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1771  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: The 31 Ft Cruiser on: May 14, 2010, 08:12:35 pm
I own a shorter 2350 model.  Our previous motor home was much smaller at 17' long, so we feel we have lots of room.

If I was used to something bigger like your 37 footer, then downsizing would surely be an adjustment.  But the extra huge slide of the 31 foot PC seems like it would make the transition easy, though I would anticipate reduced storage would be a bigger adjustment.  As far as fuel economy goes, between 7 and 10 mpg pending driving habits.  Towing a vehicle reduces it by 1 to 2 mpg.  Go slow and don't tow to get the higher numbers.
1772  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: May 14, 2010, 12:07:41 pm
Right now the problem we are having with the coach is excessive play in the steering wheel which makes driving a chore.  Folks on another forum suggest I go to a reputable truck place and have the alignment checked and consider a steering stabilizer.  That is on tap for next week.  
I replied to you on the other forum, copying it here too.

Hi Paula, It's me Ron Dittmer from the Cruisers forum.

Your Phoenix Cruiser 2551 at 26'-5" long, 93" wide, and 10'-1" to the top of a/c unit, built on an E450 chassis is a lighter weighted house on the heaviest duty chassis and drive train available anywhere. Most motor homes using the E450 chassis are taller, wider, longer, and heavier. My point being, you have a lot of margin considering weight and engine power.

As other Ford 1998-2010 E350 and E450 owners say about their own Ford V10 engine, it's strong, but it's also very noisey when going up inclines. You may think it's working hard, but by Ford's design, it spins very fast to get up hills. Do not be concerned about it. You'll simply have to get used to hearing the engine reving as a normal thing. The same when going down hill. When I do engine braking down-hill, the engine revs way up too, sometimes near red-line on the tachometer. For a little "extra" peace of mind, I now use full synthetic motor oil.

About your PC-2551 handling issues. You sound like me when we bought our PC-2350. As others above here stated, and yourself confirmed, take it to a truck suspension shop, not an automotive suspension shop. If you have limited funding for suspension upgrades, then you will want to do improvements one step at a time. I advise to consider evaluating/upgrading in this order.

1a) Tire pressure is very influential in handling and quality of ride. Tire pressure is determined by the weight on it. Ask Phoenix USA what the weight is on front and rear tires, then follow the chart in Michelan's website on pressure per weight.

1b) Front wheel alignment. Our 2007 PC-2350 alignment was off by so much that the truck shop had to use offset bushings to get the camber set properly. Phoenix USA may cover the cost of a wheel alignment. I heard them covering for another PC owner. Our front wheel alignment cost us $170 three years ago. BTW: The shop told me most motor homes require offset bushings for a proper alignment, so the Phoenix Cruiser is no exception.

When you take the RV in for a wheel alignment, fill the fresh tank with water, empty the waste tanks, and fill up the RV with a full tank of gas and propane. Also keep your gear, dishes, etc. inside. The mission is to get an alignment done with the RV weighted as it would be during a voyage. If you want to go an extra step, place weights just behind the driver and passenger seats to represent two adults in the front cab. I did that.

2) Replace your Ford steering stabilizer with a heavy duty one. We have a Safe-T-Plus and it does a great job. But there are other good brands out there too. Ours eliminates driver over-reaction and "steering wheel floaties".

3) Replace your shock absorbers with Bilsteins or Koni-RV shocks. The shocks on your E450 chassis could be the same used in the E350, and the E250 passenger and cargo van. That was the case in 2007. If true today, those shocks are not ideal for any motor home where the chassis is loaded to near capacity, 100% of the time because a house is always on it.

4) Replace your Ford rear stabilizer bar with a heavy duty one from Helwig, Roadmaster, or other brand. A heavy duty stabilizer bar significantly reduces side-to-side rocking motion like a boat on water.

5) Replace your Ford front stabilizer bar for the same reasons.

6) If you tow anything at all, you might find the rear end of your PC-2551 moving side to side horizontally, commonly referred to as "tail-wagging". If so, then consider a rear trac bar. That will eliminate that unwanted motion.

We had all this done at once, costing us $3900. It was a lot of money to spend, but given the experience addressing handling issues with our old RV of 24 years, I wasn't going to fool around this time to try and save some money. We decided to do it all at once, be done with it, and enjoy this "perfect handling" RV from DAY ONE. Our PC-2350 handles like a dream. And it tows a vehicle 100% of the time too.
1773  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: May 14, 2010, 12:05:36 pm
Funny I don't have a mirror behind the stove-top in our 2007 2350, wondering if your mirror would be nice.

