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1831  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Big Bend National Park on: November 03, 2012, 09:15:26 pm
Border Patrol was on heightened alert.
My brother and his wife were there last winter and said it got down-right uncomfortable when hiking near and along the Rio Grand.  He said that there were often out-of-place people walking the trails.  Many signs were posted on restrictions of buying from illegal people that would land you in very serious trouble with the USA.  And of course there was opportunity to purchase.  My brother recommended camping only in the main camp grounds, not isolated primative camp grounds.  Hike all you like but stay on the main trails.

My other brother, older than me, he loves to camp alone.  In Organ Pipe Cactus NP, another border park, he day-hiked on a designated park trail to a natural spring.  While eating his lunch there, he heard wrustling in the brush, again people out of place, trying to stay out of his sight.  Needless to say my brother's rest period immediately ended.

My point is.......
You need to think a little differently when camping in the border parks.  Fishing at a nice quiet isolated spot along the Rio might get you into an uncomfortable situation.  Camping remotely could get worse than uncomfortable.  It's fine and safe to visit and stay in the parks, just sleep in camp grounds with lots of other people like yourself, doing as you are doing.  Don't isolate yourself.

I hope to go back to Big Bend NP in the new few years as I have not been there since a child, but taking appropriate precaution.
1832  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Ladies. PG 13 on: November 02, 2012, 11:38:36 pm
Now that's one of your better jokes Billy.   rolling on the floor
1833  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Setting up a toad on: November 02, 2012, 11:37:19 pm
I have a Roadmaster bar/hitch system and a Unified braking system.  It all works good and am pleased with everything about them.  But I don't have experience with other brands.  Owners of Blue Ox praise their decision.  The best I can offer is to increase the confusion.

One thing about the Unified braking really really works well, but it is complex and installed "into" the tow vehicle.  Unless you know what you are doing, it isn't easy to remove and install in another vehicle.  If you can install it in the first tow vehicle, then you are qualified to remove it and install it in a replacement tow.  But don't plan on switching back and forth for it is too integrated into the tow vehicle..
1834  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Where are all the Phoenix Cruisers? on: November 01, 2012, 06:44:21 pm

You are absolutely correct about the rear axle.  The dual wheels were fake, actually worse than rigs equipped with single rear wheels.  Using custom fabricated wheels, the inside of the outer wheel bolted to the outside of the inner wheel.  That inner wheel bolted conventionally to the axle hub using just the typical 5 lug pattern.  It was rediculous.

Our saving grace was that the Mirage weighed only 3600 pounds plus people & supplies.  It was a very light weight rig.  The rear axle never failed us.  But self contained motor homes like the Dolphin, Winnebago Warrier, and the kind with full blown motor home features, they were in danger while still on the factory floor.

Those goofy rear axled motor homes were manufactured through 1987.  In 1988 Toyota introduced true dual wheels paired with an appropriate heavy duty axle very similar to conventional motor homes.  The problem went away, but the reputation stuck like glue.

For our 1983 Mirage, I replaced the rear duals with large single rear tire around 1986/87.  After a number of years dealing with handling troubles, in 1995 I finally took the rig to a place who educated me on the free axle upgrade from Toyota.  They provided a brand new 1995 rear axle assembly seen below, and me the labor.  I had to sign a waiver stating I would never sue Toyota over this.  When finished the rig was solid and performed great til the day I sold it.

Here is what Toyota provided free including shipping to the shop of my choice.

Here is the upgrade in 2007 when I sold the rig, a very conventional design, the right solution to a huge problem.

I found an internet picture of fake rear wheels.  It isn't very clear, but look close.
This set appears to have a 6 bolt pattern but my 1983 had 5.
1835  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: New pics from Daytona soon! on: October 31, 2012, 03:40:15 pm
I don't know how to feel about a good looking motor home on a race car track.   The only time I have seen anything of the kind was in a demolition derby.  LOL  Very cool!  How fast did they let you go?
1836  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: MotorHome Magazine Readers' Choice Awards 2012 on: October 31, 2012, 01:58:35 pm
This is interesting.  I never heard of such an award so I did a search on it.  Apparently the RV community votes on this.  Had I known about it, I would have voted for the PC forum, but obviously my help wasn't needed.

Congratulations to everyone here, and to Phoenix USA.  But a Very Special Congratulations to Aimee for all she has done with keeping this forum healthy in all categories.   Celebrate
1837  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: New pics from Daytona soon! on: October 31, 2012, 12:30:35 pm
How did that get worked out?  That should be fun to see.
1838  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hurricane Sandy on: October 31, 2012, 07:52:38 am
Glad to hear you were minimally affected.  Let's hope to hear the same from JackD and the others there.
1839  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Where are all the Phoenix Cruisers? on: October 30, 2012, 12:27:49 pm
Sightings were much worse with our first motor home of 24 years.  The Mirage company built 5 per week during their best times.  In all our travels, we seen maybe 6 since 1983.  Someone local to me had owned one for many years of which I seen maybe once a year, but I don't count him in my sightings.  Funny that the Mirage was built not far from PC-USA.

