a tradeoff too.  Someone must climb over someone to get to the bathroom.
7  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: vibration in driveline on: July 31, 2014, 11:08:33 am
Balancing them separately was a disaster for my 2552.  It was much worse using that method, almost undrivable. 

I would call around and see if you can find someone who can a) balance the entire driveline and b) do it cheaper.  I paid about 1/2 the amount quoted you.

I would call around and get pricing on replacing shaft 2 and 3 with a single shaft.

I would call William at Panhandle Driveline (850-983-6150) and get his 2 cents.  He's the guy that worked on my unit.  Holly and John on the forum here (2 Frazzled) took their vibration issue to him and he determined they didn't have a driveline vibration, rather a noise issue.

You are on the hook because once the warranty expires or the unit is sold, whichever comes first, any repairs are the responsibility of the owner.  The Ford warranty transfers, but this really isn't a Ford defect.  I did a lot of research and didn't find many people complaining about this so only a few rv's are coming off the line with a problem big enough to warrant a fix.  Here is an interesting article on the subject:  http://www.machineservice.com/technical-101/vibrational-issues/

Good luck and keep us updated.  Mark



8  Main Forum / General Discussion / Who was that in MS? on: July 30, 2014, 07:20:27 pm
I took my dog to New Orleans today for a vet visit and on the way back home I passed a PC pulling out east on I10 at the Pascagoula River rest area.  It looked like a white 2350 but I can't be sure.  This is the first PC I've ever seen that wasn't mine.  I slowed down, but you got off at the next exit.  Who was that?  Mark
9  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: vibration in driveline on: July 29, 2014, 11:32:26 am
The guy that balanced my driveline was not complimentary of the design citing 3 pieces when it should be 2 and the crazy offset and up/down angles.  I found numerous complaints in several RV forums about driveline vibration issues but the percentage of units with problems is small enough that manufacturers aren't taking notice.  Ford recognizes the problem and has issued a bulletin about maintaining certain angles in the extension process. 

This past weekend, we did a lot of driving off the interstate at slower speeds and I started to notice the vibration again.  It's much, much better than before the re-balancing, but some of it is still there.  If I was going to do it again, I'd pull the 2nd and 3rd shafts and go with a beefier 2 shaft (balanced) driveline assuming the price wasn't outrageous. 

My Ford dealer balanced my tires for free in their first attempt to fix my problem.  This was after I paid a tire store to balance them ($15/tire). $300 seems high.  Ford did a much better job than the tire store.  Once re-balanced, they declared the problem solved!  Not.  The tire store told me that balancing tires on a dual wheel axle requires balancing all 4 tires and then sometimes rotating the outer wheel to smooth out vibration and out of round issues.  I don't know if that is true.

The units as delivered from Ford work fine, but when you add that 3rd shaft any off balance situation that wouldn't be noticed in a non-extended van becomes magnified to the point of being an annoyance not to mention that the vibration is not at all good for the rear transmission and axle bearings and the u joints. 

If you go back to the Ford dealer, see if the service manager will take a ride with you and see if you can get him personally involved.  Meanwhile, I'd call a shop that specializes in driveshafts and ask what they will charge you to replace the 2nd/3rd shaft with a single 5" shaft and balance both pieces together.  I never got a price, but now wish I had. Mark
10  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: vibration in driveline on: July 16, 2014, 04:45:19 pm
Before you take it into Ford, note the speed where you first feel it and accelerate until it goes away (if it ever stops).   Next, see if you get the vibration when the engine and driveline aren't under load, either coasting or going downhill.  Then downshift and make sure the vibration is not engine speed dependent. Next, while you tool down a straight smooth road, have someone walk through the cruiser and listen for the noise from the vibration.  These tests help determine if it's a transmission, engine, or driveline problem.  If the vibration is always present, you probably have a driveline problem.

I think PC outsources the extension work.  Whoever does it adds a 4' section of driveline (on the 2552) to the driveline.  This add on is what caused the problem in my PC.  However, the problem was not the new 4' tube, but the whole driveline.  As delivered, the Ford 2 piece driveline is probably just fine, but when you start messing with it by changing the angles and lengthening it, any out of balance situation can go from unnoticeable to terrible.  Ford is very likely not at fault and the outfit doing the extension really isn't at fault since they probably never drive the extended unit and their 4' section comes balanced, but when everything is combined along with several thousand pounds of payload, it doesn't work right.  At least not on my vehicle.

Unfortunately, if the original owner doesn't complain during the warranty period, you are out of luck.  The good news is once you have identified the problem, it's not too expensive to fix and the fix can be done in a couple of hours if you have the right equipment.

There are 2 fixes:  The best fix is to replace the 3 piece driveline with a 2 piece driveline.  This requires a larger diameter driveline shaft and rebalancing the entire driveline.  This is the most expensive fix because you have to buy a long, large diameter, piece of heavy duty driveline.  It is the best solution because you end up with a straighter shot from the transmission to the rear end, a stronger driveline (beefier part), less parts (one less u joint), and it will provide smoother power due to less flexing (a 4" driveline that long allows for a lot of 'jumping' due to twisting under acceleration).  My thought is PC doesn't do this as standard procedure because it adds cost to the unit and it generally isn't necessary.

