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31  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: ALASKA ADVENTURE on: January 07, 2017, 04:53:56 pm
Has anyone out there taken the ferry with their RV?
Hi Nicki,

My brother and his wife did a 10 week Alaska RV trip and they did take the ferry often in the lower coastal and absolutely loved the ferry experience along with avoiding the piles of miles he'd have to drive to otherwise see the coastal.

He had one warning riding the ferries.  Depending on the high/low tide condition, the on/off ramps are often at steep angles.  He lost his waste pipe a couple times and bought a 2 lb. sledge hammer at first opportunity to bend back his skid plates.....more than twice.

I would consider installing those affordable Firestone suspension air bags and just before getting on a ferry, pump them up to maximize your PC's rear lift.  On your little 2100, that should lift it's rump a whole lot higher than it's natural rear sag position.  I would also consider rear skid wheels, making sure they hang just one inch lower than the next lowest obstacle.

Ron Dittmer
32  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Picking up your new PC. on: January 07, 2017, 09:56:44 am
Would get a Liberty again if yours died?  Or something else?
You ask a very good question.

I am an advocate in buying used vehicles over a brand new one.  I have made a few exceptions in life like our PC for example.  We would have bought a used 2350 back in 2007, but there were none to be found.

We bought our 2006 Liberty at 3 years old and ~30,000 miles for $12,000 in the St. Louis area which meant less salt exposure compared to here in the Chicago area.  If we lost our Liberty tonight, given that it is my wife Irene's daily driver and she loves it "TOO" much, I might be on the search for the exact same body style Liberty in mint condition & low miles, and pay more than the books say it's worth.  Irene does not like the style of the newer Liberty so I can't see that a consideration.

But I would love to replace our 2006 Liberty with a small used 4x4 pickup truck with an extended cab and suicide doors, and use that as our tow vehicle.  Now that I am retired, a small pickup truck around here would be so much more useful than the Liberty that doesn't pull it's weight around the house.  I would most likely seek a 4x4 Ford Ranger or GM/Chevy Colorado.  But I am not certain they can be towed 4-wheel-down.  If we can't do that, they would drop off my wish list.  I also would need to research their curb weight.  Our 4x4 Liberty is ~4300 pounds, only 700 pounds less than our hitch is rated for.

My ideal tow vehicle would look something like this with a lockable flat or domed bed cover for our trips.
33  Main Forum / Tips and Tricks / Re: Extend a drawer on: January 06, 2017, 09:28:28 pm
Depending on the depth of your cabinet, you could simply replace the drawer tracks with longer ones so the drawer would naturally extend beyond the front of the cabinet to be able to reach down behind it.  Nice strong pairs of drawer glides are sold cheap these days.  At least they are at the $10/$14 range per pair.  They have a bag sale going on right now, 15% off anything in the bag.
34  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Picking up your new PC. on: January 06, 2017, 09:10:04 pm
Hi jatrax,

If you are like us in the national parks and other public lands, your wife will eventually come to the realization that a Jeep is a very good idea.  Just be sure your first trip is in an area where a Jeep is an absolute necessity  Smile

Our first tow vehicle was a 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder.  We went to Escalante and drove to the trail head to the narrows.  At the trail head were Jeep Wranglers and Libertys and us.  People there looked at us like we were crazy....................we were crazy......and determined.  We drove that little car through deep-entry dry river beds and other 4x4 terrain to get there.
35  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Full Body Paint vs Lower Body Paint on: January 06, 2017, 09:31:19 am
There are people on both camps, Paint or no paint.
I have worked building fiberglass boats in the 70's.
Gel coat is much thicker than paint.
If you use a good wax twice a year, it will look like new 10 years later, from my experience. In the past 25 years I have had 3 motorhomes, all with no paint.
You will never get anyone to agree on this subject.
You make a good point.  But the quality of the gel coat makes all the difference.  Every boat I ever saw was a lot better than the gel coat on our old Toyota/Mirage motor home.  I wouldn't know the quality of gel coat on PCs because ours is painted.
36  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Picking up your new PC. on: January 05, 2017, 05:44:08 pm
Hi garmp,

You are looking at 6.5 hours of driving time.  Don't forget, you will loose an hour due to the time zone.  Consider staying the night prior in a motel near the factory so you can get there when they open.  This will relieve a lot of stress so you can give Phoenix your full attention.  If you own a smart phone, consider having your spouse video record the walk through while you concentrate on the conversation.  Just make sure you saved-off then deleted all your old videos and pics so you have enough phone memory.

