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1411  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: House Batteries for 2008 2551 on: March 03, 2014, 12:22:36 am
Everyone has their own idea as to what is best in regards to cost versus benefit.

A year ago I replaced the original Ford chassis battery with a sealed Sears AGM at a steep price of around $200 on sale.  Time will tell if it was worth the cost.  

Our coach batteries are Walmart MAXX now near 6 years old and are still performing well.  They cost near $100 each.  I think today they are $6 higher per battery.

Battery life is greatly extended by disconnecting them (must be fully charged) when the rig is not in use....while in storage.  I was real good doing that with our first rig and the batteries all lasted over 10 years each.  I've gotten back into that routine just this past year with our PC.

ADDING ON February 2016
Since I posted this reply, the trip we took later in 2014, one battery failed which caused boil-overs.  Thinking about it, I really should have taken that bad battery offline and finish the trip with one house battery.  Off season between 2014 & 2015, I replaced the batteries again, now on the 3rd set (2nd replacement set), this time with two-6V sealed AGM batteries.  Our 4 week trip in 2015 with them worked perfect as expected.  As the years pass, I will see if they were worth the extra investment.

The chassis battery replacement Sears AGM is doing it's job well.

We have been 100% AGM for a year now.
1412  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: February 19, 2014, 06:32:11 pm
Thanks Ron and Tom,

I have a thin margin on the Jeep. I believe the manual transmission 4 door Rubicon is 4521 lbs. Adding the tow bar, after market bumper, bike rack and bikes will be pushing things a bit. Maybe I'll have to throw the Jeep's spare tire in the PC and tow with the top and doors removed to save a few pounds!


Personally I wouldn't bother even if over by a tad.  Just be sure to get a smart tow brake system along the lines you are thinking and you'll do fine with everything stored in their normal places.  There is no weight in or on the motor home that way.  It's all being pulled.  Go easy as you normally would towing, with great tow brakes all will be fine.

And that is only my opinion.
1413  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Actual length of our 2552 on: February 19, 2014, 05:34:04 pm
I never measured my 2350.

I do park the RV pulling forward until gently impacting a 2" foam block (my bumper) then back off 1" before setting the parking brake.  Judging the distance from the spare tire cover to my garage door, I think it's right on the money.
1414  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Actual length of our 2552 on: February 19, 2014, 01:13:57 pm
Ron you should look at the brochure for both the 2551 and the 2552. They both are listed at 26' 5".

 If you look back a few post you will see where I measured my 2552 to confirm what Bruce found.
Ah......Maybe the 2552 is consistently at 28'-4".  That is quite a bit longer than the 2551, much more than the "proclaimed" foot.  As you say, the on-line documentation needs correcting.

Like you mentioned, it would be good to confirm the exact height.

I wonder if the 2008-2014s are a bit taller than the 2007s and older.  Maybe the additional weight capability of the chassis adds a little more height.

I can say that my old 2007 (empty) is true height of 9'-10" because it clears my garage door opening by the 1-1/4" difference.  I can get more clearance when the water tank is full and all our stuff is loaded to go on a trip.
1415  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Actual length of our 2552 on: February 19, 2014, 12:03:43 pm
Boy is that an interesting and alarming find.  PC-USA needs to confirm this.  Either Bruce & Sharon got a unique 2552 or all 2552s are made longer than spec'd.  If so, all documentation and websites need to be corrected.

If that were the case with our 2350, I'd be in a pickle.  Fortunately spec'd dimensions are true to reality.  But that was back in 2007.  Who knows what little dimensional adjustments are happening from year to year.
1416  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: February 19, 2014, 11:51:03 am
Bside60,

Welcome to the PC family.  So you decided to get a 2350 on steroids.  If (I should say "When") you have questions of any kind, this is the place to ask them.  Safe travels!
1417  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 31" TV? on: February 17, 2014, 02:00:49 pm
The bigger the TV, the better, as long as it fits properly.  Many of the newest TVs have a very small frame, some frameless from the front view so you get a lot more screen in the same physical size.  That's sweet.  They are thinner too.  If our 26" ever goes dead, I'll be looking into one of those.  Our 26" is a very nice size for us, but bigger yet is better yet.

