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61  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: euro chairs on: January 17, 2017, 09:49:10 am
Hi Candy,

Please understand this.  Unlike swivel/reclining captain seats, you cannot sit in the euro seats when the vehicle is moving.  Captain seats are permanently bolted down and have DOT-approved seat belts.  Euro chairs are anchored down with a removable clamp and do not have seat belts, so nobody should sit in them when the vehicle is being driven.

We do not have a euro chair so I don't know what I am missing, so please consider it with my next point.  I hope it draws opinions from other PC owners.  If you don't get a slideout, get the captain seats for they stay-put and offer more floor space, a plus with the limited floor space.  If you get a slideout and don't need to transport people in those seats, get the euro chairs.  Would the rest of the PC community agree, or is my point invalid?

Ron Dittmer
62  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Determining the value of a used RV..... on: January 13, 2017, 04:44:48 pm
For kicks, I input our 2007 2350 on NADA-RV.

The stated original MSRP of ~$79,000 is $9,000 less than the documented MSRP of our PC, so that figure is off by a lot.
Low Retail: $32,700
Average Retail: $39,400

I would hope that our PC would be worth more than average retail given it's preservation with indoor heated storage.  It still looks new.  Strange as it may sound but it even smells new inside.  When I take it to our church car show on Father's Day weekend, many people think it is brand new.  Obviously they are not familiar with the change in body style Ford made in 2008.

Our PC might be worth ~$50,000 but who would ever pay that much for a 10 year old Phoenix Cruiser without a slide out?  Good thing our plan is to keep it till our driver's licenses are taken from us.  At age 58, I hope that won't be for another 28-30 years.

One thing certain, if it got totaled or stolen, we'd get so little from an insurance claim.
63  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Brake Replacement on: January 12, 2017, 11:39:33 pm
Interesting subject matter....brakes.  I do a lot of brake work where I volunteer but have never worked on any E-series or Sprinters, vans, motor homes, box trucks....none of them.

Brakes are their own animal with regards to when they need work.  Understandably brake work on an E350, E450, and Sprinter motor home is very expensive, and unfortunately is a common need.  Because so many motor homes sit around so long without getting driven, the rotors get rusted real bad from outdoor moisture which then compromises brake performance and reduces the life of the brake pads.  Fortunately you can visually inspect the front and rear rotors just by looking at the inside face of each rotor from underneath the motor home.  If they are rusted to the point that there are small pin holes in the rotors, you should plan on getting a brake job.  If the rust is more like a thin film and is removed after driving a few miles with some brake use, that is normal and you would be good to go.  If the rig you are considering, has shinny smooth-looking rotors, then the question is....how thick are your brake pads.  A mechanic would need to inspect that one.

Because some motor homes like ours see mostly highway driving, the brakes will be on the later side of the replacement schedule.  I will eventually find out what that schedule is.  With around 34K I figure I have some miles to go.  Our PC brakes just don't get much use because our tow vehicle does so much of the touring where braking is more abundant.  Also consider that our PC is kept indoors when not getting used so the rotors don't see a lot of moisture, hence no rust problem.

I quickly searched the web and found some examples on what to look for with regards to rusted rotors.

Here is what you hope to see.  This rotor is in good "visual" condition.


Here is a bad rotor.  Note the pin holes and rough surface.


I share this with you only to provide the obvious for you.  Don't be doing your own brake inspections based on this reply.  Be sure to get them inspected by a professional.  But this simple visual exercise would give you a rough idea what you could be in for.

The E350 & E450 prior to 2008 (2007 and older) you should also get a separate quote to include two grease seals (one per front wheel) and repack the front wheel bearings.  I believe starting in 2008, the front wheel hubs are not serviceable.  Regardless of model year, I believe the rear wheel bearings are not generally serviced.  But again reinforcing that I have not yet worked on any E-Series van or other.  One more quote you will want to get is having the brake system flushed where 100% of the brake fluid in the system is replaced.

The cost of brake work ranges a lot.  I advise to call around.  With a motor home you won't have many shops to choose from.  Ask for separate quotes for front and rear axles for they will have different prices.  Cutting the rotors (resurfacing them smooth) seems to be a dying practice, but maybe you'll get lucky and find someone who still does that on truck rotors.  They will need to meet a minimum thickness after the rust and pin holes are lathe-cut away which typically they are too thin afterward.

