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1816  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.
1817  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.
1818  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
1819  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.
1820  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!

1821  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.
1822  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.
1823  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.
1824  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.

1825  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
1826  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: I want to hear from you! on: April 15, 2010, 10:10:30 am
......When I first stumbled on the PC website over a year ago, I thought I was at a third-party website. I thought that surely this isn't *the* PC website
I can relate to this.  The "Main" PC website is a "Fun" looking website.  Not a typical business website.

I am a true dim-wit when it comes to marketing, so I won't comment if "Fun" looking is better or worse than "Official" looking.  One thing for sure, the PC website is different than all motor home company websites.  I have read from others how they love the annimation and other eye-catchy things about it.  But for me, being an old stuffy engineering/factual type of a guy, I am used to stuffy old "data-focused" websites, which supports my lack of "Marketing" skills.

I'll go on to add, I never use any of those little annimations that are sitting just above this window I am typing in.  Ok, there is a first time for everything so here I go........ Smile Grin Wink exactly! ThumbsUp LOL rolling on the floor sad Cry 0:) Embarrassed Cheers Cheer Help Hug2 shrug Hug2 ThankYou HiThere Angry Heart Shower
1827  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Bicycle rack on: April 09, 2010, 09:44:02 pm
300 pounds when the RV is standing still is one thing, but 75 pounds jolting down the road is another.  There really isn't much to the ladder, nor what it is fastened to.  I would be concerned the mounting hardware and caulk will yield to the jolting, then water could enter the RV, especially at the top of the ladder on the roof.  I would play it safe and consider alternatives.

I see people hanging lawn chairs on ladders, which is about all the weight I think is safe.
1828  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: viewing TV in 2551 on: April 09, 2010, 06:43:51 pm
I don't have a slideout so I cannot comment on that, But I did want to mention you can request a smaller TV be mounted on the wall behind the barrel chair.  That places it at a much more friendly viewing angle, and closer to the couch as well.

If getting a slide, I think the slide with the fridge and couch together is "tops".
1829  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Bicycle rack on: April 08, 2010, 04:49:44 pm
Another bike rack option I forgot about until now.

A hitch is available for the front of a Ford E350/E450 chassis.  People have them for two reasons.

1) Mount a bike rack on the front of the RV
2) Tow the RV behind a huge bus-size RV (strangely, I seen this done on

The obvious drawback to having bikes mounted on the font of the RV is all the bugs splattered all over them.
1830  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: That Fancy Inverter is Driving Me Nuts and I Need a Bucket of Help/Advice on: April 07, 2010, 03:50:52 pm
I agree with you in regards to our inverter on a 2007 2350.  You can't simply leave the inverter on shore power for months at a time and expect the batteries to be properly conditioned.  It seems the invertor can't tell when the batteries are fully charged.  It keeps charging and charging until the water is gone.  That is why I don't plug into 110v when at home.  I shut down the RV power completely and use a Black and Decker smart charger straight to the batteries for a week here and there.  It is easy for me to play around with that because our PC is conveniently stored in our attached garage.  If stored outside, it would be a hassle.
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