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1501  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Can I walk on the roof of my Cruiser on: June 29, 2012, 08:21:22 pm
I get up on ours when washing the roof very well which is once a year, sometimes every other year.  I really don't like the idea of 180 pounds of weight concentrated on a 3" x 8" footprint.  So I keep my time up top to a minimum.  Some years I'll use a brush on a pole and stay on the step ladder.  It depends how dirty it got, and how hard it is to clean off.  Stored indoors helps a lot with dirt control.

I do seem to be a bit extreme compared to just about every other PC owner.  I am simply afraid of damaging something because of the light weight and thin materials used up top.
1502  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: The Rally in Louisville and Our New PC on: June 28, 2012, 11:09:30 am
Both my wife and I do like the wood floor.  BJ's not too crazy about the twin beds though.  We have been married 50 years as of Feb 1 this year, and she is a snuggler.  The first morning when we woke up she sat up in her bed, looked over at me, and said, "Did you miss me?"
I am in no hurry, but whenever our carpet and vinyl flooring gets tired, I will be installing a wood or wood laminate floor.  It would have been nice to start with but "flooring" never came to mind.

I hear you about the "snuggling".  We are both snugglers so we are willing to tollerate the rear corner double bed.  Actually it wasn't much of an option for us either way given our 23'-8" long PC has only inches to spare fitting in the garage.
1503  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Mounting Solar Panels on: June 25, 2012, 09:06:20 pm
 
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I also like that he does not have the Wingard antenna.  That places the panels nicely between the front and rear tires for the least amount of road bump action.
1504  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Mounting Solar Panels on: June 25, 2012, 04:56:40 pm
The white rippled roof material is a thin sheet of fiberglass.

You want to make sure the feet of the solar panel are large enough as not to damage the roof through focused pressure points.  How large is large enough?  I don't know.  Hopefully the solar panels come with good size feet.  I would think something in the 1" x 2" range would suffice.  A little bigger would be better yet.  I advise to place full-covering stick-on rubber feet before screwing it down so there is no direct contact between the metal feet and the fiberglass itself.  You must screw into the ceiling joists to get a firm mounting, but do NOT over-tighten the screws as you run a risk of compressing and deforming the roof.  Screw down nice and snug and let your caulk act as an adhesive.  Caulk 100% around each foot and also the screw heads to prevent them from coming loose.

I don't know what caulk to advise using other than 100% silicone window caulk that is typicaly used on houses.  I see it a good choice as it seals well, is long lasting resistent to drying out, UV protected, and offers great adhesion.  Home improvement centers sell it.  It comes in white to match your roof.

If we were retired dry camping a lot in the desert, I would mount two large solar panels to the top of our 2350.  But we dry camp most often where there are shade trees, and we seek them out wherever we camp, rendering solar panels semi-useless.  Still a big pair on our roof would be nice to have.
1505  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Is there performance brakes for my e350 phoenix cruiser? on: June 24, 2012, 02:47:44 pm
Thank you Bob for that clarity.

Our 2007 E350 when not towing, could sure use a little help in the "Stopping" department.  Studying the changes made to the brakes for the 2008 model year, that extra 0.275" (0.55" dia) on the front disks (a tad more on the rear) would help, but I feel having the E450 hydro-boost would be more effective than the larger brakes.

I do question the power brake booster on my 2007 E350 because it is the exact same one used on the 2007 E150 van.  Same booster to stop 3 times the weight???  Admittedly I simply have to press harder which is effective, but a panic brake takes a lot of leg muscle, much more than is customary in other vehicles.  That is not good for a typical elderly driver with slower response time and weaker leg muscles.
1506  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Is there performance brakes for my e350 phoenix cruiser? on: June 22, 2012, 02:53:25 pm
I happen to have the Ford chassis specs with me for the 2007, 2008, and 2010 model years.  Here is what I compiled on the difference in brakes.  It would seem the E350 and the E450 of the same year utilizes the same brake components like calipers, disks & pads, but the E450 gets a more effective power braking system.  Instead of the typical vacuum assist power brake diaphragm that all typical vehicles are equiped with including the E350, the E450 has what is called a hydro-boost power brake system.  I wish I knew more about it and how it works.  I seem to recall it uses fluid and a pump spun by the serpentine belt, a similar setup as with power steering.