Look at the wide plastic frame on our Samsung here.  That black plastic is now screen space on the new TVs.
1418  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 31" TV? on: February 13, 2014, 01:06:04 pm
Thanks Mike.  Good data there that I can compare the power consumption of my old set against.

To all of you with the new 32" sets mentioned.....How is the "Rattling" factor?  Does your set rattle or make vibrating noises from the road?  Our older TV did from all the sheet metal work inside the TV.  I ended up opening the back of the TV, placing felt pads in strategic places to prevent the sheet metal from resonating.  It's been quiet since.  I should have done that right away.  Years later, I've finally been able to drive in peace.  Oh, also adding the same chair foot felt pads to the roof top antenna too.  No more banging from up there.

Noises can be hard to track down and resolve.  One more recent resolution was coming from our microwave oven.  The front mounting screws became loose from the miles.  I tightened them up and all is quiet there too.  It's an on-going thing.  Another recently developing banging noise was coming from the front cabinets.  Per PC instructions, I screwed the base of the front cabinets into the Ford roof and that irritation is no longer.  You can read about that one here:  http://www.phoenixusarv.com/community/index.php/topic,1526.0.html

Sorry to change topic from TVs to noises.
1419  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 31" TV? on: February 13, 2014, 08:34:25 am
How thick is that 32" Samsung?  How stable is the TV when you are on the open road?  Does it move around a lot?  After a 2 hour movie, when you put your hand above it, is the area very warm?

I ask because our 7 year old 26" Samsung is the older thicker florescent back-lit type.  The TV gets hot up top that it was a bit concerning for the life of the TV.  I ended up installing a 5" computer style fan behind the TV to circulate the air in back which did resolve my heat problem.

What bothers me is that heat = power and I was wondering if the new thin TVs run cooler.  That would help with battery reserves.  When we boondock, we most often will watch TV in our bedroom on our little 19" with built-in DVD player.  The batteries hold up much better that way.
1420  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Dead battery salvation on: February 13, 2014, 08:24:56 am
Tom,  Your method works great for a battery that is simply too discharged to start the engine.  But in my case the dead battery was truly dead.  It would not take a charge at all.  Sitting on a charger did nothing for it.  My cables + charger method provided enough amperage to start the engine as if there was no chassis battery at all.
1421  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Dead battery salvation on: February 12, 2014, 08:54:25 pm
Our 2007 2350/E350 had a weak chassis battery that we ended up using jumper cables from the pair of coach batteries in back.  I thought it was just a drain during storage thinking driving the rig would bring the battery back.  But our weekend get-away ended up jumping to start every time.  On our return trip, it got so bad that jump starting wasn't working in our last and final stop before home.  In desperation I started up the generator, hooked up my secondary 40 amp charger to the 110v outside outlet, that along with the jumper cables, the vehicle started one last time to get us home.  Running the generator alone to help the coach batteries wasn't enough.  It took both jumper cables and the 40 amp charger together.

I replaced the battery with an AGM and has been well since.  I would never use that little battery transfer switch by the driver.  I wish I didn't have it at all.....just something to go wrong.
1422  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Where are all the Phoenix Cruisers? on: February 11, 2014, 01:46:56 pm
....and dodge skeeters....
Temp at home this morning was -16F again.  It's like we are in different worlds.  I hope there is some kind of delayed benefit to our pain like less skeeters & spiders this summer.
1423  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / How To Avoid Tow Vehicle Bucking on: February 07, 2014, 12:55:47 pm
This is something I realized after a couple years towing my Jeep Liberty and wanted to share this with the community.

Years ago I would experience bucking from my Liberty when towing it.  I came to the realization as to the cause, read up a little on the subject matter, invested in some additional hardware, and eliminated the problem.

It's all about the "Levelness" of the tow bar.  If the tow bar is not level, you will get "tow-vehicle-bucking".  The greater the angle, the worse the bucking.  Using a Quiet Hitch helps but does not resolve the problem.  It only partially masks it.  Leveling the tow bar eliminates the bucking completely.  It also reduces wear of the hitch pin and hole.

