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16  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Electric water heater on: June 04, 2010, 11:47:51 am
The 120 V heating element operates only when you are connected to shore power or are running the generator. The heating element would quickly drain your batteries if it were wired to the inverter. The propane burner on the heater is for use when you are not on shore power or running the generator. You can use the propane side when you are driving or dry camping. The propane heater requires 12 V from the coach to operate its igniter and control circuits whether on 120 V or 12 V.

When 120V is available, you can run the electric and propane heaters to heat the water faster!
17  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Temp Sensor Fix on: May 23, 2010, 01:49:51 pm
We got a Gentex Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror with our 2350 S. The mirror includes compass and outside temperature function. The compass function tells you where you are headed: N, E, S, or W. It works fine after we did the calibration procedure in the manual to adjust for local magnetic variance. The compass is useful particularly after a turn when you need to know if you are headed in the right direction (I.e., before our GPS starts bleating, Recalculating!).

The outside temperature function is redundant with the same information on the Sprinter instrument cluster display. On the Sprinter, you can choose between displaying the outside temperature or your speed. I like the mirror display. It is easier to read because you do not have to find the info in the clutter of the instrument display. Unfortunately, our mirror display did not read correctly from the get go. It would be OK when starting out cold but after a few miles, it would read 15+ degrees too high. Obviously, the engine heat was influencing the sensor.

I could not fix it until I could find and move the sensor. Another member let us know where it was (See: The other day I unclipped the sensor from its location on the driver's side fender liner near the engine and moved it to the location specified in the manual: in front to the radiator, more that 8 in. from the pavement and away from the headlamps. Note: On the Sprinter I had to loosen the grill to be able to get my big hand in position to attach the sensor clip low on a grill bar.

The mirror temperature display works correctly now.
18  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Elkart sightseeing?? on: May 19, 2010, 03:41:56 pm
Ron Amunrud,

Thanks for the tip on the location of the mirror sensor. I checked the manual and it is supposed to be located in front of the radiator, away from the headlights, and no closer than 8" from the pavement. I unclipped the sensor from the fender liner and moved it to the lower part of the grill right in front of the (AC?) fan.

NC Sailors
19  Main Forum / General Discussion / Trailer Connector Problem on: May 18, 2010, 09:16:40 am
We have a 2010 2350 S (Sprinter). After analyzing (cost, hassle, etc.) the many possibilities for a toad, we decided to carry our 2009 smart Fortwo on a trailer made for the smart car ( We plan to get the trailer with electric brakes. So, I had National Dodge install a Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller. (The hard part was finding the Sprinter connector for the controller; it was under the drivers seat.

Before installing the controller, the Dodge technician noted that trailer turn signals would only operate when the brakes on the coach were activated. He noted that this problem was the same after he hooked up the controller.

I bought a Tekonsha trailer emulator and conducted my own tests. I wont go into all the details of my test results, but I confirmed the technicians observations. I want get this fixed before I buy the trailer.

Has anyone else had this problem with his or her connector? If so, what was the fix?

20  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Slide Issue on: May 17, 2010, 06:02:52 pm

We have a 2350 S with the refrigerator in the slide. The slide moves on two 6" rollers that rest on the carpet not the vinyl flooring. The rollers leave tracks on the carpet and indentations where they rest with the slide retracted; much like the dents in the carpet from a table or chair in the house. Any indentations in your vinyl would seem to be a problem....
21  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Elkart sightseeing?? on: May 16, 2010, 10:41:47 am
I recommend reviewing our thoughts for accepting delivery of a PC at

I would add that if you plan to tow something with your PC, take a trailer emulator tester with you to check out the chassis/coach wiring connection to trailer electrical system (See, SKU 55-8642 Trailer Emulator, $31.40.) Also, if you plan to use electric trailer brakes, ask the factory to install the brake controller. That way you will know that the whole setup works correctly before you take delivery. (I’m now trying to figure out if our coach wiring is working correctly in preparation for towing our smart car. I ordered a tester and should have it next week.)

If you get the rearview mirror with outside temperature indicator, check that it is still correct after you drive your PC for a while. Ours does not; it reads 15-16 degrees hotter that the actual outside temperature. (I cannot find the sensor for the mirror to move it to a better location. Any ideas?)

When in Elkhart, the RV Museum a few miles to the east of the Phoenix factory is well worth a half-day visit.
22  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: May 14, 2010, 10:16:11 am

If you have Photoshop (CS or Elements), you can reduce the image size by cropping it to say 4" X 6", then reduce the dots per inch to print (240) or screen (72) resolution, then when saving reduce the quality from 10 or 12 to maybe 1-5. These steps allow to reduce a 10MB .jpg file down to ~100KB.