The second fix is to pull your entire shaft and put the whole driveline on a balancer using the same angles as found under your PC.  My guy initially put shaft 1 and 2 on the balancer and balanced that part.  Then he put shaft 2 and 3 on and balanced that part.  He did this because he didn't have the spacers required to put the entire 3 part shaft on his balancer.  It's long and most shops don't deal with drivelines this long.  He put the driveline back on the vehicle and drove it and it was far worse than when he started!  He called the company that makes the balancer and they told him he would have to put the entire driveline on the balancer and balance all the shafts as one unit.  He ordered the required extension for his machine and called me when it was ready to go.  Once he got the entire shaft on his machine, he twirled it at the rpms where I like to drive which is 62 mph.   He was able to balance it in a jiffy.  He put the driveline back in my vehicle and we tweaked the vertical distance spacer between the 2nd and 3rd driveshaft and now it 99% better.

If you do have a driveline balancing problem and your Ford dealer is willing to help, they will likely send your driveline out to a specialty shop that just works on drivelines because they don't have a balancer on premises.  They don't see this often enough to justify it or keep personnel trained to use it.  Make sure this specialty shop can balance the entire driveline.  My Ford dealer was going to send it to Mobile.  I called the Mobile shop there and they told me they would balance shaft 1 and 2 and then 2 and 3.  This wouldn't have worked as noted above and would have been a waste of time and money.  Consider asking Ford for spacer plates.  My dealer gave me 4 when they attempted to fix it and we ended up using 3.

My previous post probably has the repair cost and I think it was less than $300???  Not too bad considering I was going to sell the RV if I couldn't get this fixed to my satisfaction.  It was really bothersome to me although the Ford tech who test drove it said he fixed it when he balanced the tires.  If you are planning a trip to the panhandle, I'll fix you up with the guy who did mine.  He was extremely helpful.

Good luck getting it fixed.  Mark


11  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: HWH Levelers on: July 14, 2014, 03:36:32 pm
We have had our 2552 for almost a year and always deploy the levelers if nothing else to stabilize the vehicle.  Even the so called level lots where we park aren't usually level and I like to lift the right side a tiny bit more than the left so the a/c and rain drain to the side we don't spend much time.

Ours aren't auto level and it takes some practice to figure out which buttons to push and how long.  In fact, I'm still practicing!  We have bubble levels in the kitchen and my wife tells me when we are level.  I find the indicator lights on the unit that tell you when you are level can be off quite a bit.  And like someone else said, the up arrow means move the vehicle up, not lift the leveler up.  I need to cut some wood pieces to put under the pads when we park on loose gravel or dirt because we sink in a little over a weekend.

The levelers will completely lift the front end off the ground which should help in the event I ever have a front flat.  I understand if the levelers won't respond after being deployed, you can drive off of them.  I've never tried it and I wouldn't want to.   I think they are a very worthwhile accessory.  Mark
12  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Rear Bumper on: June 05, 2014, 08:54:28 am
Beautiful.  Nice work.
13  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Awning leak revisited on: June 05, 2014, 08:52:59 am
I used a clear adhesive sealant.  I think it is made by liquid nails.
14  Main Forum / General Discussion / Awning leak revisited on: June 04, 2014, 10:28:59 pm
I sealed the hole for the awning wiring and the 3 lower screw holes that hold in the wedge and thought I was good to go.  We traveled to Biloxi last weekend and camped in a major rain.  The next morning there was a puddle to the left of the door (when exiting).  Once home, I resealed the awning power wiring hole and tested.  A puddle formed again with water coming out from under the vertical carpet panel and from under the cabinet. 

I took off the carpeted section between the passenger chair and door and dried out everything.  Once dry, I put my wife in the rv with a flashlight and I started spraying water at the base of the awning channel and worked my way up.  On the third set of screws, I hit pay dirt.  Copious amounts of water came in the rv.  This set of screws, the ones above the wedge, were the only ones I hadn't previously sealed.  I resealed all the screws and noted that at the top of the rv where the rain gutter is supposed to guide the water off the rv, it actually channels the water through the awning channel so almost all the water coming off the roof flowed down the awning channel.  This causes about a hundred times more water to flow over the leaky screws.  With a little sealant, I was able to re-channel the water away from the channel and off the side of the rv.

None of the awning screws had been sealed so I pulled the screws from other side of the awning.  None of the screws were sealed on this side either.  If one side was leaking, I'm sure the other side was leaking too so I sealed those screws.  I worked my way around the rv and sealed the awning over the side out on the other side (no sealant here either) and also the ladder on the back of the rv (no sealant here). 

I recommend everyone examine their rv and put sealant on any screws that haven't been sealed.  I've owned boats in the past and we always sealed any screws that were subject to water spray, I am surprised the rv industry doesn't do the same.  The water comes in and eventually finds the floor and over time the wet floor rots.  Mark
15  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Storage on: June 04, 2014, 09:26:26 pm
I did the same thing as Racephoto, but went with a bigger platform (24x60 [pro series]) with the big bag (24x60x24 [etrailer]).  This worked great for chairs, an x pen for the dogs, dog crates, a grooming table, outdoor rug, firewood, etc.  It worked good until it rained and the rain found a way in through the folds which defeated the whole purpose of the bag.  So I build a 55"x 24"x 20" plywood box cut low (16")against the rv so I can access the rv storage.  The bag fits around the box, is rigid, and life is good.  I estimate the storage weighs about 60-70# empty.  Mark
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