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61  Main Forum / Photos / Re: Hello from Myrtle Beach on: October 09, 2014, 06:33:53 pm
Ron, I couldn't help myself.

Here is one of our worst winter days.  The cloudbank is obscuring an otherwise beautiful sun set.


Thanks Barry for your sensitivity.   LOL
62  Main Forum / Photos / Re: Hello from Myrtle Beach on: October 09, 2014, 02:12:16 pm
I have been to Chi town and understand you wanting to leave the cold behind. LOL
Last winter was so bad.  The winter prior was quite nice considering it was winter.  Our best winter is so much worse than others worst winter.
63  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2013 model 2551 12 volt batteries OK? on: October 09, 2014, 01:16:34 pm
It will be time for new batteries for our next big trip in 2015.  I figure bigger is better so I'd like to get the largest 6V batteries that fit in the battery tray.

Are they offered nice and big to completely fill the PC battery tray like my current Walmart 12V batteries do?
Any suggestions where to buy such large 6V batteries?
Is there different 6V battery technology available like Deep Cycle, Sealed, AGM, etc?
Any idea what the various types cost?

I never shopped around for 6V batteries before so I don't know what is available and what type, brand, size is best to meet the demands of a Phoenix Cruiser that rarely gets plugged into 30amp service.
64  Main Forum / Photos / Re: Hello from Myrtle Beach on: October 08, 2014, 03:13:23 pm
I will be at Lakewood for a week starting on Oct. 24. I can hardly wait to get there.
I will be here in the Chicago area for another winter starting on Dec. 21.  I can hardly wait to get out of here.

Tom, I couldn't help myself.   Smile
65  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Disappointing gas mileage on: October 07, 2014, 05:24:03 pm
Here is what I had always understood about gasoline.

Which octane to use? - The octane stated in your vehicle owner's manual.
- Consistently using a higher octane than recommended, will form carbon build-up (black soot) on and around the valves and valve seats.  continued build-up will eventually prevent the valves from completely closing during the critical compression stage of the engine.
- Using of a lower than recommended octane will cause the rattling noise we are familiar with.  With continued use, this could cause damage to the valves.

Higher octane fuel burns a tad bit slower than lower octane fuel.  Hotter running, high compression performance engines require the fuel to burn at that slightly slower rate to prevent pre-detonation, that rattling noise.

When traveling through high altitude communities, you'll see lower rated octane fuel than sold everywhere else.  The lower octane helps to compensate for the thinner air at those higher elevations.  So if your owners manual says to use regular 87 octane gasoline, feel free to use 85 octane in the mountains.

Which brand to buy? - Buy from the newest and busiest gas station to assure the cleanest underground gas station tanks and the freshest fuel.
Brand names have their own formulations for detergents and other fuel additives.  Keep in mind that all fuel sold in the USA meets the government standards for detergents and general formulation for use in fuel injected engines.  Using the same brand consistently "might" benefit your engine electronic and emission systems to calibrate and stay there from one tank to the next.  I really don't know if vehicles are sensitive to such variations.  You might benefit slightly sticking to one brand, or maybe no benefit at all.

Adding Your Own Fuel Additives
I would not bother with any product sold off the shelf for today's vehicles.  I even question fuel stabilizers for off season storage for a 6 month period.  Just store your RV with a full tank of gas to reduce the open space in the tank to minimize condensation potential.  Additives are generally not worth the expense for any benefit received.  There are special products only the professionals have access to.  That is not what I am talking about.  One of the silliest things to add to your fuel these days is gasoline anti-freeze.  It is basically a bottle of alcohol.  Since todays fuels are at least 10% alcohol based called ethanol, you already have gallons of the stuff in your tank.  Another 8 ounces won't matter.

One liquid treatment I bought many years ago for cleaning my valves was a product called D-Karbonizer.  It was not sold in stores, an expensive mail order item.  I owned a Pontiac Fiero-GT that had suffered from a pinging engine when using the proper low octane gas.  It was the byproduct from over-use of premium gasoline which resulted in carbon soot contaminated valves.  After the unique process of treating the engine by sucking the liquid through a vacuum port with a fast idle, the product actually eliminated the pinging and I was able to return to the specified 87 octane after the treatment.  I assume enough soot on the valves and valve seats was removed to allow for a proper valve-to-seat seal.

I am no expert on this subject matter.  This is only what I had gathered over the years.
66  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Insulation on: October 05, 2014, 07:40:36 am
Thanks Bob for the confirmation.

I wonder why they don't have that nice prefabricated insulation blanket covering the entire cap area, in whole or in sections?  In that picture, I see the worker needing the bare wall to tape wires.  But once done it would have been easy to add insulation before installing the inside finish panels.

If we did a lot of winter camping, I would consider pulling back the two inside finish panels and tuck in squares of R11 insulation.
67  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Insulation on: October 05, 2014, 12:32:43 am
The main insulation does not cover the sides as shown in this picture.  I don't know if they add separate pieces on the sides.  I would hope they do.

68  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: 2551 with a diesel vs gas on: October 03, 2014, 05:49:03 pm
Hi Judi,

If you seek a Phoenix Cruiser diesel with great fuel economy, then a Sprinter chassis is really the only good choice.  Unfortunately for you, only models 2350 and 2400 are offered on the Sprinter.  Not any other model including the 2551.
69  Main Forum / Adventure Anywhere / Re: Wonderful trip to Utah and Colorado on: October 03, 2014, 11:00:02 am
Does anyone have recommendations for the area?
Rent a Jeep for the day from Farabee's on the south side of town.  Don't rent from anyone else.  Ask them to map for you the popular route starting in Potash to Mussleman Arch, the Colorado River, up Shafer's Trail to the top, then down into Pucker Pass if you have enough daylight, the road with the big rock across it.  It's the town's most popular Jeeping day-trip recommendation.  Very memorable experience, adventurous, fun & exciting, beautiful, and safe too.  You also drive along the mid-shelf of Dead Horse Point in the beginning.

