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46  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Proud Owner of a 2009 PC on: February 17, 2018, 09:01:51 am
Congratulations ROO!

I love your rig with full body paint and especially your no-slide-out with twin captain seats & center table.  After your first big trip, I'd love to hear how well that arrangement works for you.

47  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Built in GPS on: February 03, 2018, 01:12:11 pm
We elected to go with a separate Garmin model.  Cheaper, free updates and most important: the co-pilot can work on it while you are moving.
Like jatrax, a hand-held GPS (and smart phone now-a-days) is best for us.  Irene loves to handle it in the co-pilot seat.

Not just the cost for updates, another serious issue about most built-in GPS units is that they don't let you change your destination while the vehicle is being driven.

When we bought our 2014 Nissan Altima, we didn't want to pay for the GPS upgrade in the radio.  So we ended up with the smart radio minus the GPS.  It is real hard to beat today's smart phones for most areas, but a GPS is great when there is no cell coverage.

If you are a lover of technology and want the most in your PC, get the built-in GPS and use the other devises mentioned when the in-dash is not serving you well.
48  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: What do you consider a MUST for a Phoenix Cruiser on: February 01, 2018, 04:41:10 pm
Since accumulator tanks are pressurized they should self drain when the drains are opened. Suspect it doesn't hurt to have them in a vertical mounted position to ensure draining.

Thank you. Will ask for that.
Actually, the accumulator drains out 99.99999% of the water regardless of the orientation.

Think of it like this.
- Imagine a glass jar filled with water.
- The lid on the jar has two holes.
- Place a large balloon inside the water-filled jar with it's end passing out through one of the holes in the lid.
- Blow air into the balloon.
- Water shoots out the other hole.
- Keep blowing in air until the balloon completely fills the jar.
- 99.99999% of the water is now out of the jar regardless of orientation.

An accumulator is just that.  With it pre-pressurized to the right PSI inside, you can see the balloon called a bladder, inside pressed against a perforated metal grate-like screen.  That screen prevents the bladder from popping out the opening.  The shape of the tank and bladder together assures that all the water gets forced out.  Any residual water remaining inside the accumulator is exceptionally minute with no concern of freeze damage.

I would let Phoenix determine the best orientation of the tank in the limited space they might be working with.

If your PC has room, I recommend a 2 gallon tank.  We have a 2 gallon tank and it's pump-cycling intervals seem perfect.  When full, the tank holds roughly one gallon of water and one gallon-volume of compressed air.  I am really guessing wildly on a 50/50 air to water ratio, stated only to help visualize how it works.
49  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries on: February 01, 2018, 10:28:31 am
Ron, a voltage drop when using any significant amount of battery power is normal.

The 'proper' test of battery voltage is:
- disconnect battery from any load
- charge battery fully
- wait at least 1 hour after charge complete
- test voltage

That will give you the only 'true' voltage.  You cannot get a true voltage when the battery is under load.  But that is really only for testing a suspect battery.  A volt meter in line as you have gives you an instant reading on the state of the battery relative to normal operations.  Which is all you need to tell how things are going.

But any load on the battery will pull the voltage down as long as it is present.  That is just how the lead - acid cycle works.

Other batteries, particularly Lithium have different load curves and their voltage will react differently to a load.
Thank you for the explanation jatrax!
50  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries on: February 01, 2018, 09:48:09 am

About the volt meter I installed in our PC.  It measures the voltage where I wired it into the stove hood monitor panel.  It is NOT measuring across the battery terminals.  When I turn on a light or two, the voltage doesn't change.  But if we turn on more things, the voltage drops a little.  When I turn off everything again, the voltage increases again.  So during a heavy-use evening the voltage can drop significantly.  Because I maintain the batteries well, it does not drop below 12.1V.  If memory serves me well, the drop is as much as 0.3 volts pending what we have running.

I should perform this experiment.
- Using a hand-held volt meter, measure the voltage across the two 6V batteries with everything off.
- Then turn on a bunch of stuff to get the voltage dropping significantly on the volt meter I installed.
- Then measure the voltage across the two 6V batteries again.
It would tell me if it is better to wire the volt meter across the batteries to avoid the fluctuating read-out.