NC Sailor
23  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: I want to hear from you! on: May 09, 2010, 05:11:29 pm

"Maintenance" (planned and repairs) may be an appropriate topic separate from "Tips and Tricks" that seems often oriented toward alterations.

24  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Travelling With Cats on: May 09, 2010, 05:03:46 pm

We have not had cats for the past 12 years since the last of our five died of old age. We now have a lakeland terrier.

However when we took the cats in the car, we crated them to keep them from getting under the seats or otherwise in the way.

In an RV you could use a folding crate on the bed and keep an enclosed litterbox in the shower. They could use the litterbox at rest stops?

25  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Planned Maintenance Program--Downloads on: April 27, 2010, 10:18:43 am
For sake of argument, let us assume that Phoenix sells a well-designed, reasonably well assembled product. Further, if you use your PC properly and maintain it effectively, the PCs tried and true components will provide years of trouble-free service. I believe that this argument is true. However, it is true only if you use it properly and maintain it effectively.

One approach is to assume that you know what you are doing and just use things until they stop working. However, such a run to fail approach often results in inconvenient situations (e.g., stranded in nowhere) and can be very expensive.

The alternative approach is to organize, understand, and use that jumble of manuals and other data that came with your PC. This is what professionals do who operate systems for a living. Their approach, preventive or planned maintenance (PM), requires that operators use equipment as intended and that operators (or higher-level technicians) periodically check and service (e.g., adjust, clean, lubricate, etc.) equipment to keep it working to specification. The objective of PM is to enable operators to use equipment when they need it and to minimize the need for repairs.

So much for theory. I have attached three documents that I used to organize the set of technical data I got with my PC. If you have questions as to where I got the info, why its in there, or what it means, I will be glad to answer them in this thread.
26  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Switches on: April 14, 2010, 10:31:21 am
Another feature of the switch is that if you leave the step extended when you start the engine, the step will retract. After that, the switch operates in the reverse (off is on). This feature prevents you from driving off with the step extended. To reverse the switch function again, start the engine with the door closed and step extended. Neat, huh....
27  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Extended Warranties on: March 22, 2010, 09:16:05 am
Warranties are profitable for the companies that sell them. Note that Clark Howard, a consumer advocate, says to stay away from them,

An RV consists of a chassis and the coach. The chassis is a tried and true commercial vehicle. The coach is a structure that holds furnishings, appliances, and electrical and water systems. If you follow the operating procedures, do the scheduled maintenance, and actaully use the RV routinely, you should get years of service with few problems. Disuse, misuse, and lack of maintenence are the enemies of reliability and availability.

Put the warranty money in a savings account. If you don't use it, it's all yours at the end of the warranty period.
28  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Is a backup monitor worth the extra $$$? on: March 20, 2010, 03:17:26 pm
We debated the utility of a monitor given the cost. However, Stewart of Phoenix strongly recommended it. Therefore, we added it to the list. We are glad we did. We would not leave home without it in working order. It will save your life in traffic from the fools out there. You can also back up when driving alone and feel comfortable that you are not going to hit something. With the monitor, I can check to see if the bike and rack are OK. When we attach the toad (a smart Fourtwo), we will be able to see if the toad is behaving. If not, we will just issue the toad a STATION command (a Navy joke).

We recommend cleaning the camera lens with a dampened, soft cloth at least once a day. Dust and water drops with the sun behind you make it hard to see.
29  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Doors Adrift on: March 13, 2010, 05:22:43 pm
I noticed that one of the flip-up doors in the cabinet over the sofa was loose in our 2350S. The hinge screws were loose on the cabinet frame side. I removed a screw and saw that it was only a half-inch #6 particleboard screw. Too short for the job!

Better to get the whole job over with once rather than wait for one failure after another. So, I replaced all 32 such fastners in the three doors over the sofa and the door over the DVD player with one inch #6 particleboard screws. The old short screws hold OK in the hardwood doors.

I had to use a stubby #2 phillips screwdriver and an offset #2 to get all of them all in. The result is that all four doors are attached solidly now to their frames. Particleboard screws have full threads so they grip the frame composite material better than a wood screw. Use steel screws with zinc chromate coating. They are less likey to rust. Black oxide sheetrock screws will work but they can rust.

If the new ones do not work, I'll replace them with one and one-half inch screws.
30  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: March 07, 2010, 07:11:58 pm
We have a 2010 2350 Sprinter-based PC with a slide. The slide is well worth it for the extra room and it provides a second adult sleeping area with the airbed/sofa. We chose the Sprinter chassis because it has many handling/safety features, gets great fuel economy, and is quieter on the road. It's our Mercedes for the price of a Dodge. We just just added another Mercedes as a towed vehicle (a smart car, see As in other areas, you get what you pay for.
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