As far as your car rental is concerned, many rental companies will pick up your rental.  You don't necessarily have to drop it off at their nearest office.  I would think it is common practice there in Elkhart with people like you doing that on a regular basis.  Ask your local car rental company if they can pick up the car at your destination.  If you are not getting the answer you want, then ask Earl Robbins there at Phoenix.  He might offer some good advise.

It sounds like you already have a collection of camping equipment.  I like your idea of bringing along all you need in your rental for a week long RV trip.  Hint: leave the tent and air mattress home Smile  Bring a little electric space heater too, just in case you have an issue with the furnace.  When our PC was 3 months old, I learned our furnace didn't work at a bad time on our first big trip camping at high altitude Brainard Lake, CO at 10,350 feet in subfreezing temps in September.  I got lucky, quickly finding a furnace kill switch outside behind the furnace panel.  I switched it on and we had heat.  It's that kind of thing you want a backup space heater for.

I also like your idea of staying at a local campground for the first night to make all your mistakes, and maybe find a few of Phoenix's too.  Many people do that, returning the next morning to get matters resolved, or learn about operator error.  So DON'T plan on getting there on a Friday for the next day Saturday they are closed.  I would play it safe and get to Phoenix on a Monday or Tuesday morning.  Doing so gives Phoenix more consecutive work days to assure you won't spend a weekend there.

It's going to be a long winter for you.  Hang in there.  Your day will come.

Ron Dittmer
37  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Correction Gtng 2 Trailhead , & former Lazy Daze, Born Free, & Camper Owners on: January 05, 2017, 09:12:48 am
Hi Michelle,

You remind me of ourselves in some ways.  Irene and I are both now 58 and retired.  10 years ago when we were 48, we had sold THIS rig.  We bought that one new in 1983 for $12,225 when we were 25 years old and owned it for 24 years.  Though we were young & skinny & nimble, we never slept in the cab-over bed after the 1st year.  It was a place for fluffy stuff and a bed for our kids.  We kept the dinette as a bed all the time when on trips.  You can imagine the seat belt laws we would be breaking today.

Being only 17.5 feet long, it fit in a regular parking spot like a car.  It was a blessing to own while raising a family.  Not only was it our get-away camper to our nation's parks, but it also provided me with utility to haul many kinds of things like a pickup truck.  It really was nice to have automobile mobility on our family vacations.  Nap time, feeding the family, diaper changes, whatever, we were always ready for anything wherever we were.

But approaching age 49 with our youngest child starting college, we found ourselves needed more.  A self contained vehicle with true practicality like a real bath, a real main floor bed, a real dinette, a real fridge, a good setup for indoor cooking, decent infrastructure like water & waste capacities and heating & air conditioning.  Most critical was that it had to fit in our garage that is 25'-0" long and a door height of 9'-11.25" of which our PC-2350 worked.  A 2351 would also.  We probably would have gotten a 2351 if it was offered back in 2007 when we ordered our PC.

If our 2350 PC had a cab-over bed, we would both sleep on the main floor bed and use the bunk for light weight fluffy storage, just as we did with our first rig.  At age 58, still not over-weight, we notice it becoming harder to do nimble things like getting in and out from our rear corner bed.  I could never imagine getting in and out from a cab-over bed anymore.  I understand why the twin bed PC models are so popular with the 60+ age group.

So that is my story.  Maybe you can relate to it.  If you decide to buy a different brand with a cab-over bed, maybe in a few years like us the cab-over bed will just be providing you with bulk storage at a cost to wind resistance, height restrictions, and handling sacrifices.  If you go with a cab-over bed brand, be sure you can still sleep on the main floor or you might find yourself selling the rig much sooner than originally planned.

Ron Dittmer
38  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Full Body Paint vs Lower Body Paint on: January 04, 2017, 10:07:04 am
I have the same story.  Our previous motor home was a full gel coat.  It was impossible to keep looking right with every passing year.  And we had it garage kept for too.  The full body paint on our PC is so much easier to maintain.  Keep in-mind that if you are going to keep your PC out in the elements all the time as most people do, you can't just neglect it.  It still needs care.  I've seen a couple of older used PCs for sale where the full body paint job didn't hold up well, I assume because they never maintained the finish.  I would think that the desert sun would be hardest on the paint.

If you like the color white for it's ability to resist sun-fade and reflect the heat of the sun better, it might be worth considering getting the house painted white to match the Ford/Sprinter portion.  It should cost a lot less for it's just one color on the house and the cab being left alone.  White paint will be so much easier to maintain than the raw gel coat finish.

I wonder what it would cost to have the house painted white to match the white cab?
39  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Generator statting power on: January 03, 2017, 11:25:19 am
The Ford voltage regulator, of course is regulated, puts out a higher voltage then the converter on my PC. So it will charge to 100%.
I have noticed the same with our old PC.  Driving does a great job charging.
40  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC 2350 Questions on: January 03, 2017, 11:23:37 am
Thank you HenryJ for your concern.