To you with a serious battery monitor, do you see the same fluctuations I do with our simple volt meter?
51  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries on: January 31, 2018, 06:37:23 pm
Im really unknowing in all this so bare with me if my question seems dumb, as it probably is. Why is it so important to never let my batteries go below 12.1?
The simple answer is because everyone says so.  Smile

You do ask a very good question.  I am no expert, but from what I gather, the battery gets damaged when you get below 12.1 volts.  If you drained it one time down to 11.9V, I doubt you would do significant permanent harm, but doing so repeatedly is something else.  With each incident, a full charge is less full than the time prior.

I have learned to be anal about that 12.1V number.  Draining to no less than 12.1V is working well for us.  But I don't wait until it gets to 12.1V.  Most often I charge at a higher voltage to avoid excessive generator run times.  If we plan to spend an evening inside, staying up late watching a movie and such, I will plan ahead and charge the batteries using a strong external 40 amp step charger with the generator, anticipating an extended drain in the evening.  FYI: Our on-board Tripp-Lite inverter/charger has a max of 20 amps hence using the 40 amp external charger to reduce generator run times.

Oh, I see jatrax commented just above me.  I like his reply.
52  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Changes to Online Pricing on: January 31, 2018, 05:43:49 pm
I had a problem where for whatever reason the rear 2x2 window shattered after a couple of months. Found it one weekend when I went out to get ready for a short trip. George S.
I recall someone with a 2350 Sprinter had their rear window shatter twice while towing their Jeep Wrangler with aggressive knobby tires.  Front fenders on Wranglers don't cover enough of the front of their front tires.  Rocks get lodged in between the knobby tire treads, then get ejected forward toward the back of the PC breaking the window.  It's rare, but it happens.  Fortunately they have thermal windows and the inner pane remained okay in both incidents, so they still had a window for the remainder of the trip.
53  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Changes to Online Pricing on: January 31, 2018, 09:21:22 am
Actually I thought the current website was quite good before the pricing tool when down.  As with all things, there was room for improvement.  You can never get an interactive website perfect for everyone and keep it that way without throwing more money at it.
 I thought the pricing feature was one of a kind in the RV industry.  I never stumbled on another RV website with such a pricing feature.  I don't think it was ever meant for placing orders because there is no provision to make special deviations.

Back in 2007 in the days of a dealer network and before the interactive website, I worked out the details making my own work order (a simple Word document) with our model 2350, our options, our deviations and MRSP total.  I got MSRP pricing from a paper packet pricing sheet and maintained the bottom line as we changed our mind on things before placing our order.  When it came time to place our order, I told the dealer to use my document to fill in his build sheet.  Then I approved it before he handed it off to Phoenix.  I highly recommend doing that to assure you get everything you expect.

The MSRP discount calculation was very simple then.  The PC dealer I worked with told me to take the total MSRP and divide it by 1.3, then minus $800 (an additional dealer discount), then subtract dealer prep since I was picking up the rig at the factory.  It was very easy managing costs calculating it myself.

I have MSRP price sheets for 2008 & 2010 and sales brochures since 2007 in soft copy form if anyone is interested.  Phoenix updated their sales brochure every few years.  They would skip at least one year, sometimes two.  The current sales brochure dates back to 2015.  Request what interests you via a private message and BE SURE to include your email address.
54  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries on: January 30, 2018, 05:12:15 pm
Thanks for the info Ron.  I assumed there was a difference in the units, but always best to check.  I know there is no way I could add 300 pounds on my front end.  Glad it will work on the 2350, might even help with the weight distribution.

Is that on an E350 or E450?
Yes, I think it will help with weight distribution.  Not just an E350, but the earlier E350 with the lesser 11,500 GVWR.
55  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries on: January 30, 2018, 04:12:54 pm
Hi jatrax,

The older 2350s are rear-heavy/ front-light given the 158" wheel base and large rear over-hang.  This picture is our no-slide 2350 weighed empty but did have a full tank of gas and propane.  I jumped out before the weigh-in.