Cound someone post some pictures of your mirror?  Maybe I'll get one.
1774  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: May 13, 2010, 07:35:33 pm
Wow just signed a contract for a 2010 2551....excited to start on our new journey!  Loved hearing about Karma's rennovations...especially the galley mirror!!??!! who would have needed that there?  And making a book shelf from the valance - I was wondering where to keep my books- great idea!


Since you are placing an order on a PC, request they delete the mirror and place a couple extra valences in the RV on the side for you.  They might even do it for free given you are sacrificing the mirror.  The factory is very flexible.

We requested a few deviations too.

I asked for the ladder and roof rack be placed inside the RV.  I didn't like it so I asked for it in pieces in case I changed my mind later.  3 years later and I still love ours without it.

Given I have no slide, I requested the subwoofer be placed in the front dinette bench.  I like that deviation too.
1775  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Favorite little-known feature? on: May 07, 2010, 12:59:23 am

I have something which I feel should be mentioned in their brochure.  This is in regards to the over-all construction of the Phoenix Cruiser.

When it comes to the life expectancy of any motor home, one of the highest contributors to a shortened life is water infiltration.  Interior construction materials suffer and a mold problem quickly develops.  All to often, by the time the owner discovers the problem, too much water damage has already occurred.

So which RV's are less suseptable? Which are less likely to leak? The design and construction methods used in a Phoenix Cruiser address such areas where many other motor homes fall short.

- An aerodynamic B+ configuration is more robust than any conventional class-C with a cab-over bed. The large frontal overhang of the other kind will resonate when the motor home is driven.  Seams in the area fatique over the miles. The Phoenix Cruiser has a seamless nose up front.  No seams and no overhang in the most vulnerable area, eliminates the most common potential water problem.

- How is the seamwork made?  What little seamwork there is on a Phoenix Cruiser, the caulk is protected from the sun with securely mounted decorative trim, then the trim is sealed.  Many other motor homes have a purely decorative trim with exposed caulk.  With age and exposure to the sun, the caulk becomes brittle, shrinks, cracks, then separates, allowing water to enter.

- Where is the seamwork located?  Seams in the corners and edges is bad. Seams brought in from those areas is good. Roof to wall, and wall to wall, seams moved from the edges and corners are seams in areas of greatly reduced stress. Less stress means less suseptible to failure. That means less potential for water leakage.  The Phoenix Cruiser considers this.  Look close where the seamwork is located. Note the rounded edges of the roofline. The fiberglass roof sheathing rolls over the sides so the seamwork is not in the corner where wall meets roof, but rather on the wall, down a few inches. The same for the rear wall. Note the rear wall is a 5 sided fiberglass cap, placing seams away from all edges and corners.

- A crowned fiberglass roof is better than any flat roof. All flat motor home roofs will sag over time and with fatique from motion, especially where there is added weight, for example the roof-top air conditioner.  Water will eventually puddle around it.  Old dried up cracked-up caulk along with puddled water or ice, work together for water damage.  The Phoenix Cruiser has a crowned roof so water will not puddle and ice will not form.

Phoenix USA addresses the most vulnerable areas in RV construction, making it a much better, longer lasting, stay dry motor home.

That is my "Big" input.  I will give thought to the smaller stuff.
1776  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Things We Have Added to Our 2350 - Extra Storage on: May 07, 2010, 12:26:31 am

Thanks for sharing your ideas, with pictures.  You got me thinking.

I am curious, where did you find "exact matching" wood and Corian counter materials?  Did Phoenix USA provide them for you?  Did they make the cabinet and shelves during construction?

I found close matching pre-finished shelving at Home Depot, but yours looks better yet.  For example the shelves in your shirt closet look like they came with the RV.  My shirt closet shelf looks good, yours look perfect.
1777  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / A Low Cost Heavy Duty Rear Sway Bar For The Do-It-Yourself-er on: May 05, 2010, 05:37:50 pm
As my other post here states, I have heavy duty Roadmaster front and rear sway bars Installed on my 2007 Ford E350 chassis, PC model 2350.