You will burn less than half a tank of gas for the entire day so don't sweat that concern one bit.
70  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Converting Fluorescent To LED Just By Changing Bulbs on: October 01, 2014, 08:58:39 pm
Thanks Ron for the continued follow up.  I am still working on my plan to install soft LED lighting for evening use, so I will be very interested how many lumens you settle on per fixture.  I'm planning to experiment with LED strips on a dimmer.  I just have to decide how many lumens to start with.  I hope to have it done before my next trip in November.  I love the factory LED fixtures Phoenix installed for day use, but wow they are bright.  Nice for can see every corner.
I had some POTs (potentiometers) at home and even bought one more to experiment with for dimming the bright light.  What I learned was that at various in-between settings, not full on, not high dimming, the POTs got quite warm, which means they would be consuming a lot of battery power.  I figured it is better to have a fixed bright and mood light and leave it at that.

The electrical engineers at work warned me the POTs would get hot at half-dim and they were right.  We never did measure how much power a fixture used at half-dim.
71  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Converting Fluorescent To LED Just By Changing Bulbs on: October 01, 2014, 06:08:36 pm
I wanted to follow up with our LED lighting.

We recently returned from a 4 night stay in Apple River Canyon State Park, IL.  We were the only people in a very dark camp ground.  It was there that we concluded the LED lighting is actually too bright for our comfort, almost painfully bright.  We resorted to using the night light feature on many of the fixtures.  Off-season I will be "temporarily" placing black electrical tape over selected LED circuits to determine how much to reduce by.

As I had shared before, each fixture has 2 strips of LEDs.  Each strip has eleven 3-LED circuits.  I will block out LEDs by "circuit" to determine what looks and works best for each position in the motor home.  Some may be reduced more than others.  It is easy to customize each fixture for it's application by simply unsoldering the resistor that supplies power to it's 3-LEDs.

This is actually very good news to me.  This means that converting from florescent to LED lighting will reduce our power consumption significantly more than my last conclusion.

If you plan to convert 9 florescent fixtures as I have done, you can surely get by with purchasing only one reel of LED lighting for $12.
72  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: spare tire on: October 01, 2014, 01:43:51 pm
I don't know diddly squat about tires but I'll throw in one bit of info for consideration and Ron may be able to expound on it a little further. We have the sensor for our weather station stuck up in the top right corner of our rear bin. It FREQUENTLY registers over 100 degrees. I know tires can take heat but to be somewhat continuously baked might affect that tire. Ron, don't you have your weather sensor inside the spare tire cap? If so, what kind of readings do you get when you are out camping and the sun is hitting the tail of the PC?

Tire guys - would this matter?
Yes I keep the indoor thermometer's outdoor sensor in the spare tire compartment, wrapped in a rag & placed in the center tube.  The heat of the day with sun beating down, it will read a little higher than ambient, but rarely more than a few degrees.  Our cover is painted gray/silver.  Maybe it reflects the sun better than some of the other painted tire covers.

For the record, I typically keep 70-75 psi in the spare, anticipating some amount of heat build-up in there.  70-75 psi is more than any of my road tires need.  I did figure on letting out the right amount of air if gone into service.  I do consider that my spare might loose some air over time, not having enough for an actual emergency.
73  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: spare tire on: September 30, 2014, 11:13:16 am
Welcome Back!  You have been through so much.  I hope your body is taking well to the changes.  

About the spare tire...
If the tire has always been stored in the compartment (never in service), I would "consider" extending it's usefulness beyond the 10 year period providing it still looks like brand new with no cracking or other visual concerns.  It is a spare tire after-all.  I would dedicate it for emergencies, not for regular use.

FWIW, As you might recall, our rig is stored indoors (heated garage) which has me is a unique situation.  Our 2007 E350 chassis was manufactured in April 2007 and still has all the original tires.  As of yet I have not had any of the tires off the vehicle.  I hope I can loosen the lug nuts when it's time.  I do carry a long breaker bar to slip over the tire iron for a road side emergency.  The rig has 24,000 miles now and the side walls still look new and strangely the tires still smell new as does the inside of the rig.  The tire thread all looks great with exception to some checking on the front tires from Great Plains cross-wind driving.  My first rig with a decent suspension suffered the same phenomenon so I am not concerned about it because it still has excellent contact to the pavement.  I don't plan on replacing the tires anytime soon.  I will evaluate at the 10 year mark but hope to stretch beyond.

Unfortunately, my demanding job and life mishaps get in the way of getting away.  This year 3 weeks ago, the day before we were to leave for the north-east, a bad storm ripped our large shade tree apart, throwing it 30 feet across our deck, messing up some railings and taking some deck furniture with it.  It could have been so much worse.  It has been very disappointing to change from 2 weeks east to Acadia ME, to 4 nights in Galena, IL.  My point is that the rig sits in moth balls way too much for me to consider new tires.  I wish I could talk about replacement tires.  That would mean we are using up our rig.
74  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Disappointing gas mileage on: September 30, 2014, 09:47:14 am
Sparky, You bring up a very good topic.  Does the brand and octane of gas influence fuel economy?  I have an opinion, but will wait a bit before sharing it.
75  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: TOWING on: September 28, 2014, 03:33:55 pm
Phoenix should be able to provide your towing limitations.  The hitch is typically rated at 5000 pounds, but the total weight of a 2350 Sprinter with a slide out, occupants & possessions "Might" dictate a lower towing limit.  But don't get uneasy from my theoretical data.  I hope other 2350 Sprinter owners will reply with favorable factual data.
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