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16  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 22, 2015, 07:56:11 am
I'm clueless about these things but would it make sense to mount a new battery monitor in the same place as the old one? My brain says all the wires are already there, they just don't feed to a digital display. Even if the wires aren't there, you could run them and just pull out the old monitor since it is useless anyhow. (Though the height might be an issue).

I know you'd find a use for all those rectangles over the stove. They will call to you until you use every one.
The easiest, cleanest, and least risk installation will be to leave the existing monitoring alone.  I plan to simply utilize the blanks on the right side of the panel.  12V power will be tapped from the existing volt meter.  In the end I will have two working volt meters.

1) the original segmented LED volt meter
2) a digital volt meter

I did buy the 3 function digital meter and supporting switches on ebay for a grand total of $19.44 including shipping.  The plan is to have it appear as an original feature, very nice & professional.  It does seem to be a fairly simple project to do.
17  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 21, 2015, 01:20:59 pm
Ron, our Xantrex inverter on the wing behind the drivers seat tell me the volt when I turn it on. Don't you have one of these also?
No Tom, we don't.  Our older Tripp-Lite's switch panel under the fridge has no meter reading.  Just LEDs and a switch for "Auto Invert" & "Line Charge Only".

Here is a picture of our Tripp-Lite control panel, the panel to the right.  You can see the green/yellow/red LEDs along each side.  The lights work as follows.

- Green = Good
- Green/Yellow = Not As Good (in reality, the batteries are already severely drained)
- Yellow - Fair  (in reality you waited too long)
- Yellow/Red = About To Die (you'll need days on a slow charge to bring them back to a usable but permanently weaker condition)
- Red = You Killed The Batteries (it's over, just buy new batteries)

This is not a good method for monitoring the health of our batteries.  On top of that, I only turn on the inverter when we want to use inverted 110v which is not very often.  So this monitor is nearly useless to us, hence I want to install a voltmeter that is always on and in plain sight.

18  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: hauling scooter on: September 21, 2015, 12:12:25 pm
If you were shopping for a trailer, I would recommend one with regular size tires so you wouldn't need to worry about the weight and RPM of the tires & wheels.  I say this because I grew up with a pop-up camper with small wheels & tires.  My dad had a tire shred on him once or twice during our 4-week long summer trips.  He carried two spare tires, sometimes going through both and having to buy a new spare while on the trip.

The tiniest of enclosed U-Haul trailers seem ideal.  One person can easy handle them empty.  I think they might be equipped with surge brakes too.  I would think they could be bought from the manufacture for U-Haul.
19  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Phoenix Cruiser sighhtings on: September 21, 2015, 12:02:22 pm
Tell me about it.  We recently returned from a 3.5 week trip out west and back home near Chicago, and did NOT see another PC.   Cry

We have the same story with our first motor home HERE called a Mirage, built on a Toyota pickup truck chassis, also offered on a Ford and Datsun.  They were made from 1978 to 1986.  Since 1983 when we bought ours, total sightings can be counted using only one hand.
20  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 21, 2015, 11:23:33 am
I envy you with the location you have for your panel.  Ours (2013 2350) is located behind the driver's seat and is a pain to lean down and read if the light is not just right.  Paul
Hi Paul,

Like you say, our monitor panel is in a very convenient location.  But with all things "RV" there are trade-offs.  Our venting hood with monitor panel places the microwave oven so very high.  My wife would say it is much better to have a microwave oven/vented hood combo placed that much lower, rather than our current configuration.  At 5'-2", she has a hard time with the height of our microwave, placing & removing food, and monitoring the cooking process.  It doesn't help that we have vents between the microwave and the hood.  That makes her situation worse yet.  I don't want to mess with the venting around the microwave oven for I am sure it is needed when using the convection oven setting.
21  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 21, 2015, 09:02:39 am
My research continues....

Last night I looked deeper into what it will take to install a volt meter on my monitor panel.  I found something interesting that has me thinking to seek a rectangular meter instead of a round one to mount in the blank space to the right.

Here is my panel-in-stove-hood.

Here is the back side where I plan to mount the meter. Removing the panel has a specific process described on a sticker located on the underside of the hood.  If you have this hood and want to remove the front panel, "FOLLOW" that process or you will break the front panel.  Apparently the hood was designed to monitor more things, or possibly offer a clock and cooking timer.  I researched the supplier but did not find any information on additional features.  I had hoped to find a snap-in volt meter, but came up empty.