For all with a 2007 or older Ford E350 chassis, you have a small stock front sway bar, but do not have a rear sway bar of any kind, unless somebody added one after it left the PC factory.  Without a good rear sway bar, your PC model 2100, 2350, or 2400 rig likely leans hard in turns and wanders in gusty cross-winds, passing trucks, and uneven road surfaces.  Your driving or riding experience can feel like you are on a boat.  If you get car sick, this is likely the main reason why.  The rig will also sway when walking around inside it when parked.

A low priced heavy duty rear sway bar is available from Helwig.  If you are comfortable working with simple mechanic's tools like a socket wrench, you can install this yourself with a friend.  It is a 2 to 3 hour project for someone who never did such a thing before.  Details (with pictures) of this is being shared on another forum here.

I installed this bar with my brother on his 1998 E350 Starflyte motor home last weekend.  We were both surprised how simple a project it was to install.  If you have any questions for me, please ask on this PC forum to keep everything together for other pre-2008 2100, 2350, 2400 PC owners to read.

If your PC is built on a 2008 or newer Ford E350 chassis, then you have a sway bar already.  But it is much less effective than the Helwig aftermarket sway bar because it is much weaker.  Regardless of year or model E350 or E450, if you have handling issues, you will want to consider upgrading your rear and front sway bars from the weaker Ford bars to the bigger, much thicker heavy duty bars from Helwig.

I had handling issues from the start so I went to a specialty shop to have Roadmaster bars added along with other upgrades to my suspension which makes our rig handle extremely well under all kinds of conditions.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have saved a lot of money and install front and rear Helwig sway bars myself.
1778  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: I want to hear from you! on: April 22, 2010, 10:41:26 pm

I want to be very clear......I think you have an excellent forum website here, and I think you have it working great too.    My only complaint is that there are not enough Phoenix Cruiser owners signed up and chatting on a regular basis.

My input was not about this forum, but rather with the business sales site.  And then it was a request for enhancement to include data of previous model years.  One can build and build with no end.

My comments on how the main site is formatted was a "personal taste" thing.  Knowing my lack of marketing skills, I think maybe my comments about that should have been held back.

You are doing a great job!  ThumbsUp
1779  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead batteries on: April 19, 2010, 09:53:42 am
Intersting point L.G.

I think the problem is amplified when one battery is in worse condition than the other.  If they were matched in health, I think the charger will do it's job as designed.  But if one is weak (or dead in my situation), the charger goes and goes, never getting satisfied to stop.

The places we go to, we depend on battery power a lot, so I could never consider eliminating one battery.  But what I am going to do before my next trip is go to Walmart in July, and buy two of their largest RV batteries, with matching manufacturing dates.  When I get them home, I will check acid level and charge them independantly to confirm they can be topped off.
1780  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: April 17, 2010, 09:28:46 am
Hi Paula,

You described making changes that nobody else did.  I encourage you to take some pictures, start a new post in the Tips and Tricks section, and post them along with your descriptive strategy.  I would love to see what you did.

Welcome Aboard!

1781  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Best Choice In Secondary Braking For Towed Vehicle on: April 17, 2010, 09:10:50 am
Well, I decided to go all the way getting a Unified system.  The Phoenix Cruiser requires model UTB-1000.

This is it----->

I found one on ebay for $899 from an RV dealership.  They had it on a shelf for 1.5 years and wanted it gone.  The next lowest price I found was PPLMotorhomes at $988.  Both offered free shipping and no sales tax for me.  I will be receiving it early next week.  I will report on how the installation goes, and functionality afterwards.
1782  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead batteries on: April 17, 2010, 08:56:26 am
Thanks Ron.  Lonnie still wonders why the battery would go dead when plugged into shore power since the battery shouldn't be needed. The battery water level was low, but still above the plates. Our old trailer had a 3 stage converter and we never had this problem. He left it plugged into shore power all winter. Maybe we were just "lucky".

Also, he's still wondering about the light on the switch on the left side of door. Is the light always on whether "in use" or "store" position?

About that LED light by the Use/Store switch, I can't answer your question because my batteries are removed this year, and I can't remember how it was when they were hooked up.

Does your PC have one or two coach batteries?  I have two.  Because I couldn't get a complete charge using the Black & Decker charger, I decided to pull them from the PC, clean them up well, place them on my work bench, fill them with water, and observe when charging them independently.  To my surprise, one battery was bad.  I couldn't get the B&D charger to complete it's charge.  It charged and charged with water boiling for a week.  After giving up, I measured the voltage around 11v.  Two days later it dropped to around 9v.  A week later it dropped to 7V, just sitting on the work bench.  It's a bad battery.