2007 E350 & E450
2.20" dia Dual-Piston Front Calipers
?   Rears are not specified
13.03" dia Front Rotors
12.90" dia Rear Rotors

2008 & 2010 E350 & E450
2.36" dia Dual-Piston Front Calipers
1.89" dia (Single or Dual) Rear Calipers
13.58" Front & Rear Rotors

The slightly larger pistons & rotors of the later model years should help with stopping power, though not a cure-all night/day difference.  It seems the hydro-boost of the E450 would be most influencial.
1507  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Is there performance brakes for my e350 phoenix cruiser? on: June 21, 2012, 07:34:47 pm
We improved the braking performance of our 2007 E350 PC-2350 by selecting the a Unified tow braking system for our Jeep Liberty.  When towing the Liberty and the driver-adjustable sensitivity is set to the top limit, it actually reduces braking distance as compared to towing nothing at all.

I realize it's not the type of answer you were seeking, but it is the only thing I know of that directly addresses your inquiry.

Here is the braking distance chart off the manufacture website.  The actual numbers would not apply given they are based off a different motor home, but the relationship does seem to be accurate based on our personal experience with the system.



Click Here To Read The Chart Better:  http://www.usgear.cc/utbstop.htm

If you had rear drum brakes (which you do not), I would have advised you adjust the rear brake shoes yourself.  If adjusted properly, the rear drum brakes will do much more for you than what they typically offer.  But even at their best, I think rear disk brakes out-perform rear drums any day.

Other influential factors are things like traveling lighter, traveling without any on-board water or sewage for example.  But then that defeats the idea of having a motor home in the first place.

Suspension upgrades would indirectly help in reducing stopping distance.  A well planted rig will utilize it's current brakes better.

I just don't know of any brake upgrade available.

Your 2007 E350, the brakes all around are a bit smaller than on a 2008 or newer chassis.  The quick indicator of bigger or smaller brakes is.....
If your E350 or E450 has the latest industrial looking front grille styling, than you have the bigger brakes.  All rotors, caliper pistons, and pads are a little larger.  Not much larger, but surely a welcome.  I think the rotors are no longer integrated as part of the hub.  They are more like a car is setup where the rotor slides over the lugs and hub, held in place by the wheel & lug nuts.

The 2009s also got an interior face-lift, an improvement in another category, with a glove box and two-tier door pockets, and a more practical dash board & center console.  Things like the 12V sockets are in better places to be out of the driver's way.  When my wife plugs into 12V, I can't use my gear shifter unless I hold it a certian way.  It seems a safety hazzard.

Sorry I got off-topic.

It would be interesting to know if you could install 2008-2013 brakes on a pre-2008 chassis.
1508  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selecting The Right Full Body Color PC (& Friendly Advice To PC-USA) on: June 20, 2012, 07:37:20 am
Kevin, That is a safe bet for sure.....unless you are expecting your rig to be white, off-white, antique white, snow, cream, frost, egg shell, or some other flavor of white.   At least you didn't invest multi-thousands extra to get that color  Smile
1509  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selecting The Right Full Body Color PC (& Friendly Advice To PC-USA) on: June 19, 2012, 01:31:17 pm
Very interesting Tom.  I suppose there is no easy way around the accuracy of color, especially given how one can get screen color variation so easily from one device to another.

Now if I could just be brave enough to suggest to Stuart that he should close the cab doors and walk 50 to 100 feet from the rig and zoom in before snapping any front & front angled view pictures.  Smile  I mean well with good intention, looking out for that guy and the rest of the gang over there on Marina Drive.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say we want PC-USA to continue to be financially successful.  I'm just trying to help a little here in the smallest of ways.
1510  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selecting The Right Full Body Color PC (& Friendly Advice To PC-USA) on: June 19, 2012, 11:55:56 am
Okay.....Forget the paint chip brochures.  Smile  Too much $$$$ to make that happen properly.
I then vote for some better pictures of all the FB and LB painted rigs.  That should be cheap and easy enough to manage by whoever is taking the pictures.  Maybe the web page defining and illustrating the colors should say something about color inaccuracies.  Maybe Aimee states something already.
1511  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selecting The Right Full Body Color PC (& Friendly Advise To PC-USA) on: June 19, 2012, 10:04:25 am
I agree with you Aimee on the whole subject of color.  There is no practical method without color chips.  And accurate chips might come at a hefty price of which has already been brought up.  Many of the big auto manufactures offer a color chip brochure that covers the entire line-up.  I don't know what the cost is associated in color accuracy, but it would be very helpful none-the-less in color selection for internet shoppers who order rigs sight-unseen.

Back in the day when I was at the factory in 2007, the only pictures they offered were copies of rigs printed on office copy paper.  Not even photographic paper.  Those printer copies were poor as well.  It was real tough back then to make a choice.  The only good quality picture of any kind was only one, a gray one on their 2007 brochure.  When we visited that day, there was a FB blue/blue-gray and a FB brown/bronze one.  Given our interior color selection, I thought the brown/bronze was worth consideration but my wife would have no part of it.