I cut normal vehicle rotors & drums myself as I have my own brake lathe (a gift from my next door neighbor who closed his auto shop and retired).  I wonder if my E350 rotors would even fit on it.

64  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: January 12, 2017, 09:22:02 pm
CKK asks an interesting question.....how long will Kermit control Phoenix.  I have no idea.

But I am not concerned about it.  We bought THIS Toyota/Mirage motor home brand new in 1983.  Mirage went out of business 3 years later.  We owned that rig for 24 years, 21 years after they went out of business.

Most of what could go wrong with a motor home is subcontracted stuff like windows, appliances, seats, and such.  The only concern would be if something structural went wrong.  But then how many RV manufactures would resolve a structural issue on one of their older used units?  Things like the sanicon for example, Phoenix uses off-the-shelf components to build it.  If I need a switch or valve or whatever, my first place to look for such a component would be on ebay.....after a call to Phoenix.

When my sanicon macerator went out, I did a little shopping and found a low cost replacement as outlined HERE.  My point here is that you really won't "need" Phoenix.  They are just dang handy and often affordable.  And once in a great while it has been nice to pick Kermit's brain on a few modifications I have considered and then implemented.
65  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: January 12, 2017, 06:24:50 pm
Hi CKK,

Welcome to the PC forum!

To address your question about Phoenix USA and the quality of their motor homes.

The company really does stand behind it's products, more than you could imagine.  Of coarse there are limits as to what they will do for the owners of it's products, but it is far better than any other manufacture I know of.  New or well used, the company is extremely helpful to resolve any questions and issues you might have.  If the solution involves replacement parts under their own control, they seem to charge you only what it costs them.  I have not seen them mark up anything.

I recall someone buying an old PC (maybe a 2003) with structural issues that resulted from an accident.  They did not know it at the time they purchased it.  They called Phoenix who had them bring it in and during their slow period (back then Phoenix had a slow period just before the holidays) they rebuilt the problem area to be like new again, done at a very reasonable cost.  Another repair center like Camping World for example would have charged 4 to 6 times that amount.

My wife Irene and I ordered our PC nearly 10 years ago and the factory still treats us well with great customer service.  Fortunately our need for customer service has been quite minimal which reflects the quality put into our PC.  We do keep our PC garage-kept which does help.  I usually contact Phoenix for parts of one kind or another to support a change I want to make in our PC.

Phoenix USA is owned by Kermit Fisher.  He sets the way business is done there and everyone employed there is on-board with him.  There are a few other small privately owned motor home manufactures with similar business practices but they are a little to a lot more pricey and less flexible with customer special-requests.

About warranty work.  I hope more recent new-purchase PC owners will provide first-hand experience.  But it works like this.  If you live too far away from Phoenix, they have you take your PC to a local RV repair shop and Phoenix covers the bill.

About a tow vehicle.  If you are buying a longer PC, I think you would eventually want a tow vehicle to get around the places you described.  We own a short 2350 but we tow a 4x4 because there are too many primitive roads we like to travel on for day excursions which are not motorhome friendly.  Like you, I was disappointed to learn about the no-backing-up restriction.  But like everyone else who tows another vehicle on the street, we learned to deal with it.
66  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Just Made My Deposit On a New 2910T!!! on: January 12, 2017, 05:53:20 pm
Congratulations Dan!
67  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Stripped down PC on: January 12, 2017, 05:37:20 pm
Hi Mike,

You described our first motorhome HERE that we owned for 24 years.  What you see in the pictures is what it had....nothing more.
- no waste tanks (the pump sink drained right on the street)
- no fresh water tank, just a 5 gallon water jug (started as a pump sink, later installed a windshield washer motor & switch as shown)
- of coarse no hot water heater
- no propane tank
- no stove
- no furnace
- no bathroom (a porta-potty with privacy curtain was optional)
- no a/c of either kind
- no fridge (a standard cooler went behind that door you see)
- the Toyota chassis didn't even have power steering
It was extremely basic.  It did have a second battery and converter to supply electric to the house.  The engine produced 96hp, a real slug.  But we did get just over 20 mpg.  It worked when we were young.  At 17.5 feet long, it was shorter than our 1971 Delta 88 it replaced.  It was small enough to drive around town of which it was my wife's stay-at-home-mom car for it's first 5 years.  One real nice thing about it was that I could (and did) haul all kinds of stuff with it.  I would haul home things like 22 foot long lumber (for a foot bridge) and 4x8 sheets of building material for home projects.