Here was our no-slide 2350 loaded up on a trip carrying lots of extra supplies including crates of fresh water, Irene and me.  Interesting is that with all the weight added, only 100 pounds was added to the front axle.  And I did my best to bring as much weight forward as possible.

Here is the PC sticker.  46 gallons of fresh water considers the hot water tank.

Volkemon and me with our 41 gallon fresh water tanks sitting lengthwise against the rear wall, makes the condition as bad as possible.  The fresh water weight lightens the front axle via the teeter-totter effect.  But all is not bad because it also makes the largest outdoor storage compartment in the history of the Phoenix Cruiser.  We keep light-weight bulk in there as not to worsen the condition.  Our weight distribution between axles is nowhere near as good as your 2552, but it works okay with the suspension upgrades I had done.  I would think the weight distribution on a 2552 is the best of PC models.
56  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Changes to Online Pricing on: January 30, 2018, 03:49:36 pm
Here is the answer from Jim Byrnes.

.  As you noticed the pricing tool is down on the website, but this isn't permanent and it isn't a new strategic direction.  We are simply making some changes/updates to the site.  We know that this is a valuable tool to our perspective customers and forum members and we hope to have this back up and running soon.  Thanks for your patience and as I said I really appreciate you reaching out.

All the best!

That is good to hear.  I will be waiting until their website is up and running properly until I refer people to it again.
57  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries on: January 30, 2018, 12:24:31 pm
This allows me to mount all four batteries in that area behind the passenger door and in front of the coach door.
That space for batteries is ideal for general weight distribution.

After you are 100% complete with your PC, load it up with gasoline, propane, fresh water, your clothes, gear, cookware, and food (as if ready to leave home for a trip), along with suspension improvements like heavy duty stabilizer bars and such, really really 100% complete, then add weight behind the driver and passenger as best you can to reflect you and your wife's weight.  Then get a wheel alignment at a truck suspension shop.  Assumed you will be like us, the alignment technician will install offset bushings to get the alignment right.
58  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Changes to Online Pricing on: January 30, 2018, 09:52:21 am
I do wonder if part of the reason for the change is that Phoenix has always maintained low website costs, and now they digress further.  I think their website uses much of their paper brochure which has been used since 2015.  If they can afford it, they should increase their budget to maintain it better.  Their website is a critical promotional tool considering PCs can't be found at dealers.  Adding back in the pricing tool makes the website extremely informative for people who want to take next steps.

It seems Phoenix set up their website for a maintenance-free arrangement.
59  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Changes to Online Pricing on: January 29, 2018, 09:48:12 am
As of now... It appears selling price is 74% of list price.  No idea if you can negotiate further.
Thanks for sharing that.  That data should be posted clearly so people would not be deterred by posted MSRP pricing alone.
60  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Batteries on: January 29, 2018, 09:04:36 am
4 batteries hanging under the coach, forward of the main entry door will be a pretty tight fit.  And they will be extremely heavy to lift together in a container.  They could weigh over 300 pounds.  When I converted from two 12V to two 6V AGMs, I was surprised how much heavier the new 6V batteries were compared to the 12Vs.

If, and only IF you later decide to convert the under-floor space rear of the main entry door to a battery compartment......keep these things in-mind.

- If you don't need a slide out battery drawer, DON'T get one.  The drawer requires a few more inches of height.  The best thing I did was to delete the drawer and set the taller mainenance-free 6V batteries on a plate that rests on the bottom of the frame.  With the old 12V wet acid batteries, pulling them out with the drawer along with the battery splash shield I added HERE in combination was never ideal for me....just better than no shield at all.  Deleting the drawer while adding the battery shield is a perfect combination as long as your batteries are maintenance-free.

- This next comment requires confirmation from other people.  I think Phoenix makes two frame heights, the 6V frame hangs farther below the battery door than the 12V frame.  Get the framing from Phoenix that was originally designed for 12V batteries.  Without the drawer, the 6V batteries fit just right in the 12V frame as seen HERE.  Note how the 12V battery frame is exposed just a few inches.  I think the 6V frame hangs down a few inches more.  Maybe someone with a 6V battery compartment with a drawer will confirm or correct me.
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