My first picture here shows the "Condition To Avoid".  I had it this way for our first two trips where we experienced notable bucking.  Note the tow bar is low at the motor home and high at our tow vehicle.  This was the day I realized the cause and so I took this picture.


In this picture taken after I resolved the bucking problem, I added an offset receiver adapter to level the tow bar.  "Cumulative Play" with the extra connection required Quiet Hitches at both hitch pin areas as shown.  The offset receiver also required one foot longer blue safety cables.  This setup eliminated 100% of the bucking.


Thinking about it makes sense.  Every bump in the road changes the "vertical" relationship between tow vehicle and motor home.  An angled tow bar with out-of-sync vertical motion between vehicles, changes the distance between them.  That causes the horrible bucking.  Perfectly level is surely ideal, but getting it close works too.  I have read it should not differ more than two inches on level ground.  If you have an adjustable rear suspension that raises and lowers the back of your motor home, you will need to consider your typical driving height.  There are many different offset hitch receivers available from multiple suppliers.
1424  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Bike Rack on: February 06, 2014, 07:55:03 pm
Sorry for adding even more complexity into this conversation, but there is one more thing to think about.  That is the "Levelness" of your tow bar.  If it is not level, you will get "tow-vehicle-bucking" while driving.  The greater the angle, the worse the bucking.  Using Quiet Hitches at every connection helps but does not resolve the problem.  It only masks it.  Leveling the tow bar eliminates it.

My picture here shows the "Condition To Avoid" of which I tolerated a lot of bucking.  Note the tow bar is low at the PC and high at the Jeep Liberty.  This was the day the light bulb went off inside my head and so I took this picture while on a trip.


In this picture taken a few years later, I added an offset receiver to level the tow bar.  "Cumulative Play" with the extra connection required Quiet Hitches at both interconnects.    This setup also required longer blue safety cables.  100% of the bucking was eliminated here.


If you think about it enough, it will make sense.  Every bump in the road changes the "vertical" relationship between tow vehicle and motor home.  An angled tow bar with out-of-sync vertical movement between vehicles changes the distance between them, just enough to cause that horrid bucking.  A horizontal bar would cause bucking only under every extreme conditions.  But then I think you would have something much greater to worry about, like jumping a curb or worse.  Getting the bar perfectly level is ideal, but getting it close works too.

I may stick this as an independent thread in the Tips & Tricks section.
1425  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Bike Rack on: February 06, 2014, 01:04:44 pm
Bruce,

If your Roadmaster tow bar is like ours (a Falcon-II), you can disconnect to leave that one bar attached to the tow vehicle and fold the remaining two arms horizontally against the PC.  That is how it is intended to be stored, using the included on-RV storage bag.  but I never do that because this method is easiest to me.  If I need to drive the PC on a real road, then I remove the bar altogether.  But most often I only need to drive around the campsite or to the camp ground dump station.  I drive slow with the triangle pivoted to one side because it will fall either left or right.  I would never drive on a real road with the tow bar like this.

Pivoting right, the bar gets in the way of opening the storage compartment.  Pivoting left takes a little care as not to bang into the spare tire cover.  It sounds bad but really is nothing.  Keeping the triangle together makes hooking and unhooking real fast and easy.  With Irene's assistance, we can unhook in 45 seconds, re-hook in about 3 to 4 minutes when considering the safety stuff.  A rare oops at a gas station and it becomes valuable information.

Regarding the bike rack, without a tow vehicle, the bike rack goes right into the PC hitch.  When towing, we ended up mounting a class-III hitch on our tow vehicle, a Jeep Liberty and let it carry the bikes.  That worked out quite well because we'll drive the Liberty to where we want to start riding our bikes.  That also reduces the weight on the PC, the tongue weight, and maintains easy access to the rear compartment which is handy when leaving the camp ground for the final time while all hooked up, I need to get inside there for the fresh water hose.  Yes I could store the water hose elsewhere.... Smile


Note the bike rack on the Liberty
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