How may of you have seen a Mirage, made 1978-1986?
The Phoenix Cruiser is much more popular than our Mirage ever was.
1840  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Hurricane Sandy on: October 29, 2012, 02:26:57 pm
Our prayers for protection from God above, go out to our east coast PC friends.
1841  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Where are all the Phoenix Cruisers? on: October 29, 2012, 12:41:07 pm
Every trip we've taken, the most I've seen is 2, one going in the opposite direction on the interstate.
1842  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Improvements & Enhancements, 2007 PC-2350 on: October 28, 2012, 10:11:26 pm
Oooooo  cool  I like Bobander's idea.  Like Tom says, be sure to consider wall thickness to prevent damage to the outside wall.  Insert a thin screw driver or long nail in the hole to measure depth before taking the next step.

Those wall anchors are made in a variety of sizes for different wall thicknesses.  Be sure to get the 1/8" thick wall size or the anchor could be permanently loose even after the collapse & fanning out behind the wall.  Bobander's top picture looks to be the right size.  The picture below is surely the WRONG size, shown for comparison.


How They Work
1843  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Improvements & Enhancements, 2007 PC-2350 on: October 27, 2012, 11:25:04 pm
Cup holders, eye glass shelves, even a towel bar, I feel all can be mounted using coarse thread wood screws, as long as you pre-drill avoiding masonite crumbling.  My towel rack in the bathroom here is just srewed into the wall board.

About the rope door stop, it "Is" strong enough for a strong gusty wind.
I selected the button as I call it, instead of a bolt for the ease of slipping the rope off, and so the rope would not get damaged from any sharp edges.  It  is deeper than most bolt heads offer so the rope stays on better.  Those buttons are sold at hardware stores and home improvement centers, most common in those loose hardware bins.  Not packaged on hooks.  I wish I knew their proper name.
ADDING LATER:  I learned they are called Weld Flange Nuts.

1844  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Improvements & Enhancements, 2007 PC-2350 on: October 27, 2012, 09:09:54 pm
Hi George,

I received your email and will email you my writeup and template.

I never addressed the window shade in the entry door.  The discs I used were selected for their durability, a good match, and look factory-like to me, rather than the after-thought that it is.  

Because your door requires an odd shape plate, maybe something of painted metal would be a better choice.  Just be sure the material is thick enough as not to deform if hit hard.

The walls of PCs use a vacubonded process  The outer material is a quality strong gel coat fiberglass.  The inside finished wall is a masonite type of material finished with a paper coating that is water & stain resistant and looks nice.  Between the outside and inside walls is steel framing similar to studs on a house with top plate and bottom plates.  The air space is filled with block foam.  The foam is very similar to a disposable styrofoam cooler.  There is also special metal framing used for windows and a/c unit.

Kermit explained this is how the assembly process is done.  An adhesive is applied to inside of the fiberglass and masonite panels, and also to both sides of the block foam, steel frame, and window frames.  All components are aligned and then placed inside a huge baggie-like thing and the air is sucked out to draw the masonite and fiberglass together.  It is sort of a clamping method to assure everything makes contact evenly.  After the adhesive has cured, that wall panel is ready for the motor home.

If you want to mount anything substantial, say a shelf or TV.  Just like at home, it is best to locate a stud.  Screws and wall anchors are only as strong as the inside wall board which is only 1/8" thick.  It's not much.  I don't advise to use self-tapping screws in the wall board, but rather pre-drill a pilot hole to the inside diameter of the screw threads.  This assures the masonite won't fracture, creating a weakened condition.

Your 2008 rig has a gas charged door closure, right?  Maybe the door closure was introduced in 2009.  I did not use a bungy cord.  It is regular rope.  Any regular rope stretches a tiny little bit when pulled hard.  A chain or cable for example would not stretch at all which would provide an abrupt stop.  My button on the door for the rope to loop around, is screwed on a short threaded rod.  That rod is screwed into the sheet metal of the door.  I tapped threads into the hole of the door metal.  Given the stresses are at 90 degrees to the tapped hole, there is no concern of the button ripping out from the door, or deforming the metal door in any way.
1845  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Blue Ox got the best of me on: October 26, 2012, 10:45:32 am
I have heard of people installing a rear trac bar along with a heavy duty rear stabilizer bar which end up mechanically conflicting with eachother.  But I never heard of this particular interference.

Contact the trac bar supplier.  Maybe you need a different bracket in your mounting kit which is sometimes the case.  The supplier will most often supply and ship "the magic part" free of charge.

I'd like to hear how your story concludes.  Good Luck!
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