I am thinking of installing THIS 3-function unit that displays the voltage, the time, and the temperature (wherever the probe is located away from the stove area).  I will need to install a couple of different style buttons that are easily mounted into the panel, maybe snap into those rectangular holes.
22  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 19, 2015, 09:42:20 am
Holly, did you notice the new style macerator on the Phoenix Cruisers? Completely sealed box.
Given I just replaced our macerator this season, I got quite familiar with the pump area.

The original location for the pump is positioned nicely to serve it's purpose well, but is naturally a bit vulnerable to hitting a curb and other obstacles.  It will be interesting to see what the factory has done differently.

Given our rig is in our garage most of it's life, the pump does not see much of the elements, but I can say that our original pump still took a hit from weather and washing.  Water did get into the pump through the hole at the end of the pump, the hole you use a screwdriver to free a jammed pump.  Water that gets inside does drain via two weep holes, but the internal electric motor bearings still got rusted, then very noisy.  Waste water surely did not enter given the design of the pump.

My point in this is....
It is a good idea to place an adhesive-backed foam rubber pad to seal that hole.  Remove the pad to free a jammed pump, then reseal.  On our new macerator, the end of the pump is flush without a raised lip around the hole so I have an adhesive-backed clear hard rubber pad so I can see the pump shaft spin.

You can read about my macerator HERE
23  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Running Heavy This Year On Our 2007 E350, PC Model 2350 on: September 18, 2015, 03:25:48 pm

Given our 2007 E350 chassis has an 11,500 GVWR and our rear axle is rated at 7800 pounds, that concludes our front axle is rated at 3700 pounds.

Did I understand correctly?
24  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hershey RV Show 2015 on: September 18, 2015, 10:29:29 am
I understand the Hershey Show is the biggest event for motor home shopping.  I would love to attend, and even volunteer for a day for Phoenix, helping to introduce people to the PC lineup from an owner's perspective.
25  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: RV Shows?? on: September 18, 2015, 10:17:49 am
Hi Elaine,

Welcome to the PC forum!

Regarding flat-towing your Outback.  There are two things to look into.

1) Call the general Subaru customer service number and ask to speak with technical support.  When you get connected to the right person, ask if you can flat tow your specific model Outback behind a motor home.

2) Search the internet for suppliers of tow bars and related, like Roadmaster and Blue Ox as a couple of examples.  If they make the hardware to connect your Outback to a tow bar, then you have a chance.  Subaru might tell you it is okay to do, but you surely need the permanently-mounted hardware to mount a tow bar.

Some vehicles, one model with a particular 4-wheel-drive option could be flat towed, while another model might not.  Our Jeep Liberty 4x4 has a transfer case, a separate shift lever to select 2-wheel-drive, 4-wheel-drive-high, neutral, and 4-wheel-drive-low.  The same Liberty which is not a 4x4 (a 2-wheel-drive without that transfer case) is officially not allowed to be flat-towed.  When we tow our Liberty, the transfer case must be in neutral, but the regular gear selector with P-R-N-D-2-1 must be in park to prevent the automatic transmission from moving while being towed.

Well wishes in your research.  I seem to recall seeing a couple of Outbacks being flat-towed, so maybe you have a chance.
26  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 17, 2015, 04:29:11 pm

After some discussion and ideas given me on another forum, I decided to buy one of these volt meters with plans to install it in the stove hood control panel to be along side our other monitors.  It cost just $6.15 with a green display.  I only need to figure out how to remove the black front panel from the hood for the installation.  It appears to snap off but I didn't want to force anything.  I may end up calling Kermit for I don't recall having any paperwork on the hood.  I will look through everything a second time.

I am told the general rule is not to let the batteries discharge below 12.1 to 12.2 volts.  That is easy enough for me to understand.

This Small Volt Meter, is about 1-3/8" diameter.  I will hook it up to a hot & ground wire behind the panel which should be easy enough.

Our 2007 Model 2350 Control Panel Is Over The Stove (Under The Microwave) As Shown Here.
27  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: RV Shows?? on: September 16, 2015, 11:10:14 pm
....since that time we have decided to try to stay under 30 feet for ease of access to more state and national parks.  I was interested in seeing a 2552....



My opinion here.

If your travels will primarily focus on "Out West" national parks, monuments, forests, BLMs, state parks and such as we do, you will want to stay as short as possible.  Our 2350 is 23'-8" long and we get around in those places very well.  I would advise not to get too much longer than that if you want to utilize the aforementioned parks.  Try to limit yourself to 26 feet, maybe adding only a few inches more if you have to.  Unfortunately a 2552 is just about 28 feet long and will get challenging for some national parks and such post a 25' length limit in their camp grounds and on some roads so keep that in-mind.  If you decide to ignore the limits, you could find yourself unable to handle turns and curves without backing up and repositioning.