The other battery received the charge as it should.  The B&D charger saying "Full" after a few days.  It still measues 12v after many weeks.

I wonder if all my advise about "Not Plugging In" the PC over the winter is supported only because I had one bad battery, possibily for years.  Maybe the bad battery threw off my inverter in the RV, making it continuously charge without hope for completion.

Test your batteries like I did.  You will need a volt meter, found at Walmart and other auto parts stores.  They start at around $10-$15.  After a complete charge, the battery should be at 12v, and stay there for a long time, assuming there is no power drain.
1783  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead batteries on: April 16, 2010, 02:43:50 pm

What is the make and model of your inverter and battery charger in the RV?

I know my factory installed inverter is a Tripp-Lite, but I don't have the model number handy here at the office.  The battery charger I mentioned, I bought at Walmart for $96.  It's a 4/10/20/40amp smart charger by Black and Decker.
This is it.  At home with lots of time to work with, I use the 10 amp setting on the twin coach batteries, and the 4 amp setting on the single engine battery.  When needing a fast charge on vacation, I will run the Onan generator with this charger plugged in the outside outlet, and set it to 40amps for the fastest charge I can get which is a whole lot more than the inverter can do in the same time period.  I will use it even on those rare occasions where we have shore power.  I tuck it under the RV to protect it from dew or rain, set it to 20amps, and let it charge overnight more slowly.  A slower charge is a better charge.  It is easier on the batteries, and the charge lasts longer.
1784  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Dead batteries on: April 16, 2010, 12:41:05 pm
Hi Trudy,

The RV/coach and the front engine batteries are isolated from eachother.  One does not affect the other.  Plugging into shore power will not maintain the engine battery.

If I were storing my RV outside off season in wintery conditions, I would bring all batteries inside our regular house so nothing drains them dead.  Dead batteries will freeze.  Frozen batteries become permanently dead batteries.

I have an invertor in my 2007 PC and had a convertor in my old RV.  With either RV, the worst thing I could do is to keep the RV plugged into shore power during long term storage.  The coach batteries get over-charged, getting damaged through a lack of water.

There are better inverter systems available as has people discussing better/smarter (expensive) inverters, but I am fine with what we have.  I just leave our RV in the garage unplugged from shore power.  A few times over the winter, I will hook up a separate "smart" charger on the coach and engine batteries separately until they are charged up.  This done only for maintenance.  That takes a day or two for the engine battery, and maybe 4 days for the coach batteries.

When on vacation for 3 weeks at a time, I will have to add water to my coach batteries every 1.5 weeks.  This further supports the practice of "NOT" leaving the RV plugged in during storage.  That is unless you want to stress your coach batteries for nothing, and add distilled water every 1.5 weeks until the cows come home.

1785  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: That Fancy Inverter is Driving Me Nuts and I Need a Bucket of Help/Advice on: April 15, 2010, 10:19:46 am

The Charge Only/Auto-Invert switch you refer to, is disabled unless you or the previous owner had unplugged a headphone style jack from the back of it.  Read through the post I provided here as it explains in detail, the purpose of it all.  If you are still confused afterward, just reply again with your question and I will try my best to answer it with better clarity.

CLICK HERE------->

Quick summary for the 2007s (any many other years too)......The factory wired the RV such that all 12V opperations including power to the inverter is controlled by the switch at the entry door.  If dry camping without shore power, killing 12V power at the entry door, kills the fridge on propane, spoiling all food.  The solution is to leave 12V on, but this keeps the inverter powered up all the time using 12 amps for nothing, draining the batteries unneccessarily.

Unplugging the head-phone style jack at the Trpp-Lite control panel, allows 12V opperations to stay on in the RV (importance to the fridge), but then allows you to switch the Tripp-Lite control panel to Charge Only which shuts it down, saving a lot of 12v battery reserves.

We would leave camp in our tow vehicle, leaving the motor home at a primitive camp site for the entire day.  Gone all day, the inverter was running for nothing, just so the fridge could run.  With the jack unplugged, we can control the inverter independantly of the rest of the RV, conserving lots of battery power.

The flip side to this is, you can forget to turn on the inverter when plugged into 110V shore power.  The factory setup is geared toward RV park travelers, not people who do a lot of primitive camping.

I might have a little of this wrong, but I think my input is accurate.

Ron Dittmer
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