Every once in a while the topic of tires come up.  I hesitate to share what I do for the backlash of responses as reflected in my "Helpful Rating".  Again, I am not suggesting anyone else practice the same.  Most especially people with heavier rear axle PCs running 75-80 psi in the tires.  It is one of the "RV sinful" things I practice.  I really shouldn't share it anymore for it may encourage others.  This is the last time you will see me mention it.

No offense taken.  I appreciate your comment.

Ron Dittmer
41  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: More PC questions on: December 31, 2016, 01:25:42 pm
Great input from keelhauler and 2 frazzled.

Our 10 year old 2350 has the same issue with the gray water tank being the smaller of the two.  Back flushing gray soapy water into the black tank is quite nice because the soapy solution helps to move the serious waste out the black tank.  It also reduces toilet-flush odor.

Some camp grounds permit gray water drainage directly on the ground at your site.  Most often they are primitive wooded sites with a good amount of space between sites.  Be courteous when do so as not to have the water drain a stream onto your neighbor's site.  A slow drain (not turning on your sanicon macerator) will allow time for the water to seep into the ground rather than flow off to a neighbor.

Ron Dittmer
42  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Replacing air mattress & sofa in 2012 PC 2400 Sprinter on: December 29, 2016, 08:59:47 pm

Here is a little bit of PC history just in-case you decide to swap out the sofa.  In the 2003-2008 or 09 era, Phoenix installed what is referred to as a jack-knife sofa.  PC owners had complained how uncomfortable they were to sit and sleep on.  Phoenix responded by introducing the couch you have with an air bed inside and a storage drawer underneath.  Owners initially responded with great reviews, but somewhere along the way, they changed their mind and became dissatisfied with them.  Then Phoenix introduced a reclining with ottoman split sofa with memory foam and that seems to have maintained good reviews over the years.  I believe Phoenix has since experimented with a few different flavors of the same general couch in concept.

My point to all of this is that if you want to change out your couch, you will likely be most pleased with one of the current day couches because I never read anything negative about them.  And since you live not so far from the factory, you might want to consider having the factory swap couches for you.

Please understand that my suggestion has no personal experience associated for we have a fixed dinette instead of a couch.

Ron Dittmer
43  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: wood grain veneer sagging over speedometer on: December 28, 2016, 03:37:15 pm
Thanks for the  ideas !    I'll try the hair dryer idea once it warms up here in Michigan,   and then Phoenix  if that doesn't do it.

It should still be 100% under warranty.   Let Kermit know, he can suggest how to get it fixed on Phoenix's dime.   They are VERY quick at repaying you if you pay a shop to repair as long as you contact Jermit FIRST!

Just a quick FYI to missed it that Jim recently bought a 10 year old 2006.....not a 2016 Smile
Happy New Year!

Jim, if the problem persists after the repair, you might ask Phoenix to quote you a new wood grain dash piece.  They will need to know if you have the light maple wood interior, or the dark cherry interior.  The house cabinet finish determined which wood grain dash you get.
44  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Generator statting power on: December 28, 2016, 03:28:56 pm
Very interesting donc13.  Now you have me wondering if I've had it wrong all these years.  I will have to experiment with our batteries and see.  Or maybe Phoenix has been wiring the generator differently since our PC was built nearly 10 years ago.

To jas, Since your PC is stored indoors in a heated building like our PC, I suggest you consider not plugging in and disconnect all your batteries and simply let your PC sleep over the winter.  With the batteries disconnected, they won't drain on you.  Your generator and everything else can rest in peace being in dry heated storage.  There is no need to exercise the generator or anything else for that matter because of your type of storage.....heated & DRY.  I have been doing so with our PC for the last 8 of the 9 winters and it all wakes up in great shape 6 to 7 months later in the spring time.

I left our PC plugged into 120V the very first winter of 2007/2008 in our dry heated garage and all I got were acid boil-overs which did a lot more harm than good.
45  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Generator statting power on: December 27, 2016, 08:19:21 pm
Hi jas,

The house batteries are used to start the generator.

If the house batteries are too weak to turn over the generator, I suggest to start up and then speed up the main engine to 1200-1500 rpm for about 5 minutes, then try starting the generator with the main engine running at idle.

I suggest doing that because I monitor my house and chassis battery voltage when the main engine is running.  All batteries are always being fed by the alternator all the time.  When I turn off the main engine, the charged-up battery voltages drop to around 12.7V.

Ron Dittmer
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