I would also suggest to consider towing a car, ideally a rough & tough vehicle such as a 4 wheel drive something for there are many primitive roads in those parks where such a vehicle gets well utilized.  I would never consider driving our shorter PC on those roads so if we did not have our Jeep Liberty 4x4 with us, we would have missed out on so much those places offer.

I hope the others don't misunderstand my point here.  I don't feel the longer models are poor choices, but rather they serve much better for a different style of travel & destination.
28  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Converting From Two 12V Batteries To Two 6V Batteries on: September 15, 2015, 01:43:29 pm

We just returned from a 26 day trip where we never plugged into a 110v power source.  Battery charging occurred only from either the V10 engine alternator while driving, or running the generator with our Black & Decker battery charger.  It is difficult to conclude the new pair of AGM 6v batteries performed so much better than conventional 12v but I can say all went extremely well.  It appeared the V10 alternator provides adequate charging so I am putting that concern to rest.

We did change some electricals and also some habits which I am sure helped.  I had converted all lighting from florescent to LED, and ran the generator instead of the inverter to brew coffee.  I also recharged the batteries via the generator with B&D charger, the morning after watching a movie on the TV.  We basically recharged after knowingly stressing the batteries.  I also appreciated never needing to check battery fluid levels again, and never dealing with an acid boil-over.

Even with this positive experience, I plan to install a battery voltage meter or something to monitor battery health better because the green/yellow/red meter on my 2007 model year control panel isn't saying enough for me.  In years past when that meter went from green to yellow, the batteries were already discharged to the point of concern.

Can anyone recommend a decent battery monitor?
29  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Running Heavy This Year On Our 2007 E350, PC Model 2350 on: September 14, 2015, 11:22:30 pm
Hi Carol,

Is your 2351 built on an E350 or an E450?

Like yourself, we like to head out on the open road with a full tank of fresh water.  Given our tank is over the rear bumper, it surly adds a lot of extra weight via the leverage.  We have been known to take showers in a Walmart parking lot when on the road for days.  I guess adding so much extra weight this trip just put us over weight on the rear axle.

Your figures having the passenger side heavier is in-line with the position of your fresh water tank.  Had the scales we used offered corner weighing, I would have done so.  Oh well.  I would have expected something similar.  Maybe even more of a difference but we do place lots of heavy stuff inside our dinette bench seats like bottled drink and my tools, jack, & 30 amp extension cords & such in hopes to balance the rig better.

Yes, posting our weights is very good data to share.  After our rig gets cleaned out, I am thinking of getting it weighed again somewhere local to see how it compares to the weight sticker.  I expect it to be a bit heavier given some things I have installed myself since bought in 2007.

Thanks for sharing!
30  Main Forum / General Discussion / Running Heavy This Year On Our 2007 E350, PC Model 2350 on: September 14, 2015, 03:45:55 pm
Hi All,

We just returned from a 4 week trip from our home near Chicago to northern California & back.

During preparation to leave home, my wife decided to bring surplus supplies from home rather than purchase them during the trip.  We carried a lot of bottled water & contained drink, and even filtered water in milk-gallon style containers.  I didn't see any harm with it also anticipating a lack of water at our planned visited areas.

During our trip on Interstate 80, we gassed up our PC and tow vehicle at the Sapp Brothers in Ogalala NE where there happened to be a certified truck scale.  I never officially weighed our rig before and wondered what we weighed considering our extra supplies.  I was very surprised by the numbers.

According to the 2007 Ford E350 cut-away chassis specs, the max load is as follows.
front - 3100-4600 (Strange it is a range and not a specific number)
rear - 7800

We were officially 20 pounds shy of the max GVWR load of 11,500, and the load was not properly distributed over the front and rear axles.  The rear axle was around 400 pounds "OVER" max.  I moved what I could more forward, and also lightened the over-all load by reducing on-board water in the main fresh holding tank.  On our older 2007 model 2350, the fresh water tank sits against the rear wall where the weight is in the worst possible place.  I never did weigh the rig again after I shifted the weight around.

I learned something here with our older E350 with a max load of 11,500 pounds.  Even without a slide out, it doesn't take much to over-load (over-weigh) our PC.  Funny that our rig this year offered the most quiet ride ever with minimal squeaks & rattles.  The closer to max load, the smoother the ride.  I also noticed that after I improved the weight distribution between front and rear axles, the rig handled better.

For the record, all six tires had 65psi in them.

You people with a 2008 or newer E350 chassis do have a 1000 pound higher load range so you have a little more breathing room in that regards.  Your weights are 4600-5000 on the front axle and 8500 on the rear axle.

I am now back at work dealing with the old routine again.  Cry  Vacation Is Over!
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