Of coarse the factory today has gotten much better since those days, or so I hope.  We have not been back since we picked ours up in 2007.  When I see the pictures on their website today, I think a little more effort (and I do mean just a little more) in picture taking would go a long way for customers to work with.  That was my point in all this.  Unfortunately my point seemed to come across offensively to some.  I can be a bit strong in my choice of words without even realizing it.

Anyhow, here an example of a color chip brochure for those who don't know what you and I are referring to.
1512  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Steering question on: June 19, 2012, 08:38:40 am
Hi ge_montana,

Internet suspension diagnosis is always to be taken with scrutiny.  With that understood here is my input.

You have a newer model 2551 on an E450 chassis, meaning that your chassis is about the least loaded as an E450 could be.  

Heavy duty front and rear stabilizer bars would reduce side-to-side rocking motion.  But if your rig is not doing that while you compensate, your compensation troubles might get resolved with a rear trac bar.  The trac bar reduces horizontal side-to-side motion referred to as tail-wagging.  Either type of such motion can require steering compensation as you describe.  Determine what type of behavior your rig has, rocking or tail-wagging.  Then consider the appropriate resolution.

You are correct to address the play in your tow bar through one of these (called a Quiet Hitch) and see if it helps.


Be sure your tow bar is horizontal.  If not, buy something like this to make it so, and get the right height as they are sold in different off-sets.  A tow bar on an angle greater than a 2" height difference between motor home and tow vehicle can create notable bucking.  The greater the difference, the greater the bucking action.
Though it is not the problem you describe, it is worth mentioning since you brought up the play in your tow bar.  Adding a riser will introduce a lot more play in the tow bar, so be sure to use two Quiet Hitch U-Bolts there.
1513  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selecting The Right Full Body Color PC (& Friendly Advise To PC-USA) on: June 18, 2012, 06:36:14 pm
I didn't take Ron's post as bashing.  He's a big PC cheerleader, and he does take great photos. I'd like to know where you got that camera for $150 and how I could get one.
About 4 years ago Office Max had a sale on the Camon Powershot S5-iS for $150 and it included a free printer with a rebate.  They were the last of the disposable Alkaline AA battery powered type.  I think they were making room for the new models offered.  Now-a-days the cameras all take special rechargables.  My Powershot is old technology by today standards.

Thanks Aimee for the explanation on how they opperate there....."Quick, take some pics for that customer!"

Hey, I just looked on-line and see that same camera sells for more today than we paid back then.  What's up with that?  I should have bought out the store!  Actually I am surprised to see it for sale at all.
1514  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selecting The Right Full Body Color PC (& Friendly Advise To PC-USA) on: June 18, 2012, 04:40:06 pm
Me thinks you have gone too far in expressing your "OPINION"!! pulling hair out
It wasn't meant to be "Going Too Far".  Maybe my input comes on too strong.  I am just trying to give them some tips to help show their "Art-On-Wheels" better.

If you study the bottom two pictures (the head-on shots) closely, compare the B+ caps.  They are identical caps, but note the gray painted cap clearly shows it angling sideways to aero-dynamic sides.  That picture clearly demonstrates how wonderfully aero-dynamic the PC truly is.

The bottom-most head-on pic gives the illusion that the cap goes straight back without any aerodynamic properties.  There is very little shown in the way of aerodynamics and over-all styling.  The front bumper is wider than the rest of the rig.  It is the result of taking the picture too close to the rig.  Having the doors open doesn't help either.  You will never see the doors open in an automotive brochure unless a model is present, or to bring out a very specific feature, say gull wing doors for example.

The PC photographer needs to stand 50 to 70 feet away (even more is better yet), place his camera on a cheap $30 Walmart tripod, and zoom in.  This avoids the distortion from the fish-eye effect.  ISO settings need to be set lower as to avoid a grainy picture.  Cheap 10x-20x zoom 6mp-12mp cameras all have such settings/adjustments.

This is the kind of thing I am trying to bring out constructively, not insultingly.

As can happen in forums, sometimes a point can be easily misunderstood, recieved harshly when in-fact it really meant very kindly.  JimDenny, Please believe me when I say that I am intending to be very kind and constructive.  Not a complaining critic with a strong opinion.

The PC is very stylish and aerodynamic for a motor home.  I am only trying to help the factory show it off better.
1515  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Selecting The Right Full Body Color PC (& Friendly Advise To PC-USA) on: June 18, 2012, 02:05:02 pm
You are absolutley right about that.  A hired professional could cost an arm and a leg.

I use a $150 Canon 12x zoom, 8mp camera, a 6 foot ladder, a tripod, and 100 clicks and I've got plenty of pics to work with.  And I almost never touch up anything.  I am a novice that learned from many wrong ways on how to take a picture of a vehicle.  I am just trying to share with the factory what I have learned.
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