Like you, I wonder what Phoeinx would be willing to do with such a request.  But one thing certain, that would not be for Irene and me anymore.
68  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Radio wiring and control on: January 12, 2017, 12:02:11 am
We have FM band inside our old Executive head unit inside the house of our PC, the one with the DVD player and surround sound.  I believe you with the more recent Samsung have the same FM radio band.

But like others mentioned, the radio in the dash board can be used for a very long time before affecting the starting of the PC.  We carry jumper cables to stretch between house and chassis batteries.  If we get into a pickle over it, we have a simple resolve.
69  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Swivel Cab Chairs E-450 on: January 11, 2017, 11:37:30 pm
And also agree about the tweaks in seat position while driving. We do the same and so easy with the automatic seat.
I never sat in a generic base driver seat so I really don't know what it's like, but I would imagine that it compares to the swivel passenger seat we have which offers a good position with good comfort.  But the power driver seat offers nice change-ups without changing my position in the seat.  I wished airplane seats could do that.
70  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: The Two Waste Tank Electric Valve Actuators, Can They Be Serviced? on: January 11, 2017, 10:34:28 am
Thank you ragoodsp for sharing your experience.  I assume your experience was with your 3100.  Hopefully the waste plumbing on a 2350 is more forgiving.

I will first try to determine if my problem is a weak actuator rather than a gooey valve.  I will surely wait til spring when I can pull out the PC and approach everything from all sides more easily.

Ron Dittmer
71  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: ALASKA ADVENTURE on: January 11, 2017, 02:18:38 am
We took a Carnival AK cruise in May 2008 that ended in Whittier.  The tunnel traffic signal broke and we sat on a bus at the Whittier end of it for 4 hours waiting for the signal to get repaired.  We arrived in Anchorage oh so very late that night.  During our wait, we saw bear on the hill around the tunnel entrance.
72  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: The Two Waste Tank Electric Valve Actuators, Can They Be Serviced? on: January 10, 2017, 10:53:56 pm
When you are married to a little Greek woman, you have to follow orders closely. Smile
73  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Swivel Cab Chairs E-450 on: January 10, 2017, 08:06:25 pm
We have the power driver seat in our 2100 and the swivel passenger seat. We love the power seat because as we switch drivers it is so much  easier to readjust with each driver trade off. Also, I'm only 5' tall and it can be made higher without an added seat cushion.
 I agree with you.

Adding that I do most of the driving an find it valuable to change my position while driving to extend my time between rests.  Sometimes I like to tilt the seat backward then forward after a while, raise it and then lower it, change it up to keep me less stiff behind the wheel.
74  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: The Two Waste Tank Electric Valve Actuators, Can They Be Serviced? on: January 10, 2017, 08:01:02 pm
I just signed up for a can also,  thanks for the tip.              Ron,  you have access to your rig,  would it be possible to  post a picture of the area I should be lube-ing  /  cleaning ?   (valve)  New to this
gig and still learning the ropes,  as they used to say.    Besides,  you're retired now,  have the time,  and love tutorials !

jim
Ha, ha.  I have no clue yet as to what I will be spraying.  This is a new experience for me.  Hopefully my problem is on the outside the valve assembly with accessible moving parts needing cleaning & lubrication.  If the problem is inside with the rubber seals and sliding valve door, I will likely replace the assembly.

I will post my investigation but not anytime soon.  It's a cold garage floor having a forced air garage furnace mounted to the ceiling (heat rises).  A heated garage floor would have been a much better means to heat our garage.  I won't be crawling around under our PC until March/April.  Most importantly, I have other more pressing wintertime honey-do house projects to get finished now that the holidays are behind us.
75  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: The Two Waste Tank Electric Valve Actuators, Can They Be Serviced? on: January 10, 2017, 11:08:14 am
I just bought a 12 oz aerosol can for $18.38 HERE with free shipping.  I don't know if it's the best deal out there, but the best I could find in 10 minutes of research.

Ron
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